STA, 29 May 2019 - The NGO DrogArt has launched a campaign to raise the level of nightlife culture in Slovenia and reduce the dangers of reckless partying.
The NGO is urging nightclubs, bars and event organisers to have trained staff available at all times and raise awareness among their guests about the dangers of drink and driving, including with brochures.
DrogArt would also like them to offer water, condoms and ear plugs to their customers free of charge.
The clubs and events organisers who will meet all these demands will be awarded a special NightArt quality certificate.
According to the head of the NightArt project, Lucija Golčer, many clubs around Europe have such certificates, which cost EUR 200 a year.
In Slovenia no club has received it yet.
DrogArt has promoted the project in several clubs in Ljubljana and one in Maribor, with its activists distributing 550 condoms and 300 ear plugs. The campaign was very well received by the revellers, Golčer said.
DrogArt campaigns against alcohol and drug abuse, offering counselling, psychotherapy and psychosocial assistance to addicts.
Its 2017 on-line survey among 554 drug users and 102 attendants of drug abuse programmes in Slovenia has shown most drug users take drugs a few times a year (22%) and several times a month but less than once a week (22%). They mostly smoke marijuana, or take MDMA, cocaine and amphetamines.
Among the attendants of drug abuse programmes, most respondents said they take drugs every day, mostly methadone, tranquillisers, heroin and marijuana.
Related: What’s on in Ljubljana…
STA, 29 May 2019 - Slovenia, Finland and Norway have placed third on the list of the safest countries for children to grow up in globally, according to NGO Save the Children's latest End of Childhood index, released on Tuesday.
Slovenia, always ranking very high by child safety, has thus slipped from the first place it shared last year with Singapore, which remains the world leader.
The index measures health and prosperity of children around the globe, taking into account nutrition, access to education, infant mortality, child marriages, child labour, teenage pregnancies and regional conflicts.
Slovenia recorded 0.5% of child marriages, slightly more than four teenage girls per 1,000 gave birth, and 2.8% of children did not go to school in 2013-2018.
Save the Children said in the latest report The Many Faces of Exclusion the situation had improved from last year's report in 173 out of 176 countries.
Nevertheless, an estimated 690 million are still being denied a carefree childhood due to disease, death, child marriages, premature pregnancies and undernourishment.
However, this is an improvement on 2000, when the figure was put at 970 million, the report said.
The situation is worst in some African countries, whereas the best countries to grow up in are Singapore and Sweden in second place.
Except for Singapore and South Korea, the list of best-rated countries come from Europe. The US again placed 36th.
The charity's director Helle Thorning-Schmidt urged governments to do more to give every child the best possible start in life.
The full report can be seen here
The Marathon Franja BTC City – the main cycling event in Slovenia – is a race that was first run in 1982, as organised by Rog, the famed bicycle manufacture and the name behind the Pony brand. The marathon got its name from a secret hospital from WW2 that the cyclists still ride by. It’s a hospital that was named after Dr Franja Bojc, and which took care of Partisans, members of the Allied forces, civilians and others who needed help during the fight against fascism.
Now, almost four decades later, the marathon has grown to a long weekend of activities for cyclists of all ages and abilities, with a festive atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
The main event (Marathon Franja BTC City) takes riders along a 155km route, and this is joined by 97km race (Triglav Little Marathon Franja), as well as an 83km Barjanka event that takes riders through the beauty of Ljubljana’s swamp. In addition to these, and in keeping with the inclusive nature of the whole weekend, there’s a 22km event called the Hofer Family & School Marathon for Everybody, and finally a 1.2km race, the Vzajemna Kids Marathon, aimed at those aged from 3 to 7. More details of each race can be found on the website.
The route of the main race
All the races start and end in BTC City, the vast complex of shopping malls, food courts, offices and logistics centres just outside of Ljubljana, with the focal point being the road in front of Hall A. In addition to the start and finish lines, here you’ll find a cycling expo, making it a great destination for everyone who rides a bike, and not just those in the race
The fun starts Friday, 7 June (2019), and lasts all weekend. You can see the fees for each race here – the price is lower the earlier you apply – and the online application form is here, with applications for everything (apart from the time trials) open until the race itself.
STA, 27 May 2019 - Three Slovenian and three Croatian archives have joined forces for a project presenting various topics related to wine and wine-growing on both sides of the border, which is expected to result in a travelling exhibition.
The agreement on cooperation in the Wine at the Border project was signed in Maribor on Monday by representatives of archives from Croatia's Varaždin, Zagreb and Štrigova and from Slovenia's Maribor, Ptuj and Celje.
