STA, 19 August 2019 - Slovenian authorities have charged more than 100 people, mostly Italians, involved in a scheme that helped lorry drivers bypass red tape and expenses involved in acquiring vocational qualification certificates in Italy, by allowing them to get one in Slovenia. Fines have been issued to nearly 40 people so far.
The Koper-based Primorske Novice reports on Monday that fictitious residence in Slovenia and fictitious labour contracts with Slovenia-based companies enabled the drivers to obtain vocational qualification certificates in Slovenia.
The Koper Administrative Unit became suspicious after more than 100 people moved their official residence to a single house in the small village of Gračišče in 2014 and 2015. None of the persons actually resided in the house.
Six people running the scheme, among them one Slovenian and nationals of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are suspected of hiring Italian drivers under fictitious labour contracts.
An employee at a local driving school is suspected of helping them pass the relevant test, Primorske Novice said.
The Koper prosecution has charged 109 people with certifying and helping to certify false declarations. So far, the court has issued 36 punitive order verdicts to Italian drivers and is planning to issue 70 more.
In all these cases, the court has followed the proposal of the prosecution to issue punitive order verdicts, meaning that there will be no trial, unless the suspects appeal against the decision.
Arraignments have been scheduled only for the six people running the scheme. So far two have taken place, with the defendants pleading not guilty to hiring Italian drivers and helping them obtain the vocational certificates.
All our stories on Italy are here
August 19, 2019
In 1934 a balloon with two Belgian stratospheric pilots, professor Max Cosyns and his assistant Nere van Elst landed in the little Slovenian village of Želivlje.
The pilots took off at 6:00am from Hour-Havenne airport in Belgium and reached the altitude of 16,000 metres several hours later. On their descent strong winds carried them across Austria until after a 14-hour flight they finally landed in Ženavlje. Their flight was reported live to various radio stations and media outlets across Europe and the USA from the radio connection in the balloon’s gondola.
Some of the older citizens of the remote region of Goričko had seen a balloon 40 years before, so they knew what it was and helped with the landing. The event became quite a sensation, with about 6,000 people were attracted to the site, among them many reporters.
For a few days the Mura river region became the centre of international media attention and the domestic and foreign press for the first time described an area that had until then been ignored. A journalist from Ljubljana wrote for Jutro newspaper: “This is not Siberia, it is a land of kind local people, whom the pilots will remember for a long time to come.”
After some rest, Cosyns and van Elst headed towards Ljubljana, and from Ljubljana they took a plane to Zagreb, where they received king Alexander’s medal of honour, the newest map of the Slovenian lands and Doctor Slavič’s 1919 book Prekmurje.
August 18 became an important day in the history of Goričko, and in 1997 a memorial with a bronze statue, the work of Mirko Bratuša, has been placed in the spot of the balloon’s landing.
Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here
This schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 19 August
BRNIK - New US Ambassador Lynda C. Blanchard is due to arrive in Slovenia.
LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Simon Zajc will host a meeting with organisations licensed to collect hazardous waste after the waste treatment company Kemis was ordered to stop accepting waste and tear down buildings erected in the wake of the devastating 2017 fire.
LJUBLJANA - A new square will be inaugurated in the Ljubljana Poljane borough in tribute to the centenary of Prekmurje's reunification with Slovenia. Keynote to be delivered by Slovenia's first President Milan Kučan, with President Borut Pahor on hand.
LJUBLJANA - An exhibition will be launched to mark the 75th anniversary of the Slovenian Statistics Office.
TUESDAY, 20 August
LJUBLJANA - The Trade Union of Farmers will meet Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec to discuss measures against wolf attacks on domestic animals.
LJUBLJANA - Meeting over tea with Major-General Alenka Ermenc, the chief of the general staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces.
LJUBLJANA - Insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav is scheduled to release a semi-annual business report.
LJUBLJANA - The summer version of the stand-up comedy festival Panč will kick off at Ljubljana Castle, until 25 August.
