Travel

02 Apr 2019, 17:20 PM

Part of the appeal of Slovenia as a destination is the remarkable variety of landscapes, climates, cuisines and cultural heritage packed into a relatively small area, due to the young nation’s position at the crossroads of north, south, east and west Europe. Piran, and the Slovenian coastal region of Istria in general, is a fine example of this, giving the country and access to the Adriatic as well as an area famed for its wines, olives, persimmons, seafood, architecture and – on occasion – wind (known as the burja or bora). For both short-term visitors and life-long residents of Slovenia it represents an escape from the inland and the chance to enter another, more Venetian world, an opportunity that should be seized whenever possible.

We thus present a short guide to spending from four to 48 hours in Piran, with a choice of sights and activities that isn’t meant to be exhaustive, or exhausting, but rather a simple presentation of things to see and do that’ll let you say: “Yes, I’ve been to Piran, and I loved it”.

Essential Sightseeing in Piran: The Old Town and the Sea

The town is an old Venetian settlement, ruled by the lagoon-based city state from 1283 to 1797, and this history can still be seen in many of the more notable buildings. The town’s proximity to Italy also means that Piran, or Pirano, is essentially bilingual, as seen in the two languages on the signs and often heard in the accented dialect of locals. The best place to see Venetian architecture is in the Old Town, basically the whole of touristic Piran, which can easily be explored on foot in a few of hours – it’s mostly pedestrianised – with breaks for cafés, light shopping and food.

Notable buildings include the Benecanka Casa Veneziana Pirano, aka the Venetian House, now a boutique hotel, but one that you can still enjoy from the outside. It’s long been a tourist attraction, as seen in the postcard below, and is said to have been built by a Venetian merchant for a local women he fell in love with.

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Postcard of the Venetian House, 1914. Source: Wikipedia

Venetian House can be found on the edge of Tartini Square, named after the composer Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), the first recorded owner of a Stradivarius. As old as it may look, this square is relatively recent. It was an open dock until 1894, when – the locals having grown sick of the smell of the sewage and waste that floated in the waters – it was filled in, with the statue of Tartini being placed there two years later.

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Photo of the dock that became Tartini Square, taken in the late 19th century, with Venetian House roughly in the middle. Source: Wikipedia

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Postcard of Tartini Square in 1915. You can see the Venetian House behind the two men. Source: Wikipedia

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Tartini Square in 200. Source: Wikimedia - © Plamen Agov • studiolemontree.com CC by 3.0. You can see more old photos of the square here.

It’s from this square that you can see another icon of Piran, the statue of the Archangel Michael, which for a little over 250 years has been sitting atop the church of St George, moving to show the direction of the wind to the town’s seafaring residents. (It was taken down for a short time 2018, for some much needed repairs)

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St Michael. Screenshot from YouTube

Another structure to seek out are the Cloisters of Saint Francis Monastery, a place that still houses Franciscan monks and one that’s known for having great acoustics. For that reason it hosts the Piran Music Evenings and Tartini Festival, with the latter taking place late summer (this year, 2019, from August 22 to September 9), with the official website here.

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The Cloisters. Wikimedia - Isiwal CC-by-4.0

Before or after your walk around town you might want to sunbathe or swim, and you can do so at various spots, with some of what to expect (no sand) shown in the following video from Korea.

Things to do with 24 to 48 hours in Piran

Once you’ve seen the Old Town and bathed in the sun and/or the sea, you might want to take in some more of the related cultural and touristic offerings. These include the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran Aquarium and the Museum of Underwater Activities(website down, at the time of writing), all of which offer what the names suggest. You can also find details of upcoming festivals, concerts and other events in Piran here.

