Being awarded the first title of the Green Capital of Europe Award back in 2016, Ljubljana still is one of the most liveable capitals in the world. It’s lively old town centre is almost completely traffic free allowing locals and tourists to enjoy sunny days in the bars along the banks of Ljubljanica River and practising “the art of doing nothing”. Why don’t you join them and experience the Ljubljana City Break on your own?
Do you wish to travel to Slovenia? Let us help you with the trip! We are a local agency specialised in tailor-made trips to the Balkan area, including Ljubljana and the whole Slovenia. Contact us to get your custom-made city break.
We can help you with your flights, airport transfers, hotels, local guides and daily excursions from Ljubljana, either private ones or in groups with other visitors. We are locals and we know all the secrets!
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HISTORY OF LJUBLJANA
Considering its size, you would never guess how long and rich the history of Ljubljana is! It started out 4000 years ago when the Ljubljana Marshes just south of today’s city centre were settled by people living in prehistoric pile dwellings. Their archaeological remains, which include the oldest wooden wheel in the world, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Later, the area remained a transit point for numerous Illyrian, Celtic and other tribes until 50 BC, when the Romans built a military encampment that later became a permanent settlement of Emona with more than 5000 inhabitants. There are many finding from that era, including statuettes, jewellery, coins and even remains of roman houses.
After the decline of the Roman Empire the Slavs started arriving and stayed in these lands until this very day although there were many other forces trying to gain total control, the Francs and the Hungarians being most resistant. The Germanic influence began to spread in the 12th century when Ljubljana was first mentioned as Laibach and in 1278 the Habsburgs took over until the 20th century. Their over 600 years-long rule was only briefly interrupted by Napoleon, who made Ljubljana the capital of his so-called Illyrian Provinces between 1809 and 1813. He proved a popular conqueror as he allowed Slovene language to be taught in schools for the first time ever, which was a huge contribution to Slovenian national awakening.
After WWI and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovenes find themselves in the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia with other south-Slavic nations. During WWII Ljubljana got occupied by the Nazis, but was soon liberated by the communist partisans who later took control and established a relatively prosperous socialist state of Yugoslavia. Unfortunately the harmony between its 6 states started to crumble after the death of their leader Josip Broz Tito who was half Slovene, half Croat. Following a brief 10-day war in 1991 Ljubljana became the capital of the new independent country of Slovenia and in 2004 one of the capital cities of the European Union.
Take a Ljubljana City Break to discover the Europe’s prettiest capital
GUIDED TOUR OF LJUBLJANA
Are you intrigued to visit this small green capital in the heart of Europe? Let us help you find the best flight connections from wherever you are. If Ljubljana airport doesn’t have a direct flight from your hometown, we can try flying you to Venice, Trieste or Zagreb. They are all very close and we can organise a transfer from any of those airports directly to your hotel in the centre of Ljubljana. After settling in, your Ljubljana City Break starts with a private tour of the old town which is compact and completely pedestrianised. Follow the stream of Ljubljanica River which cuts through the centre and creates a wonderful laid-back atmosphere full of bars and cafes along its banks. Both sides are connected with numerous bridges, most remarkable being the iconic Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge designed by the much-loved architect Jože Plečnik. As your guide will explain you, Plečnik had a very important role in decorating Ljubljana with dozens of buildings and architectural elements which also include the National Library, Križanke Monastery and the open market building. Other focal points of Ljubljana are the round Prešeren Square dedicated to nation’s most important poet and of course the fairy-tale castle overlooking the old town. From its tower you can enjoy not only the great views of the city but also of the alpine peaks in the background.
➨ Private cultural & special interest tours
➨ Walking, cycling, boat, SUP tours of Ljubljana
➨ Slovenian and Balkan gastronomy tours
for your tailor-made Ljubljana City Break
Your private tour of Ljubljana can be expanded to include other important sights outside the pedestrianised town centre such as the specious Tivoli Park often reffed to as the “green lungs of Ljubljana”, charming Žale Cemetery – another Plečnik’s creation and the unique Metelkova Mesto – a surreal and wonderful place of alternative culture.
In addition to standard cultural tours of Ljubljana we can also organise different interactive experiences and treasure hunts. Let us know if you are a history buff interested in any particular period – for example how did Ljubljana look like in the Roman times – and we will prepare a tailor-made tour just for you! There are bike tours, food tours, boat tours and even stand-up-paddling (SUP) tours along the Ljubljanica River. The options are countless and we know them all. Trust us, we are locals!
FOOD OPTIONS ARE PLENTY
Ljubljana’s centre is buzzing all the time, but never as much as on sunny Fridays afternoons between March and October when Open Kitchen Market (“odpta kuhna”) is taking its place here. Try local and international specialities at numerous stalls that offer tastings from many Slovenian restaurants including top-notch ones at very affordable prices. There’s something for everyone, but if you prefer a more formal dinner, your guide will give you some excellent recommendations.
