As the snowflakes begin their enchanting dance and the air transforms into a crisp, refreshing embrace, a hidden gem awakens from its slumber, ready to unveil its captivating winter charm – Ljubljana, the enchanting capital of Slovenia. During the beautiful month of December, this cozy city gracefully transforms into a fairy-tale haven, offering a magical escape that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.

There’s a ton of magical stuff you can do in the winter months in Ljubljana. Besides walks in the city, you can indulge in some of the best food in the region, try some winter sports, and relax in saunas. So, grab your scarf, dust off your mittens, and embark on a journey through the winter wonderland of Ljubljana.

1. Immerse Yourself in a Dazzling Display of Lights

Imagine this: as the sun bids farewell to the day, painting the sky with hues of twilight, a magical spectacle descends upon Ljubljana – a canvas of city lights twinkling like a thousand stars. Venture into the heart of the city, and you’ll find yourself captivated by this mesmerizing transformation. Ljubljana’s historic landmarks, from the iconic Ljubljana Castle to the architecturally stunning creations of Jože Plečnik, come alive with a unique radiance, adorned with festive lights that shimmer and dance. The festive lights start to shine on 1st December 2023.

Christmas lights in Ljubljana

The decorations include over 50 km of Christmas lights and approximately 850 sculptures and figures. You can find the main Christmas tree in Prešeren Square. But you can find a smaller tree in each of the city’s 17 districts. Legend has it that the local artist Zmago Modic crafted the original holiday decorations. Today, his son, Urban Modic, continues the legacy, adding a touch of innovation and artistry to the city’s festive glow. Embark on a guided walking tour to unravel the secrets behind each twinkling light, or simply wander the streets in awe, mesmerized by the spectacle.

2. The Delights of the Christmas Markets Extravaganza

Now, let’s delve into the heart of the holiday buzz – the Christmas markets, a sensory delight nestled in the historic city center. As you meander through the charming stalls, let the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts entice your senses. The festive melodies will guide you to various handcrafted gifts, exquisite Slovenian arts, and culinary delights that will engage your taste buds.

But wait, there’s more! For a unique holiday shopping experience, head to BTC City Ljubljana, one of Europe’s largest shopping centers. From fashionable clothing to designer products, you’ll uncover the perfect gifts for your loved ones (and maybe a little something for yourself). There’s also a smaller Christmas market within the City Park. Another big shopping center is Supernova in Ljubljana Rudnik. They also prepared some festive surprises for the visitors in December.

3. Experience the Thrill of Open-Air Festive Events

December in Ljubljana isn’t just about twinkling lights and shopping sprees; it’s a month-long celebration of vibrant, free open-air events. Imagine lively concerts echoing through the squares, warming your heart even in the chilly winter air. Take a break from the festivities and savor a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate from the nearby stalls, letting the musical tunes wash over you.

As the countdown to the New Year begins, Ljubljana’s central squares come alive with electrifying parties, transforming the city into a hub of festivity and joy. It’s not just a celebration; it’s a collective embrace of the holiday spirit. Join the crowds, dance under the stars, and enjoy the music performed by some of the most prominent Slovenian and Balkan artists. You can check the list of the outdoor events here.

4. Embark on Guided Tours and Discover Artistic Delights

For a deeper dive into Ljubljana’s festive magic, consider embarking on a guided tour. Explore the city’s enchanting corners while delving into its rich history and artistic heritage. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the story behind the Christmas decorations directly from the artist during a guided tour of festively decorated Ljubljana.

As you wander through the city’s streets, be sure to catch a glimpse of the artistic lighting decorations that elevate Ljubljana’s unique beauty. Ljubljana Castle, perched atop its hill, transforms into a beacon of light, offering spectacular views during the opening ceremony. The sight is breathtaking whether you brave the icy path or opt for the funicular.

