Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and the first stop on our recent trip there. The town is small (about 280,000 people) but trendy and cosmopolitan; it has designer boutiques, a castle on a hilltop, Roman ruins, Art Nouveau architecture, a gigantic park and a modern university campus all within 30 minutes walk from the train station.
The city’s Old Town is an area of pedestrian streets lined with beautiful architecture, restaurants and boutiques. On our first evening in Ljubljana we had dinner in the Old Town at Špajza. We ordered Jakončič Cabernet Sauvignon with our dinner and I was impressed. This wine comes from the western part of Slovenia that’s known for its wineries. Unfortunately this is not sold in stores across Slovenia but only distributed to restaurants. One would have to take a visit to the Jakončič winery to get a bottle of this delicious Cab Sauv.
The city is divided by the Ljubljanica River and the bridge leading to Ljubljana Central Market (Butcher’s Bridge) is decorated with key locks and interesting sculptures. The market has an outdoor area where you can get your fruits, vegetables and flowers but also two long indoor halls were you can get meat, cheese, fish, and pastry. The apple strudel I had there was the best I had in my life.
Right next to the market stands the Cathedral of St Nicholas which has a beautifully painted ceiling and great detailing on its metal doors.
Ljubljana Castle is located on a hilltop overlooking the city. Inside the castle there’s a great restaurant, Gostilna na Gradu, where we had dinner on our second evening in Ljubljana. I ordered goulash with polenta, a local speciality, and it was the best meal I had in Slovenia. There’s a funicular that takes you to the top but we didn’t know that it stops running at 9 PM. After dinner we had to make our way down the hill in complete darkness. A bit of an unnerving experience for me.