STA, 28 June 2019 - The Koper-Divača rail track, a crucial transport link for the Koper port, is expected to be reopened at midnight today and not at noon as initially planned, railway operator Slovenske železnice has announced. The reason is the decision to remove more of the material potentially affected by Tuesday's massive kerosene spill.
"We removed the contaminated rocks during the night, conducted probes in collaboration with the Environment Agency (ARSO) and planned to reopen the track at noon. Upon consulting with the Geological Survey and ARSO this morning we then decided to dig out additional material that could contain kerosene," Slovenske železnice director general Dušan Mes told the press.
"Thus the track will be reopened with a 12-hour delay," he announced.
Mes explained the need to remove another layer of the material was established after the removal of the first. The initial plan had been to do the second step within a period of 14 days, but security concerns prevailed.
"It would have made no sense to expose everybody to risk to save 12 hours," Mes said, while speaking of enormous pressure to reopen as soon as possible coming from everybody at home and abroad who are using the track for freight transport.
Tuesday's spill of an estimated 10,000 litres of kerosene caused by a derailed freight train near Hrastovlje in SW Slovenia has been causing serious water supply concerns as the oil is expected to reach the groundwater eventually.
The emergency efforts have been conducted under the watchful eye of the Koper municipal authorities, which is not happy with the work done so far and expects explanations.
A press release by the municipality says that the kerosene must not reach the spring of the Rižana river, which is a water source not only for the Koper municipality but for the entire Slovenian coast. A failure in this respect would have human as well as economic consequences.
Another major issue has been transport, as the rail link needed to be closed, including for freight transport to and from the country's commercial port of Koper.
To address the backlog and also direct the rail cargo to roads, the Infrastructure Ministry announced today it would allow heavy goods vehicles to also use roads from and to the Koper port during the upcoming weekend.
Heavier traffic is thus expected during the weekend, with roads already being busier than usually because of the tourist season.
The weekend permit was urged by port operator Luka Koper and the transport department of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS).
Mes said it was too early to estimate the damage caused by the suspended rail transport. However, he expects it will be possible to make up for a lot of the backlog in July when there is usually less freight transport. Some of the cargo has meanwhile already been transported via road or through other ports.
STA, 27 June 2019 - Environment Minister Simon Zajc visited on Thursday the location of the kerosene leak caused by a derailed freight train near Hrastovlje in SW Slovenia, saying that after the last damaged wagon had been removed from the tunnel, works on removing the polluted soil would start Thursday night. Rail traffic on the section is expected to resume on Friday.
Speaking to the press after a meeting with stakeholders, Zajc said that everything had been arranged with the national railways operator Slovenske Železnice regarding the rehabilitation of the area hit by the spill.
The removal of the pollutes soil will start tonight, with representatives of the Environment Agency and the Environment Inspectorate being present to make sure that the soil is treated in accordance with law, he added.
Asked when railway traffic on the section is to be resumed, Zajc said that "we will speak about traffic once the threat of kerosene getting into the groundwater is minimised."
According to Slovenske Železnice director general Dušan Mes, rail traffic is expected to be resumed on Friday, but he could not tell when exactly. He added that the cargo accumulated in the port of Koper equalled some 200 to 250 trains, which would have to be compensated for in July.
The meeting was held at the Koper seat of the regional water system operator, Rižanski Vodovod, as there are concerns that the leak might have contaminated the local river Rižana, which supplies the system.
Zajc announced that the ministry would provide full support for Rižanski Vodovod in terms of monitoring of water and further measures, especially if the kerosene reached the groundwater.
The minister talked in Luxembourg yesterday with his Croatian counterpart, who expressed his country's readiness to help the Slovenian coast needed additional water from the sources from the Croatian part of the Istria peninsula.
Rižanski Vodovod director Martin Pregelj reiterated that the situation was under control, while warning that the threat of the kerosene entering the groundwater remained. The operator is regularly monitoring the quality of water and taking samples, he added.
Zajc added that a permanent solution for an additional water source for the Slovenian coast needed to be found, adding that "this event was a clear signal." He intends to call a meeting with all mayors from the area to agree on how to find a solution.
