i honestly had zero idea what to expect when we went to ljubljana. i knew that it was slovenia's capital and largest city [which relatively speaking is quite small] but i certainly didn't know that it would end up being one of the coolest places we have visited yet. this town has more soul and style than the other spots we visited in slovenia. coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, art museums, city parks, all intertwined with a very authentic slovenian vibe. its size is one of the big draws, even though fairly small, it's dense and easy to cover in a couple of days. according to locals the city has really evolved over the past 20 years and their investment in infrastructure and supporting the growing economy shows. here are 4 reasons why you should go check it out:
1. BIKE SHARE SYSTEM for €1 a week you join their city bike share, download the app that has a map of all bike locations and you're ready to go. when you rent the bike, all you need to do is return it within one hour to another location in the city to not be charged extra. it's brilliant and the docking stations are everywhere. we biked every single day we were here, saw so much more of the city and never spent a euro more.
2. THE FOOD there are plenty of places to try traditional slovenian dishes and have that authentic experience. we had already been in the country for a few weeks and had our fair share, so we were happily surprised by the diversity of the food scene here. especially at odprta kuhna "open kitchen" which happens every friday from april to november (weather pending). it was one of the coolest food markets we had ever seen and the food was crave-able. they have vendors from almost every restaurant, winery, brewery or coffee shop in town and great music pumping. our favorite was egyptian tauk, street pad thai, zimbabwe stew and trying small portions from some of the city's best traditional establishments. pop's place was also a hip place to grab drinks and burgers on their cozy patio. all of the food we had on this trip was delicious. if you visit in the fall, you must try the roasted chestnuts which will be sold in small stalls throughout downtown.
3. THE ARCHITECTURE represents an enticing slice of history, from its medieval castle to the decorative joys of the austrian empire. some of our favorites: the famous triple bridge (designed by jože plečnik) that connects the main square with the main market. & the dragon bridge, of course. hike up to the ljubljana castle for sunset. tivoli park is perfect for a walk and relax. the best way is to start form tomšičeva ulica 14, where the museum of modern art is [pop in here to browse if modern art is your thing, or even just for a drink / coffee before you continue on – the coffee shop in their basement is awesome]
4. THE PEOPLE every single human interaction we had in slovenia was wonderful. the vibes are really great here and as a tourist, you feel so welcomed to experience this beautiful city they are all so proud of.