Weekends are just my favorite…especially when filled with good food, fabulous company, and a bit of adventure. So, when Andy and I decided to book a little getaway, we naturally decided on a place where we could have all three of the aforementioned things. After looking at the map, our eyes went straight to Ljubljana, Slovenia; a measly 2 1/2 hour drive through the Austrian countryside didn’t sound too bad, and we have been dying to get out of our small apartment now that the weather is nice. We decided to go for it (because #yolo), so we took a Friday off, grabbed a coffee (or two), and hit the road.
While Slovenia is a small, relatively non-touristy country, we were dying to explore this tiny part of Eastern Europe. After visiting Prague a few years ago, we fell in love with the culture and have been anxious to tick more countries off our list. We did hardly any research on Slovenia before we left, but we did discover that Ljubljana has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative center of independent Slovenia since 1991. We were also re-acquainted with the complexity of Slavic languages. I mean, who puts accents over consonants? But despite the language barrier, we found ourselves falling in love with Ljubljana in the same way we fell in love with Prague. Was it due to the beautiful architecture, incredible food, or fabulous scenery? Maybe. But it could also be because we’ve had the best experiences with Eastern Europe. Bottom line: don’t believe everything you hear– contrary to popular belief, these countries are just as fabulous as Western Europe and offer many unique cultural experiences.
So, if Slovenia hasn’t been on your travel radar before, it should definitely move up on your list of countries to visit! While we didn’t spend a long time in Ljubljana, you can definitely see everything in a day and then travel outside the city for more nature explorations.
What to Do
- Ljubljana Castle. Built in the 11th century, this mighty medieval fortress is a symbol of Ljubljana. It offers incredible views, picturesque gardens, and even more interesting history.If you’re into medieval castles, I would highly suggest checking it out! It’s totally worth the grueling hike.
- Prešeren Square. While this square isn’t large, it’s certainly bustling with energy! I could sit by the canal and look at the three bridges all afternoon.
- Dragon Bridge. If you’re in Ljubljana, you have to see this! While it may be just a bridge, it’s hard to say no to intricately sculpted dragons that guard the entrance.
Where to Eat
- Dinner. While there is certainly no lack of cultural food in Ljubljana, I would highly suggest Julija for a casual sit-down dinner. We stumbled across this restaurant while searching for local eats, and it didn’t disappoint! Between pork dishes, goulash, and polenta, there is something here for everyone.
- Drinks. If you want drinks and a view, the Skyscraper is a must-see! Between the large selection of alcohol and the stunning 360-degree views of Ljubljana, this venue makes for an unforgettable evening. For something closer to the ground, try any cafe along the canal for well-priced drinks and a lively atmosphere. I found THE BEST mojito for only 5 euros!
- A quick bite to eat. When traveling, sometimes a faster, more convenient food option works best. In that case, Frks needs to go on your radar! They serve the more amazing Slovenian “take-out”, and it was some of the best food we had over the weekend.
Have you been to Ljubljana? If not, do you plan on visiting?