WEDNESDAY, 21 August
PTUJ - The 23rd annual Days of Poetry and Wine will get under way with Ilija Trojanow, the multi-award winning Bulgarian-German author, reading out his Open Letter to Europe; until 24 August.
THURSDAY, 22 August
LJUBLJANA - Several events will be held ahead of European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes (23 August), including a flowers-laying ceremony at a plaque to victims of all wars in front of the US Embassy, holy mass for the victims and a debate.
KRŠKO - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will pay a visit to the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK).
KOPER - The shareholders' meeting of port operator Luka Koper will vote on the proposal to name Tamara Kozlovič as a new member of the supervisory board.
LJUBLJANA - Insurer Sava Re will release semi-annual business results.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release the August consumer confidence index.
PIRAN - The Tartini International Festival of Chamber Music will start, to run until 8 September.
RAZGRAD, Bulgaria - Slovenian football champions Maribor will play the first leg of the play-off round of qualifying for UEFA Europa League against Ludogorets Razgrad.
FRIDAY, 23 August
MARIBOR - A retrospective exhibition marking the 80th birthday of photographer Stojan Kerbler will be launched.
BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM - The three-day Avsenik Festival will kick off in memory of the legendary accordion ensemble.
SATURDAY, 24 August
RADOMLJE - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and MEPs Irena Joveva and Klemen Grošelj will address a summer gathering of members of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).
GORNJA RADGONA - The International Agriculture and Food Fair AGRA will open, to run until 29 August.
GORNJA RADGONA - The Trade Union of Farmers will hold a protest against what it sees as an ineffective implementation of the emergency law to cull bears and wolves.
LJUBLJANA - The international festival of progressive theatre Mladi Levi will get under way, to run until 31 August.
PIRAN - A saltmakers' festival will take place.
SUNDAY, 25 August
MURSKA SOBOTA - A religious service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church to mark the centenary of Prekmurje's unification with Slovenia, with Honorary Bishop Geza Erniša, Catholic Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl, President Borut Pahor to address the event after. It will also be attended by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (19 - 25 August, 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.
In town and want to follow the news? Check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
As ever, links to the basic listings are after the following selection, while a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here.
Thursday’s a pretty big evening in town, as outlined in the following introduction.
That accordion player in Prešeren? He was playing on Dragon Bridge last week – details
The musical Onegin’s Demon, by Pushkin and Tchaikovsky, will be playing in Križanke as part of the Ljubljana Festival on Monday and Tuesday evening (details). On Thursday and Friday the same venue will see a musical version of The Master and Margarita (details): “St Petersburg’s LDM Novaya Scena theatre has joined forces with 6 composers, 6 librettists and 66 artists to create a blend of fantasy and reality that will captivate audiences with the help of 666 costumes and 66 scene changes.”
Deerhunter are playing Kino Šiška Thursday, 20:00.
Thursday there’s a unique event taking place by Fishmarket Footbridge (Ribja brv), near the Triple Bridge. On the water here there’s be a floating volleyball court with glowing lines to mark the playing areas. There will then be matches between professional players. Free to watch, it starts at 20:15, and is next to the following event.
Thursday to Sunday, 18:00 to 21:00 (also 10:00 to 12:00 on Saturday) at Cobbler’s Bridge (the next bridge down from Fishmarket), there’s 19th Emona Promenade: “a street festival that comprises performances for audiences of all ages featuring theatre troupes and solo artists from different countries. Visitors can observe various fine artists in action and take part in art, music and dance workshops.”
Thursday again you can go to the Cathedral of St Nicholas, the one by the market in the Old Town, for a free concert by Katarina Vega Choir. Until September 15 the Cathedral will also be showing seven sculptural portraits of Pope Francis in bronze by sculptor Mik Simcic.
Starting Saturday (24 August) and running until the end of the month there’s the Young Lions (Mladi levi) international theatre and dance festival – details here.
TrNOVfest is back for the whole month of August, with theatre and dance workshops, art exhibitions, Indian dances, literary and film evenings, stand-up comedy, graffiti workshops, DJ sessions and more, with food and craft beer to go along with music that ranges from jazz and acoustic to rock, metal, and trap. Tickets at €5, things happen at the Centre of Slavic Cultures France Prešeren, and details are here.
