Once in Ljubljana, beware of the "Ljubljana Bug". This "harmful little animal" can bite you and contaminate for the rest of your life, so, be careful (lol). And not to mention if you are “unlucky” to meet the great people from the city as I did, then, you will want to go back to Ljubljana time and again!
PS: This tip is dedicated to the “evil” inhabitants of Ljubljana, lol!
When walking in Ljubljana streets there is the possibility you come across a famous pop star.
It happened to me!
VT member Rok told me the man in the picture is Steffanio, Game Over's singer.
There we were in sunny Ljubljana and a pop singer just passing by, just between us and our mean of transport. Yes, that blue van (Mercedes Vito) rode about 5000km with us...
Prepare your autograph notebook!
While walking around you will notice cycle lanes painted on pavements on many streets.
BEWARE - the cyclists take these very seriously and expect pedestrians to keep off. If you are going to cross one, check for approaching cyclists coming up behind you.
Remember - they are travelling quite fast and make no noise!
Beware: Slovenian portions are massive.
The food is fantastic (with Italian, Austrian and Slavic influences), very good quality and very reasonably-priced. But you will almost certainly be amazed by the amount on your plate, so be prepared!
The pizza in the photo cost 5 euros (mushroom and artichoke). It is a small pizza. It really is a small pizza: it says that on the menu! The half-litre beer glass is acting as a scale.
The salds (2009) cost 7 euros in the centre of Ljubljana, in a riverside cafe/bar.
Both, by the way, were delicious.
I only saw two beggars in Ljubljana (outside the main Post Office). They were of the 'kneel quietly and pray' type, and local people were giving them money. I thought that indicated a great lack of cynicism, and I envy the Slovenian nation that lack, and its demonstration of human kindness.
I don't think it can be much fun to be a beggar anywhere, particularly in European cities. I can't bring myself to believe that beggars beg because they are too idle to find work; I think they beg because they have to, for whatver reason (it was suggested to me that these beggars were Albanians).
Ljubljana is an incredibly safe and civilised city; maybe visitors to it should deal with the beggars (and the occasional busker) in a civilised way?
You can't save yourself from these yummy delights. You just can't say no to these. And they come in a million different flavors. Ice-cream stalls are practically in every little corner here in Ljubljana. How can you avoid them? You just can't! They are dangerously absolutely delicious!
Not a proper warning about the city really, but we felt we should advise other travellers accordingly. If you are thinking of buying wine or local brandy at the duty free shop in the airport, don't! Either buy them from local shops or from the little souvenir shop before you go through security as you can get a reasonably siszed bottle of viljamovka for 8 euro, and it is 30 euro plus for the same sized bottle in the duty free shop. Local wine was very pricy too and we were kicking ourselves that we couldn't go back out again.
Change up your money into Tolar before you go. You can only obtain Euros in slovenia now, but can still get Tolar at international airports. The exchange rate is favourable as prices are shown in both currencies. Thie is only for travellers before 14th January 2006 as they lose the Tolar completely then. Good luck!
Slovenia is generally a safe country (they do have a minor skinhead problem, though not as notorious as the ones in Germany) and the folks generally friendly to visitors.
However, as Slovenia is still pretty much a new country and quite unheard of/unfamiliar to folks in Asia, save for the Japanese and some Chinese travellers on tour packages, few Asians have ventured into Slovenia.
You may get a few curious stares coming your way, and maybe a few curious queries. No harm is meant; no malice is intended. This may get more so, as you moved out of the capital Ljubljana and into the towns and villages.
Even the custom officers at Brnik Airport had curious questions for me....and I had to provide quite a few details to ensure that I am not about to stay in Slovenia permanently illegally. (Slovenia is a member of the EU)
In fact, at most of the places I visited, I seem to be the sole representative from Asia. It was really kinda fun!!
Perhaps as more Asian travellers visit Slovenia, we will become less of a novelty.
If you decide to climb to the castle make sure you're fit and able to do it! I chose to climb via the track from Vodnik Square called Studentovska Ulica which is very steep and is also unpaved and has hardly any steps. It is a very steep climb indeed and I passed a family who were pushing a pram up it as well! At least there are some seats at the top so you can take a rest.
(old tip - 1999) Just a warning: do not rely on ATM machines for cash retrievals: they simply do not exist, you have to go for a change, be prepared for that !
(new tip - 2006) ATM machines everywhere ...
This is a very safe city, and in no way did I feel threatened, even late at night. However, there are places around the city where some hateful messages are spraypainted (i.e. swastikas and messages telling tourists to die, etc). The people are very nice and everyone who I saw and talked to was very welcoming of us. So when you get to Ljubljana for the first time, don't feel threatened by these messages.
Hanging around the Central station waiting for the train wasn't as much fun as I'd expected... :) Just kidding! It was funny because all of a sudden the wind started blowing as we were trying to rest on a bench. The 'Ljubljana' sign started rocking so hard I really got scared! :) I had a feeling it's gonna fall out of the ceiling - it was 'dancing' so hard! Luckily, our train came pretty soon, so we just started 1 more great ride - with smiles on our faces... :)
Avoid this restaurant - it is unreasonable expensive! The waiter won't tell you the price of the wine. You just get a menu when you ask for it. It's probably the most expensive restaurant in Ljubljana.
The only unpleasantness we encountered in Lubljana came interestingly enough from the waiters. All in all they were a surly lot. I guess they take their restaurants seriously. We made the mistake of only drinking wine in one place--without ordering food. I guess that is a serious offense as we were berated by the waiter because his establishment was clearly not a bar or pub. At another place, our campanion had the temerity to ask if they served pizza. A tonguelashing ensued about how this establishment was a center of fine dining and not some pub or bistro (actually the food was not that good at this place.)
So be on the watch for the surly waiters or they will get you too.
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