Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas in Ljubljana

Christmas holidays are upon us and cities are filled with holiday spirit that we look forward to so much. Buildings are covered in lights, trees in ornaments and everything suddenly became more romantic. Our capital city is no exception as it shines in all its beauty.

Christmasy Ljubljana
The look on Ljubljana in Christmas time is certainly worth your time to visit it. If that doesn’t convince you, they arranged a series of events that would be a shame to miss. We can visit many concerts, workshops or see a play or an exhibition or we could just enjoy a cup of mulled wine or a plate of hot stew that you can buy on many stands on Prešeren Square or while walking by Ljubljanica river. ‘’Christmasy’’ atmosphere began with an event ‘’People, Turn On the Light’’, the peak of the events will happen on 31st of December with many New Year’s Eve parties. There is 64 km lights across Ljubljana, in front of Zois Mansion there is also a Christmas crib made of hay. On 4 places there are also Christmas markets. If you would like to celebrate New Year’s eve in Ljubljana, you will also not be disappointed as there are many celebrations outside, as well as in clubs where you might have to buy the ticket before as it can be sold out.

If you want to spend the night in Ljubljana, there’s a lot of choices. HI Hostels are all around the city so you can choose the nearest hostel from where you’ll spend the longest night in the year. There are 4 HI Hostels in Ljubljana – Youth Hostel Ljubljana, Youth Hostel Tabor, Youth Hostel Tresor, and Youth Hostel DIC which isn’t open in Christmas time. Hostel Tresor is right in the centre of Ljubljana. It used to be a home to bankers which is also seen in furniture. All hostels have free wireless internet, luggage room, kitchen and quick access to buses.

Christmasy Ljubljana
What can we actually see in Ljubljana? Old city centre is beautifully decorated in lights and worth seeing in day and in night. We can see city hall there, SASA (Slovenian Academy of Science and Art), University Library, Križanke Theatre, Ljubljana Castle, Triple Bridge, churches, etc. Every sight has its own story and history and is therefore worth seeing.

Ljubljana Castle is located on top of the hill. It was first mentioned in 1144 as a seat of Duchy of Carniola. Today it has a wide cultural programme. The observation tower is in Christmas time opened also in the evening. You can walk to the castle or you can ride with funicular railway. In December a project Stories of Ljubljana Castles began when you can visit all 4 Ljubljana castles and find out more about their history, visit museums and connect the stories of all 4 of them.

Ljubljana Triple Bridge is a place where people crossed Ljubljanica even in medieval times as it connected City Square with the left hill. Bridges were damaged by many accidents – there was a fire, floods, etc. Jože Plečnik gave it the look that it has today. Bridges were reconstructed and closed for traffic in 1992.

Christmasy Ljubljana
Prešeren Square is the heart of Ljubljana. It is named by France Prešeren, a Slovene poet and it arose from medieval crossroad in front of the city door. In 1905 there was also a railway that was leading through the square. After the war the square was rearranged by Jože Plečnik.

Holiday Ljubljana is giving us many choices but a walk by Ljubljanica river and mulled wine or tea is a must in this time of the year in this city. You can also buy a hat or a souvenir on one of the stands to finish your trip. Holiday lights and ornaments are unforgettable.

Kaja Kren

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Affordable package offers at Hostel Pekarna in Slovenia

Hostel Pekarna is situated at a beautiful location in the immediate vicinity of two parks near the centre of Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city, which, with it’s surroundings is an ideal destination to spend your winter and summer holidays. 

Youth Hostel Pekarna
 The city is surrounded by dynamic scenery of hills and the wonderful Pohorje mountain, inviting hikers and cyclists to its green paths in summer and offering snow and skiing during the winter.

The new Hostel Pekarna is intended for travellers, sportsmen, adventurers and families, who want to stay in modern rooms and suites at extremely reasonable rates.

Hut on ski slopes - Pohorje - Maribor (Author-Marko Petrej)
The accommodation offers in seven four-bedded rooms with private bathrooms, as well as studios and apartments. Guests of the four-bedded rooms may use the common kitchen, where they can prepare their own meals. Next to the kitchen is a large dining room. The apartments and studios have their own kitchens and bathrooms. The dining room at the hostel is equipped with 2 computers, where guests can use free Internet access. A comfortable clubroom, equipped with a TV is at the disposal of guests for socializing and enjoyable evening hours. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Spend Christmas In Radovljica

Experience Radovljica's Christmas atmosphere, with hundreds of lights twinkling in Linhart Square and green garlands surrounding the entrances to houses. Whilst the winter air might be cold, the holiday spirit warms and awakens sleepy Radovljica.