The project is a continuation of years of successful cooperation between the six archives, coming after two similar projects. This time, the institutions want to present the wine-growing heritage of the area they cover.
"We want to present the rich history in this field by means of the archival material," Ivan Fras, the director of the Regional Archive Maribor, said on the occasion.
Borut Batagelj, the head of the Historical Archive Celje, added that it was not an extensive research project, but a presentation of the related material kept in the six archives.
The final product of the project will be a catalogue and a travelling exhibition on the wine-growing districts from Prekmurje to Posavje in Slovenia and from Međimurje to Zagorje in Croatia.
The project, whose Croatian part has already acquired EU funds, aims at presenting the border area as a whole, said Batagelj.
"Several topics will be presented: from the cultivation of land, vineyards, wine cellars, sale and consummation of wine to anti-alcohol movements," he added.
"The border is what actually connects us in this aspect, which is especially topical in the time when we are getting the feeling that the two areas are being increasingly divided."
Darko Rubčić, the director of the National Archive in Zagreb, is convinced that further cooperation between the institutions will help people from both sides of the border learn more about each other.
"Archives, which are frequently recognised in the public as defenders of national interests, want to show with such joint projects that relations in the closer border area have always been good," the initiators concluded in a press release.
All our stories about wine can be found here
Slovenia is a small country in the south-eastern corner of Europe. However, as small as it is, it has a very diverse countryside. So much so that it makes it unique compared to many much larger countries around the world. This diverse countryside has much to offer, and many people come to Slovenia to explore this diversity. Since the country’s independence in 1991, it has become active and alive. Alive with the more active lifestyles the people are living. One of the best ways to experience and explore the diversity and beauty the Slovenian countryside has to offer is by bicycle.
I am glad that I brought my bike with me when I moved to Slovenia in 1994. I started cycling soon after arriving and continued with my amateur cycling. Thus I experienced first-hand how cycling has developed and expanded in Slovenia. One of the principal components of this expansion is the various cycling events which are held every year — varying from events for the amateur cyclist, all the way to marathons for the professional and most enthusiastic cyclists. Events which also bring cyclists from other countries to Slovenia.
I was never the competitive type of cyclist and never attended any cycling events. But in 2015, that was destined to change. After the encouragement and challenges of friends, I decided, “OK, let’s go for it”. It was a brave and almost crazy decision I made, because for my first ever cycling event, I decided to take part in the most challenging one, the “Marathon of the Alps”. It covers over 130km, through two picturesque valleys and more, all separated by mountain passes.
The marathon starts and finishes in Kamnik. A picturesque town at the foot of the Kamnik Alps, which lies at only 380m AMSL (metres above sea level). Kamnik is also my home town, and I enjoy being out early on the day of the marathon, going through town as the final preparations are being made. The ambience and proportions of the event become evident as cyclists begin to assemble in town. But the full magnitude only becomes apparent as the marathon starts. Usually, about 600 cyclists take part in the marathon.
As the marathon starts, it takes quite some time for all contestants to leave the starting gate and get going. The first 40 to 45km is through relatively flat countryside of Carniola. This provides for a proper warm-up before we hit the slopes and it also allows for the body of cyclists to stretch out, which makes for more comfortable riding since we are no longer clutched together in a large body. The course then gradually makes its way up towards the first mountain pass at Jezersko, which is at 1211m AMSL. This is a border post with Austria. The road drops relatively quickly into Austria, but not too far before the route turns and heads back up for the main climb, over the Pavlič pass and back into Slovenia. This is also the highest point of the marathon, at 1338m AMSL.
Getting up and over this pass requires riding along narrow mountain roads with several tight hairpin bends. Going down the slopes back into Slovenia, we eventually come out onto the next flat section of the marathon. Here the route meets up with a stream and carries on through one of the most scenic areas of Slovenia. As the road carries on, weaving along with the stream, which gets wider and stronger as we go, the landscape also opens up more. If the route carried on along with the river it would follow one of the great rivers of Slovenia, the Savinja river. But it doesn’t. It makes a right turn towards the third pass and back towards Kamnik. The road leading up to that third and final pass gradually turns into an uphill, but fortunately not as steep as the roads of the two passes already covered. But it is tiring anyway, since we already have over 115km behind us, especially the final stretch to reach the summit because it’s quite a long stretch. This pass is well known to the majority of cyclists in Slovenia, with a unique name, “the 902”. It is the elevation of the pass, at 902m AMSL. From the pass, it is only 13km and almost all downhill to get to Kamnik.
