Historically rich, Celje is the third largest city in Slovenia. During the Roman period, Celje was known as Celeia, a city on the crossroads of important Roman trading routes. During medieval times, the city was the residence of the Counts of Celje, the most influential Slovenian dynasty. Today, it’s a vibrant city with an excellent variety of activities, bars and trendy restaurants.
Settle in at your chosen accommodation. If you’re looking for a low-budget option, MCC Hostel is an excellent choice. Just steps from downtown, each room is dedicated to a local myth, legend or a historical figure. Recharge your batteries at the hostel’s café, where they will gladly serve you their Breakfast of Legends. If a hotel is more to your liking, book a room at Hotel Evropa. The central location will make it easy to navigate to your adventures.
After breakfast, head to up to Celje Castle, which overlooks the city and offers spectacular views of the area. Explore the courtyard and learn about the castle’s history and most famous residents, the Counts of Celje. Enjoy your morning coffee at the café, Kavarna Veronika, named after Veronika of Desenice, a tragic figure in the history of the counts. Then, continue your journey to the past at Slovenia’s second-oldest museum, the Celje Regional Museum, where you can walk among the actual walls of ancient Celeia at their permanent exhibition, Celeia – A Town Beneath Today’s Town.
Celje offers a number of delicious lunch options. Try traditional Slovenian dishes at Restaurant Francl, which is a short drive from downtown. Bistro Ponvica’s mouthwatering homemade pasta and daily specials are a local favorite meal in the city center. After lunch, stroll on the banks of the Savinja River, and treat yourself to a coffee and dessert at Miško Knjižko Café. Then, head over the bridge to the other side of the river, and spend some time in the beautiful Municipal Park Celje or take a 30-minute walk to the Tree House in the City Forest. Next, explore the city center and its beautiful historical buildings, including The Chapel next to the Church of Saint Maximilian of Celeia, Almshouse with the St. Elizabeth Chapel, and The Slovenian National Theater with a Guard Tower.
Start your evening with dinner at tavern-and-pub Stari Pisker, which offers burgers and steaks at a former WWII prison. If a steak isn’t what you’re looking for, enjoy artisan pasta or a wood-oven pizza at Koper Restaurant. After dinner, head to a local bar. Špital Za Prjatle is a popular spot for a casual drink and a chat with friends. For some of the finest cocktails in the city, stop by Kuba Libre. Local bars in Celje often organize evening entertainment, and the courtyard at MCC Hostel is often transformed into an outdoor event venue. If you’d like a quiet night at the movies, Metropol cinema has a superb selection of indie films. Or opt for a night of dancing at local favorite Branibor Club.