The Ljubljana Festival, which continues until 5 September and has a packed programme of world-class concert, opera, and ballet events – see more here. This Thursday you can hear Schubert, Schumann and Strauss being played by Alena Baeva on the violin and Vadim Kolodenko at the piano at the National Gallery; while on Friday Križanke will host Il Terzo Suono, a baroque ensemble playing Vivaldi, Tartini and Telemann on period instruments.
Thursday, at Kavarna Plato, Ajdovščina 1 (on end of Slovenska cesta, not far from Nebotičnik) there’s also free open-air salsa, starting 20:00. Same same, but different, every Friday, 20:30, there’ll be free live jazz in Stari trg (Old Town Square).
The Summer in Ljubljana Old Town goes on until 28 August. This presents classical concerts, many of which are free, in the churches, inner courtyards and squares in the old city centre. The programme is here. Running until 1 September is the Mini Theatre’s season for children and young people, with details here.
That said, if you're in town you really should visit Ljubljana Market - it's small, varied and offers fresh fruit, vegetables, local specialities, snacks and souvenirs, while being next to many other sights. Learn more about it here.
Photo: JL Flanner
Volčji Potok Arboretum (Volčji Potok 3) has a rose garden in bloom until 31 August, nature permitting.
I took a trip to the Botanical Garden a feww week's ago, a short or cycle upriver from the centre. I know nothing about plants but I like them, took a camera and had a good time. All the outside part is free to enter, and there’s a small café with ice cream, coffee and beer.
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.
Photo: JL Flanner
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'
Film Under the Stars gives you the chance to watch some of the leading art films of the past year outside at Ljubljana Castle, each night at 21:30. The full schedule and trailers are here.
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).
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.
Ljubljana Castle – Jazz, funk and pop every Friday night.
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.
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.
Vice meets Žižek in Ljubljana. If you want to see more of the most successful writer who lives in Ljubljana, click 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, 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.
Looking to buy some high end, big name local art from a trusted gallery? Check out our look at Sloart.
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.
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. On until 25 September is Treasures from Russian Museums, an exhibition showcasing more than 80 Russian icons from leading Russian museums. Also on until 15 September can see the results of the archaeological research of Gosposvetska cesta, Slovenska cesta, Prešernova cesta, Erjavčeva cesta, Tribuna, Križanke, Dalmatinova ulica, Vegova ulica (KGBL) and the area of the University of Ljubljana. Especially interesting for those who know the city.
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
International Centre of Graphic Art – The 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts runs until 29 September. It's called Crack Up – Crack Down, and is curated by the collective Slavs and Tartars, with a focus satire and the graphic arts. Learn more here.
Jakopič Gallery – Until 29 September you can see the photographs of Lucien Hervé in a show called Geometry of Light
Kapelica Gallery, Kersnikova 4 – In the same building as Klub K4 you can enjoy Earth Without Humans: 'On The Boundaries Of Artificial Life' until August 23, described as follows: “We have started trusting high-tech more than we trust our close friends and family and an increasing number of technology manufacturers are becoming aware of this. The applications that they are developing are becoming increasingly smart and cooperative, while also becoming increasingly aesthetically neutral and humanised.”
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. There's also the Parallel Worlds of Alan Hranitelj runs on until September 8, showing the work of the acclaimed costume designer. Until 15 September you can see Jelka Reichman’s illustrations from the picture book Twelve Elephants, written by Leopold Suhodolčan (free admission).
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. On until 19 September is a show called Creators, on contemporary Slovenian fashion and textile design, which is being promoted with the following image.
