Ljubljana related

17 Mar 2019, 08:17 AM

Something that restarts this Friday, March 22, and a real sign the tourist season is set to begin, is Open Kitchen. This takes place each week in the marketplace between the river and Cathedral, and sees dozens of stalls from the city's restaurants selling hot food and cold drinks for lunch, through the afternoon, and a relatively early dinner. Even if you're not hungry it's worth visiting for the sights, sounds and aromas. Read our interview with the co-founder here, and find out what's on the menu this year.

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Photo: Špela Verbič Miklič (PEPERMINT)

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Want to learn more about the city’s architecture? Check out our review of a book that includes photos, maps, plans, walking tours and more. Feeling uptight, want a legit massage and don’t feel like leaving your home, office or hotel? Then consider a mobile massage here (and – again – it’s legit) from the same team behind the Sense Wellness Spas.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (March 18 – 24, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is continuing the documentary festival this week, and also has a Francophone one, and is showing, among other titles Days of Madness, My Last Year as a Loser (in Slovene, with French subs), Faces Places, Colette, Vision, Maria by Callas, I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians and What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is also part of the documentary and Francophone festivals, and the programme includes Dead Souls, Lucy, The Wild Blue Yonder, Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski, Le livre d'image, and La chute de l'empire américain.

Kino Bežigrad - Here you can see the Queen’s Corgi and Captain Marvel.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big titles, but note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones may only be playing once or twice a week. Click on the theatre name to see the actual times before making a date. New this week are Creed II and Yao, while starting Wednesday is Us. Continuing are Captain Marvel (2D and 3D), Colette, Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Green Book, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Escape Room, Lego Film 2, Cold Pursuit, Alita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, Happy Death Day 2U, Instant Family, Mia et le lion blanc, a dubbed version of Liliane Susewind, Replicas, Izbrisana, and a dubbed version of The Queen’s Corgi.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Colette, Green Book, Yao and Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?

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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.

Channel Zero – Saturday, March 23, there’s DeepEnd! x DubLab - chapter XII. w. RDG, a Sound System event with a line-up of RDG (Circle Vision, All Out Dubstep), Kanomotis (DeepEnd!), CLZ (DeepEnd!), RawLand (DeepEnd!) and VJ 5237 SI.

Gala Hala – Friday there’s a techno all-nighter called Versus: Shekuza / Splinterhouse. Saturday you can then enjoy Bollywood & Bhangra Night with DJ Shanti Priya and DJ Borsan.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial side of klubland, which doesn’t itself too seriously, has an all-nighter on Friday called Crazy Cirkus x Avadox - supported by CHRNS, playing festival anthems & party hits. Saturday, another all-night affair – as most club events are in Ljubljana – is Best of R’n’B (and hip hop) with DJ Martee.

Klub K4 – More than three decades in and the klub at Kersnikova 4 (hence K4) has two nights this week. Friday is UK4 Garage: Enchanted Rhythms. Saturday things take a darker turn with Temnica, with DJs Dojaja (Kvalitat) and Nulla Nitz (Synaptic Crew), a techno event.

Orto Bar – Friday there’s a DJ all-night party that takes you back to the 1980s, with the tunes lined up by the 80s Crew.

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Live music

Božidar – Thursday, 20:00 to 01:00, there’s Jazz klub Mezzoforte.

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, March 19, there’s a concert by the pianist Uri Caine. No idea what he’ll be playing, and he can play it all, but below there’s a show from him below.

Cvetličarna – Friday Bajaga & Instruktori have a show marking 35 years in the business.

Channel Zero – Sunday, March 24, there’s Belgium’s THOT.

Kino Šiška – Tuesday Zabranjeno pušenje are another band this week marking 35 years. Wednesday it’s the turn of Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers. Thursday the Icelandic post-metal band Sólstafir take the stage.

Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s melodic death / groove / thrash metal from Darkfall and Ashine.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – Tuesday night there’s live punk at the dirty end of Trubarjeva, where we call home, with Oi Polloi and Open Veins.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night, and this week it’s from the Mirna Bogdanović Group.

Orto Bar – Thursday night Kadilnica of Death is presenting more metal with Dickless Tracy, Sarcom, and Morbid Creation. Saturday you can then see Mookie, a Pearl Jam tribute band.

Slovenska filharmonija – Tuesday the Josef Suk Piano Quartet are playing (butnot four pianos).

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Opera, theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom - It’s some way off, but Eddie Izzard is playing here April 14.

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 – Saturday and Sunday you can see a new show, Alien Express: Second Flight.

Klub Gromka – Thursday night one of my favourite shows is back on stage here, the techno burlesque of Tatovi podob / Image Snatchers, starting 21:00.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet - A new Slovenian opera called Koda L is playing here Tuesdau, Thursday, Fridau and Saturday.

Pocket Teater Studio – Carlos Pascual has a new show at the smallest theatre in town, and perhaps the most independent. Called Border Love, it’s playing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and may already be sold out. If you’d like to see flamenco dance and music here next week, on Friday March 29 (Brexit Day, perhaps), then act fast. Details are here, and note that the number of seats is very limited, so 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. The price of ticket is 20€ or 15€ for students, and includes wine throughout the evening.

