We’ll be honest and say we much prefer the long, hot days of summer to the months when we’re wrapped in many layers and seeing darkness at what feels like mid-day. That said, this year we’re determined to make the most of the winter months, so we’re sure to hit March feeling good.
For a start, we’ll make full use of Merry December (Veseli December), going downtown to see the lights and get something warm to eat and drink from the stalls. People travel for miles to enjoy the scenes here, and a bag of chestnuts and cup of mulled wine while walking around, or sitting under a blanket at a café, is one of the real treats of the season. One thing to be careful of: ordering hot chocolate (vroča čokoláda) will get you a cup of hot, chocolate pudding, so go for cocoa if that’s what you want.
Shop for Warm Clothes
We’ll also take advantage of the cold weather to dress up nice and wrap up warm. It feels good to have on one outfit for walking around, and then go inside, peel that off, and reveal something else. All that mulled wine means we often lose hats, scarves and gloves, so a frequent task this time of year is to buy replacements. There’s some fine stores downtown, but for serious shopping in the winter check out BTC. It doesn’t have the beauty of the Old Town, or all the great boutiques and cafes, but is fully heated and easily reached by bus or car.
Visit the Local Markets
Any visitor to Ljubljana should make an effort to check out some of the regular markets. It’s interesting to see what’s on offer, and at what price, but is also a great way to mix with locals and see a side of life you won’t catch in many other settings. We recommend the daily markets, both covered and open, at the Central Market (Glavna Tržnica), and don’t forget to head downstairs by the river to see the fish market. The Sunday morning antique and flea market, just down from Cobblers’ Bridge, has an interesting selection of items from the days of Yugoslavia, and is great for browsing.
Get Some Exercise
We haven’t been ice skating since we took a slip and couldn’t walk right for a week, but if you’re the type who stays upright then you can enjoy the winter at the ice rink in Tivoli Park. This also has many paths of to explore if you want get some fresh air in your lungs and enjoy the view of the city, and if it snows, there’s sledding. If you’re travelling out of town there’s skiing in the hills, but we prefer to hibernate at home with food and drink, gaining the weight needed to make it through to spring, and this brings us to our last activity.
The winter’s made for heavier food, and it’s the time of year we find ourselves most tempted to go out and enjoy a big plate of Balkan meats. Even if we stay home we’re cooking rich fare, with plenty of butter and wine. If you’re visiting at this time of year we recommend you forget about the diet for a day or two, and really enjoy the good food on offer in Ljubljana, with dishes and prices to suit everyone. See our restaurants section for some ideas of what’s on offer.