Lifestyle

28 Aug 2019, 13:00 PM

Radio Slovenia has a report that looks at the economics of human smuggling in Slovenia, finding that the profits can be even greater than those of moving illegal drugs across borders.

The story – which comes after a spike in police interceptions of human traffickers, with, for example, seven people recently arrested in Celje for moving at least 270 individuals through Slovenia –  interviews a former intelligence officer, Boštjan Perne , with over 15 years of intelligence experience in the Balkans. He claims that human smugglers now charge more than €5,000 for transport in trucks along a route that leads directly from Turkey to Western Europe. However, this price is too high for many would-be migrants, who thus tend to pay less, from €200 to €500, to be moved across individual borders.

Related: Foreigners Account for 1/4 of Slovenia’s Prisoners, Most Jailed for Human Smuggling

While Perne states that Slovenians are obviously involved in this aspect of organised crime, he also notes the international nature of the business: "If we look at the different nationalities currently imprisoned for trafficking in human beings, you will see that here [Slovenia] is the real mecca of different nations - Serbs, Croats, Pakistanis, Slovenians, Germans, Italians."

All our stories on human trafficking are here

26 Aug 2019, 19:23 PM

August 26, 2019

A summer school of philosophy titled “Fail better!” began this Monday with a week of lectures from Slovenia’s most prominent thinkers, also known as the “Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis”. In t week that follows, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupančič and Slavoj Žižek will present their views on the foundations of their thought as well as their current work to a maximum of 120 participants from 17 countries, most of whom are coming from Denmark and Germany. The three will meet to give lectures at their Alma Mater, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, and the working language of all the events will be English.

Žižek will present a series of lectures titled “Hegel with Neuralink”, which take as their entry point “Neuralink, an American neuro-technological company, founded by Elon Musk and eight others, dedicated to developing a mind-machine interface (MMI)”.

All our stories on Žižek are here, while a list of 70 quotes for his 70th birthay is here

Alenka Zupančič’s lectures are titled “The Real and Its Passions”, which as their “starting and focal point take the concept of the Real that emerged in psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Lacan)”.

Mladen Dolar will be speaking in a series called “What, If Anything, Is the Other?”, which “will attempt to explore the psychoanalytic notion of the big Other, given the paradox that on the one hand it is absolutely necessary and on the other, according to Lacan, it is lacking – how can it be both at the same time?.”

The University of Ljubljana is currently marking it’s 100 anniversary of existence which is being celebrated with 100 various events throughout the year. The summer school of philosophy is perhaps one of the most significant of events due to the global prominence of the authors who are going to present their thoughts together at the place of the beginning of their studies.

For details click here.

26 Aug 2019, 11:55 AM

STA, 12 August 2019 - Slovenia will be the country in focus at viennacontemporary 2019, the largest international art fair in Austria, which will take place in Vienna from 26 to 29 September.

The fair will feature more than 100 galleries and 500 artists from 25 countries, providing a glimpse into the contemporary art scene in Central and Eastern Europe.

In focus will actually be a state without territory, the NSK State in Time, an ongoing project launched by the controversial Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective.

The virtual state debuted in 1992 as a reaction to NSK's own activities and to political developments following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It emerged a year after Slovenia gained independence, showing the artists' disapproval of national borders and promoting transnationality.

The State in Time boasts more than 15,000 citizens with their own NSK passports from around the globe, who held their first congress in Berlin in 2010.

Find out how to get your passport here

"The situation in Europe and the world shows just how relevant the NSK State in Time still is," viennacontemporary curator Johanne Chromik said during a recent presentation of the art show in Ljubljana.

Chromik also said the Slovenian section of the show had been curated by Tevž Logar, an up-an-coming Slovenian curator and art lecturer, who had chosen 13 artists.

Four Slovenian galleries will also be presented in Vienna, namely the Photon Gallery, Fotografija Gallery, P74 Centre and Gallery, and the Ravnikar Gallery Space.

Viennacontemporary is foremost a platform for art galleries to get new contacts, at the same time fostering dialogue and research.

