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The Funky Capital

Slovenia’s capital has been voted as one of Europe's greenest and most liveable cities more than once. The emerald green Ljubljanica River curves through the heart of the Old Town, that was creatively designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik with funky bridges and a castle that towers over the people wandering the streets below. In summer, cafes are set up along the lush river bank and the jewel box city really pops open and comes alive. Over 50,000 students live here, creating a huge clubbing and cultural scene, along with loads of museums and art galleries, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Top Tips

  • Uncover the city’s Roman past. In the suburb of Trnovo, though, you can still see remnants of the Roman city of Emona.
  • Spend your Sunday in the Old Town, along the riverside. There are numerous flea markets, festivals, live music and generally speaking, a great ambiance.
  • Visit during one of the many summer festivals (the Ana Desetnica street theatre festival is just one) – the city comes alive with music and outdoor activities.

1. Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana’s castle towers over the city from the hill behind the Old Town. Here you will get the most beautiful views of Ljubljana. To reach the top there are several walking paths, or you can jump on the funicular from the base of the hill for a quick ride to the top. The nicest time to be at the top is early evening so you can catch sunset over the city.

2. The Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge

Bridges in Ljubljana are major drawing cards for tourists. In the centre of town you’ll find two unique looking bridges called the Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge. The Dragon Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in town, with its huge statues of dragons guarding each end of the structure. The Triple Bridge, located in the heart of the Old Town, is a bridge that spans out over the Ljubljanica River and was designed by the architect Joze Plecnik. It is where the locals usually meet up for a night out.

3. The Sunday Morning Flea Market

On Sunday, take a walk around on Cankarjevo Nabrežje where you can find a the best items are memorabilia from the former Yugoslavian Republic like coins, banknotes, stamps, medals and uniforms.

4. Metelkova

Metelkova is Ljubljana’s alternative cultural centre or an autonomous social centre in the heart of the city. Located on the site of former military barracks, you’ll find street art and graffiti-covered buildings; regular events and street festivals taking place there. If you want to learn a little bit more about the area while you are there, you can do a free-guided tour from Hostel Celica that is located on the premises and they will tell you a bit about the history of the neighborhood.

5. Tovarna Rog

This former factory once produced Yugoslavia’s very popular bicycle called the Rog. Nowadays the factory has been closed and in 2006 the building was turned into a public art space and type of cultural centre for the locals. Tovarna Rog is great place to check out for something a little quirky and different.

Eats

1. Gostlina Na Gradu

Located just underneath the Ljubljana Castle, Gostlina Na Gradu is a restaurant you must stop at to eat in town. This chic restaurant uses ingredients purchased from the markets fresh each day, so the specials menu changes’ depending on what is purchased each morning.

2. Gostilna Dela

Gostilna Dela is a nice little restaurant that gives employment opportunities to the local youth that might not have been given a chance normally in the and a variety of daily specials on the menu with meat, fish and vegetarian options. Definitely try the homemade štruklji, the Slovenian dumpling. You won’t be disappointed!

3. TaBar

TaBar is a Slovenian style tapas bar with some mouth-watering menu items to choose. Try the roasted octopus, baked prawns, salamis, all with a Mediterranean influence.

4. Marley & Me

Marley and Me is an immensely popular place in town. They have a stand out varied menu of traditional Slovenian food and some other creations as well with lovely salads and delectable pastas, plus memorable meat and fish dishes.

5. Gostilna Čad

A true favourite with locals for Balkan food, Gostilna Čad is the longest running establishment of its kind in town. Not too far from Tivoli Park, you can dine in a shady garden surrounded by peace and quiet whilst munching on spit and grilled dishes, beefsteaks, grilled peppers and ražnjići skewers.

Drinks

1. TOZD

A popular place for the young and trendy to hang out drinking coffee, wine or beer under the shade of giant trees and alongside the picturesque Ljubljanica River. Inside you’ll find a library of books (English ones too!), a gorgeous interior of red leather benches and artworks from contemporary Slovene artists and a bar designed to look like a kitchen. Once you head inside and check this place out you’ll know exactly why it is a favourite destination for cool crowd.

2. Prulček Bar

Located in the uninspiring residential neighborhood of Prule, Prulček Bar has emerged as one of the city’s best venues for live music and jazz sessions, constantly filling the house with patrons.

3. Sir William's Pub

Sir William's Pub is a classy pub that boasts the largest beer selection in the country with over 130 varieties to choose from. Inside you’ll find the atmosphere is always laid back, making it easy to get chatting with the locals about the beer or the sport playing on the big screens.

4. Giza Pub

Right in the heart of Bled, this popular pub draws crowds in most nights of the week. There is a raw Balkan atmosphere and there are DJs most weekends. Check our their Facebook page where they list up and coming events.

5. Lepa Žoga

Sport is huge in Slovenia and a visit to this country wouldn’t be complete without seeing a game of basketball or hockey. If you can’t make it to see a live game at Tivoli Hall, then pop into Lepa Žoga. This sports bar has three huge television screens playing the latest games.

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Recommendations

Pleasant, peaceful and serene. Loved this city."

Craig, Manchester