The central market in Ljubljana is one of the largest, most beautiful, and most daunting farmers markets I’ve encountered in Europe.
It took months for me to discover every nook and cranny (hint: there’s an indoor market and it’s not clearly marked, so if you can’t find it, ask someone). But even before I found the milk vending machine tucked alongside an alley and the fish market underground, the market was one of my favorite places in the city and something I made time for every week (let’s be honest: several times a week).
I particularly loved the organic market on Wednesdays, the milk vending machine where I could refill my bottles at will, the artisanal ghee (try the one that tastes like a lighter version of nutella), and the grapes. I can still feel them popping, cold and juicy, between my teeth.
How to get to Central Market
The market is located in the heart of Ljubljana’s old town. The main market sprawls across a large, open-air square here. A small organic market (highly recommended) lives here on Wednesdays (while that same location is where you can find Ljubljana’s popular food festival, Open Kitchen, on Fridays in the summer). In between the two squares, an indoor market is the place to look for fish, meats, and breads.
When to go
The Ljubljana Central Market is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the summer. Come winter, weekdays wrap up earlier (by 4 p.m.). The indoor portion of the market opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
The market is closed on Sundays and holidays.
The organic market is held Wednesdays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What to expect
Fresh produce (standard every day and organic on Wednesdays), jams, cheeses, meats, baked goods, fish and seafood, honey, nuts, herbs, olives, quail eggs, pumpkin oil, dried meats.
You’ll find a good amount of English here, though the official language is, of course, Slovenian.
What (else) to do in Ljubljana
If you’re here in summer, head to the Open Kitchen food festival for good burgers and street food. Speaking of summer, the city also hosts an excellent burger and beer fest that’s worth a visit. (And for more food recommendations, check out my interview with the top female chef in the world!)
The castle grounds are a lovely place to stroll (if you go early in the morning, you’ll see lots of locals out for their daily runs) and Tivoli Park is sprawling and gorgeous. Rent a bike or take a walk through or grab a picnic at the market and sprawl on the lawn.
The best gelato in town is found at Gelateria Romantika. And if you’re exploring the rest of Slovenia, you’ll find excellent Alpine hiking up near Kranjska Gora, beautiful river views in Kobarid, and worthwhile lakeside strolls in Bled.