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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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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.

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week Ghetto Vanessa (DE) + Bojler, and Playboi Cati, playing bass, club, dancehall, afrobeat, dembow and rap.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00, and Tuesday, 19:00, there’s a talk on sex and drugs

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums and galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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 has an exhibition entitled “Encounters in Visual Art” introduces works of selected visual artists, painters and sculptors, who define today's art scene in Hungary and Slovenia, as promoted with the image below. Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

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Cankerjev dom – Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens (in Slovene, English and other languages) from The Newspaper Museum, while there are also some architectural models and plans on display.

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.

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

City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.

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Photo: JL Flanner

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Starting March 22 and running until May 19 is Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s and Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration. One of the images promoting the show is shown below.

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Kosuke Kimura: Present Situation – Existence A, colour and silkscreen, 1971.

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water.

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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

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it). 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 above.

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Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

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Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018. Mr Pregl was recently voted "worse than Hitler" on Twitter.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

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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maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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10 Mar 2019, 10:39 AM

Spring’s almost here and the chairs outside cafés and bars are starting to fill up again, giving you the chance to sit and watch the life of the city unfold before deciding to re-enter the stream. One indoor event to consider this week is the 21st Documentary Film Festival (13 – 20), this year's produced in cooperation with Amnesty International and featuring a Werner Herzog Retrospective. More details are in the cinema section, below, while the programme is here.

Want to practice your English by giving or hearing science presentations? Then learn more about Science Bites, who organise such events for free and hold them at ŽMAUC. This week, Tuesday 15, from 19:00 to 20:00, there will be talks on "Sex with the wrong female: Causes and consequences of reproductive interference", "Particle detectors: the way we can "see" particles!" and "Arts in education and the power of abstract thinking". The events page for this group is here.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (March 11 - 17, 2019)  then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. 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.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts centre in the country is one of the hosts of the annual documentary film festival, and the schedule is here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other films, Green Book, Colette, Faces Places, Beautiful Boy, Vision, Climax, #Female Pleasure (with the Wednesday, 17:15 screening followed by a talk with the director), Sakawa (Thursday 18:15, also followed by a talk with the director), and Putin’s Witnesses (Saturday, 20:30, talk with the director).

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing, among other features, Mike Leigh’s Naked, John Huston’s Annie, Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, and a short Werner Herzog season (that continues next week) with Fata Morgana, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Echos aus einem düsteren Reich, and Lektionen in Finsternis.

Kino Bežigrad -  A little out of town, but not more than short drive or bus ride away, you can see Captain Marvel and a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon 3.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Captain Marvel (2D and 3D), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden WorldGreen BookViceRalph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), A Star is BornBohemian RhapsodyEscape RoomLego Film 2Cold PursuitAlita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, Happy Death Day 2UInstant FamilyMia et le lion blanc, a dubbed version of Liliane Susewind, The FavouriteReplicasIzbrisana, and a dubbed version of The Queen’s Corgi. New this week are Colette and Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj. Note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones may only be playing once or twice a week. Click on the theatre name to see the actual times before making a date.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Collete, The Upside and Green Book.

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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.

Channel Zero – Friday, 23:00 to 06:00, there’s a Mushroom Magic Lights event called Mami's Magic Domačica, with “dance” being the music on offer to go with the visuals. See below for details and take care with the ones that stain blue.

Cvetličarna – Saturday is PURE Oldies Goldies, with DJs Shift, Sylvian (+ live drums) and Devious.

Gala Hala – Friday, March 15 – the Ides of March – there’s the Outlook Festival 2019 Official Ljubljana Launch Party, playing drum'n'bass, dubstep, reggae, jungle, grime, dancehall, traphall, and dub, with the beats lined up by Gardna (UK) w/ DJ Fat Stash (UK), DubDiggerz (Artikal Music UK, Navy Cut, PlantPower, Gourmetbeats, DeepEnd), Bushee (Gonobeats) and Roots In Session Soundsystem, with visuals from MESEC.

Klub Cirkus – Wednesday there’s an all-nighter called Welcome to the Jungle w. Krankšvester, which seems to be offering an actual jungle atmosphere rather than drum’n’bass. A video from Krankšvester promoting something like gabber is below. Friday it’s Vision - Premiera!, with dance anthems & party hits, with the mix provide by Catch!ness. The week comes to a close with El Fuego, with Latino flavored pop, r&b, dance, reggaeton, Latin house, tropical, and island beats played by Cirkus’ resident DJ, Matthew Z,

Klub K4 – Friday night the klub 4 kool kids has K4 Gibanica, with Torulsson Live! (RF, Wave Riders!), Electronic Badminton King (Scienceofuse), DJ Dado (Šlagwerk), Ian F. (Luckison) and Teo (Dirtyspeakerz). Saturday the dancefloor will be bouncing to the music arranged by Symann & Ulix, Zergon and Utti, in an all-nighter called Synaptic.

Klub Gromka – Friday there’s an all-nighter called Back to the 90`s: Eurodance.

