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Shopping in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is a growing retail hub with an increasing number of shopping options within its bustling commercial centre. From modern shopping malls to charming old-world boutiques, the city has something for everyone.

Key areas

Slovenska cesta is the most popular shopping street in Ljubljana, especially with the locals, as it offers an array of bookstores and record shops, as well as big-name outlets and pan-European designers. Wandering the Old Town squares of Gornji Trg, Mestni Trg and Stari Trg, however, is a much more pleasant way to browse and buy. Baroque boutiques peddle everything from jewellery and perfume to cutting-edge threads and designer clothes.

Markets

The Old Town’s Central Market (Glavna Tržnica) is open Monday to Saturday, attracting locals and tourists who flock to the shops. Mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables stack up alongside farm produce from the countryside. You can also pick up traditional handicrafts here. The flea market on Cankarjevo nabrezje is the star attraction on Sundays, bringing a horde of stalls to the banks of the Ljubljanica selling trinkets, unique souvenirs and jewellery.

Shopping centres

The Nama department store (Tomšičeva 1) is a city centre institution that seems to stock almost everything you can think of. It has, in recent years, had serious competition from the massive and modern BTC mall (Šmartinska 152). Here you can find most staple international and Slovenian high street brands and small specialised shops; there is also a waterpark and cinema if you would like to make a day of it.

Opening hours

Opening hours in the city centre are usually Monday to Friday 0800-1900 and Saturday 0800-1300, though many shops now open fully on weekends.

Souvenirs

There is a venerable array of beautiful local crafts on sale in the Lectarija Museum Shop in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum (tel: +386 1300 8700; www.etno-muzej.si). The store is a reconstruction of Ljubljana's original Lectarija arts and crafts shop, whose interior furnishings were designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik.

The Ethno-Gallery Skrina at Breg 8 is a charming riverside gallery selling crafts from different Slovenian regions. For local cheese, olive oil, dried mushrooms and more, head to Kraševka at Vodnikov Trg 4, or Šnopc o'tecca, Miklošičeva cesta 2, for potent Slovenian liquors and schnapps.

Tax information

Only visitors from non-EU countries can apply for tax-free shopping allowances. Look out for the ‘Tax Free’ stickers in shop windows. Those wanting a refund must fill out the relevant paperwork in the shop and then make a claim on departure from Slovenia.

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Featured Hotels

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City Hotel

This three-star property is centrally located with views of the capital’s castle. Transformed by a massive renovation programme a few years ago, City Hotel has extra rooms, restaurants and conference facilities. Neat features include free bikes and free internet access, while the staff are also happy to book local tours. The on-site restaurant offers good-value lunches and dinners, as well as tasty breakfast spreads.

Celica Hostel

Fancy a night in a cell? This large property was once a military prison, but has been transformed into Ljubljana’s coolest lodging, located in the squatters’-paradise-turned-creative-hub that is the Metelkova district. The cells themselves have been converted into small but chic rooms with the help of local and international artists. Don’t miss the great light-filled bar-restaurant. There’s also a museum in the basement detailing the youth hostel’s history.

Hotel Cubo

Perhaps the sleekest hotel in Ljubljana, Hotel Cubo resides on one of the main thoroughfares leading to the city centre. The property claims to be “in the heart of the cultural, scientific and political Slovenia”. While there’s a definite air of sophistication about the place, the staff are friendly and unpretentious. There are 26 spacious rooms, with the furnishings and style boasting modernist touches.

Hotel Park

Offering affordable accommodation just on the edge of the city centre, this refurbished hotel might not win any awards for its tower block design, but it has clean, functional rooms with a touch of style. Free Wi-Fi in the 200 bedrooms and lobby comes in handy. Rooms are not large, but there are family rooms and junior suites for those seeking more space.

Hotel Emonec

The location of this bed and breakfast could not be any better, as this budget hotel is tucked just off the lively Prešeren Square in the city centre. The rooms are basic, but perfectly clean and comfortable. Little extras include bike hire, notebook hire, free Wi-Fi access and the slightly surreal massage chair, the latter available for 15-minute intervals.

Slamič

Much more than the ‘bed and breakfast’ it markets itself as, this cosy abode is housed above one of the city’s most famous cafés. Guests can enjoy excellent breakfasts there, as it’s part of the same business. Rooms are calm and comfortable, sporting creams and browns for a tasteful ambience. This is a good option for those looking for a conveniently located, cheap hotel in Ljubljana.