STA, 20 November 2019 - Previously unknown photos of Melania Trump have been published in a book in Slovenia that sheds light on the US first lady's early modelling career.
First Lady Melania Trump - As She Once Was, brings a series of photos taken in 1991 and 1992, when she was 21 and 22 years of age and already a budding fashion model.
The 13 photos released for the first time are by fashion scout Nino Mihalek, who ran into Melania in the centre of Ljubljana in 1991 and then spent several hours photographing her, according to the book's author Igor Omerza.
A second photo series in the book are screenshots from a one-minute video taken in 1992 at a beauty pageant in the coastal city of Portorož.
The 80-page paperback, which features Melania's photos interspersed with biographical notes and more or less random photographs of places of interest in Slovenia, is now on sale in Slovenia.
An abbreviated version has been translated into English, but Omerza said he is yet to find a publisher.
STA, 19 November 2019 - Overworked and underpaid, Slovenian nurses have been quitting their jobs in droves, leaving hospitals struggling to find replacements, in particular for vacancies at intensive care units.
The situation is worst at UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest hospital, which has been forced to limit admission of patients at about 40 out of 2,150 beds.
"Part of the daily working programme is maintained by going the extra mile to stretch the timetables," UKC Ljubljana said, adding that it lacked the leverage to pay nurses at clinical departments properly.
"Those are the hardest workstations, and younger generations are avoiding them," said UKC Ljubljana director-general Janez Poklukar.
Nurses have been leaving hospitals, where they often work three shifts, for better paid and less demanding jobs either abroad, in primary care or for non-nursing jobs in the corporate sector.
Hospitals in the north and north-east of the country have been hit particularly hard by staff leaving abroad, mainly to Austria. UKC Maribor is facing a shortage of 25% of nursing staff.
Marjan Pintar, the head of the Slovenian Health Institutes' Association, says that staffing problems first occurred with the establishment of nurse-led consultancies at community health centres in 2011.
Some 500 graduate nurses left hospitals for those consultancies at the time, and a further 200 have left to be employed at the call centres established recently, Pintar said.
This is why the shortfall of graduate nurses is the most acute, even though their per capita number in Slovenia is within the OECD average.
"Since 2000 the number of nursing staff increased by 45%, the shortfall mainly due to the gap between the increasing expectations of the profession and the available staff," said Pintar.
"If new work standards are adopted and community health centres need to hire extra graduate nurses, the most demanding units at Slovenian hospitals will be drained empty, which may seriously jeopardise our health system."
Based on the standards that are being drawn up, it is estimated public health institutions will need an additional 3,543 graduate nurses, 145 graduate midwives and 45 nurses with secondary education, at the cost of EUR 100 million.
The nursing and social care trade union estimates shortages at between 20% and 25% at the moment, which means roughly 2,100 nurses, mainly at hospitals. There are also shortages at nursing homes.
What is more, 8,200 nurses are aged above 50. "Over the next few years a large and highly experienced generation of nurses will retire, and it will be impossible to replace," the union's head Dragica Kekec has warned.
"Nursing work is hard ... it involves sacrifice from individuals and families, night-time work ... work at Sundays, holidays, no time to rest, those absent are not being replaced," says Kekec.
Even though 1,000 nurses were registered as unemployed in September, the Employment Service says that less than half had nursing experience and only 580 were looking for a nursing job.
Another problem is that the job seekers do not have the level of education required by the employer, while some of the unemployed have limiting factors such as heath or other issues.
The trade union believes that higher pay and better working conditions would do much to curb the high turnover. It opposes ideas to look for nurses abroad.
Despite shortages, few hospitals have opted for such a solution, the main obstacle being the required language skills and demanding procedures to recognise foreign qualifications.
UKC Ljubljana officials have taken part in a career fair in Belgrade, detecting considerable demand for work in Slovenia. But they note the obstacle of the high language proficiency requirements.
As a stop-gap measures they are hiring staff through student work agencies and alleviating nursing staff of administrative work.
