Our first stop and “home base” for exploring Slovenia, we arrive to our delightful AirBnB in Ljubljana, a cute city with an intimidating name. We are staying with the lovely Jure and Kim, who are both incredibly friendly, and despite some awkwardness as we adjust to sharing quarters with other people for a few days, we thoroughly enjoy the experience of staying with locals. Particularly Jure, who proves to be a fabulous asset in recommending interesting things to do around Slovenia. This is definitely an experience that encourages us to continue using AirBnB on our travels, despite Cal’s initial reluctance.
The highlight of Slovenia isn’t the cities, it’s the nature and mountains and outdoor activities, so we spend admittedly little time exploring the city and opt instead for day trips around the area. One thing we do enjoy, though, is the bike friendliness of the city!
Before setting out for our first day in Slovenia, we registered online to gain access to the many city bikes available for use at 20+ locations around town. Registration costs 1€ for a week and requires the set up of a PIN number. The site then emails you a confirmation with a username (5 digits) and your PIN (4 digits). With these numbers, use of any city bike is now free for the first hour (1€ per hour after that, or something similar) and super simple. You can easily use the bikes all day for free by just swapping at another station before your hour is up. There is no limit on the number of times you can hire bikes!
They are heavy and fixed gear, but it’s still so fun biking around the small city like the locals. There are fantastic bike lanes and as many bikers as pedestrians, so I couldn’t imagine an easier city to navigate by bicycle.
Plus, despite my earlier claims that the city isn’t the true highlight of Slovenia, we still find plenty of beautiful spots as we bike around. There’s a lovely little riverfront lined with restaurants and a nearly 1,000 year old castle, the aptly named Ljubljana Castle, sitting on the big hill right in the middle of the city. It’s a short hike up the hill to reach the castle, where you can see all of Ljubljana below, in addition to the castle itself, which is open as an attraction.