Klubs Monokel & Tiffany – The gay bars in Metelkova have a DJ event on Saturday, with Ustanova • Slikback, A7ba-L-Jelly, and mapalma. See and hear a little more in the LGBT+ section further down.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – Friday there’s an all-nighter in this venue inside the squat at the heading out of town end of Trubarjeva cesta, with the event called Analogue Sex × Bruce (Hessle Audio / Timedance, UK), which will also feature Roli, Jaša Bužinel, and Blažen DJ.

Orto Bar – Friday, 21:00 to 05:00, you can step back in time with Orto 90s Hit Mix Vol. 2.

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Live music

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday evening there’s Camerata Salzburg, with conductor and soloist François Leleux on the oboe, and soloist Lisa Batiashvili on the, violin. The programme will feature Mendelssohn, Giya Kancheli and Ludwig A. Lebrun. The same evening, in a different hall there’s JUNEsHELEN & Alja Petric: Zvočne Krajine – Spevi & Arije + Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society. Wednesday it’s Irena Kavčič on the flute leading the Quatuor Zaïde playing Mozart, Sibelius and Ligeti. One of the Mozart pieces is shown below, as played by a different group.

Cvetličarna – Friday, 20:00 to 02:00, Nipke & the Nipples will be performing live here, a hip hop / rap event with support from DJ Dej.

Kino Šiška Thursday the Polish prog rockers Riverside are playing here, then Friday it’s “Young Folks” hit-makers Peter, Bjorn & John. Note that the show by The Game due for March 18 is being postponed to sometime in May.

Klub Gromka – Thursday there’s a concert with a line-up featuring Agregat, Suzi Soprano and CvetoRamšakBodiroža. Saturday the stage is then taken by Russia’s The Dead President (ska-core) and Slovenia’s The Ferminants (punk).

Ljubljana Castle –  Friday is Jazz Night, with this week being the Marko Črnčec Quartet featuring Jonathan Hoard.

 Orto Bar – Monday, 20:00, there’s a battle of the bands with Tooth in the Sky, Manifest, Smoking Cactus and FTD. Thursday Infected will be presenting a show to promote their new album, with support from Macbeth. Friday it’s the turn of Metropolis to take the stage, while on Saturday there’s a St Patrick’s Party with Happy Ol’ McWeasel.

Slovenska filharmonija – Thursday, March 14, there’s a concert focusing on the work of Živko Živković. Saturday morning, 11:00, there’s a children’s concert, while on Sunday there’s a concert with the chorus playing Howells, Pizzetti, Poulenc, Brahms and Mahler, including the piece shown below.

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Opera, theatre and dance

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.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet - Thursday there’s a new show, Koda L - Milko Lazar, based on the work of Roland Barthes. Saturday it’s then Smetana’s Bartered Bride.

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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.

 DuohzksWoAAE2Br.jpg

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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

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here. One recent post: Slovenia ranked #28 for LBGT travellers, highest in ex-Yugo

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week there’s also a DJ event (hosted with Tiffany, below) with Ustanova • Slikback, A7ba-L-Jelly, and mapalma. You can see and hear Slikback up in the clubbing section, while a set from the fabulously named A7ba-L-Jelly is below.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. This week, on Thursday evening 19:00 to 23:00, there’s a night of card and table games, while Saturday afternoon (15:00 to 18:00), there’s a workshop on online communication that seems to be aimed at lesbians and feminists, with details here.

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums and galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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 has an exhibition entitled “Encounters in Visual Art” introduces works of selected visual artists, painters and sculptors, who define today's art scene in Hungary and Slovenia, as promoted with the image below. Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

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Cankerjev dom – Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens (in Slovene, English and other languages) from The Newspaper Museum, while there are also some architectural models and plans on display.

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.

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

City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.

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Photo: JL Flanner

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water.

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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

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it). 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 above.

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Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

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Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018. Mr Pregl was recently voted "worse than Hitler" on Twitter.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

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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maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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03 Mar 2019, 09:08 AM

Ljubljana had its official Pust (Carnival) parade on Saturday March 2, but the real day is this Tuesday, so don't be alarmed if you see people dressed up in strange ways downtown or at night, and if you've ever felt the urge to wear a cheap wig, fake nose or Venetian mask in public that would be the time to indulge. Another special day this week is Friday, March 8, Women's Day, although in keeping with the theme "a woman's work is never done" this isn't a public holiday.

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Two kurenti at Pust. Photo: JL Flanner

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Young kurenti. Photo: JL Flanner

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 Photo: JL Flanner

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (March 4 - 10, 2019)  then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. 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.

Cankerjev dom – You don’t want to watch Free Solo on your phone, and while this Oscar-winning documentary is almost certain to turn up elsewhere in the months ahead, you can catch it here on Tuesday , March 5, at 19:00.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Beautiful Boy, Faces Places, The Undamaged, Transit, and Colette.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing has a week of ethnographic films from Norway, Italy, the US, China, Canada, Switzerland, Slovenia and elsewhere. See the programme here (and check the dates, as the link will take you to whatever's showing the week you read this).

Kino Bežigrad - This slightly out of town theatre is showing, among other features, Replicas and Alita: Battle Angel, while starting Wednesday is Captain Marvel.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden WorldGreen BookViceRalph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), A Star is BornBohemian RhapsodyEscape RoomLego Film 2Cold PursuitAlita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, Happy Death Day 2UDumplin'Instant FamilyMia et le lion blanc, a dubbed version of Liliane Susewind, and The Favourite. New this week are Replicas, Izbrisana, a dubbed version of The Queen’s Corgi, and starting Wednesday is Captain Marvel.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, and Green Book.

