Despite celebrating its 2000th birthday in 2014, Ljubljana has only been the capital of an independent nation since 1991. It is this curious mix of two thousand years of evolution combined with understandable youthful enthusiasm that has created the city we know and love today. The history of the Slovene nation is a history of a proud struggle against larger, stronger neighbours, be they Germanic to the north, Italian to the west, Hungarian to the east and Serbian and Croatian to the south. As such, Slovenia has seemingly taken the best of all these, added them to a strong inherent culture to create a cultural stew (bograč maybe) that we’re thrilled to be in the centre of.
It might not be the biggest city in the world (in fact, with only 280,000 inhabitants it is one of Europe’s smallest capitals and slightly smaller than Coventry), but Ljubljana uses this to its advantage and has a genuine cosmopolitan feel with all the comfort and friendliness of the smallest village. Take a geographical position that is the very definition of ‘Central Europe’, a long and proud tradition of culture and the arts and a relatively high quality of life, drop it in the middle of the Alps and you are on the right path to getting a feel for Ljubljana.
Nature plays a big part in the lives of Slovenians, and just by opening your eyes it isn’t hard to see why. The gorgeous lakes of the Gorenjska region are a short drive north, so be sure to check out our guide to Bled (and the surrounding area). The Istrian coast is just a throw of a stone to the west, and we’ve got that covered as well with our guide to Slovenian Istria. The east doesn’t miss out, and our guide to Maribor (Slovenia’s second city) will point you in the direction of arguably the best wine in this wine-mad country.
A free PDF download of our latest guide to Ljubljana can be found here, and with over 400 distribution points in the city (and surrounding area) you’re never far from a print copy. We’ve been warbling too long, so don’t waste another minute and get out and enjoy the finest country on the continent. Not that we’re biased or anything.
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