Ljubljana, Slovenia might just be the most underrated European city. While visiting, it doesn’t take one long to realize that even though Ljubljana is a rather low-key and less frequented destination (and a little more difficult to get to with few direct flights), it’s a world-class city by any measure: history, culture, art, architecture – and even when it comes to coffee.
A green city with a cafe culture at heart
Ljubljana is green, very green. In fact the city has so much integrated green space that it claimed the title of European Green Capital 2016 and the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019. It’s a very pedestrian and cycling friendly city. Cars have been prohibited from the entire historic center of the city giving pedestrians and cyclists the right of way at all times. Both sides of the river and throughout the city ooze with green color and leafy foliage. And amongst all of this public green space are dozens upon dozens of cafes. On a warm and sunny day you’ll find them all full.
Ljubljana has a rising coffee culture
When it comes to the streets and Slovenian city life, cafes and bars rule. And the Slovenes don’t waste the precious warm months of spring and summer by sitting indoors. The town turns inside out with seating and tables set up on every possible sidewalk. The relaxed and chill pace of the city caught me by surprise. There are numerous fantastic coffee spots either to start your day of touring the town or to sit and relax while you imbibe the jolt.
Slovenia raises the bar when it comes to coffee. It’s a country surrounded by heavy weight coffee drinkers like Italy, Turkey, and Austria – with rich histories tied to coffee and coffee culture. We were so impressed with Ljubljana’s coffee scene that we decided to make a list of the best places for you to visit.
Café Cokl is located just across from the central market and at the base of the funicular railway that carries you up to Ljubljana castle. It’s a great spot to hit in the early morning before heading up to the castle site. You’ll be able to take in majestic panoramas of the entire city with snowcapped alpine peaks in the background with a healthy dose of caffeine coursing through your veins – it heightened the whole experience in my opinion. Café Cokl is a small and atmospheric place with a really kind and friendly staff. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating. The coffee is bold and good with a slightly bitter overtone.
Stow Coffee Roasters
Stow Coffee Roasters takes the third wave coffee movement very seriously. The roaster is responsible for hosting the first coffee festival in the country and dedicated to bringing higher-quality coffee to the country. You’ll find the café tucked away on the bottom floor of the Ljubljana’s lovely City Museum. After entering through an old stone lentil and arch door and descending some stairs, a beautiful designed modern space full of glass and light and comfortable seating the café appears. The space also doubles as a lecture room for the museum. Tasteful jazzy sounds played in the background as I sipped the coffee. Stow was one of my favorites as taste of the coffee was rich, smooth and well-balanced. And after you’ve finished, you can go check out the oldest wooden wheel that’s ever been found in the world – in Ljubljana – in the archaeological section of the museum.
Tozd has one of the nicest of locations among the cafés in the city. They also serve an excellent cup of coffee making it a no brainer to stop by here on one of your mornings in Ljubljana. It’s situated along the bank of the river and offers a relaxing and shady spot under a large tree. You’ll experience a trendy vibe with good atmosphere at Tozd. This place is popular with the locals, but fortunately, doesn’t get too overcrowded.
Le Petit Cafe
Located in the south west quadrant of the city, Le Petit Café is a classic and favored place among the locals. It was my Slovenian friends from Ljubljana who told me to go here. The café is just a few minutes walking from outside of the old city and is good because you’ll cross paths with architecture in the more modern part of the city. The café is warm and cozy on the inside with plenty of freshly baked goods and nice breakfast choices. There’s ample seating outside to enjoy the clean Ljubljana air. The coffee is well prepared and very good, nice and smooth.