Spring is at the door and Open Kitchen is getting ready to enter the new season on Friday, March 20, at Pogačar Square in Ljubljana. And, being an open-air event, is not covered by the official ban on indoor events with more than 500 people.
The new season of Open Kitchen aims to be plastic free, introducing instead biodegradable and recyclable food and drink containers. Visitors will also be encouraged to bring their own reusable equipment with them. “We have already introduced many measures that contribute to the sustainability of the event in previous years, but now we are going to the end. As the biggest culinary event and one of the most visited tourist attractions, we want to act as initiators of sustainable public events,” announced, Open Kitchen co-founders Alma and Lior Kochavy in a press release before the start of the new season.
The Open Kitchen events in Slovenia are visited by hundreds of thousands of people each season, who together enjoy to a million servings of food. Plates, bowls, knives, forks and spoons have been made of biodegradable materials for several years now, thus saving us an environmental burden of millions of pieces of plastic. In order to reduce the environmental impact of the Open Kitchen even more, a great deal of attention has been paid to the proper segregation of waste. In Ljubljana, Open Kitchen cooperates with the consultants from Voka Snaga, while Slovenian Philanthropy takes over unused ingredients and dishes after every event in the capital, and distributes them to those in need. In Celje food surpluses are taken care of by Socio Institute.
In addition to the complete elimination of plastics, another innovation is being prepared for this year, a green stall where visitors will be able to buy containers, accessories and other reusable food and storage related items. “When we started the Open Kitchen eight years ago, we begun with an idea that visitors of the event could get home-cooked food, thus relieving themselves from cooking for the weekend. The new offer of reusable packaging will make it even easier,” said Alma Kochavy.
Waste from the Open Kitchen, which mostly consists of biodegradables, will be handled by the Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Center (RCERO Ljubljana). Utilizing state-of-the-art and sustainable waste management technology on a European scale, waste will be reclaimed there for compost, electricity and heat. In other cities where Open Kitchen is hosted, further waste treatment is carried out in collaboration with local utilities and collection centers.
STA, 9 March 2020 - The Koper-based University of Primorska has suspended "teaching process" for a fortnight due to the coronavirus outbreak in neighbouring Italy.
Announcing the measure on the university's official Facebook profile, chancellor Klavdija Kutnar said the decision had been prompted by advice and information from the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ) and its Italian counterpart Istituto Superiore di Sanita dell'Italia.
Having studied that information and considering that Italy is the largest coronavirus hotspot in Europe, "we have decided for the measure for preventive reasons. We are a university that interacts daily with neighbouring Italy," the chancellor said in the post.
The measure is valid until 20 March. Students will be given further instructions about the possibility of a distance teaching process, such as online lectures and e-classrooms. They will be kept up to date on potential further changes.
Until Sunday afternoon, Slovenia recorded 16 COVID-19 cases out of close to 1,000 people tested. Meanwhile, the virus claimed 366 lives in Italy where the number of infections rose to 7,375 yesterday.
Keep up to date on coronavirus and Slovenia here
STA, 8 March 2020 - Slovenia is far from having a coronavirus epidemic, Nina Pirnat, director of the National Public Health Institute, said on Sunday, expressing hope that the protective measures will prevent it. The number of the coronavirus infections in the country has meanwhile risen to 16.
Asked about closing down schools, Pirnat said this would be a disproportionate measure at the moment and that the main measure in Slovenia and most neighbouring countries was still hygiene.
Health Minister Aleš Šabeder noted that several violations of the ban on large indoor public events which was issued yesterday had been reported. The ban aimed at preventing further spreading of the virus entered into force at 7pm last night.
"We were notified today that several facilities were opened last night despite the ban. We will check if sanctions are envisaged for this. If there are not, we will make amendments," he said.
He said the organisers of indoor events were acting irresponsibly, and called on all citizens and institutions to strictly honour the ban. "This will create economic damage but the priority is protecting the people," he said.
The authorities are also checking reports that some Italian-based companies which have closed their production are sending their workers to their Slovenian subsidiaries.
Šabeder said he had talked about this with Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, and that the pair had agreed certain measures would need to be taken.
