Although it’s the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is much more like a town – everything seems informal and too relaxed for a city – and it lacks the pollution and noise you would expect. Basically, Ljubljana is cosy! The old town is a lovely, relaxed place to hang out and browse the quaint streets. The views of the mountains add to its allure, while day trips to surrounding sights are both easy to organise and enjoyable. The only people who would dislike the place are probably nightlife hunters. For the rest ; Ljubljana seems to make you love the city without even trying.
In a restaurant, you can eat something light such as soup for around €4. A main meal is around the 6-7 Euro mark in most places. That said, if you head towards the outskirts of town, things can be cheaper. There is always burek pastry for a cheap filler and the spar supermarket has decent value fruit, veg, and yogurt drinks.
Once in the city, there is little need for transport. Ljubljana is not a large place and can be easily walked around in a day. The bus and train stations are next to each other and a short walk from the centre. Good and reliable trains connect to Austria, Croatia, Budapest, and Serbia. International buses go to all the bordering countries and Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Kosovo.
• Explore the city history – Ljubjana stands on the ruins of the former Roman city of Emona. Parts of the old walls are still visible. The city museum houses a part of Emona, and artefacts that have been retrieved.
• Go to Vodnikov Square open air market – Local farmers come here to sell their produce of veg, fruit, and meat. It’s popular with city residents and is a colourful and vibrant browsing experience for some good quality food.
• Catch a bus to Skofja Loka – About an hour away, This pretty and traditional medieval town is a good place to go if you like old buildings and good scenery. There’s not much to see and do, aside from visiting the castle – but it’s a chance to experience a less touristic Slovenia and wander the streets looking at old houses, and churches. It was also the site of many mass graves during the second world war, although there is little indication nowadays.
• Walk to the Castle – Ljubljana Castle nestles on a hilltop above the city but is only a short walk from the centre. The castle is an interesting part of Ljubljana’s history, and is surrounded by woods to have a wander. There’s a cafe and it has some good vantage points to view the capital.
• Hang about in the Old town – the highlight of any trip to Ljubljana is simply to walk about and people watch in the old town, there are many little cafes to pass the time, while the triple bridges and buildings surrounding the main square all make good photo backdrops.
• Go to Bled – Slovenia’s other main inland destination is Bled. One of the most scenic lakes in the world, it’s a must do on any backpackers tick list. Only 1 hour 15 minutes away by bus.
• Relax at Tivoli Park – not far from the centre of Ljubljana is the large Tivoli Park. It is clean and well looked after ; a good place to read, walk, or go jogging.
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