Length 22.5 km
Time needed
Time needed 01:40
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 7 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 5 %
Average slope of the ascent: 4 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 1.20 km
The lowest point of the route: 368 m
The highest point of the route: 286 m
Difference in altitude: 244 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 3391 kJ (810 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 2763 kJ (660 kcal)
Difficulty: Medium demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: City bike
Short description

Cycling hunt for the castles of Ljubljana. Pleasant and urban cycling across the town. Some stubbornness and effort are required only for the two ascents to Ljubljana Castle and past Bokalce Castle. The route begins in green Tivoli Park and continues through Old Ljubljana to Rakovnik, and then along the Southern Railway in the suburbs of Ljubljana, past Rožnik and back to Tivoli.
The route mainly runs along the asphalt roads and party along cycle paths and lanes, as well as along shorter sections of cart tracks and sandy paths. Some sections of the route demand extra attention especially due to traffic arrangements or poor visibility and bad road conditions.


parkirišče Tivoli – Cekinov grad - Tivolski grad – Jakopičevo sprehajališče – Cankarjeva cesta – Čopova ulica – Tromostovje – Ciril Metodov trg - Stari trg – Gornji trg – Ulica na Grad – Osojna pot – Cesta Slovenskih kmečkih uporov – Streliška ulica – Roška cesta – Dolenjska cesta – Rakovniška ulica – Pot k ribniku – Galjevica – Ob dolenjski železnici - Orlova ulica – Ižanska cesta – brv čez Gruberjev kanal – Prule – Grudnovo nabrežje – Mrtvaški most – Karlovški nasip – Breg – Hribarjevo nabrežje – Dvorni trg – Kongresni trg – Slovenska cesta – Erjavčeva cesta – Cesta v Rožno dolino – Rožna dolina, cesta II – Cesta na Brdo – Sattnerjeva ulica – Viška cesta – Cesta na Vrhovce – Cesta na Bokalce – Brdnikova ulica – Večna pot – Koseška cesta – Draga – Pot hribom – Vodnikova cesta – Pod gozdom – Celovška cesta - Tivoli

From castle, past castle, below Castle
Are you up for a cycling tour that includes hunting the castles of Ljubljana? You will find eight castles on this route. Start at the entrance of Tivoli Park at Celovška Road.
If you came by car, you can leave it at a large public car park in front of Tivoli Indoor Swimming Pool.
Due to one-way traffic at the area of Tivoli Hall you have to cycle the first quarter of serpentine road to the old Bellevue Hotel and just before Tivoli Hall, turn left to the platform before it. A gate preventing motor traffic is located at the entry ramp to the platform, so be careful. Cycle the entire length of Tivoli Hall and turn at the end of it. Then you'll reach today's first castle - Cekin Castle , where National Museum of Contemporary History is housed nowadays.
If you don't have time to visit the museum and discover history, continue past the building along the sandy path between the hill and tennis courts. Cycle along the upper wide road. Ascend to Pasja poljana (dog's plain), a meadow between Tivoli Indoor Swimming Pool and Jakopič Promenade. Cross it along the western edge and past Pristava descend to Tivoli Castle . Nowadays, the latter houses International Centre of Graphic Arts and a lovely café. A beautiful view of Jakopič Promenade and the centre of Ljubljana opens up from the terrace in front of the castle.
Instead of carrying your bike down the stairs, cycle past the castle along the sandy path which descends in a curve to Jakopič Promenade . If you're lucky, you'll see an open-air photographic exhibition, a regular feature at the promenade, while cycling or walking down Jakopič Promenade.
At the end of the promenade, descend to the underpass under the railroad and Tivolska Road , then quickly pass the Museum of Modern Art and continue along Cankarjeva Road and Čopova Street to the Triple Bridge. It is recommended to walk along Čopova Street and window shop on the way, instead of meandering among pedestrians, café tables and street musicians.
When you cross the Triple Bridge, cycle along Stritarjeva Street and before turning to Stari trg Square, you can quickly make a detour and cycle for about 70 m to the right, where the Bishop's Palace is located at Ciril Metodov trg Square 4. Napoleon himself spent a night there in 1797.
Return back to your route. From Mestni trg Square head to Stari trg Square. When you reach Tranča (especially in the summer time), you should step off the bike, as a section of inns is ahead and the inn gardens occupied even that little space of the medieval streets that was intended for pedestrians and cyclists. As you reach Hercules' Fountain at Gornji trg Square , shift into a lower gear and slowly ascend to the crossroads of Ulica na Grad Street and Rožna Street .