All our stories on healthcare in Slovenia are here
One of most recognizable buildings in Maribor stands at Glavni trg 1 (Main Square No. 1), where the centre of Maribor’s social life was hosted for most of the 20th century.
The story of the building is closely related to the nearby bridge, now called the Old Bridge. It was built by a German man Ludwig Franz, who had amassed significant wealth by manufacturing pasta, and decided to bring some advanced urban spirit into the city by building a well-equipped up-to-date house at one end of the new bridge which was being constructed.
The completion of the building occurred one month after the opening of the bridge, which was on August 23, 1913. With his brother Ludwig dedicated the house to their mother and named it Cafe Teresienhof (Theresa’s Court Café).
The house was quite advanced for the time, having its own electricity generator, while the café’s services included the possibility of ordering a lunch at the City Square, where it was then delivered by a carriage.
When Adolf Hitler paraded across the main square in 1941, the house was already called Velika Kavarna (Grand Café).
In the fifties and sixties Velika Kavarna was a venue of many pleasant social events for the citizens of Maribor, with many later stars in the Slovenian popular music scene beginning their careers there.
Following this golden age of the Velika Kavarna, a casino came into the building, which went bankrupt in 2009 and left the old café’s salon in not so splendid condition. Apparently, the casino’s management, having no money at hand to pay staff their deserved salaries, decided they could just take with anything valuable they could find on the premises. This is how Velika Kavarna was stripped of its lights and chandeliers.
Years of negotiations and fights over ownership ensued, all slowly inscribing themselves into the walls of the building, until the Grand Café was finally reopened as the Salon of Applied Arts, which decided to preserve the entire history of the place on the walls and equipment and turn the café back into a hangout for everyone curious about history of the house and local design.
Unfortunately, Salon of applied arts closed its doors permanently in July 2019. We wonder what will happen next.
Slovenia may be the only country in the world with “love” in its name, but romance is perhaps not on the menu after dark on 29 and 30 November when Celje hosts Eroticland – the biggest European regional erotic festival, and one operating under a new name after a decade as SLOVErotica.
On that weekend, the last Friday and Saturday nights in November, the city of counts will play host to the legendary Rocco Siffredi, director and star of some 1,300 adult films, along with other names from the world of pornography (including Veronica Avluv, Martina Smeraldi, Cherry Kiss, Christiana Cinn, Michael Stefano, Laura Fiorentino, Franco Roccaforte, Mike Angelo, Angel Emily, Amandha Fox and Lisa Amane, see here, NSFW). On both days the event runs from 18:00 to 02:00, and has a programme, see here (NSFW), that promises six stages offering an erotic car wash, a freeky (sic) zone with some bondage and rope, dancing in cages and on poles, erotic workshops, a ladies zone, a swingers’ corner, tantric experiences, exhibitors stalls and more.
The focal attraction will be an orgy organised by the “Italian Stallion”, and in the words of the official website:
Rocco Siffredi’s HARD ACADEMY SPACE VERSION ORCHESTRA will be one of the most striking performances of this year’s Eroticland! An “orchestra” orgy live, under the watchful eye of “conductor” Rocco, who simultaneously elevates and communicates with the audience… There will be a battle between MILFs as violas and the newcomers as the violins, while the men will be the brass section, checking out who does it better! Seen for the first time at and created only for EROTICLAND!
The publicity for the event, which is strictly 18+, goes on to note “We are certain that this extraordinary event will leave a lasting impression on you and create scenes you won’t forget easily!”
Eroticland will be held at Celjski sejem, Dečkova cesta 1 3000 Celje, tickets can be purchased here (NSFW), and please note that animals are strictly forbidden.
In 1896 a four-kilometre long electric grid with 700 light bulbs came into operation in Kočevje, the event marking the beginning of the public distribution and supply of electricity in Slovenia.
The historical use of electricity in Slovenia begins in Maribor, where the first electric light illuminated the steam mill in 1883. The beginning of electrification, however, is considered the year 1894, when the first public hydroelectric plant began operating on Sora River in Škofja Loka.
