Travel Slovenia. The European Green Capital Ljubljana

 Updated November 2022.
Do you know that there are Green Capitals in Europe? Europe is often referred to as the old world, but hey, it is the old world, true, but full of people with very modern ideas and views. Here is the thing. Slovenia in southern Central Europe sits between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. You will find the Alps, a limestone plateau region and also a tiny strip of coast on the Adriatic Sea in Slovenia. For centuries it belonged to the Hapsburg Empire and from 1918 on to Yugoslavia. The country became independent in the summer of 1991, and that after going through very turbulent times during the Yugoslav wars. In 2004 the country became an EU member; its capital city is Ljubljana.

Period properties and lush green trees and bushes on a river bank.

There are many reasons to visit Ljubljana

Roughly 280,000 people call Ljubljana home. It was in the twenties and thirties of the last century, that the Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik changed the look of Ljubljana. He designed and built the University Library, the properties along the banks of the river Ljubljanica and the Three Bridges (Tromostovje) in the town centre. It seems as if the socialist Yugoslav years never happened, at least in the old town. Ljubljana has everything a traveller can wish for. You find a medieval castle and the old town with enchanting baroque-façades and lots of red and slightly crooked rooftops. Today cafes and bars line the banks of the river Ljubljanica. There are more than 14 festivals per year and thousands and thousands of cultural events. There is also a great street art scene.

Ljubljana the European Green Capital

Ljubljana is the green heart of Europe; in 2016 the town is the winner of the European Green Capital Award. It is an award that was launched by the European Commission in 2008 to honour cities that are leading the way in environmentally friendly urban living. How marvellous is it that the European Commission establishes and effectively manages such innovative projects? The awards slogan is “Green cities – fit for life.”

There surely aren’t too many places where you can paddle through the city centre on a SUP board. City buses run on natural gas and drinking water is accessible to all. The town also has an outdoor library with more than seven locations in the city (open in summer) where books, comics, magazines and newspapers are available free of charge. Ljubljana consistently performs high environmental standards, and significantly improved its sustainability over the previous decade, especially in areas such as local transport and the pedestrianizing of the town centre. The focus still lies on public transport and on pedestrian- and cycling networks. Ljubljana doesn't stop there but wants to further improve its environmental and sustainable development. Towns like these act as a role model, and will surely inspire all other European cities to introduce the same environmental friendly measures.

Street Art: Refugees Welcome.


Imagine that three quarters of the entire Ljubljana are green areas, including contiguous aquatic, forest and agricultural areas. The largest of five newly created parks is the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, with 7,000 trees on one single avenue.

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You really have to go and see Ljubljana for yourself. I’m head over heels in love with this town. There are plenty of stores in the old town but I found two that are especially cute: Smile Concept Store, Mestni trg 6 and Babushka Boutique, Stari trg 18. Hours: 10am to 8pm. Both have a wide range of unique gifts, china, and stationery. For dinner with fresh food, delicious local wine plus welcoming and fun service I recommend Julija, Stari trg 9. Hours 11.30am to 12am.

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How to get to Ljubljana 

There are direct flights from several European cities to Jože Pučnik airport which is only 20 km from Ljubljana, including from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Rome, Sarajevo, Stockholm, Warsaw. For more info please check the website of the airport.

For train connections please jump onto the website of Slovenske železnice. By car: 230 km from Venice, Italy. 380 km from Vienna, Austria. 400 km from Munich, Germany. 460 km from Split, Croatia. 600 km from Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina. 730 km from Strasbourg, France

From Berlin with love