We stopped in Ljubljana, a mere two hours from Venice, on a whim on our way home from the Advent in Zagreb Christmas Market. The snow had lightly began to fall, it was misty and foggy, and it was freezing outside. We considered just driving right on by, and oh, how glad I am that we stopped. The Ljubljana Christmas Market, known as the Ljubljana Festive Fair, is one of the prettiest Christmas markets we’ve been to. Dressed up in Christmas lights, Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana is turned into a magical winter scene.
Set up along the banks of the Ljubjanica River, the wooden stalls are decorated with Christmas ornaments and the scents of pastries, roasted chestnuts, and hot mulled wine (called kuhano vino in Slovene) fill the air. Angels passed out little bags of sugar cookies as we walked hand-in-hand along the river bank.
Vendors sell an assortment of unique Christmas gifts. One of our best finds was at a stall in the Vodnik Square where a vendor was selling Nepalese wool coats, hats and gloves. Tim bought a wool winter coat that has certainly kept him warm in the coldest of places, even Svalbard.
In Mestni Trg Square in front of the Town Hall, The Good Fairy fulfills the wishes of anyone young or old, big or small that approaches her.
It is a lively atmosphere with children’s choirs putting on concerts and a band getting the crowd dancing. An ice skating rink in Kongresni Trg Square adds to the winter charm.
Know Before You Go
- The Ljubljana Festive Fair Christmas Market is open daily November 30, 2018 – January 2, 2019 from 10am – 10pm, 10am – 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 10am – 6pm on December 24 and December 31.
- The lights are officially switched on across the city at 5:15pm on November 30 during the People, Let’s Turn the Lights On! event.
- The Good Fairy grants wishes December 16 – 30 from 5pm – 9pm daily
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Robyn Itule says
Leaving the train station in Florence, Italy Billy Itule and I saw a train headed to Ljubljana and we said to ourselves, "I wonder what we would find if we just hopped on that train…" Thanks for sharing some pictures of what we might have experienced!
Ljubljana is a beautiful city any time of the year! Next time you both find yourselves in this part of the world, it is definitely worth a visit!
Oooh – this is nice! I love Ljubljana and the atmosphere there must be wonderful during the holidays. Certainly looks gorgeous!
Jennifer Dombrowski says
Definitely visit during the holidays if you have the opportunity, Andrea! It is beautiful with all the lights!
Do you know if it’s open on Christmas Day? We’re trying to decide whether to spend that day in Bled, Ljubliana, or Postojna
Jennifer Dombrowski says
Christmas Markets are closed on Christmas Day. Many close on December 24, and those that remain open until January 2 or 6 are typically much more limited with many of the vendors leaving on December 24.
Also, be sure to check schedules. Most places and all attractions are closed on December 25. So I definitely would not recommend Postojna that day. Bled is quite small and fairly seasonal, so you won’t have many options there either. I would stay in Ljubljana to have more restaurant options.