We arrived in Slovenia Friday late afternoon, picked up our rental car and headed into town. We were staying at the Intercontinental, which opened last year and is the highest building in Ljubljana. We had a wonderful anniversary treat waiting for us in the room with champagne and macaroons. We freshened up and headed to the hotels’ amazing rooftop right in time for sunset.
We walked into town to check out Odprta Kuhna (translates to “open kitchen”), which is a food market that Slovenia holds every Friday with tons of stalls, tables, and music. It was a great way to enjoy some Slovenian food and enjoy the beautiful evening. We walked along the river and headed to taste some Slovenian wine outside on the patio at Wine Bar Suklje. We stopped at one more bar which had some great music before calling it a night.
Saturday we headed to the central market to pick up some provisions for our hike to Lake Bled. I’d never seen a farmers market so big before – it was absolutely massive with tons of fresh fruit, cheese, meat and lots and lots and lots of honey. We grabbed brunch at Ek Bistro, which was this charming restaurant just a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the town. It was delicious and lovely to sit outside along the river.
We hopped in our car and drove 45 minutes north to the magical Lake Bled. For those who aren’t familiar with Lake Bled, it’s this stunning lake right on the outskirts of Triglavski National Park. It’s famous for the island that’s smack dab in the middle of the lake, which has a castle situated on it. We parked near Camping Bled and I immediately forced Cole to hike up the 30-minute trail to Ojstrica Point. This hike provides sweeping views over the lake with the outskirts of the Alps in the background. We stayed up there for way too long admiring the views before making our way back down.
We then walked around the entire perimeter of the lake taking in the gorgeous fall weather and beautiful views. We saw the famous Lake Bled swans, the Castle on the Hill, and lots of row boats. We finished off our visit to Lake Bled by enjoying our snacks on the small lawn with the island directly in front of us. As we headed out, we stopped at Smon, a bakery my Slovenian coworker recommended to try their delicious Grmada (rum, raisin, custard cake) and Kremsnita (local Lemon custard cake), which both lived up to the hype.
Our last stop in the area was to visit the Vintgar Gorge, which is only 15 minutes away and gorgeous! It’s about a kilometer and a half winding along the gorge enjoying the river and rapids. After the short walk, we headed back into Ljubljana trying to make it in time for sunset to enjoy it from our hotels’ rooftop again. We decided to pop into the spa to enjoy the hot tub and sauna for a little bit before getting ready for dinner.
For dinner, we decided on Slovenska Hiša – Figovec, after walking by and falling in love with the ambience of the restaurant. They even had this charming enclosed patio with string lights (my favorite 🙂 ) and rustic tables. We ordered some traditional Slovenian dishes – the Ljubljana version of schnitzel, some side dish with buckwheat, and a few other things I couldn’t pronounce. We also enjoyed some local Slovenian beers and cocktails. Dinner was good although the buckwheat wasn’t our favorite. We ended the night watching the UGA LSU game, which unfortunately didn’t turn out the way we hoped and called it a night.
On Sunday, we contemplated driving out to the vineyards of Slovenia, but decided we’d rather spend the day enjoying the beautiful weather and checking out the town a bit more. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and then headed into town to walk up the castle. We walked around the perimeter of the castle which offered some nice views of the town below us. We then had a coffee on this quaint street just soaking up the sun. We popped into some of the boutiques on Stari Trg. I was hungry again and we’d passed by Klobasarna, a little stand that sold these delicious traditional Slovenian sausages. We finished off our time in Ljubljana at Vigò, which Cole declared the best ice cream he’s ever had so if you find yourself in Ljubljana, make sure you stop here!
We loved our brief time in Slovenia – the stunning views of Lake Bled are something I’ll never forget. The charming small town of Ljubljana is a great spot for a short weekend break as well.