Ljubljana related

03 Aug 2020, 14:17 PM

STA, 3 August 2020 - During the past few years public orchards have been planted across Ljubljana in the desire to make fruit available to locals from midsummer to autumn and create a pleasant environment for bees. Alas, the orchards have often been a target of vandalism and are not thriving as planned, according to the city.

Most of the orchards were planted near urban community gardens in Ljubljana, however the process has been slowed down due to vandalism. The city authorities will carry on planning and planting the orchards when the existing trees are old enough to bear fruit.

The orchards were meant to be venues promoting food self-sufficiency and for educational activities, for example pruning workshops.

The first orchard was created in autumn 2015, featuring 128 trees, only to be vandalised three times in 2016. No saplings survived the incidents unscathed. Young trees in most of the orchards are not developing as planned due to acts of vandalism, said the city.

The saplings are either uprooted and stolen or damaged. Ljubljana has replaced all the missing or broken saplings and reported the damage to the police, but the perpetrators remain unknown.

Last year and this year so far no saplings were hurt as the city imposed deterrent measures, including traffic warden patrols and campaigns raising awareness about the need to respect public space.

A total of some 600 fruit-bearing trees have been planted in Ljubljana so far, most notably trees producing apples, pears, plums, but also rarer types of fruit, such as persimmons, medlars, and quinces.

The trees will require a few years to develop their final size and bear fruit, but they are also hardier than those in modern orchards and need no support.

03 Aug 2020, 11:49 AM

STA, 3 August 2020 - A festival starting on Monday evening will bring contemporary circus, an art form rarely seen in Slovenia, to Ljubljana this week. The 13th international Klovnbuf Festival will feature both Slovenian and foreign artists, and focus on the art of juggling, the organisers say.

Apart from acclaimed artists, the festival will also present some up-and-coming Slovenian and Slovak performers. The best foreign productions which cannot be performed live because of the coronavirus will be screened on-line at the Metelkova museum platform.

In the opening show this evening entitled What Have I Found in the Attic, Slovenian dancer Ana Lekše, who works at the Youth Circus in Leuven, Belgium, will show her mastery of aerial rope at the Stara Elektrarna (Old Power Station), the main venue of the festival.

On Tuesday, two young Slovenian artists, Luka Piletić and Jan Podbrežnik, will explore the difficult questions artists ask themselves during the creative process.

Slovakian circus and performance artist Roman Škadra will present circus as a potentially joyful, yet endlessly futile endeavour in a humorist and metaphoric show Absurd Hero on Thursday.

A highlight of the festival according to the organisers will be an award-winning performance Tangram, featuring juggling master from Belgium Stefan Sing and a ballerina, Cristiana Casadio from Italy.

The weekend part of the festival will be held outdoors at the Metelkova museum platform, and near-by parks.

On Saturday, Branko Potočan and Jana Menger, the founders of the Fourklor physical theatre will offer an overview of their joint dance history in the show entitled Down Memory Lane.

The festival will close with performances by young Slovenian artists and juggling concert Mismo Nismo featuring Tjaž Juvan, Oton Korošec, Eva Zibler, who combine contemporary circus and improvisation with various art genres and formats.

The last day will be reserved for children, featuring The Lion with a Grey Beard by Zavod Bufeto & EX-teater, and several other performances held at Špica Park and Tabor Park.

All events will be admission free.

The website is here, and the programme is below

MONDAY, 3rd August

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8:00 PM

work-in-progress

What have I found in the Attic

Ana Lekše (SI)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

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8:30 PM

talk back

Ana Lekše

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

​​

TUESDAY, 4th August

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8:00 PM

work-in-progress

!