Photo: Urša Premik
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. Opening Thursday, April 25th, 20:00, The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 1929–1941, which then runs until September 15th 2019. This offers “an overview of painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film from the time the king's dictatorship was set up (6 January 1929) to the beginning of World War II on Yugoslav soil (April 1941)” - you can read more about it here. The museum's Metelkova branch also has a big new show, runing until at least September 2019, an the art of the Non-Aligned Movement, with an example shown below. Until September 15 you can also enjoy Maja Hodošček, a video artist you “explores social relations through the politics of exchange and collaboration; in particular, she is interested in speculative models of representation in relation to the documentary.”
Rafikun Nabi: Poet, 1980, print, 96.5 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro. On display at the Metelova branch of the Moderna galerija
Alan Ford at the National Gallery
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. The Space Within the Space: Scenography in Slovenia before 1991 will provide a comprehensive historic, stylistic, visual and theatrical overview of Slovenian scenography until 8 September. There’s also a big show on Alan Ford, one of the great comic books of the Yugoslav era, on until 13 October.
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. Running until 3 November is Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture. With sculptures from the collection of the Santarelli family in Rome, ranging from the age of the Roman Empire to that of neoclassicism. 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 December 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.
Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture - see below
National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, in addition to its permanent collection and until 29 September there also a retrospective on the photographer Edi Šelhaus, which is being promoted with the following image.
Photo: Edi Šelhaus
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). From April 18 until October 19 (2019) you can also see a show calledShamanism of the Peoples of Siberia, from the Russian Museum of Ethnography, Saint Petersburg. The place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova. You can read about this fascinating show here. On until September 15 is Petra Šink: The circle between design and nature, in which the award-winning designer takes visitors through the life cycle of useful products for the home which are made from natural biodegradable fungal materials.
Town Hall – On until 22 August there’s a show from Miha Štrukelj with paintings of cities in Taiwan and China, called Alter Ego of Cities.
Miha Štrukelj, Shopping District, 2016, acrylic, ink, charcoal, pencil, crêpe paper on canvas, 300 x 225 cm
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.
Vžigalica Gallery – If you’re curious about the man who commissioned that Melania Trump sculpture, then you can see more of activities here, in a show called Brad Downey: This Echo.
Volčji Potok Arboretum - Running until 3 November you can see a large collection of cacti 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.
Open Kitchen brings market stalls selling food and drink from some of the best restaurants in town every Friday, from 11am to 11pm, in the square between the cathedral and the river - just follow your nose and the crowds. Read more about it here.
Photo: Open Kitchen
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 prefer to get in the water rather than on it, then here's a guide to the various open air pools in Ljubljana. Note that it was written last year and so the prices and times may have changed, so do click the links and check.
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.
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.
STA, 14 August 2019 - Slovenia is observing 100 years since its northeastern-most region of Prekmurje was united with the rest of the nation after World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Located east of the river Mura, Prekmurje was the only territory the Slovenian nation gained at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
For nearly a thousand years, Prekmurje was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary, while the remaining Slovenian lands were under Austrian rule.
When the Hapsburg family, the rulers of Austria, took over Hungary in the 16th century, Prekmurje still remained under the Hungarian part of the monarchy, separate from the rest of what is now Slovenia, the Mura etching out a sharp border between the lands up until after World War I.
The peace conference that followed World War I decided that Prekmurje become a part of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on 17 August 1919.
Five days before the date, the royal military occupied the region, handing over the region to the kingdom's civil authorities on the date agreed at the peace talks.
The border between Hungary and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was drawn along a demarcation line proposed by Douglas W. Johnson, a cartographer teaching at Columbia University who was a member of the US delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.
He proposed that the border line run north of the Mura, based on statistics provided by Matija Slavič, a member of the Yugoslavian delegation at the conference.
The break-away of Prekmurje from Hungary would not have been possible without a strong national awareness of the people of Prekmurje and the region's well-nourished dialect, according to linguist Klaudija Sedlar, specialising in the region's cultural and historic heritage.
This national fight was also fought along religious lines, with Catholic priests playing a key role against aggressive assimilation launched by Hungary with the help of the Protestant Church in an attempt to preserve its western-most region.
