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.
Joy Division are not in town this week, or anywhere ever again, but another goth classic for Halloween
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).
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, showing, among other features, Todos lo saben (Everybody Knows), The Children Act, and Jusqu'à la garde. There’s also an all-night horror movie marathon for Halloween, starting at 17:00 with Rosemary’s Baby – which, if you can separate the art from the child rapist is a great movie – and the last movie going on at 04:45, which is Cold Skin. In between there’s Overlord, Suspira (remake), Cold Hell, and The Evil Dead (original). For children and those of a more sensitive disposition, there’s The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child.
Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing, among other Pedro Almodóvar’s Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios and The Crow, starring Brandon Lee.
Kolosej – The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Bohemian Rhapsody, Hunter Killer, Halloween, Hell Fest, Johnny English 3, Posledice, The Children Act, Smallfoot (with subtitles, not dubbed), First Man, Bad Times at the El Royale, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Venom, A Star is Born, Gajin svet, Night School, The Nun, and a dubbed version of The Incredibles 2. Starting on Tuesday there’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody. Gajin svet, Johnny English 3, and A Star is Born Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.
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.
Božidar – Friday night there’s Hepi brzdej Boži < 3, which will be an all-night dance party, with details of the DJs currently unavailable.
Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, this week with Domaćica - Open Mic. As Google Translate explains things: “We invite composers, rhyme writers, rappers, freestyle players, singers and instrument players to join us on the evening to join us and co-create Domaćica with us in a very special way. Warning: In the evening, amateurs are invited (who are still looking for their way) as well as professors (who would like to test new material). DJ LT and Kesso Select are the basis for the basis.” Wednesday, from 23:00 to 06:00, there’s Halloween 2018: Dark Side Of The 80s, with 80s goth hits played by DJs Veronica, Tomo, Moonchild and Ludvik. Expect stuff like the following.
Gala Hala – If you don’t fancy the dark side of the 80s, then you’re in luck, as this venue is offering the Bright Side of the 80s on Wednesday, 22:00 to 04:00. The music being promoted has some crossover with the dark event (Bauhaus, The Cure), as well as less gothy offerings (Talking Heads, Bowie, Duran Duran).
Klub Cirkus – On Tuesday night the more colourful end of clubland has Trick or Treat; the music policy for this isn’t advertised, but the clothing is “spooky / naughty Halloween”. Then Wednesday there’s the Cirkus Halloween Special. After that, it’s back to normal on Friday, with RnB Explosion ft. DJ Dey, then on Saturday there’s Se7em: Cirkus B-Day Special, with music from DJ Dey x Matthew Z x Clay Clemens.
Klub K4 – The klub for kool kids that’s not in Metelkova has a busy week. On Tuesday there’s K4x4 w/ Helena Hauff, and you can see and hear a set from her below. On Wednesday there’s a Halloween Rave, with music from DJs Commercial Break, Vuka, Felis Catus and Softskinson, and visuals from VJ 5237. Friday night it’s Just a Dance w. Ilija Rudman, with the Croatian talent playing classics from the 70s and 80s, with local support. Saturday you can then get down to a top techno all-nighter called Temnica, with the beats supplied by Roli, Zergon and Tetsuo.
Klub Gromka – Wednesday brings more goth to Metelkova, with Same Old Madness: Darkland, playing new wave, dark wave, cold wave, minimal, industrial, death rock, post punk, and goth rock.
Orto Bar – Wednesday night there’s Halloween! The Dancing Queen (70s, 80s, 90s Pop, Dance Hits). Friday night there’s then the Original Disco Party.
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 9 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.
Sam, 1966, fotografija na srebroželatinskem papirju. ©Stojan Kerbler
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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past. 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 .
Klub Monokel – In addition to the regular Friday night opening, this lesbian bar in Metelkova is also co-hosting a Wednesday all-nighter (Halloween) with Pritljiče (see below).
Klub Tiffany – Wednesday, 21:00 to 22:00, you can enjoy a Halloween themed edition of Kabaret Tiffany at this gay bar in Metelkova, right next to Monokol. There’s then a Halloween all-nighter, Hocus Pocus.
Pritličje – 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 here. Meanwhile, on Wednesday there’s an all-nighter for Halloween, most likely starting here and continuing at Monokol. There’s a long list of DJs, so expect some variety.
Photo: Alternative Ljubljana
How to behave in Metelkova. Photo: JL Flanner
Božidar – On Wednesday night there’s live jazz from Just Friends.
Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, October 30, there’s an acoustic concert by Crvena Jabuka. The same night there's also a show by Park Jiha, from South Korea.
Channel Zero – Sunday, November 4, there’s live sludge/doom/black metal from Fistula, Grime, and Fierce.
Gala Hala – Friday night there’s then a mix of live MCs and DJs with Rapetek Extra: Sa-Roc & Dynasty.
Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s live music from Seul Océan in support of their new album, Je fais revivre, plus a set by Kuhinjski Splav.
ino Šiška – On Wednesday night there’s a break from the goth with a live show from Hammerfall and Armored Dawn, playing metal. Saturday there’s Knower playing frenetic pop jazz. Sunday the week ends with a show from Homesick and 7AM.
Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by Igor Lumpert feat. Matija Dedić: "Blues & Ballads".
Stara elektrana - While not as internationally famous as their peers Laibach, Borghesia came out of the same NSK scene and will be launching their new album with a show at this old electical plant, not far from Metelkova. A taste of what's on offer is below.
Orto Bar – Urban Pulz is doing a show to promote their new album, Amazing Day.>
Gledališče IGLU - IGLU Theatre – 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.
SNG Opera and Ballet – November 2, a Friday, sees the premiere of Mož, ki je imel ženo za klobuk, aka The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, by Michael Nyman (the guy who used to do all of Peter Greenaway’s soundtracks).
Open Kitchen is now over, but from November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here.
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