Luka Piletič & Jan Podbrežnik (SI)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

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8:45 PM

talk back

Luka Piletič & Jan Podbrežnik

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

 

THURSDAY, 6th August

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8:00 PM

work-in-progress

Absurd Hero

Roman Škadra (SK)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

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9:00 PM

talk back

Roman Škadra

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

FRIDAY, 7th August

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4:00 - 7:00 PM

workshop

Walking Globe

Roman Škadra (SK)

@ Zavod Salesianum OE SKALA

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

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8:30 PM

Tangram

Stefan Sing & Cristiana Casadio (DE, IT)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

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10:00 PM

public screening

Smashed

Gandini Juggling (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

SATURDAY, 8th August

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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

workshop

Organic Juggling meets Dance

Stefan Sing & Cristiana Casadio (DE, IT)

@ Zavod Salesianum OE SKALA

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

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8:30 PM

Down Memory Lane

Branko Potočan & Jana Menger (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

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10:00 PM

public screening

Queen Have & Miss Haven't

Thick & Tight (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

SUNDAY, 9th August

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11:00 AM

The Lion with a Grey Beard

Zavod Bufeto & EX-teater (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

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11:00 AM

Labyrinth

Laboratorij Bufeto & Teatro Matita (SI)

@ Špica Park

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12:00 PM

Duo Terasa

Globus Hystericus (SI)

@ Špica Park

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6:00 PM

Labyrinth

Laboratorij Bufeto & Teatro Matita (SI)

@ Tabor Park

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7:15 PM

Duo Terasa

Globus Hystericus (SI)

@ Tabor Park

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7:30 PM

Old & Bold

Tolpa Lutkalica (SI)

@ Tabor Park

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8:30 PM

Juggling Concert

Mismo Nismo (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

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10:00 PM

public screening

Shorts by Thick & Tight:

Engel

Edd Arnold, Thick & Tight (UK)

Soup

Harry Alexander, Thick & Tight (UK)

Empire

Vidya Patel, Thick & Tight (UK)

Pomp

Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

​​

FREE ENTRANCE FOR ALL EVENTS

DONATIONS ARE WELCOME

07 Jul 2020, 10:39 AM

STA, 7 July 2020 - The Ljubljana city council has confirmed changes to the municipal spatial plan for a former industrial area in the borough of Vič, where a residential complex is planned to be built. Several councillors have raised the issue of the investors including Mihael Karner, a Slovenian who is wanted by the US.

The council confirmed the project in a 21:15 vote on Monday to transform the site of the former Tovil factory in the south-western borough into a complex featuring 140 apartments, including up to 60 assisted living apartments.

The approximate location of the project

www.state.gov Mihael Karner.JPG

state.gov

The main investor in the Urban Oasis project is entrepreneur Mihael Karner, who is being sought by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with an international warrant for alleged distribution and import of anabolic steroids and money laundering.

Gregor Slabe of the Democrats said he was convinced that the US services were monitoring today's session and that they would certainly make a record of which councillors had endorsed Karner's project.

"The US is requesting extradition of Karner, his wife and brother. Since you failed to support our proposal to withdraw this disputable item from the agenda, you will be the ones held responsible for international diplomatic consequences," he added.

Igor Horvat (SDS) noted that, according to the media, the investors were companies which had not had any revenue recently, and no employees. He added that the plan's approval might jeopardise Slovenia's international reputation.

There is concern that Ljubljana will only get another construction pit, said Ksenija Sever, also of the SDS. "The investors will get loans, sell apartments, and then vanish, so that taxpayers can pay for another banking hole."

Asta Vrečko of the Left added that the investors were problematic and that the "municipality is doing favours to very disputable companies".

Vice Mayor Aleš Čerin, who chaired the session due to the absence of Mayor Zoran Janković, who is in quarantine after having a contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, said that the spatial plan was not about an individual investor, but spatial planning.

"Nowhere is written that the gentlemen you spoke about will be the actual investors", he said, adding that they were Slovenian citizens who had no criminal record in Slovenia.

18 Jun 2020, 12:37 PM

STA, 18 June 2020 - Ljubljana is to get a regular passenger boat line on the Ljubljanica river before the end of this year, a city official has announced according to a Delo report on Thursday.

Initially operating in test mode, the 101 river line will have six stops, the planned starting or final stops being the Grain Bridge (Žitni Most) on the edges of the city centre and Livada, south of the city centre, the newspaper report says.

