Tango’s Destination Rating: 4/4 Paws: It doesn’t get better than this!
Put this pet friendly city on a bucket list of places for you and your pup to enjoy together! It’s magical with a castle overlooking the centre and cobblestone pedestrian walkways to sniff and stroll. Ljubljana is a dog’s paradise with dog friendly restaurants, cafes, transportation and hotels. In fact, you can pick up a pamphlet that outlines dog friendly hotels, restaurants and veterinary clinics and dog stores. Just ask for the “Discover Ljubljana With Your Dog” pamphlet from the tourism information centre.
Our first night in Ljubljana was by accident. We had intended to arrive at our already paid for apartment in Zagreb. However, we had a frustrating 3 day trip from Venice resulting from us getting on the wrong trains and wrong information from the booking agent in Venice. Travel Tip: Don’t trust anyone, including the conductor! Read, read, read what is on the door of the train before getting on.
We rolled into Ljubljana at 11pm with our Croatian friend who we met when she also got on the wrong train in Austria. It was snowing and freezing cold. After a failed attempt to sneak Tango onto the FlixBus to Zagreb, we were defeated and headed to the closest B&B. We settled in for the night and woke up to another freezing cold snow storm. We tried to walk around the city but it was too cold for both of us and we happily got on the warm train to Zagreb with the intention of coming back to Ljubljana when the weather was warmer! We did just that and we had a marvelous time!
Restaurants: There are a plethora of restaurants that will happily welcome you and your pup. Just ask before entering or grab that dog friendly pamphlet I mentioned from the tourism information centre. We eat inside multiple places but the restaurant that sticks out in my mind is Cantina Mexicana. I’ve been to Mexico many times, but this is by far my favorite Mexican meal.
Hotels: Don’t worry about finding pet friendly hotels in this city. A simple Booking.com search will provide you with many places happy to welcome you and your furry friend. We stayed at and recommend B&B Slamic.
Cleanliness/On the ground: Very clean. Tango couldn’t find anything to try to eat!
Safety: Very safe but watch out for pickpockets. We were told there were 10 known in the tourist area the day we were there.
Animal Cruelty: We did not see any strays or reason to believe the city had a problem. We only saw happy dogs running loose and on leashes.
Transportation: We did not use any transportation as the touristy area of the city is very walkable. If you do need transportation it is nice to know most taxi’s allow dogs and it is free for dogs to ride the bus but they must wear a muzzle. It’s my opinion that you can probably get away with leaving the muzzle at home but you can read more about this opinion in my blog post Muzzles and other Rules that are OK to Break.
Dog Stores: There are many and they are all listed in the pamphlet however there is only one that was in the near vicinity of the touristy area, Dog bakery Hov-Hov. We visited this cute bakery for some treats but they also offer biscuits, cakes and had a selection of Edgard & Cooper dog food in pate, can and kibble form. I like feeding Tango Edgard & Cooper when I am in a pinch and am not able to feed her raw. It is organic dog food and made in Belgium.
Vet Care: A quick Google search will provide many veterinary clinics all with 4 – 5 star ratings. If your dog needed medical attention I am sure your pet would be in good hands.
Activities: The best thing to do is Ljubljana is walk! Discover the outdoor market, window shop (or shop till you drop!) and hop from restaurants to cafes next to river Ljubljana. Download walking guides on your phone if you want to venture outside the centre area.
Free Walking Tour – We are no strangers to walking tours however this was our least favorite tour. Ljubljana centre is so small that the ground the guide covered in 2 hours, we could have covered thoroughly in 45 minutes. Our guide was very knowledgable, almost too knowledgable! If you are looking for a lengthy and in-depth history tour of the city than this tour is for you. Our guide went over the tour length by more than 30 minutes while the weather was switching between rain and snow. We had an appointment schedule for after the originally scheduled end time but it was impossible to leave the tour without being rude and was therefore late to our appointment.
Museums: The Ljubljana Castle is like no other! It is a must see even if you are tired of looking at castles and think you have seen it all. This castle’s renovations are so well done and it really is fun to explore. It is exceptionally clean and well taken care of with many levels of rooms. Unfortunately the restaurants are not dog friendly but that didn’t stop us from spending hours exploring exhibitions and the grounds.
There are many ways to get to the castle including Ljubljana public transport, walking from the town centre or as we did, using the funicular railway. Tango had never been on a funicular railway and was a little scared but fine!
Dog Parks: We don’t visit dog parks but there are 4 parks available:
Shopping: Walk the streets and pop from one store front to another as you explore the charming centre. There are art galleries, beautiful jewellery stores, clothing stores and boutiques selling typical Slovenian gifts and foods. I personally love the souvenirs with the slogan I FEEL SLOVENIA
Getting to Ljubljana: We arrived by train to Ljubljana but arriving by air and of course car is also available. There are no arriving or departing buses that allow dogs.
Arriving/departing by Trains:
Zagreb, Croatia – Ljubljana – We traveled this route 4 times and each time had a private room with 6 seats in total with two rows of 3 each facing each other. It was very clean and comfortable with large windows to watch the scenery of rivers, fields and small towns. There were outlets to plug-in electronics. Tango laid on her bed on the seat next to me.
The train shut off its engine at the Croatian/Slovenian border and guards from both Croatia and Slovenia came aboard. Both guards looked at and stamped my passport. The Croatian guard asked how long I would be staying in Croatia, if I had a pet passport for Tango (I did not have to produce it) and how much money I had. Short and sweet questioning! There was no questioning from the Slovenian guard. With the refugee crisis and refugees trying to get from Croatia to the EU countries, the train is thoroughly searched both inside and out. Guards looked under my seat and I watched guards take mirrors to the bottom of the train.
Villach, Austria – Ljubljana – We had a private room with 6 seats in total with two rows of 3 each facing each other. There were no outlets to plug-in phones and the train was older but comfortable. Again, Tango laid on her bed on the seat next to me.
Arriving/departing by Air:
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, previously known as Brnik Airport, is an international airport offering flights from many airlines including Adria Airways, a Lufthansa partner. Lufthansa is known for being excellent when handling animals.