Things to Do with Kids in Ljubljana.

There have been moments in Istanbul, like when I threw the pushchair off the bus because I needed my hands for shopping and helping Anton down steep stairs (and getting Neve's head safely through the door) when I have fantasized about a small city planned with its citizens (other than those who drive in convoys to compounds) in mind. Ljubljana is this place. For one week life was so easy we barely felt it flow. No barriers to break, no stairs to climb. In the morning we walked out of the house and a short distance to a large pedestrian zone on the sides of the river and dawdled all day. If you want a holiday that requires little effort, even with little ones, this is the place. I was so relaxed I barely noticed that we actually did a lot with the kids, and none of it required me to breathe deeply and gather my determination. So here are some of the best things to do in Ljubljana with kids  (the three we had with us are 7 months, 3 and 8):

The House of Experiments was a complete hit with all of us. We were there for about 3 and a half happy hours. This is no huge glossy museum but the activities are brilliantly designed. There is a bed to lie on that grows nails, bubbles to encase you, and science to fascinate adults too.

In Tivoli Park you can see parents out on their own with kids and looking completely relaxed. It is park perfection in that it has a waterside cafe with toys and a teepee next to the outside seating so we could watch them without getting up from our beer and prosciutto. The autumn colours were a perfect backdrop to our happy kids. There is also a big playground but as this would have required us to move about we pointed out the ducks on the other side of the path as we walked quickly past.

The castle that watches over the town has wonderful views over the city and a cafe where I tested whether their tiramisu is consistently perfect. The castle itself is not so much more than a set of function rooms with a chapel and tower to visit, but once we had taken the steep funicular up to it on the first day we knew we would be back daily to indulge Anton. So every day we travelled up by funicular, tested the tiramisu and travelled back down.

Ljubljana Zoo is great. It has a decent range of animals and several brilliant playgrounds surrounded by sun-loungers. More relaxed, happy parents.

We went to both the National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. Matti loves galleries and makes sure we see every single exhibit however long it takes. Anton carries a bag of cars where-ever he goes so he just sits himself down for a play when this exceeds the span of his attention. Neither of these galleries has a cafe but just a few minutes away you can take a lift to the top of the 'Skyscraper' and enjoy the view from what was the 9th tallest building in Europe in 1931. Ljubljana has beautiful examples of architecture from every decade, the modern as good as the old.  My favourite is the Cooperative Bank, an example of Slovene national style, we trailed the kids inside to see the loveliest working bank I have ever seen.

On one day we took the train to Postojna to explore the caves there. This is really worth the small effort. The tour begins with a train ride through several kilometres of caves before the walking tour (offered in several languages) even begins. Not much else to see in Postiojna, but very good pizza.

Oh to be back in Ljubljana or as Matti would say Lah-jub-la-jah-na.

National Gallery, Ljubljana.

Funicular to the Castle.

Funicular, Ljubljana.

Funicular, Ljubljana.

The House of Experiments, Ljubljana.

The House of Experiments, Ljubljana.

The Cooperative Bank, Ljubljana.


Anton and Matti in Tivoli Park.

Anton and Matti in Tivoli Park.

Photo of Julia, Ville, Matti, Anton and Neve bought at Postojna Caves.

Neve's Postojna Cave photo.

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4 thoughts on “Things to Do with Kids in Ljubljana.

  1. I visited the postojnska jama a few years ago and I loved it... looks like your kids always have great fun... no wonder when I see how exciting your lives are... wonderful!

    It´s so cool to think that you were just an hour far from where I live...

  2. I had to look it up on a map, but it looks beautiful. Great photos, love the first one of the boys in the park, such a pure moment of excitement.

  3. Ha - I'm embarrased to say I had to look up Slovenia on a map too :) Sounds like an absolutely perfect vacation destination.

  4. Fab post! Was happy to find this and share with a friend here in Poland that is traveling with her young daughter to Slovenia soon. Yay! Thank goodness for Google! :-)

    Hope all is well in Istanbul!


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