When you think of traveling to Europe or around Europe, Slovenia may not be the first country to come to mind. But one visit to Ljubljana should change all of that.
This beautiful city of nearly 280,000 people is nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea and is truly one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Read more about the charms of Slovenia at Slovenia for you website.
While Ljubljana isn’t lacking in modern conveniences, the city’s architecture and picturesque beauty seem to come more from a history book or fairy tale than from the photos of other 21st century European capitals. (And Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia which has been a member of the EU since 2004).
As you stroll through the city, you can see the remnants of its 5,000 years of history around every corner. In one direction, you’ll find reminders of Emona, a Roman city located in the same spot. In another, you’ll be reminded of the powerful influence of the Italian Baroque styles found in much of the architecture.
Today, you can also begin to see more of the artistic influence of late 20th century architects in the city as they blend modern influences with the romance of the old worth artistry.
And, of course, you won’t want to ignore the gorgeous Ljubljana Castle originally built in the 15th century that overlooks the city from on top of a hill.
The Center of Ljubljana
One of the most remarkable things about this European capital is that you can walk almost anywhere. All of the main attractions ara within 5 to 15 minutes walking distance and the entire Ljubljana’s Old Town is closed for the traffic.
The center of the city is undeniably the Triple Bridge known as Tromostovje. The bridge crosses the beautiful Ljubljana River for which the city is named and opens up onto the gorgeous Tivoli Park. From here, you can not only see the hilltop castle but you can easily walk to almost any of the city’s amazing attractions.
And what are some of those attractions? One of my personal favorites is the Triple Bridge area at night. When the sun sets, the lights all over the center of the city go on and give the area a beautiful glow that is magical. You can enjoy the site for hours.
Another recommendation is the Ljubljana Castle. While it may seem difficult to reach it by foot from the Triple Bridge because of the steepness of that hill, there are good public trails that lead to the top. You can also choose to conquer the Castle with a bicycle or take the more relaxing tourist train. Or for an even more exciting experience -- take a ride with a glass-wall Cable Car.
When you are up there tour the castle courtyard or go up to its tower. Some of our favorite photographs of the city were taken from up on the hill because you can have a majestic view of the Alps and the beautiful landscape of Slovenia.
Whether you’re staying in the city for business or pleasure, Ljubljana’s other must-see attraction is the Dragon Bridge. As you stroll through the city streets, you’ll notice the city’s love of dragons everywhere. It’s this bridge which is guarded by four dragons that has helped make the mythical medieval creature the unofficial mascot of the capital.
And what better mascot is there for a city that seems to be taken from the pages of a fairy tale than one of the most romanticized creatures ever described in literature...
Hopefully, you plan on staying in Ljubljana for awhile because the city has more than beauty and history to offer visitors. The city has an incredible Zoo which I have to say is one of the best in all of Europe and a true delight for travelers of all ages.
If you love museums, you’ll find plenty of them here. The National Gallery is home to gorgeous artwork, especially from impressionist artists while you can see the remnants of a flute supposedly belonging to Neanderthals at the National Museum.
There are also fountains, water parks, shopping, restaurants, music, and more to enjoy in Ljubljana – one of the most surprising and enchanting cities you’ll find in Europe.
Staying in Ljubljana
It won’t take long for you to feel at home in the city, so choosing accommodations that give you the same feeling is a good idea.
For example, you can use this web site if you want to book an apartment during your stay. You’ll have all of the comforts of home in a modern and well-furnished apartment which is perfect for extended stays, holidays with children, and business excursions when you need more room than what you’ll find in a traditional hotel.
Even if you don’t intend to stay in Ljubljana for very long, don’t be surprised if the magic and beauty of this European city change your mind.