Among other things, catholic priests from the region of Prlekija, just across the Mura, smuggled Slovenian books in barrels across the river in the 19th century, getting some 20,000 books to people living in very modest conditions but nurturing an impressive reading culture.
The Trianon Peace Treaty, which saw Hungary lose two thirds of its territory, also left a part of the Slovenian population in Hungary. A century later, the community living along the Raba river is in no mood to celebrate.
Although recognised as a national minority by Hungary, the community was cut off from its nation and forgotten by Hungary, Andrea Kovacs, the president of the Association of Slovenians in Hungary, has told the STA.
Overnight, the community found itself in a completely different situation, losing writers, teachers, priests, professors and clerks, as Hungarian clerks, teachers and other state staff were sent to the villages along the Raba, launching assimilation that continues today, she said.
"Although they were left to their own devices, our forefathers were very stubborn and this stubbornness helped that we still live in Monošter [Szentgotthard] and seven surrounding villages today," she said.
On the other hand, there was also a Hungarian community left on the Slovenian side of the border, which has consistently refused to celebrate Prekmurje Reunification Day.
This year, however, the minority's MP Ferenc Horvath has accepted the invitation of Slovenia's Prime Minister Marjan Šarec to be a part of a special state committee that prepared the celebrations for the centenary.
He also spoke openly about the sensitive aspects of the anniversary, underlining at the same time that Prekmurje must remain as diverse as it is today at least for the next 100 years.
Recognising that this is a sensitive issue for the Hungarian minority, those preparing the many celebrations have repeatedly said that the celebrations are not designed in opposition to anybody.
Just like a century ago, the biggest events will all take place in Beltinci, a small town south of the region's biggest city, Murska Sobota.
On 17 August 1919, after Sunday mass, the square outside the Beltinci church became the venue of a massive rally that saw more than 20,000 people celebrate the region's unification with the Slovenian nation.
The main event will be the state ceremony on Saturday, which is to be addressed by the prime minister. President Borut Pahor is to address a ceremony organised by the Municipality of Beltinci the night before, as the community has made the reunification also its municipal holiday.
Moreover, the Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore will offer mass in Beltinci on Saturday. The mass will likely be the most multicultural event of all, featuring representatives of the Protestant Church and the Hungarian Catholic Church, among others.
On Monday, a new square named after the region will be inaugurated in Ljubljana, while the central bank has issued collectable coins marking the centenary last week.
More than 77,000 people live in Prekmurje on a surface area of nearly 950 square kilometres of what is mainly flat agricultural land dotted with villages.
However, the region's population seems to be shrinking. While the entire country has seen a decrease in the number of newborns, elsewhere the negative population trend has been kept at bay by people moving to Slovenia.
However, Prekmurje, often considered one of the least developed parts of the country, does not make for an attractive destination for many. Statistics show that just over 280 people moved to the region in 2017, while nearly 19,000 people moved to Slovenia that year.
Thus, before the holiday, its native MP Jožef Horvat, proposed to Šarec that a strategic development partnership be set up to create an attractive business environment in which the young would like to work and set up businesses.
STA, 15 August 2019 - Thousands of Catholic pilgrims have gathered at religious shrines devoted to the Virgin Mary across Slovenia to celebrate her assumption into heaven (on 14 August). The largest crowd converged on Brezje for mass celebrated by Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore, who spoke about the meaning of hope in his sermon.
"Man needs hope more than the famished need bread, more than the thirsty need water ... Once we've given up hope, the selfish me goes wild, seeing only oneself and ones needs," the archbishop told more than 5,500 believers congregated outside the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
The church in the subalpine village of Brezje (NW) is Slovenia's most popular pilgrimage site. It was reportedly the scene of a miraculous healing 156 years ago and several more after that.
In his sermon, the archbishop thanked all of those who aspire to make Slovenia as society open to life and those who make the effort so that all children should have equal opportunities to develop their potential, especially in education.
"I'd like to thank you for demanding justice for all; to everyone putting in their effort to have the Constitutional Court decision on funding of private schools implemented," he said.