To Castle...
The most demanding section of the route is approaching, including the dilemma whether to cycle up the slope or just walk it. You'll have to quickly conquer about 55 m of altitude difference. The ascent is quite comfortable at the beginning, because Ulica na Grad Street is partly asphalt and partly paved . Somewhat more demanding is Osojna pot Path, as this is a sandy path which is at some places diagonally crossed by drain gullies - real bicycle traps . When you reach the saddle of the castle hill, cycle the last few metres along the tree-lined alley to get to the main trophy - Ljubljana Castle . You deserve to take a rest or have a refreshment at the castle courtyard and if you have time, you can visit the viewing tower or have a look at the virtual history of the castle in Virtual Castle - the rooms below the viewing tower.

...and down to Rakovnik
It is time to set off. Four more castles await. The next one is at Rakovnik. Descend along Cesta slovenskih kmečkih uporov Road to Streliška Street . Turn right and cycle along the remaining section of Roška Road, and at the crossroads of Roška, Karlovška and Dolenjska roads cross the crossroads twice and continue along Dolenjska Road. Approximately 300 m after the first crossroads with traffic lights, continue to the pedestrian crossing and cross it, then turn to Rakovniška Street. When you pass the kindergarten, keep to the left and proceed along the one-way road to the Church of Mary Help of Christians at Rakovnik and Rakovnik Salesian Institute. When in front of the church, turn left and ascend past the music school up a short slope to the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes on the left . The road turns right and so do you. After about 60 m a view of Rakovnik Castle opens up on the right . The original building was built in 1536 by the Ljubljana citizen, Pankracij Lustaller. Nowadays, Salesian Inspectorate has its quarters there. The road from here onward descends quite quickly at the beginning, but slows down after a turn to the cart track with fruit-lined alley. This is a 300-metre long section of macadam and cart track which is diagonally crossed by open drain gullies, so cycling there won't be easy. It is best to walk the first part up to the fruit-lined alley. When you reach the asphalt road, descend back to the blocks of flats, bypass them and continue to the crossroads with Dolenjska Road.

From Rakovnik over Rožna dolina to Bokalce
You've discovered half of the castles. It is 8 km to the next 'trophy', so keep on cycling. Cross the crossroads and descend along Galjevica Road. When you cross the railway tracks, turn right to Ob dolenjski železnici Road. Turn left at the crossroads with Orlova Street and at the beginning of Ižanska Road, turn right towards the Botanical Garden, and then at Conservatory for Music and Ballet Ljubljana turn to the footbridge at Špica and continue to Prule. Follow the flow of the Ljubljanica River and further to Mrtvaški most Bridge at Grudnovo nabrežje Embankment, cross the bridge and proceed right along Krakovski nasip Embankment, through Breg and to Dvorni trg Square.
. Just a note of warning: a section of the embankment between Breg and Dvorni trg Square can be full of pedestrians, so you may want to step off the bike when it is crowded and walk to Kongresni trg Square. From Kongresni trg Square continue your cycling hunt towards west, past Drama (Slovene National Theatre) and along Erjavčeva Road to the railway underpass. Be careful at the underpass to not miss the access ramp to Tivoli Park (on your right immediately after the end of the underpass). When you cross the access ramp, turn right and over the bridge to Cesta v Rožno dolino Road . A good kilometre of easy cycling along one-way roads for motor traffic follows next. After arriving at Cesta na Brdo Road at the second crossroads with traffic lights (at Azur Pizza Restaurant), turn left to Sattnerjeva Street. At the end of school playground of Vič Primary School, turn right to Viška Road and continue along one-way road past Žabar Inn to Cesta na Vrhovce Road. If you pay attention, you'll see the Chapel of Mother of God on the left after 155 m from Origano Inn and before the house Cesta na Vrhovce Road 23. The chapel dates in 1938 and was built by Jože Plečnik. It is one of the less known Plečnik's works.
Cycle the entire length of Cesta na Vrhovce Road. At the end of the school playground of Vrhovci Primary School, continue along the non-priority road at the edge of the forest. After the first bend, you'll see Bokalce Castle , the sixth castle of this route. The overpass of Ljubljana motorway ring spoils the view of the castle. And the sad decaying image of the castle doesn't improve the impression either . The castle serves as a multi-apartment building nowadays, so it is impossible to make a lengthy visit. When you cross the underpass under the motorway, turn right and up the hill with a sharp S-turn and low visibility. You have to be mindful of the vehicles driving in the opposite direction. The drivers tend to speed at the S-turn and cut it. When you pass the turn, the road flattens a little. Cycle past the first houses of the settlement of Grič and turn right before the roundabout in order to make a shortcut along the old road past Bokalce Retirement Home to Cesta na Bokalce Road.