All our stories on NSK are here

26 Aug 2019, 09:37 AM

STA, 25 August 2019 - The Ljubljana wider area covers 211 square kilometres, including 62 square kilometres of forest, with the land around the city being natural habitat for various animals, including numerous bird species as well as endangered species or even those that have been already considered extinct.

Ljubljana has some 300,000 inhabitants and at least so many birds nesting in the area.

The little bittern has been spotted in the Tivoli Nature Park and in the Rožnik and Šiška hills, with the bird frequenting urban areas as well.

It is critically endangered in Slovenia or even thought to be extinct. As its name implies, it is relatively small compared to other herons.

The park's managers have come across the allegedly extinct noble crayfish species, which used to be very common in the Slovenian rivers, but suffered a major population drop due to invasive crayfish carrying the duck plague.

The area is home to almost 500 butterfly species, some 110 beetle species, around 100 bird species, including 68 who nest in the city, some 50 spider species, 36 dragonfly species, 12 various species of reptiles and 8 species of bats.

Among mammals, visitors can spot the common shrew, the southern white-breasted hedgehog, the edible dormouse, squirrels, deer and otters.

According to Marko Jonozovič of the Forest Service, the Ljubljana rural area is also home to the brown hare and pheasants, foxes, badgers and the beech marten, with introduced or invasive muskrat and nutria species living in wetlands or alongside stretches of water.

The brown bear rarely finds itself in the forests within the Ljubljana urban area - occasionally the bear enters it through the Golovec animal-friendly passageway or other highway overpasses and underpasses, but mostly it roams the south-western part of the Ljubljana Marshes where it can find enough food and enjoy some peace.

Wolves and lynx have not been present in the past few decades within the Ljubljana ring road, has said Jonozovič, though the former occasionally visit the marshes.

Meanwhile, the chamois has been spotted in the river Iška canyon, some 20km south of Ljubljana.

West of Ljubljana, near Dobrova, in the Polhov Gradec hills, the mouflon has been detected as well. Moreover, the wild boar, deer, and jackal have been known to be present in the wider forested area of Ljubljana.

Among local birds, house sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons and great tits are the most common. In the past decades, the city has witnessed increasing numbers of crows, with the birds feeling safe in the centre due to the abundance of food.

The Tivoli Nature Park and the Rožnik and Šiška hills are home to protected birds, listed on the Natura 2000 list as threatened species in Europe, such as mallard ducks, the common buzzard, the Eurasian scops owl, the black woodpecker.

Moreover, endangered species, such as the black and white stork and the jackdaw have been spotted in the park as well.

Fortunately for those taking a stroll around the park, there are no lethal snakes in the area, since vipers, which are present in Slovenia, prefer rocky terrain.

25 Aug 2019, 14:16 PM

STA, 25 August 2019 - A series of events will be held between today and 18 September in five Slovenian towns to mark the European Days of Jewish Culture. The all-European project, taking place in Slovenia for the 20th year in a row, will provide the visitors with a deep insight into individual aspects of Jewish culture and heritage.

For the 20th anniversary of the project in Slovenia, a diverse programme of events will be held in Maribor, Ljubljana, Negova, Lendava and Murska Sobota, almost all of the events being free of charge.

The European Days of Jewish Culture in Slovenia will be opened by the Maribor-based world music group Kontra-Kvartet with a concert featuring the traditional Jewish Klezmer music in the Maribor City Park.

The programme will also feature open day events, guided tours in museums, several exhibitions, a theatre performance, a concert of Jewish music, and various presentations and interactive workshops.

The aim is to introduce the audience into Jewish culture and raise their awareness of the importance of preservation and protection of Jewish heritage as an important part of European culture, the organisers say.

According to the Sinagoga Maribor centre for Jewish cultural heritage, the project involves various organisers from the entire Europe every year. Last year, events were held in more than 400 towns in 28 European countries.