Šabeder will also talk on the phone with his Austrian counterpart later this evening to discuss Austria's measure to prevent the spreading of the disease, and possible joint measures.
The outgoing prime minister, Marjan Šarec, has called a session of the National Security Council for Monday. "We will get acquainted with the events so far," she said, rejecting criticism that such a meeting should have been called earlier. "We called the meeting when we assessed the time is right."
Šarec said the Ministry of Health could declare an epidemic if necessary without the National Security Council. "None of the neighbouring countries has closed schools yet. It is important that we take corresponding measures. Only Italy has taken such measures so far," he said.
The outgoing PM called on all citizens, especially medical staff, not to go on non-urgent trips abroad, especially not to Italy.
The Foreign Ministry advised Slovenians on Friday to postpone any non-urgent trips, while the Metlika area in the east of the country, where an infected doctor had contact with a large number of people, citizens have been advised to avoid any kind of gatherings, including private ones.
Officials said today the measures for Metlika remained in place and that no stricter measures were required for the time being.
Šarec said that after preliminary information from Metlika it was feared that an epidemic would be declared for the area but the National Public Health Institute assessed this was not the case.
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections has meanwhile risen by four to 16 since Saturday evening. By 2pm today, 981 tests were conducted.
According to media reports, the newly infected persons are a rescuer and two nurses from the Metlika area, who had been in contact with the infected doctor there, and a 31-year-old woman from the coast, who got ill while in Switzerland.
Keep up with the news on coronavirus and Slovenia here
STA, 8 March 2020 - After a meteor exploded over Slovenia at the end of last month, a search has been under way for the meteorite fragments. The first was found this week in the village of Prečna near Novo Mesto, with its authenticity confirmed on Saturday evening. This confirms existing calculations about the target location and narrows down the search area.
The meteorite chunk - a meteor becomes a meteorite once it hits the ground - was found by Gregor Kos from Prečna on his driveway on Wednesday. But since a magnet test did not show anything, he did not report the find.
A few days later, Kos read about the search for the meteorite fragments, which was joined by several space enthusiasts and experts from other countries as well, and saw some photos, which prompted him to report his find after all.
An expert analysis of the 203-gramme rock confirmed its authenticity.
"Today is not just a women's holiday but also a holiday for Slovenian natural science, especially astronomy and geology," Miha Jezeršek from the Slovenian Museum of Natural History said at today's press conference presenting the find.
The meteorite chunk, which was called Novo Mesto, confirms that the calculations as to where the meteor which disintegrated over south Slovenia on 28 February fell were correct, said geologist Bojan Ambrožič from the Jožef Stefan Institute, who has been involved in the search expedition together with his colleagues.
He stressed this was definitely not the only fragment of the meteorite, which entered the Earth's atmosphere at the speed of 20 kilometres per second and an explosion that was detected by earthquake sensors in the south of the country and seen also in Croatia and Italy.
Ambrožič told the STA on the day of the collision that such a superbolide - a very bright meteor that can be seen even in the daylight - was a rare phenomenon. The last time it happened over Slovenia was in 2009 over the Karavanke mountains.
According to scientific calculations, the meteorite that landed in the Novo Mesto area was a metre to metre and a half big and weighed five to six tonnes.
Ambrožič believes that dozens if not hundreds of chunks are still out there, so locals have been urged to check their yards, houses and roofs. "Now that we know where to search, it will be much easier," he said.
First analyses of the rock have shown that it contains nickel, which is the main indicator that it is indeed a meteorite. Earth rocks have much lower nickel content, he explained.
The analyses of Novo Mesto continue and it can take years before such analyses are concluded, Ambrožič said.
The head of the Institute for Nature Conservation, Teo Hrvoje Oršanič, noted that meteorites are considered a natural asset and are as such protected by law.
Finds like this are important for the development of science and geology, which is why whoever finds a meteorite fragment must first hand it in for analyses. After that the rock is returned to the finder.
However, several foreign citizens have also joined the search with the intention of taking their finds with them, which is illegal, Oršanič warned.
Violators of the legal provisions on meteorites can be punished with a fine of up to EUR 10,000, while the fine for destroying a meteorite ranges from EUR 10,000 to EUR 50,000.
