On a rainy August morning we left London. A change of place was needed as we have spent a few months in England and were already vitamin D depraved. We decided to combine our trip to Croatia with a few visits to our friends in the Balkan area. First stop on our list was Slovenia.
Slovenia is a cute little gem of a country. Measuring only about 20 000 square kilometres, it is 12 times smaller than the United Kingdom for example, but packed with natural beauties. I sometimes calls it mini Austria because of the mountains, architecture and cleanliness so similar to its northern neighbour.
We landed in Ljubljana and headed straight to the city centre. The centre itself has greatly transformed thanks to the city majors’ efforts. For five years in a row, Ljubljana has been voted Europe’s greenest capital and the locals take great pride in it. With roughly 270 000 people, it makes Ljubljana small enough to keep it so clean and to explore the city properly in about two days. Ljubljana’s baroque looking old town is located around the river Ljubljanica and it’s picturesque bridges, such as the famous Cevljarski most ( Shoemaker’s bridge ). Many cafes and restaurants run along the river making it a perfect spot to spend your time in Ljubljana sipping your coffee and observing the atmosphere. We spent most of our time in a cute cafe Tozd.
Every Friday a concept called Odrpta kuhinja ( Open Kitchen ) is happening at Ljubljana’s Central Market. It offers a variety of food, ranging from traditional to modern restaurants and independent chefs. It’s a perfect place to taste local food such as delicious gibanica pie. This place is a must taste. We had our breakfast and lunch there and had too much of everything. If you pass by this market, take your time after great food to explore some of Ljubljana’s many churches, museums or a visit to the medieval Castle on top of the city. We swapped historical experience at the castle for a view of Ljubljana from another place – Nebotičnik building and it’s 11th floor roof bar.
After a short break in Ljubljana we headed to Lake Bled about an hour north from the capital. During the drive we realised how small Slovenia actually is. Within an hour drive approximately in any direction from Ljubljana one can already be in a different country – Italy, Austria, Croatia or two hours away from Hungary.
Perfect little country to visit.
- Capital: Ljubljana ( 272 000 people )
- Currency: Euro
- Slovenia population: 2.06 million (2013)
- Best time to visit: All year around – winter for Christmas atmosphere in Ljubljana and skiing on the mountains, the rest of the year is just beautiful. From May to September the weather is generally the best.