You can see the full Slovenian programme here

25 Aug 2019, 09:04 AM

Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here

 This summary of upcoming events was create by STA:

MONDAY, 26 August
        LJUBLJANA - The 16th European Conference of the International Association of Energy Economics will be launched by Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek; until 28 August.
        MARIBOR - A debate on the national climate and energy plan, to feature energy experts and NGOs.
        NOVO MESTO - A pre-trial arraignment for three illegal migrants who abducted a Bela Krajina man in May.
        LJUBLJANA - The movement Youth for Climate Justice will stage a protest in front of the Brazilian Embassy to highlight the lack of action over the Amazon rainforest fires.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release the business sentiment index for August.
        LJUBLJANA - The bookshop Konzorcij will host a meeting with Trieste-based author Boris Pahor on his 106th birthday.
        LJUBLJANA - A four-day open-air cinema festival will get under way in Congress Square with a screening of Ninotchka, a 1939 film by Ernst Lubitsch.

TUESDAY, 27 August
        BELGRADE, Serbia - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will make an official visit to Serbia for talks with his counterpart Ana Brnabić, President Aleksandar Vučić and Speaker Maja Gojković.
        LJUBLJANA - New administered prices of regular and diesel fuel sold outside motorways will kick in.

WEDNESDAY, 28 August
        HELSINKI, Finland - Defence Ministry State Secretary Miloš Bizjak will take part in a two-day informal meeting of EU defence ministers discussing artificial intelligence, new technologies and hybrid threats.
        MARIBOR - The European Junior Olympiad in Informatics will come to a close with an awards ceremony.
        LJUBLJANA - The three-day Conventa Crossover conference on tourism and marketing will open.

THURSDAY, 29 August
        HELSINKI, Finland - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar is to meet his Croatian counterpart Goran Grlić Radman on the sidelines of a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.
        COLORADO, US - Defence Minister Karl Erjavec will visit the Colorado National Guard and meet its commander and the Colorado governor, and take part in the annual conference of the US National Guard Association, until 31 August.
        LJUBLJANA - New US Ambassador Lynda C. Blanchard is to present her credentials to President Borut Pahor.
        LJUBLJANA - The government is expected to convene the first regular session after summer break.
        LJUBLJANA - The opening of the two-day Shanghai Fair to showcase Chinese companies in Slovenia.
        KOPER - Logistics company Intereuropa is to release semi-annual financial results.
        PTUJ - The new Ukrainian owners of poultry company Perutnina Ptuj will vote to squeeze out small shareholders at a shareholders' meeting.
        GORNJA RADGONA - The International Agriculture and Food Fair AGRA will come to a close.
        LJUBLJANA - Nights in Old Ljubljana Town, an international festival of music, will get under way, running until 31 August.
        MARIBOR - Slovenian football champions Maribor will host Bulgaria's Ludogorets Razgrad for the return leg of the final round of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

FRIDAY, 30 August
        BLED - The Young Bled Strategic Forum, the annual conference of young leaders accompanying the main part of Slovenia's prime foreign policy event, will get under way under the theme Youth as a (future) (re)source; until 2 September.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release GDP data for second quarter, August inflation data and figures on tourist arrivals and nights for July.
        LJUBLJANA - Shareholders of Telekom Slovenije will decide on allocation of distributable profit.
        LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol is to release semi-annual financial results.
        MEŽICA - Batteries maker Tab is to hold a press conference to report on its results in 2018 and 2019.
        ČATEŽ OB SAVI - The shareholders of spa operator Terme Čatež will meet to decide on the sale of Marina Portorož, among other things.
        
SATURDAY, 31 August
        BLED - A charity golf tournament of NHL star Anže Kopitar.

SUNDAY, 1 September
        WARSAW, Poland - President Borut Pahor will take part in the ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, to be attended by more than 30 heads of state, including US President Donald Trump.
        LJUBLJANA - An eternal flame will be lit at the monument commemorating Russian and Soviet soldiers fallen on Slovenian soil in both world wars.
        RIBNICA - The annual fair of traditional wooden handicrafts, to be addressed by PM Marjan Šarec.
        TRŽIČ - The annual Shoemakers' Fair.

24 Aug 2019, 12:27 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (26 August to 1 September, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook.

In town and want to follow the news? Check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

As ever, links to the basic listings are after the following selection, while a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here.

Jump to listings

It’s the last week of August, and cherry tree next to where I’m writing this is already losing leaves. It’s time to face the fact the summer’s almost over and the days of wearing certain outside will soon be over.