If you’re spending longer in Piran then you might want to see a little more of the coast, that 47-km of Slovenia that separates Croatia from Italy. Within walking distance, or an easy cycle, drive, taxi or bus ride, is Portorož, a Riviera-style resort town with a very different feel to the Venetian peninsula. It’s here you’ll find casinos and beaches with recliners and umbrellas, with everything from top hotels and classy restaurants and a marina to pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap stores selling flip-flops, sunhats, sunglasses, inflatable items and so on. It’s not for everyone, but then neither is climbing Mount Triglav, so if it sounds interesting to you then take a look.

If you want to see more of the Venetian side of the coast then head on to Izola, although only if you haven’t been to Piran first. Meanwhile, the economic centre of the Slovenian Istria (aka Primorska) is the port town of Koper. While a little more developed than its neighbours, it still has another charming Venetian Old Town to explore.

Two areas that are more untouched, and where you’ll probably want to take your own food and drink, are Strunjan and Debeli rtič. Strunjan is a coastal nature reserve with many paths and trails for walking, hiking and biking, and the ideal place to get away from the crowds and ice sellers for a few hours. You can read our more detailed guide to this hidden treasure on coast here. A similar kind of experience can be had at Debeli rtič.

Tourist shopping in Piran

Piran is known for its salt pans, once the source of its wealth, and these are still in business, producing the famed local fleur de sel. Even if you don’t make the trip to see the seawater evaporating leaving these precious crystals, you’ll find stores all over town selling the stuff, both as a cooking ingredient and in various other preparation. Not made in Piran itself, but still in Slovenian Istria (aka Primorska or the Littoral), you might want to look out for local wines and produce. Wines offer include the red Refosco and white Malvazija, although there are also many other varieties and blends to enjoy, as outlined in this earlier article, while olives and PDO designated olive oil are produced nearby and are worth picking up or seeking out in restaurants.

Food and drink in Piran

As noted above, the region produces plenty of very drinkable wines, and often at prices lower than they’d command if they came with an Italian name, so do explore these if a fan of the grape. With regard to food, since you’re by the coast you should take the chance to check out the seafood restaurants. You’re also next to Italy, so don’t feel like you’re betraying Slovenia if you order some pasta and gelato.

If you’d like to learn more about Piran, including the stories that don’t make it into the tourist guides, then you can find all our articles on the town here

Related: How to spend from four to 48 hours in…

02 Apr 2019, 12:20 PM

The team behind Open Kitchen (Odprta kuhna), who this year are bringing their open air food and drink markets to at least six locations around Slovenia (Ljubljana, Celje, Koper, Nova Gorica, Ptuj & Novo Mesto, as reported here), also run another, more focused event – the Pivo & Burger Fest in Ljubljana. These see the usual venue, Pogačarjev trg (the marketplace between the Cathedral and Plečnik’s Arcades) full of stalls selling craft beer, burgers, BBQ and other delights, the air full of the smells and sounds of grilled meat, along with music, conversation and laughter.

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It’s a fine chance to catch up and sample what’s been happening in the world of Slovenian brewing and – if you haven’t been paying attention – then you could be in for some surprises. A few years ago the scene was still focused on IPAs, often of the ever hoppier variety, but now with well over 100 brewers in the country, from one room operations like Omnivar to (semi-Austrian) giants like Bevog, there’s been an explosion in variety. So alongside IPAs and lagers of all kinds you’ll find, among the more than 200 brews on offer at the festival, wheats, porters, ales, pales, reds,  and many other types, including my current obsession – gose, or sour beer, a refreshing, fruity drink that’ll change the way you think about beer.

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Indeed, the choice can be a little overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to walk around, see what’s on offer, and eat something to ensure you don’t get lost after the first few glasses. With regard to eating you’ll be able to choose from dozens of burgers, grilled in the square by big names and small, all tending to the gourmet variety, including vegetarian options, as well as pulled pork and other BBQ’d delights, in addition to some other food choices. What's more, the team at Open Kitchen have put together a series of food and beer pairings, which will be included in the catalogues you can pick up on the day, with the characteristics of different beers aligned with the foods on offer, whether savory or sweet, hot or cold.

