Slovenia’s capital and largest city also happens to be one of Europe’s greenest and most liveable capitals. Indeed, the European Commission awarded Ljubljana with the coveted Green Capital of Europe title for 2016. Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the leafy banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, which flows through the city’s heart, free for pedestrians and cyclists. In summer, cafes set up terrace seating along the river; it almost feels like a nightly street party.
Slovenia’s master of early-modern, minimalist design, Jože Plečnik, graced Ljubljana with beautiful buildings and accoutrements; attractive cities are often described as ‘jewel boxes’, but here the name really fits. And bringing life to these historical riches, the city’s 50,000-odd students support an active clubbing and cultural scene, and the museums, hotels and restaurants are among the best in the country.