Kinodvor has already been up to the Castle, with Film Under the Stars, and now it comes down to Kongresni trg, bringing free classic movies that start at 21:00, with Slovene and English subtitles. Monday is Ninotchka, Tuesday Eléna et les Hommes, Wednesday Some Like It Hot, and Thursday Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

How (and why) to use Ljubljana’s milk vending machine

From Monday until Saturday (August 26 – 31) the 7th edition of Festival VIBRA will bring internationally acclaimed choreographers, dancers, teachers, and theoreticians to Ljubljana. There are lectures, workshops and performances, with something of interest to all fans of contemporary dance. Details here.

Tuesday Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals are playing Kino Šiška, but it’s already sold out.

Teatro regio Torino will being Verdi’s La Traviata to Cankerjev dom on August 28 and 29, Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday and Saturday FUKSi 2019 is in town. This is the Festival of Urban Culture Slovenia, which combines electronic music, design, fashion and socially useful events in Tobačna. Headliners are headlining: Royksopp, David Morales & Pure Oldies Goldies and Sladica with Dj Zed. Details here.

Friday  and Saturday there’s a Belgian beer festival at Kino Šiška, starting at 15:00 and 16:00, respectively, with at least 50 differnt beers (details, in Slovene only).

That accordion player in Prešeren? He was playing on Dragon Bridge the other week, and maybe he's still there – details

Running until the end of the month there’s the Young Lions (Mladi levi) international theatre and dance festival – details here.

Here’s all our stories tagged Ljubljana, while all here’s all our stories tagged Piran

TrNOVfest  is back for the whole month of August, with theatre and dance workshops, art exhibitions, Indian dances, literary and film evenings, stand-up comedy, graffiti workshops, DJ sessions and more, with food and craft beer to go along with music that ranges from jazz and acoustic to rock, metal, and trap. Tickets at €5, things happen at the Centre of Slavic Cultures France Prešeren, and details are here.

The Ljubljana Festival, which continues until 5 September and has a packed programme of world-class concert, opera, and ballet events – see more here. This Thursday you can hear Schubert, Schumann and Strauss being played by Alena Baeva on the violin and Vadim Kolodenko at the piano at the National Gallery; while on Friday Križanke will host Il Terzo Suono, a baroque ensemble playing Vivaldi, Tartini and Telemann on period instruments. 

Thursday, at Kavarna Plato, Ajdovščina 1 (on end of Slovenska cesta, not far from Nebotičnik) there’s also free open-air salsa, starting 20:00. Same same, but different, every Friday, 20:30, there’ll be free live jazz in Stari trg (Old Town Square).

The Summer in Ljubljana Old Town goes on until 28 August. This presents classical concerts, many of which are free, in the churches, inner courtyards and squares in the old city centre. The programme is here. Running until 1 September is the Mini Theatre’s season for children and young people, with details here.

That said, if you're in town you really should visit Ljubljana Market - it's small, varied and offers fresh fruit, vegetables, local specialities, snacks and souvenirs, while being next to many other sights. Learn more about it here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Volčji Potok Arboretum (Volčji Potok 3) has a rose garden in bloom until 31 August, nature permitting.

I took a trip to the Botanical Garden a few week's ago, a short or cycle upriver from the centre. I know nothing about plants but I like them, took a camera and had a good time. All the outside part is free to enter, and there’s a small café with ice cream, coffee and beer.

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JL Flanner

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

While the Old Town is quaint, and full of music, where does Ljubljana really shop? One popular answer is BTC City, a vast complex of malls, entertainment facilities and more, including more than 70 different food vendors, offering everything from Slovenian to Thai, Indian to Italian, Mexican to Chinese. Check out my recent visit here.

Looking for something different to eat? Trubajeva cesta, running right by Dragon Bridge, has the greatest concentration of "ethnic food" places in Ljubljana, and thus perhaps the country. Check out our walk through guide as of June 2019.

JL Flanner Trubarjeva cest ethnic food june 2019.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

Ljubljana is forecast to be the fastest-warming city in the world over the next few decades.


Contents

Cinemas and films

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'

Good Boys is not a children’s film – don’t take the kids

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.

