Slovenia is one of the former Yugoslavian countries in Europe. It is located in central Europe, surrounded by Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. Slovenia got their independence in 1991 and became part of the European Union in 2004. Despite being a young country, Slovenia is very rich in culture because of its historical background. Ljubljana, the capital city, was the European green capital in 2016. With all the interesting facts and history, Ljubljana is worth visiting if you’re travelling to Europe.
Long weekend in Ljubljana
Travelling from one city to another in Europe is easy because of the integrated transportation. You can take either bus, train or flight, and you be in your destination place.
For my trip to Ljubljana, I took a flight from Amsterdam. After I landed at Ljubljana Airport, I took a bus to go to the city centre. Then, I had some lists of spots that we wanted to visit.
Of course, before visiting a place, I already did a little bit of research. After that, I figured out that we wanted to spare one night in Bled. To get to Bled, I just had to take one bus, and compared to the ticket price in the Netherlands, it is relatively cheaper. Furthermore, you can buy the ticket from the driver, so prepare small money and coins!
Visiting the Old Town
People said that European countries are rich in history and culture, especially because they are old. Thus, visiting the old town of Ljubljana was also on my agenda.
The first day I spent strolling around the city. In the old town, a lot of people just walking around or riding a bicycle. No cars allowed. I went there in June, so the weather was nice for walking around. A lot of people walked with ice cream on their hands.
I could also see ice cream parlours on different streets I walked by. I don’t know if it was the season or the city or the people, but they celebrated ice cream more here than in other cities that I visited.
Tips for visiting the Old Town:
- Bring Camera. Of course, it’s a no-brainer, and you will bring your camera. But it is just too pretty to miss through your lens so that a friendly reminder won’t hurt.
- Join the walking tour. The walking tour is free and tip-based. If you’re satisfied, then you can give tips to the guide. It is also something that keeps their quality, though. Overall, I was confident with the information and stories that the tour guide shared. The guide spoke excellent and clear English.
- Buy ice cream. If you come on a sunny day or summer, you won’t need any tips to do this.
See the Tivoli City Park
Tivoli city park is the biggest park in Ljubljana. As the European green capital in 2016, the city park should be on your list when you visit Ljubljana.
Within the city, I didn’t use any public transportation; I walked. So, I can’t give you any recommendation of how to get there by public transport. However, it was not a very long walk, and if you want to see opportunities for exercising while travelling, walk around. Inside the city park, you will find indoor sports arenas and Cekin Mansion, together with a large green grass area. People sat in the sun, enjoying the weather and the view.
Tips for visiting Tivoli City Park:
- Do picnic. The success of this tip will depend on the condition of the weather during the day. It will help more if you come during the summer.
- Wear bright colours. On a sunny day in the middle of a vast park, come one, wear colourful clothes to boost your mood.
One of the fascinating destinations in visiting a European country is no other than castles! Luckily, you can find Ljubljana Castle in the city, and you can reach the place on foot if you take the elevator. Of course, there is another way to achieve it by walking up the hill, but I prefer taking the elevator. Moreover, the ticket price was relatively affordable.
Inside the castle, you can see an exhibition and cafe. There is also a tourism guide inside the castle. If you pay for the audio guide, you will get a recorder with an audio guide telling the castle’s history. You can also go up to the castle’s rooftop and see the city of Ljubljana from a higher perspective.
Tips for visiting Ljubljana Castle
- Go on a clear sky day. Ljubljana Castle is standing on a hill, which is fair to say that it stands closer to the sky. Going on a clear sky day will help you see around the city from the top better. I came on a bit cloudy day. I bet it would have been better if it was clear.
- Forget the fear of heights. To go to the top, you will take an elevator made of glass. The transparent elevator helps you to see the surroundings while moving upstairs. However, it might be scary for some people. I suggest you not worry about that because it is a short trip with many people. You can choose the spot in the middle, so you don’t stand right next to the glass.
Ljubljana is also called the city of the Dragon. But, wait, isn’t it only in the movie? Do you mean Game of Thrones? No, I’m talking about the symbol of the city and the first concrete bridge in Europe with dragons on both ends. Dragon also appears on many kinds of souvenirs that you can bring from Ljubljana.
Visiting Ljubljana means that you will see many of Jože Plečnik‘s works. Starting from the market, the triple bridge, the national library and so on. Joining the urban walk tour, I got information about the city without losing the sense of being adventurous and spontaneous. Enjoy exploring Ljubljana!