The news of the meteor explosion over Slovenia was also carried by Strewnify, a web site reporting on meteorites around the globe, and meteorite hunters from around the world were urged to join the search in Slovenia on its Facebook profile Strewnify Europe.
All our news on coronavirus and Slovenia is here
The following schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 9 March
LJUBLJANA - The Commission for Equal Opportunities in Science will debate overlooked gender issues in scientific research.
TUESDAY, 10 March
STRASBOURG, France - The European Court of Human Rights will announce its judgement in the case Hudorovič and others v Slovenia, brought by 16 Roma concerning an alleged lack of access to drinking water and sanitation.
LJUBLJANA - A coordinating body bringing together multiple doctors' organisation will present a list of priorities they think the new government must tackle in healthcare.
LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport will speak to the press after the formal establishment of a UNESCO-sponsored international research centre for artificial intelligence at the Jožef Stefan Institute.
LJUBLJANA - The Faculty of Social Sciences' International Relations Centre will host a debate on Slovenian-Italian relations.
PORTOROŽ - Slovenian cooperatives will debate the future of agriculture and rural development at their annual meeting.
LJUBLJANA - The Construction and Building Materials Chamber will be joined by several major builders to discuss the future of the Slovenian construction industry.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Labour Committee will debate amendments to pension legislation tabled by the Democrats (SDS) that would increase the pensions of some farmers and persons who purchased additional months of pension qualifying period.
WEDNESDAY, 11 March
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Parliament is expected to debate Hungarian financing of Slovenian media at the request of a group of MEPs from the ranks of Socialists and Renew Europe.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Policy Committee will debate government amendments to the act on the state border that would make it illegal for self-proclaimed militias to patrol the border.
LJUBLJANA - The L'oreal-Unesco scholarships for women in science will be announced.
CELJE - Days of comedy, a theatre festival, will get under way at the Celje Theatre; until 22 March.
THURSDAY, 12 March
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Policy committee will host a public presentation of opinions on amendments to legislation governing firearms use.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee will debate amendments to the act on health care and health insurance proposed by the National Council that would mandate the public health insurer to cover the cost of treatment of rare diseases even if such treatment is not yet approved.
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry will confer awards for outstanding business achievements.
FRIDAY, 13 March
TUHELJ, Croatia - Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Croatia's Darko Horvat will attend a Slovenian-Croatian business forum.
LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol will release its business report for 2019.
SATURDAY, 14 March
KRANJSKA GORA - A giant slalom event will be held as part of the men's World Cup meet.
SUNDAY, 15 March
KRANJSKA GORA - A slalom event will be held as part of the men's World Cup meet.
STA, 6 March 2020 - There seems to be a wide gap in how young and old generations of women in Slovenia perceive gender equality and their own position in society, a series of short interviews conducted by the STA before the International Women's Day has shown. Headlined Generation Equality, Women's Day will be observed around the globe on Sunday.
Older women believe women today have it easier, while young women feel like equality today is only skin-deep and that in reality they still face many obstacles and prejudice in their everyday lives.
"On the one hand, [we are told] to get as educated as possible and to build successful careers, but at the same time we are not supposed to neglect duties expected of us as partners, mothers and homemakers," Zala, a medical student, said.
"The attitude of men toward women is often patronising," she said, adding that this makes women more self-critical and less confident in their abilities, and it also makes them feel like they are not being heard.
The patronising and degrading attitude is so deeply ingrained in society that even women have a hard time identifying it, said Zala, adding that women are used to hearing jokes and remarks about their appearance, work and behaviour.
Meanwhile, Vikica Temnikar, a retirement home resident in Črneče near Dravograd, told the STA that she had always felt that women and girls were respected.
The plant she worked at organised a special programme for women every 8 March, they received flowers and danced, said Temnikar.
However, she believes it has always been and always will remain important how each individual woman does for herself and that they always had to endure a lot.
Temnikar believes that women have more power now and there are more jobs available for them. "Of course they have to work. It's exhausting, but at least they have a bit more power and independence."
Another retirement home resident, Monika Gornjec also believes that women have it easier today because they have more courage. She said she never felt unequal compared to men, but she said she observed inequality of women in Switzerland where she worked for 14 years.