The event runs over two days, the weekend of April 6 and 7, starting at 11:00 and ending 23:00, making it possible to enjoy burgers and beer for brunch, lunch, dinner and supper, with perhaps a few light snacks in between. It might not be the social event of the season, but for those of us for whom a burger and beer is the Platonic ideal of a weekend meal it’s a gathering not to be missed.

30 Mar 2019, 15:11 PM

STA, 30 March 2019 - A rent-a-bike system will be activated in the spa towns of Podčetrtek and Rogaška Slatina in eastern Slovenia in April, providing a total of 30 regular and 12 e-bikes available at six stations, three in each municipality.

 

The bike share system will require only a subscription at one of the tourist offices in the area. A user will be then given a smart card enabling 14 hours of use per week.

The subscription fee will be EUR 25 for regular bikes and EUR 50 for full access including electric bikes. Children aged 14 to 16 and pensioners will be entitled to a discount. They will pay EUR 15 for regular bikes only and EUR 30 for all of them.

Such systems are present in all major Slovenian municipalities as well as several smaller ones that are appealing to tourists, such as Piran on the coast and the oldest Slovenian city Ptuj.

Related: How to rent a bike in Ljubljana

28 Mar 2019, 14:20 PM

The website Ex-Yu Aviation reports that the Slovenian government is planning to increase the number of international connections with the country by subsidizing flights on new routes to and from Ljubljana airport. The project, which is being led by the Slovenian Tourist Board, will give €150,000 a year to each new route for marketing and promotional activities, with €90,000 provided to airlines adding more flights to their existing schedules.

The countries seen as most important for Slovenia’s tourist industry in this regard are listed asGermany, Finland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Israel, Ukraine, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Japan, and the United States, as well as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

More details can be found here, while all our stories on air travel and Slovenia, including new routes and changes, are here

27 Mar 2019, 14:10 PM

Most visitors only spend a day or two in the capital, so what follows is a few suggestions on how to enjoy from four to 48 hours in Ljubljana, starting with the essential then going on to the more optional, and often more enjoyable, items. It’s a personal list with an eye to pleasing a wide audience, so feel free to disagree and choose your own adventure - I've been living here five years, and am still not bored with the city.

Related: 25 things to know about Ljubljana

The locations named in the text – all except the Zoo are close to each other

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A view from the Castle: Photo JL Flanner

Essential Sightseeing in Ljubljana: The Castle and Old Town

If you only have a few hours in the city then there’s really only two things you have to do, see the Castle (and Old Town. If you’re able to walk then you can get to the Castle on foot in around 20 minutes and if not there’s a funicular (3) that’ll take you up and down a lot faster. But if you have the time and mobility then on foot is recommended, as you’ll save some money and get some exercise, along with an idea of how well defended the place was when attackers would need to trudge up while being fired down upon.

Much of the Castle can be enjoyed without a ticket, but if you do buy one you’ll get to go to the top of the tower for the best view in town, as well as entrance to various exhibitions. If you want to read up on the place beforehand, or while you’re there, then check out our 25 things to know or 10 ways to enjoy Ljubljana Castle.

The Old Town is basically a street that runs from the Central Market (4) to Gornji trg (5), with the whole thing lined with attractive buildings housing boutiques, restaurants and cafés. You can easily go from one end to the other, without stopping too much, in 30 minutes, but you probably want to pause and explore, especially some of the lanes. You should also make time to walk by the River Ljubljanica, ideally along both sides so you get to see the colourful and well-preserved  mansions that give this part of town a very picturesque chocolate box look.

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Everyone takes a picture at Dragon Bridge. Photo JL Flanner

Even if only in town for a half a day you’ll also want to see Dragon Bridge (6), although be prepared to be underwhelmed. Far prettier, in my opinion, are Triple Bridge (7) and Cobbler’s Bridge (8), and the best place to take pictures of both is from the easy to miss Fishmarket Footbridge, as outlined here.

