Cheap flights to Ljubljana
Slovenia’s capital is one of the best-kept travel secrets in Europe.
Often described as Prague in miniature, minus the crowds, compared to Salzburg for its setting and Vienna for its architecture, this city is a hodgepodge of European styles. But this is Central Europe after all, so expect plenty in the way of Baroque and Renaissance buildings and, of course, an old town packed with café-lined squares. And with a hilltop castle, a snaking emerald-green river and a surrounding countryside of hilly woodland, settings really don’t get much better than this.
Old Town - The cobbled old town reclines beneath the landmark castle, a chocolate box pretty riot of baroque and medieval architecture. That it comes wrapped in cosy bars, cafes and restaurants is a bonus, as are the superb shops.
Head to Idrian Lace Sales Gallery, and see why Slovenia is famous for its lace. Here in the old town you can pick up unique intricate lace that will look great back home (Mestni trg 17).
Department store Nama is a local institution that has survived since Communist times. The locals often slag it off but they all pop in occasionally (1 Tomi?eva, nama.si).
Pro Montana is the place to stock up on all the gear you'll need for hillwalking as the snows melt. The friendly staff are happy to advise on routes, too (Poljanski Nasip).
Pro Montana - Slovenia's bountiful mountains offer superb skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering. Get kitted out here. Poljanski Nasip. Tel. 01-280 0590.
Banks of the Ljubljanica. The city's lifeblood river is the venue for moody autumnal strolls at this time of year with plenty of pavement cafes on hand where you can enjoy a bela kava (milky coffee).
Head south of the centre into Krakovo, a chilled-out, less hurried world, where old ladies tend their allotments and students relax in cafes without a tourist in sight.
Head to the left-of-centre wee suburb of Trnovo and recline by the river and canal in its cafes and bars, or just soak up the graceful architecture and bustle.
Lake Bohinj - Tourist saturated Lake Bled may be more famous, but Slovenia's other lake is bigger, quieter and arguably even more impressive. Catch a bus here and revel in an epic landscape of mountain and lake.
Bled. This postcard card perfect glacial lake, only a short bus journey from Ljubljana, is surrounded by vaulting mountains. Rent a rowing boat or stroll right around it.
Piran is the most charming place on Slovenia's Adriatic. It tempts as a long day trip by bus with its chocolate-box-pretty Old Town, choice of beaches and seafood restaurants.
Hop on a bus and half an hour later you will be exploring the largely tourist-free streets of stately Kamnik. There's great skiing nearby, too, with the views of the surrounding mountains reason enough to visit.