Marina, a student at the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, was critical of older generations who often advise young women to be patient and ignore degrading and sexist remarks. She believes that this is the wrong thing to do and that it would only ignore the problem instead of addressing it.
Ana Pavlič of the Institute for Gender Equality Studies said that women today are under pressure to be perfect mothers, partners and accommodating workers. "Under such pressures it is harder to detect attempts to undermine our rights and the emergence of new discriminatory strategies that aim to strengthen the gender-based subordination."
Attitude toward women has changed throughout history, she noted. A century ago the women's right struggle focused on suffrage and better work conditions, while "50 years later, the women's rights movement has realised that formal and legal equality does not amount to actual gender equality, and that reproductive rights and abortion, childcare and contraception must also be addressed," said Pavlič.
"The equality we have achieved so far makes it essential that we are aware of all mechanisms and practices that continue to persuade us in our inferiority and subordination," said Pavlič.
In real life, this means that women have sexual liberty but are still being sexually harassed, Pavlič said. It means that they have equal access to education but their opinions are valued less than that of their colleagues, it means that domestic violence is prohibited but still 50% of women have experienced psychological and/or physical violence by the time they are 15 years old.
The weight of women's opinion in society is a particularly grating issue for many. High-profile events have already made gender parity official policy, but many events for professionals remain almost exclusively male. This has even led to the coining of the term manel - a debate at which panellists are exclusively male.
In response, the Institute for Gender Equality Studies, alongside the UK Embassy in Ljubljana, launched earlier this week a campaign to address another the underrepresentation of women in expert discussions.
Headlined Strokovnjakinje (women experts), the project has set out to draw up the first comprehensive list of female experts from all fields in Slovenia that event organisers will be able to draw on when they select participants for discussion.
STA, 6 March 2020 - Slovenia ranks relatively high on the OECD gender equality scale, but the situation is far from rosy for many Slovenian women. Average monthly pay is nearly EUR 130 lower for women than men, while two thirds of pensioners below the poverty line are women.
Slovenia place eighth on the gender equality scale of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which features 120 countries. The share of discrimination in Slovenia was 12.9%, with discrimination within the family the biggest problem.
The share of women with jobs is higher than elsewhere in the EU, and the pay gap is still one of the narrowest in the bloc. What is more, Slovenia has a high share of female managers, show Statistics Office figures released ahead of International Women's Day.
Women in Slovenia made an average of EUR 1,710 gross per month in 2018, some EUR 130 less than men. Lower pay also affects women's pensions, with data from the Statistics Office showing that women account for two thirds of impoverished pensioners.
Data from the Statistics Office show that an average Slovenian woman is almost 45 years old and is better educated than the average male, but still paid less.
On average, Slovenian women live to the age of 81.6 years, 7.5 years longer than men. The most frequent cause of death is cardiovascular disease. Girls born in 2018 have a life expectancy of 84 years, 5.7 years longer than boys born the same year.
Some 75% of women over the age of 14 in Slovenia are mothers, most have two children. Some 28% of women have a university degree, while the share among men is only 20%. Most women, 50%, have secondary education.
Their education has been improving through generations. Among women who were aged between 60 and 69 on 1 January 2019, most only had primary school or lower, while in the generation of women between 30 and 39 most had higher education.
Physical characteristics data show that an average Slovenian woman is 165 centimetres tall and weighs 68 kilos. 52% are at a normal weight, 30% are overweight and 13% are obese.
Most women exercise about two hours a week and eat fruits and vegetables nearly every day, while more than 80% do not smoke, statistics show.
Moreover, women in Slovenia are generally happy with their lives. In 2018, the Statistics Office self-reported happiness index for women reached 7.3 points out of a possible 10, the highest level ever recorded.
Learn more about women in Slovenia with the follow graphics produced by the Statics Office (SURS), which runs an excellent English website with lots of data to explore.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (9 - 15 March, 2020) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
Note that coronavirus may mean some events are cancelled this week – at the time of writing (Saturday afternoon) indoor events with 500 or more people were being postponed, and things are likely to escalate. If you want to keep up on coronavirus in Slovenia, then all our stories about that are here. If you can go out, and can afford it, then be generous with yourself in the cafés, bars, restaurants, small stores and so on. Eat, drink and go heavy on the tipping – there may be hard times ahead in the industry.