5. Culinary Delights: Winter Warmers and Hearty Fare

Winter calls for indulgence, and Ljubljana’s culinary scene does not disappoint. After a day of exploration, warm up in one of the city’s high-quality restaurants. From traditional Slovenian dishes to international flavors, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

For a traditional gastronomic adventure, head to the restaurant Slovenska hiša, where you can try some of the traditional Slovenian specialties, like beef soup with noodles, black pudding sausage with sour cabbage, and sweet štrudl. Amazing local wines and spirits always accompany the food.

6. Outdoor Adventures: Parks, Hills, and Winter Sports

Ljubljana’s enchantment extends beyond its urban magic, embracing the great outdoors. Tivoli Park, the city’s largest park, transforms into a winter wonderland, inviting you to stroll along illuminated paths and enjoy the serene beauty. Feed the friendly squirrels, breathe in the crisp air, and savor the tranquility of a winter morning.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, venture to Šmarna Gora Hill, where sweet specialties and panoramic views await. Embrace the chill with a round of ice skating at the Tivoli ice rink, or try your hand at cross-country skiing in Medvode, just outside of Ljubljana. Just make sure there’s enough snow.

7. Pamper Yourself with Spa Treatments and Retail Therapy

To truly unwind and relax, consider a spa day in Ljubljana. The city offers a range of spa experiences, from the hotel spas in Union and Austriatrend to the pool and aqua-land center Atlantis. Unwind with water games, slides, and saunas – a perfect retreat for families and couples alike.

For a grander spa escape, go on a one-day trip to Rimske Terme or Wellness Orhidelia,

just an hour away. Indulge in relaxation, stop by a local restaurant on the way, and return to Ljubljana’s city center for a perfect evening.

8. Take an Enchanting Boat Ride on the Ljubljanica

Glide along the serene Ljubljanica River, soaking in the magical winter atmosphere. As you cruise through the city center, admire the twinkling lights reflecting on the water and the festive decorations adorning the bridges and buildings. Let the gentle rhythm of the river and the city’s ambiance lull you into tranquility. Enjoy a mulled wine, aromatic tea, or hot chocolate with cream while going with the river’s flow.

Things to do in ljubljana in december (1)

Spa Treatments and Retail Therapy

9. Join Ljubljana’s Festive Flair on New Year’s Eve

Ljubljana’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are renowned for their vibrant atmosphere and electrifying performances. The main festivities take place in Prešeren Square, where you’ll witness a spectacular fireworks display synchronized to the rhythm of the music. The countdown to the New Year is accompanied by live music and DJ sets, ensuring an unforgettable night to remember. Join the joyous crowds and raise your glasses to new beginnings as the clock strikes midnight, ushering in the New Year with a bang.

10. Create Memories to Cherish

Ljubljana in December is blending winter wonderland magic and festive cheer with cultural richness. Whether you’re strolling through the illuminated streets, indulging in warm culinary delights, or embracing the thrill of outdoor adventures, Ljubljana will leave you with memories that will warm your heart for years to come. So, bundle up, embrace the festive spirit, and embark on a magical journey to Ljubljana.

Where to stay in Ljubljana in December?

So, you’ve conquered the city, explored every corner of beautiful Ljubljana, and now your feet are begging for a break. That’s where Boutique Hostel Angel comes in. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Ljubljana’s central train station and a breezy 15-minute stroll from the city center, Boutique Hostel Angel is your cozy haven in the heart of the action. The hostel has eight comfy beds, and it’s like a secret hideaway for those who want to soak in the city vibes without feeling like sardines in a can. So, whether you’re a solo explorer or rolling deep with your squad, Boutique Hostel Angel is your ticket to a good night’s sleep and a perfect launchpad for your Ljubljana escapades.

Do you need an option for peaceful and productive remote work?

Whether you’re working on your December trip to Ljubljana or just need to check on some projects during your holidays, you can join a modern coworking place in Ljubljana. Pisarna’s Coworking Office is dynamic, spacious, and stylish, fostering creativity and flexibility. A vibrant community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and professionals creates an environment beyond the ordinary office, sparking collaboration and celebrating success. You can rent a desk only for a few days or a month. Read more about Pisarna coworking here and join a top-notch coworking experience that will make you forget you’re working on holiday!