In recent times, more and more media around the world have been recommending travellers to visit Ljubljana. Ljubljana is not a large city, but it has a lot to offer to visitors: beautiful architecture and views, excellent food and wine, a vibrant artistic scene, a host of interesting festivals, a choice of unique activities, and a perfect base for day-trips around Slovenia. Apart from that, this undiscovered gem in the heart of Central Europe, half way between Vienna and Venice, offers you an opportunity to add an experience of the local LGBT scene to your trip.
Seven reasons why you should visit Ljubljana
1. Experience the city's romantic character
Ljubljana provides a picturesque setting for romantic experiences. The soul of the city is its river, the Ljubljanica, with its beautiful bridges and picturesque embankments. Ljubljana's unique appearance is also due to a castle towering over the city and numerous dragons, which are the city's symbol.
2. Enjoy entertainment and nightlife
The rhythm of daily life in Ljubljana is relaxed, and the local residents definitely know how to have fun. On warm days and evenings, they enjoy the city's social life at riverside restaurants with outdoor seating and always find something interesting going on either at the city's bars, bistros, and clubs or the ever vibrant Metelkova mesto alternative culture centre.
3. Indulge in the local flavours
Slovenia and Ljubljana lie at the meeting point of culinary influences from the Mediterranean, Alpine, and Pannonian regions. A large number of local chefs are committed to introducing interesting new approaches to traditional cuisine. Check out the dishes promoted by the Taste Ljubljana project, prepared combining traditional local recipes and ingredients with modern cooking methods. Visit the Open Kitchen food market on a Friday from mid-March to October and enjoy sampling local dishes prepared right in front of your eyes.
4. Experience an amazing city of culture
Ljubljana's beautiful architecture, festivals, open-air cultural events, street theatre, opera, ballet, and interesting museums and galleries offer you plenty of opportunity for cultural activities. Should you feel tired after seeing the sights, consider taking a break at one of the branches of the Library under Trees, where reading in natural surroundings can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Books generally represent an important part of cultural life in Ljubljana, which has been named a UNESCO City of Literature.
5. Join the PinkWeek experience of Ljubljana and Slovenia
PinkWeek, a combination of a package tour and an exclusive event, is organized annually by the Imperial travel agency, whose owners, partners both in business and life, offer LGBT visitors and their friends a unique experience including Slovenia's major attractions, culinary delights, and lively entertainment. Make sure not to miss its major highlight, the Dragon's Ball equality dance, set to be held on the last Saturday in May.
6. Get to know Ljubljana's strong LGBT rights movement
When Slovenia was still part of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, Ljubljana's Student Cultural Centre, better known as ŠKUC, founded its gay section, named Magnus. In 1984, the section organized Europe's first LGBT film festival, at the time known as the Magnus Festival. The city's dedicated LGBT activists and artists, organized in a number of non-governmental organizations, continue to contribute to the face of Ljubljana today.
7. Choose from interesting themed events
The major annual events worth mentioning here include the Red Dawns art festival at the Metelkova mesto alternative culture centre (March), the Pride Parade through the streets of Ljubljana (June), the City of Women arts festival (September), and the LGBT film festival, Europe's oldest film festival of its kind (November).