Around Rožnik to the nonexistent castle...
Head along Cesta na Bokalce Road over the bridge above the motorway and proceed to the centre of Ljubljana. At the crossroads with traffic lights and Mercator Market, turn left to Brdnikova Street. Pay attention to the motor traffic; despite being a two-way road, the street is very narrow and lacks a pavement, let alone a verge. At the end, there is a steep, but short descent to the crossroads with traffic lights of Brdnikova and Pot za Brdom streets. Quickly head straightforward along the section of Brdnikova Street that leads to Večna pot Road. Just before the crossroads with Večna pot turn to the cycle lane (on your left) which runs along the route of the old Pioneer Railway (railway line operated by children-pioneers, which connected the areas of Rožna dolina, Koseze and Podutik between 1949 and 1954). A short, but lovely section of pleasant forest cycling is ahead. When you get from the forest, keep to the left and continue to Koseze Pond, past the new settlement of Mostec . When at Draga Street, turn right and head towards Spodnja Šiška. Along Pod hribom Road continue to Vodnikova Road where you stop for a minute. There is Dr Peter Držaj Hospital opposite the crossroads. What does this have to do with you, you may ask. Hospitals are not of any interest since you seek castles, you may think. However, the today's hospital is actually at the location of the former Jama Castle or Lukman Castle , which was supposedly mentioned already in the 14th century. After thorough renovations and building of the hospital, which took place after World War II, the last traces of the castle faded away.

...to the last castle and back to Tivoli Park
Let's continue the cycling hunt. Only one castle remains which is only a stone's throw away from the former Jama Castle. When you cycle from Pod hribom Road to Vodnikova Road, turn right and stay on the cycle lane which will take you straight to Gale Castle , located at the crossroads of Vodnikova Road and Na Jami Road. Gale Castle was built in the 18th century when Baron Anton Nepomuk Taufferer bought a country cottage at this location and rebuilt it into a country mansion.

Congratulations, you've found all eight castles situated along this cycling route. You can now return to the starting point. Continue along Vodnikova Road and follow the contour of Rožnik. When you reach Pod gozdom Road at the end of the line of blocks of flats, turn left, past the Church of St. Bartholomew in Šiška which is one of the oldest churches in Ljubljana (first mentioned in 1370) and was restored according to the plans of architect Plečnik. The path towards Tivoli Park and your starting point runs on the cycle lane along Celovška Road.


Cekin Castle
Also known as Leopoldsruhe was the Šiška residence of Ljubljana castellan Pavel Konig in the 17th century. Other owners of the initially modest castle were also the Barons of Raumschussel and Stroblhoff, who also owned Bokalce Castle. Count Leopold Karl Lamberg bought the castle in the beginning of the 18th century and built (today's) Baroque castle in 1720. Ivana Lamberg, who married Lovrenc Szogyney, got the castle as her dowry in 1787. The people simplified the owner's name (Zegini), which resulted in the today's name for the castle - Cekin Castle.
The castle had many owners since; one of the last ones was Peter Kozler, the author of the Map of Slovenian Land and Regions. The castle was nationalised after World War II and also housed a school. The National Museum of Contemporary History has moved there in 1951.

Tivoli Castle
It is assumed that Ljubljana Vidame, Erazem Praunwart, had a smaller building constructed in the beginning of the 16th century, namely Podturn (Under the belfry) Mansion, at the location of the present Tivoli Castle or Podturn. The building had many owners throughout history. It was the seat of Ljubljana Jesuit College between 1601 and 1773. It later served as a military hospital and a venue of Casino Society (1835). Emperor Franz Joseph II bought it in 1852 and gave it as life-estate to Marshal and Count Joseph Radetzky of Radetz. In 1860, Podturn Castle became property of the city of Ljubljana.

Bishop's Palace
Today's palace was built in 1512 by the bishop of Ljubljana, Krištof Ravbar, presumably at the location of the original building which was built soon after Ljubljana Diocese was established in 1461. The palace was visited by eminent guests, including the Austrian Emperor Leopold I (1660) and Karl VI (1728), Marshal Bernardotte and Napoleon (1797). When the Holy Alliance Congress was held in Ljubljana, the Russian Emperor Alexander I stayed at the palace, and during Illyrian Provinces, it was the seat of the governor of the Illyrian Provinces. For decades now, the seat of diocesan or archdiocesan ordinary's office has been located there.

