Cycling Ljubljana

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Tom Smith
By
Tom Smith
Published: 19/03/2021
Updated: 06/09/2021

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Everyone keeps emphasising how Ljubljana is among the greenest capitals in the world. Just so you know, it’s not merely a hook to reel in the tourists. Well, it is, but it is also a scientific fact, which makes this hook that much sexier. 

Besides well-devised recycling and zero waste policy and the reduction of car traffic in its center, one of the main contributing factors to Ljubljana’s enviable level of sustainability is the promotion of cycling as a means of getting around.   

According to the Copenhagenize Bicycle Friendly Cities Index 2017, which covers 136 cities globally, Ljubljana ranked at number 14.

It’s a widely accepted notion that this amazing ranking resulted from Ljubljana being the “Green Capital of Europe 2016”, which certainly contributed to the development of cycling as both a sport and everyday transfer. The number of people who now prefer this convenient, affordable and sustainable type of public transport has skyrocketed.

“BicikeLj” – city bike Ljubljana style

In case you’re wondering what “BicikeLj” is and how you pronounce it, here’s the lowdown:

The word “bicikel” (‘biːtziːkəlj), as you’ve probably deduced, is slang for bicycle in Slovene, and Lj is an abbreviation of… you’ve guessed it, Ljubljana. This tongue twister is a rent-a-bike service, which allows you to hire a bike at multiple locations around Ljubljana.

Often located near bus stops, famous landmarks, or congested residential areas, BicikeLj stations are waiting for you to scan your Urbana card, take a bike, ride it to the BicikeLj station near your destination or dock the bike at the same station you got from. Easy-peasy.

By the way, Urbana cards are available in kiosks, tourist info centres and other places, and can be topped up at Urbanomat machines (green ATM-like machines near bus stops). Fun fact: These useful plastic thingies are also used for paying bus fares and as library cards.

BicikeLj is extremely convenient and ridiculously cheap (€1,00 for a week and €3,00 for a yearly pass). You can register online, then ride to your heart’s content. The first hour is always free of charge, the second is €1,00, and so on. Brilliant!

Ljubljana cycling tours

In addition to a huge percentage of locals riding bikes on a daily basis, visitors to Ljubljana are now presented with fantastic sightseeing options.

By joining the City Bike Tour Ljubljana, you get a chance to stop at all the city’s major highlights, cycle along the lively riverbanks, take a ride through Ljubljana’s green parks, as well as discover a few hidden parts of town you might never see.

It’s basically a healthy, flexible and eco-friendly guided tour in the typical cycling spirit of Ljubljana. Moreover, upon getting a taste of Ljubljana cycling life, you may very well enjoy a relaxing cycling trip to and around the nearby Ljubljana Marshes.

Exploring these stunning wetlands along a countryside gravel road through endless in the place where pile-dwellers lived thousands of years ago and observing the native wildlife is a refreshing break, especially in the hot summer months. The Ljubljana Marshes Cycling Tour also takes you to famous energy points and romantic corners of suburban Ljubljana. Don’t miss it!

Ljubljana MTB trails

Yes, Ljubljana, this wonderfully vibrant, modern European capital has a wild side to it, which comes in the form of cool forest-covered hills. No, not miles away, but bang in the centre. One such hill is called Golovec, and its varied terrain is criss-crossed with epic mountain bike routes.

The best thing about hitting Ljubljana’s MTB trails is that they’re not only so conveniently close to the city itself, but because they promise some amazing runs for both beginners and experienced mountain bikers – all in the company of an expert guide.

Very dynamic routes run through pristine natural surroundings, and hardcore mountain bikers can test their skills on the super exciting world-famous “Golovec trails”. There’s nothing like getting your adrenaline pumping before painting Ljubljana red with night-time post-biking escapades!

Since you’re here…

When you’re feeling up for some more biking adventures around scenic Slovenia or you’ve got your sights on a proper cycling holiday, don’t forget: it's as easy as clicking on the two links you’ve just read.

Now in the words of Freddy Mercury: “Get on your bikes and ride!”

Ready for the time of your life?

About the author
Tom Smith
Tom Smith
Tom Smith is a content writer, translator, educator and lyricist. He is also a passionate traveller and explorer of the human condition. Tom works and lives in Ljubljana.

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