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Ljubljana: A Cozy Corner of Europe

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A winter trip to Slovenia is usually about skiing. But sticking to the slopes means missing some funkier charms. The Balkan nation’s capital, Ljubljana, has edged toward modernity, but that old Yugoslav heart still beats within the historic center and at the villager-run booths of the Christmas festival.
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Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Stall after stall of kitschy folk art? Sure. But December’s monthlong Festive Fair also has homemade pear brandy, piles of fresh sauerkraut, and hours of great stories about the days of socialism. Lights on the Triple Bridge add a warm glow. This...
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Inventive and traditional gastronomy merge—truffles, to be sure, but also bear cheek—at Pri Lojzetu, arguably the birthplace of Slovenian slow food. 386/(0) 5368-7007.
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Gosposka ulica 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
The 13 suites at Ljubljana’s Antiq Palace complement the city’s historic and artsy appeal. Vaulted ceilings, muted lighting, and private terraces create a hushed oasis near the bustling commercial neighborhood around the Ljubljanica River. From...
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Movia is practically a synonym for the growing prominence of Slovenian wine. Learn why at the winery’s swanky bar in Old Town. For a more casual tasting experience, head roughly two hours east to the Kogl Estate winery and ask about the Mea Culpa...
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Matavun 12, 6215 Divača, Slovenia
A tour of the massive World Heritage site Skocjan Caves affords the singular experience of peering into a glowing subterranean river that flows beneath a blanket of snow. 386/(0) 5-708-2100. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
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Stahovica, 1242 Stahovica, Slovenia
Ride the cable car at Velika Planina ski resort to the Zeleni Rob mountain hut, where you can savor a bowl of jota (bean and pickled turnip stew) with a glass of Lasko beer. 386/(0) 5-134-1406. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
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5232 Soča, Slovenia
Ernest Hemingway memorialized the Soca Valley, home to one of the bloodiest fronts of World War I, in A Farewell to Arms. Today you can toboggan down the slopes. 386/(0) 5-389-6200. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.