The work on removing the derailed wagons from the tunnel is meanwhile going as planned. Dragan Puzić of the Koper Fire Brigade told the STA that only two out of the six wagons remained to be removed from the Hrastovlje tunnel.
STA, 27 June 2019 - Heat records for June have been shattered in some parts of the country on Thursday, as temperatures climbed to the upper 30s. People in Brežice (SE) saw their thermometers exceed 39 degrees Celsius, meteorologist Andrej Velkavrh told the STA.
He said that records were broken today in Ljubljana (36 degrees) and at Kredarica, the country's highest mountain cottage at 2,515 metres of altitude (20 degrees), as well as a few other places.
Meanwhile, storm cells are moving across the eastern half of the country from the north. Strong winds, rain and hail have been forecast.
Ozone levels have also been exceeded in Nova Gorica, Koper and Otlica in Trnovski Gozd plateau, all in the west of the country.
June 27, 2019
On June 27, 1991, at 01:15, the Anti-Aircraft Regiment based in Karlovac, Croatia, crossed the Slovenian border and at 02:40 a column of tanks left the barracks in Vrhnika, heading for the airport at Brnik. At 14:30 the first shot was fired by an officer of the Yugoslav Army in Divača, beginning the ten-day military conflict between Slovenian Territorial Defence (Territorialna Obramba) and the Yugoslav People's Army (Jugoslovanska ljudska armada), which followed Slovenia’s declaration of independence on June 25. The conflict is hence also known as the Ten-Day War, or the Slovenian Independence War (Slovenska osamosvojitvena vojna).
A significant number of the YPA soldiers consisted of mandatory servicemen from all parts of Yugoslavia, while Slovenian sovereign troops consisted of the local police and Territorial Defence (TD), which was established in 1968 as the federation’s response to Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia: in case of the YPA’s defeat and eventual invasion, the TD would continue resistance against the occupying Soviet forces.
Ironically, the TD eventually clashed with the YPA in the Slovenian fight for independence.
After Tito's death in 1980, the YPA became an important decision-maker at the centre of political power in Belgrade, while the country started to crumble under both increasing economic pressure and the various competing nationalisms.
Of course, the Slovenian TD was no match for the Yugoslav army, who eventually abandoned its pan-Yugoslavism in favour of a Serbian nationalism that saw little benefit in carrying out a total bombardment of a place outside the planned borders of Greater Serbia. Nevertheless, the army did seem surprised by the scope of popular resistance in the first several days of the conflict.
On 26 of December, 1990 a plebiscite was held in Slovenia, where 88.5% of all voters (94.8% of those participating), expressed their preference for Slovenia to become an independent sovereign state.
On June 25, 1991 Slovenia’s independence was declared and Yugoslavian signs and flags were removed at the border crossings and replaced with Slovenian ones.
Change of flags at the Republic Square, Ljubljana, June 25, 1991:
The federal executive council met the same night in Belgrade, adopting a decision about the “protection of the federal borders in Slovenia”, which granted a legal support for the military intervention in the republic. The operation’s first goal was to gain control over the border crossings and Brnik international airport (near Ljubljana).
On its way to their final destinations, the Yugoslav Army encountered unarmed barricades and spontaneous, sometimes very determined reaction of the civilians.
The events that took place by Trzin, where tanks headed from Vrhnika to Brnik airport were stopped:
Rožna dolina border crossing (the border with Italy, Nova Gorica):
The ten-day war ended on 7 July, 1991, when Brioni Accords were signed. Altogether 76 people lost their lives, among them 12 foreign citizens, and 326 people were wounded. The last YPA soldiers left Slovenia on 25 of October 1991.
Heavy rain caused the event scheduled for 22 June to finish early, and if you couldn't attend last week, or left when the heavens opened, you're in luck - as this Saturday (29 June) the Pure Craft Beer Festival is back in action. We thus present a slightly revised version of the previous story...
If you haven’t been paying attention to the Slovenian craft beer scene over the last 18 or so months then there’s a lot for you to catch up on. There’s been an explosion, both in the number of producers and variety of brews released. The developments have been especially exciting for those drinkers who aren’t fans of IPAs, your correspondent included, with sours, saisons, wheatbeers, porters, radlers and ales of all varieties making their way into bottles, cans and glasses all over the country, and gaining increasing attention abroad.
