Ljubljana

Ljubljana

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About Ljubljana

Fairytale idyll

Despite being on the small size Ljubljana packs a big punch. With a stately hilltop castle and idyllic river Ljubljana seems like something from a fairy tale. But don’t be fooled by the inspiring scenery, Ljubljana is also home to a thriving student community which ensures that the already outstanding selection of museums, cultural centres and picturesque riverside cafés are never in short supply.

Ljubljana’s charming small-town style may also surprise you with its excellent selection of independent shopping boutiques and its high degree of national importance, as the economic, political and fashion capital of the country.

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Ljubljana’s hotel scene has been rejuvenated with the opening of a number of new hotels. For an exclusive stay try the majestic Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa (Gosposka ulica 10), which must be booked in advance in order to secure one of the 16 available suites. Hotel Cubo (Slovenska cesta 15) is something of a sleeker option, set in a modernised 19th-century building and offering a free minibar and L’Occitane cosmetics to go along with the welcoming staff. The Vander Urbani Resort (Krojaška ulica 6-8) in the Old Town is full of Italian marbles glowing under purple lights and mirrored surfaces, a great fit for trendy travellers on a budget that may wish to take advantage of the resort’s yoga studio.

The Old Town’s cobbled streets form the central hub of Ljubljana’s excellent independent shopping scene, providing great opportunities to have a wander and a browse. The Idrija Lace gallery (Gornji trg 23) is a hit among those looking for souvenirs to take home, thanks to the beautiful examples of handmade lace on offer. Head to the daily Central Market or Galerija Rustika (Stritarjeva ulica 9) for carved wooden artefacts, traditional gingerbreads and painted eggs, or on a Sunday try the riverside flea market (Cankarjevo river embankment) for antique jewellery, communist memorabilia and old books, among other potential hidden gems. Bookworms must seek out the Behemot Bookshop (Židovska steza 3), while those into their fashion can check out the efforts of young Slovene designers at Koda 386 (Tavcarjeva 4).

Ljubljana is blessed with a number of pleasant riverside cafés, providing ideal spots for some breakfast in the morning. For coffee and croissants try Cafe Promenada (Petkovskovo nabrezje 9), while the Central Market is great for those after fresh local produce. There is an abundance of cafés in Ljubljana, many of which offer menus heavily influenced by neighbours Italy, although for generous portions of genuine Slovene food head to Gostilna Sokol (Ciril Metodov trg 1). Nobel Burek is another institution that sells superb cheese-filled burek, which is a traditional Slovene filo pastry. There are plenty of good places to get food-on-the-go, although for a sit-down meal Gostilna AS (Copova ulica 5A) comes highly recommended for its Italian-influenced menu and Slovene wines.

Library under the Treetops

May

The annual Library under the Treetops is a great way to indulge in one of summer’s most simple pleasures, which sees bookcases randomly dotted around Ljubljana’s streets where readers can pick up and enjoy a book in the nearby seating areas and simply return it when done.

Ljubljana Festival

June

The Ljubljana Festival signals the onset of summer, and puts on a diverse series of concerts and shows from some big names in the world of performing arts. Performances are put on at venues all around the city, and there is a particular focus on classical music, opera and ballet.

Live Literature Festival

June

This week-long festival in June doffs its cap to the best of literature, offering workshops and creative writing classes to children that complement the readings of foreign works by their authors, which young actors translate into Slovene to the backing of live music.

Film under the stars

July-August

The stunning setting of Ljubljana Castle hosts this open-air cinema festival, which offers a range of screenings from Hollywood blockbusters to more niche Slovene films, attracting both locals and visitors.

Trnfest

July-September

This festival was founded in 1991 and celebrates everything from the worlds of dance, theatre, art and film in Slovenia. There are free workshops and performances across Ljubljana throughout the summer months.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Slovenian
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 30 mins
Airport code:LJU
Holiday type:City Break / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

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