Ljubljana happens to be Slovenia’s largest city and capital, but you wouldn’t know it. It has been named the greenest European city and features the largest pedestrian city center that is just brimming with life. Citizens and tourist alike love to drink coffee by the gorgeous riverfront.
Our first day in Ljubljana we spoke to a local who described her city as “a little girl who likes to play dress-up in her mother’s clothes. She’s beautiful and has refined elements, but should never be taken too seriously.” The city center is brimming with cafes serving up the local specialty drink, a white coffee.
Café hopping in Ljubljana is a year-round affair, even in the winter when they roll out fur chairs, blankets, and heaters; it is hard to resist sitting outside when you have as beautiful of a waterfront as Ljubljana. With a student population of 50,000, it’s easy to understand why the city is filled with bars, coffee shops, and bookstores. Seriously, I’ve never seen more bookstores for a city of its size.
The white coffee may not be for coffee aficionados, but it’s a shot of espresso topped with lots of milk and frothy foam. Pair the white coffee with a tasty cake and the European café culture is alive and well here. The only real problem is the abundance of cafes, so how do you choose? We took a break from our backpacking adventure around Europe to bring you a list of our favorite cafes in Ljubljana.
Best Coffee and Cafes Shops in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Cajna Hisa: This café is for all those non-coffee drinkers that still need their caffeine fix. (Not to worry they have some of the best coffee in town too). Cajna Hisa also offers breakfast, sandwiches, and cakes to fill your appetite while you enjoy your tea. If you feel like some tea to go, the café is attached to their tea shop with plenty of loose-leaf teas to take home. Drink to try: Matcha Cappuccino
Le Petit Café
Le Petit Cafe: Across the street from the University of Ljubljana, this café is filled with college students and professors looking for a break from their studies. It’s made to look like a classic European café with French posters plastering the wall and featuring classic wood tables. The café, like many in Ljubljana, has a large outdoor seating area perfect for catching some fresh air while reading a book. Le Petit café also turns into a great restaurant at night offering good food and wine. Drink to try: White Coffee
Centralna Postaja: Is it a coffee shop? A Radio Station? A bar? A restaurant? Or is it a shop? The answer would be all of the above. Centralna Postaja is hip, cool, and a little eccentric, but with a clear panache for a well-designed layout. They offer a full bar along with some great bar food staples. Burgers anyone? What to order: A Union Beer and a cheeseburger.
Tozd Bar: Relaxed atmosphere with a cozy design. Tozd Bar has several bikes decorating the small cafe, adding a great element of quirkiness. Tozd Bar serves a nice selection of beers and wines complimented with a number of tapas. Most importantly, they offer cold brew coffee, which is simply awesome. What to order: Ruster Cold Brew (duh)
Caffetino: This trendy coffee shop has no sign out front, but you can’t miss the selection of coffee roasting equipment in their window display. With a wide selection of worldly coffee beans, this is place is for those who take their coffee seriously. They offer a nice selection of baked goods to compliment your coffee. What to order: Turkish Coffee (Cappuccino for a more mild palate)
Kavarna Macek: This eclectic bar is situated right along Ljubljanica Riverfront. I wouldn’t say they specialize in anything, but they make up for that in fun. There is a large outdoor seating area and a lively crowd sipping out of kitschy cat mugs. What to order: Whatever you want
We loved trying out all these cafes in Ljubljana. Don’t forget that tipping 10% is common in many European cities. Check out our guide to tipping in Europe for the lowdown.
How to Get to Ljubljana
Ljubljana is an easy city to travel as it well connected. The main transportation hubs are the airport Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU), Ljubljana railway station, and a bus station. We arrived from the border of Italy via bus which was easy. It’s also easy to arrive via train from the more popular European city of Budapest. If you’re planning a backpacking trip around Europe read our post on the cost and check out our post on the best backpacks.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana?
Antiq Palace – Small Luxury Hotels Of The World
We love Small Luxury Hotels of the World! They are so….luxurious! Antiq Palace is a former aristocratic residence turned boutique hotel. It’s located in a great spot in the city and still maintains many 16th century details.
Best Western Premier Hotel Slon
Another well located hotel is the Best Western on Slovenska Cesta. This hotel has stylish and comfortable rooms that fall in line with the Best Western Brand. A great buffet breakfast is included before you head out to take on the city!
For those on a budget Kva Hostel offers dorm and private rooms that cater to all travelers. It’s well located, clean, and has rave reviews!