Ljubljana - Abbey Travel, Ireland



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Welcome to Ljubljana


A city of culture and cuisine, boutiques, bars and hidden treasures, Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, exudes the confidence of an architecturally beautiful city that has 5,000 years of fascinating history tucked under its belt. The magnificent Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau edifices of its old town centre, and its many charming squares, emanate the atmosphere of a small town; while its lively cultural, scientific, educational and business communities leave no doubt that this is a modern city in tune with the times.

Ljubljana devotes itself mainly to cultural events, with many thousands of these gracing its calendar each year, including the Summer Festival, Jazz Festival and the Druga Godba Festival of Alternative Music. Music is the lifeblood of the city, which boasts one of the oldest established Philharmonic orchestras in the world, not to mention some accomplished street musicians. It is not all classical culture, however. With its large student population Ljubljana knows how to rock, and you are just as likely to hear the throbbing beat of club music emanating from buildings after nightfall, as you are the strains of violins.

Food is a big factor in any visit to Ljubljana, where all the best of Eastern European cuisine seems to have merged into a smorgasbordof delights, from delicate Viennese-style pastries to hearty Hungarian goulash.

Information & Facts


Ljubljana has a climate influenced by its situation in a large basin, surrounded by sub-Alpine and karst mountain regions. Summers are warmed by the balmy breezes from the Mediterranean, making the weather usually sunny and hot. During winter temperature inversions cause the foggy air to hang heavy over the city, bringing cold, moist conditions.

Getting Around

Ljubljana is a small, compact city that is easy to explore on foot, especially for those intent on appreciating the architecture. The next best option is the inexpensive and efficient bus service. Exact change is required for fares paid on boarding, or tokens can be bought at any newsstand. Cars are a liability in the city, which is largely pedestrianised, and parking is at a premium. Bicycles are a fun and convenient way of getting around, available for rent for a nominal fee and small deposit. Taxis are available and a good option after dark, when the bus service is radically reduced.

The official language of Slovenia is Slovene. Italian and Hungarian are also spoken in some communities.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Banks offer the best exchange rates for cash and travellers cheques. Banking hours are 8am to 12.30pm, and 2pm to 6pm on weekdays, and from 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. Numerous bureaux de change are open outside banking hours throughout the country. ATMs are readily available in major cities. Credit cards are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and shops.


Shopping in Ljubljana is fun and a great way to experience the city. Shoppers can browse the myriad of quaint shops along the cobblestoned alleys or peruse markets and larger shopping centres. BTC City is perhaps the largest shopping area in Ljubljana. Visitors to the BTC City area can choose from close to 500 shops while there are also casinos, sports facilities and arcade areas in the centre. Emporium at BTC City is the place to be seen and shoppers can choose from any number of labels such as Giorgio Armani, Hugo, Gucci and Jean Paul Gaultier. Muller Department Store is another great shopping option. For those wanting a more traditional shopping experience head to the Idrija Lace Gallery for some of the intricate and beautiful hand-made lace from the Idrijan region. The Central Market and the Antique and Flea markets are the best places to shop for souvenirs. The Central Market stocks handicrafts, souvenirs, art, flowers and food products; while the Antique Market is a great place to find hidden treasures as well as old books, hand-made jewellery, communist-era memorabilia and old postcards. While the Central Market is open during the week, the Antiques Market is only open on Sundays until 2pm.


Ljubljana offers a host of sightseeing attractions and things to do. Visitors can enjoy the Baroque architecture of the Cathedral of St Nicholas or the medieval Ljubljana Castle which watches over the city. Other things to do in Ljubljana include visits to the National Museum and Joze Plecnik House. For outdoor activities in Ljubljana visitors can include a visit to Tivoli Park or the Ljubljana Zoo on their Slovenia holiday itineraries.

The magnificent Baroque cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, dates from the early 18th century, but was renovated and had beautiful carved bronze doors added for the Pope's visit in 1996. The doors depict the development of Christianity in Slovenia, and give way to a richly ornate interior below the impressive cupola, and the stunning Giulio Quaglio frescoes.

Architect Joze Plecnik is largely responsible for the city of Ljubljana being as neat and well-planned as it is, with his insistence on classical lines and uniform dimensions. The renowned architect's home and studio, furnished and equipped as he left it, is open to the public a few days a week. His influence is, however, everywhere to be admired in the city at sites like the wide Shoemaker's Bridge and the colonnaded market beside the river.

The imposing landmark castle towers over the city, offering spectacular views of the Ljubljana River and the attractive skyline of the old town, with the distant Alps providing a backdrop. The medieval castle with its impressive tower, which was added in the 19th century, is linked to the old town by a steep cobbled street. The castle complex includes a museum, restaurant and chapel.

The quaint Ljubljana Zoo is situated in a forested area a short walk from the city centre. The small size of the zoo gives visitors a more intimate experience with opportunities to handle some of the animals, particularly the scary ones such as snakes and scorpions. Other animals at the zoo include wild cats, lions, sea lions, giraffes, elephants and as well as over 100 other spiecies. The zoo offers visitors to Slovenia a chance to stray from the normal tourist list of things to do in Ljubljana, and provides family vacationers with a wonderful way to entertain the children.

The impressive National Museum of Slovenia is housed in a lovely neo-Renaissance style palace, the most interesting and popular of Ljubljana's many museums. The permanent exhibition consists of archaeological material, displayed in chronological order, such as ancient Palaeolithic artefacts discovered in karst cave sites and even the only Egyptian mummy in Slovenia. A wonderful museum, that has a number of kid-friendly attractions and amenities.

Tivoli Park is a massive wooded area in Ljubljana. The park covers an impressive five square kilometres and is the perfect place for a picnic or evening stroll. Tivoli Park is a popular place to visit in Ljubljana and includes a number of ponds, playgrounds, sporting facilities, flower beds, grassy patches, forest and fountains. Visitors to Ljubljana will find that the park is the perfect place to go when they want to relax and really breathe in the beauty of this wonderful Slovenian city. Tivoli Park is also a wonderful place to take the kids, to let them run around a little and burn off some energy.

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