The Slovenia Times

Visitors enchanted with Ljubljana


Large numbers of tourists are flocking to Ljubljana again this summer. Judging by the impressions some of them shared with the Slovenian Press Agency, they are charmed by the city's small size, comfort, and cleanliness. They point to to the abundance of green spaces, delicious Slovenian food, the friendliness of the locals, and the unique little shops in the old town.

According to the visors, the capital, which recorded over one million tourist arrivals a year prior to the coronavirus slump and is on track to returning to its pre-pandemic glory, has many locations worth visiting.

They point to Ljubljana Castle, the Ljubljanica riverside, Prešeren Square, Pogačar Square, the Franciscan Church, museums, galleries, and the old part of the city. Freya from the Netherlands also mentioned her visit to the counter-culture centre Metelkova. "It's fascinating to see the difference between the city centre and the alternative part of town," she said.

Vibrant yet friendly

Swati from Singapore talked about how she loves the city's vibe, as Ljubljana doesn't give off a bustling capital city feel. "It's great that the city centre is car-free, and you don't have to dodge traffic," she said. Swati also praised the wide variety of vegetarian food available.

Mia from Belgium and her family are exploring the city by bicycle. "It's fantastic that even as tourists, you can rent bikes so cheaply," she said. Although she has visited the city several times, she never ceases to be amazed by it. Mia also appreciates the abundance of free public restrooms in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana, which is Slovenia's most visited destination, was also given a go by Sheila and Ian from South Africa. While they are staying in Škofja Loka, they spent two days exploring the capital. Sheila praised Ljubljana for being a people-oriented place.

She also complimented the architecture and the friendly locals, but noted there was not much for those looking for a long night at the club. "You have more sophisticated tourists here, not as many partygoers, and it should stay that way," she said.

Perfect getaway

According to Angela from Greece, Ljubljana is perfect for a short getaway or a weekend escape. She doesn't find the city is lacking in anything. "I see many people using bicycles, and the city is peaceful, yet vibrant," she said, adding that it's an excellent starting point for exploring other parts of the country. Angela herself has visited Bled.

Most of the other tourists interviewed in the city also visited other parts of Slovenia, such as the Bled, and Bohinj lakes, the Postojna Cave, Škofja Loka, considered the best-preserved medieval city in Slovenia, the Trenta Valley, the picturesque town of Štanjel, and the coastal town of Piran, the country's Mediterranean gem.

Meanwhile, visitors also remarked on the small shops in the town, which many large cities have completely lost to shopping centres, while some also find it precious that Ljubljana still feels like a city where people not only work but also live.

Liv and James from London highlighted the absence of the stress usually associated with tourism. Asked to suggest what could be improved, James deliberated for quite a while but then noted that Londoners are used to being able to visit museums free of charge. Still, the museums are very accessible price-wise in Ljubljana, he added.

Tourists don't think of Ljubljana as an expensive city. They feel prices are comparable to other smaller European capitals, albeit being higher than in other, less touristy, Slovenian cities. Some say that food in supermarkets is expensive, while alcohol is affordable.

Great food, divine wines

Praise was heaped on the typical Slovenian dishes available in Ljubljana, in particular štruklji (pastry rolls with filling), žlikrofi (a ravioli-like pasta), Kranjska klobasa (Carniolan sausage), Matevž (pureed beans with cracklings), the Jota sauerkraut broth, and Slovenia's divine wines as well as craft beers.

Official statistics show visitors from Italy, Germany, the US, Serbia and Croatia spent most nights in Ljubljana in the first five months of 2023. The average tourist stays 2.2 days and spends €122.8 per day, according to data for 2022.

In recent years, Ljubljana's accommodation capacities have grown notably, also due to Airbnb and new hotels, including two five-star establishments. The average daily price of hotel accommodation between January and May was €87.6.


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