I Heart My City: Marko’s Ljubljana

Marko Orel has studied abroad in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic, but his heart will always belong to Slovenia and its small-but-beautiful capital city, Ljubljana. A freelance writer and a local expert for Spotted By Locals, Marko says that despite his hometown’s size, Ljubljana has everything you need — from cafés to clubs to cultural exhibitions (and all within an hour’s drive to the mountains or the sea). Check out his guide to making the most of Ljubljana, then add your two cents in the comments section below.

Ljubljana is My City 

An artistic statement in Metelkova. (Photograph by Mammal, Flickr)

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is Metelkova mesto.

My city’s best museum is the City Museum because it showcases Ljubljana’s rich history — both the good and the bad.

Antique Flea Market is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

You can see my city best from Ljubljana Castle.

Locals know to skip the fancy clubs in the city center and check out hidden jazz clubs instead.

In the past, notable people like the poet France Prešeren, the architect Jože Plečnik, and the philosopher Slavoj Žižek have called my city home.

Gain an appreciation for Ljubljana's rich history at the City Museum. (Photograph by Jamie Henderson, Flickr)

Spring time is the best time to visit my city because of the beautiful parks around the city.

My city really knows how to celebrate the arrival of spring because this is when Ljubljana is reborn.

For a fancy night out, I go to one of the numerous slow food restaurants in the Ljubljana’s old town.

Just outside my city, you can visit nice lakes and mountains.

My city is known for being widely unknown, but it’s becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination.

The best outdoor market in my city is Central Market.

 

A flea market in the city center. (Photograph by Nickster 2000, Flickr)

Paninoteka is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Nobel Burek is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read www.napovednik.com.

My city’s biggest sports event is Euro Basket 2013 (September 4-22). Watch it at Stožice Stadium.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go for a nice (and free) walk around Ljubljana.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Marilyn Monroe because it can charm you easily and in a second.

The dish that represents my city best is Carniolan sausage (otherwise known as Kranjska klobasa), and Union beer is my city’s signature drink.

 

One of Ljubljana's many bridges. (Photograph by Nickster 2000, Flickr)

Kino Šiška is my favorite building in town because of its cultural impact on the city.

The most random thing about my city is its numerous bridges, which can be found every few meters.

Metelkova mesto is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Klub K4.

Eating pizza Burek could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should check out Ljubljana’s parks.

In the summer you should go to one of the surrounding lakes.

Lake Bled is just a 45-minute car ride from the city center. (Photograph by InYourPocket Slovenia, Flickr)

In the fall you should walk around the dimly lit (and very romantic) streets.

In the winter you should try your luck at one of the ski slopes near Ljubljana.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Tivoli playground.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that a bicycle is your best friend.

The best book about my city is Images of Valvasor’s Ljubljana.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s truly a hidden gem. Once a small city in Yugoslavia, Ljubljana is now the biggest city in Slovenia, and well worth a visit.

Comments

  1. Gordon Lethbridge (lethers)
    UK
    December 14, 2012, 4:34 am

    Ljubljana is a favourite of mine. If I had to choose somewhere other than a town in England my home I’d choose Ljubljana. It’s a real boutique capital.

  2. Capt. Scott Toebosch
    Vancouver BC Canada
    January 31, 2013, 1:20 am

    Absolutely one of the most fascinating and friendliest cities I saw. The people here are amazing! Kindest most helpful and generous! Go sledding down the mountains after mulled wines at the bar on top of the hill (if you can find it) and eat Burek. Burek can’t be done justice with words alone. Pizza now just seems very lacking in North America. The Castle tour is well worth the time, such a rich history this city has. I could sure go for a Union beer right about now….

  3. Abdul El Fazrayah
    Paris, France
    March 2, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Being born in Yemen and not familiar with many European cities I was fascinated with Ljubljana and the friendly people there. Try to mingle with people which be difficult for a non alcohol consumer and everybody will like you. You can put your wallet on the table and after two hours it will remain there or – if not – safe kept by the property owner. Just a word of advice. You can never be sure whether there is pork in your meet as they are not very cautious about that which might be annoying. But do visit and you won’t be sorry – ever!