The Castle District
The jewel of Ljubljana is undoubtedly its castle, and while you can take a funicular up the side of the mountain, the walk is not only free, it is breathtakingly gorgeous. Try to drop by the nearby Verba Language School. It’s so much more than a school of language – it’s also a tourist centre, and a fascinating museum of Yugonostalgia. Although it’s free to enter, you may end up spending something, as there are some undeniably cool souvenirs to pick up in this shop.
The Old Town is of course worth a look, and features sights such as the triple bridge (built for traffic and people, which today often features a market), and the pretty pink Franciscan Church of the Annunciation.
The Dragon Bridge has some pretty epic grotesques to see, and makes a nice photo stop. Another photo op is the Hercules Fountain in the beautiful Old Town. Why is there a Greek Statue in the middle of Ljubljana’s Old Town? It is said that Ljubljana was founded by Jason, the Greek mythological figure who stole the golden fleece from King Aetes and fled from him with his Argonauts across the Black Sea, and up the rivers Danube, Sava, and Ljubljanica! In Ljubljana, Jason fought and killed a monster – the dragon depicted on the city’s coat of arms, and of course, displayed on the Dragon Bridge.
If you’re feeling brave, you might like to wander around Metelkova City, an autonomous social centre (or squat, depending on whom you ask) located in an abandoned military barracks. What used to be the Slovenian Headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army is today covered in some truly incredible art. Metelkova is named after the street it is located on, which in turn is named after Franc Metelko – inventor of the Metelko alphabet, which, following a very different kind of conflict, the ‘Slovene Alphabet War’ was banned in 1833! (Such a shame – he invented some pretty funky looking letters!)
Hugely satisfying and very reasonably priced food can be found at Das Ist Valter, named after the final line from the film ‘Valter Defends Sarajevo’.