Ljubljana, a very worthwhile city to visit.
A city I have wanted to visit for a while and although somewhat new in terms of tourism from North America, it has gained quite the momentum here in Europe and Asia. In fact, so much so we opted to visit Romania in the July/August time frame due to the high costs in Slovenia at that time.
The drive from Postojna to Ljubljana was about an hour and that’s on secondary roads so we knew we could leave a bit later. As you travel through Slovenia, the architecture of the homes, the well-manicured lawns, and the flowers flowing from the baskets from the windows reminds me of Austria or Germany. It makes sense as this was, at one time under the Hapsburg rule.
The hotel we chose was a 5-minute walk to the old town, so it was rather convenient to the old town. Once in this area, many parts of the city are in a pedestrian zone.
Since we had three days in the city, we could take our time enjoying it, and we did, meandering through the side-streets, checking out the markets, visiting the churches and finding some fun bars and restaurants to visit.
The following day we found a cute restaurant for breakfast, the waiter managed to find us a table by the window as we noticed every table had a reserved sign. Sunday brunch is quite big here and quickly realized the place was packed. We later came to discover this was the oldest restaurant in Ljubljana.
As the weather was a bit grey and dreary, we decided to visit a museum which had an exhibit on for both WW1 and WW2. It’s situated in Tivoli gardens which is a nice large park for those who would like a little piece away from the throngs of tourists.
Upon arrival, to our surprise, the museum was free. First Sunday of each month most museums are free, and we found this to be standard throughout Europe and also that on Mondays they tend to be closed. Note in case you happen to be in Europe during these times.
After 3 hours of visiting the museum we saw the weather clearing and figured it was a good time to go to see the castle and get a view of Ljubljana.
We rode the cable car up to the castle and there are various areas to visit and spots within the grounds to sit and enjoy the castle. The castle dates back to the 11th century and has a prison, panoramic tower, archer tower, gift shop, etc.
There are view from the castle to the city, however due to bush and trees they are limited but we still managed to get some decent views. I will say there are better forts/castles in Europe to get some spectacular views but when in this city, it’s probably a good idea to see it, only if the weather allows for it.
Back to the hotel to finish writing the blog for Montenegro, which is and probably always be about 6 - 8 weeks behind in our travels.
Later found a nice place for dinner which had some wonderful fish and they made their own wine so a bonus for us.
The next day’s agenda in Ljubljana was laundry, and our free walking tour.
After laundry we decided to go back to the same place we had dinner and this time we ordered Fish n’ Chips, which we split. The portions we found in Europe are quite large, and we also save money. The manager/owner suggested a nice wine to have with our meal and enjoyed it so much it we purchased a couple of bottles. We would come back later to retrieve as the walking tour was about to begin.
The walking tour lasted 2 hours and learned Slovenia has their own language in the sense it’s somewhat similar to Croatia, however, the way they count is based on the German language – so they will say four and fifty instead of fifty-four.
After the tour and in much need of a bathroom we stopped at a tapas restaurant which turned out to be dumb luck, a place called TaBar. We had a nice glass of red and they gave us the menu to see if we were interested in the menu. After looking at it we decided we needed to order a few of them to try. We started with the rooster with a mussel sauce and then ordered another 4 dishes. The chef was quite creative in his tapas. We had grilled octopus, oyster with squid ink, a deep-fried egg, mackerel and steak tartare. If we lived here this would be a regular haunt.
We walked to an area we read where artists have taken over an army barrack, pretty much squatting but were showing their works and one can have a beer and hang out. Not sure if it’s mainly an afternoon attraction or no longer there - either way only a few people hanging around drinking, but it was pretty much dead.
Called it a night as we had to pack up and head to our next destination.
We really enjoyed this city and would definitely come back to visit. Although it’s still busy in October, I would recommend coming in the off season.