The court mandated in 2014 that private primary schools teaching nationally-approved curricula should be granted full rather than 85% government funding just like public schools. However, the parliament has still not implemented the ruling.
The pilgrims have come to Brezje from all over the country as well as from abroad and many more are still expected there later in the day. According to the head of the Brezje pilgrimage office, Andreja Eržen Firšt, the shrine attracts more than 10,000 people every year and their numbers keep increasing.
The number of pilgrims at Brezje has been building up in the days ahead of Assumption Day, many of whom have come on foot. Every year Roma families from around Slovenia come to Brezje at this time of year with their pastoral leader to spend some time in retreat there. This year more 350 have come.
Many Slovenian churches and other shrines are dedicated to Mary and holidays celebrating the virgin are popular among believers. As a result, Slovenian bishops entrusted the Slovenian nation into her hands in 1992. Since that year, Assumption Day has been observed as public holiday in Slovenia.
August 14, 2019
With renovation works in Prešeren Square still in progress, not much space has been left for heavy tourist traffic on foot and even less for the most famous or, as some irritated locals would say, infamous musician of Ljubljana centre, the accordionist in the oom-pah Upper Carniolan folk costume, who has until recently entertained the public with his music day and night whether they wanted it or not.
For anyone who misses the man, who otherwise jealously defends his territory and looks away from anyone who wants to take a picture but is not willing to throw a coin into his red accordion case, we found him down at Dragon Bridge today.
We don't know, however, whether he liked his new territory and therefore cannot guarantee whether he is also going to stay.
August 14, 2019
A four-day electronic music festival is about to begin in Ljubljana. Every day from Wednesday to Saturday the programme will begin with a free party at 16:00 in Tivoli Park and then move indoors at about midnight.
While the locations of two outdoor stages will remain in Tivoli Park for the whole four days, the indoor night programme, which will take place between 23:00 and 06:00, will change venues each day. These are Metelkova mesto on Wednesday (Gala hala, Tiffany and Monokel), K4 on Thursday (Kersnikova 4), Božidar on Friday (Viharjeva 11) and Cirkulacija 2 on Saturday (Tržaška 2).
For further details on the programme and tickets, please click here.
STA, 14 August 2019 - A she-bear with a cub attacked a hunter in the woods in the municipality of Ajdovščina, south-west, on Tuesday evening while he approached it unaware of its presence, the Nova Gorica Police Department said in a release on Wednesday.
The police explained the 67-year-old hunter had sat under a tree when he noticed a 150-kilogramme bear with a cub some 10 metres away.
The bear attacked him, biting his leg and scratching his head and body when the hunter started to yell to chase it away.
He sought medical assistance at the local emergency unit on his own, but the injuries were not as severe to require hospitalisation, so he is recovering at home.
The Forest Service, one of the main national organisations in charge of wild animal populations, was notified of the attack to take required measures.
However, analysing the attack it said it was a result of an unlucky coincidence when a hunter ran into a bear with a cub.
And since the incident occurred in the forest rather than near a town, the bear was assessed not to be aggressive so it will be monitored rather than culled.
This was a second bear attack on people this year, said the Forest Service, adding a long-term average is two to three attacks a year.
The first took place at the end of June, when an 80-year-old woman was attacked by a female bear with two cubs near her village some 15 kilometres south of Ljubljana.
Hunters were then ordered to kill the bear and both of its cubs, but could not do it because activists prevented the decree from being implemented.
Once the decree expired, the Forest Service decided not to extend it because there were no other encounters with the bear.
Just two days before this year's first bear attack, parliament passed an emergency bill to reduce the bear and wolf populations by 200 and eleven, respectively.
The law was needed to end the deadlock resulting from the Administrative Court banning bear culling upon an NGO's appeal against a government decree.
This resulted in the bear populations growing rapidly, to some 1,000, whereas the wolf population is estimated at around 80.
But the emergency law has been severely criticised by farmers and hunters, as wolf and bear attacks are continuing.
Hunters have culled 75 bears under the emergency law but not a single wolf since severe restrictions apply to wolf hunting, so they risk high fines.
