Day trip from Ljubljana: Skofja Loka | Beautiful historic town
Skofja Loka is a perfect day trip from Ljubljana, it is only a short ride away and very easily accessible.
Skofja Loka is more than 1000 years old, which makes it one of the oldest and most preserved medieval towns in Slovenia. The chill vibe of Skofja Loka and perfect location – being situated right between Ljubljana and Bled, makes it perfect for a day trip from Ljubljana. If you are into history, beautiful architecture, nature, and mountains, you will fell in love with this medieval beauty.
Here is everything you need to know about the day trip from Ljubljana: Skofja Loka (beautiful historic town). How to get there, where to sleep, eat and what to do in Skofja Loka.
How to get to Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka is very easily accessible from Ljubljana. You have frequent rides all day long, the most common are:
If you are coming from Ljubljana you need to go to the main bus station in Ljubljana, to the number 28. You have frequent buses all day long, you can check the schedule here. The rides take a bit less than 40 minutes and it will cost you 3,1€ one way.
You can buy the ticket in the ticket office or directly from the driver (if I go by bus I usually just buy it from the driver). The bus will drop you directly in the center of the city, you have all the main activities in walkable distance.
Even more comfortable and cheaper than the bus is the train. They drive all day long as well. You can check the schedule here. The ride takes around 20 minutes and it will cost you 1,9€ one way.
The only problem with the train is, that the train station is around 3 kilometers away from the city center, so it’s not very convenient for you, cause you a bit far from all the city attractions. I mean, you could walk, but I don’t really recommend it, its a long and not very pleasant walk next to the main road.
What you can do is you can take a:
They drive every 15 minutes and they cost only 0.5€ one way. They stop just next to the train station and they will take you directly to the city center, which is great and very cheap.
What to do in Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka is easy to explore, you have most of the main tourist attractions in the walking distance from the main bus station, it is also very easy to navigate between them. You can easily spend a whole afternoon exploring the beauties this city has to offer. Here are some main attractions:
Enjoy the view to the Capuchin bridge
This will probably be the first thing you will do if you are visiting by bus, you can see the Capuchin bridge just behind the bus station. This bridge was built by bishop Leopold in the 14th century.
Unfortunately, a couple of years later he and his horse fell off this bridge and they both died because the bridge didn’t have any fence. A sad story. This wonderful stone bridge is over 600 years old, which makes it one of the oldest monuments of its kind in Central Europe.
Enjoy the old city center and drink a coffee there
From the bridge you will continue your walk towards the city center, on the left, you will see St. Jacob Church and the beautiful architecture around will keep you occupied for a while.
When was the last time you had a coffee in a medieval square? You have a couple of options in the old city that you can choose from – Homan, Kavarna na Štengah, Vahtnca, we recommend Pilarna bar (on the picture below on the left side), they serve delicious coffee, homemade lemonades, and natural house teas. They also serve local craft beer and local strong liquors.
When you finish your coffee or whatever beverages you prefer, continue your walk towards the town square. You will soon see the famous Homan house on your left (which is also a popular coffee and cake place) and the square in front of you. Skofja Loka has one of the best-preserved old city centers in Slovenia.
You will also see a nunnery church, town school, and granary (this one is on the lower part of the old city).
Handicrafts have always been developed in the Skofja Loka area and have a rich tradition. The Arts and Crafts Center of Skofja Loka preserves the handicraft tradition and passes on handicraft knowledge. For all those who are interested in handicrafts, you can visit them at Mestni Trg 34.
If you are interested in additional information about Škofja Loka, you can visit Tourist Information Center Skofja Loka – TIC at Town square 42, where they will be happy to help you.
Visit the city beach
When you come to the end of the old city, you will see a square and above the square, you will see the castle.
Just walk straight and cross the road and walk down the narrow path – this path leads to the Devil’s footbridge, which will take you to the city beach.
Yes, you heard it right, this city has a beach and it is pretty popular, it is a beach next to a river (Sora river). A couple of years ago they restored the wooden pier and build a restaurant just next to the river. Since then it attracts visitors from all around Skofja Loka and also other parts of Slovenia. In the summer months, you can swim in the river, enjoy the sun and later relax in the restaurant just behind you.
Walk to Hribec – the hill nearby
One of the most beautiful views on Skofja Loka castle, Hribec is located in Pustal, a short walkable distance from the town’s beach.
