Experience the dragon city with the basketball dragon

Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital and the birthplace of the golden captain of the Slovenian national team and European basketball player of the year 2017, Goran Dragić, throbs with the dynamic rhythm of city life, which is intertwined with the warmth of homeliness even in the smallest street. The “basketball dragon” Goran Dragić, whose nickname is a nod to the symbol of the city of Ljubljana and who gets inspired by the urban hustle and bustle at every step or every turn of his bicycle pedals, cannot imagine a day in Ljubljana without the latter in recent years.

Night of the Dragon – Goran Dragić's farewell basketball game

The I Feel Slovenia Night of the Dragon basketball game, which will mark Goran Dragić's official retirement from professional basketball, will take place in Stožice Arena on 24 August. It is an event that will surely go down in the collective memory of Slovenians as one of the greatest highlights of all time as, in addition to his loyal fans, also honouring the basketball legend will be the world’s basketball greats and numerous other prominent guests.

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Goran Dragić – Slovenian "Dragon" with a big heart in the NBA basketball league

Get to know the sport career and homeland of basketball ace Goran Dragić.

Goran Dragić – Slovenian "Dragon" with a big heart in the NBA basketball league

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Ljubljana

Ljubljana. Vibrant. Lively. A city that combines the charm of a small capital and the confidence of big European cities.

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

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For Goran, these streets enlivened by children's laughter and the people of Ljubljana as they run their favourite city errands, from the abundantly stocked central market to culinary treats in the most prestigious restaurants in Ljubljana, are today the home of his most beautiful childhood memories. “Ljubljana will always be my home,” explains Dragić, who makes a point of reminding us that he is always happy to return home whenever his busy schedule on the other side of the ocean allows. In addition to his parents and friends, there is another important thing for which Goran “must” be home every summer: the Goran Dragić Foundation.

Goran's first basketball court in Tivoli Park

His contagious kind-heartedness has brought together a team of huge basketball fans in the Goran Dragić Foundation. Together, they renovate basketball courts around Slovenia, with more than ten having already been completed, and every summer they also traditionally organise a basketball camp for children in Laško. It is no secret that Goran's biggest wish is to help children have the best possible childhood, filled with various sports and social games played with their peers.

 

One of the special features of Ljubljana is that nature can be found practically in the centre of the city. While it is just one of the many natural parks in Slovenia, Tivoli is the only park that practically touches the centre of a European capital.  Founded more than 200 years ago, the Tivoli city park, which boasts three magnificent aisles of chestnut tree, a botanical garden and a fish pond, is a place of sport and recreation for locals and visitors alike, as the park is easily accessible.

Ideas for recreation in natural parks

 

The various sports facilities in the park include the basketball courts on which young Goran blossomed into one of the best Slovenian basketball players. Even more: Goran was the first Slovenian to be selected for an NBA All-Star Game and one of only fourteen Europeans at the time to receive this honour.

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TOP 5 experiences in Ljubljana & Central Slovenia

In Ljubljana and Central Slovenia you can experience everything – from the vivacious cultural vibe to the peaceful moments in nature.

TOP 5 experiences in Ljubljana & Central Slovenia

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Nature parks

Discover a wealth of various plant and tree species.

Nature parks

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Green story of Slovenia

Plan your holidays in green.

Green story of Slovenia

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The fans cheer as one: our golden captain forever!

Ljubljana will forever be the first home of the basketball dragon Goran Dragić, one of the most accomplished Slovenian and European basketball players in the NBA. During his illustrious career, he made a name for himself in both European and North American basketball in golden letters. In Ljubljana, the place where he took his first steps on the basketball court, the golden captain who never forgets his beginnings is being honoured at every step.

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Ljubljana Castle, which always watches over the Slovenian capital, invites you to experience unforgettable views that reach all the way to the highest Slovenian mountains. When Goran returns to Slovenia and the view of the Slovenian mountains spreads out in front of him, that indescribable feeling of being home awakens in him, and the most beautiful memories of the many great achievements of the Slovenian national team rise to the surface. Among them is certainly the European basketball fairy tale that earned him a unique nickname among the fans: the golden captain.

Read more about Ljubljana Castle

 

The golden captain crowned his illustrious basketball career with the greatest accomplishment of the national team - the title of the European champions in 2017 in the Slovenian jersey, which earned him the accolade of the European basketball player of the year from the prestigious Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Notwithstanding all the victories and accolades, Goran's greatest victory is the lasting genuine friendships and strong family ties that he has maintained regardless of where his basketball path has taken him around the world. That’s why, when at home in Ljubljana, he prefers to enjoy a  relaxed culinary treat in the company of his family and friends, who have been cheering him on since he first embarked on the path of professional basketball.

 

Goran's time with his family and childhood friends, with whom he has forged unbreakable bonds, is often also connected with good food. This time he makes a stop at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana Castle, one of the nine Michelin-starred restaurants in Slovenia. Slovenia boasts seven restaurants with one Michelin star, while the Milka Restaurant in Kranjska Gora has two and Hiša Franko of the star chef Ana Roš in Kobarid has three.

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Ljubljana – the capital of sports and a healthy lifestyle

Ljubljana is not just another European capital - it is truly a special city, where everyone seems to know each other and which reveals its green heart, rich culture, art and science and enthusiasm for sports at every step. It is precisely because of this that Ljubljana has been making headlines in the media around the world, as it has hosted many prestigious international sports competitions, including the European Men’s Basketball Championship in 2013, the European Men’s Under-21 Championship in 2021, the European Men’s Volleyball Championship, the European Women's Handball Championship in 2022 and many high-profile club competitions.

Top competitions in Slovenia in 2024

Get to know the homeland of Goran Dragić

Perhaps it is true that Slovenia is not easy to find on a map, but once you discover it, you will realise that it looms large by being exceptional. Both in its appearance and in its people. It is home to extraordinary stories and experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. Let yourself fall in love with the only country in the world that has the word LOVE in its name.

Regions

In its small corner of the world, Slovenia is the only European country lying at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plain.

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Active holidays

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Food and wine

Love is experienced through the stomach.

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Slovenia Unique Experiences

Enter the world of original adventures.

Slovenia Unique Experiences

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Discover nature

Feel the beneficial effects of the green natural environment in Slovenia.

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Spas and health resorts

Rest, relax and enjoy the soothing power of thermal waters and wellness treatments.

Spas and health resorts

Spas and health resorts

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Cities and destinations

Small towns for big adventures.

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Arts and Culture

Slovenia boasts a rich cultural tradition.

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