Ljubljana is the capital and largest city in Slovenia, but its population is only about a quarter of a million. Even as the cultural and business capital of the country, this is a modest sized city with charm spilling over at its edges. People have compared this to a smaller version of Prague, but it’s not on all the package tours yet so there is still time to see Ljubljana before it’s overrun.

What To Do

Old Ljubljana is the historic center of town and one of the main draws for travelers. You’ll find medieval churches and monuments all throughout this charming area, but you’ll also notice the dragon motif, which is the trademark of the city. And speaking of dragons, don’t miss the Zmajski Most (Dragon Bridge), which is guarded by four angry-looking specimens.

One attraction that is hard to miss is the Ljubljana Castle, mainly because it dominates the city and is visible from almost everywhere. You can take a train or funicular up to the top of this hill, or walk if you’ve got the energy. This area has been inhabited since before the 12th Century, but parts of the current structures have been rebuilt in centuries following due to earthquakes and the like. There is a virtual 3D tour attraction at the castle now, but some say it’s overrated.

Getting There

Ljubljana is centrally located in the region so it’s a great place to visit by train, particularly if you are coming from Venice, Vienna, or Munich. If you are coming from further away you’ll want to book a flight into the city’s modest Brnik Airport. There are flights available from all the major cities in Europe and a couple of discount airlines use this airport so prices can be competitive. The airport is not close to town, but regular shuttle buses make the run for a reasonable cost.

Where To Stay

This is a small city so location should not be a major concern here. There are a couple of hostels in Ljubljana and quite a few hotels in Ljubljana as well. Summer is the busiest season, but the spring and autumn weather can be very mild and agreeable. It’s cold and snowy in winter, but the Christmas season is done well here and ski areas are close by. Particularly in summer it pays to plan ahead.