Don't get fooled by the scenery flats of the old town and around Kongresni trg. It's just a Potemkin village for tourists. If you want to experience the real Ljubljana for its citizens, you really must visit its other parts. The most impressive of all will probably be the eastern suburbs of Zalog, Vevče, Kašelj, Sostro, Zadvor, Dobrunje. Indeed, these districts look like unofficial open air museums. Probably the last major investments into their public infrastructure happened about a century ago. Just be "impressed" by potholed streets and roads (if you intend to drive there you are recommended to get a SUV, if you want to cycle, don't forget a spare tire, when walking, watch your step), try to count the number of sewerage shafts and you'll wonder if the city's sewage treatment (not fully functional yet) is indeed located in Zalog, not far away from here.
For an excellent introduction you can watch this legendary video. No problem if you don't understand the text, you'll still get a very good impression.
All these districts are administratively parts of the City of Ljubljana. The mayor is day-dreaming about placing Ljubljana among the top 10 of the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. You decide how realistic is he. And it's really about time to reconsider your judgement about Ljubljana. Do you still believe it's a "great, hidden jewel of Europe" or "the world's most beautiful town" (the current mayor's favourite mantra) or maybe just a selendra?
To get there, just board a bus nr. 11, 12 or 13, conditionally also 25, and travel eastwards. To admire the "great" "infrastructure" you can get off more or less anywhere after the bus crosses the bypass highway ring. Warning: it's more or less impossible to top up your Urbana card anywhere in the area so make sure you check beforehand that you have enough credit or you'll have to walk several kms (very likely on a dangerous road without pavements) to the nearest place to top up! Also note that some buses don't drive very frequently. However you still shouldn't wait longer than 20 - 30 minutes on weekdays.
Krakow is proud of its Nowa Huta district, New York, Sydney, Toronto et. al. are so proud of their Chinatowns and also other ethnical districts, so it's really surprising why tourist authorities do not even try to promote some of "famous" and notorious Ljubljana eastern immigrant districts.
Both districts feature not so typical Soviet but still ugly and unfunctional socialist architecture and many immigrants from other parts of the former Yugoslavia settled here. To get to Fužine, probably the best way is by bus nr. 20 or 22, nrs. 11 and 25 also pass it and continue further eastwards. Just hang around any of the 3 shopping centers and do "people watching", watch their clothing and hair style, listen to their language. etc, watch people playing football, basketball or boules and try to spot tomorrow's Rašo Nesterović or Samir Handanović, admire numerous graffiti, just enjoy people's creativity due to lack of parking lots... Listen very carefully and sooner or later you'll hear some typical music through an opened window. And imagine the Slovenian novel of the year 2009 that with a few exceptions revolves exclusively in Fužine. Surprisingly you'll hardly find a traditional Balkan eatery or at least a burek stand in Fužine, there is only a traditional and not cheap Serbian restaurant at the district's north western corner. At its south eastern corner there is also a small Fužine castle, today hosting an architecture museum. Honestly, a small power station (visible from the nearby bridge and the other bank of the Ljubljanica river), attached to the castle, will probably be much more interesting.
Štepanjsko naselje is Fužine's western neighbour, just the other bank of the Ljubljanica. It's a bit older, a bit smaller, a bit less notorious and even uglier than Fužine. Other than that more or less the same applies. Contrary to Fužine, it also has some accommodation facilities (worth considering) and an excellent Bosnian ćevapčići stall can be found near the Mercator supermarket. To get there, take a bus nr. 5 or 9, conditionally also nr. 13 (get off at the Emona stop, in front of an ugly red commercial building).
Want to experience a different side of Ljubljana beside the kitchy tourist trap in the downtown? Consider visiting these two districts. Continuing your trip to the former Yugoslavia? Definitely visit them to get the first impression. Afraid of crime? Well, thefts from cars certainly do occur, other than that the area is probably even safer than other parts of Ljubljana. For an even more unique experience visit the area when Slovenia, Serbia or Bosnia & Herzegovina national football teams play international matches, possibly against each other or at important events (Euro, World Cup)
To be a small country has some advantages, one of them the short distance between the main top destinations. Ljubljana is a central point from where you may easily reach everything in a day trip. The small coast of Slovenia is about one hour distant, with Koper as the closest beach. More than a beach, is is an historic city with many other interesting points. We were in our way to Italy, and the visit was brief, but interesting enough to regret not having a few more hours for it, however, I could collect a few ideas mentioned in my Koper page.
At the edge of the touristy area, this park is not a must see, but, after seeing the "mandatory" points of the city, while using your extra time to discover "the other" Ljubljana, this square is very accessible, and... interesting. A nice small park, surrounded by some old buildings, it has in the middle a statue of Frank Miklosic, that inherited the base of Austrian Franz Joseph emperor's statue.
One of the advantages of the small countries is the ease to visit all the top highlights. Slovenia is no exception, and at about 120 km from a coast only a few kilometers long, there's no reason to miss a day in the beach, if the weather invites. Portoroz is the main beach, which means that it will be a good place for a overnight trip. That is, maybe, the best idea, freeing time to visit the beautiful Piran or Koper both at a very short distance.
