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LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA


We spent 2 nights in Ljubljana in June 2007 and really enjoyed it. It's a small, pretty and very clean city, easy to walk around. There are many open-air cafes and restaurants along the river and on the narrow cobbled pedestrianised streets which run parallel to the river. It has a very laid back and relaxing atmosphere. We really enjoyed the cafe culture and open air lifestyle and we have heard that you can still enjoy this in the winter with the help of outdoor heaters.

Transport

If you don't want to get a taxi from the airport you can get the bus. Buses run hourly, on the hour and take about 45 minutes to get into the centre. They cost €4.10 each* (you buy the tickets on the bus) and you get the bus opposite the airport entrance. The journey to town was quite picturesque with lots of pretty little villages and flowers everywhere! (NB: This was in June, maybe not so many flowers at other times of the year).

Hotel Lev


We stayed at the Hotel Lev which is about 5 minutes walk from the bus station and just more than that to walk to the centre - a great location. No complaints about the hotel either. As we'd read before arriving, it's a 5* but not really what you expect from 5* in many other countries. We'd probably rate it as 3½ or 4*. The room was very clean, fairly large with a comfy bed (but what is it about two single duvet covers on a double bed?!), TV, safe, minibar, airconditioning. The bathroom was fine too, again without being anything special. The buffet breakfasts were above average and were available between 6-11am - very civilised! There was a good selection of fresh fruit including watermelon, grapes, peaches, melon and banana. There wasn't much in the way of hot dishes - some sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs - but a nice selection of fresh rolls and cheese, ham, fresh tomatoes and peppers, etc. We'd happily stay at the Lev again. Click here to visit Hotel Lev's website. Click here to reserve a room at Hotel Lev, view photographs and read reviews by other travellers.





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Plaza Mayor

Ljubljana
Ljubljana
City of Arts & Science
Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Plaza Mayor
City of Arts & Science
A church in Ljubljana
Room at Hotel Lev
Madrid street
A church in Ljubljana
Room at Hotel Lev
Parc de Retiro
Royal Palace
Ljubljana church
Flower market
Fruit market
Ljubljana church
Catedral de Santa Maria
Sangria at Naturbier
Colourful mural in Ljubljana
Ljublana Church
Ljubljana square
Colourful mural in Ljubljana
 
Colourful mural in Ljubljana
Delicious salads at Cafe Romeo
Ljubljana Castle
 
Colourful mural in Ljubljana
Delicious salads at Cafe Romeo
Ljubljana Castle

Things to see and do in Ljubljana

It's worth a visit to the castle for some nice views over the city. It's quite a hard climb up there, so unless you particularly feel like the exercise, we'd recommend getting the funicular up and walking down (we did it the wrong way round, climbing up and taking the funicular down!). There's a nice little outdoor cafe where you can have a drink or snack. Climb up the tower for the best views. There's also a small museum.

 

All around Slovenia people cycle and it's no different in Ljubljana. You can hire bikes from a variety of places including the tourist information office.

 

If you're not going to be staying in Bled, you just must go there for the day. Get the bus which runs hourly and takes around 1-1½ hours (possibly less - there were roadworks when we were there). Every bus we took in Slovenia left bang on time - we were very impressed. Visit the bus company's website for more information. It's absolutely beautiful at Bled - a must see. Click here for more information about Bled.

 


There is a market every day across from the Dragon Bridge. Although we didn't think much of the clothes stalls, the fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers were lovely and very colourful. There were also some stalls selling honey and crafts such as lanterns, baskets, straw hats, toys and souvenirs.


There isn't a huge selection of shops in the centre but if you like shopping you can catch a local bus to BTC City where there are supposedly a lot of shops and retail outlets. Just catch bus number 7 opposite the bus station (Buy a ticket in advance at the ticket office). The journey takes about 10 minutes.

 

Bars and Restaurants in Ljubljana

 

Blue and Strawberry Margaritas at Cafe Romeo

Our favourite meal when we were in Ljubljana was at Cafe Romeo on the river side. Their huge fresh salads are absolutely delicious and great value at around €7 - €7.50. The pasta salad with chicken was particularly flavoursome and the prawn salad with egg and avocado was also delicious. As well as salads, they serve Mexican food. There's an indoor bar, all done in red, which is great at night with a large selection of cocktails. The Blue Margarita was particularly good!

 

We had a nice meal at Pri Vitezu, an upmarket riverside restaurant with an outside terrace. The only thing to let this place down was the ultra slow service. We waited ages for our food, then had to chase them up about 3 times for our bill! Still, the food was nice. For starters we had the intriguingly-named Avocado Pie (a half avocado scooped out and stuffed with a guacamole type filling and served with garlic toast - very tasty) and Caesar salad with bacon & egg (nice apart from the bacon which was too salty). For main courses we ordered Veal with Mushrooms & Mozzarella and Chicken with Mushrooms. Both were beautifully presented, quite tasty (the sauce was very similar with both!) and served with potatoes, but not vegetables (seems that you sometimes have to ask for vegetables as an extra!). We were given a basket of lovely fresh bread before we started our meal - just be aware that you will be charged €3.50 for this so if you don't want bread, ask them to take it away. The meal was nice without being incredible and pretty good value. Starters were €7.50 each and mains about €12-14. One more warning! We asked for a wine list and were told there wasn't one but that they could describe the wines and recommend some. Our waitress then proceeded to tell us about a wine that they particulary recommended. Sounded good but we asked how much it was and were told €44!! They probably hope people are embarassed to ask the price and just go for it! We got a nice bottle for €18 which was a bit more reasonable!

 

Spajza is another restaurant we heard good things about. We tried to go there but the outside courtyard area was full and we didn't like the ambiance inside - too bright. If you want to go there we'd recommend that you book a table in the courtyard.

 

When we couldn't get into Spajza on a Saturday night we managed to get a table at Cutty Sark PubCantina Mexicana. We didn't particularly want Mexican food but the Italian next to it (up a lane just off Preseren Square) told us we'd have a long wait for food! The Mexican restaurant has a lovely ambiance, outside seating with candles on the tables. The portions are huge. We shared a starter (nachos with chicken) and that would have been enough for us as it was a huge plateful and very filling. Didn't manage much of our main courses! If you like spicy food be sure to order extra jalapenos as we did, as the food is a bit bland.


Along the same lane as the Mexican and Italian restaurants, there is a nice pub called Cutty Sark with lots of tables outside. It's a nice place to have a drink and watch the world go by.


Some useful sites about Ljubljana:


Ljubljana Tourism - Lots of useful information about Ljubljana here including tours, accommodation and maps
The Guardian - Ljubljana - Some useful articles from The Guardian on Ljubljana
Trip Advisor - Reviews from other travellers and a useful forum
Hotels in Ljubljana - Book hotels in Ljubljana, read travellers reviews of those hotels and view photographs

 

*Note: Prices quoted above were accurate in 2007