When I realised I still had a few days of annual leave to use up this year I knew it was time for another bigger adventure! So three weeks ago I had a sift through Skyscanner with my friend (my favourite ever website) and we looked at places that were cheap to travel the first couple of weeks of October. I wasn’t fussed where I went but I was craving a new place, some time in the outdoors and a few good wine bars! Not too hard to track down in Europe….
So turns out Venice is always super cheap to fly to from Scotland… who knew?
While Venice offered the chance to gorge on pizza and ice cream I saw a further opportunity. Venice is only three hours by bus from a country that I have always wanted to visit…. Slovenia (only country with love in the name)! We visited a few places but I thought I’d focus this weeks blog on their beautiful capital city of Ljubljana, a compact little paradise of greenery and happiness.
We reached the city by Flixbus a super convenient way to travel around Europe- comfortable buses with lots of storage space and plug sockets to charge your phone. The journey itself was stunning right around the Northern coast of Italy. I’d also recommend flying to Venice and taking the bus to many other destinations such as neighbouring Croatia if you’re looking to keep the costs low when you travel!
Ljubljana has to be one of the most chilled out places I have ever visited. As you walk around there are people everywhere sitting having laid back cups of coffee and glasses of wine. Everyone lives outdoors and every cafe, bar and restaurant has huge outdoor seating areas with heaters and blankets for the evening. There is greenery everywhere and the river winds through the city with trees and plants all down it. There are only 300,000 people here which is such a nice size! There aren’t many tourists too so the city feels very liveable.
Where we stayed…
We stayed in a hostel called Vila Veselova which was only 15 euros a night including breakfast. It was super central only 5 mins to Ljubljana’s famous triple bridge. The city is such a nice size and everything is pedestrianised so it’s incredibly easy to find your way around. The hostel had everything we needed and the staff told us everywhere we should go. The best part was the balcony from our room which was the perfect place for a glass of wine and dinner!
What did we eat?
We had 4 nights in Ljubljana so we did a mix of cooking in the hostel and eating out.
For eating in the central market is the perfect place to buy fresh fruit and veg… the kind that tastes delicious and so different to the UK.
The stand out meal was at a place called TaBar found through the tv show Travel Man who had an episode on Slovenia. This was a special treat with beautiful decor and exquisite slovenin tapas dishes! My favourite was the chicken pate and their cheese board was unreal.
We thought it was going to be super expensive too and it came out at 18 euros each including wine… not bad!
Our favourite for traditional food was Druga Violina where a yummy dish of Slovenian dumplings in mushroom sauce was just 6 euros!
Another takeaway food that is everywhere is Burek and this is such a cheap snack – 2 euros. These are enormous pastries (size of your face) with different savoury fillings. We had spinach and cheese and it was delicious. I definitely get why it would be perfect after a night out, good greasy pastry!
So much food chat !!!
On our first night we climbed straight up to the castle for beautiful views of the city. The gardens around it are beautiful and Ljubljana looks gorgeous surrounded by mountains.
My highlight was the Tivoli park which is a beautiful area of greenery with a great bar and cafe in the middle. The best thing about Tivoli is that the park leads into miles and miles of hiking trails in the Slovenian countryside. Now isn’t that the perfect city?! We spent hours wandering and getting lost on picturesque paths!
There is also a really cool outdoor gym with proper weight machines!
If you visit Ljubljana on a Saturday morning definitely visit the reading room of their library which looks like it’s from Hogwarts!
The city is great just to wander through and relax… so many good ice cream shops too!
I love a walking tour!
We did the free walking tour of Ljubljana and this was great and made us feel like we gathered all the cultural knowledge. Basically most of the city was built by a man called Plecnik whose building style is on point! Highly recommend.
Why I’d go back….
I’d go back to Ljubljana for a chilled out weekend break anytime! I’d particularly love to return to Slovenia and climb mount Triglav their highest mountain, it’s seriously calling my name!