For those of you who don't know Ljubljana, you're missing out on a really special place, especially in winter. Centuries, even thousands of years old (think Roman era), this little town still provides a lesson when it comes to amazing food, even better wine, and fairytale-like architecture.
The small capital of the equally small nation of Slovenia has a magical Christmas feel in December and plenty of cozy winter amusements. With the picturesque old town and the heavenly Ljubljanica River, the city is a gem to stroll around.
Due to the small size of this picturesque city, it takes you only one prolonged weekend to enjoy most of its sights. You can maybe take a week of your time and you're in for a real treat in Ljubljana and its surroundings.
Celebrate the Christmas Season in Ljubljana. Imagine a small, southeast European version of Vienna, Prague, or Budapest - that's Ljubljana for you. From mulled wine and warm gin to the little Christmas markets and an amazing display of lights and shining Christmas trees all across town, experiencing the Christmas Markets in Ljubljana is one of the best things to do in Ljubljana in winter.
See the Lighting of the Ornaments. The mayor of Ljubljana ceremoniously lights the ornaments every year in the beginning of December during a special event that draws people from all over Slovenia and Europe.
It marks the beginning of this cheerful holiday time of the year. You can decide to party and sing along in one of the squares during live concerts by local artists or go to the ballet to attend a performance of Christmas Nutcracker or Swan Lake.
Either way, people around you will be joyful and happy to include you in the collective holiday craziness. While strolling along the crowds holding mulled wine, buy some roasted almonds or toasted chestnuts to keep your hands warm. The whole holiday cheer peaks with the New Year’s Eve and the traditional fireworks.
See Ljubljana Castle Lit Up and Sparkling. Towering above Ljubljana, the centuries-old Ljubljana castle on top of its little hill, glowing in Christmas lights every holiday season. There is a small Christmas market there and very good restaurants, serving hearty and tasty meals to battle the winter wind on the hill.
It provides spectacular views during the opening ceremony in December where you can watch the whole city being lit up with Christmas decorations. Go by foot or avoid the icy path using the funicular with its amazing ascending views.