Gauss-Telegraph: Travel during Corona – Ljubljana
by Andrés Muñoz
Ljubljana is a city that definitely surpassed my expectations. It is one of the smallest capitals of the European Union with about 290,000 inhabitants. That’s not that big compared to Braunschweig, yet the city feels more vibrant and alive, partly because it has a relatively young population with many students living in the Slovenian Capital. Though Ljubljana is one of the least connected in the EU, even more now with just a handful of flights per week, it’s certainly worth adding it to your travel list.
The heart of the city is located around the Prešeren Square, by the river Ljubljanica. Here’s where you’ll find the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation along with the iconic triple bridge. Besides the triple bridge, there other beautiful bridges in the city center like the Butchers’ Bridge, the Dragon Bridge or the Cobblers Bridge. In this area, there are also many restaurants by the river that were filled with people during the summer. However, I strongly believe that this has changed, specially since most airlines suspended their flights to Slovenia after the autumn break. Located on the south-eastern side of the river, you can visit the Cathedral and City Hall. Further south is the “Stari trg” (Old Town square) which is also one of the many shopping and dining areas.
On top of the hill, overlooking the city, is the Ljubljana Castle. The castle can be accessed either by foot or by funicular. Built during the Middle Ages and renovated many times over the years, it is a now a museum with different exhibitions such as Slovenian History, but also a venue for events. Another museum I enjoyed was the Museum of Illusions. The museum actually has many branches around the world. Even though the museum is small, it tests your mind in a fun way.
Ljubljana is characterized by its art scene as well, marked by the Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Center which started as an illegal occupation and later redefined itself as an autonomous zone. Nowadays, its buildings and organizations are dedicated to promoting art and culture. As a district for people who lead an alternative lifestyle, it’s normally full of life from what I heard before. However, events with live music and outdoor concerts are sadly taboo today.
Another thing worth doing in Ljubljana is participating in the Union Experience. The museum of this brewery portraits its history since the foundation in 1864. It also displays the different methods and machinery that has been used in the last 150 years to produce beer. Normally the tours are done in groups of 20 people, but in my group there were only three people, including me, so it turned out a nice experience and gave me more time to look at each exhibit. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the beer production process, however you also get to taste a glass of their beer. After the tour, you can taste the different special Union beers at the Union pub.
A must-activity when going to Ljubljana is taking a half-day trip to the Postojna Caves and the Predjama Castle. I would personally recommend booking a guided tour to go to these attractions, as transportation between Postojna and Predjama Castle is limited. There’s a shuttle bus you can take at certain months, but if you go during low-season or Covid-times, then rather go on a group tour (the number of people per tour is limited and you have to wear a mask all the time). The caves in Postojna are one of the largest in the country. However, access is limited just to a certain area. The stalagmites formed in the cave are very impressive and beautiful. Included in the ticket is the entry to Predjama Castle. An audio-guide will take you around the rooms of the castle while explaining all the ingenious defense mechanisms created by its owner, the knight Erasmus of Lueg.
Hopefully, travel connections to Ljubljana will improve soon, then you can have the chance to visit this amazing city.
Come back tomorrow to read about our last stop of this series: Athens!
Note: At the moment of travel, this region/country was not on the list of risk areas according to the Robert-Koch-Institute .
Before making any travel plans, check the latest advice from the Federal Foreign Office. You can download their app (Android or iOS) to stay up-to-date or check the IATA’s website for the latest entry requirements.