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.
Nama - This gloriously old school department store has thrived since socialist times and is very much a local retail institution. Sells everything and anything. www.nama.si
Pro Montana - Slovenia's mountains offer a serious challenge in winter. Head to this outdoor specialist to get fully kitted out, seek advice and even get set up with a local guide. Poljanski Nasip, Tel. 01-280 0590.
Visit the Idrian Lace Sales Gallery. The Slovenian town of Idrija is famous for its superb lace and this capital outlet stocks the best. Mestni trg 17
Nama - Ljubljana's Harrods is a quite unique department store that has somehow managed to straddle the sweep from communism to capitalism intact. They stock almost everything you can think of (Tomi?eva 2, tel. 01 42 58 300, www.nama.si).
See the banks of the Ljubljanica. A spring stroll is glorious along the willow-strewn banks of the lifeblood Ljubljanica River.
Krakovo - Ease just south of the city centre to find old ladies tending vegetables in their allotments and views back to the striking castle.
Go to Krakovo. Old ladies tend their vegetables, while hipsters chill in the cafes and restaurants, with a view of Ljubljana Castle.
Trnovo - Trendy Trnovo sits south of centre, but left of field. Join local hipsters and students discussing the works of France Preseren in the lively pubs and live music venues.
Piran - The Slovenian coast is already shaking off the winter blues so take a bus down to the chocolate box pretty Venetian-era town of Piran and enjoy its remarkable architecture from its pavement cafes.
Lake Bled - Hop on a bus and an hour later you will be on the shores of one of Europe's most dramatic lakes. Deeply picturesque Bled is surrounded by a vault of Alpine peaks, is overlooked by a castle and even has a cute island with a church on it.
Escape to Bohini. Many visitors flock to Bled, but its big brother is also a dramatic mountain oasis that offers excellent hiking. An hour and a half away by bus.
Follow the savvy locals on scorching days and head for the Adriatic coast where Piran, a picture postcard Venetian-era gem, sparkles on the water's edge.