It’s true that “the Marathon of the Alps” is a tough one, but it is undoubtedly unique. If you cover the route then you can certainly say: “I have seen Slovenia.” The next marathon is on Sunday, 7 July 2019, and you can register to enter at the official site.
STA, 27 May 219 - Animals and natural habitats in Slovenia are not doing very well, suggests a report by the Institute for Nature Conservation, calling for measures to protect the environment. The conservation status of more than half of species has been labelled as unfavourable, while almost a third of habitats are doing poorly.
The conservation status of less than a third of animal and plant species in Slovenia (30%) has been assessed as "favourable". More than half of them are in an unfavourable situation, of which 38% are in an "inadequate" state and 14% are in a "bad" state.
There is no sufficient data to assess the situation for 18% of species.
The situation is the most worrying for amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies, followed by beetles, fish, crabs, reptiles and bats.
The biggest threat to Slovenia's biodiversity is agriculture, urbanisation, industrialisation and human interfering with aquatic ecosystems.
The conservation status of some 38% of habitats has been found to be good, while for 30% of the habitat types it has been found to be "bad" and for some 32% as "insufficient".
Maritime, coastal and inshore habitats, rocks and screes and forests are doing well, while the most problematic areas are inland waters, grasslands, moors and marshes.
"Although Slovenia declares itself a green, wonderful country, our nature is not doing well," said Martina Kačičnik Jančar of the Institute for Nature Conservation, who presented the report in line with the EU habitats directive.
The institute also pointed to a recently published report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which suggested that globally a million species face extinction.
Links between the nations of the former Yugoslavia remains strong, and one cultural expression of this is the fifth international symposium ART LINKS, a Slovenian-Serbian artists exchange. This takes place in two parts, with three exhibitions on show until the end of May in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, and later this year in Ljubljana.
The event is organised by the Cultural Center Novi Sad, the Association of Visual Artists of Vojvodina – SULUV, the Foundation “Novi Sad 2021” and the Association of Visual Artists of Ljubljana – DLUL, and in addition to the gallery shows includes other cultural events that aim to showcase the works of 12 Slovenian artists: Milena Gregorčič, Aleksandra Saška Gruden, Boris Beja, Petra Varl, Boris Gaberščik, Mojca Zlokarnik, Nina Koželj, Ivo Mršnik, Nataša Segulin, Zora Stančič, Črtomir Frelih and Arven Šakti Kralj Szomi.
Arven Šakti Kralj Szomi
Later this year 12 artists from Novi Sad will complete the project by presenting their works in Ljubljana. More details on the events, artists, and images from the galleries, can be found here
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (27 May to 2 June, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event 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. As ever, links to venues are after the following selections…
In town and want to follow the news? Check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
Lighting Guerrilla will continue to delight after dark at various locations around town until 15 June, so if you see anything strange and lit up, that’s why.
Friday until Sunday the annual street festival of science, Znanstival, will be held in the centre of town and at Hiša Experimentov. It’s a lot of fun, the schedule is here, and you can read more about the background here.
Brin, the Ljubljana gin festival, comes to Križanke on Saturday (1 June), running from noon to midnight with 14 Slovenian gins (and some foreign ones), cocktails, food and more, as detailed here. Slovenia has a long tradition of producing both juniper berries and spirits made from them, so this is well worth checking out if fancy a good G&T.
The weather’s getting better, so the number of outside events and performances is increasing. This Saturday and continuing through the summer are two art markets. ARTish is in Gornji trg square, the far end of the Old Town, where you can buy works from Slovenian artists (09:00 – 18:00). Around the same time, but ending 16:00, there are more local artists along the nearby Breg Embankment, on the other side of the river, under the banner of the Ljubljana Art Market. (While Sunday mornings, same location, see the regular flea / antique market. There's also the famed food market Open Kitchen, every Friday 10:00 to 21:00 in the central market - it's lively, with a good mix of locals and visitors, and even if you're not hungry you'll enjoy it (but go hungry).
Volčji Potok Arboretum (Volčji Potok 3) has a rose garden in bloom until 31 August, nature permitting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.
Klub Monokel – Thislesbian barin Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events
Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there'stangoat 18:00. 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, and - as noted at the start
Cankerjev dom – A free to see show called Subterranean Worlds, showing cave photography, runs until June 16th.
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.
Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre hasInterlacement – exhibition of Éva Farkasvölgyi and Žiga Okorn, showing tapestries and paintings on until June 14th.Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more 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.
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. 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.
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.
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. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.
