Ljubljana
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Ljubljana

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Our Editorial team's advice

Its name means 'beloved' and it's not hard to see why Ljubljana is a city so dear to Slovenians' hearts. Boasting beautiful architecture (a mix of Medieval, Baroque and Art Nouveau), a compact and easy to navigate city centre, lush green spaces and a relaxed riverside location, Slovenia's picturesque capital city makes an ideal getaway, whether for a weekend break or a longer stay. It combines the facilities of a bustling capital with the laidback atmosphere and security of a smaller town but is also conveniently well-connected to the rest of the country - why not combine a trip to Ljubljana with discoveries of other regions such as the Adriatic Coast or the Julian Alps...?

To see

The best way to get a feel for the city is by taking a leisurely stroll along its cobblestoned streets. Start at the Town Hall (built in 1484), duck into St Nicholas' Cathedral with its beautiful gothic features and lovely cupola, and tick the Zmajski Most (Dragon Bridge) and Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) off your list. The latter is at the heart of Ljubljana and a great spot for people watching. At one end is Preseren Square, overlooked by the salmon-hued Franciscan Church, which dates back to the late 17th century. While you're there, go shopping at the Galerija Emporium where original features such as the Art Nouveau staircase are still present.

To do

Stroll the city streets, along the riverbank and soak up the laidback ambiance, discovering quaint cafés, chic boutiques and beautiful art galleries. Our tips for a weekend visit: on Saturday morning head for the market place and meet locals whilst browsing the colourful displays of produce and handicraft, meanwhile don't miss the antiques market on Sunday morning for an always interesting range of retro bric-a-brac. Pass remnants of the medieval town wall as you take the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle for amazing views of the city; there's also a great little café-restaurant where you can stop for refreshments, a museum and an exhibition space. In the summertime, catch a movie at the alfresco cinema or visit the library under the trees in the castle grounds, or head to Tivoli Park on the city's outskirts for a picnic. Meanwhile, on a rainy day, the City Museum of Ljubljana is also worth a visit.

pros

  • +  A compact city that is easy to navigate
  • +  The beauty of the Old Town
  • +  The abundance of green space

cons

  • -  The shopping does not rival other European capitals

To think about

Summer is a great time to go for it seems the whole city lives outdoors on the restaurant/café terraces, creating a wonderful atmosphere. There are also many great festivals on at this time, such as Festival Ljubljana.

Reviewed hotels

Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin

Our journalists' reviews for you 14 hotels Slovenia . Take a look at our hotels, their facilities or their value-for-money score according to your departure dates so that we can find the best offer to suit you Slovenia . Book a hotel Slovenia it's never been so simple !

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To avoid

Avoid expensive taxi journeys to and from the airport unless you are travelling with others. Use the regular minibus service instead - 9 Euros per person and drops you at your hotel.

To try

It may be a small country but Slovenia can be divided into several gastronomic regions, with capital city Ljubljana boasting its own specialties. From recognisable dishes such as fried chicken drumsticks and sautéed potatoes with onions, to more exotic fare such as frog's legs (not just a staple of the French diet!) or pickled cabbage and millet mush; there is plenty to savour! Make sure you get your hands on some Ljubljana curd cheese pancakes and the local version of strudel, filled with delights such as walnut, apple and poppy seed. We recommend Valvasor and Spajza, elegant restaurants found in the old town, serving delicious but uncomplicated Slovenian dishes. Finally, make sure you visit Movia Wine Bar to sample the local liquid! For those with a sweet tooth, Zvezda is the best pastry shop in town, with some of the richest most delectable cakes you'll ever taste.

To bring back

Typical Slovenian souvenirs include handcrafted wooden products, pottery items, glass and lace (although some of these are not necessarily from Ljubljana but Slovenia in general). The best place for authentic, beautiful gifts is Mestni Trg in the old town; Steklarna Rogaska for delicate glassware, Catbriyur for original porcelain designs and Movia Wine Bar for a bottle (or three) of delicious Slovenian wine.

Slovenia : Discover the cities