Ljubljana, as the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Slovenia, is the political and cultural heart of the Slovenian nation.
Ljubljana is classified as a mid-sized European city, but still has preserved its small-town friendliness and relaxed atmosphere while providing all the facilities of a modern capital.
Having the population of 283,000 and the area of 275km², Ljubljana is a very unique city dotted with pleasant picturesque places where you can expect all kinds of nice little surprises. During winter its dreamy central European character prevails, while during summer its relaxed Mediterranean feel is ever-present.
Ljubljana has preserved evidence of a five thousand year history including, among others, the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city centre with its medieval castle, Baroque façades, decorative portals and uneven roofs. In the second half of the 20th century, it was the world famous architect Jože Plečnik who put an indelible personal stamp on his native Ljubljana. He tried to model Ljubljana on ancient Athens. The multitude of his creations in the city, referred to as a whole as "Plečnik's Ljubljana", is considered to be one of the 20th century's most important total works of art.
The city's appearance was further shaped by his students and a new wave of renowned young Slovenian architects.
Ljubljana's character is mainly due to a unique and felicitous mixture of two very different but complementary features: on the one hand, the city is famed for its historical heritage and tradition, but on the other, it is a relatively young city with a modern lifestyle.
It is also a city of culture. It is home to numerous theatres, museums and galleries, and boasts one of the oldest philharmonic orchestras in the world.
For the people of Ljubljana culture is a way of living and thinking and is very much a part of everyday life. Over 10,000 cultural events take place in the city every year, among which there are 10 international festivals. The inhabitants of Ljubljana and its visitors can admire artists from all the different fields - from music, theatre and fine arts to the alternative and avant-garde.
As four Slovene regions meet in Ljubljana, the city's numerous restaurants and inns offer a wide range of local delicacies, not to mention superb wines.
Even though Central Slovenia is not a wine-growing region, Ljubljana has been awarded the international title of a "City of Vine and Wine", and that is no coincidence. Slovenia is a country of good wines valued for their remarkably natural tastes. If you prefer beer, Ljubljana has a huge amount to offer beer lovers. Its range of places to eat is complemented by a rich choice of taverns, pubs, and other catering outlets and specialized shops offering beer. If, on top of that, you consider Slovenia's microbreweries, whose beers you simply must taste, you can be sure that you have an exciting journey ahead.
Ljubljana is also a place where romance is in the air. The city owes its romantic character to both its historical appearance and its youthful energy. Life moves at a relaxed pace and people still take time to sit around in open-air cafés and admire the city's jaw-dropping views.
Love emanates even from the city's name, which sounds very similar to the Slovenian word 'ljubljena', meaning 'the beloved'.
Ljubljana is a city crossed by a river, the Ljubljanica. The river, with its beautiful bridges designed by the famous 20th century architect Jože Plečnik, represents the very essence of the city's soul.
Ljubljana is probably one of the few cities in the world whose central town square is adorned with a statue of a poet rather than some political or military hero. The poet, France Prešeren, who wrote mostly in Slovenian and is best known for his sonnets, was one of Europe's great Romantic poets.
Attached to the façade of a building across the way from the statue of the poet and the muse of poetry, designed by the architect Maks Fabiani and the sculptor Ivan Zajc, is a portrait statue of Prešeren's actual muse, Julija Primic, who never returned the poet's love.
It is a city of greenery, its very centre occupied by parks and forests, and it also represents an ideal departure point for the discovery of all the variety Slovenia has to offer.
That is why Ljubljana is the European Green Capital 2016 and the proud holder of a Tourism for Tomorrow 2015 award. Being a city with a green soul and a high level of environmental awareness, it has managed to preserve its green character to the present day.
Distances between places in Slovenia are short, which makes Ljubljana a perfect base for exploring the country's diverse beauty. Within a single day you can visit the Slovenian coast and high mountainous regions, and experience the Mediterranean, Alpine and continental climate.