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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 - Saturday, 22:00 to 03:00, Bgirls Do It Better. “Sports and cultural association GOR has prepared you a special evening of rap, soul and funk. Behind the turntables we welcome DJ Bijan, Dj Lazy One, DJ Moska. We also present you a very special show by an emerging local female rapper Sahareya.” The event is free to enter.

Channel Zero – There were Pust events last week, but the real day is Tuesday, and there’s an all-nighter here for you to get dressed up for, with the music being played by Dirty Skunks, Rope, Jerry, Sunneh, Fogy, and Stojc. One the great things about doing this guide, and perhaps about reading it, is learning how to decode the names of events, and Friday, March 8, presents the challenge and delight that is SUBØ: Tigerbalm w. KG. As regular visitors to what’s on… or klubland might know, this will be an house and electronic event, with the music lined up by DJs (Goon Club Allstars, UK), CL_TR, ESTERA, Terranigma, and b2b DVS, and the visuals provided by VJ 5237.

Gala Hala – Tuesday night there’s Maškarada 2.0, another Pust event, so dress for fun and enjoy the sounds of house and techno provided by Blažen DJ & Jaša Bužinel. Friday you can then come back to Metelkova to dance till 5am with Zeleno sonce 121: Dan želja, which is funk / soul all-nighter with DJs Bayo and Udo Brenner. The next night, and again until 5am, it’s Rostfraj Onehundrid, which is a centenary event for the Rostfraj crew, who’ll be playing “odfukane klubske muzike”, with DJs Žongler Mastif, Sanja, and  Sofija Leron aka KaktusKaktus.

Klub Cirkus – Tuesday there’s a Pust party for students (and others), and so you can wear a costume if you want, with the music being “hip house” and house music. Friday DJ Lea is in the house, along with the New Age Gang, playing “dance”. Saturday, the day after Women’s Day, it’s HouseKeeping pres. Mike Vale, Buchan & Suano. It’s a house music event.

Klub K4 – The klub 4 kool kids that’s now more than 30 yrs old has a Pust party of its own on Tuesday, with DJs Cookie, Gabi1808 b2b Re3600 and Mili Kumara. Friday there’s an event called Phi w/ Aleksi Perälä (Rephlex, Trip / FIN). Saturday it’s then Solvd, with DJs Christian Kroupa / Alleged Witches, Alex Ranerro, and Mobo (Magnetik Music).

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Live music

Božidar – Thursday, 20:00 to 01:00 there’s Jazz klub Mezzoforte, offering Freestyle Karaoke & Jam Session, with Cene Resnik on saxophone, Gašper Peršl on drums, and Thierno Diallo on bass.

Cankerjev dom – Juan De Marcos González Afro-Cuban All Stars (Cuba) will be playing here on Saturday.

Cvetličarna – Friday you can enjoy the Mad Caddies playing live ska at this venue, while on Saturday it’s the turn of the silver fox of Slovene pop, Jan Plestenjak.

Channel Zero – Thursday there’s a live show from Phoenician Drive, which the publicity claims “invented Afrikrautrock”, which sounds fantastic (krautrock being the best rock). Check them out below, followed by - I'll take any excuse to share this - a classic krautrock freakout by Damo and the boys from Can.

Kino Šiška – Wednesday Leon Matek will be performing to promote his new album, with support from “guests”.

Klub Gromka – Hardcore punk, live on stage, Thursday, with Svetlanas, Hak Attak, and Material Girls.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday, Women’s Day, March 8, you can go up the hill and see Like The Rolling Stones, a tribute act, at 21:00.

Orto Bar – Thursday night it’s black/death metal with Dalkhu and Agan. Friday there’s Dan Rock Žena 2019, which is a rock night for Women’s Day with Hellcats, Tri kapljice, and Checkmate.

Slovenska filharmonija – Wednesday the pianist Peter Milić is in town, playing Beethoven, Chopin (the piece shown below), Brahms, and Dutilleux. Thursday and Friday the Orchestra will be playing some Mahler under the very capable baton of James Tuggle.

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Opera, theatre and dance

Cankerjev domSergej Polunin will be dancing here Monday and Tuesday, 19:30, in a show called Paradoks – Sacré, with the music ot Stravinsky and the choreography of Yuka Oishi. You can see him below in a different show.

Gledališče IGLU - IGLU TheatreSaturday night this group is usually putting on an Englishimprov show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet – Friday and Saturday Bizet’s Carmen will be here, while Sunday, March 10 Verdi’s Rigoletto is on stage.

Pocket Teater Studio – Thursday it’s Afro Brazilian Jazz - Where Rio de Janeiro meets Bahia. It’s a small place (very), so reserve your seats and do it now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can see some of what you’ll be missing if you delay below.

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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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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

Balassi Institute – Thursday 17:00 – 17:40, there’s a Music Workshop for Young Children (0 to 4 years) with Julcsi Laposa, all free of charge.