Berlin-based techno composer Pantha Du Prince (Hendrik Weber) explores the communication of trees and translates it into electronic music. In 2018, he was filling major music venues around Europe, and will be trying to do the same on Monday, 20:00, at Cankarjev dom. Support will come from a percussion ensemble consisting of Håkon Stene and Bendik Hovik Kjeldsberg, and Manuel Chittka, drummer with the German band Messer. Details here, and the trailer below.
Want to advertise in this space? Learn more here.
The next day, Tuesday 10 March, the same venue will host Jean Rondeau and his harpsichord, playing a Baroque programme that looks fantastic, with all either (JS) Bach and Scarlatti, including the piece shown above. Details, and note that he has another show, with a different programme, later in the week – see below. Tuesday you could also head very slightly out of town, on an easy bus ride or inexpensive taxi, and a live show from Kovacs at Kino Šiška. However you get there, don’t drink and drive. Tickets here and a performance below.
Jean Rondeau and his harpsichord are back at Cankarjev dom, 19:30, this time playing Chabrier, Poulenc and Debussy, including the following piece.
Belgrade-based noise-pop quartet Artan Lili will be at Kino Šiška, 20:00, Thursday. Tickets.
SNG Opera and Ballet will be playing The Magic Flute on Thursday 18:00, while on Friday, 19:30, it’ll be Verdi’s Luisa Miller. You can the trailer for the former below. Friday night is also Jazz Night at the Castle, and this week the kings of the hill are Kopač-Kostadinović-Moder-Kanamori, shown below.
Saturday Klub K4 has an all-nighter, starting 23:00, called Just A Dance w/ Dojaja, DEN7EL & Von Meister. Before that, at 20:00, there’s a chance to see two tribute bands for the price of one at Orto bar, the home of metal in LJ, with Black Metallica and Piece of (Iron) Maiden.
If you like collecting stamps, coins/notes, postcards, vinyl and some other things, then head to the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre on Saturday, 09:00 and 19:00, as it’s there you’ll find the International Collectors Fair Collecta. Details.
Saturday and Sunday Nataraja Studio – the yoga place on Dragon Bridge that I used to go to before leaving town is having two days of free classes. It’s a nice place, in a great location, with a good annual deal if you can get there often. Read more about the place here, and see the free classes here.
New, new-ish and notable movies in town this week include the following.
A new book came out recently that tells some of the stories of Trubarjeva cesta – you can learn more about it here. If you want to buy a copy, look / ask around on your next visit to the street.
How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here
You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.
While the Old Town is quaint, and full of music, where does Ljubljana really shop? One popular answer is BTC City, a vast complex of malls, entertainment facilities and more, including more than 70 different food vendors, offering everything from Slovenian to Thai, Indian to Italian, Mexican to Chinese. Check out a visit before the recent renovation was finished for some idea of what's on offer here.
You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.
Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.
Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.
Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.
Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.
Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.
In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.
Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.
Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.
Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.
Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.
Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.
Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.
Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.
Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,
Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.
Orto Bar– 80s and 90s throwback nights can often be found here, along with rock-based DJ sets.
Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.
Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.
Cvetličarna – Regional pop and rock concerts can be found here.
Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.
Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.
Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.
Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.
Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.
Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.
Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.
Slovenska filharmonija– Classical music in the centre of town.
SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.
Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.
Slovenska cesta, 1968. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here
Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.
Gledališče IGLU - IGLU Theatre – Saturday night this group is usually putting on an English improv show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.
Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.
Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.
SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.
Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.
Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.
Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here
Looking for something different to eat? Trubajeva cesta, running right by Dragon Bridge, has the greatest concentration of "ethnic food" places in Ljubljana, and thus perhaps the country. Check out our walk through guide as of June 2019.
In warmer days than you'll see this week. Photo: JL Flanner
You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.
If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.
Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events
Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.
Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.
Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard
The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits.
On all 2020 is an Exhibition of Slovenian History, included in the price of a Castle ticket, that takes you through prehistory and the Romans, the Middle and early Modern Ages, the 19th century and WWI, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and WWII, Yugoslavia, independence and after. On until 22 March 2020 you can enjoy an inflatable spatial installation from Nina Koželj (free to enter).
