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Length of visit (detailed question)

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Length of visit (detailed question)

I have already done a search of existing forum threads and cannot find anything that answers my question exactly, so please do bear with me. In general, it seems to be advised that 2 or 3 days is sufficient to see everything that there is to see in Ljubljana. However, based on my own itinerary drafting, I am wondering whether this is something of an underestimate. Here is a list of the things that I was hoping to see with my own estimates of how long I think I may spend seeing them:

Museum of Contemporary History: eight rooms permanent exhibition and (at least based on current temporary exhibition, which I know is about to close) six rooms temporary exhibition, which I am guessing would altogether take one whole day.

National Gallery of Slovenia: I cannot find any information about the number of items in the collection, and nor can I find a floor plan. However, I am guessing that this the gallery would take one whole day to see. It looks like it is probably smaller than the UK National Gallery, but I am guessing that it is probably about the same size as the Courtauld Gallery.

National Museum of Slovenia (Muzejska ulica 1 and Maistrova 1): split across two sites located about 20 minutes' walk apart, this museum seems to be quite large. Again, I think that it looks a bit smaller than the British Museum, but I am guessing that the two sites could take one whole day.

ZOO Ljubljana: In my experience a trip to any zoo tends to be a whole-day activity. I am guessing that Ljubljana zoo is no different.

I'd like to see as many churches as possible. Those on my list so far include the Cathedral, the Churches of St Cantian, St Florian, St Francis, St James, St Michael, St Peter, and St Martin, the Franciscan Church, the Ursuline Church, and Križanke. Based on spending 30-60 minutes in each church this makes one whole day, although obviously I may not visit all of them on the same day.

The following museums look like they are probably relatively small, so I am guessing I would have to budget around 3-4 hours for each one: City Museum of Ljubljana, Museum of Architecture and Design, Railway Museum, Slovene Ethnographic Museum.

Ljubljana Castle: The funicular railway apparently takes one minute in each direction; the video presentation is 12 minutes; I am guessing that the exhibition lasts about an hour; another hour for the tower, penitentiary, chapel, and a look around in general. Total visit approximately 3 hours.

Tivoli Park: A complete circuit of the park seems to take about 2 hours at a leisurely pace. I am guessing a total visit of 3-4 hours, similar to Hyde Park or Regent's Park in London. I'd also like to walk the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, but it seems to take about 8 hours, which may or may not prove to be too much walking for one day.

Shorter visit may include: Seminary Palace and Library, Vodnik Homestead, Roman fort in Lanišče,Roman town walls in Mirje, Town Hall, Žale Cemetery, City Art Museum, Early Christian Centre Archaeological Park, Emona House Archaeological Park, iEmona, International Centre of Graphic Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Museum of Modern Art, National and University Library, TipoRenesansa, University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana. I estimate each of these at between 30 mins and 2 hours. (I don't think that I would bother with the Slovenian Museum of Natural History, as I have been many times to the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History, and I am not interested enough in natural history to want to see another museum. Plečnik House is closed until 31 May 2015.)

Sightseeing in general (places just to see, rather than to spend time in): Archiepiscopal Palace, Hauptmann House, Hercules Fountain & Stična Mansion, Schweiger House, Butchers’ Bridge, Ciril-Metodov trg, Cobblers’ Bridge, Dragon Bridge, Epicenter Building, Galerija Emporium, Gornji trg, Grand Hotel Union Executive, Krakovo, Ljubljanica River Barrier, Mestni trg, Metelkova, Municipal Savings Bank, Navje, People's Loan Bank, Prešernov trg, Robba Fountain (The Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers), Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Stari trg, Trg francoske revolucije, Trg republike, Triple Bridge, Trnovo Bridge, Trnovski pristan embankment, University of Ljubljana, Vodnikov trg.

I would also be considering the following as trips outside of the city, although I would normally be inclined to confine myself to a city trip without spending time travelling further afield: Bogenšperk Castle and Museum, Budnar House, Grad Tuštanj Castle, Gradež Fruit Drying House, Ivan Cankar Memorial House, Jurij Vega Museum, Jurčič's Homestead, Little Castle, Menačenk's Homestead, Neudorf Hunting Lodge, Trubar’s Homestead, Turjak Castle, Tomažin Watermill, Stična Monastery, Intermunicipal Museum of Kamnik, Polhov Gradec Mansion and Museum of Post and Telecommunications at Polhov Gradec, Sadnikar Museum, Soteska open-storage depot, Straw Plaiting Museum, Technical Museum of Slovenia, Wagensberg Institute/Javni zavod Bogenšperk.

