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Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, formerly known as a (state) republic of Yugoslavia and an autonomous country since 1991. The heart of the city is the atmospheric Prešeren square, named after Slovenia's national poet whom has a statue on the square. The cityscape is dominated by the Ljubljanski Grad, the castle hill. The castle is beautifully restored. Ljubljana residents enjoy strolling along the remnants of other fortifications on the castle hill at night. That function as a pedestrian promenade was designed by architect Jože Plečnik, who also designed the Three Bridges (Tromostovje). The cafes, bars and restaurants along the river come alive at night.
The city has a population of about 300,000.
Ljubljana is centrally situated in the country, along the river Ljubljanica and at an altitude of almost 300 meters. On the eastern bank is old Ljubljana, west of the river is the modern part of town. The two parts are connected by bridges. Slovenia is bordered on the west by Italy, in the south and east by Croatia, in the northeast by Hungary and in the north by Austria. The country has a small opening to the sea: in the southwest it's on the Gulf of Venice.
Although industry still plays an important role in the local economy, the importance of the services industry is increasing. The industry consists mainly of pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and nutrition. Ljubljana is also the country's financial center. Furthermore, construction and transport provide employment. More and more people discover the appeal of Ljubljana (and Slovenia), making tourism a booming sector.
Ljubljana airport lies 26 kilometers north of the city center. Officially the airport is called Jože Pučnik Airport, but the Slovenians still stubbornly call it Brnik Airport, after its location. The airport is easily accessible by rental car via the A2 highway (also E61). The exit to the airport is clearly indicated.
Ljubljana has good public transport, consisting of buses. On most lines the buses leave every 15 minutes and during rush hours even more often. On weekends and holidays buses run at night as well. You pay with an electronic ticket, which you can buy from vending machines, or kiosks of the tourist office.
Ljubljana is not a very big town and therefore, traffic is not very busy. Even rush hours are relatively quiet, compared to most other European capitals. In the city center there is paid parking on the streets and most of the time it is not difficult to find a parking space. This is the cheapest option, but you are only allowed to park for two hours. There are also several parking garages, but the rates are much higher there.
There is a good range of accommodations in the city. Tourists often stay in the cluster of hotels near the Three Bridges. For budget travelers, the Celica hostel is interesting, it is housed in a converted former military prison. Three kilometers north of the city center is a campsite, beautifully situated along the river Sava. If you would like to travel to Ljubljana in summer, we recommend you to book your accommodation well in advance.
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