At one of Castle hill there's a many walking and jogging paths, with good views of the city. 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.
Aksioma – On from 19 February 9 March is The Abstraction of Nature by Anna Ridler – “Anna Ridler’s work stands out for her effort to establish a feedback loop between herself and the machine, producing work that displays and thematises the amount of human labour involved in the process, from coding, to producing a dataset, to educating the machine.”
Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and you'll find nothing this week, according to the schedule, as the place will be between exhibitions.
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. Until 10 May you can see History of the Future. Archetypes of Plečnik's architecture – summarising the ideas of selected Plečnik works.
City Gallery – On until 5 April there’s a show from Vlado Martek, called Exhibition with Many Titles, the second part of a retrospective exhibition by the Croatian conceptual artist.
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 August 2020 there’s Book. Reason. Knowledge. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800), which presents the processes and events that encouraged and fostered the cultural and spiritual development in Ljubljana from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century – from humanism and Protestantism to the Enlightenment. More on that here.
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
Drink like a pro - find gallery openings. Photo: JL Flanner
Galerija Kapelica –Eirik Brandal: Electonic sculpture is on until 17 March, with the promotional image shown below.
Galerija Vžigalica – Until 15 March you can enjoy Counter:Movement / Gegen:Bewegung, an exhibition of contemporary artistic positions in Carinthia, selected by the Klagenfurt University Cultural Centre – the Universitätskulturzentrum UNIKUM.
International Centre of Graphic Arts – A show of works by Helena Tahir.
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 31 January 2021 is An Object and a Collection, showing part of the museum’s valuable and extensive collection of objects related to architecture, design, and photography of the 20th and 21st centuries.
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.
Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.
National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages
The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.
Photo: JL Flanner
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items. A Millennia of Metallurgy in Slovenia is on until 3 May 2020.
A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.: Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko
Until 24 May 2020 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.
Natural History Museum – Until 18 June 2020 there’s Enlightened Natural Sciences: Scopoli and Zois, looking at the lives and legacies of two pioneering naturalists, on the both Slovene and global scales, Sigismondo (Žiga) Zois and Giovanni Antonio Scopoli.
National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted hereUnion Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.
It's not a formal museum, but if you're interested in "Yugo-stalgia" then you'll enjoy a trip to Verba, a small, privately run space that's crammed with objects and pop culture items from the era, and is conveniently located at the start of one of the short walks to the castle. It's also a great place to take pictures, if you leave a donation, and you can read more about it here.
Verba. Photo: JL Flanner
Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.
Photo: JL Flanner
Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.
If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.
Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.
Photo: Neža Loštrek
For something a little more brual, check out Republika trg / Republic Square, in the heart of the political quarter.
Photo: JL Flanner
Photo: JL Flanner
Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,
If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.
Why would anyone want to eat Dinner in the Dark? Learn more about this unique experience in Ljubljana here.
Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)
There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.
Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain
Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.
Photo: Google Image Search
If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.
Screenshot from a Twitter video
If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to park, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.
Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.
Photo: JL Flanner
There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.
Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.
STA, 6 March 2020 - The Foreign Ministry issued an alert on its web site on Friday, advising Slovenians to postpone all non-essential trips abroad in the face of the spreading of the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, two new cases of infection have been confirmed in Slovenia, putting the total number of cases in the country at eight.
The ministry's unprecedented call has been met with severe criticism from the Association of Travelling Agencies, which said it may spell bankruptcy of all Slovenian travelling agencies.
The association stressed that no other EU member had issued such warnings.
Because of the spreading of the new virus, some hotels in the country have already temporarily closed their door. Spas seem to be less affected than accommodation facilities in Ljubljana, lakeside resort Bled and on the coast.
Hotels in the capital are detecting a 30% decrease in occupancy rate and an even bigger slump in revenue.
Calls have been mounting for measures that would offset the negative effects of the virus on businesses, and the Labour Ministry has reportedly drawn up an emergency bill to subsidise companies for part of pay of workers temporarily laid off because of the virus.
The Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) said today that Slovenian small businesses, including hoteliers, coach companies and pub and restaurant owners, were hit hard.
Tourist guides expressed concern as well, listing cancellations spanning the entire tourist season and a looming threat of complete loss of income.
Yesterday, several associations, including the trade union of employees in the hospitality sector from the ZSSS trade union confederation, the Employers' Association and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have urged immediate action from the government.
Meanwhile, two unrelated new cases of infection were confirmed today, one in the north-east and one in the south-east, putting the number of coronavirus cases in the country at eight.
The seventh case was related to the previous one, with the infected person being the wife of a 32-year-old man from the Štajerska region who tested positive for the virus on Thursday.
Both are employed at the Maribor UKC hospital, but the authorities say all precautionary measures had been taken to prevent further spreading of the virus.
State secretary at the Health Ministry Simona Repar Bornšek told the press today that all confirmed coronavirus patients were stable.
According to the information collected so far, the first seven infected patients have recently been in Italy.
Information is, however, still scarce on the eighth case, a doctor working in a community health centre in Metlika.
Currently, the search is on for the persons who had been in contact with him and according to Health Minister Aleš Šabeder their number exceeds 40.
The minister said that having doctors affected was "the worst possible scenario". But he noted that the medical staff got infected on trips abroad and not at work.
Some additional protective measures were introduced today, including a recommendation for hospitals and retirement homes to ban visits. Schools and kindergartens remain open.
All our stories on coronavirus and Slovenia are here
STA, 5 March 2020 - Six cases of novel coronavirus infection have so far been confirmed in Slovenia in what appear to be at least two unrelated clusters. Preventive steps are being taken and measures are in the pipeline to help businesses affected by the global outbreak.
Three of the infected persons had been on a trip to Morocco, returning via Italy's Venice airport on a commercial flight in the afternoon of 29 February before continuing home.
A further two infected were a man and a woman who had travelled in Italy where they are presumed to have contracted the virus, Nina Pirnat, director of the National Public Health Institute, told TV Slovenija on late night news show.
During the programme, information came in about a sixth person testing positive for the virus. Details are not available yet, but the report said it was a younger man from the Štajersko region, in the north-east.
The health authorities established that the first person confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, identified as a Ljubljana man aged about 60, had been in contact with 19 fellow travellers on a ten-day organised motorcycle trip around Morocco, 16 from Slovenia and three from Croatia.
Moreover, the health authorities said that he had been in contact with seven persons in the community health centre in the Ljubljana borough of Vič, which the man visited on Wednesday, feeling unwell.
The physician, who attended to the patient before sending him in an ambulance to the UKC Ljubljana hospital to be quarantined in a separate ward, has self-isolated.
The doctor was wearing protective equipment while examining the patient, and the premises of the health centre were ventilated and sanitised, NIJZ officials said.
All persons who have been in close contact with the man have been tested. The Slovenian Health Ministry has also notified Croatia about the situation.
Until 6pm today, a total of 433 had been tested for the novel coronavirus in Slovenia, data from NIJZ show.
Addressing reporters in Ljubljana, Pirnat said they had been receiving calls from persons who had been at the Ljubljana emergency ward on Saturday evening, when the man visited it because of an injury.
All have been given instructions to monitor their condition and to call their GP if they start coughing, sneezing, have a fever or shortness of breath.
Pirnat said the likelihood of the man passing on the virus to other patients who were at the emergency ward at the time was very small because they were not in close contact.
The first patient had already had symptoms when he had arrived in Venice. He used a shuttle van to come to Ljubljana together with a few other persons. The van driver has also been tested and isolated.
The second infected person is not showing the signs of the illness and the other has minor symptoms.
Tatjana Lejko Zupanc, the head of the UKC Ljubljana Department of Infectious Diseases, told TV Slovenija that all the infected persons were in good condition.
They are all under quarantine at the hospital. If there are more cases in need of hospitalisation, those who do not show symptoms would be sent home.
Measures are afoot to contain the virus with public events being cancelled, while hospitals had barred visitors days ago. Many community health centres are checking every visitor at the entrances.