The stalls on the advent market, which are set up in the shelter of the Baroque Mansion House, will sag with all the products produced by Slovene craftsmen. There is nothing more pleasant than a meander through rows of stalls, walking among the numerous visitors, towards the smell of hot tea and freshly baked delights. Something inviting is coming from the Renaissance Vidic House – Hostel Radovljica. It is not only the tempting smells which will lure you. Open the door and find yourself in a warm place which will evoke memories of visits you enjoyed once upon a time to your grandmother or aunt; where each of the thousands of objects remind you of something, maybe a special moment from life or an interesting story, which you don't want to forget. Without hesitation you can choose one of the delicious treats on offer, sit on one of the old, comfy sofas and then be transported back to those old, safe times. Those feelings are also experienced by the visitors to the Youth Hostel in Vidic House as the rooms are also similarly pleasant, warm and spacious. On every table in the house, you will be able to read through a list of the varied programme of December events in the Radovljica area, none of which are far away; in a neighbouring village or just a few metres away in the town square, in St. Peter's Church, in the Radovljica Mansion House or in Linhart Hall.

Youth Hostel Radovljica
Performances by individual musicians and larger concerts with masters await. Orchestras will play and the voices of the harmonious choirs will resound. In the square, in front of the rectory, children can ride fairytale horses, wonder at the St.Bernard shepherds or even spend the morning playing traditional games under the sparkling Christmas tree.

Cuisine, culture, tradition and good company, all come together at this time in our small town, creating a wonderful Christmas, which you can spend in Radovljica.

Radovljica Tourist Information Centre
Linhartov trg 9, 4240 Radovljica
T: + 386 (0)4 531 51 12,
M: + 386 (0)40 460 675

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Slovenia as one of the top 10 destinations in 2013 according to Lonely Planet

I was peacefully reading the morning news the other day, when a nice little surprise made it much more exciting. It doesn’t happen very often that a country as geographically small as Slovenia would get the worldwide attention. Guess which country is the hottest tourist destination for 2013 according to the world’s leading travel guidebook publisher, Lonely Planet? Yes, that’s right – Slovenia. In the category of Best Value Destinations, Slovenia is listed among the top 10 destinations, where travelers can really make the most out of their traveling budget.

Kobarid, Drežnica (Author-Paolo Petrignani);
Together with Rio de Janeiro, Göteborg, Cambodia, Bolivia, Portland (Oregon, USA), Spain, Nepal and Georgia (the former Soviet republic), Slovenia is included in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013 guidebook. This is an important accomplishment for such a young country, especially in times of economic uncertainty. In fact, the popularity of Slovenia as a tourist destination is rising, as this year there were 6% more foreign guests than the year before.

Autumn in Bohinj (Author-Dunja Wedam);
Lonely Planet compares Slovenia with Switzerland because of its picture-perfect landscape, but points out that it’s much nicer to a traveler’s wallet. It says that its frequent public transport connections between the most visited tourist attractions and its affordable accommodation make it a perfect destination for those who want extraordinary experiences for reasonable prices. Authors recommend sports as the number one activity in Slovenia, such as trekking, skiing, rafting or simply observing the beautiful nature.

Kranjska Gora - skiing (Author - LTO Kranjska Gora );
As a local who has visited many countries around the world, I must say that I totally agree. The beauty of Slovenia lies in its small size and impeccable diversity which leaves no soul untouched and it makes you want to revisit it soon. It is clean, cozy, small and easy to get around. With a unique mix of diverse cuisine and an interesting tray of natural beauty it surely stands out. People are nice, the weather is pretty good and you feel safe. Life runs at a slower pace and people enjoy their cup of coffee. This is a quick impression from travelers who have traveled to Slovenia. It would not be an exaggeration to say I actually haven’t met a traveler who wouldn’t love Slovenia. And I met quite a lot of them. To conclude in a way I never think I would, as a passionate lover of other cultures and an enthusiastic discoverer of the unknown as I am, but now I finally believe those people who say: “It is only when you leave your home country, that you begin to see and appreciate its beauty”. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

Maruša Galič