As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on this week in the same place. Finally, if there's something you want to promote in a future edition of What's on... please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com
If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here.
The city’s main tourist attraction is the Castle, and you’ll enjoy your visit a lot more if you know what you’re looking at, so take a look at our 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana Castle and learn, among other things, why Rome lives on in it’s walls.
Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.
Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here and here).
– The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing, among other features, Scissere, Pasolini’s Teorema, Fassbinder’s Katzelmacher, and Glauber Rocha’s Terra em Transe.
– The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, dubbed versions of Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation and Duck, Duck, Goose, The Nun, A Simple Favour, Night School, Gajin svet, Peppermint, Venom, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, A Star is Born, a subtitled version of Smallfoot First Man and Johnny English 3. New movies this week are the Slovene Posledice, The Children Act, Bad Times at the El Royale, and Amoureux de ma femme. Starting Wednesday there’s the new Halloween, while on Friday there’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
– The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Johnny English 3, A Star is Born, and The Children’s Act, while on Friday Bohemian Rhapsody starts playing.
Drogart, an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, has a useful page analysing the contents of various pills being sold as MDMA. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.
The big event this week is on Saturday, with the Drum and Bass Konferenca 2018 going on all night t six clubs in Metelkova, with all the DJs and places listed, while tickets can be bought .
– Friday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show comes from Dubwise Massive! with Higher Meditation.
– Friday night you can thrill to Cosmic Sex presents: Samuele Pagliai, with support from Blažen DJ & Jaša Bužinel.
– Tuesday night there’s a party called Koroška Gavda, with music from Zlatko and Optimisti. Wednesday there’s a Student Halloween Party, while Friday there’s TRIP ft. Kosta Radman, playing party music. Saturday then brings things to a close with El Fuego, playing “Latin-flavoured beats”.
– Friday night the klub 4 kool kats is having a season launch event with Danvers providing electro techno, as played by Danvers, Softskinson, Felis Catus, Levanael b2b Dacho and Krilc. The next night, a Saturday, there’s LuckIsOn w. Quest, with more techno, this time with some house, garage, electro and more, spun by Quest, Ian F., Mayell, Tim Kern, and Tzena.
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.
Ljubljana Castle has an exhibition on the history of dragons in Slovenia and around the world that runs until November 11, and there's plenty more to see and do when up there, including some nice walks in nature. Note that the bathroom is in the basement and rather difficult to find.
Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner
Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character. Read about our guided tour here.
From October 5 to November 5 you can visit FLO Bistro in Gornji trg (part of the Old Town) and see a selection of photographs of the city by Xenia, called #Ljubljanamylove. If you can’t make it, then you can see some of the images on Instagram, and one of them below.
The Balassi Institute (The Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Hungary) – This is at Barvarska steza 8, Ljubljana, not far from Dragon Bridge, and until November you can see a show with works from Igor Andjelic (1961) from Slovenia, Dénesa Farkasa (1974) from Estonia and Hungary and Pétra Mátyásija (1982) from Hungary.
Cankerjev dom – Running until the end of February 2019 is an exhibition titled Ivan Cankar and Europe: Between Shakespeare and Kafka. This is “An examination of Cankar’s art through an analysis of influences and interpretations, and juxtaposition with contemporary European writers. The visually elaborate architectural and graphic layout, supported by audio-visual media, installation art and diverse visual highlights, offers a vivid account of Cankar’s excellence, his comprehensively exquisite aesthetic and artistic vision.”
City Art Gallery – Tadej Pogačar’s CODE:RED project will be presented here until November 4, including documentary material, texts, interviews, videos, photographs, and newspapers. It’s being promoted with the following image.
CODE:RED Venice, Red umbrella march, public action, 49th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, Venice, 2001 / on the picture: Carol Leigh
City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my recent visit here. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.
Photo: M Paternoster
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running until November 11 is an exhibition of works by Riko Debenjak, including prints, drawings, paintings and illustrations.
Kino Šiška – Max Grau: Love & Work [Floating] will be on show until November 2.
Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre – Just outside the centre of town, at Dunajska cesta 18, you can see a lot of plasticized bodies at the Body Worlds Vital show, running from October 20 until January 20 2019.
Photo: Body Works Vital
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.” The same venue has an exhibition based on Slovenia’s Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, called “Living with Water”, and on until November 25.
Something by Drago Tršar
Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement. For even more contemporary work you can take a trip to the Metelkova branch, where there’s currently a show on the relationship between humans and animals.
Photo: JL Flanner
Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park has two new shows. One is called Museum's (R)evolution 1948-2018, marking the place's 70th anniversary with an exhibition tracing its evolution through artefacts, photographs and personal stories and running until January 6 2019 (details here). There's also In Search of Freedom: 1968-2018, looking at the 1968 student protests.
National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing scared art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below.
Photo: Wang Wei Chang
Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, funiture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household objects.
– A show called Forbidden Whispers – Laibach in North Korea is on here until October 19.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.
Photo: JL Flanner
Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.
It's not a formal museum, but if you're interested in "Yugo-stalgia" then you'll enjoy a trip to Verba, a small, privately run space that's crammed with objects and pop culture items from the era, and is conveniently located at the start of one of the short walks to the castle. It's also a great place to take pictures, if you leave a donation, and you can read more about it here.
Verba. Photo: JL Flanner
Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.
FAMILIES & KIDS
You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, ice cream and pizza. There's also the weekend programmes of films for children, from babies up, at Kinodvor, which you can read about here.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here. We recently also published an interview with the LGBT activist and writer Suzana Tratnik, talking about - among other things - the occupation of Metelkova.
If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that .
The big event this week is the Go East! conference on LGBT+ literature and Eastern Europe, on Thursday and Friday. You can read more about it here.
– This lesbian bar is open every Friday.
– As is the gay bar next door.
– This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. You can read more about it .
Photo: Alternative Ljubljana
How to behave in Metelkova. Photo: JL Flanner
– Thursday there’s a show from Haiku Garden at the launch of their new album, Where If Not Now.
– A busy week at this venue. On Tuesday night there’s Laurel, with support from Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl. Wednesday there’s the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet with M. Lazar and B. Gorišek. Thursday there’s entertainment from Nipplepeople and Bojana Vunturišević. Friday you can see Life of Agony, BillyBio, and All Hail the Yeti. Saturday night Igor Lumpert & Innertextures are playing a jazz show. The week then ends on Sunday with Noreia and Tola Custy.
– Friday night is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by Ratko Zjaca and the Nocturnal Band of Stefano Bedetti.
– Thursday Kadilnica of Death present Marax and Ways of a Heretic. Friday the fun continues with the Tomcat horror show. The next night you can enjoy the hammer of the gods, with the Led Zeppelin Tribute by Kula.
here.– Wednesday, Thursday and Friday sees the Ignor Festival at this venue, with, per Google translate: “For the second year in a row, the Ignor platform brings the three-day festival of literature, performance, sound and video of the same name. Every day you will experience a whole bunch of poetry, stories, musical improvisations and more of the invited guests and guests from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Serbia and Slovenia. This year we sailed fairly into international waters. Three hours of program per day. Come and be friendly with us!” The programme can be found
– Saturday night this group is usually putting on an English improv show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.
– Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann will be performed Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evening.
Note - not the performers in Ljubljana
Every Friday for a a few more week's there’s the Open Kitchen in Ljubljana Market, where you can try food and drink from some the biggest names in town.
If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,
Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.
If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.
Flickr - Dave Rosenbaum CC by 2.0
Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.
Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here.
Photo: Google Image Search
Lean more about this happy fellow here. Photo: JL Flanner