Twee Slovenia’s tiny capital Ljubljana saw a city break upgrade near the end of 2017 with the launch of the InterContinental Ljubljana – the city’s first ever five star luxury hotel. With the hotel’s opening came the chance to discover in newly established style one of Europe’s most accessible yet least explored cities.
I paid a weekend visit to Ljubljana soon after the launch and found the swish hotel to be a haven hard to leave. However, when I did venture beyond its graciously manned entrance I was rewarded with heaps of delicious fun.
Over my Ljubljana Lux series of posts about my trip, I’ll share the tastiest highlights of the visit along with a bit of background to help you make the most of your own luxury weekend in Ljubljana.
Slow Down for Slovenia
Wedged between the Alps and the Adriatic, Slovenia borders Italy to its west and Austria to its north with Croatia to the south and Hungary to the east. Such a juncture on the western extreme of the Balkan Peninsula results in a unique mix of local traditions. An ideal setting for getting the feel for Slovenia’s fascinating melting pot culture is in charming and compact Ljubljana.
Learn About Ljubljana
Nestled beside the banks of the pretty Ljubljanica River, this city of just under 300,000 residents served as a brilliant base for a weekend away. My strolls along the river while eyeing the wares of flea market vendors and the week’s harvest of produce, artisanal foods and handicrafts revealed a cityscape of mostly wee and independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.
Aside from my time at the InterContinental, I can’t recall contending with any of the usual big brand suspects during my wanders – no Starbucks, MacDonald’s or KFC. I’m not saying any such behemoths aren’t there (though honestly I don’t think they are); I’m just saying they didn’t capture my attention or interrupt Ljubljana’s otherwise distinctive of its own vibe. That factor in and of itself made my time in Ljubljana refreshingly worthwhile. But there was so much more – as I’ll be sure to share in future posts.
Getting There/Spending There
I flew with easyJet via Gatwick. Flight time was just over two hours. A cab to the city centre from Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport takes about 20 minutes. Slovenia is part of the European Union and the euro is its currency. Prices are affordable. A quality beer (local or imported) costs about €2.50-3; a shot of espresso or decent cup of coffee is even cheaper.
More to come. Please stay tuned.