But where can dedicated beer hunter, or casual drinker, go to learn more about the scene and sample interesting brews with likeminded folk in a non-bar setting, one that’s suitable for all the family? Or to quote Tim Earles, organiser of the Pure Craft Beer Festival: “There are a variety of events around Ljubljana where the craft brewers all come together, but the environment doesn’t always present the quality of the beers in the best light. The Open Air Museum in Rogatec is an undiscovered gem on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, which seemed like the perfect place to run a garden-party style event, where the smaller breweries could represent their beer in an atmosphere befitting their products.”
The Open Air Museum. Photo: Pure Craft
The festival will take place on Saturday 29 June (2019), and the breweries set to appear include Human Fish, Green Gold, Omnivar, Loo-Blah-Nah, Crazy Duck, Mali Grad, Maister, Barut, Lobik, Bevog, Haler, Old Franz, APE, and Clef. The event runs from 10:00 to 22:00, giving you enough time to sample many, if not all, of all the beers. What’s more, your adventures in liquid sunshine will be accompanied by gourmet delights, with a full culinary program from the highly recommended Gostišče Jurg.
The breweries and beers to enjoy
In addition to food and drink, including some wine and even non-alcoholic beverages, there’ll be entertainment suitable for the whole family. This includes museum workshops showcasing the skills of blacksmithing, bracelet making, basket weaving and bread making; pony riding and carriage rides; dance workshops; a supervised climbing wall; a giant art wall; laser maze, a slackline and more, such as free caricatures from Karikature Boris. Music will be provided by from Jeanette & Počeni Škafi.
Tickets come with a Rogaška Crystal souvenir glass and cost €10 on the door, with the price including a museum tour. To keep things simple all the beers at the festival will be sold at the same price, €1 for a 150ml sample pour, a size that gives you a chance to safely enjoy all the brews on offer.
STA, 26 June 2019 - The only water supply system for the entire Slovenian coast may be in jeopardy after a kerosene-carrying train derailed Tuesday afternoon near one of the potable water sources. Measures have been taken to prevent the worst, but there is no doubt that the kerosene will reach the groundwater with the first strong rainfall at the latest.
The regional water system operator, Rižanski vodovod, supplies more than 87,000 residents, but the figure grows much higher during the summer season, to about 130,000 people.
Slovenia is bracing for a heatwave expected to peak in the second half of the week and the coast is a popular destination for many seeking to respite from scorching temperatures.
Following an emergency meeting this morning, called in the wake of the spill, Rižanski Vodovod urged its clients to conserve water.
The porous Kras terrain is notoriously tricky when it comes to water flow and Nataša Viršek Ravbar of the Karst Research Institute of the Research Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) told the STA that it is only a matter of time before the oil reaches the nearest water source.
Once a pollutant is in the Karstic ground, there is nothing anybody can do, she said. As fas as she knows, the tunnel where the accident happened does not have built-in oil catchers.
Currently, efforts are under way to pump out the spilled kerosene from the tunnel near the village of Hrastovlje. It is estimated that some 10,000 litres of the fuel spilled as several wagons derailed last afternoon.
Viršek Ravbar believes that the only way to ensure quality of water is constant monitoring. The oil will likely reach the water source during the next rainfall and may remain polluted for a long time.
Rižanski Vodovod said that direct sourcing had been suspended from the jeopardised point of intake at the source of the River Rižana and that the source was being monitored.
Stressing that people's health is the most important thing, the company, owned by the four municipalities it services, also increased the intake of water from other, safe sources and scaled up pumping from the deepest water sources.
The water supplier also expressed belief that thorough clean-up works would take priority over haste to relaunch traffic. The accident halted not only passenger transport but also cargo transport to and from the port of Koper, the country's only seaport.
Environment Minister Simon Zajc, who is abroad today, is to visit the site tomorrow.
June 25, 2019
In 1478 marauding Turkish akinji cavalry destroyed Slovenia’s first independent peasant territory, which was established after the first Slovenian peasant revolt in Carinthia several months earlier.
