Had fab holiday.
Ljubljana is so pretty. It is the best place. I didn’t want to come home.
I went to a spa thingy called Atlantis, more like a leisure centre really. It has three “worlds”, “Adventure Land” has pools, jacuzzis and waterslide, you have to go through this one to get to the others so it’s included in all tickets. There was one section which had 3 salt water pools and a mineral-y one I think, and you can get massages and treatments. The third has saunas. It was great but…saunas…I didn’t realize but in Europe you are expected to sauna naked. And it was mixed. 😳 😳 😳 😳
I did it though. Only if I could see there were only women in there, but I did it.
It’s a bargain at €16 (just over a tenner) for all 3 sections for 4 hours, with student discount (you can also get all day passes). Get bus number 17, 7 or 2 from opposite Nama department store, frequent buses, takes about 20 mins. Get off at BTC City shopping centre (so you can shop before/ after you spa, if you like – see later), but NOT the first stop – it’s huge – get off outside Zara and “Emporium”, you’ll have just gone past it, can’t miss it. Pay, get a towel (free, but they add a deposit to your bill but it’s taken off when you return it safely). You get a wristband which is used to pay for everything you have e.g. treatments, drinks, and you pay on your way out. There are plenty of changing rooms, lockers (lock with your wristband) and showers. There are hooks and shelves for your stuff every so often, there are plenty of secure lockers, all you need is your towel and maybe a book, water etc. There are a couple of cafes.
Definitely a good way to unwind, you can lounger with a cool drink and almost pretend you’re on a tropical beach…in Eastern Europe…bizarre.
Other things to do in Ljubljana:
Castle – best way to get there, if you don’t wish to die climbing up, is the cable car which goes from Krekov Trg. The “virtual museum” (really a glorified lecture) is a good introduction to Ljubljana – a bit long-winded, but the bad English and bizarrely posh accent of the guy on the tape is amusing.
City Museum – good overview of Slovenian history.
National Museum – worth a quick look, mainly at the Roman ruins outside and the tolars (used to be Slovene currency before Euro).
Museum of Contemporary History – evil to find. Get bus 15 outside the Hotel Lev and go ONE stop. Walk back on yourself and you will find the entrance to the park. Head back more, just past the shops, you will see a pink building up a hill on your right. Quite interesting.
Just sit and have coffee and tea and cake and chill. Best places: anywhere along the river. Cafe Antico on Stari Trg – just east of river. In fact, anywhere there too. Place I can’t remember the name of on Wolfova Ulica just before Sushimama. Global, the top floor cafe in Nama – get the lift, marked Global, outside Nama – a bit pretentious but the best views.
Shopping – not really a shopping destination, the centre has Nama which has most chains, BTC City has a huge Zara etc. and all the usual. It’s bizarrely huge and sprawling, plan your route unless post-industrial wasteland of car and home stores appeals…
Market by river for souvenirs etc., on Vodnikov and Krekov trg, just by Dragon bridge.
Tomato – healthy fast food
Cantina Mexicana – cheap not bad Tex Mex, evil cocktails, laid-back
Gostilna pri Pavil, apparently (it was closed though…)…pub place just up the road towards city centre where I went instead…great basic pub food.
Trta – cosy Italian, fine salad bar, huge pizzas, nice terrace by river.
Currency – Euro (only since 2007 though).
Money – there are plenty of ATMs and money changers
Visa – none required for UK/EU nationals
Flight time – just over 2 hours. Cheap flights – EasyJet (but they ARE crap…)
Getting to/from airport – bus is €5 to bus station, 10 mins walk from centre. Your hotel will probably be able to arrange a “minibus” (shared large taxi) for you for €9.
I totally recommend my hotel, the Hotel Emonec. Location is amazing, right in the centre. Feel is basic, a tiny bit institutional but it’s clean and new. Rooms have TV and bathroom (also clean and new, a bit small, showers of the no-cubicle variety but they do have a curtain). €57 pp pn.
It’s through an easy-to-miss turning, just off Wolfova Ulica, just before Sushimama.
Tip – remember your adaptor (European i.e. 2 pins)
Info – Everyone speaks English, and even seems taken aback if you have managed to learn a few words of Slovene…never mind…most people are pleasant and helpful and will tell you any info you need if you ask. There are tourist info leaflets, maps, bus route maps etc. available at the airport, or in most hotel receptions, they’ll happily give you them even if you’re not a guest.
Internet – free with Ljubljana card at the train station, reasonably priced at most hotels, Internet cafe near City Museum.
Tips – Get a Ljubljana card, you get free bus travel, discounts to some attractions, and in some restaurants, but others have never heard of it.
Bring an ISIC card, students get discounts in lots of places too, just ask.
Transport – you can walk around the centre as it’s compact, but bring comfy shoes. Buses go everywhere else.
Buying basics – there are 2 supermarkets on Slovenska cesta, Maximarket (well hidden behind an ugly sprawl of buildings), and Centromurkur. Both open until about 9pm. A little shop that sells everything, also open until 9pm, is on Stari trg. There is a small 24 hr convenience store opposite the train and bus stations.