As well as being named one of Europe’s greenest and most liveable cities, as its 300,000 inhabitants and numerous visitors will tell you, Ljubljana is also a very people-friendly city, offering all the trappings of a major metropolis while preserving its small-town friendliness.

Bisected by the Ljubljanica River, the city is resplendent with cobblestoned streets and architecture dating back to the height of the Austro-Hungarian empire In addition, the city’s eponymous castle looms overhead, cementing Ljubljana’s old-world beauty. But make no mistake: this is a lively and modern city, with a cosmopolitan feel and buzzing nightlife. The Old Town, which is largely car-free, is perfectly designed for map-free wandering. Make sure you take time out at a café in the central square, Prešernov Trg. Stairways from the elegant Triple Bridge lead to poplar-lined terraces along the banks of the river, where bars and cafés throw open their doors and roll out the alfresco furniture in summer.

Looking for night-life with a countercultural buzz? Head to Metelkova, a former military base taken over by an informal alliance of artists and musicians. It’s Ljubljana’s answer to Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania, as well as being home to a large number of clubs that host concerts, club nights, performances, exhibitions and one-off festivals featuring underground artists and DJs from around the world. Don’t miss it!

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