National and University Library of Slovenia (Arodna in Univerzitetna Knjiznica)
Tucked away on the edge of the old town, the National and University Library is a monolithic building. Inside is a monumental central staircase, lined with 32 black Podpeč marble pillars, that leads to the reading room where chandeliers hang over wooden desks and walls of books.
Regarded as Plečnik’s most important creations in Ljubljana, the library is included on many walking tours. Combine a visit with a Ljubljanica River cruise, or a local beer tasting. Guided city bicycle tours highlight Jože Plečnik’s works, whose creative opus had a significant impact on the appearance of Vienna, Prague, and especially his native Ljubljana.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National and University Library of Slovenia is an ideal spot for architecture and history buffs.
- Look for a line of monuments to famous Slavicists and Slovenian composers, also designed by Plečnik.
- Admission is free, though visits to the reading room must be booked in advance.
- A cafe in the basement is open to the public.
How to Get There
The National and University Library of Slovenia is located on Turjaška ulica in Ljubljana, which is within easy walking distance from most parts of the old town. Most bus lines stop at the Drama bus station, less than a fourth of a mile (280 meters) northwest of the library.
When to Get There
The library’s exhibition rooms are open Monday - Friday, mornings to evenings, and Saturday until the afternoon. To avoid the crowds that come in the summer high season, visit Ljubljana in the late spring or early fall when the weather is pleasant, and you can find deals on hotels. During Christmastime, the city is especially magical with festive lights, markets, and foods.
Tivoli Park and Mansion
A few blocks west of the bridge is Tivoli Park, Ljubljana's largest green space packed with walking/cycling trails, playgrounds, and cultural institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia and Tivoli Mansion, which houses the International Centre of Graphic Arts. Wander to the pond for a bite to eat or stop and smell 160 types of roses, including the pink Prešeren cultivar named after the Slovenian poet France Prešeren.
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- Krizanke Summer Theatre (Poletno Gledalisce Krizanke)
- Cobblers' Bridge (Cevljarski Most)
- Museum of Illusions
- Congress Square (Kongresni Trg)
- Ljubljana Town Hall (Magistrat)
- Ljubljanica River
- Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski Grad)
- Ljubljana Old Town
- Triple Bridge (Tromostovje)
- Preseren Square (Presernov Trg)
- Cankar Centre (Cankarjev Dom)
- Ljubljana Castle Funicular
- Ljubljana Cathedral (Church of St. Nicholas)
- Butchers' Bridge (Mesarski Most)
- Dragon Bridge