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Taking a picture from Fishmarket Footbridge. Photo JL Flanner

Things to do with 24 to 48 hours in Ljubljana

If you have more time in town then you can take in some culture, nature and nightlife, with plenty of options for all tastes, and all packed into or nearby the pedestrianised area.

“The best” is obviously subjective, so here I’ll just focus on the museums and galleries with the broadest appeal and biggest collections. If you like art then you’ll want to check out the National Gallery (9) and the Modern Gallery’s main branch (10), both near Tivoli Park. The former has everything from the Middle Ages to mid-20th century, while the latter contains the nation’s collection of modern art, with contemporary art housed in another branch by Metelkova. With regard to museums, the big two are the National Museum of Slovenia (11) and the City Museum (12), focusing on Slovenia as a whole and Ljubljana in particular, respectively.

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Contemporary art at the Modern Gallery's Metelkova branch. Photo JL Flanner

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Street art: Photo: Alternative Ljubljana

Metelkova (13), the city’s graffiti-covered squat turned art space / autonomous area is worth visiting in the daytime to see the grittier side of the art scene, while at night it plays hosts to various music and performance venues. Note that unlike some similar looking places in Europe it’s not an open (or legal) drug market, so don’t go looking for trouble (or expecting it).

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The Opera House is one of Ljubljana's many beautiful buildings. Photo: Wikimedia - Grega Pirc CC-by-4.0

For nightlife beyond cafés and bars there are plenty of clubs and live music venues, and a usual week will see these offering a broad range of music, from classical to techno, death metal to jazz, flamenco to dub, house music to experimental noise, with many all-night events, while there’s also a ballet and opera house, along with a number of cinemas. For all of these the best place to find out what’s on is TSN’s very own What’s on in Ljubljana this Week.

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Tivoli Park. Photo: D Wedam for Visit Ljubljana

If you’re the kind of traveller who likes to walk or run then you have several options. Going up and down Castle Hill will certainly get the blood pumping and air in your lungs, without taking you off schedule, while if you want something longer then head to Rožnik Hill in Tivoli Park, with both areas having plenty of paths and trails to explore if you want to go jogging. The river can also be walked along in both directions, although going upstream is the more scenic route.

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Further upriver. Photo: bananaway.eu

For children, in addition to the Castle, consider trips to the Puppet Theatre (near 3), the very popular Museum of Illusions or Ljubljana Zoo (13) (I haven’t been, but also haven’t heard bad things). Check out our obligatory Top 10 things for kids in Ljubljana story here.

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Photo: Open Kitchen

Fine dining, street food and cafés in Ljubljana

If you want to eat “the best” then you can head to a review website and find something to your taste. The names that come up most with regard to fine dining are Strelec (in the Castle) and JB (14) on the architecturally interesting Miklošičeva Street , although check the prices before sitting down. Cheaper options are easy to find, and while Slovenian food is good there’s no real “must-eat” dish to put on your schedule, so relax and eat what you want. If that’s “ethnic food”, then head to Trubarjeva cesta (15) . If hungry after midnight then your options are very limited, but a few places can be found here. If visiting in the warmer months, and on a Friday, then don't miss Open Kitchen in the marketplace next to the Cathedral.

With regard to cafés and bars, the best thing is just to find somewhere with a free table that looks like your kind of thing, order a drink and settle down, as with most of the places you get what you see or hear from the outside.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Tourist shopping in Ljubljana

Ljubljana isn’t known for its shopping, with most of the more functional stores out of town at the massive BTC shopping complex, which isn’t really worth visiting if you’re a tourist. No, if you’re just looking cute boutiques and places to pick up a souvenir then the Old Town will have you covered, while if you need any toiletries or stationary then head to Müller (16), on Čopova (near the McDonald’s).

If you need prescription drugs, or even just aspirin, head to the Lekarna (17) in Prešeren Square (the one with the big pink church by Triple Bridge). When I travel I like to visit supermarkets, both to pick up some snacks and drinks for my hotel room, and to get some idea of the local products on offer. The two main chains in town are Spar and Mercator, which you’ll come across just walking around. However, note that while this is a capital city there are no 24-hour, or even very late night, convenience stores, so do your shopping before 20:00 or risk disappointment.

