The 2007 It List

by Ondine Cohane

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Impossibly picturesque and surprisingly affordable, Slovenia is the darling of the newly minted European Union countries, and its charming capital, Ljubljana, is earning its description as the "new Prague." (Better start practicing now: lee-oob-lee-ana.) The town mixes cobblestoned piazzas, romantically delicate bridges, and baroque architecture—an unlikely combination of Italian atmosphere with unmistakably Mitteleuropan design details. Oh, and with the Alps as a backdrop. College students and new-money entrepreneurs happily coexist with country farmers, and trendy restaurants and bars are opening along the riverbanks. Book a room at the Domina Grand Hotel, which has plasma-screen TVs and free international phone calls, or the new hypermodernist Mons hotel just outside town. The cuisine is an artful combination of Italian and Austrian—make a reservation at Spajza, where delicious local fish is served in a pretty garden. Slovenian wine also surprises—for its price as well as its taste; sample some at the cozy wine bar Vinoteka Movia. Leave time for a stop at the house and studio of Jože Plečnik, the 20th-century architect responsible for some of Ljubljana's most arresting designs, and for a hike up to the Ljubljanski Grad, a 15th-century castle with incredible views of the slopes on those dreamy Alps.

Domina Grand Hotel
Tel: 386 1 588 2500

Mons Hotel
Tel: 386 1 470 2700

Spajza
Gornji trg 28
Tel: 386 1 425 3094

Vinoteka Movia
Mestni Square 2
Tel: 386 1 425 5448

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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