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Looking for a souvenir you'll really enjoy? Take a look at Broken Bones Gin, the first gin made in Ljubljana (learn more here, and try it at the Central Market or selected downtown bars).

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Clubbing

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 Bar80s and 90s throwback nights can often be found here, along with rock-based DJ sets.

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Live music

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.

CvetličarnaRegional 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 CastleJazz, 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 filharmonijaClassical 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.

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See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

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.

Mini Teater Ljubljana –The English schedule of varied performances, for adults and children, for the month is here.

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.

Pocket Teater Studio– There are regular flamenco evenings at perhaps the smallest venue town, but note that the number of seats is very limited, and thus you should make a reservation via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 070 325 522.

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Harm reduction and drug testing

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.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

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.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – The season sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatre not far from Križanke. The English schedule for the month is here.

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - The puppet theatre near the Central Market and next to the Castle funicular has a full programme or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Vice meets Žižek in Ljubljana. If you want to see more of the most successful writer who lives in Ljubljana, click here

LGBT+ Ljubljana

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.

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Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard

Ljubljana Castle

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 Castlehere, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums and galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.

Looking to buy some high end, big name local art from a trusted gallery? Check out our look at Sloart.

Cankerjev dom – On until 3 March 2020 there's an exhibition on Ancient Greek Science and Technology. Details here.

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here.

Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here. On until 25 September is Treasures from Russian Museums, an exhibition showcasing more than 80 Russian icons from leading Russian museums. Also on until 15 September can see the results of the archaeological research of Gosposvetska cesta, Slovenska cesta, Prešernova cesta, Erjavčeva cesta, Tribuna, Križanke, Dalmatinova ulica, Vegova ulica (KGBL) and the area of the University of Ljubljana. Especially interesting for those who know the city.

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The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner

International Centre of Graphic Art  – The 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts runs until 29 September. It's called Crack Up – Crack Down, and is curated by the collective Slavs and Tartars, with a focus satire and the graphic arts. Learn more here.

Jakopič Gallery – Until 29 September you can see the photographs of Lucien Hervé in a show called Geometry of Light

Ljubljana Castle on until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title. There's also the Parallel Worlds of Alan Hranitelj runs on until September 8, showing the work of the acclaimed costume designer. Until 15 September you can see Jelka Reichman’s illustrations from the picture book Twelve Elephants, written by Leopold Suhodolčan (free admission).

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. On until 19 September is a show called Creators, on contemporary Slovenian fashion and textile design, which is being promoted with the following image.

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Photo: Urša Premik

Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement. Opening Thursday, April 25th, 20:00, The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 1929–1941, which then runs until September 15th 2019. This offers “an overview of painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film from the time the king's dictatorship was set up (6 January 1929) to the beginning of World War II on Yugoslav soil (April 1941)” - you can read more about it here. The museum's Metelkova branch also has a big new show, runing until at least September 2019, an the art of the Non-Aligned Movement, with an example shown below. Until September 15 you can also enjoy Maja Hodošček, a video artist you “explores social relations through the politics of exchange and collaboration; in particular, she is interested in speculative models of representation in relation to the documentary.”

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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

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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 hereThe 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.

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JL Flanner

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.

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Photo: JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. Running until 3 November is Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture. With sculptures from the collection of the Santarelli family in Rome, ranging from the age of the Roman Empire to that of neoclassicism. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

Natural History Museum – On until the end of December 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.

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 Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture - see below

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, in addition to its permanent collection and until 29 September there also a retrospective on the photographer Edi Šelhaus, which is being promoted with the following image.

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Photo: Edi Šelhaus

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). From April 18 until October 19 (2019) you can also see a show calledShamanism of the Peoples of Siberia, from the Russian Museum of Ethnography, Saint Petersburg. The place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova. You can read about this fascinating show here. On until September 15 is Petra Šink: The circle between design and nature, in which the award-winning designer takes visitors through the life cycle of useful products for the home which are made from natural biodegradable fungal materials.

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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.

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Vžigalica Gallery – If you’re curious about the man who commissioned that Melania Trump sculpture, then you can see more of activities here, in a show called Brad Downey: This Echo.