The revolting peasants of Carinthia managed to gain control over their farming territories for several months earlier that year, meaning they stopped paying duties to the landowning nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and transferred some of these taxes to their peasant association instead. During the revolt, the influential Simetinger farming family was chosen as its leadership, peasants established their own courts and claimed control over the church through public election of the priests.
The so-called simetingers also gained the full support of the miners and countryside artisans. Citizens of Beljak (GER: Villach) and glassworkers of Hüettenberg helped them buy military equipment.
On June 1st the Holy Roman Imperial army began preparations to subdue the rebelling peasants, however their counterattack was overtaken by the invasion of Turkish plundering cavalry on June 25, 1478.
The northward expansion of the Ottoman Empire started with the 1371 takeover of Macedonia, continued with the defeat of the Serbian army in Kosovo Polje in 1389, then with conquering Bulgaria in 1396, and following the fall of Constantinople in 1453 Turkish troops advanced northweast, reaching the borders of the Holy Roman Empire in 1469.
The nobility and clergy locked themselves into their castles while the Turks looted and killed across Carinthia. Turkish raids were conducted by akinji, irregular and unpaid Turkish troops whose main goal was partially gathering information but mostly to demoralize the locals by pillage and destruction. Because these raids became quite common, people started to build fortresses known as tabor. A tabor was usually a church built at the top of a steep hill surrounded by a wall. Some of these simple fortresses were later transformed into castles (such as Pobrežje by Kolpa). People also organised guards on the hillsides, who lit bonfires when Turks were approaching, thereby spreading word of the danger.
However, the rebel peasant army of about 500 people didn’t stand a chance against some 20,000 akinji troops in 1478. After slaying the rebelling peasants, the Turks proceeded to loot across Upper Carinthia. After the withdrawal of the Turkish troops the authorities under the Holy Roman Empire put the remainder of the peasant rebel on trial and sentenced them to death for treason.
STA, 23 June 2019 - After years of natural increase in population, Slovenia has seen a natural decrease in population for the second consecutive year in 2018, as the number of births dropped to below 20,000 a year for the first time in a decade.
Data from the Statistics Office show that 19,585 people were born in Slovenia last year and 20,485 died. The number of deaths was 0.1% lower than in 2017, while the number of births dropped by 3.2%.
Average age at death has been increasing gradually, climbing to 77.9 years. On average, men died at 74.1 years, while women died at 81.6 years of age.
Meanwhile, girls born in Slovenia last year have a life expectancy of 84 years and boys of 78.3 years. Life expectancy has increased by 7.3 years for women and 9.5 years for men over the course of the past three decades, the Statistics Office said.
Early deaths, meaning before the age of 65, accounted for 16.5% of all deaths last year. They accounted for 22.7% of deaths among men and 10.5% among women.
The share of early deaths has always been higher among men, but is declining for both sexes, said the office, adding that in 2008, the figure was at 32.5% for men and 13.1% for women.
Slovenia continues to be among the safest countries in the EU and in general in terms of infant mortality, with only 1.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In total, 33 babies died last year, of which 22 were boys and 11 girls.
Last year, 10,157 boys were born in Slovenia and 9,428 girls. Ema was the most popular girls' name and Luke continued to reign supreme among boys' names for the 20th consecutive year.
The average age of the mother at the time of her first birth was 29.5 years, keeping with the trend of women deciding to have children at an increasingly later age.
Fifty years ago, most of the women having babies were between 20 and 24 years old, which remained the case up until the 1980s. Last year, most of the women having babies were in the age groups of 25-29 and 30-34.
More than 42% of the mothers were married. Fathers were on average three years older than the mother. Only eight fathers were older than 60 and 47 were younger than 20.
More data on this can be found here
STA, 23 June - The government is drafting legislative changes legalising the increasingly popular electric scooters and the testing of autonomous cars.
E-scooters are currently unregulated and exist in a grey zone, but under changes proposed by the Infrastructure Ministry their use will be allowed in pedestrian areas and on bicycle lanes.
The maximum speed will be restricted to 25 km/h, but in pedestrian areas e-scooter riders will have to keep the speed at walking pace.
Where there are no pavements or bicycle lanes, e-scooters will be allowed on the edge of roads.
In general, e-scooters will be subject to rules on bicyclists, which means they have to have lights. Helmets will be mandatory for underage riders.