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel - This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday evening, but no other events are planned this week.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. This week, on Tuesday, 16:00 to 19:00 there’s a DJ class, with details here. Then Thursday, starting 19:00, it’s a café evening with live music from Croon.

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. This week, Wednesday 19:00, there’ll be a discussion on Sexism and the LGBT+ community (in Slovene, and thus Seksizmi v LGBT+ skupnosti).

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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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums & Galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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 has an exhibition entitled “Encounters in Visual Art” introduces works of selected visual artists, painters and sculptors, who define today's art scene in Hungary and Slovenia, as promoted with the image below. Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

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Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

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.

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

City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.

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Photo: JL Flanner

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it).

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm.jpg

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018.jpg

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018. Mr Pregl was recently voted "worse than Hitler" on Twitter.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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.

ljubljana sticker art jl flanner - smaller.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

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,

JL Flanner P9148114.jpg

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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visitljubjana.si

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maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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24 Feb 2019, 11:21 AM

At least two big events this week, one nationwide and one local. The first is Pust, or carnival, with the focus being Saturday. There are various parties around town where you can dress up and dance, while in the daytime things will start at 11:00 in Novi trg.

The second event is actually a festival, Gibanica, “a biennial selection of the best contemporary dance productions of local artists and [is] considered the most relevant contemporary dance platform in Slovenia”. If you like dance, then don’t miss this chance to see a varied selection of performances, discussions and more held at various locations around town, many of them with free admission. The event runs from Wednesday 27 February to Sunday 2 March, with the schedule – in English – here.

Finally, it’s also a school vacation, so don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of children out and about during class hours – they’re doing OK.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (February 15 to March 3, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, among other features, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Ash Is Purest White, Beautiful Boy, Climax, and Faces Places.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing, among other things, the psychedelic classic Altered States, stone cold Soviet classic Battleship Potemkin, and dystopian classic Children of Men.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include PapillionTaksi bluz, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden WorldGreen BookViceThe UpsideRalph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), The GrinchA Star is BornBohemian RhapsodyEscape RoomLego Film 2Cold PursuitAlita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, Happy Death Day 2UBeautiful BoyDumplin',  and Instant Family. New this week are Mia et le lion blanc and a dubbed version of Liliane Susewind.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and The Favourite.

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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

Saturday you can celebrate Pust by putting on your fancy pants and getting down to Raphaël Top-Secret (FR).

Channel Zero – Friday, March 1, you can greet the third month with Traxman (Tekk Dj'z), with able support from Bakto, SunnySun, and Terranigma.

Gala Hala – Friday 23:00 to 06:00 Saturday Wave Riders! returns, giving you the opportunity to wear sunglasses at night and enjoy the sounds of electroclash, leftfield house and techno, with the beats strung together by DJs Torulsson and Kobayashii and VJ Maii providing the visuals. Saturday there’s Zeleno sonce specialka: Pustna slovenska popevka, which will be Slovenian music played by Udo Brenner and Funkenstein.

Klub Cirkus – Tuesday there’s an all-nighter with a focus on YugoRock, as hosted by the Faculty of Economics. Wednesday it’s TRAPped in the city, with DJs Alpha Z and Young Sanci bringing you the all the Trap, RnB, and hip hop you can handle between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00. I guess there’s some tests coming up, because Thursday the night is Millennium AFTER EXAMS Edition, another student party, which promises retro music from the ‘00s. Friday, March 1, it’s time to dress with care and deal with any lingering dandruff, as its BLACK MOON – UV Gathering, with the soundtrack to the visual thrills being a steady diet of dance, future house, EDM, house, RnB, hip hop, and trap until dawn. A packed week at the more commercial end of clubland then comes to a shaking climax with the Legendarna Cirkuška Pustna Sobota, a celebration of Pust with dance music being played by Matthew Z and DJ Dey. Pust is like the Slovene Halloween, so maybe put a costume on and win a prize – although as the promo says “Being dead drunk is never considered an original mask”, so play nice and take of your friends.

Klub K4 – The klub for kool kids that’s just entered its fourth decade, and thus now open to the kids of the original kids, if not their grandkids, has two parties this week if you want to feel the noise. On Friday it’s K4 x New Blood, with house and techno being played by new DJs who learned at K4 workshops, with the names to remember being PGB, Alex Agara, Goryk and Chiro. Saturday K4 also gets in on the Pust action, with Pustni RAVE, presenting acid, techno, break, disco, and house from Dulash, Softskinson Commercial Break, Borka and Le Berg.

Klub Gromka – Saturday, 22:00 to 04:00, there’s a Pust event with few details other than “On the carnival Saturday, you are given a bunch of super women. With its superlative power, the sounds of gold and silver erected from the speakers will protect you against the attack of evil forces and make sure you dance all night long!”

Orto Bar – Friday, March 1, there’s a night called The Scene '80s and '90s Electric Boogie, which seems fairly clear with regard to what’s on offer, with the sounds lined up by Lab Doctors - Old Scool Suits. Devious & Mikel Wonic. It’s same same but different on Saturday, with Orto Maškare! The Dancing Queen (70s, 80s, 90s Pop, Dance hits). This will be a Pust party.

