Ljubljana, nestled in Slovenia, is the capital of the small Central European country. Combining Mediterranean beauty with art nouveau and baroque styles, the city is a potpourri of worlds, all meshing together to create a picturesque and gorgeous place. With thousands of cultural events in town, plus no shortage of attractions, along with having the perfect location for day trips to the coastal cities like Piran, the Karst region and the Alps, Ljubljana is the perfect landing for those craving some nature, people and fabulous gastronomy.
Just in case the first edition about all the reasons why you should fall in love with Ljubljana and go! now!, here are more reasons you should plan to visit Ljubljana.
It is nearly impossible to enter into Ljubljana without noticing the art; from sculptures to street art to entire subcultures focused on a burgeoning art scene, the Slovenian capital is packed with art.
In the heart of the city, sculptures like the Prešeren Monument is of the country’s national poet France Prešeren. Located in the square of the same name, this gorgeous bronze piece is one of the best known monuments in the country. The sculpture shows the poet facing the window of his love. Julija Primic with a muse above him.
Slovene sculptor Jackov Brodar has contributed to the beauty of this city, thanks to his work like Adam and Eve near the Butcher’s Bridge.
Let’s not forget about beehive art. This work, which dates back more than 200 years ago and is a tradition specific to Slovenes. These drawers are replicas of original work which tell stories of the bible, folk-lore and the country’s history.
And then, there is the street art. Found in little pockets just outside the city center in the squatter enclave, Metelkova. But, that isn’t all the street art in town. Dig a little, do some walking, to discover more works of art which aren’t “commissioned” but still greatly appreciated.
The brandy. And the food. But, really, the brandy.
I had zero idea how good the brandy is in Slovenia until I arrived to Ljubljana and promptly visited Šnopc o’ tecca, a gorgeous brandy shop just outside the heart of the city. Packed inside this earthy store are the most tasty brandies I’ve ever sampled. And yes, you can sample them (but if you are going to get an early morning buzz on like I did, be sure you actually purchase some of the alcohol-y goodness).
These aren’t your normal burning brandies. The brandy here evokes the smells and sights of rural Slovenia in the form of 70(!) types of distillates and drinks tapping into fruit and medicinal herbs. Pine brandy? Yes. Honey brandy? Oh my god. Yes. And even the famous pear brandy with a pear actually in the bottle. If there’s one place to check out for cool take-homes, this is the shop.
For food, I fell in LOVE with Pizzerija Kavalino. This affordable and quaint restaurant is parked in a little cobblestone side street just off from the main city center. With an adorable inside and small patio seating outside, the restaurant serves up some amazing dishes (hello, buckwheat pasta and truffle-covered penne!), plus not-so-expensive wines.
The general good vibe buzzing through town
There is no short of enchantment, quirk and romance that pulses through Ljubljana. Need proof? During a wander while I was in town, my friend and I came across this:
The music, the scenery, it immediately reminds visitors that they aren’t home anymore; they are in another world surrounded by whimsical moments and places.
Packed with adorable spots to grab a cold one with views to boot, it is easy to spend an afternoon enjoying the laid-back and friendly atmosphere flowing from this city.
From fruits picked straight from the farm and delivered to a naked table to fresh cheese, homemade breads, and more, Central Market is the best bet for all the tasty goodness.
But, that isn’t all. This city is packed with open-air markets, from a weekly seasonal restaurant market celebrating the diversity of dishes being served around town, to the Sunday flea market near the Butchers Bridge to pop-up markets in green squares and more, there’s always something to explore.
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This post is part of the D Travels Europe (and Israel) series. Stay up-to-date on all of my adventures by following along on Twitter (#dtravelseurope), Instagram,Trover, G+ and Facebook. And, for a look at the health and wellness side of European travel, be sure to follow along at The Comfort Zone Project and on TCZP’s Facebook.