Volčji Potok Arboretum - Running until 3 November you can see a large collection of cacti here.

It's not a formal museum, but if you're interested in "Yugo-stalgia" then you'll enjoy a trip to Verba, a small, privately run space that's crammed with objects and pop culture items from the era, and is conveniently located at the start of one of the short walks to the castle. It's also a great place to take pictures, if you leave a donation, and you can read more about it here.

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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.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

For something a little more brual, check out Republika trg / Republic Square, in the heart of the political quarter.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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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.

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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,

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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.

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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.

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Nataraja Studio

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. We go to Nataraja Studio, by Dragon Bridge, and here's a story about it.

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.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

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.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

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.

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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.

Emergencies

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.

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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.

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23 Aug 2019, 16:18 PM

The European Commission and the EU27 have been working to increase the level of protection of social security entitlements provided by the EU contingency regulation in a no deal Brexit. This includes a unilateral coordinated contingency approach to be applied to all insured persons whose entitlements relate to the United Kingdom before the withdrawal date. Beyond this, the EU27 Member States can choose to unilaterally apply the principle of aggregation to periods of work, insurance and residence in the United Kingdom after the withdrawal or to take further unilateral measures. Based on input from Member States, the Commission has put together an overview of national measures in the area of social security coordination (PDF).

With regard to Slovenia, in brief, the country will continue to guarantee rights currently regulated within the social security coordination until the end of 2020. The rights will be granted to the UK nationals under the condition of reciprocity. Answers to specific questions are shown below, and remember that these are in the event of a no deal Brexit:

Will old-age pensions based on pre-withdrawal periods continue to be exported to the UK? Yes.

Will existing EU rules continue to be applied to reimbursement requests* pending on withdrawal date? (*By Slovenia towards the UK, concerning healthcare costs or costs related to unemployment benefits for frontier workers.) Yes.

Will existing EU rules continue to be applied to post-withdrawal reimbursement requests* for costs for pre-withdrawal medical treatments? (*New claims involving the UK and dealt with Slovenia.)  Yes.

Will existing EU rules continue to be applied to costs for planned/necessary medical treatment ongoing on withdrawal date and that could not be interrupted? Yes.

Will existing EU rules continue to be applied to post-withdrawal reimbursement requests for unemployment benefits provided by the UK pre-withdrawal to UK-residing frontier workers working in an EU27 Member State? Yes.

Will it be possible to export cash benefits to the UK (other than old-age pensions) that are based on pre- withdrawal situations? (a) sickness, (b) maternity/paternity, (c) invalidity, (d) survivors’, (e) accidents at work and occupational diseases, (f) unemployment, (g) pre-retirement, (h) family benefits. Yes, for all pensions. Other benefits during the grace period (until the end of 2020) and under the reciprocity principle.

Will a UK insured person residing in Slovenia still be provided with healthcare on the same conditions as EU citizens? If not, under what conditions? Yes, if they join the national healthcare scheme, and you can read the British Embassy’s guidance on healthcare cover if the UK leaves the EU without a deal here.

Under what conditions will UK nationals lawfully resident in Slovenia enjoy social security benefits under national law? The same as nationals during the grace period (until the end of 2020).

For pension purposes, will you continue to take into account (aggregate) post-withdrawal periods of insurance, work or residence in the UK? Yes, during the grace period (until the end of 2020).

If you’d like to compare these answers to those for other countries then you can find the full report here. If you’re interested in what happens to EU nationals in the UK, you can learn more here.

For more information on Brexit, the best sources are the official sources. The Slovenian government has it’ own site (in English) on Brexit here, while the British Embassy’s current advice can be found here, you can sign up for email alerts here, and follow the Ambassador and her team on Facebook. All our posts on Brexit are here.

23 Aug 2019, 10:20 AM

STA, 23 August 2019 - Over 150 pop folk songs by the Avsenik Brothers Ensemble will be played from Friday to Sunday at a festival centred around the heritage of the legendary Avsenik brothers.

The Avsenik Festival (details) will be held for the fifth time in Begunje na Gorenjskem, the hometown of musicians Slavko Avsenik (1929-2015) and Vilko Ovsenik (1928-2017).