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Live music

 

Božidar – Friday, March 1, there’s the chance to see Dollkraut Band (NL) in action, with a tasty taster below.

 

Kino Šiška – Tuesday evening Neneh Cherry will be in town presenting her new album new album Broken Politics, recorded with Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). On Wednesday “Belgian ensemble Echo Collective will play their take on the famed album Amnesiac by Radiohead. The neoclassical instrumental arrangements of well-known songs such as “Pyramid Song” and “I Might Be Wrong” have astounded critics, who have declared the album a “glorious homage” to the original”.

Klub Gromka – Saturday, 22:00 to 04:00, there’s a Pust event with few details other than “On the carnival Saturday, you are given a bunch of super women. With its superlative power, the sounds of gold and silver erected from the speakers will protect you against the attack of evil forces and make sure you dance all night long!”

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night, with the music sometimes crossing over into other genres, This week it’s Café Mezclado.

Orto Bar – This guitar-friendly venue has Legendarni C4 on Thursday, starting 21:30. Friday it’s post-rock with Shadow Universe and Monstrumental, while on Saturday there’s a heavy sludge punk bill with Weedwolf, Goragorja, and Chains, with both events being Riffeater productions. See the headline acts from the last two below, while there seems to be nothing from Legendarni C4 online.

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Opera, theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom – The largest arts centre in the country is one of the key venues for the Gibanica biennial of contemporary dance, as noted in the introduction. You can see the centre’s programme of dance events here. On March 2nd you can see Ballet National De Marseille & Ick Amsterdam: Appearance / Disappearance, as promoted below.

Gledališče IGLU - IGLU TheatreSaturday 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.

Klub Gromka – One our favourite groups of performers, Tatovi podob (Image Snatchers), will be here on Thursday, 21:30, with their burlesque show Matilda in njene žemljice, aka Matilda and Her Buns. Expect music, dance, comedy and nudity.

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

SNG Opera and BalletVerdi’s Rigoletti will be staged here on Saturday, March 2.

Pocket Teater Studio – It’s a busy week at perhaps the smallest dedicated venue in town, not far from Križanke, a place where you can feel the air move from the performers. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 20:00 there’s Človek, ki je prodal svet - “Viewing the performance is possible only with a reservation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at the telephone number 070 977 937, while the price is 10 €.” Friday there’s 'Strings to the past', a special dance and music program of baroque music and flamenco – 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. The price of ticket is 20€ or 15€ for students, and includes wine throughout the evening.

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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 isn't thought, and our favourite store is on Trubarjeva, as noted here)

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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

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub MonokelThis lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week there’s a concert by Croon and support from DJ Annarch.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Thursday, 19:00 to 22:00, there’s Roza Škis – večer taroka in družabnih iger, which will be an evening of card, board and table top games. Friday, 20:30 to 21:45, there’s A mi daš cifro?, which will be an evening of improv.

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums & Galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre has an exhibition entitled “Encounters in Visual Art” introduces works of selected visual artists, painters and sculptors, who define today's art scene in Hungary and Slovenia, as promoted with the image below. Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

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Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square also has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.

JL Flanner Iztok Sitar 2019.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game. The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it).

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm.jpg

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018.jpg

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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.

ljubljana sticker art jl flanner - smaller.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

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,

JL Flanner P9148114.jpg

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.

main image smaller antika carniola (12).JPG

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.

visitljubljana.com spica.jpg

visitljubjana.si

maxpixel.net Woman-Meditation-Fitness-Pink-Yoga-People-Mat-2562216.jpg

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Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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17 Feb 2019, 14:17 PM

The weather’s been great the last few days, with clear skies and relative warmth bringing a touch of Spring, and the tables outside café bars filling up with people enjoying the sun, the city and friends. While we’ll always make a case that you can get to know Ljubljana by just walking the streets and seeing what happens, which is how we mainly enjoy it, in truth that’s just half the story, if that, with the city’s museums, galleries, concert venues and so on providing a solid foundation to the quality time you can spend here. What follows is thus a selection of happenings and events over the next seven days, with the stand out, to these eyes, being the Mountain Film Festival. You can find out why it’s such a big deal here.

Something new we added this week was a write-up of the Balassi Institute, which brings Hungarian culture downtown with many free events. We’ll put these in the regular listings next time, but for now check out the events page here.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (Feb 19 - 24, 2019)  then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, Green Book, Beautiful Boy, Maria by Callas, Dogman, Cold War and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is having a mini Lars Von Trier season, including Nymphomania, parts 1 and 2, and The House that Jack Built, with viewer discretion advised for all three. There’s also Fish Tank and Paul Thomas Anderson’s outstanding There Will Be Blood.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include PapillionTaksi bluz, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden WorldGreen BookViceMary Queen of Scots The UpsideRalph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), The GrinchA Star is BornBohemian Rhapsody, Escape Room, Lego Film 2Cold PursuitAlita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu? and Happy Death Day 2U. New this week are Berlin, I Love You, Beautiful Boy, Dumplin' (starts Tuesday), and Instant Family (starts Wednesday).

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (dubbed), Beautiful Boy and Green Book.

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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.

Božidar - Friday there’s an all-nighter with Charlie Bones (Do You Records, NTS Radio / UK) b2b Illum Sphere (Ninja Tune, NTS / UK).