Natural History Museum – On until the end of June 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.
National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, in addition to his permanent collection will be showingIn Search Of Freedom: 1968-2018 until 16 August. Until 2 June there’s From Letters to Facebook: Communication of Slovenian emigrants in Argentina with their homeland through time. 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 currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 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.
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.
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.
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
If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,
If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.
maxpixel.net, public domain
Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.
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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.
There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.
Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.
Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.
Photo: JL Flanner
Have you tried Slovenian gin yet?
The county is already known for its wine, which is gaining a growing reputation as people start to realise that France isn’t the last word in viticulture. Indeed, it isn’t even the first, with the grape having been turned into an alcoholic drink around 8,000 years ago in Georgia, and the oldest known surviving vine in the world, one that still produces grapes and a few small bottles of wine each year, is in Maribor.
Over the last few years the country has also seen explosion in craft beer producers, with the brews evolving rapidly from IPAs to the full range now offer, from sours to stouts, lagers to saisons. There’s also a rich tradition of brandy and schnapps, but what next for drinkers looking for something special to sample in Slovenia?
One answer, it seems, is gin, and those wanting to explore this world of flavour would do well to mark Saturday, 1 June (2019) in their calendars, and book a taxi or designated driver. That’s the date of Brina, the first Ljubljana Gin Festival, to be held in Križanke, not far from the very centre of Ljubljana (see the map at the end of this story).
The event, which is free to enter and set to last from 12 noon to 00:00, will bring together 17 gin makers, distillation experts, mixologists (aka cocktail makers), glassware producers, and chefs, along with those who enjoy the work of such professionals, all dedicated to transforming humble ingredients into memorable experiences, with Slovenian juniper berries – among the best in the world, and a key component of gin – being the foundation of it. Indeed, it’s the Slovenian word for these berries, brinove jagode, that gives the festival its name.
The brands of gin you can try will include - deep breath - Aufbix gin, Berryshka, Bratinov gin, Brin Gin, Broken Bones, Destilarna Karakter, Dingle Gin, Dry Tergeste Gin, GiniBee, Ginious, Gin Monologue, Gin s klanca, Mestni gin, Plymouth Gin (Pernod Ricard) and Santei Gin SKRASA No. 19 (with some details of a few of these here).
You can read more about Slovenian gin here
While there’ll be plenty of drinks offer to enjoy, one thing to consider sampling before going over your personal limit is the Brina cocktail, devised especially for the event. This local invention combines the flavours of Slovenian gin with ginger, apple, and lemon syrup, along with a twist of lemon, a slice of red apple and Fever Tree pink tonic, and is sure to put a smile on your face. Also special to the day is an exclusive festival glass, “Polaris”, produced by Steklarna Hrastnik, as shown below.
(The Brina cocktail is also available at various bars in Ljubljana, including Centralna postaja, Čin Čin, EK Bistro, eVino, Fétiche Bar, Lepa Žoga, Magda, Pivnica Lajbah, Pop’s Place, TaBar, Tozd, Vander and Vinoteka Movia....)
A joint project from the team behind Open Kitchen, Ljubljana Tourism and Gourmet Ljubljana, Brina is intended to be a cosmopolitan affair, and a coming out part of sorts for local gin producers. Among the events on offer is a free cocktail workshop, starting at 15:00, while the culinary offerings will include dishes from Jorg Zupan (Atelje), Jakob Pintar (TaBar), and Igor Jagodic (Strelec).
The fun starts at 12 noon and ends at midnight on Saturday, 1 June (2019), and it all takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the Križanke open air theatre - the Plečnik building that hosts the Ljubljana Summer Festival and can be found a short walk from the very centre of town, as seen in the map above.
Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here
This schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 27 May
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will host his Czech counterpart Tomáš Petríček, who will pay a working visit.
LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and UNICEF will host a panel debate upon the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
BLED - The Foreign Ministry and IEDC - Bled School of Management will host a conference on China and its influence on the global economy.
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Writers' Association will hold a meeting to appoint a new president after Aksinja Kermauner resigned at the end of March.
LJUBLJANA - Before starting his official visit, North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will speak at an event hosted by the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES).
LJUBLJANA - The Cankarjev Dom arts centre will present international concerts and dance performances in the new season.
TUESDAY, 28 May
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will attend an extraordinary EU summit. The results of EU elections will top the agenda.
LJUBLJANA - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will start a two-day working visit to Slovenia, meeting Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar, President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
LJUBLJANA - North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will start an official visit to Slovenia.
PORTOROŽ - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar will host a Salzburg Forum ministerial on migration and border control.
