Ljubljana, the proud holder of the title European Green Capital 2016, is a world-leading destination in the sustainable tourism field.

The development of sustainable tourism is Ljubljana Tourism’s overarching focus. With its green image and sustainable development strategy, Ljubljana offers excellent opportunities for sustainable tourism. Ljubljana Tourism aims to develop Ljubljana as an attractive, green, environmentally friendly destination distinguished by a high quality of life both for citizens and for visitors to the city.

Some facts about sustainable tourism in Ljubljana

The centre of Ljubljana has been traffic-free since 2008. The area closed to traffic covers 12 hectares and is the largest car-free zone in the European Union. Visitors can take a tour of the city centre aboard the Urban electric tourist train. Free transport around the pedestrian zone is provided by Kavalir electric vehicles.

Ljubljana is remarkably rich in green areas – an incredible 542 m2 per inhabitant. Direct access to the countryside is possible from the city centre itself, while the city offers other special initiatives such as the Bee Path.

The City of Ljubljana is working intensively to develop sustainable forms of mobility. Public transport, parking and an increasing amount of other urban services can be paid for using a single contactless payment card called Urbana. Car-sharing scheme Avant2Go enables the shared use of electric vehicles. Public buses are also environmentally friendly, with many of them converted to run on methane.

Ljubljana is a bike-friendly city and occupies 14th place in the 2019 Copenhagenize Index of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities.

Ljubljana boasts the highest rate of household waste separation in the European Union (68% in 2018). Waste containers in the city centre are located underground.

Ljubljana is an accessible city. An increasing number of public areas, and also city buses, are adapted for persons with reduced mobility. Visitors to Ljubljana with reduced mobility can make use of the Ljubljana by Wheelchair mobile app.

Ljubljana appears in the Sustainable Top 100 list produced by non-profit organisation Green Destinations. It is also included in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), an international programme, and the “Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism” (Slovenia Green) at the national level.

Via the Green Supply Chains project, Ljubljana Tourism encourages the use of locally produced food in hotels and restaurants according to the principle “from local field to local table, to the guest”.

Ljubljana Tourism develops innovative activity-based guided tours of the city, including the Moustache Tour, the Taste Ljubljana food tour, the Ljubljana Beer Experience, and so on. These activity tours highlight sustainable elements of lifestyle such as discovering local cultural heritage, traditional dishes, etc.

Ljubljana Tourism is working hard to deseasonalise tourism by promoting events that transcend the usual framework of tourism products and offer a genuine experience of the city. One example of this is the November Gourmet Ljubljana food and wine festival.

At Ljubljana Tourism we are also striving to relieve the pressure on the city centre and redirect tourist flows to other parts of the city (the Ljubljana Cultural Districts project) and its green hinterland and other locations in the Ljubljana region.

Recognition for sustainability efforts in Ljubljana

Photo: Nik Rovan
  • In 2019 Ljubljana was among the finalists of the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative for the second time.
  • In 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2014, Ljubljana was included in the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 list. In 2019 it won the Best of Cities category in the Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards, having won the Best of Europe category in 2018.
  • In 2019 Ljubljana was awarded the Slovenia Green Destination Gold label for the fifth year in a row, certifying it as a green destination in the highest (gold) category.
  • In 2018 Ljubljana won a sustainable tourism award as part of the selection for the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism.
  • In 2017 Ljubljana Tourism received the prestigious WTM Responsible Tourism Award for the development of sustainable tourism.
  • In 2015 Ljubljana received the WTTC Tourism For Tomorrow award.
  • In 2015 Ljubljana became the first destination in Slovenia to receive the Slovenia Green Destination Gold label under the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism.

See all Ljubljana Tourism’s awards >