Known in German as Laibach (also the name of the city's most famous rock band), Ljubljana (also spelt in English as Ljubliana) is Slovenia's capital and largest city. The city's symbol, the dragon, is depicted on Ljubljana's coat of arms, sitting atop medieval Ljubljana Castle, which is the city's highest spot. The architecture of some historical meeting venues in Ljubljana dates from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it was Germany's immediate recognition of Slovenian independence that seemed instrumental in sparing Slovenia from the carnage that affected most other parts of the former Yugoslavia.
Ljubljana's international airport is called Joze Pucnik Ljubljana (LJU) and is 17 miles north of the city center. Adria Airways is Slovenia's national carrier, and it and other European carriers serve many of Europe's major cities.
Convention venues in Ljubljana begin with the Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Center: a bright, glassy expanse with 20 function spaces, the largest being able to host receptions of 2,100 persons and banquets of up to 1,200. In total, it has more than 230,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space.
Design is flourishing in Ljubljana, and that is no more apparent than in its hotels, two prime examples being the 114-room Mons, with a jazz club, Atrium restaurant and nine meeting and function spaces; and the 26-room Ahotel, which has meeting space for 50 persons. The city's largest hotel by square footage is the 178-room Grand Hotel Union and its two adjacent siblings, the 133-room Grand Hotel Union Business and the 71-room Grand Hotel Central. All three share a conference center than has space for 700 persons. Two other good choices are the 168-room Slon, which has function space for up to 250 persons, and the 200-room Park.
Special event venues in Ljubljana include the Cankarjev Dom Cultural & Congress Center, which has the Gallus Hall with 1,545 seats, the Grand Reception Hall that can host receptions of up to 800 persons and 22 other spaces, including meeting rooms, galleries and lobbies. Ljubljana Castle has recently been refurbished; it has a courtyard for 800 persons and the White and Blue halls, each hosting 150 persons, among other memorable spaces in the shadow of towers and turrets perched on a wooded hill that is reached by funicular. The beautiful red-roofed, white-arched Architectural Museum of Ljubljana, inside Fuzine Castle, is equally breathtaking, with space for 800 persons in a courtyard and 517 additional persons in six other spaces. The National Museum of Slovenia (yet another architecturally wonderful space in this city full of them) is the oldest museum in Ljubljana, dating to 1821, and has an atrium that can fit 800 persons for receptions.
Slovenian cuisine benefits from Slovenia being a small, proud country with its own ideas nestled between the hearty food of Germany and the world-renowned fare of Italy. Restaurants able to host groups include As (proponents of the Slow Food movement), which has 80 seats indoors and 210 outdoors in an attractive, courtyard-style garden; JB, which is on the first floor of the Plecnik's Vzajemna Insurance Building and has 75 seats indoors and 30 outdoors; and Sestica, which is slightly larger, able to host 170 indoors and 180 outdoors.