Ljubljana is an absolute gem. A city not yet flooded by tourists and small enough to walk everywhere by foot. It helped that we stayed at one of the most convenient hotels right by the river Ljubljanica. 20 seconds from the apartment entrance is a street buzzing with cafes. Two minutes walk from central Prešeren Square and one minute from the City Hall. Convenience at its finest.
During the day, take a walk across town and you will find the Ljubljana Central Market in the city centre selling everything from fruits to flowers to souvenirs. We haggled our way to buy two beautifully hand painted bowls which serve as a wonderful reminder of our trip. North of the market, you will come across the Butchers’ Bridge, Ljubljana’s own version of love lock bridge. Unlike the one in Paris, this one was relatively bare and probably owed to the fact that it started collecting its share of love locks in 2010. (Getting in earlier is cooler, right?)
We even found some blank locks so of course we had to declare our eternal love. Never mind that the bridge is dotted with slightly scary looking ancient Greek and biblical sculptures.
We made it to the Ljubljana Castle where coincidentally, there was a National Geographic photography exhibition. A collection of beautiful photographs including the famous portrait ‘Afghan Girl’ by Steve McCurry.
Ljubljana is not a city with any world class attractions but we enjoyed the liveliness and communal atmosphere. The many outdoor cafes decked with lanterns and strings of lights make an evening stroll all the more romantic. Picture a violinist playing classical music underneath a monument; the light at the bottom of the column, like a spotlight, forming a gentle silhouette. The music echoed across the silence of the historic streets, right underneath the backdrop of Ljubljana castle. It was a scene straight out of a film and you could almost feel the melancholy of the violinist.
As always, no trip is complete without trying some local restaurants. A few notable places worth visiting are Marley & Me, Julija Restaurant, and Le Petit Cafe (perfect for breakfast). We also visited the city’s first and tallest skyscraper Nebotičnik. When I say tallest, it was only 13 stories high but surprisingly it provided a great view of the city as we sat in the outdoor terrace with our coffee and cake.