After a quite long absence, the Queen is back! And she is back with a great style as she prepared a report from wonderful Slovenia, which is also termed by some people as “The Pearl of Europe”.
If you are traveling from Budapest to Ljubljana by train, you can have a really good deal and buy a return ticket for only 39 EUR but watch out as this is purely an Eastern European train which takes around 8 to 9 hours. So you can literally commit suicide in the meantime!. I hate planes and I always do everything possible to avoid them, but I believe in this case, I could even survive the flight as this train was a real torture for me!.
Ljubljana however, compensated everything, not to mention the seaside – Piran, Lucija, Isola, Koper, which offered magnificent view and food!
What I can recommend in the capital? Definitely a lot of great cafes where electronic music just surrounds you! I would start the day with TOZD – called by locals as a hipster’s paradise. To be honest with you, I did not notice any of them, rather good looking, fashionable people which Ljubljana is full of anyways. This place strikes a delicate balance between its design, super friendly staff (hoping for the same one in Budapest from many years..unsuccessfully) and fine selection of snacks and drinks. I truly love their garden which is located by the river – it is a perfect spot to hang out with your friends on a warm day. But what really caught my attention was various magazines like Vogue or Wallpaper which you could grab and read without any problems. Of course, we can not forget about music – deep house surrounds you all the time.
If you feel like visiting another bar with great interiors, you should check out Bi Ko Fe. This little place hosts various exhibitions and DJ gigs. Parties take place each Wednesday and Friday and you can spot not only locals but a lot of travelers and backpackers, there.
As a local tip, I can recommend you a fantastic bar which you can easily miss, once you will be walking the main promenade. Next to Ljubliana’s town hall you will find a mini center of urban culture in the form of Pritličje. During the morning and noon hours, it functions as a cozy cafe with lunch options but transforms into a lively venue for music and culture during evenings. I had an absolutely great time there and the music was just awesome. I also had a chance to take part in – let’s say a bit experimental electronic concert where drums jammed with keyboard and violin and in the background there was a projector displaying crazy video clips. Priceless experience!
More info about great spots located in the capital of Slovenia can be found under this link: www.use-it.travel, which is a tourist info-center for young people, made by locals.
My next travel stop was of course the Slovenian seaside! We went by bus to Piran, which was around 120 km south of Ljubljana. The view on the way was just breathtaking. It has been a long time since I saw such pure and beautiful nature! The little houses settled between hills look exactly like in some paintings. It was hard to believe that this view was actually a real one.
Once we hit Piran – one of the oldest towns in Slovenia, I was shocked even more!. Little curvy streets with tiny buildings and a very long promenade with so many cafes and bars were something which I was looking for, from a long time. Could there be something more spiritual than drinking cappuccino right by the seaside? I don’t think so. Of course my first thought was to get some sea food and jump to the water. To my surprise, we had a really amazing weather, so even chilly water could seriously refresh you.
You need to know that in Piran there are a lot of old German tourists so if you are looking for some party places where the crowd is rather younger, you need to walk along the beach for around 5-6 km until you reach the neighboring town – Portoroz, which is also called the Monte Carlo of Slovenia. This funny name came due to a lot of luxurious hotels, fancy boats and yachts and of course cars – plenty of them and super expensive ones. I would rather say that this is an Eastern Europe riviera, as it is quite hard to compare anything to Monte Carlo and wealth of this place.
Going further you will finally reach Sečovlje Saltworks – the largest Slovenian salt evaporation pond. They still produce salt in a traditional way. You can buy amazing body/face peelings made out of Piran salt along with chocolates and many other goods. I got my body salt peel and I can ensure you that your skin will be like a baby’s ass after using it!
Where to eat in Piran? The best would be to find some little restaurant owned by a local family. We had a chance to spot one at Ribiska street, you need to deep dive into the little streets of old town but this one will be rather at the end of the harbor. We got amazing home made food there! A plate of fish, octopus and grilled calamari along with a local refreshing wine. Not to mention, a super nice service! Lady was quite shocked seeing my cousin eating a whole plate of fish which according to the portion, should be shared by two persons!.
All in all, you need to explore the city a bit on your own. The best what you can do is just walk all the way along the sea and you will be reaching many little towns on your way. Eat as much as you can ( not everyone is lucky enough to eat fresh seafood on a daily basis) and don’t hesitate to drink Slovenian local white wine, which is super delicious and can be really refreshing!.
Have you ever visited this part of Slovenia? What did you like the most about this country?
Do share your comments!