Ljubljana Castle
The first origins of the castle date as far back as the 11th century. The written sources first mentioned it as Laybach or Luwigana in 1144. Ulrich of Ljubljana was cited its owner and the aristocratic family de Leibach/Laybach between 1154 and 1393. Among numerous owners, Ulrich of Celje was also mentioned. After catastrophic earthquake in 1551, the castle was renovated and acquired its present image of a fortress. Emperor Joseph II made it into a prison in 1785. A hospital and barracks were located there during Illyrian Provinces. The city of Ljubljana purchased it in 1905.

Rakovnik Castle
The original building (Kroissenegg) was built in 1536 by the Ljubljana citizen Pankracij Lustaller. Nowadays, Salesian Inspectorate has its quarters there. When countess Doroteja Sidonija Schrottenbach in 1629 sold the castle to the secretary of Estates of the Realm, Janez Putscher, the latter completely rebuilt it. The castle had several owners; among them were Counts of Attems and Auersperg. It became the property of Salesians in 1900. A trade school, a secondary school and later even apartments were arranged there after World War II. Nowadays, Salesian Inspectorate has its quarters there.

Bokalce Castle ,
A fortress was supposedly located at the site of the today's castle already in the 12th century. The fortress was owned by the aristocratic family Egkh from Brdo at Kranj. Postmaster Matija Strobl bought the original building in 1657 and thoroughly rebuilt it. In the second half of the 17th century, the Strobls became barons and assumed the title Von Stroblhoff. With the second marriage of baroness Eva Frančiška Stroblhoff, the castle became the property of the Lamberg family until the beginning of the 19th century. The castle changed many owners. It was nationalised after 1945, and made into a residential castle, but was worn by the ravages of time. There was the Narcissus Fountain in the castle, which is nowadays located in Ljubljana City Hall.

Jama Castle
Not more than half a century ago, Jama Castle or (as mentioned in Valvasor's depiction of the castle) Iamma, was located at the site of the today's Dr Peter Držaj Hospital. The castle's predecessor had its origins in the 14th century (Cheys). It was first indirectly mentioned in the documents from 1331 and explicitly in 1478. It had several different owners. The most famous among them were the Lambergars. The castle was known throughout for its garden and a beautiful tree-lined alley which started at Vodnikova Road and extended almost to Celovška Road. An improvised cricket court used to be located at the western edge of the estate before World War I.
After 1925, the castle was made into a residential school of School Sisters. The Ministry of the Interior took over the building after World War II and rearranged it into a dog-training school and later into the closed-type hospital of Folk Militia. Dr Peter Držaj Hospital was opened at the same location in 1963.

Gale Castle
Gale Castle got its today's neo-Renaissance image in the 18th century when Baron Anton Nepomuk Taufferer bought a country cottage at this location, rebuilt it into a country mansion and named it Pepensfeld. In 1784, count Janez Nepomuk Auersperg joined the estate of Gale Castle with the estate of Jama Castle.
Similar to all the others mansions and castles in Ljubljana, this one, too, changed many owners. It was bought by Adolf Gale in 1875 and the castle thus got its name after him. Sever Ljubljana Police Veteran Society nowadays houses in the castle as well as Police Wind Orchestra.

The cycling route runs along the urban area and mostly along the asphalt roads, and partly along cycle lanes and paths. Some shorter sections run along sandy paths (Tivoli Park, Osojna pot Path to Ljubljana Castle, at Rakovnik Castle).
Spots or sections where extra precaution is necessary:
1. Gate at the entry ramp at Tivoli Hall,
2. Potential crowds of pedestrians at Čopova Street and Prešernov trg Square,
3. Section from Stari trg Square to Gornji trg Square (inn gardens, pedestrians),
4. Ascent to Ljubljana Castle along Osojna pot Path (sandy path, diagonally crossed by drain gullies),
5. Section of the route from Rakovnik Castle to Pot k ribniku Road (sandy path and cart track, diagonally crossed by drain gullies),
6. Potential crowds of pedestrians at the section between Breg and Dvorni trg Square,
7. Detour from cycle lane to the access ramp to Tivoli Park at the underpass at Erjavčeva Road,
8. Narrow section of the road in a S-turn with low visibility, past Pri Žabarju Inn at Vič,
9. ascent below Bokalce Castle (S-turn ascent with low visibility),
10. Fast and steep descent in S-turn before crossroads with traffic lights of Brdnikova Street and Pot za Brdom Street,
11. Pod hribom Road - badly maintained road.