The city of Kranj is situated in the geographical centre of the Gorenjska region. It spreads towards the Ljubljana basin in the South, while the Alps round things up in the North. The 4th biggest city of Slovenia stands on a rock, above the convergence of the two rivers, and has kept its pyramidal structure ever since. Kranj is an old Roman settlement, today boasting some fine gothic and baroque architecture. A lovely old town centre has numerous cultural monuments, bars, shops, restaurants and theatres making the place constantly exciting and vivid. If you are a fan of nature and the great outdoors you are in the right place. Go horseback riding, hiking on numerous paths and hills, mountaineering, swimming in lakes or skiing at nearby resorts like Krvavec. Tourist farms and cottages with domestic food and hospitable hosts will keep you from getting hungry. It is a matter of minutes to get to Ljubljana Airport, only half an hour to Ljubljana and not much more to reach Austria or Italy, Bohinj and Bled lakes or to Kranjska Gora - a skiing resort with the highest mountains around.
The first settlements on the territory of today's Kranj date way back to the Stone Age. During Roman times Carnium was a fortified base for Roman conquests on the other side of the Alps. It was the centre of the Carniola province, which later in the 8th century became an independent Slovene principality. The golden ages of Kranj date from 5th to 7th century when Kranj was the only walled town on the territory of today's Slovenia. Due to its superb geographical position it became an important trading centre during the Middle Ages. Known as Creina in 11th century the town from the Spanheims in the 13th came to be in the hands of the Habsburgs in the 14th century. Because of the invasions of the Ottoman Turks the city defence walls were erected.In the 16th and 17th century the town spread, while railway construction in the 19th century brought economic growth and industrialization to the city. Liberated on the 9th of May 1945, the city of Preseren became part of Yugoslavia and in 1991 part of newly independent Slovenia.
What to see
Most of the best sights are to be found in the old town core which has been declared as a historical and cultural monument. See the gothic church of St. Kancijan, the city walls and Khislstein castle with its museum. Find Pavslar and Mitnica houses, the city house and don't forget about Plecnik's staircase and the well. At the edge of the old town you can stroll through Presren park with its monuments dedicated to the poets Preseren and Jenko and the oldest anti-fascist monument in the world can be seen as well. In the main square there is a city well with a gilded ball and eagle on the top, which stands as the symbol of the city today.
Just below the old town you will find the canyon of the Kokra river. Climb Smarjetna or Jost hill to see the locals relax and witness a remarkable view of the city, Alps and Ljubljana basin. Swim the nearby lakes, go skiing, hike hills and mountains and when in some local cottage, don't forget to order the world famous Kranjska saussage with cabbage and ajdovi zganci.
Nearby Brdo castle was the center of protocol meetings when Slovenia held the presidency of the EU in the first half of 2008. The Brdo mansion was a residence of the family Karadjordjevic and Marshall Tito.
How to get there
Kranj is only 7 km away from Aerodrom Ljubljana (aka Brnik Airport; Joze Pucnik Airport), where flights to all major European cities can be taken. Regular daily buses and taxis connect the airport with the city. Car rental is possible as well.
European highway A2 – E61 passes the city. Kranj is connected to all main cities around and leads the way to Italy and Austria. From the end of 2007 Slovenia has been inside the Schengen territory thus borders with neighbouring countries have been removed, excluding Croatia.
Regular everyday trains run from Ljubljana and other cities to Kranj. The trains are comfortable and cheaper than buses and are thus highly recommended. Kranj is a stop for international trains also, since it lies on the railway line Istanbul – London.
Bus lines connect Kranj to the north Gorenjska cities and to Ljubljana thus consequently to all major European cities (albeit indirectly). International buses to the ex-Yugoslavian republics are especially frequent.
Accommodation in Kranj, Slovenia
Accommodation is possible in hotels, apartments or private lodgings. These are plentiful just a little way outside the city close to the airport or to the ski resort Krvavec.
Creina, named by the old city name, is situated in the very centre of the city and at the very start of the old town. Parking place assured.
Address: Koroska cesta 5, 4000 Kranj
Tel.: +386 (0)4 281 7 500
Fax:+386 (0)4 281 7 599
This hotel is situated above Kranj at the top of Smarjetna gora. If you like nature, fresh air and amazing views, this is the place for you. The hotel is reachable by car at any time of the year.
Address: Smarjetna gora 6, 4000 Kranj
Tel: +386 (0)4 270 00 00
Fax: +386 (0)4 270 00 02
Zaplata is located in a small village just under the Alps, 3 km away from Kranj. Fully equipped rooms, traditional Slovene cuisine and beautiful, peaceful, natural surroundings will offer you the ultimate alpine experience.
Address: Tupalice 32, 4205 Preddvor
Tel.: +386 (0)4 255 62 50
Fax: +386 (0)4 255 16 11
Rooms are located just 5 minutes drive from the city in a nearby village of Naklo.
Address: Turisticna 8, 4202 Naklo
Tel.: +386 (0)4 257 12 47, +386 (0)31 365 021
Fax: +386 (0)4 257 78 70
Kranj Railway station: +386 (0) 4 294 41 33; http://www.slo-zeleznice.si
Kranj Bus station: +386 (0) 4 201 32 10; http://www.alpetour.si
Ljubljana Airport: +386(0) 4 206 19 81; http://www.lju-airport.si
For detailed information about Kranj, accommodation, sights and events, please see the official tourism web page of the city: www.tourism-kranj.si