Ljubljana, a city whose name means ‘The beloved’, is a great place to visit, although you will not find here world-renowned attractions. Nevertheless, it has history, tradition, style, arts & culture, an atmosphere that is both Central European and Mediterranean; many also add the adjectives multilingual and hospitable. Being close to many of the major sights and attractions of Slovenia, Ljubljana can also be your starting point to discover the country’s diversity.
Slovenian capital Ljubljana is situated about halfway between Vienna and Venice. Its character and appearance have been shaped by diverse cultural influences and historical events. While in winter it is remarkable for its dreamy Central European character, it is the relaxed Mediterranean feel that stands out during summer.
Ljubljana is a picturesque city full of romantic views, with a medieval hill-top castle towering over its historical city centre and a calm river spanned by a series of beautiful bridges running right through it. The city owes a great deal of its architectural appeal to the famous Ljubljana-born architect Jože Plečnik (1872–1957), whose soul and vision are imprinted on Ljubljana just like Gaudí’s are on Barcelona.
The lifestyle in Ljubljana is refreshingly relaxed and the city life always vibrant due to Ljubljana’s large number of cultural events and excellent culinary offerings, which have, over recent years, become increasingly with travellers from around the world. Despite being vibrant throughout the year, Ljubljana is never crowded, which makes it a great place for visitors to relax and rest from the hustle of daily life – just like the locals do on a regular basis, getting together at the city’s countless cafés with outdoor seating. To really feel the pulse of the city, it is perhaps best to go to the Central Market, which sells all kinds of Slovenian specialties, or visit the Open Kitchen, a Friday street food market where delicious food is freshly prepared by Slovenian chefs right in front of their customers.
The best way to explore the sights of Ljubljana is to get the Ljubljana Tourist Card, which grants not only access to the city’s major sights and museums, but also free travel on public buses, a free guided city tour, unlimited wireless internet access throughout the city centre and a number of other benefits at a price that may be up to €80 lower than what one would pay without the card. By purchasing card online you save 10% off the regular price.
A perfect base for exploring Slovenia
Ljubljana lies at the centre of Slovenia, a scenic and diverse country where distances are short and major attractions easily accessible. In the morning you can visit the stunningly beautiful Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj or Soča Valley in the high mountainous region of the Alps, and in the evening enjoy the sunset in one of the charming little towns on the Adriatic coast. The world famous Postojna Caves are only about 50 kilometres from Ljubljana and it only takes minutes to reach the peaceful and unspoiled countryside of the city’s green surrounding areas, which offer endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing and horse riding.
In Ljubljana you can choose from a vast range of attractively priced organised day-trips offering the opportunity to visit the country’s major attractions or explore the distinctive features of its amazingly diverse regions.
As well as being included in Lonely Planet’s Best of Europe 2014 list, Ljubljana is also one of the best hidden gems featured in Lonely Planet’s brand new e-book titled Secret Europe, intended for those inspired to take a trip to Europe this year.
Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau Year
In 2015, Ljubljana celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of the architect Maks Fabiani, who created his best works at the turn of the 20th century using the then new artistic style known as Art Nouveau. Thanks to Fabiani and a number of other, mostly Slovenian, architects of the time, Art Nouveau is one of the styles that have a significant impact on the appearance of the Slovenian capital today.
In celebration of its Art Nouveau Year, Ljubljana hosts a number of exhibitions giving an opportunity to gain a detailed insight into the city’s rich Art Nouveau heritage. The first two of them – Art Nouveau Ljubljana and the Architect Maks Fabiani, set up at the Tivoli Park’s outdoor gallery, and the National Museum exhibition The Nature of Art Nouveau – are already open for viewing.
Events marking Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau Year are listed on visitljubljana.com web page
“Taste Ljubljana”: Discover the traditional dishes
Since summer 2014, a selection of typical Ljubljana dishes marketed under the brand name Taste Ljubljana are on offer in more than 60 of the city’s restaurants.
Visitors to Ljubljana have expressed a growing interest in typical local food, also by enquiring where they can taste it. Taste Ljubljana brand project is to ensure that a larger share of traditional Ljubljana dishes prepared using modern cooking methods should be included in the culinary offerings of the Slovenian capital.
Ljubljana Crowned European Green Capital 2016
Ljubljana, the winner of European Green Capital Award 2016, is a green city in more than just one sense of the word. The city managed to preserve its green character to the present day and welcomes you to various green areas in the heart of the city.
Ljubljana is a city boasting excellently preserved green spaces and countless pleasant green nooks and crannies even in the heart of the city centre. The city’s picturesque embankments on the river Ljubljanica, designed by the world known architect Jože Plečnik, are surrounded by trees and grassy spaces. Not far away you can find one of Europe’s oldest botanic gardens, more than 200 hundred years old.
The historical city centre of Ljubljana is towered over by Ljubljana Castle, built at the top of a green hill criss-crossed with walking paths and scattered with exercise stations shaded by trees, while the city’s largest and most beautiful park, Tivoli, extends right into the city centre.
One of Ljubljana’s special features is a 35-kilometre circular recreational route around the city. The route, known as the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, runs along the course of the barbed-wire fence that surrounded Ljubljana during the Second World War.
Ljubljana on Storify
Since there was a lot of shared content from foreign visitors in Ljubljana, Ljubljana Tourism Company decided to present the stories on Storify. All the published content is only user generated content wrapped in a storytelling.
Our favourite stories are about Romantic Ljubljana, since it’s probably the only city in the world which has “love” written in its name, the Dragon story, since they are proud “townspeople” of Ljubljana and story of the winner of European Green Capital Award 2016.
Comprehensive visitor information on Ljubljana is available on the official website of Ljubljana and the Central Slovenia Region at www.visitljubljana.com