Interview with a Local : Ljubljana, Slovenia

Today we talk to Nina about her hometown, picturesque Ljubljana in Slovenia! Nina keeps a great blog about Africa specifically. She has bofe lived and travelled in Africa and so it’s a great resource if you are planning a trip there yourself. Read more from Nina at www.safarijunkie.com

Where are you living?

Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Tell us about yourself?

Most people online know me as a blogger at Safari Junkie, my blog project that in recent years grew into full-time job along with some other side projects. A little less than a decade ago I fell in love with Africa, lived in Africa for a while  and keep returning back for more.

But not many people know I come from Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) which is my home town.  Ljubljana is a safe haven for me when I come back from several months of long travels.  I am a very curious person with interests all over the place – in my spare time I like to play with essential oils and make organic cosmetics, I am also a reiki master and theta healing  practitioner.  Diversity of interests is my way of life.

escapes to Bled Lake

What is your favourite thing about Ljubljana?

Ljubljana is of those cities that pleasantly surprises the majority of travellers.  Personally I think the city offers high quality of living, it is small  (in comparison to EU capitals) and close to other regions in Slovenia which is great starting point for travel just about in any direction. Within  two miles radius, I have anything within my reach, from hospitals, city centre, malls, green areas…  Tourists like Ljubljana for laid back vibes, it is a safe  city  and a reasonably cheap destination.

Ljubljana city center

What is your favourite thing to do in Ljubljana with a day off?

Depends on the season. Although I love Ljubljana very much I often leave the city  and spend a weekend on Bled Lake. When I decide to hang out in Ljubljana, I love food, so my activities in Ljubljana always involve  good food, no matter the season. In summer I love having a brunch in random bistro along the Ljubljanica river, or meet up with friends on Friday  afternoons in the Open Kitchen food market – kind of a  get-together with great traditional Slovenian as well as international food and drinks, prepared by the selected restaurants and best chefs from all over Slovenia. In the summer evenings during July I always visit  Ljubljana Castle during the Film under the stars project. Castle yard turns into  open air cinema for a month.  Sunny days are also great for walk in Tivoli Park or chilling out on Spica beach, if you take a walk along Ljubljanica riverbank. In winter my favourite time in Ljubljana is December, especially if we are lucky with snow! It’s commonly called Happy December  among locals where Ljubljana centre turns into a festive Christmas market. I could say the Slovenian collective hobby in December is  to meet in the city centre  at least once for a glass of cooked red or white wine on Preseren square.  There are concerts and smaller events till New Year.

winter in Ljubljana

River LJubljanica

What in your opinion is the one thing you can’t miss when you visit Ljubljana ?

Ljubljana has rich history, so history buffs can visit museums, galleries, roman ruins, the castle while hipsters by heart will find numerous hip  places from cafes, bistros, craft beer pubs,  tea houses, cocktail bars . Alternative  minds should not skip Metelkova city, a former military compound  turned into creative place. Apart from the super cool art installations everywhere, they usually have club nights and live acts. Some people find it similar to Berlin.

For me, the best venue remains Ljubljana castle.

Ljubljana castle from Preseren square

Any top tips where to go/ what to do on a rainy day?

Unfortunately the majority of Slovenians spend a lot of free time in malls, but for a bit of adventure and  fun  on a dull rainy day in Ljubljana  I recommend trying your luck in the Escape room! Escape Room is an exciting real life game for 2 to 5 players. You have 60 minutes to fulfill your mission: discover hidden objects and clues, decipher codes, solve puzzles in order to unlock the door. Lots of fast thinking and creativity!

Where is your go-to restaurant?

I  am a fan of good brunch and Ek Bistro in Petskovskovo Nabrezje  is one of the coolest places  (with a nice atmosphere) for good tasty brunch in town. They cook along with seasons so their menu is changing a lot.  I was especially impressed by roasted pumpkin with creamy cheese and greek yogurt  and delicious  Shakshuka!

old town Ljubljana

And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening?

Summer is perfect for glass of wine in a bar along Ljubljana river, I especially like Dvorni Bar. They offer fantastic wine selection  from all Slovenian  wine regions as well as other countries. My  favorites: Cabernet Sauvignon  or Old Vineyard Red by wine house Scurek.

Is there one thing not many people know about Ljubljana?

Ljubljana won the European green capital award in 2016. The city center is closed for traffic and entirely dedicated to pedestrians. Nearly every Slovenian you will stop on the street will be fluent in English.

To read more from Nina carry on reading at www.safarijunkie.com

Have you been to Ljubljana? What were your experiences or best tiops? Please feel free to comment below. 

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