Ljubljana

Ljubljana is the picturesque capital of Slovenia, and with a population of 280 000, it is also Slovenia's largest city. The center of Slovenian culture, economics, and politics, Ljubljana is also home to a vibrant artist culture. Historical buildings including a medieval castle, lovely scenery, a plethora of museums and galleries, and a flourishing underground art and entertainment scene make Ljubljana travel one of the highlights of visiting Slovenia.

According to legend, the Greek hero Jason and his companions, the Argonauts, founded Ljubljana after obtaining the Golden Fleece. Sailing up Ljubljana River, Jason encountered a fearsome dragon, which he slew. The dragon is now a symbol of Ljubljana, appearing on the city's coat of arms and featuring prominently in the architecture of one of Ljubljana's famous bridges, the Dragon Bridge.

As the historic center of town is relatively small, most tourists doing some Ljubljana travel find it convenient to walk between most attractions in Ljubljana. The architecture of the city is quite interesting, with a mix of Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles. Some highlights for travelers on Ljubljana tours include Ljubljana Castle, a medieval castle built in the twelfth century to which you can walk or take the funicular, and Saint Nicholas Cathedral, a prominent landmark with twin towers and a green dome, built in the Renaissance style. West of the city center, those doing Ljubljana travel can see the remains of the ancient Roman city walls, as well as the pillars that supported the gate.

The Art Nouveau architectural style can be seen in the famous Dragon Bridge that spans the Ljubljana River. Originally named The Jubilee Bridge of Emperor Franz Josef, it was later unofficially renamed the "Dragon Bridge" after the four copper dragons standing on four pedestals of the bridge. It is one of the must-see landmarks on all Ljubljana tours.

Those interested in history or art will find ample museums and galleries to occupy their time. The National Gallery is a must-see and showcases the finest of Slovenian art throughout the ages. The Plečnik Collection of the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana is also interesting, as the renowned architect Jože Plečnik, who designed many of the most interesting buildings in the city, lived in the building. Access is available only by guided tour.

If your idea of exploring Slovenia's cities is to get a taste of the nightlife, look no further than Metelkova City. This area of Ljubljana used to be a military barracks but now comes alive as a place for youth and artists to gather, and it also has many bars and nightclubs. It is an excellent place to explore some of Ljubljana's underground artist networks and subcultures. In addition, one of Ljubljana's well-known hostels, the Celica, is located in Metelkova City.

The tourism office of Ljubljana makes it easy for travelers to get around, with free tourist maps available at the tourist information centers at the train station and dotted around the central historic area. The tourism office also offers themed Ljubljana tours, highlighting the architecture, the galleries, and other points of interest. Travelers will also find plenty of hotels in Ljubljana, ensuring that they can find the perfect place to stay during their Slovenian holiday.

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