Ljubljana #6 in the top 10 cities on In Your Pocket

Provisional figures from the Slovenian Tourist Board show that tourist arrivals were up by more than 10% in 2016, with the numbers for both domestic and foreign tourists showing strong growth over the year. This trend is predicted to continue in 2017, as the country and its many attractions become better known and more confident on the international scene, a development strongly supported by this blog and its published guides.

In this context, it’s also notable that Ljubljana’s small size has not stopped it from being among the top 10 cities searched for on In Your Pocket’s global website for 2016. The city comes in at number 6 out of around 200, following only Krakow, Prague, Warsaw, Johannesburg, and Bucharest, with the top 10 rounded out by Gdansk, Riga, Zurich, and Wroclaw. This high ranking is an indication not only of the growing popularity of Ljubljana as a tourist destination, but the importance of its In Your Pocket site to visitors, which is among the very few online resources available when they plan their trips and days out.

As such, we start 2017 with the hope for a prosperous and healthy new year for the city, its people, visitors and businesses, and that by working together we can continue to make Ljubljana a fine place to live.

Having a stag party in Slovenia

In the last few years the tourism in Slovenia has developed a lot, which reflects in more frequent inquiries from foreign tourists. Especially in the last two years the number of groups that come with only one purpose in mind – to celebrate a stag party – has increased exponentially. The summer months are the most saturated with foreign and home stag groups, which are usually seen in the city centre, wearing the same uniforms and taking part in different, entertaining activities.

What are the most popular and interesting activities for such groups in Slovenia, aside from those that take place in Ljubljana?

Cave kayaking
Kayaking through an abandoned mine, which leads to a beautiful underground lake.

White Water Rafting
Travelling through the wilderness of untouched nature that you can observe while paddling the rapids of the most beautiful Slovenian rivers.

Moving along on the river gorges, jumping down small waterfalls, and ending up in beautiful pools.

A mixture of water skiing, surfing and snowboarding, with a rush of adrenaline.

A breathtaking ride by wire through Učja canyon, giving views which are otherwise known only by the birds. You can see the Beautiful Bovec Green River Valley, cliffs, canyons, a view of the highest mountain, Triglav, a experience for everyone

Bled Experience
A visit to Bled is also an unforgettable experience, as this is one of the most beautiful alpine resorts, surrounded by picturesque mountains. From Bled Castle one can see majestic mountains arranged around a small island with a church, which sits in the middle of the lake.

Slovenia’s smallness is also its strength, because it enables transitions from mountains to the sea in less than two hours. Most people find this feature very fascinating, because they rarely have the opportunity to first slide along the natural slides of a river canyon, and soon after be racing down wire over one of the most beautiful valleys in the country.

Click this link for more activities suitable for a stag celebration in Slovenia.

Top 7 Ljubljana Apps for Tourists

Much to our chagrin it seems that this “smartphone” fad may have some staying power after all. So while we personally still rely on the old-fashioned ink printed on paper as our primary conveyor of travel information, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the most useful apps for visitors to Ljubljana. Just don’t forget to look up from your phone every now and then whilst strolling around the quaint capital of Slovenia, by all objective measures it’s quite a pretty town, so it’d be a shame to miss it.

#1 Visit Ljubljana

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The local tourist office’s in-house app contains a wealth of info about the city’s sights, restaurants, shops, events and more. The most convenient feature is being able to sort venues based on how close they are to your current position, which works with GPS even when you’re offline. Another useful tool for visitors is the ability to easily add venues to a My Visit list with a single tap, creating your own itineraries or reminders of places you’d like to see. [Android / iOS]

#2 LJBus

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Of the many public transport apps that keep track of arrival and departure times for Ljubljana’s two dozen or so local bus routes, we find this one the most useful, mainly thanks to the easy-to-use map view, which shows you exactly where the bus stops are and lets you bring up a full schedule for all routes with one click. Of course all the technical info still comes from the LPP system itself, which means the displayed times can be trusted most of the time, but seemingly never when you need them the most. [Android / iOS]

#3 Bicikelj

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In 2015, Ljubljana made its debut on the list of the 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet in an impressive 13th place. With some 134km of bike lanes and 73km of cycle tracks, the city’s cycling infrastructure continues to rapidly expand, as does its award-winning bike share programme, known as Bicike(LJ). This app of the same name will not only help you find the nearest station, but also tell you how many bikes are available and how many parking spaces are free, so you can avoid the frustration not having a bike to take or a station to park at. [Android / iOS]