A second set of rules deals with autonomous cars, whose testing will be permitted on Slovenian roads provided they are marked as autonomous vehicles.
Drivers will nevertheless have to be present in the vehicle at all times to take over if necessary, and systems must be put in place to record data in real time and hand over that data to law enforcement in the event of an accident.
All autonomous vehicles will have to be insured and their owners will have to notify the police in advance of testing.
The changes are a part of a broader reform law on traffic regulations that has been drawn up by the Infrastructure Ministry and submitted for interdepartmental consultation.
Some of the other changes involve higher fines for using mobile devices while driving, new rules on mixed areas shared by vehicles and pedestrians, and stricter rules on where lorry drivers may park.
In a change that will be welcomed by cyclists, the legislation will eliminate an unintended loophole under which bicyclists had to be completely sober; like drivers of cars, they will be allowed to have a blood alcohol content of 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood.
Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here
MONDAY, 24 June
LJUBLJANA - A national ceremony will be held on the eve of Statehood Day, while Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will address Slovenian troops serving in missions abroad via video call.
LJUBLJANA - European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc will formally hand over a EUR 109 grant awarded to the Divača-Koper rail upgrade.
TUESDAY, 25 June
LJUBLJANA - Statehood Day, a public holiday. President Borut Pahor will host an open day at the Presidential Palace.
LJUBLJANA - The start of an international symposium in the framework of Dragon 4, an initiative bringing together the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and National Remote Sensing Center of China; until 28 June.
WEDNESDAY, 26 June
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Defence Minister Karl Erjavec will attend a session of NATO defence ministers; until 27 June.
LJUBLJANA - Swedish Parliamentary Speaker Andreas Norlen will pay an official visit.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Constitutional Commission will debate a motion to simplify the appointment of ministers by changing the Constitution.
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Environment Minister Simon Zajc will attend a session of the EU's Environment Council.
THURSDAY, 27 June
VATICAN CITY, Vatican - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will visit the Holy See for a meeting with Pope Francis.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will host a debate on Slovenia's long-term climate change strategy.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Policy Committee will debate amendments to the police act.
LJUBLJANA - Weekly government session.
FRIDAY, 28 June
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee will debate the bill on recourse for holders of subordinated bank debt who were wiped out in the 2013 bailout.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services will talk to former foreign ministers Samuel Žbogar and Karl Erjavec over an eavesdropping scandal that tainted the Slovenia-Croatia border arbitration procedure.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release general government debt and deficit figures for the first quarter of the year and the inflation rate for June.
SATURDAY, 29 June
ČRNA NA KOROŠKEM - The traditional political gathering at the Najevnik Linden Tree, the largest tree in Slovenia, will feature an address by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
MARIBOR - Maribor will host its first ever Pride Parade.
SUNDAY, 30 June
No major events scheduled.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (24 to 30 June, 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.
Tuesday, June 25 is Statehood Day, and this a national holiday - this means supermarkets and many stores will be closed, so stock up on on Monday
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.
In town and want to follow the news? Check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
The Summer in Ljubljana Old Town and 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.
Monday, June 24, the market that host Open Kitchen every Friday has the Idea Italia food market, with a rich choice of fresh delicacies straight from Italy.
Starting Wednesday and running until 1 September is the Mini Theatre’s season for children and young people, with details here.
Friday to Sunday you can travel to the suburbs to enjoy the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup at Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre, with details here.
Saturday Mark Knopfler will be playing at Stožice Sports Park Arena at 20:00. Tickets can be bought here.
Volčji Potok Arboretum (Volčji Potok 3) has a rose garden in bloom until 31 August, nature permitting.
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.
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 that TOY STORY 4 seems to be only on in dubbed versions
Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival, and this week, starting the 13th, it's the Let it Roll festival of music documentaries.
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'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, 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
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.
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.
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
A new show by one of the best photographers of the city, Igor Andjelič, on the theme of Bauhaus, is on at Galerija ŠKUC until 17 July (here).
Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here
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.
Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture - see below
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 29 September there also a retrospective on the photographer Edi Šelhaus, which is being promoted with the following image. Opening 4 June and closing 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.
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.
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
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 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