Who's the Weirdo Behind al this, and what are her Intentions
Hi, I’m Oja, a Libra aged 28. I’m a writer, a translator and an avid traveller who likes her home city very much and therefore wants other people who decide to come over to like it, too. However, liking Ljubljana is not always easy. If you don’t know where to stay, where and what to eat, how to get by if the person you encounter doesn’t speak any English and how to make the most of your night out, Ljubljana can be hell. Therefore I put up this makeshift companion to Ljubljana which will help you find accommodation, food, fun and (hopefully) people to your liking. In choice of addresses I observed my own criteria, which are, as I was happy to learn on my travels, criteria of many other travellers, too. The principal one is that having fun is just as important as seeing things and learning about them. Agree?
I tried to be as practical and helpful as possible. However, some addresses are missing (I couldn’t find them so I named only streets or orientation tips, which can in most cases be enough because the streets of Ljubljana tend to be quite short), but as these pages are constantly under construction, they will appear sooner or later. Some addresses are added a word in brackets (e.g. Trnovo, Šiška), which denotes the area they’re in and thus narrows down your search. If there is no such mark, it means that the place is in the centre. Phone numbers are provided for all hotels and most of restaurants - just where you need them. There are also links to Web pages where available.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank the ‘In Your Pocket’ collection for inspiration, and all of you who will send any suggestions, tips and stories of how you survived Ljubljana yourself. A yet bigger thanks goes to all the people (and they were many) who helped me out on my own travels in any way. This is an attempt to return the favour.
Small Print: All given material is subject to change. Last update: April 2003.
"First Things First"
The currency of Slovenia is called Slovenian Tolar (SIT), and has been pretty stable since its introduction in 1991. The current exchange rates (January 2002) are as follows:
1 EUR = 222 SIT
1 USD = 251 SIT
1 GBP = 360 SIT
1 CHF = 151 SIT
1 AUD = 130 SIT
Besides banks and post offices, exchange offices or 'menjalnice' can be found all over the town – often so close to one another that it's worth checking out two or three to compare the rates. All of the above mentioned places accept travellers cheques. Their opening times are 7 – 19. Some of the places where you can change money 24 hours a day: the reception of hotel Slon (cash only), the post office near the Railway Station (cash and travellers cheques), taxi drivers (do it only if you need some cash urgently, and change small sums if possible).
I'm finally able (and glad) to tell you that the ATM situation has improved greatly. Your VISAs, Maestros and other cards will be welcomed all over the town – not exactly on every cash machine, but definitely on every other. So if you need cash and cannot get it from the first one, go look for the next one. Your odds are almost 100%.
At Cankarjevo nabrezje (near cafe Macek) they rent bikes for 500 SIT/hour or 2.500 SIT/day.
Buses are the only means of public transport in the city. To jump on one, buy a token (zeton) at newsagents' or a post office. Currently they cost 150 SIT. If you don't have a token, a trip will cost you 210 SIT. Note that you should have an exact sum, because drivers don't return any change. Once on the bus, you can go as far as you like, but if you want to change buses you will need another token (or more cash). Daily (600 SIT) and weekly (2500 SIT) tickets can be bought at the stand marked 'LPP' on Bavarski dvor. Buses run from 5 to 22.30, some of them (2, 3, 6, 12) start at 3 and run until midnight.
Finding a parking spot is a problem increasing literally from day to day. The best bet seems to be the Central Station where 8 hours will cost you only 400 SIT. If you drive through the city, note that the speed limit is 50 km/h, unless stated differently. You should have your headlights on all the time and NEVER drive through the yellow light.
The network is extensive and rather cheap (about 120 SIT a kilometre). The rate's lower, however, if you ring one (9700 is the number which will get you a taxi quickest) instead of hailing it down in the street. Avoid the taxis waiting on the Central Station because they tend to be the most expensive.
"Where to Stay"
UPMARKET (15.000 SIT and more)
Grand Hotel Union
Miklosiceva cesta 1
Tel.: 308 12 70
A stylish fin-de-siècle building with an excellent location (in the strictest centre of the city) boasts guests like Bill Clinton, Mika Hakkinen and George Bush Jr.
