Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Winter City Break in Ljubljana

Still growing in popularity, Ljubljana is a fantastic location for a city break at any time of the year, but its appeal is intensified during the winter months. You will certainly feel a chill, but it won’t deter from the rich culture and architectural heritage to be seen across the city. Blanketed in a healthy dousing of snow during the winter, the city is transformed into a winter wonderland with a charm that will be sure to warm your bones.

Begin your stay in Ljubljana a different way and embark on a boat cruise on the Ljubljanica River. Sailing past interesting bridges and notable landmarks, the cruise will last for around 1 hour but fear not; the boat is heated! Enjoy a romantic overview of some of the main sights in the city before you begin to explore in more detail.

One of the most iconic buildings the city has to offer is of course Ljubljana Castle and you won’t be able to ignore it. Overlooking the old city centre this medieval fortress is a sight to behold, and wintery weather adds to the atmosphere making it a really interesting attraction to visit. There is a permanent exhibition called Slovenian History, as well as the chapel, a virtual museum with a 3D documentary and a viewing tower which rewards you with fabulous panoramic views over the city. Throughout the year there are various art exhibitions hosted in different parts of the castle so there will always be a little something extra to make your visit exceptional. For those with a little taste of wanderlust, there are even some walking trails that you can tackle which will take you through the woods and lead you back to the river and Old Town.

Amble around the narrow lanes and awe the impressive buildings whilst you make your way to visit other highlights in the city. Pick from several museums, such as the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana which hosts a permanent exhibition of Joze Plecnik's works; the architect who designed the majority of the city. You can also stop by at the Slovenian Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art and the Tivoli Gallery.

Other delights are found in the three main squares beneath the castle. You will find a host of shops and cafes, perfectly located for people watching over a cup of coffee. Visit the Cathedral of St Nicholas and the Town Hall, adorned with a baroque fountain at the front. The central market consumes the stretch of river embankment between Dragon Bridge and Triple Bridge, where a variety of colours and smells will enthral you. Steaming mulled wine and other wintery treats will warm you up from the inside out and add considerably to the enjoyment. The market is open every day in the city except for Sundays and when a flea market replaces it.

Tivoli Park, located towards the outskirts of the city, hums with activity year round and the greenery and chestnut tree borders create the ideal location for a wintery walk with wonderful photo opportunities. There are also several impressive buildings to be discovered within the grounds, most notably Tivoli Castle and Tivoli Hall.

Should you choose to visit Ljubljana in the lead up to Christmas, you will be in for a truly special visit. The city is adorned with lights and decorations which illuminate the snow covered streets and create a magical ambience. A huge Christmas tree sits in pride of place of the banks of the Ljubljanica River, surrounded by the buzz and activity of the huge Christmas market selling authentic crafts and more. The aroma of yuletide treats scents the air pleasantly and a huge selection of other celebrations commence across the city such as choirs and festive concerts, a number of activities aimed at children including creative workshops and Fairy Tale Town in Zvezda Park. Street theatre performances are also a regular sight and you will be hard pressed to resist a go on the ice rink.

Ljubljana is located pretty much slap bang in the centre of Slovenia so you are also perfectly placed to branch out and explore more of this stunning country should you desire. The local ski slopes will be calling and are just a short journey away with Ljubljana car hire! Tack an extra couple of days on to the end of your break and let yourself go on the slopes!

If you are searching for the perfect winter destination, consider spending some time in Ljubljana; it may very well be the icing on the cake of a winter city break!

Bio: Kerri Ware writes for Economy Car Hire. Feel free to follow us at economy_c arhire.



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