The main purpose of the hydroelectric plant in Škofja Loka, however, was not to provide electricity for public use but rather for the needs of a thread factory, which was also the producer of the energy it needed. The surplus of electricity was sold to the city government and could support about 40 electric bulbs.
The hydro power plant in Kočevje, which was established to deliver water and electricity to the citizens, beginning on today’s date in 1896, is therefore considered as the beginning of electrification of today’s Slovenia.
In comparison, in Ljubljana the first electric bulb did not get turned on until January 1, 1898.
The Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival is back for its 35th edition, officially starting Saturday, 23 November, and with events planned for Ptuj, Koper, Maribor, Bistrica ob Sotli, Idrija and Trst (aka Trieste, if you must), although the fun has already been going for more than week.
First put on back in 1984 as part of the Magnus Festival – back in the days of mystery VHS tapes showing films recorded from Britain’s Channel 4 to audiences who had no idea what was coming next – it’s the oldest LGBT film festival in Europe, as well as the oldest international film festival in Slovenia. As such it’s a valued part of the country’s cultural calendar, and a nice way to welcome in the festive season.
The list of films show include the following, and note that English and Slovenian subtitles will provided when needed
Film and video are the focus, but the programme has much more to offer, with panel discussions, readings, parties and so on. While the formal opening is 23 November, with an cocktail party hosted by Lady Galore at Kinoteka and then moving to Klub K4, the events have already begun and will continue until Sunday 1 December, World Aids Day.
Organised by ŠKUC and the Kinoteka (the Slovenian Cinemateque), along with Brane Mozetič, Jasmina Šepetavc, Luka Pieri, Miha Satler, Polona Černič, Simona Jerala and Suzana Tratnik, full details of the LGBT Film Festival programme can be found here, and there are also Facebook and Instagram pages.
All our stories with an LGBT focus are here
In 1918, following the end of WWI, the Serbian army officer Stevan Šabić and some of the Serbian army troops that have been captured by Austro-Hungarians during the war made a stop in Ljubljana on their way to Serbia and prevented its plunder by retreating military gangs and its planned occupation by the advancing Italian forces. Lieutenant Colonel Švabić, having the highest rank in the land he found himself in, also prevented the capture and plunder of Trbovlje and some other Slovenian towns.
In the chaos that followed the end of the WWI the newly established State of Serbs Croats and Slovenes (a month later the state embraced the Serbian king becoming a Kingdom itself) was not yet recognised and did not have its own army presence in all of the territories it claimed, especially in Slovenia, which used to be part of the now defeated Austrian Empire. With no troops present, the land was open for post-war looting, violence and changing of geopolitical circumstances which could potentially affect the new border agreements which were soon to follow.
Post-war Hungarian military violence against the Slovenian majority population in Prekmurje ended with the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where Hungary was forced to sign the Treaty of Trianon, which granted people the right to self-determination and allowed Prekmurje to join the Kingdom of SCS.
In Maribor, where on October 30, 1918 the German city council declared lower Styria (Štajerska) as part of the Austrian territory, General Rudolf Maister, who managed to mobilise 3,000 troops, disarmed the German guard on November 23, then continued a military campaign for Slovenian Styria and Carinthia.
On the Western border, however, things were a bit more complicated. The “people’s self-determination” principle that guided the Treaty of Trianon of the Paris Peace Conference was forgotten here in favour of the secret 1915 Treaty of London, which promised Italy large territorial gains in case of the Entente Powers’ victory. The controversial treaty became public after Lenin publicly denounced it in 1917.
Nevertheless, about 1/3 of the lands where Slovenians lived went to Italy, including the entire Southern and Northern littoral right up to the peak of Triglav. And in the post-war chaos with the central part of the country undefended, Italians turned their eyes on the capital, Ljubljana, as well.
On November 6, 1918, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Serbian army, Stevan Švabić, and other Serbian prisoners of war made a stop in Ljubljana after being released from Austrian war camps. According to Švabić’s account, Ljubljana train station was in a complete disorder: there was a train with 15 cars full of armed Hungarians on a nearby track and several other trains with armed militias present at the station. Immediately after his arrival at the station he was already being looked for by Adolf Ravnikar, sent to find help by the city authorities. Ravnikar explained the situation as alarming: out of control Austrian soldiers were returning from the front, while the Italian army followed them. If immediate help was not found, gangs would ransack the city and empty the military depots.
