Ljubljana, often referred to as the hidden gem of Europe, is a truly unique city. The capital of Slovenia lies halfway between Vienna and Venice, at the crossroads of different cultures, geographical regions, and historical developments. Its location within a convenient two-hour flight from almost all major European airports makes it an easily accessible destination.
Ljubljana is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere, reminiscent both of the Mediterranean and Central Europe, and is well-known as an extremely picturesque and green city. Particularly the historical city centre is full of outstanding architecture, a medley of styles from different periods in history, most notably the Baroque, bound together into one of the 20th century’s most amazing total works of art by the famous Ljubljana-born architect and urban planner Jože Plečnik.
Ljubljana is getting noticed a lot lately and it’s for the good things. Most of all, it gets praised for its holistic approach to sustainability and overall quality of life. The city was named European Green Capital 2016. As nature invisibly blends with the urban tissue, Ljubljana offers a span of very diverse experiences and activities. Here just a few options:
Standing on a hill above the city for about 900 years, the castle is Ljubljana’s main attraction. Its Outlook Tower and ramparts offer some of the most beautiful views of the city, while the castle houses a museum exhibition on Slovenian history, a puppet museum, and a number of historical rooms such as the Chapel of St George, the Prison, and a video presentation room called Virtual Castle. It also provides space for art exhibitions, cultural events and open-air film screenings.
The Dragon Bridge
Adorned with famous dragon statues, the Dragon Bridge is one of the most recognizable images of Ljubljana. The four dragon statues are a masterpiece which has been exciting imagination since the bridge was built. The attraction of the dragons aside, the bridge is a unique creation considered to be an extraordinary piece of technical heritage and a superb example of Art Nouveau architecture, which flourished at the turn of the 20th century.
The Triple Bridge
The central of the three bridges forming the Triple Bridge has stood in its place since 1842, when it replaced an old, strategically important medieval wooden bridge connecting the north-western European lands with south-eastern Europe and the Balkans. The side bridges, intended for pedestrians, were added to the original stone bridge to a design by Jože Plečnik, who thus created a unique architectural gem of Ljubljana.
The Central Market
Ljubljana’s Central Market is a common point for the locals to meet and enjoy themselves together. It consists of an open-air market, located in the Vodnikov trg and Pogačarnev trg squares, a covered market situated in between the two squares, and a series of small food shops along the river, referred to as ‘Plečnik’s Covered Market’. The Central Market offer is supplemented by catering establishments and street food kiosks.
Getting to Ljubljana:
All flights to and from Ljubljana are operated through the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which is located 25 km from the city centre.
By car, rail and bus:
Slovenia’s road and rail network have been modernised over the past decade to provide an efficient transport system, integrated with the broader European area and specifically the neighbouring countries. Railway connections from Ljubljana to the major cities across the borders are often operated by intercity trains.
Moving around in the city:
Getting around Lisbon is easy and inexpensive. The public city bus network makes it easy to travel within the city. There are more than 40 bus lines, which run according to regular schedules throughout the day. Holders of the Ljubljana Card are entitled to free of charge use of the city bus network.
The BicikeLJ public bicycle system is available across the wider Ljubljana city centre. Bicycles can be hired practically for free.
Ljubljana also has a well-organised taxi service, which is not exceedingly expensive. There are fixed spots in the city where taxis are stationed, or they can be ordered by telephone.
Travel documents & visas:
Slovenia is a part of the Schengen zone since 2007. EU/EEA citizens do not need a passport to enter Slovenia, only a valid identity card. Other foreign citizens can enter Slovenia with valid passport and a visa or residence permit, unless otherwise stipulated by law or international agreement.
Source: Ljubljana Convention Bureau, https://www.visitljubljana.com/en/ljubljana-convention-bureau/