Travel

Slovenia – the perfect student holiday

Lake Bled in Slovenia

When organising a trip away for a week with my housemates, six boys, the main focus of the location search was the price of beer and flights. After many trawls through holiday websites, it was actually an episode of a wedding show that made us look into Slovenia. It looked nice enough and the show had assured us that the cost of alcohol and food was cheap so we booked. Four nights in Ljubljana and two at Lake Bled. I was excited but wasn’t expecting much from the trip apart from spending time together in numerous pubs, however, I was happily very wrong.

Ljubljana is a historic town with plenty of opportunity to play the cultured traveler if you wish, the churches, bridges and other architectural marvels are all within walking distance. Meanwhile, the markets are strewn with interesting bits and pieces, leaving tourists pleasantly wandering from stall to stall with the buzz of local bargaining drifting in the breeze. The bars and  restaurants are quirky and of a very high standard with the food being a mix of Italian, French and Germanic dishes.

If you like to go out at night though then the Slovenian capital offers a wide range of options. There is the Skeleton Bar with its infamous Whicky-Whacky-Woo-Woo-Woo cocktail, which no human can manage more than two of, while surrounded by the macabre decor of the cellar. Then you can move on to one of the many other bars or standard clubs in the area, but if you want something a little different then the Barracks are the best. The old army barracks of the city are a mixture of bars and a skate park, they have a dark, grungy vibe and whispers of how the police are trying to close them down are told to you by the locals. Each bar inside has a different feel, specialty and audience, some with huge sculptures adorning their fronts.

The people are very friendly and will help tourists get around, find food and shelter or just simply chat to you. For those who do not speak Slovene, it is very fortunate that their English is often immaculate and language is rarely a barrier. The hostels are extremely clean and situated near the centre of the action, which is rare for a city you must admit.

However, if city living is not for you then switch things up and head over to Lake Bled, a scene of utter tranquility. The lake is bright blue and perfect for swimming in, although you do have to pay if you use the suggested swimming area with facilities. The town of Bled is a sleepy one, with simple shops and restaurants to cover your needs. It is quite a hilly place and this makes for one of the funnest activities in Bled, FunBob.

FunBob is a metal track with a tiny shuttle attached to it, you are strapped into this at the top of a large hill and are set free with only a brake for company. The track twists and turns while you speed through the snaking countryside trying to keep your nerve and not brake as you reach a corner. The whole thing last only a couple of minutes but I can guarantee that once will not be enough.

All-in-all Slovenia has something to offer everyone in terms of activities and accommodation, however, it is particularly great for students due to how cheap it is. The flights cost us less than £200 in total each and the hostels amounted to about £10 a night, while the beer (most importantly) is just over a pound per pint in most bars. If you’re looking for a holiday then I cannot recommend Slovenia more highly!

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