Channel Zero – Friday there’s also an all-nighter at this Metelkova-based venue, with DeepEnd! - winter showcase, presenting sound system music culture with Dub/Step/Grime/Jungle.

Gala Hala – Friday it’s Swaguljčica, with DJs Cookie, Toljo, Borka and White AF playing hip hop and trap. Saturday the beats turn to techno, with sets from  DJs Deja Visitore and Shekuza.

Klub Cirkus – Monday the klub will be full of students from all the EU, with the Erasmus WELCOME PARTY / Biggest & Loudest. The next night it’s a part for all the students, with Poizpitni žur vseh fakultet, playing house, disco and party music. Things are then quiet until Friday, when it’s Crazy Cirkus ft. Clay Clemens, playing EDM. Then on Saturday it’s One Hit Wonder - Premiera! With tunes from the 80s until now.

Klub K4 – Now moving into it’s 4th decade, the klub for kool kids that’s not in Metelkova has drum’n’bass on Friday, with K4DNB w/ Pythius (NL) [Blackout]. Saturday brings Just A Dance, with DJs b2b2b, DEN7EL, Von Meister and Elovetric.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog –  Saturday this venue at the dirty end of Trubarjeva, not far from the TSN squat, has Raggalution - Roots Rog Reggae Party (feat. Ras Levi), from 23:00 to 04:00

Orto Bar – Friday, 21;00 to 05:00, this rock-friendly venue will be putting down the guitars and picking up the turntables for a Super Mega 80s Party, with the sounds provided by the 80s Crew. Pictures of earlier events by this team suggest that low pressure, high pleasure times can be expected.

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Live music

Božidar Thursday, 20:00 to 01:00, there’s Jazz Klub Mezzoforte with the Kostanjev Sekstet, followed Freestyle Karaoke & Jam Session. You can see the band playing on Cobblers’ Bridge below.

Cankerjev dom – Svetlana Makarovič is kind of a big deal, and has been for decades, and on Saturday evening you can see her on stage in a show called Instead Of Flowers, “a concert of original chansons”, with guests including Iztok Mlakar, Tomaž Mihelič Marlena, Andrej Rozman Roza, Ivan Rupnik, Janja Majzelj, Miha Bezeljak, Višnja Fičor, Ivan Peternelj, Anja Novak, and Martina Feri.

Cankerjev dom – Thursday and Friday, 19:30, Daniel Müller-Schott will be playing the violincello.

Channel Zero – Thursday, 21:00 to 0:00, it’s Level 15: Brom (RU) + Brgs: Free DBeat, with free jazz.

Gala Hala – Thursday you can enjoy stoner, garage, and alt rock Bring On The Vanguards.

Kino Šiška – On Monday evening you can learn more about “noise drone masters DIE! GOLDSTEIN and Kikiriki, who bring fresh socio-political content and contexts to music through an articulated personal approach. The authors spread a giant psychedelic mass through the vacuum of space, shaping it into an audio-visual journey.” Tuesday it’s the turn of German pianist, composer and producer Martin Kohlstedt, while the next evening you can see The Strange, with support from Malamor. The end of a packed week at this large venue that’s a short bus, bike or car ride from the centre brings the Amsterdam-based collective Altin Gün, who “will open the door into the unknown, into a blend of Turkish tradition, Western funk and psychedelic rock that places the stated expressions into a completely fresh context.” Check out all the headline acts below.

Klub Gromka – Tuesday night this Metelkova club presents the opportunity to enjoy grindcore and metal from a triple bill that includes Project for Bastards, Sedmina and Facial Tissue Dispenser. Thursday the event is FriForma, with Sugimoto, Dupleix, Bazelaire + Tomažin and Grom, and sadly I can’t seem to find any examples of their work. There are no such problems with Parnepar, the ex-Yugo post-punk bank who’ll be playing here on Friday.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night at the Castle, and this week it’s Milan Stanisavljević - "Weight of Thought".

Orto Bar – Kadilnica of Death are back with another metal event, this one with a triple bill of Morywa, Maskardh, and Morost (this last band sharing a name with my accountant).

Slovenska filharmonija – Sunday the choir of the Philharmonia will be performing at 19:30, with a programms that includes Gallus and di Lasso.

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Opera, theatre and dance

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.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet – Tuesday Verdi’s La Traviata will be staged in this lovely theatre between Prešeren and Tivoli.

Pocket Teater Studio – Tuesday and Wednesday, 20:00, there’s a show of music and movement called Pod Voda (Under Water). Note that the number of seats in this small venue 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..

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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.

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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

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and is next to the open gay bar below.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00 to 22:00, there’s a concert by the singer Tatjana Mihelj. Saturday there’s then Drag Trash – Out, which seems to be a drag-based lip sync party.

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums & Galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square also has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game. The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it).

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Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018.jpg

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dynasty China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

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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visitljubjana.si

maxpixel.net Woman-Meditation-Fitness-Pink-Yoga-People-Mat-2562216.jpg

maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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09 Feb 2019, 17:00 PM

This week includes Valentine’s Day, Thursday, so be aware that some restaurants might be busier than usual that evening. Otherwise the streets should be relatively empty, so it’s a great time to explore the city without the crowds and be almost certain of a seat or a table wherever you are.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (11-17 February, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings 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.

