City of Ljubljana in Slovenia

 Traditional and historic meets
 young and modern in Ljubljana

Ljubljana/Slovenia (2012). – When a city advertises " the relaxed atmosphere of a small city" then the assumption is not so wrong, that most likely there is nothing much going on. With other words, don't get too excited when you come to visit, we don't have much to show, so relax. Well, nobody expects city marketer, in general, to spill the truth and put "boring city" or "sleepy town" on their advertising material, they have to sell the city and make sure their work pays off and people come to visit. When preparing for a little excursion to Ljubljana in Slovenia I stumbled on such a lure. The website I was on to get some information about the city, what to see and where to go, blasted out in fat letters "relaxed atmosphere of a small city". Well, I never thought about Ljubljana as a hotspot for tourists. Plus it hadn't been on my radar really, not at all. Maybe this also was not the best indication. No need to tell you that I wasn't really thrilled to go on this trip I guess. But I did anyway and to my surprise, I found out, I was wrong.  Ljubljana is everything but relaxed, sleepy or boring nor is it a small city. The capital of Slovenia presented itself as a mid-sized European city, very green, young and vibrant, modern, traditional and loaded with history. I judged too quick in advance. So goodbye preconception you are no good.
Love-locks on a bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana – Young, modern, vibrant and also traditional and historic
Entering the city by car was quite an adventure. First, it felt like driving into any other city in Europe. Only in most other countries the street signs can be at least somewhat understood, in the Slovenian capital no such luck. I was totally clueless at times trying to figure out what was written on the signs. If you don't speak Slovenian you better bring a working navigation system with you, something I didn't have access to, this thing never works when it's needed. So I was relying on my usual luck mixed with a bit of intuition to reach the city center and the downtown area. From there on it was all good again since most of the very friendly people, speak very good English, especially the young ones, some are even multilingual.    

Walking around in Ljubljana one pretty quick understands that the 280.000 inhabitant city is a very vibrant, young and also picturesque city. I guess the 50.000 students living in the city as part of the population are keeping this city young. It offers modern bars and restaurants as well as very cool stores in the historic downtown area and nearly endless cafes offering delicious pastries along the Ljubljanica river. Speaking of it, the curving Ljubljanica river with its romantic bridges is considered one of the notable landmarks of the city. In Ljubljana tradition and history meet modern lifestyle or old meets new. In opposition to the great five thousand year history, the medieval castle on castle hill is well-preserved evidence of it, stands the modern lifestyle of the now "young" city. The resident's average age is slightly above 30.

The Slovenian capital is also a "city of culture". It offers countless galleries, museums and theatres. Every year over 10,000 cultural events are taken place in Ljubljana, some of them are international festivals. Visiting Ljubljana one is accompanied almost constantly by the exceptional work of the local architects Jože Plečnik, Ivan Vurnik and Edvard Ravnikar. The oldest architecture dates back to the Roman period, there is some Baroque style and also some Venetian and Vienna Secession style to find.


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