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Things to do in Ljubljana

Kranjska Gora ski resort: Tame the powder

Skiing is highly popular in Slovenia with the season running from November to May. A country of varied small resorts, there is a diverse terrain suitable for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. One of the country’s best-equipped resorts, Kranjska Gora (tel: +386 4580 9440; www.kranjska-gora.si/en), features everything from nursery slopes to white-knuckle black runs, and it’s just an hour’s drive from Ljubljana. For ski jumping head to Planica.

Lace making classes: Reap what you sew

The Idrija Lace Gallery (tel: +386 1425 0051; www.idrija-lace.com) gives traditional bobbin lace-making demonstrations, as well as selling unique handmade products. Making its way into Slovenia during the 16th century, lace making became extremely popular for well-heeled Europeans hankering after ornate gloves, handcrafted curtains or delightful dining place mats.

Mountain biking: Head to the hills on two wheels

Mountain biking in Slovenia has really gone up the gears in recent years. The Julian Alps are great for tackling trails, as are the serious downhill rides and longer rolling tracks at Logarska Dolina. Rogla’s purpose built bike park will suit any and all abilities. Get in touch with Slotrips (www.slovenia-trips.com) for wheels and thrills.

Scale the Julian Alps

Serious climbers should seek out Slovenia’s towering peaks. The likes of Triglav (2,864m/ 9,396ft) in the Julian Alps will tempt altitude junkies, while the gentler hills are prime spots for amateurs. A guide is recommended for both.

3glav Adventures (tel: +386 4168 3184; 3glav.com) in Bled, easily accessible from Ljubljana, are the go-to guys for trekking, hiking and mountaineering.

Traditional Slovenian printing: Try your hand

Conceived as a living history museum, TipoRenesansa Studio (tel: +386 1320 0889; www.tiporenesansa.si) features a reconstruction of a 50-year old printing house that specialises in relief printing. The rare technique uses type-pieces made from lead and wood, and visitors can watch demonstrations, print their own work or buy souvenirs.

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Featured Hotels

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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.

Grand Hotel Union Executive

Housed in a stunning art nouveau building dating back to 1905, this is the most attractive hotel in Ljubljana and the choice of movers and shakers, as well as visiting celebs. The building itself is a gem, but the quietly luxurious rooms boast views of other ornate art nouveau architecture and peek toward the castle. The hotel also offers an excellent restaurant and café.

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.