Ljubljana is irresistible. With a lazy Old Town clustered around a castle-topped hill, Slovenia’s capital is often likened to Salzburg. It’s an apt comparison — but only if you inject a healthy dose of breezy Adriatic culture, add a Slavic accent, and replace favorite son Mozart with local architect Jože Plečnik. Ultimately, this town is all about ambience: The cobbled core of Ljubljana is an idyllic place slathered with one-of-a-kind architecture, where festivals fill the summer and people enjoy a Sunday stroll any day of the week. Fashion boutiques and al fresco cafés jockey for control of the Old Town, while the leafy riverside promenade crawls with stylishly dressed students sipping kava and polishing their near-perfect English.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ People-Watching Ljubljana's single best activity is sitting at an outdoor café along the river and watching the vivacious, stylish, fun-loving Slovenes strut their stuff.
▲▲ Riverside Market Lively market area in the Old Town with produce, clothing, and souvenirs.
▲▲ Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Beautifully decorated house of worship giving insight into the Orthodox faith.
▲▲ National and University Library Jože Plečnik's pièce de résistance, with an intriguing facade, piles of books, and a bright reading room.
▲▲ Jože Plečnik House Final digs of the famed hometown architect who shaped so much of Ljubljana, explained by an enthusiastic guide.
▲▲ Slovenian Ethnographic Museum Engaging, well-presented collection celebrating Slovenian culture.
▲ Cathedral Italian Baroque interior and bronze doors with intricate, highly symbolic designs.
▲ Dragon Bridge Distinctive Art Nouveau bridge adorned with the city's mascot.
▲ Ljubljana Castle Tower with good views and so-so 3-D film.
▲ Contemporary History Museum Baroque mansion in Tivoli Park, with exhibit highlighting Slovenia's last 100 years.
▲ City Museum of Ljubljana Modern, high-tech exhibit covering the city's history.
▲ Cobblers' Bridge Columned bridge that epitomizes Jože Plečnik's distinctive architectural style.