A country with endless open spaces, beautiful architecture, authentic gastronomy and a wealth of outdoor pursuits, Slovenia is a Balkan country just waiting to be discovered. For travellers looking for a weekend getaway this summer, here’s how to spend a perfect 48 hours in Slovenia.
Arrive in the city centre, Ljubljana
Direct flights from London with British Airways, easyJet and Wizz Air mean that UK travellers can arrive in Ljubljana in as little as two hours 10 minutes. Easy to navigate, walking is the best way to get around the capital city. The Ljubljanica river runs around the old castle, with local bars and restaurants winding through the endless historic architecture. Must-visit activities include Tivoli Park, Opera House, open air theatre and the botanical gardens, not to mention the delicious Slovenian delicacies available in the old town.
Check into Zlata Ladjica, Ljubljana
Located in one of the oldest hotels in Ljubljana, Zlata Ladjica is a boutique hotel with luxurious amenities. Each of the 15 rooms have been designed to maximise space and light whilst the hotel’s gastropub offers a fine dining menu with Slovenian dishes made using locally sourced ingredients. There’s also a spa with a sauna and zero gravity flotation bed for guests to truly unwind and relax. Rooms start from £184 per night.
Discover Jože Plečnik
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jože Plečnik, one of Slovenia’s most important architects who was responsible for transforming Ljubljana. Dotted around the city centre, travellers should look out for his notable designs such as the Triple Bridge and Central Market. Take a boat ride across the turquoise waters of the river to see the Cobblers Bridge, another one of his famed works.
Explore the cultural ins and outs of the city with the ‘Moustache Tour,’ travellers can learn about the moustached giants of Slovenian culture including Jože Plečnik, Ivan Cankar, and Rihard Jakopič – all great artists.
Taste authentic cuisine at Odprta Kuhna
Make the most of the sunshine and eat at the city’s famed open kitchen which runs only in the summer. The Pogacar Square at Ljubljana’s central market is transformed into Odprta Kuhna, an open kitchen which is filled with food stalls from Slovenia and surrounding countries. Bringing together Europe’s best eateries, guests are spoilt for choice with the authentic flavours on offer.
Head to the Museum of Illusions
In a townhouse on Congress Square, Museum of Illusions offers a new way of seeing the world. Drawing guests into a world of illusions, no two rooms are the same. With 40 exhibits, highlights are the Anti-Gravity Room and the Vortex Tunnel which spins visitors around, making it a challenge to keep balance.
Visit Ljubljana Castle
First built 900 years ago, Ljubljana Castle holds so much of the city’s history. The castle seems daringly high however the views make it all worth it. Overlooking the beautiful city, it’s a great place to watch the sunset fall over the iconic Baroque architecture. The main courtyard is free to enter and is home to a cafe, nightclub, galleries, and a restaurant.
Fine dine at one of the many Michelin-Starred restaurants
With 53 Michelin stars across the country, it’s a must that travellers visit one of the famed restaurants. Atelje prides itself on cooking in a natural way, using local ingredients, keeping up with the season and creating 90% of products in house. Only serving a tasting menu – they sometimes take inspiration from old traditional Slovenian recipes, whilst other times they take a different approach. Nestled in the centre, Atelje is headed by famed chef, Jorg Zupan.
Spend the morning at Lake Bled
Just over an hour’s bus journey from the city, breath-taking Lake Bled is a glacier-formed, crystal blue lake which is famed for its castle and panoramic views. Travellers can choose to kayak on the serene waters or experience solitude with a swim in the balmy 22 degrees water. Earlier this year, Lake Bled was named one of the most welcoming destinations in the world by Booking.com.
Head to Triglav National Park
Nearby, Triglav National Park is widely regarded as one of the oldest and most beautiful parks in Europe. Offering picturesque views and outdoor activities year-round, Triglav stretches across the north-eastern part of Slovenia and encompasses the majority of the Eastern Julian Alps. Whether on foot or two wheels, visitors can explore Mount Triglav, unspoiled beaches, and the serene valley of Triglav Lakes.
Participate in water sports on Lake Bohinj
For those into water sports or wanting a new experience, the blue lakes of Bohinj, in Triglav National Park, are the perfect outdoor playground. From white water rafting and kayaking to canyoning and hiking, there’s something for everyone. Swimming in the clear crystal mountain lakes is an option for those looking for something a little more relaxing.
Spend the night at Sunrose 7
An iconic heritage hotel and digital detox hideaway, a stone’s throw away from Triglav National Park, Sunrose 7 has been welcoming guests since 1890. With 18 stylish rooms and suites, the hotel is equipped with traditional Slovenian architecture met with contemporary, minimalist alpine design. Sunrose 7’s wellness spa, Zlata Vila (or ‘Golden Fairy’), focuses on ‘seven elements’ of relaxation and offers treatments such as Bohinj rain with hot-cold therapy and relaxing sound therapy with the sounds of Bohinj forests. Rooms start from £169.
For more information about Slovenia, visit slovenia.info.
All imagery used in this article unless stated otherwise credit: slovenia.info