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Ljubljana Castle is not just one of the castles in the city; it is certainly the most impressive and also the most visited. Constructed in the mid-15th century, it has evolved into a popular tourist destination today. This comes as no surprise! The castle offers an exceptional view of the city, houses two restaurants, a cafe, a wine shop, the Puppet Museum, the Museum of Slovenian History, and hosts numerous cultural events. Daily historic guided tours are available. 


Ljubljana Fortress

The castle we witness today has replaced two former castles standing on the same hill

Ljubljana castle history facts

In 1335, when the Habsburgs gained control of the area that is now Slovenia, they demolished the fortress of the Spanheim family that previously stood on the hill. In the latter half of the 15th century, they began construction of a new fortress, which remains standing to this day.

Initially, the fortress consisted only of walls, towers, and wooden barracks. Over the centuries, the castle evolved into its present form.

Why was Ljubljana Castle built?

It was built to serve as an effective defense against frequent Ottoman invasions, particularly prevalent during the 15th and 16th centuries. Additionally, peasant rebellions were not uncommon during this period.  

Following the downfall of Napoleon in 1815, the castle served as a military hospital before being converted into a state penitentiary, a role it fulfilled until the earthquake of 1895.

During World War I, it functioned as a quarantine station for prisoners of war from the Italian front, and in World War II, it endured fascist and Nazi occupation.

After the war, marginalized citizens of Ljubljana lived in the castle under dire conditions until 1963.

Renovation efforts commenced in the 1970s, transforming the castle into a center of culture and a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors today.

To get to know more about Ljubljana Castle, welcome to book a guided tour


What`s inside Ljubljana Castle? 




Photo: Arne Hodalic

Did you know that you can enter the castle courtyard for free? Here, you can relax with a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a slice of cake after reaching the hilltop on foot.

However, if you prefer the comfort of the castle funicular railway, you will need to purchase a ticket.

One of the highlights of Ljubljana Castle is its viewing tower, offering stunning views of the city.

Don’t forget to check out the 4-D virtual presentation about the fortress’s history when you descend from the tower.

Inside the castle, you’ll find a beautifully painted chapel and the excellent Museum of Slovenian History.

On the opposite side, there’s a Puppet Museum and a souvenir shop near the main entrance.

You can explore numerous art exhibitions held in various parts of the castle, often free of charge.

The culinary offerings at Ljubljana Castle include two restaurants, a wine shop with a bistro, and a café.

Gostilna na Gradu serves delicious traditional Slovenian food, while Strelec is a fine dining option run by a renowned Slovenian chef.

Additionally, the castle features a jazz club, wedding halls, and historic halls that are accessible only through guided tours only.


Is Ljubljana Castle free to enter? Access to the courtyard, restaurants, wine bar, and cafe is free. However, if you wish to visit the viewing tower and museums, you will need to purchase a castle ticket. The funicular is an additional expense if you prefer not to walk up the castle hill. Combining the castle ticket and funicular ride is usually cheaper than purchasing them separately. So how much does it cost to enter Ljubljana Castle?


Historic Ljubljana Castle Guided Tour 

Meeting point:
Krekov trg Square
Daily (your choice)
1,5 h


Experience a tour of Ljubljana Castle with a guide!

This tour offers insights into a wide range of topics about Ljubljana and Slovenian history. Discover why the ancient Romans built their fort on this very spot, learn about the greatest threats they faced, and explore the defense techniques they employed for protection.

During the tour, you will visit castle prisons, admire the beautifully painted medieval chapel, learn about castle renovations, ascend the lookout tower for panoramic views of one third of the country, and uncover the significance of the dragon as the city’s symbol and St. George as its patron saint.

Perched atop Castle Hill, boasting 3000 years of rich history, the castle provides a spectacular view of the city and its surrounding Alps.

Don’t miss this opportunity to journey through time!

PRICES PER PERSON (with tickets included)

2 persons: 50 €
3 – 5 persons: 40 €
6 – 9 persons: 35 €
9 – 14 persons: 30 €
15 – 20 persons: 25 €
21 – 30 persons: 2o €

English-speaking tour guide
Castle funicular railway ticket
Castle entrance ticket
Viewing tower ticket

Souvenirs, food, beverage

Follow what`s happening at the castle in the evening. You may find a nice concert, a dance event or an open air cinema in the summer time.

If you`re there on the start of September, don’t miss Medieval Days, which take place on the courtyard and around the castle.

To find out what`s on, visit Info Center of the castle.


You can reach Ljubljana Castle on foot, via the castle funicular, or by car.

Ljubljana Castle – How to get there on foot?

Can you walk to Ljubljana Castle? Definitely! There are several pathways leading up to the castle hill, none of which take more than 10-15 minutes to walk.

The most popular route starts from the Farmers` Market at Vodnikov trg Square. From there, take Studentovska ulica, which leads uphill towards the castle.

Another option is to take Reber Street from the Old Square. This path leads you first through a narrow street between houses and then up a set of stairs that offer beautiful views of Ljubljana. At the top of the stairs, you can continue straight or turn left—both ways will bring you to the castle.

If you begin your journey at Upper Square, turn at the Church of St. Florian and continue toward the castle.

How to get to Ljubljana Castle by car?

We suggest abstaining from using the car for your visit to the castle and choosing one of the sustainable transportation options such as walking or the castle funicular.

However, if you still decide to drive to the castle, it’s important to know that there are only 40 parking spaces available at the castle’s parking lot. One space is designated for disabled individuals, and two spaces are for electric vehicles.

Ljubljana Castle parking is not free of charge. It costs €2 for the first hour and €2.50 for each subsequent hour.

Please read more about parking in Ljubljana HERE

How to get to Ljubljana Castle by funicular?

