Ljubljana, Slovenia is probably the most beautiful place you’ve never heard of.
Easier to pronounce than spell, Ljubljana (lyoo-BLYAH-nah) is the capital of bigger-than-you-would-think nation of Slovenia, which itself is wedged between European heavyweights Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria.
Still know nothing about the place? Not surprising. Enclosed on all sides by such prominent, historically and culturally rich countries, Slovenia often gets lost in the mix, still relatively unknown to even frequent travellers in Europe. This is at least true in my case: I had been to Rome and all up and down Italy’s yummy Amalfi Coast, had gone sailing in Croatia, and had backpacked in Hungary and Austria solo, but had never even given a passing thought to spending my tourist dollars in Slovenia.
However, I had the chance to get at least a bit better acquainted with Slovenia’s picturesque capital as part of my epic solo train trip this past August with Eurail.com. I had a 2-month Global Pass and 10 days t0 kill before it ran out, so decided to hit up a few new places in Europe as well as some old favourites. I added Ljubljana to my list after reading this post on Hecktic Travels from fellow Canucks Dalene and Pete and then this post from my friend Amanda over at A Dangerous Business. Those colours! That architecture! That relaxed vibe! I knew that I had to see it for myself and my upcoming rail trip around Europe furnished the perfect opportunity.
Spending three days in Ljubljana was probably the best decision I could have ever made.
After a busy few months of travel, I was burnt out and uninterested in maintaining the break-neck pace of before. Instead, in Ljubljana, I spent my days walking languidly around the centre, armed with only a small map from my hotel to keep me from getting lost. As the weather was amazing I took my Kindle and read under the trees in the park. I treated myself to scoops of vanilla gelato from the many vendors in the historic centre and indulged in quiet dinners at top-rated restaurants (Ljubljana is deliciously cheap– one of the cheapest places in Europe I’ve been to)!
One afternoon I did a city tour courtesy of Visit Ljubljana and the spectacularly knowledgeable local guide imparted secrets of her gorgeous home. The tour included a lazy boat ride along the Ljubljanica River, the body of water that cuts the city in two.
Here are just a few more pictures to tease you. Stay tuned for more on this wonderful city!
What do you think of Ljubljana so far? Have you ever been to Slovenia?