#4 Prevoz

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While there are many popular ride share websites covering all of Europe, for rides within Slovenia or international rides departing from or originating in Slovenia, the locally run prevoz.org is by far the most frequently used option, saving you both time and money on trips as long as you don’t mind sitting in a car with a stranger. The site’s companion app is simple and easy to use, although it is only currently in Slovenian and also required registration to view drivers’ contact info. [Android / iOS]

#5 Radio Študent

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We’ll be honest, most of the radio stations in Slovenia are terrible, unless you like hackneyed commercial pop or Slovenian folk music, however, the student-run Radio Študent is one glowing exception. Founded back in 1969, it’s one of the oldest non-commercial stations in Europe, but being students they’re also tech savvy, with this simple app you can use to stream the station (from anywhere in the world). They play a diverse mix of Slovenian, regional and international music, leaning more towards the alternative and indie scene, but encompassing pretty much every genre imaginable. [Android / iOS]

#6 English – Slovenian Dictionary

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The vast majority of Slovenians speak at least passable English, especially in the capital Ljubljana, but picking up a few words of the local language always makes a good impression when interacting with locals. There are a handful of free English to Slovenian dictionaries on Google Play and the App Store, but this one seems to be the highest rated. [Android / iOS]

#7 In Your Pocket City Essentials

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Still in its version 1.0 beta release, we have a feeling that once some more bells and whistles are added, this app will move firmly into the #1 position on our chart, mostly because it’s the most elegant, easy-to-use and up-to-date Ljubljana travel app on the market, but perhaps also in part because we made it. A curated selection of only the best content from our most popular categories, the In Your Pocket City Essentials app is the perfect companion for weekend break, business trip or short excursion to our fair city. [Android / iOS]

Have an app recommendation for us? Let us know at ljubljana@inyourpocket.com!

Ljubljana’s Top 5 Pubs for St Patrick’s Day

As everyone who has read the relevant Wikipedia page knows, Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius; Irish: Pádraig [ˈpˠaːd̪ˠɾˠəɟ], Old Irish: Cothraige) was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland, along with saints Brigit of Kildare and Columba. He is also venerated in the Anglican Communion, the Old Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church as equal-to-apostles and the Enlightener of Ireland.

And what better way to pay one’s solemn respect to Ireland and its revered patron saint then drinking to excess and making a bunch of bad decisions? We sure can’t think of any, so here are our Top 5 recommendations for St Patrick’s Day pubs in Ljubljana!

  1. Patrick’s Irish Pub

01 - Patricks

For obvious reason it’s simply not possible to have a list of the best pubs for St Paddy’s day without eponymous Patrick’s Irish Pub coming in at #1. But semantics aside, Patrick’s is not only Slovenia’s original Irish Pub dating back to 1995, but they also have a huge selection of premium beer, frequent events (including the pub quiz we’ve won more than a few times) and some indulgent pub food, which tastes amazing after a few pints. All in all, one of our favourite watering holes in town!

2. Guinness Pub

02 - Guinness

We’re honestly not the biggest fans of Guinness, although we did down a fair number of Irish Car Bombs during our student days on a study abroad in Belfast, where we lived in the nurses dormitory at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Falls Road and went out drinking literally every single night. Those nights rarely ended well, but there’s something to be said for nostalgia, ergo, the venerable Guinness Pub comes in at #2 on our list.

3. Pivnica Union

03 - Pivnica Union

There’s obviously no Irish connection here, but beer in Ljubljana can’t get any fresher than from Union Brewery’s very own in-house pub. The atmosphere here is always lively, the Slovenian pub fare menu is excellent, and they’ve got some special offers and discounts just for St Patrick’s Day. And if there’s one thing we like more than a good beer, it’s a good beer at a discounted price.

4. Sir William’s Pub

04 - Sir Williams

Sir William’s is hands down the classiest and most sophisticated pub in Ljubljana, but don’t let that dissuade you from drinking too much and making a complete fool of yourself come St Patrick’s Day! They’ve got arguably the largest selection of beer in town to choose from, including an excellent rotating offer of domestic and international beers on draught. Of course we’re not sure which Sir William this place is named for, but we’re going to go ahead and assume that it’s Sir William Wallace of Braveheart and blue body paint fame.

5. Cutty Sark 

05 - Cutty Sark

If you’ve got yourself kicked out of all the other pubs in town, or they’ve just sadly closed down before you’ve sufficiently honoured dear St Patrick, then there’s only one thing left to do: have some kind soul point you in the direction of Cutty Sark and stumble your way to the late night dance party that is sure to be taking place here come the wee hours. And if anyone asked who sent you, please don’t mention our name – we don’t want any responsibility for the bad decisions you’re inevitably going to make here.

Minister za zdravje opozarja: Prekomerno pitje alkohola škoduje zdravju!