the low down
What we did: A brief stopover
turned in to a 5-night stay as we were sucked into the idyllic
environment of this town. There aren’t too many sights to
see (we saw most of them in a day), but the real magic of this
town is doing what everyone else is doing: just strolling around
or sipping drinks in cafes and generally being happy to be alive.
There are manicured parks throughout the city where people hold
hands, sit and read or listen to music or practice their juggling.
Overall: What’s not
to like? (See ljubljana:
perfect little town.)
Essentials: You can get everything
you need for a relaxing vacation here – books (English,
French, German and of course, Slovenian), sunhats, ice-cream,
but there aren’t big mega-plex shopping malls to get things
like a satellite dish or a jet ski. (correction:
for info about a nearby mall, see the comment from a local reader
below.) Their bookstores do have the *biggest* selection
of travel books we’ve ever seen. Also, if you’re coming
in July and August, it is their peak tourist season and if you
want to book a cheap hotel or double-room in a hostel in the city,
you should do it at least a week or so in advance.
Food: The food here is a mix
of food from their neighboring countries. In addition to grilled
fish and meats you see a lot of Italian food (pizzerias), some
Hungarian, and some Turkish. Seemingly random there are also 2
Mexican restaurants in town and one upscale sushi joint.
People: It is full up with
(European) tourists at the moment, but it’s a very relaxed
atmosphere so it’s still comfortable. On the contrary, it’s
quite lively and soothing. You can still hang out with the locals
every morning at the town market where everyone does their daily
Cost of Living: The price
of hotels skyrockets during this time of year but otherwise the
cost here is still a bit cheaper than other European countries.
Daily budget: We solved the
high-season prices problem by staying in a double room in the
university dorm youth hostel (i.e. bunk beds) for 28€ plus
5.00€ for breakfast for the two of us (see ljubljana:
5-star soap in a 0-star bathroom). We ate out for the
other two meals and with other small purchases we spent a little
less than $100 US/day combined.
Exchange rate: $1 USD = 194
What's fabulous: The atmosphere.
It's easy to see why so many Europeans steal away here for a week
or weekend to relax.
Weather: It rained a few days
that we were there but it seems like it’s raining in all
of Europe at the moment. On the other days the weather was beautiful,
sunny but not too hot.
Getting around: The town is
compact, so it’s easy to find your way around the neatly-organized,
cobble-stone (and clean!) streets, each lined with pleasant-looking
historic homes with boxes of flowers on their balconies. And it’s
easy to get to the rest of Europe quickly by train.
Difficulties: There aren’t
really grocery stores here (though there are a few mini-marts),
so if you miss the morning market, you can’t buy good produce
anywhere else. During high-season, the small city is completely
packed so arrive early in the morning to grab accommodations or
make sure to book in advance. We arrived at 10 am and were the
last people to grab rooms in the last hostel with availability.
Check out the ljubljana
gallery for pix of all the above!