Understanding the urgency, Švabić gathered his troops to restore some basic order in the city, while prepared to address the problem of the advancing Italian army which had by November 10 already reached Logatec and was heading towards Vrhnika.
By November 14, Švabič had about 2,000 men and probably got a permission from Zagreb, to send the Italian commanding officer in Vrhnika an ultimatum not to continue the advance of the Italian troops further to Ljubljana, as he would have find “use of weapons on allied forces most regretful”.
The ultimatum, which was based on a pretext that the allied forces, the Serbs, had already taken control of the surrendered Austrian territories, stirred a lot of confusion on the Italian side, which must have concluded that perhaps the Serbian army had indeed managed to reach that far north at such a short notice. Furthermore, additional pressure on the Italians to retreat came from the French, who were called to do so by the Serbs.
In the days that followed, the Italian army retreated from Vrhnika while only six days after his ultimatum Stevan Švabić was called to Belgrade, probably due to a presumed violation of the chain of command by signing his name on the document which threatened an allied country with the use of weapons.
In 1930 Stevan Švabić was awarded a deserving citizen medal by the City of Ljubljana and two streets in Slovenia are named after him: Švabićeva ulica in Trnovo, Ljubljana and Švabićeva ulica in Vrhnika.
STA, 17 November 2019 - Some 46% of 20-24-year-olds in Slovenia are students, which is the highest share among EU countries, according to the Statistics Office. Slovenia had almost 76,000 students in the 2018/19 academic year, mostly women. More than half of all students enrolled in the first cycle graduate successfully, the statistics show.
In terms of the share of students among people aged between 20 and 24, Slovenia is followed in the EU by Greece (44%) and Poland (40%), the Statistics Office said ahead of World Students' Day, 17 November.
There are more women studying in Slovenia than men, and the share of women is also higher in most fields of tertiary education - pedagogy, health, social security, humanities, art, social sciences, information sciences, business and administrative studies, law, agronomy, veterinary studies, natural sciences, mathematics and hospitality and tourism.
Male students predominate only in technical studies, construction and ICT.
Some 60% of women and 42% of men enrolled in the first cycle of tertiary studies in 2010/11 finished their studies.
According to the Statistics Office, young people whose parents have tertiary education are more likely to enrol in tertiary education. In 2017/18, 71% of 19-24-year-olds with at least one parent who finished at least tertiary education enrolled in tertiary education.
STA, 14 November - The 26th Biennial of Design (BIO 26) opened in Ljubljana on Thursday. Running until 9 February under the title Common Knowledge, it will explore the information crisis and the struggles of traditional bearers of truth.
Elaborating on the concept of BIO 26 for the STA, its curator Thomas Geisler said design, in particular graphic design, had always had the task of translating information and knowledge or visualising complex content.
Geisler added design was less product-oriented than it used to be, having instead developed more systematic approaches. The history of the Ljubljana biennial is a case in point. What used to be an exhibition of well-designed products has evolved into an experimental platform for new approaches in design that seem more relevant today.
The organisers of BIO 26 have identified the inflation and chaos in the field of information as a key challenge in society, with science, academia, the media and journalism struggling to preserve their Enlightenment status as the four pillars of truth.
The notion of common knowledge relates and refers to what people know; more broadly, if refers to what people think and how they structure their ideas, feelings, and beliefs.
Furthermore, the term common knowledge carries a sense of communal or shared knowledge, with Geisler stressing the need to make access to knowledge not a privilege but something accessible as widely as possible.
BIO 26 will feature a curated exhibition at the Museum of Architecture and Design (Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje - MAO), which Geisler said would provide insight into how and where design can be active in the field of information and communication.
The opening section of the show will present the information crisis, while the hierarchical model of information, starting with data and ending with wisdom, will be outlined later on.
The festival will moreover present six winning projects selected through the Designathon, in which groups of designers and non-designers took on in recent months the challenges pressing on the institutions of knowledge production and knowledge transmission.
