Fairytale castles, dragons and more delight
in this compact capital, finds Natalie Marsh.
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 for those not in a hurry. Ljubljana Castle is home to a puppet museum and Slovenian history exhibition, while the Outlook Tower provides incredible city views. A castle admissions ticket with a return journey on the cable car costs €13 for adults.
We love… The bridges
A stroll along the banks of the Ljubljanica River offers up the best views of Ljubljana’s unique bridges. The Triple Bridge is perhaps the bestknown, with three forks spanning the river, while Butchers’ Bridge has hundreds of padlocks attached to it, reminiscent of 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.”
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, a place where tourists and locals alike come to relax and exercise. There are woodland areas, a botanical garden and adventure playgrounds, as well as the Museum of Modern Art and Tivoli Mansion, all just a short walk from the city centre. Visitors can explore more of this open space on two wheels with Ljubljana’s bike-sharing scheme.
“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.”
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 cheeses, just-baked pastries and cured meats carved in front of you. If you don’t fancy munching on the move, duck into one of the tiny cafes or wine bars.
“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.”
Outside the city… Lake Bled
Clients should take advantage of Ljubljana’s proximity to Lake Bled, which is just a 40-minute drive away. Visit Bled Castle, towering above the lake, or walk around the water’s edge to admire the shimmering reflections of the snow-topped mountains. After that, take a gondola ride out to the Church of the Assumption (pictured), set on Bled Island.
“Stop by Bled Castle, towering high above the lake, or walk around the water’s edge to admire the snow-topped mountains from below.”
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.