There’s a new look to what’s on… this week, as we’ve added a table of contents and hyperlinks to make the whole thing more user friendly, and finally gotten rid of some long-standing, well-loved typos, while adding some new ones for eagle-eyed readers to spot. You can see all the editions of these guides here, and all our stories tagged Ljubljana here.
As ever, clicking on the venue names in the sections 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
- Cinemas and films
- Live music
- Opera, theatre and dance
- Harm reduction and drug testing
- Some fun facts about the city and its castle…
- Things to do with children
- LGBT+ Ljubljana
- Museums and galleries
- Other things to do in Ljubljana
- Getting around
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. Parents should also 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.
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Children Act, Women at War, The Favourite, Maria by Callas and Climax.
Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing Von Trier’s Europa, two from Bertolucci, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers, and Fucking Åmål from Lukas Moodysson.
Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include 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 Grindelwald, Bohemian Rhapsody, Robin Hood, Johnny English 3, A Star is Born, 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, Južni veter, Mary Poppins Returns, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, The Old Man & the Gun, The Favourite and The Upside. New this week are Mary Queen of Scots, Glass, and The Mule, with Serenity starting on Wednesday.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Mule.
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 considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here.
Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week it’s Domaćica - Open Mic, with a music policy of reggae, dub, riddim, dancehall and rap instrumental. Friday it’s SUBØ: Tigerbalm w. Moleskin and support.
Klub Cirkus – Friday it’s Crazy Cirkus ft. CHRNS (Armada, Proximity, LW) playing dance anthems & party hits, while Saturday night there’s Best of RNB.
Klub K4 – The klub for kool kids that’s not in Metelkova has two events this week. Friday there’s SOLVD w/ Andrey Pushkarev playing house and techno, while on Saturday klubbers can enjoy Techno Golden Oldies with DJs Dojaja, Plotz, Lazy and Djane Gaby.
Klub Gromka – Friday night is Darkland, playing new wave, dark wave, industrial, death rock, goth rock, and more.
Gala Hala – Tuesday there’s live music from Strange Cages and China Traffic. Thursday ŠKM banda will be presenting their new album. Friday it’s hip hop from Rapetek 145 with MCs Kandžija and Mirko Grozny, with DJ support from K'POW and NBGT. The week then ends of Sunday with punk rock from No Fun At All
Klub Gromka – Thursday evening there’s a double-bill of trip hop and groove metal, with Blu.Sine and Paragoria.
Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night at the Castle, and this week the sounds will be provided by Big Band - Bend It!.
Orto Bar – Friday there seem to be two loud events at this guitar-based venue, with Drunk in Public presenting Gužva u Bajt, Spunk on Toast, Sereš, and Brez Vprašanj, along with Kadilnica of Death presenting MetalRock Akademija. Saturday there’s blues punkabilly/psychobilly with Knocksville and Clockwork Psycho.
Slovenska filharmonija – Monday there’s modern music with a programme of Vito Žuraj: Top spin, Nina Šenk: Baca (2018), Edgard Varèse: Ionisation, Andrej Makor: Silence (2018), Darijan Božič: Pop art III, and Enno Poppe: Schrauben (2018).
Cankerjev dom – Tuesday it’s ballet from SNG Maribor, with a performance of Mahler’s Death in Venice. Puccini’s opera Turandot will be staged by SNG Maribor on Friday, January 25.
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.
Klub Gromka – A fairytale for adults, in Slovene, will be staged here Wednesday, 20:00, while on Friday, same time, it’s Za crknt: klovnski fjuzikl, a clown cabaret.
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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.
The Puppet Museum can be found in the Castle. Photo: JL Flanner
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, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter.
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, and this week it's Nani Mo, a club night with R36 + Volk + Estera + Torkar & Liara T'Soni.
Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00, there's Kavarniški večer: kviz z Milojko.
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.
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.
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.
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 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.
Photo: M Paternoster
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game. The latter is being promoted with the following image.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo: JL Flanner
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,
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.
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.
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.
Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain
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
Photo: Google Image Search
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.
There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.
Photo: JL Flanner
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.