Ljubljana, the Vienna of Slovenia

We were supposed to visit Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, on our first day of the campervan trip, but due to rainy weather and time constraints we decided to skip it and head straight for Lake Bled. After fleeing from the Croatian heat and returning to Slovenia, this time near Lake Bohinj, we had some extra time on our hands and decided to rectify this oversight.

And I’m so glad we did! Ljubljana is absolutely charming!

It reminded me of Vienna, except on a smaller scale and with way less tourists. After a destructive earthquake in 1895, much of the city was rebuilt in what is known as the Vienna Secession style, so maybe that explains the similarity. These beautiful buildings rub shoulders with Gothic palaces and there is even a medieval castle on top of a hill (like Salzburg) and a river that snakes through the old town centre. One of the prettiest cities I’ve ever visited!

We wandered through the streets, browsing the produce at the fruit and veg market, gaping at statues of dragons (this city is great for dragon fans), indulging in a few souvenirs, and generally enjoying the ambience of this beautiful city. It’s a short funicular ride up the mountain to visit the castle, which is now mostly an expensive restaurant, but you can walk for free along the walls to enjoy the spectacular view.

Back on ground level, we stopped for lunch at one of the many cafés that line the pedestrianised streets. Fortunately, the menus were in English and we managed to find a tasty vegetarian pie for me and a meat lover’s platter for Gareth!

All too soon we had to say goodbye to Ljubljana, but it will remain one of our favourite cities and one we would highly recommend visiting – especially if you want the beauty and culture of a city like Vienna, but at a fraction of the tourists and the cost.

Is Ljubljana on your bucket list? Have you been to this city yet? Did you like it as much as we did?

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