Every year, every Friday from late March till the end of October the Ljubljana Central Market host a special event, the “Odprta kuhna” or Open Kitchen. “Odprta kuhna” is a street food festival you simply should not miss.
This year, the 2020, the street food market starts on the March, 20th.
The chefs that invented and started this event wanted for the visitors of Ljubljana to have a special experience when tasting Slovenian dishes. This is not a simple and ordinary street food. The dishes are prepared by the best Slovenian chefs and are mirror images of their creativity and innovation. In different time of the year, different dishes are prepared as they are adapted to the local and seasonal ingredients. The food is prepared absolutely fresh and in front of you, on the market stalls.
But, you might want some dish that reminds you of home. No problem. The “Odprta kuhna “ also offers dishes from Italy, Turkey, Marocco, Argentina, Thailand, Japan and more. Still, the main purpose of the event is to introduce you, dear guest, to Slovenia’s gastronomy and the country’s gastronomical regions. Visitors can try this delicious food accompanied by the best domestic and foreign wines, sparkling wines, cocktails, craft beers and other interesting beverages.
There is something for the vegetarians also.
Foreign media and renowned food bloggers stated several times that the Open Kitchen is one of the best food markets in the world. In 2014, the Open Kitchen was awarded the Jakob Prize for excellence in tourism in the Alpe-Adria region.
The “Odprta Kuhna” is an event where you can come to as a guest and leave as a friend. It presents you with a rare opportunity to mingle with the locals while having a chance to try some amazing food and drinks, not to mention unique desserts and ice-creams. All for a reasonable price.
Ljubljana is a city that will surprise you and exceed your expectations. Where can you find a city where the old town centre offers so many “green activities” – fresh local produce to buy at the city market, a hike through the woods to the top of a hill, a laid-back river ride under the picturesque bridges with a SUP board or kayak. Ljubljana innumerable parks offer a spider web of hiking trails – what a treat in the summer heat. Green spaces are still being created in degraded urban land. Over 2.000 trees have been planter over the past decade.
Ljubljana has made a lot of progress on its way to become an environmentally friendly city. Most important of all might be the changes in the habits of its citizens with which they had no problem. We locals diligently observe the rules of separating the waste so Ljubljana is the first capital in the EU in the ‘zerowaste programme’.
The Slovenian capital city is one of the few European capitals which can boast of natural drinking water without prior treatment. While strolling the streets of Ljubljana and admiring the sights, you can quench your thirst for free at public drinking fountains, which operate from April to October. The fountains are regularly maintained and the water within the city’s public water distribution system regularly analyzed.
Ljubljana is the proud holder of many ‘green awards and tittles’ like the European Green Capital 2016 and was included in the TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations list in 2019, 2018, 2017.
‘Ljubljana Kavalir’ is an electric vehicle that makes visiting the old town a much pleasant experience, especially for the elderly and the disabled.
With ‘The Kavalir’ – the French would say ‘Chevalier’ – access to all major destinations of the city is guaranteed by electric vehicles. They operate in the city centre, are a free of charge option of public transport and they have a capacity to carry five passengers at the same time. They provide an eco-friendly way of transport both for people as well as for the environment.
‘The Kavalir’ is operated by LPP, the city’s bus company, in collaboration with the municipality of Ljubljana and Ljubljana Tourism, the city’s tourism council. The introduction of ‘The Kavalirs’ is part of the measures taken to make public transport in Ljubljana more ecological and users friendly. Its introduction in the public transport system is not surprising since Ljubljana is famous as a city that has made great strides in this specific area.
In the last ten years Ljubljana has won two European Mobility Week Awards (delivered by the European Commission), one in 2003 and one in 2013.
The Ljubljana Dragon is the symbol of the Slovenian capital. With teeth bared and wings spread he sits on all four corners of the iconic Emperor Franz Josef Jubilee Bridge. He is the city’s most recognizable resident. His image also appears on the town’s coat of arms, flag, river walls, manhole covers, and even on the crest of the local soccer team.
According to legend this terrifying lizard lurked in the marshes that surround the Ljubljanica river. He devoured humans unfortunate enough to stray into his territory and were easy prey for this fire-breathing monster. What no doubt this dragon hadn’t reckoned on, was Jason, a great Greek hero.
Jason stole the Golden Fleece from the king of the Black Sea. He and the Argonauts then fled from the angry Black Sea king on a ship called Argo to the mouth of the river Danube. They reached the Ljubljanica river. Since it was winter, they decided to camp near the spring of the Ljubljanica River thus coming to the marsh where the dragon lived. Jason heroically fought this dragon and finally killed him.
And the legent of the Dragon, Jason and the Argonauts was born and Jason’s winter camp is the “foundation stone” of Ljubljana and Jason is supposed to be its first citizen.
As for our dragon several centuries on, and today, he shows little sign of life ….. except for when a pure and unsullied virgin passes over his bridge. Then he is said to give an almost imperceivable twitch of his tail.