Ahhh… this often overlooked capital in that perilious path between Austro-Hungary and the Balkan world. I had zero understanding about Slovenia much less Ljubljana for most of my life and despite heavy research before the trip, still couldn’t put my finger on what to expect. What I found? An absolute gem of a city. It was all one can hope to stumble upon in our travels. A small, intimate historical outfit, with a delectable old town full of charming facades, outdoor markets, terrace cafes and beautiful alleyways that seduce you to explore. Locals cycle around town, sit at the steps of the square to dig into local delicacies and children run free and joyful chasing bubbles. By the end of our first day, me and my husband agreed that Ljubljana was in fact the prettiest and most polished capital in all the Austro-Hungary hotspots we ventured before. A Slovenian friend however, urged me not to spread the news, fearful of a stampede of tourism.
We spent the day strolling to all the places that define this empire – a bridge, a castle, a river, a town square. You should start with the modernised furnicular which takes you to the castle area, see the town from that perspective, then make your way back to town and keep walking to the Three Bridges, the Old Square, the Chain Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. For us, that pretty much captured the charm of Ljubljana.