Ljubljana passenger boat map.JPG

The approximate end points of the route, market in red

According to the head of municipal department for economic activities and transport David Polutnik, who announced the test line during question and answers time in town hall, the line will be subject to exactly the same regime as the city's bus network, meaning it will be possible to pay with the Urbana bus card at 1.30 euros a ride.

The boat will be available once per hour on the hour between 7am and 6pm during weekdays and between 9am and 8pm during the weekend.

The project has been planned for some time and was originally meant to be launched on 1 May, but has been delayed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The line will be operated by the city's public transport company LPP, which will use a boat that has already been running a commercial line on the river. Other boat owners have already expressed interest as well.

Related, but NOT the service in this story: See the Charms of Ljubljana from a New Angle with a Barka Boat Ride

12 Jun 2020, 11:10 AM

STA, 12 June 2020 - The Golovec tunnel, located on the south-eastern section of the Ljubljana ring road, was partially closed down today for renovation that is expected to take two months.

National motorway company DARS, which entrusted the tunnel's renovation to Slovenian builder Kolektor CGP for EUR 8.56 million VAT excluded, first closed down the western tube of the tunnel.

All traffic will be redirected to the eastern tube, which is scheduled for renovation next year, but the tunnel will be off limit to vehicles heavier than 3.5 tonnes. Traffic will be organised in a 1+2 fashion, with the number of south- or north-bound lanes adjusting to the needs.

DARS representatives have described the project as very important and demanding, since this is one of the most heavily used sections of the Ljubljana ring road.

Details of the work, in Slovenian, can be found here

01 Jun 2020, 13:59 PM

Open Kitchen culinary market (Odprta kuhna), an indispensable part of Ljubljana city life in the warmer months, is finally returning to Pogačarjev trg, by the central marketplace, in Ljubljana.

Due to the prolonged  hibernation that was caused by the new coronavirus and related lockdown, Open Kitchen is coming back twice a week: food stalls accompanied by excellent wines, beer, cocktails and other beverages will be available every Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm and Friday from 10 am to 10 pm.

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The decision to expand the event to Thursdays is not just to make up for lost time, but is also a safety measure, avoiding too many people visiting on a single day.

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Open Kitchen founders Alma and Lior Kochavy believe that because of the event’s tradition of good vibes on the part of caterers and visitors alike, there should be no problems with regard to the observation of the new rules of distancing and hygiene, adding that they remain committed to sustainability. All disposable utensils (plates, cutlery, napkins, straws) will be made of biodegradable materials.

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The most obvious changes will be a greater distance between the stands and tables, which will also be regularly disinfected. Hand sanitizer will be available at all stalls, and for the first time the possibility of card payment will be introduced. As this is an open-air market, the use of masks for visitors is not mandatory.

003 Odprta kuhna.jpg

 

05 May 2020, 20:05 PM

Last summer there seemed to be real movement on the planned IKEA store in Ljubljana’s BTC City, but seasoned observers knew it wasn’t worth delaying the purchase of a bookshelf, sofa or lamp, that they should continue to source alternative meatballs and buy their own pencils and tape measures.

The first reports of the Swedish furniture giant setting up shop on the sunny side of the alps came in 2014, although Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković later claimed that talks began in 2005. The story then dragged on for years, with the opening always about 18 months away, after just this last bureaucratic hurdle was jumped.

There was thus no great excitement in June 2019 when it was reported that IKEA had finally obtained the permits needed to start construction, since the same story noted an ongoing dispute about an access road and that the store would open, as usual, in about 18 months.

But the long wait for affordable Swedish design in a big box setting – some 15 years according to Mayor Janković – will soon be over. As the following videos show, the building, façade and roof are now completed. The work is now focused on interior installations and external elements, including the distinctive IKEA navigation tower, and is being carried out under full corona conditions.