I understand that a visit to Lake Bled is considered almost essential for any visitor to Slovenia.

So in total I was thinking that Ljubljana could be a place to visit for around 10 or 11 days. Any thoughts very much appreciated. Thanks very much.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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1. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Considering that you are coming from London beware that you may be disappointed by most of the galleries and exhibitions. They are much smaller and the importance/significance of the exhibited items is usually lower than you are used to see in London. Therefore, I do not recommend visiting all the galleries and museums on your list.

It is definitely worth seeing the impressionist' paintings. Also, the museum of Cont. History may give you a different insight into the history of modern Slovenia.

A funicular to the castle is a marvelous experience with great views. Also, there are two excellent restaurants at the caste. However, the castle itself was almost ruined by the unfortunate series of renovations in the 70s.

The zoo itself is nothing special, but it is a very pleasant place and you can combine it with a visit to Tivoli and Roznik. You can also have a typical ex-Yu festive lunch/dinner under the chestnut trees at Cad restaurant.

I know nothing about the churches, probably the most fascinating/different one is Plecnik's church at Barje.

Roman ruins are rather scarce and difficult to see.

I do recommend a guided tour around Ljubljana. It will save you a lot of time and planning.

I think that 3 days would be enough to see Ljubljana. Bled is definitely worth seeing. If the weather is fine, you can combine a trip to Bled with visiting Vintgar gorge. Consider combining a visit to Bled with a visit to nearby Bohinj. IMO Bled is marvelous but too touristy and built up. Also consider visiting one of the caves or one of the medieval towns, Kamnik or Skofja Loka for example.

Edited: 3:33 am, April 25, 2014
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2. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Thanks very much. This was exactly the sort of advice that I was looking for.

It's interesting what you say about the art galleries. Here in the UK we are taught almost nothing of the history of art outside Italy, the Low Countries, and to a small extent France, Spain, and Germany. So it is always very interesting, I think, to visit museums in eastern and southern central Europe, and to get some appreciation of their art history.

Just for a point of comparison, when I went to Prague several people told me that there was only enough to see in Prague to keep me busy for two or three days. In fact, I went for two weeks, and I still managed to come back with a list of things I hadn't had time to do that was longer than the list of things that I had! However, I do understand that Ljubljana is less than a quarter of the size of Prague, and that it is the capital city of a country that is about a fifth the size of the Czech Republic, so I suppose it is reasonable to expect that there will be less to do.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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3. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Based on your list, I'd suggest to move to Ljubljana;-) I'd say that Lj castle is worth at least 3 hours, the samegoes for the ZOO. I cannot judge how much time is needed for museums, it depends on how thoroughly you are looking at the collections. I am sure you will enjoy Ljubljana and you need at least a week. Should you have some time left, you could see the rest of Slovenia.

London
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4. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Thanks very much.

Slovenia
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5. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Hi Jonathan,

Well you certainly seem to have done your research!

As has already been mentioned, you may well find the scale of the museums, galleries etc. here a little underwhelming, certainly in comparison to the UK, so you will probably find you will want to somewhat scale down your list. Much of the beauty and interest in Slovenia lies in the nature too; forests, mountains i.e. the great outdoors.

I moved here from the UK 7 years ago and am living in Radovljica, just a few kms from Bled. I write a blog about my life here, with ideas about where to hike, eat, trips, things to see etc. so it might be of use to you to look back through some of my previous posts whilst you are compiling your itinerary - http://adeleinslovenia.wordpress.com/

Best of luck!

Adele

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6. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Jonathan......I think you DO need to move to Ljubljana.

A good part of the experience and fun is JUST wandering around...........speaking to locals.....and soaking in the culture..........and sipping wine and eating.

You WILL enjoy every moment.

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7. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

Thanks for both of these replies. Adele, I have been looking through your blog. I will definitely try to see some of the country outside of the capital city, although I don't think I dare risk a pair of skis!

8. Re: Length of visit (detailed question)

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