Ljubljana has strongly secured itself a place in my Top 3 cities in the world. I even caught myself googling ”masters studies Slovenia” the other day… I’ve rarely felt so at home in a foreign city.
Both Rosé and I had been to Ljubljana before and adored it so we decided it was high time to pay the city another visit. We were there in mid-June and the weather treated us so well. There’s no better way to enjoy the place than by sunbathing with a cool drink in hand at one of the many cute bars and cafes aligning the banks of Ljubljanica river.
To stay: Alibi Hostel is cheap and cheerful and located smack bang in the centre of Ljubljana. It’s very basic accomodation – you literally just get a bed and access to the common room. There’s no kitchen in the hostel but being so close to supermarkets and city centre cafes, that’s not really an issue.
Celica Hostel is slightly less central but near the railway station and trendy arts area Metelkova. It’s really modern and designed to perfection but seems like quite the party place so not necessarily the best choice for travellers who want a good night’s sleep.
To eat: Frks on Kongresni Trg was recommended to us by an Aussie traveller at our hostel. €2.50 gets you a massive wrap with a generous filling. You can choose from a selection of vegetarian or meat options like the Greek wrap with feta and veg or the Mexican wrap with chilli beef.
My new favourite cafe in the world is Lolita at 1 Cankarjevo Nabrezje. I would call it an absolute must-see for any visitor to the city. It’s beautiful, detailed interior (complete with cherry-shaped lamps and a local edition of Lolita) and outdoor terrace will lure you in easily, as will the trays of freshly made sweets and other goodies. We ventured in for an afternoon treat expecting to pay at least a fiver each but an espresso, a mocha and a mouthwateringly good raspberry macaroon set us back, get this, €4.30! Well-priced luxury indeed.
Le Petit Cafe at 4 Trg Francoske Revolucije is, surprise surprise, a French-themed cafe serving up brunches, coffees and luscious-looking cakes and tarts. It seems to attract the trendiest of the trendy locals who really do make the place look Parisian, cigarette smoke clouds included. The coffee is excellent.
To go out: Bi-Ko-Fe is a hipster hangout on 2 Zidovska Steva, right near the university. Expect to see lots of people on bikes and at least one person in a corner making use of the free wi-fi on their Mac. The atmosphere is really laid-back and the music is definitely not chart-topping hits. One for the ladies – the barmen are drop dead gorgeous.
Metelkova is an area outside the city centre (though nothing is far in Ljubljana) that used to be an artists’ residence and has now become a hive of bars and clubs. We were in town during the week and nothing much was going on but we heard it gets wild from Thursday onwards. It’s a grungy looking area with some pretty strange sculptures dotted around including a Foot-Mouse, which we had great fun playing with. Even though we probably looked way out of place there and very touristy, no one seemed to mind our presence – the crowd’s nice and welcoming.
Pr’Skelet on the river bank between Alibi Hostel and Lolita cafe is a cocktail lover’s heaven with a skeleton theme… The prices don’t sound too great – it’s more or less €8 a pop, however, when the clock strikes happy hour… you get 2 for 1 and may I say the measures they use are frightening. A few sips and I’m not afraid to admit I was a tad tiddly 🙂 The barmen also have their very own party trick but I’d ruin the fun if I told you what it is so go check it out for yourself.
To do: We ran out of time to do everything we wanted to but next time I’ll be in Ljubljana, I’ll definitely rent a bike from the city’s Bicikelj scheme. Locals seem to love their bikes – it must be amazing cycling along the river bank and through Tivoli park, especially during the summer months.
Visit the central market to stock up on some vitamin C. Local produce is sold at quite good prices and you’ll be tempted to try a lot. There’s also a milk vending machine or Mlekomat that looks like it could be fun to try out ;D
Every guide book will tell you to climb up to Ljubljana castle to admire the views across the valley and I can only encourage you. Stroll over to Tivoli Park too for a picnic.
– Miss Red