Businesses have meanwhile been pointing to the impact of the global outbreak, calling for clear guidance and measures to help cope them with the situation.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) today said that many manufacturing companies could be affected by disrupted supplies over the next 14 days due to the outbreak in China. A slump in sales is also expected.
Due to the coronavirus spread in Europe, Slovenian companies active in tourism, hospitality, logistics, services and retail already report problems.
Several Slovenian travel agencies have seen a significant drop in business because of the new coronavirus. The agencies organising tourist trips in Slovenia are particularly affected, while those offering trips abroad are noticing a change of tourism flows.
Radio Slovenija has reported that the Labour Ministry has drawn up an emergency bill to subsidise companies for part of pay of workers temporarily laid off as a result of the impact of the global coronavirus outbreak.
Companies would be eligible for the subsidy if they were forced by business reasons to temporarily lay off more than half of the workforce.
The workers who are on furlough for up to three months would get 80% of the average pay for the past three months, of which 40% would be subsidised by the state and the rest by the employer.
Keep up with the latest news on coronavirus and Slovenia here
STA, 5 March 2020 - A second case of novel coronavirus infection in Slovenia was confirmed Thursday, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder said, with the person having been in contact with the first patient, who had been detected on Wednesday.
Šabeder said as the health authorities called a press conference to speak about the first case that they had just been informed about a second case, adding that the second patient had been in contact with the first one.
The authorities are rushing to identify other persons who have been in contact with the man who was confirmed as the first COVID-19 case in Slovenia yesterday.
The Ljubljana physician who attended to the patient and sent him in an ambulance vehicle to the UKC Ljubljana hospital to be quarantined in a separate ward, has already been isolated.
The first infected person, identified only as a man aged about 60, had come to Slovenia from Morocco via Italy on a commercial flight on 29 February.
The National Public Health Institute (NIJZ) called on other Slovenian citizens who were on the AT938 Royal Air Maroc flight from Casablanca to the Marco Polo airport in Venice to be careful about signs of infection.
Nina Pirnat of the NIJZ said that the first patient had already had symptoms when he had arrived in Venice, which he had attributed to a recent injury in Morocco.
The man had used a shuttle van to come from Venice to Ljubljana and all persons who travelled with him in the aircraft and the shuttle van will be instructed to see an epidemiologist and get further instructions.
The shuttle operator GoOpti told the STA that a few other persons had travelled with the man, adding that the driver had already been tested and isolated. GoOpti director Marko Guček said that the driver was feeling well and had no signs of infection.
On the evening of the arrival to Slovenia, the first patient visited the Ljubljana emergency ward over the injury, and was then sent home, Pirnat said, adding that he had been in contact with many persons since.
Health Ministry State Secretary Simona Repar Bornšek added that, feeling unwell, the man had visited the community health centre in the south-western Ljubljana borough of Vič. He came unannounced, ignoring all protocols and instructions, she added.
According to Šabeder, a list of persons in contact with the man was being compiled. High-risk persons have had swab samples taken, with the results to be announced in the afternoon.
Pirnat said that the infection was transferred by close contact and that the probability that the persons at the emergency ward and the passengers had gotten infected was small.
Nevertheless, the health authorities are trying to identify as many persons as possible who have been in contact with or in the close proximity of the first patient.
STA, 5 March 2020 - Slovenian health authorities are rushing to identify persons who have been in contact with the man who was confirmed as the first COVID-19 case in Slovenia on Wednesday. The Ljubljana physician who attended to the patient has already been isolated.
Health Minister Aleš Šabeder said a list of persons in contact with the man was being compiled. High-risk persons have had swab samples taken, with the results still pending.
The infected person, identified only as a man aged about 60, had recently come to Slovenia from Morocco via Italy.
It is clear that he flew from Morocco to Italy, but his subsequent travel arrangements have not been disclosed due to protection of sensitive personal information.
It therefore remains unclear whether he travelled alone or in a group.
The patient ignored instructions issued in recent weeks. Instead of calling his doctor first, he went to a community health centre in Ljubljana, where the doctor determined he had clear signs of COVID-19 infection.
The man was then transported by ambulance to the epidemiology ward of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, where he has been quarantined in a separate ward reserved for COVID-19 cases.
All our stories on coronavirus and Slovenia can be found here