The funicular, which has been in operation since December 2006, starts at Krekov trg Square near the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre.

You can buy a ticket for the cable car to Ljubljana Castle at the lower funicular station. Ticket prices may vary based on age and other factors.

It runs every 10 minutes, or continuously during busy periods, operating daily in accordance with the castle’s opening hours.

Funicular railway address:

 Krekov trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana


Castle funicular

The Ljubljana Castle cable car is a popular and convenient way to reach Ljubljana Castle from the city center, providing picturesque views during the ascent.

Operating approximately every 10 minutes during regular hours and continuously during busy periods, the funicular completes the ascent to the top in about one minute.

It is fully wheelchair accessible, making it suitable for individuals with mobility challenges.


Ljubljana Castle funicular map

The funicular is situated at Krek Square next to the Puppet Theatre. Nearby, you’ll find the farmers` market and cathedral, as well as the Dragon Bridge and Butchers’ Bridge not far away.

Wherever you are in the old town center, you can easily reach the funicular on foot. For easier navigation, here is the address and a link to the map:

Address: Krekov trg 4, Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle funicular tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the lower station of the funicular, located at Krek Square.

Please note that during the summer months, there can be significant crowds due to tourist groups, resulting in long queues.

Therefore, it’s best to purchase tickets early in the morning when the funicular opens.

How much is the funicular to Ljubljana Castle?

The ticket price depends on the age and also the number of passengers.

Please check the prices a bit higher on this page.

Ljubljana funicular opening hours

The funicular operates daily throughout the year, with slightly adjusted hours depending on the season:


  • May to September: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Other months: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM


Ljubljana Castle Restaurants 

At the Castle, you will find two restaurants.

The first is Gostilna na Gradu, serving excellent Slovenian cuisine and offering selected Slovenian wines.

The second is Restaurant Strelec, led by one of Slovenia’s most renowned chefs who also holds a Michelin star.

We recommend making advance reservations for both restaurants.

Ljubljana Castle Cafe 

The café is called Lolita.

Lolita is known for its delightful cakes and pleasant atmosphere overlooking the castle courtyard.

On warmer days, after you’ve explored the castle, you can also sit in the courtyard itself and enjoy selected Slovenian wines, natural juices, or carefully prepared coffee in the ambiance of a medieval fortress.

Ljubljana Castle cafe opening hours:
May – Sept: from 9 am to 8 pm
Other months: from 9 am to 6 pm 

Ljubljana Castle Wine Bar & Shop 

This wine bar and shop features a selection of top-quality wines from Slovenian vineyards, exclusively offering Slovenian wines.

You can enjoy tasting these wines in the authentic ambiance of the wine bar or on one of the city’s most beautiful terraces, offering breathtaking views of Ljubljana and its surroundings.



Ljubljana Castle Opening Hours


  • Castle and funicular:
    May – September: from 9 am to 10 pm
    Other months: from 9 am to 7 pm
  • Info Center, Viewing tower, Virtual castle, exhibitions:
    May – September: from 9 am to 8 pm
    Other months: from 9 am to 6 pm



    Photo: Aljosa Rebolj


Address:  Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 (01) 306 42 93





Photo: Arne Hodalic


  • Do you have to pay for Ljubljana castle?

If you stroll up the hill to the castle and simply wish to explore the courtyard without visiting the viewing tower or museums, you can enjoy this part for free. However, if you’d like to take the castle funicular or access other areas of Ljubljana Castle, there is an admission fee. Ticket prices vary depending on your age category (adult, child, student) and the specific attractions or sections of the castle you wish to experience.


  • How much is the funicular to Ljubljana Castle? 

The price of the funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle depends on various factors including age and ticket type. For more details, please refer to the section about Ljubljana Castle tickets located above on this website.


  • How much time do I need to visit Ljubljana Castle?

The amount of time you’ll need to visit Ljubljana Castle can vary depending on your interests and how thoroughly you want to explore the castle and its attractions.

Courtyard Visit Only: If you’re only interested in visiting the castle courtyard and enjoying the panoramic views of the city, you can spend about 30 minutes to 1 hour at the castle.

Full Castle Visit: To explore the interior attractions such as the viewing tower, exhibitions (like the Puppet Museum or Museum of Slovenian History), and possibly grab a meal or drink at one of the castle’s restaurants, plan to spend around 2 to 3 hours at the castle.

Guided Tour: If you join a guided tour of the castle, the duration will depend on the specific tour program, but typically tours last around 1 to 1.5 hours.

Relaxing and Enjoying the Views: If you simply want to relax, take photos, and soak in the beautiful surroundings, you could easily spend a few hours at the castle.

Consider your interests and how much time you have available when planning your visit to Ljubljana Castle. Keep in mind that ticket queues, especially during peak times, may also affect the overall duration of your visit.


  • How long does it take to walk up Ljubljana Castle?

The time it takes to walk up to Ljubljana Castle can vary depending on your starting point and walking speed. Generally, it takes about 10 to 20 minutes to walk up to the castle from the city center, specifically from the Old Town area near the Central Market. The path up to the castle can be a bit steep in places but manageable for most people.

  • Why does Slovenia have so many castles?

    Slovenia’s strategic location at the crossroads of Central Europe has made it historically significant. Over time, various powers and kingdoms sought to control the region, leading to the construction of numerous castles. These castles served as defensive strongholds, protecting territories and controlling important trade routes. Additionally, feudal lords built castles to assert authority over their domains and administer their lands. The Ottoman Turks posed the biggest threat to Slovenia, especially during the 15th and 16th centuries. To counter this threat, castles were strategically situated on elevated positions to oversee and defend territories against invaders. Slovenia’s natural landscape, with its hills, valleys, and rivers, provided inherent defensive advantages that were utilized in the construction and placement of these castles.