You probably noticed that we organize our Erasmus+ trainings in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Now think a bit about your first associations. Did you ask yourself: Ljubljana? Where is that? How do I pronounce the name of that city? Is there anything to see? Is there anything good to eat? Is it expensive? Maybe this short post will answer some of your questions.
Let’s start with the basics. Ljubljana is located in Central Europe and it lies in the centre of Slovenia. It has 280.000 inhabitants, more than 60.000 students and above 1.000.000 overnight stays in 2014. So this numbers probably explain why is Ljubljana so dynamic and vibrant city, but still authentic and not overcrowded with tourists.
The best part of Ljubljana is its size. It’s extremely compact capital. Main attractions are located very close to the city centre, so you can explore it by foot or with bike. Ljubljana has one of the best preserved Baroque quarters in Central Europe. It’s modern appeal is characterized by Jože Plečnik, Slovenian architect that designed many iconic buildings like Ljubljana open market buildings and Triple bridge. Above them all is the most famous attraction: iconic Ljubljana castle, nestled on a hill above Old Town.
What impresses visitors the most is Ljubljana’s young and open-minded spirit. More than 10.000 cultural events are displayed annually. During the warmer months you can visit one of free-of-charge events in the downtown area or make reservation in renowned Ljubljana Festival. Ljubljana is also regional centre of alternative culture. If you are fan of alternative art and music, you must not miss Metelkova neighbourhood or more urban Šiška Cultural Quarter.
Ljubljana is also environmentally ultra-friendly city. Its city centre is fully clsed for traffic. There are bike rental spaces on every turn. It has many green spaces and is actually completely surrounded by the green ring of Ljubljana. Oh, in the case you didn’t know: Ljubljana has won has won the European Green Capital Award for 2016.
There are many hotels and hostels in the city centre. Over the last decade, the bed & breakfast, short-stay apartments and authentic youth hostels have really boomed in Ljubljana. Hostel Celica (which is located near Metelkova) was proclaimed by Lonely Planet as the hippest hostel in a world a few years ago. If you are looking for more authentic accommodation, you can always rent one of 250 apartments on Airbnb site.
While being abroad, one must always think about safety. Numerous international travel sites claim that Ljubljana is among the safest capitals ion Europe. Here’s the citation from Wikitravel:
“Ljubljana is possibly one of the safest capitals you’ll ever visit. Remarkably safe during the day and night, as a tourist you should have no problems, provided you are not desperately looking for trouble.”
If you get lost or need further help you can always count on natives. Tourists say we are friendly and very skilled in foreign languages. As a small country that borders on four diverse countries we have to be multi-cultural and multi-lingual. Almost all young people speak English, and many people speak German and Italian as well.
When speaking about multi-cultural influence, we must not forget our food. Slovenia is melting point of Austrian meat, Italian pastas, Hungarian flavours and Balkan dishes. Maybe you heard for excellent Carniolan sausage or rich Prekmurska gibanica. If not, you’ll try it in Slovenia. We’re also proud on our wines. Some parts of three distinct wine regions are counted as among the best in the world. In the case you didn’t know: almost 70% of Slovenian wines fulfil the criteria for quality and premium wines.
OK, let’s assume you’re convinced and you want to visit us 🙂 Majority of participants fly to Ljubljana. International “Jože Pučnik Airport” (also known as “Brnik airpoirt”) is just 25 km highway ride from the city centre. If you are lucky with the weather, you will have beautiful view over the Alps when your plane lands. Maybe you will notice some cheap flight connections with Ljubljana’s neighbouring cities. Trieste, Zagreb, Venice and Vienna are not far away. The best option to reach Ljubljana from some of those cities can be shuttle GoOpti. If you can wait one or two hours you will reach Ljubljana from Venice for apx. 25 €.
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