Slovenia: The Best Way to Explore the Capital Ljubljana
… is definitely on a bike! My trip to Ljubljana was absolutely amazing! The best thing about the city is that if you stay near the center, you can walk pretty much everywhere. But if you only have a couple days and really want to explore the city, i.e. go further away from the main streets, walking can be tiring and time consuming. This is where hiring a bike becomes a brilliant idea.
Where to rent from?
And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean getting a bike for a day from one of the bike shops. This could be pretty expensive and inconvenient. I’m talking about renting a bike from BicikeLJ. This is a bicycle-sharing system which I’m sure you’ll be familiar with from other European countries. It essentially means that you can hire a bike from any of the 32 bike stations in Ljubljana as long as you register to use the system. The best thing is that if you use the bike for very short trips and return the bike to any station within 1 hour of hiring it, it’s FREE. Yes, you don’t have to pay anything! The only cost is the registration which is €1.00 for a week. This essentially means that you can hire a bike unlimited number of times, make multiple trips of less than 1 hour and pay as little as €1.00, how amazing is that!
How to register?
I tend to be quite uneasy when it comes to giving my debit card details in a foreign country. It’s not that I don’t trust the system or anything like that but when it’s to do with subscribing for things, like renting a bike, I tend to avoid it. I must however admit that I’m quite glad I decided to register with BicikeLJ. I literally had no problem with anything and can only recommend hiring a bike and exploring the capital on wheels. Having said that, registering can be a bit confusing which is why I thought you’ll find this post helpful. So to register:
Go to BicikeLJ’s website. Navigate to “Subscribe”on the top left side of the Home page and select “7 days PASS” which costs €1.00.
Having clicked on “Validate” to complete STEP 1, fill in your personal details and select a 4-digit PIN. You will need this PIN every time you hire a bike so pick a memorable one.
When you click on “Next” to complete STEP 2, all that’s left is for you to pay the €1.00 registration fee with a debit card. The secure payment screen is mainly in Slovenian but don’t worry! It’s quite self explanatory. So enter your card details and press the button to make the payment.
Then you’ll receive an email with 2 numbers, your PIN and your subscriber number which is automatically assigned to you. You will need both numbers when you hire a bike so make sure you always have them with you.
Hire your bike 🙂
Hiring a bike is super easy. Just go to the hiring machine, press key 1, enter the 2 numbers we talked about, choose the bike you want to hire and enter its number. Then the machine will give you access to release the bike from its dock. All you need to do is go to your bike, push the little grey button on the top of the dock, pull the bike to relase it and it’s yours.
I had the most amazing time touring Ljubljana on a bike. If it wasn’t for the bike, I wouldn’t have been able to see all of Tivoli Park and Metelkova which are absolutely must do’s when in the capital. Cycling to the bus station also got me right on time for my bus Bled 🙂 So definitely save yourself all the walking and hop on a bike! Ah and YES, Ljubljana is super safe for cyclists. They’ve got separate lanes on most streets and the traffic in general is not crazy so if you’re careful, you’ll be absolutely fine 🙂
Always make sure you lock the bike when you return it. If the system does not recognise the bike as returned, it will start thinking the bike is missing and this may become expensive, especially if the bike really gets stolen.
Get a city map from the Tourist center across from the Franciscan church in the main square. The map will have all bike stations in the city. That way you can plan your journey so that you never exceed the 1 hour journey limit.
Note that the bike journey is free only if it lasts for no longer than 1 hour. If you go over that, you’ll then pay:
Looking for more articles on Slovenia?
Inspired? Pin it!