Fairytale castles, dragons and more delight in this compact capital, finds Natalie Marsh.

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Star attraction… Ljubljana Castle

Overlooking the city centre, Ljubljana Castle offers visitors a great insight into Slovenia’s history. A scenic funicular railway can take you up to the castle in minutes, though there are walking trails if you’re not in a hurry. Ljubljana Castle is home to a puppet museum and Slovenian history exhibition plus an Outlook Tower for incredible city views. A castle admissions ticket with a return journey on the cable car costs EURO13 for adults.

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We love… The bridges

A stroll along the banks of the Ljubljanica River offers up the best views of some of Ljubljana’s unique bridges. The Triple Bridge is perhaps the best-known, with three forks leading over the river, while Ljubljana’s Butchers’ Bridge has hundreds of padlocks attached to it, just like the Pont des Arts in Paris. A little further along is the famous Dragon Bridge, adorned with statues of Ljubljana’s symbol, the dragon.

“The Triple Bridge is perhaps the best-known, with three forks leading over the river, while Ljubljana’s Butchers’ Bridge has hundreds of padlocks attached to it.”

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Make time for… Tivoli Park

Slovenia is known for its green spaces and the capital is no exception. Tivoli Park is one of the jewels in the city’s crown, where tourists and locals alike come for a relaxing day out. There are woodland areas, botanical gardens and adventure playgrounds for kids, while the Museum of Modern Art and Tivoli Mansion can also be found in the park, just a short walk from the city centre. Visitors can make the most of the city’s bike-sharing scheme to explore more of this open space.

“There are woodland areas, botanical gardens and adventure playgrounds for kids, while the Museum of Modern Art and Tivoli Mansion can also be found in the park.”

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Shop at… Central Market

It’s best to arrive hungry at Ljubljana’s huge Central Market, set along the river between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. A riot of colourful flowers, fruits and vegetables fill the outdoor square, while the covered market is the place to pick up local cheeses, fresh-baked pastries and cured meats carved right in front of you. If you don’t fancy munching on the move, duck inside one of the tiny cafes or wine bars for reasonably priced dishes and a chance to watch from the sidelines.

“A riot of colourful flowers, fruits and vegetables fill the outdoor square, while the covered market is the place to pick up local cheeses, fresh-baked pastries and cured meats.”

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Outside the city… Lake Bled

Clients should take advantage of Ljubljana’s proximity to Lake Bled, which is just a 40-minute drive away. Stop by Bled Castle, towering high above the lake, or walk around the water’s edge to admire the snow-topped mountains from below. Visitors can take a gondola ride out to the Church of the Assumption, set on Bled Island in the middle of the lake.

“Stop by Bled Castle, towering high above the lake, or walk around the water’s edge to admire the snow-topped mountains from below.”


Book it

Balkan Holidays offers a two-night stay at the centrally located three-star City Hotel from £549, based on a September 17 departure with transfers and B&B accommodation.
balkanholidays.co.uk


 

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