Take a look inside with Cas Lachaert, Market Manager, IKEA Slovenia. Two drone videos are shown below that give a good idea of the scale of the project in BTC City

In summary, the place is 34,000m2, will offer 9,500 products and have 52 room settings, while the restaurant will serve both Swedish and Slovenian food – perhaps a klobasa? Plants will be on the roof along with solar panels that should provide most of the power the store needs, making Ljubljana’s IKEA one of the greenest in the world.

No word yet on the opening date, but sometime in the autumn seems certain, in just over 18 weeks.

04 May 2020, 10:03 AM

In this short  (we hope) series before things re-open, we’re looking at what things local tourist offices want to promote for their town or region, starting with the capital. If you’re a tourist office and would like a similar, free-of-charge story for your area, please get in touch me with me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., subject Virtual Tourism + PLACE NAME, and let me know why people should be planning a visit, plus links to anything you want to promote.

People can’t travel now, but they can daydream and plan, so we got in touch with Nina Kosin at Ljubljana Tourism to find out what she’d recommend. She wanted to highlight four broad areas of what Ljubljana offers visitors and residents – a green, active city, vibrant culinary scene, wealth of museums and galleries to explore, and tours and trips to take within the city or nearby. There's a lot of videos, so relax, let them load and start planning your next trip Slovenia.

A green and active city

In 2016 Ljubljana won the title of European Green Capital, a fact that will come as no surprise to anyone who knows the city, with its trees and parks, large pedestrianised area, good public transport, clean flowing river and many, many cyclists. This year the city is tying this clean, green and active image even more closely to its tourist offer, with a clear focus on active holidays.

Cycling in Ljubljana

If you want to on a bike to explore the city like a local then you can easily rent one from the Biciklj system or the tourist centre – with four hours free if you have a Ljubljana Tourist Card – which also offers entrance to city and national museums and galleries, free public transport, a boat ride, trip to the castle, wi-fi and more.

By bike you can follow a one of several thematic routes through the city, take a tour or just explore your interests – with the Castle and river as easy reference points to find you way so you’re in no danger of getting lost.

If you prefer to cycle away from the streets, then Ljubljana Bike Park and the hill known as Golovec offer mountain bike trails to bounce along, while there are also pump tracks in the Spodnja Šiška, Bežigrad and Fužine districts. In short, if you’re looking for a city break that’s good on two wheels then consider Ljubljana – and if you want to see more of the country, then take a look at the Bike Slovenia Green tours that can take you from the mountains of Kranjska Gora to the coast of Koper.

Hiking in Ljubljana

Of course, not everyone feels comfortable on two wheels, so it’s good that Ljubljana is small enough to enjoy on foot, with many paths to hike or jog along through nature if you want to get more exercise and pump more of the city’s fresh air into your lungs. Simply head to Castle Hill or Tivoli Park and then up to Rožnik Hill for a commanding views the city in a forest. These two forested areas are quickly reached from the centre of town, and throughout the year offer residents and visitors a green escape into the wonders of nature.

Running in the city is fun, with lanes and bridges, hills and forests

Further from the centre there’s the more extensive Šmarna gora, while if you’d like to get out of the city then there are numerous hiking trails nearby with different levels of difficulty and landscapes to enjoy – the official details are here.

If mobility is an issue, then don’t worry – Ljubljana is an increasingly accessible city with ramps and facilities for people with disabilities, as well as a free electric vehicle (an electric kavilir) to move you around. A great app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair also highlights 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.

Food and drink in Ljubljana

With all that movement you’ll be hungry, and when Ljubljana reopens there should be plenty to eat, which is why Nina Kosin of Ljubljana Tourism recommends adding the city’s culinary scene to the reasons you’ll be making a visit.

Slovenian cuisine has been on a steep rise the last few years, with Ana Roš, food & wine tourism, farmers markets, and festivals building on each other to spread the word and create the networks needed to connect producers with consumers.

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If you want to cook Slovenian food, then I recommend taking a look at the Cook Eat Slovenia book – beautiful produced, with clear recipes that cover all seasons and regions. Here’s the recipe for potica.