Singles with bath: 28500-30200
Doubles with bath: 30200-36500
Miklosiceva cesta 3
Tel.: 308 11 70
Singles with bath: 22300-25400
Doubles with bath: 29600-35500
Miklosiceva cesta 9
Tel.: 432 61 33
Singles with bath: 17000-19000
Doubles with bath: 24000-27000
Vosnjakova ulica 1
Tel.: 433 21 55
Singles with bath: 35500-46500
Doubles with bath: 38500-46500
Hotel Slon Best Western
Slovenska cesta 34
Tel.: 470 11 00
Singles with bath: 15000-20500
Doubles with bath: 21600-27000
MID-RANGE (about 10.000 SIT)
Trg prekomorskih brigad 4 (Siska)
Tel.: 513 70 00
Singles with bath: 7200-9870
Doubles with bath: 10860-13560
Dalmatinova ulica 15
Tel.: 432 23 43
Singles with bath: 9700
Doubles with bath: 14000
Celovska cesta 264 (Siska)
Tel.: 519 21 25
Singles with bath: 7600
Doubles with bath: 10000
BUDGET (yet clean and safe)
Tabor 9 (Tabor)
Tel.: 433 13 06, 232 13 98
Fax: 433 05 46
Singles: 7.500 - 8.500
Doubles: 9.000 - 12.000
Breakfast is included in both cases.
Bit Center Economy Class Hotel
Litijska 57 (Stepanjsko naselje)
The best bet at the moment. 4150 SIT for a single, 6800 for a double/triple, all with bath. It's also a sports centre, and the hotel guests get 50% discount with all activities on offer. It's a bit far from the centre, but buses 5, 9, 13 and 22 will take you there in some 15 minutes.
BED AND BREAKFAST
Tel.: 421 96 00
Sleep on a superb location, in the strict centre of Ljubljana, will cost you about 10.000 SIT a night.
Till recently, Ljubljana must have been the last European (or global) capital without a proper youth hostel, and I had to blush many times disclosing this shameful fact to my brothers and sisters in budget. But as I almost abandoned all hope, it happened! Celica (The Cell) opened its door on 30 May. Located only some 300 m from the central station and situated within the complex of former military barracks, this aesthetically unique spot (adorned with paintings by several well-known alternative artists) will provide a bed and a shower for about 11 euro per night. All year round! Welcome!!!
Tel.: +386 1 43 01890
Dijaski dom Tabor
Vidovdanska 7 (Tabor)
Tel.: 232 10 67
Recommendable for its location - about five minutes’ walk from the Central Station. Dorm beds at 2.800 SIT. A students’ home during the year, it’s open only in July and August.
Kardeljeva ploscad 28 (Bezigrad)
Tel.: 534 28 67
Also a students’ home during the year. All rooms are doubles, but it’s far less central than Tabor. To get there, take bus no. 6, direction Crnuce, and get out at the first stop after the football stadium.
Dunajska cesta 260 a (Jezica)
Tel.: 568 39 13
Situated near the river Sava, it welcomes tents and caravans. Some 6 km from the centre, it’s accessible by bus no. 8, direction Jezica. Bungalows are available all year round, costing 8200 SIT for two persons and 12200 SIT for three.
THE BEST IN TOWN
Tel.: 251 41 44
If you ask cuisine connoisseurs or hedonists willing to part with any amount of cash to indulge in gastronomic pleasures, most of them will be unanimous: if you're after a true taste bud involving experience, head to the PEN Club of Slovenia. Not just to meet the writers (although they might be happy to see you too), but especially for what awaits at the first floor of a lovely building next to the Opera. You might be a bit shocked to see the interior of the restaurant itself: it will probably remind you of the living room of your grandma's who last re-arranged it back in the 70's, but as soon as you sit down on one of those cosy chairs, you're bound to love it along with the owner known as Miki, who will personally advise you if (or if not) in doubt about what to order. Menu varies from day to day (i.e. seven times a week), but ingredients are always fresh and quality tops. Due to the huge popularity of the place, you absolutely need to book. Prepare to ease your wallet for about 10.000 SIT per person.
Kranjceva 26 (Bezigrad)
Tel.: 01 565 55 30
Open: every day except public holidays.
Situated in the POP TV building (you can't miss it), this place lures customers with specialties like crocodile, ostrich, zebra and the like. I'm yet to test it, but you can do that before me and tell me what it's like.
Gornji trg 20
Tel.: 01 251 22 14
A place serving excellent (and not too Europeanised) Moroccan food. A bit upscale, but worth it. Since it shares its quarters with Pri sv. Florijanu (look under 'French') you can combine the two culinary worlds. Hint: couscous with seafood + creme brulee!
Casa del Papa
Celovska cesta 54 a (Siska)
Tel.: (01) 434 31 58
American in the broadest geographical sense, for it serves food from both North and South continents. Since Ernest Hemingway is the principal inspiration of the place, you can enjoy dishes called ‘Green Hills of Africa’ or ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. Good food, but prepare to pay hard, both for the quality and for the name.
