Ljubljana ("lyoo-blah-nah"), the capital of Slovenia, is a charming old city full of artists, museums, and galleries. In Roman times, it was called Colonia Iulia Aemona and was part of Province X "Venetia et Histria" of Italia proper. With a population of 300,000, it is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe. Ljubljana is pronounced similar to 'ljubljena' ('beloved') in Slovenian, but it's not clear if the words are related.
Ljubljana has no world-famous attractions, which is just great: there's no need to hop from one place to another, taking photos and crossing off the items on your checklist. You have all the time to stroll around and enjoy the city itself. Ljubljana is noted as one of the greenest capitals in Europe; a pair of green hills, one of them sporting the city's major attraction (Ljubljana Castle) approach the centre like two opposing wedges, so forest with an extensive network of footpaths is literally across the street from the old town.
In the summer, its centre hosts a number of city sponsored events, from children's workshops and public playgrounds on the streets that get closed for traffic for the occasion, to Trnfest's off-beat street performances and musical events of all genres. In autumn it shows its academic face as it fills again with students of the state's largest university to whom the city owes much of its youthful character. Cold December days are warmed by thousands of lights, the New Year's decorations conceived by local artists, and by food and drinks sold from street stands on the banks of the Ljubljanica river. After surviving the boring grey remaining of winter, the city erupts again with spring flowers planted on its streets and crossroads. Read more