Gault & Millau published their first guide to a Slovenia in 1998, Michelin’s book is set to be released late 2020, and Ljubljana Tourism have put together their own list of restaurants with the “Ljubljana Quality Mark”, along with some recommended places to sample traditional Ljubljana dishes, artisanal products, and even international food (details here).

Whatever your budget, you’ll want to check out are the excellent central market, where you can pick up everything you need for a picnic from local farmers and producers – and perhaps find yourself shopping next to a top chef or two. If in town on a Friday in the warmer months then a must visit is Open Kitchen, which from 11am till late has stalls selling food and drink from some of the best restaurants in the city, and certainly has the most variety in one place.

Museums, galleries and performances in Ljubljana

OK, that’s movement and food, now to consider art and culture, with Ljubljana’s museums and galleries offering very manageable collections of artworks and artifacts from around the country and all over the world. Whether you prefer natural history or contemporary art, ceramics or science and technology, puppets or Roman remains, the city has more than enough variety to keep you entertained, educated and enlightened.

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The city has everything from sacred art at the national Gallery..... (Photo: JL Flanner)

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...to more colourful shows, like this from the Japanese artist Saeborg at Galerija vzigalica (photo from the gallery website)

If you prefer your art live then you’re also spoiled for choice in Ljubljana. Classical music, opera, ballet, pop, rock, electronic, jazz, folk and so on, as well as a vibrant street performance scene, mean you can easily take in a show from local or international names, with all the major venues in the heart of the city. When things reopen, we’ll start our regular what’s on in Ljubljana guides again, so you can plan your trip – here are all the previous editions if you want to see what’s usually in town.

How well do you know the city? Test your knowledge with 25 things to know about the green city of dragons

Tours in Ljubljana

So that’s green, active, culinary and cultural– what else did Nina Kosin recommend? That would be the experiences you can have in Ljubljana. While most of these will be the ones you make yourself on the streets and in the buildings of the city – which is small and welcoming enough that you’ll feel at home by your second day – you can always go on a more organised endeavour and be more certain of the outcome. There are (usually) many tours on offer, with focuses on history, architecture, food, wine, beer, street art and more. The city itself promotes these tours, but there are many others available in a competitive market.

Here’s Martin, an official tour guide, filming himself giving a tour during lockdown

All of this, and a lot more, is waiting for you in Ljubljana when travel is possible again, and you’re looking for a clean, green and active place to escape from wherever you are now.

If you’re a tourist office and would like to a similar story for your area, please get in touch me with me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., subject Virtual Tourism + PLACE NAME, and let me know why people should be planning a visit.

25 Mar 2020, 11:33 AM

A short film by Danilo Milovanović, made during the pubic shutdown dealing with the coronavirus epidemic, shows how Bosnian workers continue to work 10-hour shifts at various constructions sites in the centre of Ljubljana, from Trubarjeva to Gregorčičeva. In the film, with English subtiteles, you can learn about their concerns. 

WORKING CLASS IN THE TIME OF A PANDEMIC from dnlmlvnvc on Vimeo.

 

08 Mar 2020, 09:00 AM

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.

Jump to listings

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.

Engineering Survey Shows 5 Apartment Blocks in Downtown Ljubljana Should Be Pulled Down

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.

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

Jump to listings

 How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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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.


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'.

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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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.

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

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.

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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 Slovenska cesta, 1968. Wikimedia. 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

Alcoholics Anonymous has an English language meeting every Tuesday, 19:00 in Poljane – email for more details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

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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.

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In warmer days than you'll see this week. Photo: JL Flanner

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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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 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 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.

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.

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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. Until 10 May you can see History of the Future. Archetypes of Plečnik's architecture – summarising the ideas of selected Plečnik works.

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 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.

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

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Drink like a pro - find gallery openings. Photo: JL Flanner

Galerija KapelicaEirik Brandal: Electonic sculpture is on until 17 March, with the promotional image shown below.

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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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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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.

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'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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Why would anyone want to eat Dinner in the Dark? Learn more about this unique experience in Ljubljana 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, which usually run until the first snow.

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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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