Dunajska 145 (Bezigrad)
Tel.: 56 56 800
For those lucky few who have the real Bosnian mamas and grandmas, this place may be a far cry from the real thing. For anybody else, its selection of dishes like dolma (vegetables stuffed with meat), Travnik goat cheese and mixed cevapcici with different spices is still new and fresh enough to deserve a recommendation. Last but not least for its quality - price relation: three people can get their stomachs full and their tongues wet for as little as 5000 SIT.
Chinese restaurants are not the cheapest places to eat in Ljubljana (although it might soon change, for their number is growing from year to year). A filling meal with soup, main course, rice and, say, fried bananas, will cost you around 1.500 SIT.
Litijska (Stepanjsko naselje)
Cesta ljubljanske brigade 5
Tel.: 505 33 59
Ižanska cesta 282 (Barje)
Telefon: 01/ 427 22 61 / 041 816 621
Stihova ulica 2 (Bezigrad)
Tel.: 230 11 67
Gornji trg 23
Tel.: 251 93 37
Slajmerjeva ulica 1a
Tel.: 300 62 00
Veliki Hong Kong
Gameljska 1 (Crnuce)
Tel.: 537 26 04
Dolenjska 105 (Rudnik)
Tel.: 427 75 25
Croatian / Dalmatian
Dalmatinska konoba Antonio
Tel.: 430 11 11
Make sure you try delicious brodet (fish goulash) with polenta, octopuss with potatoes, scampi and mussels 'na buzaro' (in wine sauce) and similar specialities. Order a good Dalmatian red wine like plavac or dingac with it.
"Restaurants - continued"
Studenec 2a (Fuzine)
Tel.: 540 05 88
Open: 12 – 15, 19 – 23. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Slovenska cesta 34 (inside hotel Slon)
A top-class restaurant specialised for haute cuisine.
Pri sv. Florijanu
Gornji trg 20
Tel.: 251 22 14
What used to be Japanese restaurant is now a French one. A very good one as I hear!
Gornji trg 4
Tel.: 422 25 50
I had a bit of laugh when they advertised themselves as doing 'Greek kitchen'. Anyway, people say it's not bad.
· Stari trg
· the passage behind ‘Nama’ department store
Snack bar rather than real restaurant. But expect juicy gyros and tasty salads.
B>International / General
Tel.: 425 88 22
Quality is guaranteed, but prices are outrageous. Expect to pay 12.000 SIT for a complete meal!!! If you want to impress your business partners, this is the place to go.
Zadobrovska cesta 18 (Polje)
Tel.: 529 15 50
Open 10 – 23. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Tel.: 01 434 44 28
Fax.: 01 230 11 72
A place which gained a good reputation due to its huge choice of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes from all over the globe, reasonable prices, friendly staff and the fact that it's open every day in the week. I think you can't go wrong here.
Tel.: 432 61 23
It's top class. I haven't read a bad review so far.
Ziherlova 36 (Trnovo)
A bit of all – from pizza and calamari to goulash and cordon bleu. Good quality.
An elegant, moderately-priced place will serve you various dishes and a good range of wines.
Rozna dolina c. II 3 (Rozna dolina)
Fantastic lasagna which will really fill you up. Plus a variety of other geographical latitudes.
Tel.: 421 96 00
Good quality and constant experiments with new cuisines. If you want to taste something you never tasted before, bear pate will be the thing for you.
Ciril Metodov trg 18
Good, filling lunches and nice interior.
Kolodvorska ulica 18a
Serving pizza, lasagna, Wienerschnitzel and sandwiches as well as burek, cevapcici and pleskavica. Open late (until about 3 AM), it is a great place for a good-night (or good night) snack. They never run out of anything. Good cappuccino, too.
Kolodvorska ulica 8
Long tradition, good reputation.
A small and cosy place (due to this, often full, too). Good and very filling pizzas (I never managed the whole one), cannelloni, Wienerschnitzel and so on. Try something very good and very Slovenian: bograc, the game and potato goulash of Prekmurje.
Situated on a quiet and beautiful part of Ljubljanica bank, this restaurant has always enjoyed good reputation. Unfortunately, high prices come as a part of the deal.
Serving a broad choice of pasta, lasagna, bruschetta, meat dishes and other favourites of our Western neighbours. Prices vary, but in general you should fill your stomach for some 1500 SIT. Pizzerias are deliberately excluded, because they can be found just everywhere.
Tomsiceva (near Opera)
Although its been getting mixed reviews, it's worth a visit for a rich salad bar if nothing else. Due to its location, many employees of the Opera grab their lunch there, so you might even catch some of them discreetly rehearsing their parts.
tel: 01 568 67 40
(open 8.00 - 22.00, Sundays 10.00 - 22.00)
tel: 01 283 52 94
(open 12.00 - 23.00, Saturday 12.00 - 17.00)
Trzaska cesta 5 (Vic)
Litijska 47 (Stepanjsko naselje)
Precna ulica 7
Trg republike (near Maximarket)
Rather small portions and arrogant staff. Try to look rich and perhaps they get friendlier.