LJUBLJANA - The last day of the May sitting of parliament will discuss the opposition-sponsored changes to the acts on the student community and war veterans.
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host a conference on smart factories.
PORTOROŽ - The two-day Slovenian Marketing Conference will open.
LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of the insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav will decide on dividend payout.
LJUBLJANA - A two-day regional conference on intellectual property in sport will open.
LJUBLJANA - The Bologna after Bologna show, showcasing a selection of books from the Bologna Children's Book Fair, until 1 June.
LJUBLJANA - The 24th Ljubljana Marathon, taking place on 27 October, will be presented to the press.
WEDNESDAY, 29 May
LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services will interview behind closed doors the former director of the Intelligence and Security Agency (SOVA), Andrej Rupnik, and former Slovenia's border arbiter Jernej Sekolec and agent Simona Drenik.
VRHNIKA - Members of the parliamentary Defence Committee will visit the Slovenian Armed Forces Force Command and meet with Defence Minister Karl Erjavec, Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Alenka Ermenc and the force commander, Brigadier General Milan Žurman.
LJUBLJANA - The Bank Association of Slovenia will host a conference focusing on bank regulation and supervision priorities.
LJUBLJANA - A national conference on the elimination of precarious work featuring parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan, relevant ministers and other government representatives.
LJUBLJANA - Retailer Mercator is scheduled to publish its results for the first quarter of the year.
MARIBOR - The Employers' Association will present a project on elderly workers and healthy ageing at work.
LJUBLJANA - The Managers' Association will hold a ceremony to mark its 30th anniversary.
LJUBLJANA - The four-day world and popular music festival Godibodi will kick off.
THURSDAY, 30 May
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Policy Committee will discuss the protection of the Schengen border, changes to the personal name act and draft resolution on the national crime prevention programme for 2019-2023.
LJUBLJANA - The government will hold a regular session.
ZAGREB, Croatia - The operators of the Ljubljana and Zagreb stock exchanges will present the countries capital markets.
KOPER - An Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event will start. (until 2 June)
FRIDAY, 31 May
LJUBLJANA - The ministries of foreign affairs and economy will host a national forum on responsible corporate management and human rights in business.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will publish data on GDP growth in the first quarter and inflation in May.
LJUBLJANA - Znanstival, a festival of hands-on science; until 2 June.
SATURDAY, 1 June
LJUBLJANA - Doctors and dentists are expected to start working strictly by the workload standards and norms as set out in the 2008 Blue Paper.
KRANJSKA GORA - Lovers of the legendary Pony bicycle will climb the challenging Vršič mountain pass.
LJUBLJANA - Brina, a festival of gin.
SUNDAY, 2 June
LJUBLJANA - A new umbrella organisation of Serbs in Slovenia - the Union of Serbs of Slovenia - will be established.
STA, 23 May 2019 - Climate change is bringing some major challenges for tourism, with skiing being among the sectors already suffering substantially under its impact. Participants of the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism conference heard on Wednesday that the number of ski destinations in the Alps with sufficient natural snow could drop by 70% in this century.
Talking about the impact of climate change on ski resorts at the annual conference promoting sustainable tourism was Cenk Demiroglu of the Umea University in Sweden, who said the number of skiers in the US had fallen by 15 million between 2000 and 2015.
Revenue in the sector in the US fell by US$1 billion in the same period, while the number of jobs lost is estimated between 13,000 and 27,000.
Future prospects are also bleak, as some resorts in the US will see their season shortened by 50% by 2050 and by 80% by 2090. This entails the number of skier falling by 25 million and revenue by US$ 2 billion.
Similarly worrying forecasts are coming from the Alps, where the projected rise in global temperatures by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century would reduce the number of resorts that can rely fully on natural snow from 666 to 202.
While conditions could improve for some resorts, many would no longer be able to operate even with artificial snow, Demiroglu warned, while also noting that artificial snow required a lot of water.
Climate change will also be felt by Slovenia, Renato Bertalanič of the Slovenian Environment Agency said. He said the number of hot days will be rising and they will also be recorded at higher altitudes. The most pessimistic projections suggest the number of snow cover days could decrease by over a month.
Economy Ministry State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar added that Slovenian ski resorts are already having to supplement their operations with strong and attractive summer programmes. Only two resorts, Vogel and Kanin, are operating without artificial snow, she noted.
Štravs Podlogar also explained that the ministry, in cooperation with mountain resorts, recently ordered a study on ski resorts. The results are expected to be in by the end of the summer.