Maybe you’ll find this fascinating, but wine culture and gastronomy are very advanced in Slovenia as there are many world-renown winemakers and chefs, including international star Ana Roš, who was named world’s best female chef of 2017. A table at her restaurant in Kobarid is hard to get, so the reservation should be done well in advance. Let us know if this type of experience is something you would be inserted in, we can prepare a whole tour based on Slovenian gastronomy pleasures.
Remember, you don’t need to eat at the hing-end restaurants to truly appreciate the variety of Slovenian cuisine. Your guide will point out all of the must-tries for you, most typical being kranjska sasage, potica and smelly local cheeses.
Slovenia is a tiny but incredible divers country. On a small area of just over 20.000 square kilometres you can find high Alpine mountains, deep Karstic caves, vast Pannonian plains, green vineyard hills and even a chunk of Adriatic Coast. Take advantage of Ljubljana’s convenient position in the very centre of the country to explore all its most important sights. Everything in Slovenia is less than two hours away and if you follow our week-long itinerary Best of Slovenia you can cover it all just by taking daily excursions from Ljubljana. Below are some of the most popular ones. They can be done with your own private driver guide or in a group with other passengers. Let us know what you prefer ➨ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being in the centre of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a great base for daily excursions
DAILY EXCURSIONS FROM LJUBLJANA
Among the most popular daily excursions from Ljubljana is of course the alpine village of Bled. Needless to say this fairy-tale place is just breathtaking from any point of view, but maybe best enjoyed from the terrace of Bled Castle while trying the traditional local pastry named kremšnita. Later take a ride in the traditional boat pletna to the tiny island in the middle of the lake and climb the 99 steps to the baroque Church of the Assumption. Don’t forget to ring the wising bell, although your wish has already came true just by visiting Bled. In the afternoon your private driver guide can take you to another alpine lake of Bohinj or to the nearby Vintgar gorge, both highlights of the area.
The other popular daily excursion from Ljubljana is to the region of karstic caves. The most famous one is of course the Postojna Cave – the largest cave system in Europe open to public – which can be visited in combination with the mysterious nearby Predjama Castle. Alternatively you can choose to visit the equally stunning, but less visited Škocjan Cave, the first natural attraction in Slovenia to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. But don’t be mislead: the two caves are anything but similar as Škocjan is more of an underground canyon than a cave.If you have time to spare, we recommend visiting both along with the nearby Lipica Stud Farm where you can admire the elegant white horses know as lipizzaners.
In the summer months, many of Ljubljana’s residents take a day trip to the coast. Why don’t you join them? You can cool of by taking a swim in the Adriatic Sea or explore the historic coastal towns of Piran and Koper. Finish your day with a tasty dinner in one of the local restaurants offering fresh sea food.
Did you know that the historic Italian port of Trieste or Croatian capital of Zagreb are both just a good hour away from Ljubljana as well? Since those cities has good airline connections with all Europe you might consider doing a twin or even a triple package and visit all this amazing destinations in one trip. Contact us at ➨ email@example.com to organise everything you need for a careless vacation – flights, accommodation and a professional driver guide.
We can also throw in other Balkan countries like Croatia and Bosnia – such is the case in our hit two-week itinerary Grand Balkan Tour that features 5 different states. Travellers who have done it with a private driver guide, love it for being super informative about similarities and differences between the nations of ex-Yugoslavia, their complicated history and political relations among them.
Furthermore you can extend your holidays in Slovenia with a small ship cruise on a luxury or standard vessel along the Adriatic Sea. The nearest ports of entry are Opatija, Rijeka and Poreč just over the Croatian border. Check out our wide selection of 7-night cruises and let us know if this type of vacation is something you would be interested in.
WINTER IN SLOVENIA CAN BE FUN TOO!
If you are a fan of Christmas lights and mulled wine, Ljubljana City Break in December is a great idea! Its cute Christmas Market can without a doubt rival those in Austrian towns (Klagenfurt, Graz, Villach, …) or Zagreb. But don’t take our word for it. They are all very close and since you are already here you can visit all of them. Let us organise the whole Christmas package for you. We will make sure to include the unforgettable experience of a biblical story staged in the awe-
The morning after you can hit the ski slopes to refresh your head and burn all those gingerbread calories. Not exactly in the same range as Austrian or Swiss Resorts, but on the other hand much more affordable, Slovenia has several well established ski centres like Kranjska Gora or Pohorje. Fist timers are welcome to try it too, since we can organise private ski lessons. Don’t be shy, it’s not as hard as it looks. Ice-skating on Bled Lake, Nordic skiing on Pokljuka plateau, ice-climbing in Mojstrana or even snow-castle bluing in Črna na Koroškem are just some of the other winter activities we can organise for you.
If you are not a fan of snow and cold, you can opt for one of the many spa centres, as Slovenia is also a renown thermal tourism destination. They are all easily reachable from Ljubljana and offer daily, weekend and weekly packages. Write us at ➨ firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
As you can see there are tons of options and who can give you better advice on what’s really worth seeing than a local? Trust us with your short Ljubljana City Break or a week-long holidays in Slovenia – we will make your time here count. Our mission is to offer well organised, yet flexible and personalised tours. Get in touch with us for your tailor-made itinerary.
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