This time my mother and I opted for a nearer option and we decided to hop on a bus and reach Slovenia and, more precisely, Ljubljana and down below there are the main reason why you should give a try to this small city.
1. IT WON "THE EUROPEAN GREENEST CAPITAL" AWARD
When I think about relax my mind goes to peaceful sites as lakes, mountains, forests, basically anything surrounded by nature, where there is a lack of humankind.
Well, Ljubljana might be a capital but it is encirled by mountains and forests. Indeed they are pretty near to the city centre, about 20-30 minutes by walk, they are so near that, some years ago, people were "intimidated" by bears.
It is also considered green because its population likes to ride bikes a lot, which, you know, is pretty good for the enviroment.
This city can't be considered as huge as Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice, let alone London. Indeed it is tiny. But this is not a disadvantage: you can visit the main historical monuments in a whole day and I think the main galleries in 2 more days, it almost impossible to get lost, you don't have to use bus/metro/train to visit the centre and you can reach almost everything by foot. Your shape will thank you later.
≠ NO BUSTLE
You may think that spending a weekend in a small city could be boring but you are absolutely wrong! There is a lot of bustle here, especially during university period (Ljubljana university counts around 60.000 students, which is insane, considering that Ljubljana has about 270.000). Anyway pubs, restaurants and squares are filled with people, especially young ones, so it's pretty easy to socialize and meet new people, everybody is pretty welcoming there.
You can find a basic market everyday from 8 am to 4 pm which sells really good fruit, especially berries, vegetables and you can also eat something already cooked, as fried fish, fillet fish or hamburger.
They also have a beautiful flower market which sells fresh and dried bouquet of flowers, they are simply amazing. Old women there can really do lovely things with flowers.
If you are lucky enough to be in Ljubljana on Fridays from Mid-March to October, you have to go to the Open Kitchen, a food market where Slovenian chefs will cook Slovenian and international dishes and also vegan/vegetarian/biological options. Everything is prepared and cooked there(except for cakes) so you can really admire their passion and ability.
5. LJUBLJANA IS NEAR TO SOME COOL PLACES
One of this cool places is Bled Lake. It is really a lovely place, really peaceful, well-kept, perfect for pic-nics, long walks and boat rides. Indeed you can rent a little boat for 1 hours or more and try to reach the small island situated in the centre of the lake to visit the tiny church and admire the lake from another perspective.
You can reach Bled Lake by bus, the ride will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes and it will costs you about 16 euros(back and forth) or you can take a shuttle which will costs you 14 euros and the ride will be 40 minutes long.
Have you ever been here? Would you like to go?
Have a nice day