Europe’s Little Gem

Capital of slovenia, ljubljana is like a tiny jewel in central europe with its architecture, its street cafes, its pristine nature and its friendly people. Here are five things to do in this gem of a city.

1. Tour Ljubljana Castle
This romantic castle with a magnificent 360° panoramic view of the city also hosts a large number of cultural events. At Galerija Rustica directly next to the entrance you can buy examples of traditional Slovenian handicrafts.

2. Take a boat cruise
Touristic cruises enable you to see the city and its famous buildings and bridges from a different angle. Cruises start in Old Town and go as far as Livada Bridge, passing Old Town and continuing as far as Žitni Bridge on the return. You can also see the famous Plečnik Barriers here.

3. Take a stroll around Old Town
Ljubljana’s Old Town is a great choice with its canals, street musicians, and wide array of outstanding restaurants. A different kind of music rises at every corner in Old Town, which rivals Venice in its beauty. The performances of the traveling musicians are truly worth seeing.

4. See the Triple Bridge
Built by acclaimed Slovenian architect Jože Pleċnik in the heart of Ljubljana, the Three Bridges connect to a long market on the riverbank. Overlooking Vodnik Square, this market with its colonnaded facade is your address for Slovenian handicrafts, especially wood carving.

5. Visit the National Museum of Slovenia
An exhibition at the section of the museum located in the Metelkova Museum Quarter, The Knight, the Lady and the Dragon: The Heritage of Medieval Warriors presents an objective yet exciting look at different aspects of chivalry in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Through October 15, 2013, at the National Museum of Slovenia.

The traditional Dragon Carnival starts on February 9 this year. The carnival is marked by a colorful parade of crowds of people in fascinating masks and costumes.