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Photo: Wikimedia - Thomas Geiregger CC by 2.0

Getting around Ljubljana

Everything is within easy walking range, if you find walking easy, although if you want to experience the city “like a local”, and see more, faster, then rent a bike. These can be borrowed from the city’s Bicikelj system, but can also be rented from various hotels and hostels, so if you’re spending the night somewhere ask there. There are city buses, but if you’re only in town for a day or two then you’re unlikely to need one.

If you’re in a wheelchair or less mobile than you’d like then don’t worry. Ljubljana is an old city, and there are still steps in many places, but the municipality is also working hard to improve accessibility. The best way to learn about this, and to find out which places have ramps, where the Eurokey bathrooms are, and so on, is with the Ljubljana by Wheelchair app.

In short, whether spending four or 48 hours in Ljubljana there's plenty to enjoy without feeling too rushed, and if you’re a first-time visitor then I envy the pleasures of discovery that await you.

Related: How to spend from four to 48 hours in…

26 Mar 2019, 18:00 PM

If you’ve ever wondered roughly how many festivals there are in Slovenia, how they’re distributed through the year, and where the main focuses are, then you’re in luck. The good folks at Culture.si have been producing interactive infographics with just this information since 2012. The one for this year, 2019, can be seen at the top of this story, while an interactive version with details in each square, can be found on the main website.

A few things to note from this year and others. One is the dominance of musical events, accounting for 48 out of the total of 146 festivals currently on the site for 2019, followed by dance & theatre (24) and film (22) – with food and drink festivals not included in these calendars. Another is summer being the clear peak season for festivals in Slovenia, with the top month being August.

A third observation, and a surprising one, given the seemingly relentless increase in tourist numbers, and thus tourist offers, over the last decade or so, is that the number of festivals isn’t increasing. While this could be due to data collection issues, since it’s already late March, and these events will have been planned for months, it seems likely some events have been consolidated or simply disappeared over time.

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data from culture.su

You can play around with the infographic here, while you can see a list of all 215 festivals on Culture.si here. finally, readers interested in the history of festivals in Slovenia can explore this timeline, which gives the first appearance of each of the events.

Related: What's on in Ljubljana

21 Mar 2019, 06:43 AM

STA, 19 March 2019 - Air carrier Adria Airways is cutting a number of regular routes this summer, Ex-Yu Aviation portal has reported. The company said on Tuesday that it would fly to 16 destinations and increase the frequency of flights to some of them. Meanwhile, passengers will still be able to reach the abolished destinations via other Star Alliance carriers.

It will bump up the number of weekly flights from Ljubljana to Munich, Prishtina, Skopje and Tirana, as well as flights from Prishtina to Frankfurt and Munich, the Slovenian-based air carrier said in a press release.

During the summer season, between 31 March and 26 October, Adria will fly to 16 destinations from Ljubljana: Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Manchester, Munich, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Prishtina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Vienna and Zürich.

In total, the carrier will be flying 194 times a week on 20 different routes, the company said.

On the other hand, Adria is abolishing flights to Belgrade, Berlin, Delhi, Düsseldorf, Göteborg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kyiv, Moscow, Oslo, Singapore, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Warsaw, and Geneva, Ex Yu Aviation says.

According to Adria Airways, all of the abolished destinations, except Kyiv, can be reached by direct or indirect flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers.

CEO Holger Korwatsch was quoted as saying in the press release that the situation in the industry was demanding and that the company could not allow a repeat of last summer. In December 2018, Adria had to be recapitalised or else face losing its flight licence.