"Restaurants - continued"
Joe Pena's Cantina Y Bar
Medvedova 18 (Siska)
Tel.: 438 24 50
Kranjceva 26 (POP TV building)
Tel.: 589 36 62
Jamova cesta 23a (Vic)
Tel.: 425 25 00
Not only Mediterranean fish, but also the inhabitants of more Northern sea spheres. The chef spent quite some time in Norway, so expect the specialties of that area.
Tel.: 01/ 256 14 02
Highly praised but accordingly priced. Slow-food for the real gourments who prefer 'good' to 'loads'.
Ob Ljubljanici 24 (Kodeljevo)
A popular place with a great variety of fish.
Kuhinja pri babici
Trzaska cesta 200 (Vic)
Famous for its huge ‘scampi’.
Zupanciceva 2 (near Opera)
A traditional place for fish lovers.
Tbilisijska 59 (Vic)
Tel.: (01) 200-50-80
Open every day from 10 to 22.
Serving seafood, meats, pizzas...
Cesta na Roznik 18 (Rozna dolina)
The most popular place to taste the peaks of traditional Serbian barbecue, like pleskavica (a kind of hamburger, only better), cevapcici (small and spicy minced meat rolls), prebranac (baked beans), vesalica (roast meat) and so on, with loads of hot paprika, of course.
Poljanska 99 (Kodeljevo)
All of the above, and also very popular. Enjoy a wide variety of barbecued specialities at about 1500 SIT a portion.
Zaloska cesta 31
Tel.: 542 37 77
Trpinceva 73 (Fuzine)
Tel.: 546 22 04
Worth visiting for its beautiful summer garden and the view of Ljubljanica, its waterfalls and Fuzine Castle. At least this is what the owner promises.
Cesta na Loko 28 (Trnovo)
Tel.: 283 88 33
An excellent, if a bit pricey place. Sit in their big shadowy garden and spoil yourself with delicious steaks, fish, or mushroom dishes.
Gosposvetska cesta 1
Tel.: 426 50 00
Dvorni trg 1
251 65 55
A choice of Slovenian dishes, like beef soup and other standard Sunday lunch stuff. Below it there is a very good pizzeria of the same name.
Slovenska cesta 40
251 95 75
Try their mushroom soup made in a dish of bread, and buckwheat rolls with cheese.
Not the cheapest place, but worth a try for its top quality. They serve different food in different seasons so that the ingredients can be always fresh. Black pudding and sour cabbage in winter, lighter meals in summer.
Privoz 11 (Prule)
Tel.: 252 49 83
Very popular among Sunday lunch makers.
Zelezna cesta 14 (Zupanciceva jama)
Tel.: 434 76 52
Elegant and intimate place with great seafood and unmissable desserts. Don't skip chocolate or fruit slice if it's the last thing you do!
Meson Don Felipe
Streliska ulica 22
Tel.: 434 38 62
"General on culinary offer"
Besides these, there are (generally good) pizzerias at every corner (best pizzas in town can, in my opinion, be found at Trnovski zvon and Kratochwill), sandwich bars (like Tomato on Subiceva, serving a myriad kinds of sandwich and other simple dishes at reasonable prices) indispensable MacDonald’s and Dairy Queen, and real, greasy and juicy Albanian burek you can get from the stands at any time of day (great if your stomach feels kind of empty after hours of partying). A good bet for kebab is Kebapci at Trubarjeva 47. Pleskavica is also a very typical, tasty and widely available snack. The rule is: the wetter the better!
VEGGIE TO VEGGIE
Being a vegetarian myself, I’m often faced with trouble as far as stomach filling is concerned. In Ljubljana, options are more or less scarce, but quality is generally satisfactory. As far as I know, there is only one vegetarian restaurant in the city, Hestia at Smartinska, quite near the Central Station. They mostly offer Indian food, but that’s all I can tell for I haven’t tested it yet. In standard restaurants, opt for anything which has ‘zelenjavni’ or ‘zelenjavna’ in its name, for it means ‘vegetable’. If you eat fish or ‘riba’, as it’s called in Slovenia, your choice is much broader and no restaurant should let you walk away hungry. For quick snacks, go for ‘sirov’ (cheese) burek or vegibab (at Kebapci they make it really yummy). In pizzerias, choice is wide, and you must be really unlucky to walk into one which doesn’t serve ‘vegetarijanska’. If you’re vegan, you’re sentenced to salads and self-catering - presumably just like anywhere else.