Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, a beautiful city in Central Europe. This hilly city on the banks of the Ljubljanica River is an increasingly popular destination for travellers across the world, especially as it often serves as the entry point for tourists going to Lake Bled and into the Slovenian Alps in the summer.
But where are the best places to run in Ljubljana? We asked Peter Kastelic, our local running guide at Run With Me Ljubljana where he likes to run when is he is not showing people around on tours.
Here are his suggestions for 5 of the best locations to run in Ljubljana.
1. Tivoli City Park
Tivoli Park is Ljubljana's largest and most beautiful park, designed by the French engineer Jean Blanchard and created by joining together the parks which had surrounded Podturn and Cekin Mansions. The park covers an area of approximately five square kilometres, making it the perfect park for getting in some park laps!
The park is lined with many interesting trees and flower beds, which come to life in the spring and summer. It’s also home to the Ljubljana Zoo. The park area blends into the slopes of the Rožnik hill, which it is connected to by walking paths and a trail with several exercise stations if you are looking for some cross-training.
One of the most accessible and easiest places to run, this is a great option if you just want a short run and to ensure you don’t get lost.
Up there you will find trails, and if you want to run a loop you can turn left at the Ob potoku path along the river. You then take left on another trail off Hrusevska cesta. Depending on your start location in Ljublaja, the run will be around 4-6 miles (6-9 kms), and is mostly trail.
2. The Path of Remembrance and Comradeship
The Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, which encircles Ljubljana, symbolizes dedication to a healthy lifestyle while at the same time serving as a reminder of the city's history.
It is a 33-kilometre recreational path running along the course of the military barbed-wire fence which surrounded Ljubljana during the Second World War. The path is mainly intended for walkers and runners, but cyclists using bicycles are allowed to ride along the path too on condition that pedestrians are not endangered.
The annual Recreational March around Ljubljana, held on the first Saturday after 9 May, attracts large numbers of recreation enthusiasts of all ages. Those with a penchant for more strenuous activity can join the Threesomes Run along a 28 or 12-kilometre route.
3. Trails at Golovec Hill
Golovec Hill is located southeast of central Ljubljana. It’s one of the best places for trail and hill running close to the city and has the well known “Heart Trail” - named by the Society for Health of the Heart and Vascular System of Slovenia. At the top of the hill is the observatory, which gives you fantastic views over the city, and of the surrounding mountain range.
To get there from Ljubljana central, run to the landmark statue “Spomenik Gabrijelu Gruberju” near the botanic gardens and the fork in the Ljubljanica river. You need to look for the street Pot na Golovec, which comes off the main street Hradeckega cesta. If you run north along Hradeckega cesta then turn right onto Pot na Golovec you can run uphill all the way to the observatory.
4. Ljubljanica river run
The Ljubljanica rises south of the town of Vrhnika and outflows in the Sava River about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) downstream from Ljubljana. Ljubljana is built on the banks of the river, and the river provides a great geographical reference point if you are worried about getting lost on your run! You can follow the river south and end up in Črna Vas (7 km one way), or east and turn around at the museum of architecture (5 km), for example. For some of the way there are pathways to follow and some parts you will need to run on the road.
5. Kodeljevo Sports Park
For those looking for a track session, Kodeljevo Sports Park is a great choice. Track, which is mainly intended for recreational runners, was renovated last year. Kodeljevo Sports Park is located at the foot of Golovec, around what used to be known as Codelli Castle. Before stepping on the track you can do your warm-up run in its rich green areas.
There is another track runners in Ljubljana liked to use under a lonely hill Šmarna gora to the north of Ljubljana, but was unfortunately recently closed to the public. It belongs to the Police Academy.
So that’s our top 5 if you want some ideas for running in Ljubljana.
If you’d like some company, or for more insight on Ljubljana’s and Sovenian’s culture and history, contact Peter at Run With Me Ljubljana.