One of the advantages of the small countries is the ease to visit all the top highlights. Slovenia is no exception, and at about 120 km from a coast only a few kilometers long, there's no reason to miss a day in the beach, if the weather invites. Portoroz is the main beach, but Piran is the most beautiful point of the coast, making it my favorite for a brief visit, with Koper as a reasonable alternative.
One of the advantages of the small countries is the ease to visit all the top highlights. Slovenia is no exception, and the Skocjan caves, only 80 Km from the capital is one of the many solutions for a day trip. As a UNESCO heritage, it is something not to miss. There are programs that include Postojna and Skocjan caves in the same day trip.
One of the advantages of the small countries is the ease to visit all the top highlights. Slovenia is no exception, and Postojna, only 55 Km from the capital is one of the many solutions for a day trip. As a UNESCO heritage, it is something not to miss. Included in this visit is usually Predjama castle, only ten minutes driving from Postojna. The castle impresses for its odd location, half hidden in a large cave.
One of the advantages of the small countries is the ease to visit all the top highlights. Slovenia is no exception, and Postojna, only 55 Km from the capital is one of the many solutions for a day trip. As a UNESCO heritage, it is something not to miss.
This old bridge across the river of Ljubljanica is situated after Zmajski most, and it is obviously out of use. Couldn't find out the name of it, however, I am sure it served for the passengers only.
Any help of the locals about?
Šiker restaurant built in 1870 is a typical Sloven restaurant, which is also a house of culinary specialities and wines.
They offer specialities such as roast duck with mlinci, venison salami, aspecial stew called Bograè and venison in hunter’s sauce, for dessert their excellent Charlotta.
They are actually a tourist point as along with thier wide culinary offer and nice ambient they offer much more: an old arched wine cellar, agricultural museum, summer garden, children’s playground and organised car park. Nearby is the Pristava lake, where you can walk or enjoy fishing. In Šiker restaurant it is not the kitchen and wine barrels that are of importance but also culture, smiles and a warm reception! I was really positively amazed over their kindness.
GOSTILNA ŠIKER Cotar Breda s.p.
Street and house number: Mocna 7
Post code and city: 2231 Pernica
They are opened:
Sunday and holidays: 10.00-21.00,
Monday, Tuesday: closed
Number of seating: 110, Garden 60
Ljubljana was Emona in Roman times, quite an important place, and it had all the appropriate Roman bits: walls, forum, streets, temples, shops etc etc. Little of this is visible (I suspect much has been destroyed over the centuries) and less is accessible without making prior appointments via the City Museum.
However, there are random bits of the Roman city wall to be seen on Mirje and near Kongresni Trg (although the latter were hidden behind hoardings when I visited, the whole city seemingly undergoing a massive programme of renovation).
I'd have liked a closer look at the Early Christian Place of Worship (in the photo above, on Erjavceva Cesta opposite Cankarev Dom) because it's unusual enough in itself to find Roman Christian remains, and because there are some interesting mosaics. Sadly, the gates were locked and I had no time to arrange a visit via the museum.
So if you want to visit, I suggest you plan in advance!
The St. Stanislav Institute is a hundred year old Catholic high school located NNW of downtown, about a 6 Euro taxi ride away. That's the bad news. The good news is that they offer a yearly schedule of enjoyable free concerts featuring Ljubljana-area musicians of all ages. The concert we heard was wonderful: seven largely a cappella choirs of Ljubljana--mixed choirs, men's choirs, women's choirs and one choir of young people that was probably from the high school itself. One of the choirs was edgy and very modern. A men's choir had an average age of 60 and a 90 year old soloist. The thing we loved the most was that it felt like we were having a musically excellent, but also an authentic regional experience. We were probably the only "non-Slovenians" in the audience, we got a chance to people-watch in an setting that was obviously warm and familiar to the people who were there. It was great. The Ljubljana tourism website lists the concert dates and the tourism office on Preseren Square also has the information. One additional "nuts and bolts" suggestion: it was critical at the end that we had a cell phone we could use and the phone number of a taxi company. A young usher who spoke English called us a taxi and it arrived promptly to take us home after the concert. We took the picture of the front gate while we waited.
From Bled, take road 209 entering Triglavski Narodni Park/Triglav National Park and drive all the way to Stara-Fuzina, then you will reach a very beautiful lake called Bohinjsko Jazero/Bohinj Lake.
Take the car and drive back, but instaed of going to Stara-Fuzina, take the road on your right (main pic) to Kaminje, Bohinjska Bistrica, Zelezniki to the beautiful town of Škofja Loka (second pic).
Located a stone's throw away from Ljubljanica river, the main square & the famous Three Bridges....more
My 1st choice, Hotel Emonec, was fully booked for our 1st night in Ljubljana so I decided to splurge...more
Would recommend this hotel being very central, staff very friendly, one thing the hotel heating...more