Handsome red-roofed Baroque buildings line Ljubljana’s streets. Wander between the cobbled squares to get your bearings, pausing at the statue of celebrated Slovenian poet Preseren, before heading to the bustling market square.
Ljubljana’s slender central river flows scenically beneath weeping willows and the city’s handsome bridges. Hang out on Triple Bridge to watch the world go by, or join the throng at the riverside bars in the evening.
Take the funicular railway (€3 return) or the tourist train up to the ancient castle. Walk along the walls for sweeping views of the tranquil city below and the mountains looming in the distance.
The funky Museum of Modern Art displays edgy works in a classical building. Also stop by the National Gallery or catch a performance at the opera house or open-air theatre.
Get a feel for Slovenia’s socialist past in the ghetto of Metelkova. A former barracks for the Yugoslav army, the area is now an alternative venue for live gigs, art studios and bars.
Ljubljana’s large green park is a pleasant place in which to lose yourself – or at least a few hours of your time. There’s a changing exhibition of photography on the main promenade that’s worth a look.
Get out of town
Slovenia is small enough that most of the country’s major tourist spots can be visited on a day trip from Ljubljana.
Head into the Karst region for awesome limestone caves; visit the Lipizzaner stud farm at Lipica, where the world-famous stallions are bred; head for the coastal resorts of Piran and Portoroz on the deep blue Adriatic; kick back with a glass of quality vino in one of the wine regions; or go north to the Julian Alps and spectacular Lake Bled for summer hiking and winter skiing.