Geisler pointed out that traditional institutions, for instance the National University Library, which is build on concepts from the 19th century, are struggling as a result of social changes and digitalisation. Unlike in the 19th century, interaction is the primary mode of information sharing today; the library's users would share knowledge, but the architecture in itself prevents this.
Traditional institutions of knowledge are also very slow to change and the projects started as part of BIO 26 sough to identify ways to adapt to the new challenges.
"This is actually the most we can do. We cannot serve them detailed answers and of course also cannot solve their problems," said the Austrian curator, who is assisted by curator and journalist Aline Lara Rezende.
Along with the library, BIO 26 has also involved the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, the University of Ljubljana, publisher Delo, as well as an elderly home and the Ljubljana Botanical Gardens.
Geisler pointed out that the transmission of knowledge from older people was a tradition that had already disappeared decades ago, while the Anthropocene epoch had also completely divorced humankind from nature, leaving people without even basic knowledge about it.
The projects will be presented at the participating institutions. Pointing out that probably not many of Delo's readers had ever entered the publisher's premises, Geisler said that the idea was getting people to go to these institutions.
He sees the installations as prototypes that will allow the institutions to also get some feedback and use it all in future projects.
The following schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 18 November
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly will start its plenary for November with a Q&A session for PM Marjan Šarec and his cabinet.
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Business Club will present an initiative called For an Entrepreneurial Slovenia highlighting the importance of business for national prosperity.
TUESDAY, 19 November
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly will start examining the budget bills for 2020 and 2021. A total of 38 hours of debate is scheduled.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - EU ministers in charge of European affairs will be in session. Slovenia will be represented by Foreign Ministry State Secretary Dobran Božič.
KOPER - A joint committee of Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia will be in session.
BRDO PRI KRANJU - GoDigital 2019, a Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) conference on big data and artificial intelligence.
VELENJE - Future 4.0, a conference bringing together established industrial players and startups.
LJUBLJANA - AIPA, an organisation of rights holders, will present the first ever study about the Slovenian audiovisual industry.
WARSAW, Poland - Slovenia will face Poland in the final round of qualifications for the Euro 2020.
WEDNESDAY, 20 November
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will attend a session of NATO foreign ministers; until 21 November.
LJUBLJANA - IMAD, the government's macroeconomic forecaster, will host a debate on labour shortages.
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) will host its annual business summit. Innovation and human resources will be the topics in focus.
LJUBLJANA - The national awards for achievements in science and research will be conferred.
CELJE - Chemical company Cinkarna Celje is scheduled to release financial statements for the first three quarters of the year.
LJUBLJANA - AmCham, the US chamber of commerce, will host a debate on Slovenian healthcare.
THURSDAY, 21 November
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly will vote on several pieces of legislation as well as three bills that have been vetoed by the upper chamber.
LJUBLJANA - Weekly government session.
NOVO MESTO - Drug maker Krka is scheduled to release its financial statements for the first nine months of the year.
KOPER - Logistics company Intereuropa will release its business report for the first three quarters of the year.
LJUBLJANA - Naprej/Forward!, a journalism festival organised by the Slovenian Journalists' Association; until 22 November.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release November consumer sentiment figures.
LJUBLJANA - An online Hungarian-Slovenian dictionary will be launched by the ZRC SAZU Institute for Slovenian Language.
FRIDAY, 22 November
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will attend a session of a Slovenian-Turkish joint commission.
LJUBLJANA - Insurance group Sava Re is scheduled to release its financial statements for the first nine months of the year.
LJUBLJANA - Tax-Fin-Lex, a legal and tax information provider, will declare the top tax, financial and legal experts of the year.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly is expected to hold a special session to debate concerns that the construction of a sewerage system could jeopardise the source of drinking water for Ljubljana.
SATURDAY, 23 November
LJUBLJANA - Awards will be conferred at the Ljubljana International Film Festival.
LJUBLJANA - The start of the 35th Festival of LGBT film; until 1 December.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia observes Rudolf Maister Day in memory of the general who took control of Maribor in 1918, securing what later became Slovenia's northern border.
