Lovely Ljubljana

Posted on April 22, 2010


I love Slovenia. Really, I think the tourist board should put me on commission. I have just finished my third business trip, I still adore it and hate leaving. Luckily everyone speaks English so it is very easy to get around too.

Ljubljana itself is small and very easy to walk around. You will see everything in a day, even just a few hours. But the joy of Ljubljana is not running around sightseeing, it’s relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere. Ideally when you are sitting in a café on one of the pedestrian streets that run next to the river, eating gelato, and admiring the triple bridge designed by Josef Plecnik.

And Slovenia has some great restaurants too. The cuisine is fusion, just really nice, good food. Here are a few that I have been to and really liked:

  • Salon (Trubarjeva 23) which is apparently new and uber trendy. It has a great menu with several classic dishes with a twists such as the steak tartare starter or the tuna sashimi with a varity of dips. I had carpacio of filet steak with salad and pistachios to start, followed by octopus skewers with a soup of black polenta and sea jelly. Octopus was cooked perfectly and the soup was actually really nice, not like anything I have had before. Starters are around 10eur, mains around 18eur.
  • Another super restaurant in the centre is Restavracija As. We sat on the back terrace under a giant tree which was lovely in the sun. The terrace at the front is good for relaxing and watching the world go by too. The food was delicious with a menu of asparagus soup or goats cheese salad, followed by sea bass or steak on grilled vegetables and potatoes toped with tapanade.
  • Last time I was in Ljubljana I went to Juliet has some good food, and a cheap menu at lunchtime (around 8eur). In fact the whole street was full of quaint restaurants, most with terraces. I also liked the look of Romeo, nicely positioned opposite Juliet but no relation sin ownership apparently.
  • For a local restaurant serving Slovenian Cuisine  try Pod Lipo which has a wonderful summer terrace under several trees for a little shade. It’s a really local place, just 10mins walk from the main centre.

You must try Slovenian wine too, especially the white. My favourite on this trip was

Ljubljana has a coffee shop culture, with some patisserie displays to rival Paris, and there are tons to choose from. A few that I have been to and enjoyed are:

  • At the Hotel Slon, Zvezda cafe is great with some elaborate drinks, good coffee and marvellous cakes.
  • Plato which is  a nice coffee shop with great snack food and good coffee. The location isn’t fantastic next to the main road but it’s a good meeting point.
  • Maxi Café is above shopping mall, with an outside area onto a square. Good for a mid-shop break or a pre-shop coffee boost.
  • Kavana at the Union Hotel is old school formal and therefore delightful. Somewhere to take your Mum.

I have stayed at the Hotel Slon every time I have been to Ljubljana. Actually I once stayed somewhere else but checked out after one night and went back to Slon. It’s a nice 4 star hotel with fantastically friendly staff, free wifi, comfortable beds and a really nice feel. It’s actually a Best Western Premier but don’t let that put you off. Bill Clinton stayed there when he visited town too.

To sum up, Slovenia should be on your list of places to go at least once and preferably in the next few years before everyone else discovers it and it becomes overcrowded. Next time I come I am talking a couple of days to explore, especially to visit the spectacular lake Bled and visit the coastline (nestled between Croatia and Italy).

Posted in: Balkans