18 Mar 2019, 14:08 PM

Open Kitchen is a focus and highlight of the week for many in downtown Ljubljana, bringing stalls selling hot food and cool drinks to the marketplace between the river and Cathedral each Friday, running from an early lunch to dinner. With the culinary event returning for another season at the end of this week, and set to appear at five other towns in Slovenia, we sent some questions to Lior Kochavy, the busy co-founder of the project, and he was kind enough to reply.

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How long has Open Kitchen been running?

The first Odprta kuhna (or Open Kitchen) happened on Pogačarjev trg in Ljubljana in 2013, so we are just about to start our 7th season on Friday, March 22. It is going to be pretty special as it turns out, because the opening will be the 150th Odprta kuhna event in Ljubljana and our 200th Odprta Kuhna event ever. You see, we also take Odprta kuhna on tour around Slovenia to Celje, Koper, Nova Gorica, Ptuj and Novo mesto, the latter being a new location this year. Our first event in Celje is scheduled for March 30, we go to Novo mesto on April 13, to Ptuj on April 20, to Nova Gorica on April 24 and to Koper on June 15.

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How has it changed over the years?

In some ways a lot and in other way not at all. The concept and the standards – in terms of quality, creativity and innovation – have remained the same, but of course the event grew and continues to grow in all aspects.

When we first started there were not a lot of people who understood what we wanted to do. But luckily one those people who understood was the Mayor of Ljubljana. On the very first event we had around 20 stands and it was a disaster, as it started to rain three hours after we opened. But we carried on and today we co-operate with around 80 different restaurants. In Ljubljana around 50 stands are full every Friday (this is how many fit to Pogačarjev trg) and the variety of food and drinks on offer is fantastic.

Odprta kuhna became a fixture in Ljubljana's social life, this is where the weekend begins, but we also became an important tourist attraction. Readers of The Guardian chose Odprta kuhna as one of the best street-food markets in the world, and the BBC placed Ljubljana as the third on this year's Top 10 Destinations for foodies list. We also expanded beyond Ljubljana and added new locations – this year Novo Mesto, in 2017 Ptuj, a year before that Nova Gorica...

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You also run Pivo & Burger fests – do you have any other special events?

Yes, besides Odprta kuhna and Pivo & Burger Fest, which will take place on Pogačarjev trg on April 6 and 7, we are launching a new event this year called Brina, Ljubljana gin festival. It will take place in beautiful Tivoli Park in and around Švicarija House, and it’ll be delicious! There is a number of excellent Slovenian gin distillers who will participate, and we’re talking top quality gin here. There will be speciality cocktail, tastings, food pairings, mixologists and gin connoisseurs from abroad, top chefs preparing amazing food, there will be music, art and good times, so Brina will definitely be one of the highlights of the season.

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Is there anything new for this year?

Yes, at Odprta kuhna a number of new restaurants will participate – such as Gostilna Grabar, Hotel in restavracija Planinka, Gostišče Barbara, Pivnica Lajbah, Restavracija Evergreen, EK Bistro, El Patrón Tacos & Store, Fermen(s)tation, Pop's Place, Fejst™, TINK superfood café and La Ganache – and in April we will add a new stand, dedicated to natural, living wines.

In summer there will also be a special section of Odprta kuhna called Taste Slovenia where producers of Slovenian delicacies, tourist organisations from all over the country and producers of handmade kitchen and food related products such as wooden boards, ceramics and knives will present themselves as they did last year very successfully.

And of course we are very proud that some of the country's best chefs trust us and participate with us, such as legendary Janez Bratovž (JB Restavracija) and fantastic young chefs like Jorg Zupan (Atelje), Luka Košir (Gostišče Grič) and Mojmir Šiftar (Evergreen, named Young Talent of 2019 by Gault&Millau Slovenija).

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Where can people learn about the dates?

We have a lovely website  where you can find out all about the dates  (and, fortunately, very few cancellations due to bad weather) and much more. Of course we are also very active on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Personally, what do you enjoy most about the Open Kitchen events?

The food, the people, the atmosphere, the socializing, the buzz... I could go on. Odprta kuhna brings joy to people, it is open to everyone and everyone can try something new, meet old and new friends, explore and simply have fun.