It is expected to attract more than 4,000 visitors, mostly from German-speaking European countries, but also from the US and Canada.

The festival was first organised in 2013 in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Avsenik Brothers Ensemble, an Oberkrainer polka band of world renown.

This year it will remember 90 years since the births of Vilko Ovsenik and Slavko Avsenik.

A special slot will also be dedicated to the Sašo Avsenik Ensemble, which was formed by Slavko Avsenik's grandson Sašo in 2008.

The Avseniks' music will be played by musicians from Slovenia and abroad. The festival will open with musicians from abroad, also featuring Takeo Ischi, an acclaimed Japanese yodeler from Germany.

The Avsenik Brothers Ensemble boasts more than 1,000 songs of their own, so if all were to be played, the festival would have to last much longer than three days.

"Only a seventh of all songs will be played. Playing all of them would prolong the festival to three weeks, and to over a month with all the cover versions included," its artistic director Gregor Avsenik, Slavko Avsenik's son, told the press a few days before the festival.

More than 20,000 visitors have visited it since it was first organised six years ago as an annual event, which later turned into a biannual festival.

"There are many visitors who return every year, and also many who stay all three days," said chief organiser Nataša Farkaš.

As one of the biggest pop folk music events in Slovenia, the festival is also important for tourism around the town of Radovljica in the mountainous north-west.

The local tourist board has thus come up with an accompanying programme offering a number of sight-seeing tours.

Festival-goers will thus have an opportunity to visit some of the places which had a major impact on the Avsenik brothers' music, including Golica, a peak which gave the name to one of their most famous instrumental songs.

Related: A short guide to Slovenian oompah music

22 Aug 2019, 11:24 AM

STA, 22 August 2019 - The annual Tartini Festival, dedicated to the Piran-born Italian Baroque composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, will get under way with a performance by international ensemble Il Terzo Suono at the Piran St. George's Parish Church on Thursday evening.

This year, the international music festival will be held in Piran and Koper until 8 September, with its final performance being hosted in Padua on 12 September.

The opening performance will include musical compositions by maestros such as Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Tartini and Baldassare Galuppi.

Il Terzo Suono will give another performance next week, being joined on stage by Mario Brunello, an Italian cellist who is the first and only Italian so far to have won the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition.

He has worked with numerous acclaimed orchestral conductors and ensembles.

One of the festival's highlights will also be a performance by French pianist Pierre-Laurent Boucharlat, bringing the music of Camille de Saint-Saens and Claude Debussy to Tartini House, the birthplace of the renowned violinist and composer, in Tartini Square.

The popular Italian chamber orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, the festival's regular guest, will perform at the Piran Minorite Monastery.

RELATED: How to Spend Four to 48 Hours in Piran

The orchestra has given more than 6,000 concerts in over 90 countries and has participated in the most acclaimed international festivals.

The monastery will also see a duo performance by Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovšek and Japanese harpsichordist Masumi Yamamoto as well as a performance by the Salzburger Mozart Consort.

The festival, honouring Tartini as well as composers inspired by his art, will also present young talent at Tartini Junior concerts.

More details on the festival can be found here

21 Aug 2019, 17:14 PM

People living in Slovenia will now be able to use UPS Worldwide Express Freight and UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday, giving greater access to the firm’s smart global logistics network for urgent shipments weighing over 70kg. As Daniel Carrera, President UPS East Europe, said in the related press release:

Our customers come to UPS because they know that we can offer the service they need to ship products to their customers worldwide, whether it fits in an envelope or on a pallet. Businesses that export tend to be more profitable, and this enhancement will offer companies of all sizes more options to reach their customers wherever they are. UPS’s smart global logistics network moves 3% of the world’s GDP every day, and this latest enhancement in Slovenia is part of the company’s commitment to providing our customers with the tools they need to grow.

UPS Worldwide Express Freight provides international delivery of palletized loads weighing over 70kg within one to three business days, depending on destination, to around 50 nations (see more here). For shipments that need more speed, UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday promises delivery by noon of 14:00 to certain areas in over 30 countries and territories (details).

All our stories on logistics in Slovenia are here

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