What's on in Ljubljana: Jan 07 - 13, 2019 (Videos & DJ Sets)

By , 05 Jan 2019, 18:06 PM Lifestyle
View from the Puppet Theatre to Daktari View from the Puppet Theatre to Daktari JL Flanner

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The lights should be down by the end of the week, and as we work to get over the Christmas/New Year backlog there’s less time than we’d like to go out and have fun. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t looked ahead with some pleasure at the things we’ll be missing, able to skim the cultural life of the city with coffee or two from the warmth of a sofa, a pleasure we now hand on to you in the form of this multimedia guide to what’s on in Ljubljana next week (with past editions here).

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 at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com

Getting around Ljubljana

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. If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

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.

Cinemas and films playing in Ljubljana this week

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 if they can't understand Slovene. That said, parents should pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Cankerjev dom – The Dutch movie Girl is playing here this week.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Old Man & The Gun, Den tid på året, Maria by Callas, Todos lo saben, Lady Bird (special rendez-vous with coffee and talk screenings) and The House That Jack Built.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing The Wrestler (Aronofsky), Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci) as well as some Slovene and Yugoslav classics.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyRobin Hood, Johnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svet, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, Bumblebee, a dubbed version of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magique, Second Act, Mortal Engines, Južni veter, and Mary Poppins Returns. The new releases this week are a dubbed version of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and The Old Man & the Gun.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, a dubbed version of The Grinch, The Old Man & the Gun, and A Star is Born.

Clubbing in Ljubljana

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's consideable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay caberet to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here.

Božidar - Friday, January 11, you can dance from 23:59 to 05:00 with the fantastically named Joy Orbison b2b Jon K - All night longgg!

Channel Zero – Friday, 23:00 to 06:00, there’s an event called Traxman (Tekk Dj'z), with support from DJs SunnySun, Terranigma and Bakto. It’s being promoted with the following mix.

Gala Hala – Friday night there’s Wave Riders! with DJs Torulsson and Kobayashii and VJ Maii. Saturday the fun continues in this Metelkova venue, with a free event called Swaguljčica and hip hop from DJs Lil Ris, Tschimy, Borka and Cookie.

Klub Cirkus – Dress with care on Friday and brush off any dust or dandruff as it’s time for BLACK MOON – UV Gathering #5, a UV black light party soundtracked with dance, future house, edm, house, r&b, hip hop, and trap, as provided by LVN x Tim Black. Saturday is then a party night called Veliki Collegium After Party, with no details available as to the music.

Klub K4 – Friday night the klub 4 kool kids that’s into its 4th decade has K4 Gibanica, with “dance” being played by Nitz & LARA H, Tzena, Perodinamika, and Yurii, with VJ 5237 giving something for you to look at. Saturday there’s more dance in the form of Temnica, with music from СИНИ, Tritch, and S.S.S.

Orto Bar – Saturday, 22:00 to 04:00 there’s a night dedicated to Elvis Presley’s birthday. At present all that we can tell you is the music will be provided by DJ Martin13. Starting just before this, at 21:00, Yu Generacija are hosting, and playing, a selection of Yugo rock.

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Poster: drogart.org

Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here. 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, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going and, as ever, avoid unknown powders of questionable content and dose.

Some fun facts about the city and its castle...

Enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy your friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the castle here.

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The Castle has its own vineyard at the other end of the hill, as well as a cutting from Maribor's "World's Oldest Vine" growing in the courtyard. Screenshot: Google Maps

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Photo: JL Flanner

Things to do with children in Ljubljana

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.

Open-air ice skating can be found in Tivoli Park until March 10, 2019, with the details here.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – There's always an interesting and varied range of shows on for both adults and families at this theatre not far from Križanke. The English schedule for the month is here.

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - The puppet theatre near the Central Market and next to the Castle funicular has a full programme or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Thursday, 19:30, Rinnat Moriah, soprano, and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano, will perform under the baton of German pianist and conductor Michael Wendeberg, featuring Richard Strauss, A Hero's Life.

Klub Gromka – You can enjoy some European free jazz in Metelkova from 19:00 to 02:00 on Thursday, with performances from Frame Trio, Olfamoštvo, and Abstract Truth. Then Friday the 11th there’s live grindcore with Ritval VI - Glista, Trobec, and Alberto Tomba.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night at the Castle, and this Friday, 21:00, you can enjoy the live sounds of Papir, as seen below.

Pinelina dnevna soba – Friday evening, 20:00 to 23:00, you can enjoy live music from Mónika Lakatos, being promoted as follows: “Passionate, tragic, painful, life-affirming music of Hungarian Roma singer Mónika Lakatos accompanied by a guitarist Mihály “Mazsi” Rostás in intimate atmosphere of the Pinelina dnevna soba.”

LGBT+ Ljubljana

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, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday. Nthing else is planned for this week, but take a look below.

Klub Tiffany – Te gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. This Saturday it also has LFU - Večer feministične, lezbične in kvir pornografije, “LFU invites you to a film projection and talk about feminist, lesbian, and porn pornography from contemporary Berlin production. The event is open to lesbians, women and trans persons.” More details here.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

Museums and galleries in Ljubljana

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.

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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. Something on for a limited time is Plečnik and the Sacred, showing here until January 20, 2019.

Cankerjev domRunning 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 GalleryDrago Tršar recently had a show at the main Moderna looking at his monumental works, and now this smaller gallery in the Old Town, not far from Town Hall, is showing some the sculpture’s erotic works, on until January 20, 2019. It’s being promoted with the following example, and is quite explicit in terms of breasts and vaginas, but if that's OK for you and your companions then there's much to enjoy in the paintings, bronzes and ceramics on show. You can read about my visit, and see a lot more pictures, here.

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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 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.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

Kino ŠiškaKino Šiška – A show on Contemporary Graphic Arts, with the focus on printing, is running here until January 21, as well as various other exhibitions.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while until March 3 2019 you can enjoy paintings, drawings, prints and murals from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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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.

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Photo: Body Works Vital

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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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.

Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park is showing, among other things, (R)evolution of the museum 1948-2018. 70 years of the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia.

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 sacred art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

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JL Flanner

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. This runs until February 15th.

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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, furniture 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 items.

Natural History Museum – On until the end of June 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.

Škuc Gallery - You can find this in the old town, and until January 20 there;s an interesting and often moving show called Kids that you can see for just 1 euro, with works by Johanna Billing, Matic Brumen, Andreja Džakušič, Priscila Fernandes, Eden Mitsenmacher, Franc Purg, and Pilvi Takala.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, 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.

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Union is "the Ljubljana beer", but now both it and Laško are owned by Heineken. There are many local brews on offer around town, though, if you want to explore IPAs, stouts, wheatbeers, sours and so on 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.

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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.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Thursday, 19:30, Rinnat Moriah, soprano, and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano, will perform under the baton of German pianist and conductor Michael Wendeberg, featuring Richard Strauss, A Hero's Life.

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 – There’s nothing on here this week.

Slovenska filharmonija – This orchestra is playing at Cankerjev dom, see above.

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

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,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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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.

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maxpixel.net, public domain

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.

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

Daytrips from Ljubljana

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. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Zvezda. Photo: JL Flanner

Finally...eating ice cream in Ljubljana in winter

Only serious ice cream stores keep making and selling ice cream through the winter, so we took a look at six of the best in the pedestrianised area, with something for sophisticated tastes as well as those who like to pile on the candies, cookies, syrups and treats. Read all about it here.

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