On the top, there is a church of Saint Cross, built at the beginning of the 18th century. From the church, you will have beautiful views on Pustal and Skofja Loka with the caste. You can also see the mountains in the back and beautiful nature around.
Visit Lower Square (Lontrg)
From Hribec you can walk back down to Pustal and continue your way to the Lower Square (Spodnji trg). There you can visit the town Granary, where the town’s grain stores, which were collected as taxes were once stored.
From there you turn left and walk back to the Upper square (Zgornji trg).
Take a walk to the castle and visit the museum
There is a steep path leading up to the castle, the scenery is very beautiful and the walk manageable. On the top, you will have a beautiful view on the Slovenian Alps, surrounding forests, and fields around.
The city museum is located inside the castle, we love the atmosphere there. It is a general type museum with archeological, cultural, and artistic collections that describe the history of this area.
In the castle area, you also have a smaller open-air museum, you can see a flour well, the old house, gardens, and some other artifacts from that era. You should take a walk around the castle area, also the nature is beautiful.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
All those who like to spend their days more actively can try their hand at horseback riding. Horseback riding is quite popular in Škofja Loka, there are quite a few riding schools, both for children and adults. You can check the list here.
Hike to Krizna Gora
Krizna Gora is 680 meters high hill above Skofja Loka, you can walk there easily or you can drive. If you will walk, you have approx. 1-hour walk to get there, you will love the views on the top. From the city center head towards Zelezniki and when you see village Trnje, turn right. I suggest you check the maps just in case you don’t get lost. If you go by car just follow the signs, you can’t miss it.
Krizna Gora is known for the beautiful small church on the top of the hill, with beautiful views on the valley below and the mountains in the back. You can sit and relax next to the church, you have plenty of benches all around.
Where to eat in Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka has a couple of good places to eat, you have a lot of international and also traditional options. Here are some of my favorites:
For sure one of my favorites pizza places in Slovenia. With a beautiful location in the city center just next to the river it really is a place where you need to stop by if you are visiting Skofja Loka. Especially in the summertime, when you can sit outside on the terrace, which creates a really nice and relaxing atmosphere. They serve pizzas, pasta, salads, and desserts.
Great ambiance and service. Pr Pepet strives to restore the local cuisine from more than 100 years ago, cooking according to traditional old recipes, as cooked by our great-grandmothers. Great location (just under the castle) where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy delicious food.
Starman is a bit out of the city center but still very close to it, you can walk there very easy and it will take you around 5 minutes. In the summer they have a nice garden outside, where you can sit with family feel ambiance. They serve traditional dishes, made out of fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Gostilna pri Bostjanu
Also, a very popular place, especially on the weekends, when it gets filled with tourists and also locals. Gostilna pri Bostjanu is situated on a hill above Skofja Loka, called Krizna Gora (yes, the one I wrote about above). If you have a car you can drive there, otherwise, you will need to walk, nature around is outstanding, it takes less than an hour (one way) to get there.
What we usually do is, we drive to Gostilna pri Bostjanu, have lunch there and then we walk towards the church known for its beautiful views, the walk is just straight and very easy, so anybody can do it. This is a family-run place, with a big variety of delicious traditional dishes.
Where to stay in Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka has some really nice accommodations options, some are in the city center and some a bit away from it. Here are some of my favorites:
Situated by the Sora river, this lovely hotel offers rooms with private bathrooms and breakfast included. You will love this place with private access to the river, a beautiful terrace and a green garden where you can sit and relax.
In the boutique hotel Ceh 1720, special attention was given to all rooms and apartments. Each in its own unique way represents historical handicrafts and crafts, which have been present in Škofja Loka since the 15th century. All rooms and apartments have a view of the castle, a private bathroom and are equipped with all the comforts of the 21st century. The price includes breakfast and free parking.
Hotel Garni Paleta
Hotel Garni Paleta is located in the city center just by the river, with views on the castle. This hotel has rooms with a private bathroom, breakfast included, and unforgettable views. They also have free parking and an airport shuttle.
Feel this wonderful city
Unfortunately, Skofja Loka is mostly a one-day destination for many visitors. It is very easily accessible from many parts of Slovenia and its so small that you can explore (almost) everything in a day.
But if you want to really feel this wonderful city I recommend you spend at least one night in Skofja Loka. Swim, hike, enjoy the beautiful architecture, or hang out with the locals in a bar in the Old city center.