The rules were somewhat loosened at yesterday's high-profile meeting hosted by the environment minister.
STA, 13 August 2019 - In the wake of severe criticism by farmers that the emergency law to cull bears and wolves does not bring results, changes facilitating a faster reduction of the wolf population were agreed at a high-profile meeting Environment Minister Simon Zajc hosted at his ministry on Tuesday.
From now on, the Forest Service and the Institute for Nature Conservation will allow that wolves are killed in the entire areas where a pack of wolves lives.
At the moment, wolf culling is limited to the meadows which domestic animals use as pastures, a rule making the culling very hard and has been challenged by hunters.
Zajc explained, speaking to the press after the meeting, the solution was in line with the emergency law, which was passed in June.
A change to the system of emergency culling of wolves was also agreed to allow the Environment Agency to initiate emergency culling whenever a farmer has reported their domestic animals were attacked.
So far, the initiative has had to come from other stakeholders, most often from the Forest Service.
Nevertheless, the Forest Service and the Institute for Nature Conservation will still have to decide whether the culling is justified.
Zajc believes the two biggest obstacles to the emergency law bringing results have been removed.
Under the emergency law, hunters can kill eleven wolves and 175 bears, with the respective populations estimated at around 1,000 and at nearly 90.
Today's meeting came after farmers urged the government at a protest on Saturday to bring the wolf population under control, arguing the new law was ineffective.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Forest Service, the Institute for Nature Conservation and the Hunters' Association, among others.
Representatives of the Farmers' Trade Union, who staged the rally on Saturday, did not attend, and Zajc rejected their call for his resignation.
He however announced new meeting for the coming months to come to agreement on how to comprehensively improve the management of wolf and bear populations.
Forest Service data shows that nearly 680 domestic animals, mostly sheep and goats, were attacked by the end of July, double the number from the same period last year.
Earlier in the day, the leader of the opposition People's Party (SLS), Marjan Podobnik, said his party would offer every hunter who kills a wolf in line with the law EUR 500.
He also criticised the rather strict provisions governing the reduction of the wolf population, saying hunters would not hunt in fear of high fines.
Podobnik explained that a wolf could only be killed if it could be proved that it had attacked animals several times.
While the attacks on domestic animals are a problems, the safety of people in rural areas is just as important, he told the press in Ljubljana.
STA, 13 August 2019 - Budimir Vuković, one of the thousands of citizens of the former Yugoslavia who were deleted from Slovenia's registry of permanent residents in 1992 (the Erased, Izbrisani), has been granted a temporary residence permit at last, regaining his driving licence as well as a right to work, the newspaper Dnevnik reports.
Vuković has been living in Slovenia since 1978. Being left without permanent residency status following the country's independence, and without citizenship or any documents, he has been unable to leave the country, while living here unlawfully since the erasure.
"Considering that I've been living in Slovenia for 41 years, I'd expect they'd recognise me permanent residence status. But I understand that bureaucracy operates step by step," said Vuković, who used to work as a technician at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant.
He is now earning his living selling Kralj Ulice, the newspaper sold by the homeless people. "I'll be selling the paper until I've found another job," says Vuković, who spends his free time as an author.
Being given back his driving licence, he made his first legal trip abroad on Sunday, driving to Austria for a coffee.
"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I'm well on course to have my status fully resolved," Vuković commented on the ruling giving him temporary status for the paper on Monday.
He was granted temporary residence status by the Administrative Court based on the European Convention of Human Rights and judgements issued by the European Court of Human Rights.
These require countries to tackle the status of people residing in them for a long time regardless of whether they their status had been legalised from the start.
Matevž Krivic, a former constitutional judge who has been acting as counsel for Vuković and other erased, says that this is far from being the only such case.
Gani Redžić, who has been living in Maribor for 52 years, has been granted temporary residence permit only recently based on an appeal to the Constitutional Court.
However, unlike in Vuković's case, the Maribor administrative unit "forgot" to restore Redžić's right to social benefits, the newspaper Dnevnik reports.