Ljubljana, Slovenia is quite a beautiful town! We were there in December, which is Christmas market time. Starting around the 3rd of 4th of December, the entire Old Town area of the city is beautifully lit in Christmas lights with Christmas market booths lining the river. The booths are full of thick hot chocolate, honey mead and hot wine – at almost any time of the day!
Things to Do
If you are in town on December 5, there is a St. Nicholas procession and celebration in the main square that is very entertaining with dancing and music. Children are gathered around to get candy and see St. Nicholas. It’s quite an experience. Come a bit early to get a good spot. Procession of St. Nicholas – December 5
A Boat Ride down the Ljubljanica River is nice any time of year! The river and Old Town area are really beautiful. There are plenty of boats to choose from.
The Ljubljana Castle is a must-see. It’s on a hill high above the city. You can take a funicular to the top or walk 20 miuntes up the hill. The funicular is very modern and safe and kids especially will enjoy it. At the top is the castle. You can walk around the courtyard, check out the views and get a treat at the cafe, or you can pay to see different exhibits in the castle, including a short film on the history and access to the watch tower. There’s also an old chapel and jail cells.
The strange thing about Ljubljana is that most places have long menus listed outside, but only actually serve a few items from them at different times. Be aware of this and if there is something that sounds good, check to see if they actually have it that day before you sit down.
Julija was the best restaurant we found during our trip. It was a very nice place, the food was actually quite good, they had everything on the menu and the service was excellent!
Where to Stay
We spent 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Union Business . While it’s not a pretty hotel from the outside, the inside is very modern, nice and clean. There are lots of nice products in the bathroom and the rooms were great. The breakfast is fabulous – probably one of the best selections I’ve had in any hotel. The location is also superb. So again, while you may be disappointed by the outside, the inside and rooms are well worth the price and you can get everywhere you need to go (at least in the old town). There is a fancier Grand Union hotel next door – the Executive, I believe. It’s probably great, but the Business hotel is a bit cheaper and you get the same location.
After 2 days at the hotel, we spent another 2 nights at an AirBnB apartment. The apartment we got in Ljubljana was extremely nice (2 levels) and the woman who owned it was very friendly and spoke great English. The location was basically at the end of the Old Town and big shopping street (about a block away). The neighborhood would be nice, except for a few half-deteriorating buildings – but it was still safe and there was a nice bakery right across the river to get breakfast. So I can recommend this apartment with the only drawback being the rotting house next door – but again, it’s very safe and nice otherwise.