The capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is almost a microcosm of the prime cities Vienna and Venice. This city, a name which is as difficult to pronounce as it is to spell, is a charming town with a small city life. This largest city of Slovenia is also one of the greenest and most liveable capitals in Europe and was recently awarded the prestigious title of Green Capital of Europe.

A story of sumptuous cuisine

You might have had a hard time pronouncing the city’s name but sublime food will ensure all is forgiven. Slovenian cuisine was heavily influenced by Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Hungary, so visiting Ljubljana’s local restaurant might be equivalent to tasting the four aforementioned cuisines. Any Slovenian meal should also begin with local cheese. Common staples are dairy products, meat, seafood and vegetables while you may notice how Italian recipes are abundant with everything from pasta, to pizza, risotto, and ravioli. Another particular highlight is Balkan cuisine as best witnessed in buckwheat products, pastry and burek, a meat double-cake.

During your stay in Ljubljana, you simply must get out and explore the local restaurants. Restauracija Strelce offers a combination of Roman, Medieval, and modern menu, along with a stunning view of the city. On the otherhand, the best breakfast place to go is the Manna who offer the best cottage cheese pancakes. Manna is one of the seven Slovene restaurants in the city and if you would prefer somewhere slightly quieter, then read a book at Cajna Hisa which offers more than one hundred tea varieties. Last of all, there is Kararna Cacao for the absolute best ice cream in the city of Ljubljana.

A long history hidden in young nation

Although Slovenia was first established in 1991, the region has a long history. In fact, Slovenia dates back to the prehistoric era and the oldest wooden wheel in the world is one of the most notable archaeological discoveries from the marshland of Ljbljana. Primitive in every way, at one time the Inhabitants of Ljbljana survived primarily through hunting, fishing, and primitive agriculture.

Testament to this history is Ljubljana Castle, a medieval fortress built in the 11th century as a defence mechanism. Although it was later converted into a residential complex, the castle is now one of the major tourist attraction in Ljubljana.

Another historical tourist attraction is the Robba Fountain, formally known as the Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers. This fountain was created by an Italian sculptor Francesca Robba in 1751. Designed based on the Fontana del Pantheon, the fountain was removed from its location in the town square at one point and replaced by a replica. The original sculpture was moved to the National Gallery where it is considered a cultural monument of national significance. For more background on Ljbljana’s fascinating history, the National Museum of Contemporary History is also nearby.

It may be a young nation with a troubled past, but Ljubljana remains true to its rich cultural and historical heritage, while still managing to connect in a meaningful way with the modern day traveller.

Image (c) Petar Milošević