So are you tempted to go to Ljubljana now too? By the merest mention of its loveliness are you swayed to book a flight and give it a go? If the answers are a resounding yes! Then read on. If you’re more like “meh…” then get out of my sight.
Just the facts about Ljubljana:
Population: 272,000 and some change (in 2012). So, small city.
Airport: Jože Pučnik Airport, roughly 17 miles or so outside the city, is charmingly little. There are no direct flights from the US, so expect a European layover. I flew Finnair (which I highly recommend), so my layover was in Helsinki (Marimekko all day, every day baby). There are taxis and busses and shuttles to get into the city center. I took the Alpetour bus, reasonably easy stuff. 45-ish minutes to get to the central train/bus station, with crazy adorable stops in the middle of the countryside along the way. With views of the Julian Alps (why yes, those are mountains) all along the route, the ride into the city is lovely even with jet lag.
Eats: How about a tasty aloe vera drink? Or milk from a vending machine?:
There are also lots of meat-y, dough-y treats like burek (also spelled börek, but unfortunately no picture). There’s also decent coffee from lots of charming cafes with outdoor seating and the like and the best falafel I have ever eaten in my entire life at a place conveniently named Falafel that we ate at twice (or maybe three times?) because it was that insanely good.
Stay: airbnb natch. I didn’t even look at hotels when I was booking things. I am so converted to the airbnb travel life that I rarely even consider booking a hotel anymore. There are lots of options for airbnbs there, and our place had a crazy pretty view over the Ljubljanica river, a few minutes walk from the proper center of town.
Get around: with your feet! There are busses and taxis, but aside from when we headed out of town to Bled, neither were necessary.
Do: wander around and take it easy like a champ. There aren’t a ton of “sights” in Ljubljana. There’s a funicular up to a castle, which has pretty views. There are lots of bridges to meander over along the river, including the Triple Bridge, which is… wait for it… a Triple Bridge. There are weird, great, and weird AND great sculptures along the river too:
But it’s mostly just a pretty, charming place to eat meat-y, dough-y goodness, drink some coffee, marvel at some dramatic, but not insanely high mountains, and appreciate a European capital that isn’t as touristy as many, many, many of the other ones. All of those things make Ljubljana a winner for me. Fact.