My mother and I will be arriving a couple of days early for our June 17 Best of Adriatic tour. Would love suggestions on how others have spent their time. We have a list of suggestions included in our tour pack, but would love to know about restaurants, etc. that others have discovered near the hotel.
Ljubljana is lovely and small, very walk-able. There are also some good day trip options that may not be on your tour itinerary. Consider taking a bus to the town of Skofja Loka. Or a train (or bus) to the town of Radovljica (not far from Bled). Both are really nice little old towns. Ljubljana is a wonderful place to come back to at night, very beautiful when all lit up, and usually lively as it's a college town (but maybe school will be out by the time you arrive).
We took a food tour but learned a great lesson: don't take it the day you meet for your first group dinner-we were stuffed! Where and what is your hotel? Here's a restaurant we really like for lunch, the lovely restaurant at the Castle, Gostlina na Gradu. It is (or was) in the RS book. I'd advise you to make reservations if it sounds good to you. The food tour was amazing-a combination of walking tour, history and wonderful food and drink. If you think you and your Mom might be interested in doing something like this, I will find a link and post it. I loved Ljubljana so much, I did a return trip last September and stayed several days after taking the Eastern Europe tour. It's a wonderful city, full of wonderfully friendly people who are more than willing to help you find anything you are looking for or suggesting anything you might want to do there. You might check into a day trip to the caves, not too far away. We were going to do that but the time flew right past us. I always say "always leave something to go back for". So, I'll be back someday to take that cave tour!
Suzanne, we will be on that tour in a few months, and found a number of restaurant recommendations on a RS thread last month "Recommendations Ljubljana Restaurants." We would enjoy reading about your recommendations when you return. Have a great time!
Andi, I’m curious if the food tour you took is the same one I have booked. Was it through Urban Adventures?
I hope you will love the itinerary of this tour as much as we did.
We arrive a couple of days early, too.
Our first full day was spent mostly just walking around the very walkable city and checking out the market, church and university. We scheduled a food tour for late afternoon and evening. It was fantastic and we were the only Americans. It was a good start of understanding Slovenian food and regions. Very fun, and as we always think... we will need to eat anyway!
On the next day (which was the day we were to meet the group after 4) we booked a day tour to see the Skocjan Cave and Lipica Stud farm and show. That was a bit much as we didn't get back into Ljubljana until 6 and had to find the group. (but we didn't miss the dinner, just the get to know you part, big mistake!)
The first full day of the tour we had a morning walking tour and then afternoon off, so we got a taxi and went to the city cemetery. This was extremely interesting!
I just finished this tour in May. I arrived early and was there on the big market day - which was quite interesting. Also walked up to the castle. The puppet museum was worth seeing. Also walked out to Tivoli Park. Not an exciting park, but the greenery was pleasant in the rain. There's quite a bit to see and do. Relax and have fun. It's really a great tour.
I had two excellent dinners at Julija (https://julijarestaurant.com/). (So good I went back a second time!)
The location is perfect, and I ate outside, which added to the wonderful charm of the place. The servers were very friendly.
I also enjoyed walking around in Tivoli Park. In addition, the area just east of the park has some really interesting architecture. Check out the Serbian Orthodox Church (http://spc-ljubljana.si/). I walked kind of aimlessly and came across a lot of buildings I admired. You might run into the US Embassy, possibly the most quaint of our embassies anywhere! Also the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Museum of Modern Art, the Narodni Musej, the Parliament building, all are within easy strolling distance from everything else worth seeing. The cemetery is not within walking distance, but I agree with tgreen and I think it's worth a taxi ride. Also, Andrew H mentioned Radovljica, but he didn't mention the fascinating beekeeping museum there (http://mro.si/english/).
You will have no shortage of delightful things to do prior to the tour!
KB (and anyone else who might be interested), here's the link for the Ljubljana food tour we took. I didn't look at any TA reviews but from the current description of the tour, it hasn't changed. Again, it was fabulous and we loved every minute, every bite of food and every bit of history shared with us over at least 4 hours. We began earlier, about mid morning and we were actually the second tour ever this just starting out company had given. We were happy to spread the word. I recommended it to some friends on the Adriatic tour last summer and they loved it, too!
Wonderful suggestions! Thanks to all for giving us such an intriguing list of ideas. I have just now booked the food tour Andi linked to and it looks great. Had hoped to book for one of our pre-tour days, but tours were sold out. Instead booked for day 2 when we have the afternoon and evening on our own.
Will definitely be exploring some of the other suggestions for our two remaining open pre-tour days.
I will second a dinner at Julija, we were there last fall. And dining out on the sidewalk of the pedestrian street was really wonderful.