LJUBLJANA - Italian crooner Eros Ramazzotti will stop in the Stožice Arena as part of his Vita ce n'e tour.
SUNDAY, 24 November
SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Culture Minister Zoran Poznič will attend a meeting of culture ministers from the CEE region and China.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (18 - 24 November, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity 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 or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
The public Christmas lights are already up in many parts of town, but they won’t be lit until 17:15 Friday 29 November.
Dance is in the spotlight this week, with the CoFestival international festival of contemporary dance. This runs from 22 to 27 November and takes places at assorted venues around town. Details are here. Fans of art cinema will also much to enjoy, as LiFFe – the Ljubljana International Film Festival is in town, with details here, while Gourmet November continues till the end of the month. Thursday to Sunday the 50th Snežinka Ski Fair will offer visitors a wide selection of new and used ski equipment and presentations of various ski centres.
The LGBT Film Fest opens on Saturday, 23 November, and closes 1 December - details are here.
How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here
Wednesday, 20 November, you can enjoy the sounds made by Alexander Gadjiev at Cankarjev dom (19:30 – tickets), playing works for the piano by Brahms, Liszt, Chopin, Skriabin, Messiaen and Bartok. That same evening Kino Šiška plays host to Godspeed You! Black Emperor (20:00 – tickets).
The only new movie this week seems to be the following, which – like all kids movies, will usually be shown dubbed (sinhronizirano), so look carefully if you want the original sound (i.e., with subtitles / podnapisi).
Learn Slovene with memes, here
Interested in Slovenian craft beer? Find out what’s new with Damir, of Lajbah and more.
You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.
While the Old Town is quaint, and full of music, where does Ljubljana really shop? One popular answer is BTC City, a vast complex of malls, entertainment facilities and more, including more than 70 different food vendors, offering everything from Slovenian to Thai, Indian to Italian, Mexican to Chinese. Check out my recent visit here.
Looking for something different to eat? Trubajeva cesta, running right by Dragon Bridge, has the greatest concentration of "ethnic food" places in Ljubljana, and thus perhaps the country. Check out our walk through guide as of June 2019.
In warmer days than you'll see this week. Photo: JL Flanner
You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.
Screenshot from YouTube
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.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.
Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.
Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.
Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.
Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.
Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.
Looking for a souvenir you'll really enjoy? Take a look at Broken Bones Gin, the first gin made in Ljubljana (learn more here, and try it at the Central Market or selected downtown bars).
Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.
Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.
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. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.
Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.
Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.
Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.
Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.
Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,
Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.
Orto Bar– 80s and 90s throwback nights can often be found here, along with rock-based DJ sets.
Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.
Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.
Cvetličarna – Regional pop and rock concerts can be found here.
Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.
Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.
Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.
Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.
Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.
Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.
Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.
Slovenska filharmonija– Classical music in the centre of town.
SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.
Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.
Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here
Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.
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.
Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.
Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.
SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.
Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.
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.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.
Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here
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, and thus are serious about the dessert.
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, although sometimes there are other events
Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.
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.
Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard
The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.
I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.
Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.
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, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.
Image: Nejc Bernik. ZRC-SAZU
Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."
City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.
Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija
City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an 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
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
Drink like a pro - find gallery openings. Photo: JL Flanner
Ljubljana Castle on until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title. New at the Castle is (Un)known Ljubljana, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.
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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.
© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017
Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.
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. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here. Art for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”
The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.
Photo: JL Flanner
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. 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.
A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.: Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko
Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.
Natural History Museum – On until the end of December 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.
National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has 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).
Vžigalica Gallery – From 12 November to 1 December there's going to be a show from called SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.
SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO
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
Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.
If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.
Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.
Photo: Neža Loštrek
For something a little more brual, check out Republika trg / Republic Square, in the heart of the political quarter.
Photo: JL Flanner
Photo: JL Flanner
Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience 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,
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.
Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)
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, which usually run until the first snow.
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. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.
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. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.
Screenshot from a Twitter video
If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to park, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is 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.
Photo: JL Flanner
There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported 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.