Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed March 23 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | March 23, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Here Be Dragons: A List Of Reasons To Love Ljubljana

    Here Be Dragons: A List Of Reasons To Love Ljubljana

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    It happened one day a few years ago. I was just sitting there, minding my own business, thumbing through the pages of my European guidebook. All of a sudden, I stumbled across a place called Ljubljana, Slovenia. Ljubljana was painted in colorful guide book prose as a “cozy cafe-centric city split by a romantic river, crowned by a stoic castle, and filled with eclectic architecture along with a fantastical bridge adorned with dragons.”

    Or something like that.

    I was intrigued. When I eventually made it there, I immediately fell in love with the place, just like almost every other person I’ve ever met who has gone there as well. Here are a just a few of the reasons why I love Ljubljana, and I have a hunch you will too.  

    The Name

    Names play a role in a place’s appeal, and while Ljubljana sure looks tough to pronounce, it actually isn’t. No, it’s a pretty easy “le-yoo-BLYAH-nah” or if you’re feeling lazy just “loo-blana.” Regardless, that’s not the fun part of the name, the fun part is that it looks so intimidating, that I think it scares away the lazy travelers. This means that compared to other romantic European capitals, there are less people to battle in Ljubljana for hotel rooms, restaurant tables and picnic spots along the river.

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    The River

    Speaking of Ljubljanica River, it pleasantly splits Ljubljana’s Old Town right down the middle, creating a very dramatic city scene that sprawls out gracefully on both sides. Strolling along the Ljubljanica, admiring the flowing waters and the artwork on the banks is a true pleasure. There’s also a fun little bridge with four dragon busts on it that you’ll definitely want to photograph. 

    The Buildings

    This is hard for me to admit, but I’m no architecture expert. I do, however, know the result of cool construction when I see it, and Ljubljana is chock full of them. From the “pretty in pink” Baroque beauty Franciscan Church of the Annunciation on to the unique Triple Bridge and very Venetian riverside Central Market, Ljubljana just feels different compared to other places, and that’s a good thing. Famous native son Joze Plecnik made many of the unique touches to the city, and if you’re an architecture expert, you will definitely want to visit the house he lived in Ljubljana, which is now a museum.

    The Castle

    A lovely exclamation point confirming Ljubljana’s storybook setting, Ljubljana Castle sits atop the medieval Old Town. The castle offers tours, is home to a restaurant and is also a wedding venue if you’re feeling really romantic.

    Photo by Worldwide Scott

    The Embankment

    As the Ljubljanica River flows away from downtown, a wide embankment has been built on its sides with large stone steps perfect for picnics, social gatherings, and even floating barge bars. And I can think of no better way to spend a sunny afternoon than soaking up sun and a local Union beer on the Ljubljanica embankment.

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    Hostel Celica

    In keeping with its unique theme, Ljubljana is home to one of the coolest accommodations I’ve ever stayed at. A refurbished prison, Hostel Celica’s cells were painstakingly designed by local artists to each be a fun and fanciful space, one that you’ll be thrilled to be locked up in for a night or two. 

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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