It was back in spring of 2015, on my Big Trip, that I visited Slovenia’s capital city of Ljubljana. I had not intended to visit until some hostel mates in Bratislava went on about how lovely it was. I must say that along with “Ljubljana”(loo-blee-ah-nuh) being fun to say, it was a darling of city to get to know. I arrived late in the evening with a fellow traveller via train from Budapest and we departed to our respective accommodations. The next day we met up to take a free walking tour about the town and then he was off to the countryside with a friend. No worries, as my hostel had people to meet, right? Weeelllll….I did meet people but we just didn’t click, so for the most part I wandered about on my own. Which, to be truthful, is something I do often anyway. However, during my time there I was wishing for some company after having met great people in my earlier travels. That being said I still enjoyed city. So much so that I’d enjoy a return trip with friends. In fact, I’m certain my BFF would like it there a great deal.
Ljubljana is quite a colourful city and the dragon is their city symbol. That in and of itself is very cool! There is plenty to see and enjoy. I stayed at the Tresor Hostel (which used to be an old bank) in the heart of the city centre — a perfect location. I was down the street from Prešeren Square which is the meeting place of the city. This capital city has made its city centre car-free, which of course means that foot or pedal power is the way to get around. I was on foot my entire time there and with the spring weather being amenable it made my wanderings that much sweeter. As I was relying on my feet for transport I did not meander much outside of the city centre. Additionally, I was budget travelling and took in the sights primarily from the outside.
What I did and during my few days in city of dragons:
- Free Walking Tour
- Prešeren Square and Prešeren Monument
- Triple Bridge
- Franciscan Church of the Annunciation (outside only)
- Central Market
- Dragon Bridge
- Ljubljana Cathedral and its portal door (outside only)
- Town Hall (outside)
- Congress Square
- Ljubljana Castle
- It’s history dates back to the middle ages when a wooden and stone castle was built
- Offers a great view of the city and the Alps
- Can reach it by walking or by funicular
- Beer and Burger Festival (Pivo in Burger Fest)
- A bi-annual festival in spring and fall at Pogačarjev trg Square
- Stalls are set up outside serving local burgers and craft beers
- It was a serendipitous find with most of my meals and drinks found there
- An autonomous zone within Ljubljana
- It began as a squat roughly between 1991 – 1993 after the Yugoslav National Army vacated the buildings after the dissolution of Yugoslavia and several associations and groups wanted to use the buildings for creative endeavours
- In 1995 it was recognized as an official autonomous zone
- I visited a bar there with my hostel mates (with awkward conversation gaps) and during the day to wander about
Even though I had wished to spend time with new friends while I visited this place I will admit that it was Ljubljana and her dragons and colourful buildings that became my companions. I now wish that I has also added some other areas of Slovenia to visit. It looks like a lovely country. I guess I will just have to return.
Some restrictions may be in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All photos owned and taken by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World