I am there every single event from early morning to late evening and I never get tired of it. All of the people who work there are like family to me, I stop by every single stand at every single event to chat, make sure everybody is happy and doing well. In Ljubljana, where we have events on Fridays, there is also this collective sigh of relief that the weekend is about to start and it is a vibe you can feel very distinctly, you can almost touch it.

Related: What's on in Ljubljana this Week

14 Mar 2019, 14:20 PM

Ex-Yu Aviation, the best site we know for flight information in the area, reports that British Airways is set to increase its capacity this summer on flights between London and Ljubljana. By switching from an Airbus A319 to A321, the carrier will be able to carry 76 more passengers, up to 220, on a service that’s scheduled to run from 15 July to 2 September (2019).

There are two services a week on the timetable, operating on Monday and Friday. The flights leave London Heathrow at 17:20 and arrive at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport at 20:35. In the other direction, passengers can expect to take off from Slovenia at 21:20, and touchdown in the UK at 22:35.

All our stories on air travel and Slovenia can be found here

12 Mar 2019, 17:50 PM

FishingBooker, “an online community that enables you to list, find and book the best fishing trips worldwide” has released a list of the “10 best fishing holidays in Europe”, with Slovenia’s Lake Bled among the featured destinations.

As the site says in write-up of an area perhaps less known for its angling potential than its castle, church on an island, kremšnita and seasonal crowds:

Bled feels like a different world or maybe even a different century to most European holiday spots. Between Lake Bled’s island fortress, and the green slopes of the Julian Alps, the area seems almost too good to be true. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Bled every year to admire the serene beauty of this town. For anglers, Bled offers alpine, chalk stream, and freestone rivers full of four different trouts, all within half an hour of each other. And it’s not just about the rivers. Lake Bled is home to pike, carp, and even zander. All this, in one of the prettiest places in Europe.

The full list, in alphabetical order, is:

Bled, Slovenia

Costa Adeje, Tenerife, Spain

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Inverness, Scotland

Lisbon, Portugal

Marbella, Spain

Santorini, Greece

Stockholm, Sweden

You can read FishingBooker’s full story here, while you can see all our posts on Lake Bled here, our posts on fishing here, and our slightly flawed but still delicious recipe for kremšnita here.

12 Mar 2019, 11:50 AM

STA, 7 March 2019 - Ljubljana, the lakeside resort Bled and several other Slovenian towns included in the Slovenia Green scheme have been awarded at ITB Berlin, one of the world's largest and most prominent tourism trade fairs.

Ljubljana won in the category Best in Cities with its campaign promoting local food production entitled the Exchange of Local Foods.

The first meeting of producers and potential buyers of food from Ljubljana and central Slovenia was held in February and attracted more than 80 food producers, representatives of schools and kindergartens, hotels and restaurants.

"Locally produced ingredients are a trend in modern cuisine that is becoming an increasingly important element of Ljubljana's tourism, so we plan to continue with the Exchange of Local Foods ..." said Petra Stušek, the head of Turizem Ljubljana.

Bled received the second prize in the category Best in Europe, which Tomaž Rogelj of Turizem Bled sees as a reward for the town's efforts in environment protection. It is also an encouragement for new measures promoting sustainable tourism, he said.

Meanwhile, Komen, Rogaška Slatina, Idrija, Koper and Podčetrtek were among the 25 finalists in the category for their efforts for responsible tourism, the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) said after the accolades were handed out on Wednesday.

The Sustainable Top 100 Destinations awards are conferred by an NGO promoting sustainable tourism, Green Destinations, which declared Slovenia the first green country in the world in 2016.

Last year, Slovenia was among the top six most sustainable destinations in the world and the top in Europe.

A total of 64 destinations, service providers, parks and travel agencies in Slovenia are currently included in the Slovenia Green scheme and another 11 are to be included shortly, the STO said.

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