You know how sometimes things just… fit?
It can happen with ideas, places, people, bathing suits, cities. It happened to me in Ljubljana. I certainly couldn’t have predicted falling head first into a love affair with the Slovenian capital, but here I am.
And the cool thing is, Jeremy feels the same. One of the (many, many, many) reasons we’re doing this travel thing is to find a place we’d like to settle down when/if that ever happens. It has to be somewhere we both feel connected and at home. So when a place like that comes along, we both really take notice.
Our Airbnb came with 2 bikes and it was nice to take a little break from always walking or trying to figure out the bus schedule. Ljubljana has bike lanes everywhere, and most people have little baskets in front to carry groceries or puppies that will behave in baskets and don’t require their own personal bookbag transport (ahem).
My absolute favorite part of the city was the old town, in the shadow of the castle. All along the river are cafes with outdoor seating, serving coffee at all hours, filled with locals and tourists and so many dogs. It’s heaven. I’d list the European cafe culture as probably the #1 thing I’ll miss when we go back to America.
My two favorites to hang out at were TOZD and Kavarna Rog. TOZD has a better outdoor atmosphere and fantastic avocado toast, but Kavarna Rog makes better lattes and is stunning inside, with copper lights and these cool chairs.
We also took the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle, which was a short ride, but rewarded us with views over the whole city. Up top were also tons of little pathways and staircases to small art exhibits and museums. We didn’t tour the actual castle, but had some ice cream and hung out in some of the galleries.
Ljubljana also won the title of European Green Capital for 2016, and with all the bikes and parks, it’s pretty easy to see why. There was a small setup outside the opera house, and they had this super cute living wall setup. All the plants were in recyclabled containers and would later be planted around the city.
I truly did not expect to feel this way about Ljubljana. We’d been told we wouldn’t need much time in Slovenia, and I regret taking that advice. We only had a week here and I wish it was 3 months.
If you make it to Slovenia, most likely you’ll stay in Ljubljana. Give the city and the country as a whole the time it deserves and don’t make the same mistake we did by just passing through (because most likely you’ll fall in love).