Fairytale castles, bridges and dragons define this compact capital, finds Natalie Marsh
Dubai-based Flydubai has announced plans to start operating flights to Ljubljana. Pronounced loo-bee-aa-nuh, Slovenia’s capital will be serviced by three weekly flights from 24 September, opening up the central European country to GCC travellers. Here’s what travellers can expect to find in this historic, green city…
Overlooking the city centre, Ljubljana Castle offers visitors an insight into Slovenia’s history. A scenic funicular railway takes riders up to the castle in minutes, though there are walking trails for those with stamina and time. Ljubljana Castle is home to a puppet museum and Slovenian history exhibition, while the Outlook Tower provides sweeping city views. Castle admissions ticket with a return journey on the cable car costs €13 for adults.
A stroll along the banks of the Ljubljanica River offers up the best views of Ljubljana’s unique bridges. The Triple Bridge is perhaps the best-known, with three forks spanning the river, while Butchers’ Bridge has hundreds of padlocks attached to it, reminiscent of the Pont des Arts in Paris. A little further along is the famous Dragon Bridge, adorned with statues of the city’s symbol, the dragon.
Slovenia boasts abundant green spaces and the capital is no exception. Tivoli Park is one of the jewels in the city’s crown, a place where tourists and locals alike come to relax and exercise. There are woodland areas, a botanical garden and adventure playgrounds, as well as the Museum of Modern Art and Tivoli Mansion, all just a short walk from the city centre.
Visitors can explore more of Tivoli Park on two wheels with Ljubljana’s bike-sharing scheme
It’s best to arrive hungry at Ljubljana’s huge Central Market, set along the river between Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge. A riot of colourful flowers, fruits and vegetables fill the outdoor square, while the covered market is the place to pick up cheeses, just-baked pastries and cured meats carved in front of you. If you don’t fancy munching on the move, duck into one of the tiny cafes or wine bars.
Worth an Excursion: Lake Bled
Clients should take advantage of Ljubljana’s proximity to Lake Bled, which is just a 40-minute drive away. Visit Bled Castle, towering above the lake, or walk around the water’s edge to admire the shimmering reflections of the snow-topped mountains. After that, take a gondola ride out to the Church of the Assumption (pictured), set on Bled Island.
Find out about new flights to Slovenia here