I am so excited and happy to have the opportunity to share our first family trip abroad to Ljubljana, thanks to #ExplorerKids.
The original blog posts were in Italian, needless to say it’s much easier to write in my mother tongue, but I’ll do my best to retell our wonderful experience in English and hope you will add Ljubljana to your travel bucket list.
My decision to visit Slovenia dates back to summer 2016: Dario and I were having our first night out without our little explorer, visiting his university buddies in Trieste (if you’re off for a longer trip to Slovenia, don’t miss Trieste, this city is worth a visit as Ljubljana). After spending the night rolling from one ‘osteria’ to a bar drinking wine and spritz, the day after we drove up the Carso looking for a place to eat and we crossed the border with Slovenia. The countryside was wild and silent with a hint of Post Communism. We went through a small village asleep at noon and everything looked like a painting of Saxony countryside. It was love at first sight, so easy was to decide we’ll go to Slovenia the next summer.
The three of us left on a sunny Saturday morning at the beginning of July: from Vittorio Veneto Ljubljana is just a 2.5-hour drive and when we arrived we found Maja, the host of Erik Apartment, ready to welcome us and provide all useful information to discover Ljubljana as a local.
As soon as I stepped into the main doorway I felt at home: bikes and strollers were parked in the entrance, where a wooden staircase was climbing upstairs. I was having a déjà vu of my time in Leipzig. Erik Apartment is perfect for a family stay: bright, cozy, fully equipped with everything you can think of and at walking distance from the city center.
We were soon ready to start exploring the city and headed to the riverside, where there are plenty of restaurants to eat or drink something enjoying street life. We wandered through small cobbled alleys, crossed different bridges and did some window shopping. When our little one woke up from his afternoon nappy we reached the cableway up to the Castle Hill and enjoyed the cityscape.
In Ljubljana we discovered an awesome initiative perfect for kids and grown-ups called “Library under the Treetops”, Free reading & relaxing in the world famous urban attraction. You can find this travelling library in different city spots, also in the Castle main yard. You have only to choose a book from the shelf, take a seat under the treetops and relax.
On the Event postcard they say: First class reading is chilled and served for your pleasure under the mighty trees at several locations across Ljubljana, around Slovenia and abroad.
100% natural and escapist-friendly library invites you to stop and forget about everything.
Don’t forget: reading is breathing.
After exploring the Castle yard, climbing up the different towers and trying to sit down for a minute to enjoy a book, we decided it was time to go back downtown. There is really a nice walk down to the city center easily accessible with a stroller.
If you are planning to go out in the evening, remember you are already in a Northern European country and live music in the street is allowed only until 10 pm. That’s why I enjoyed a little walk on my own on the riverside with a great acoustic guitar duo, but it was too late when Dario arrived.
The next morning we headed to Tivoli Park, a perfect spot to have a walk, watch the ducks in the lake and spend hours at the huge playground (if you access the park from the main entrance from the city center, the playground is on your left).
As soon as we got out from the historical center, we immediately noticed the difference: wide squares and grey concrete everywhere, Communism is not really known as a fancy architectural period.
We had lunch at Julia, where you can taste typical Slovenian delicatessen and went back home for the afternoon nappy. I love staying in apartment when I am on holiday, because you have much more space and freedom to adapt your everyday routine, which is pretty important for our kid.
In the afternoon we went back exploring the center, playing with locks on the bridge, eating ice-cream while watching boats on the river, and having dinner with an hamburger at Italian “aperitivo” time.
As a “want-to-see-all” traveler, I took everybody to Metelkova, the artist occupied district. Well, in my opinion it’s overrated, but maybe Sunday evening was just not the right moment. A part from some graffiti, there were only old punks drinking beer and smoking.
Our last day in Ljubljana started with a visit to the market, enjoying a croissant on a sunny bench and it was just one of those perfect moment you would like to save in your pocket to take it out in a gloomy winter day.
Our days in Ljubljana were just perfect for a toddler’s trip: the atmosphere is relaxed and family-friendly, there are plenty of things to see and do outdoors all at walking distance but there are also different interesting museums to visit. So thumb up for Ljubljana!