A focal event for moviegoers this week is Kinodvor’s annual Retrosex evening of erotica to mark Valentines Day, and this year the celebration of sleaze takes place on Friday the 15th. It happens here because Kinodvor used to be Kino Sloga, which showed such material in the 1980s. Learn more, and see the trailers, here.

Kinodvor – In addition to Friday’s Retrosex event, see above, the arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, Green Book, Maria by Callas, Women at War, Beoning (in Korean with Slovene subtitles), Capharnaüm (in Arabic with Slovene subs) and Widows.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing Krótki film o zabijanju, Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, Melancholia, Il fiore delle mille e una note and Take Shelter.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Papillion, Taksi bluz, Serenity, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Green Book, Vice, Mary Queen of Scots, Glass, The Mule, The Favourite, The Upside, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), Asterix: Le secret de la potion magique, Second Act, Južni veter, Aquaman, a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Grinch, A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Escape Room. New this week are Lego Film 2, Cold Pursuit, Alita: Battle Angel, and Happy Death Day 2U.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, while from Thursday on you can see Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?

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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.

Božidar - Friday night it’s Stiropor pres.: ADAM X (Sonic Groove, LIES / USA) playing techno and industrial, with support from Schrauff Elements.

Channel Zero – Friday there’s SUBØ: Bojler x SNIF w/ Merca Bae, with sounds from MERCA BAE (ES), Dvmir b2b KMN, Futon b2b Lil Ris, Novack and TMA, with visual support from SMECH. It seems to be a bass-heavy dancehall club event, with a set from Merca Bae below.

Klub Cirkus – Friday the more commercial end of clubland offers an all-nighter with TRIP ft. Joe2Shine (DJ Mag Top 100 club Revelin / Ultra Europe). Saturday it’s the turn of Best of RNB.

Klub K4 – Friday the klub for kool kids has K4X4 w/ Roza Terenzi playing “dance” provided by DJs Roza Terenzi (Planet Euphorique, AU), Nitz Live! (Synaptic), Softskinson (Sezam), Stasša, Vuka and Disco Durum. Saturday the all-night fun will be provided by Temnica, with Octex (live/dj), Organon (Elements) and Rokko (JustJam).

Orto Bar – Friday night this rock club will swap guitars for turntables, with Orto 90s Hit Mix Vol.1. No further details are given, or perhaps needed.

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Live music

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, the 12th, the country’s main arts venue will host Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard, who’ll be playing the organ in a show called The Infinite Expanses of Improvisation. “A daring musician, he combines organ with other forms of artistic expression, including dance, electronic music and graphic art.” The programme will include Bach and Stravinsky. The same evening you can enjoy another in the series of concerts curated by John Zorn, with Ikue Mori presenting an audio-visual solo show.

Gala Hala – Live rap is then followed by DJ sets, with Rapetek Extra: Homeboy Sandman & Edan (ZDA), followed by DJs K’Pow and Borka.

Jazz Club Gajo – Jazz Paradise (Slovenska cesta 58) has a Valentine’s concert with Nina Strnad and the jazz trio Lenart Krečič and Gregor Ftičar.

Festival Hall (Vilharjeva cesta 11) – The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting a free concert by The Darvag Band.

Kino Šiška – Thursday evening there’s live music from American-British quartet Algiers, a band which “has been confronting the forces of political apathy, fascism and social injustice head on with its unpredictable blend of post-punk anger, noise savagery and gospel soul.”

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival has a free concert on Thursday, the 14th, with Kjoka Macujama (violin), Milana Černjavska (piano) and Maja Vrbnjak (guitar), playing Schubert and others.

Ljubljana CastleFriday is jazz night at the Castle, with that often stretching to rock and funk, and this week it’s Nermin Puškar.

Orto Bar – Wednesday evening presents the opportunity to enjoy some mid-week metal at this guitar-friendly venue, with the stage being owned by an all Australian bill of Aversions Crown, Psycroptic, Hadal Maw, and Hollow World. Thursday, Valentine’s Day, it’s the turn of one of Slovenia’s hottest young bands, Koala Voice, who will be presenting their third album, Woo Horsie. Saturday a slightly older crew takes over, with Leteči Potepuhi. The show’s being promoted with their 2009 video for Jedrt, as seen further down.

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Opera, theatre and dance

Gledališče IGLU - IGLU TheatreSaturday 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.

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

SNG Opera and BalletSmetena’s The Bartered Bride will be performed at 19:30 on the 12th, 14th and 16th (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The programme also has Bizet’s Carmen on Saturday, 19:30. A clip from an earlier production is below.

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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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.

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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.

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00.

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums & Galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square also has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game. The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it).

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Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018.jpg

Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.

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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, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dynasty China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

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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maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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02 Feb 2019, 11:51 AM

One focus this week is Friday, February 8th, which is Prešeren Day, or Slovenian Cultural Day (Prešernov dan, slovenski kulturni praznik). This marks the death of the country’s national poet in 1849 and has been a national holiday since 1991, the year the country declared independence. In addition to being a day off work for many, most public museums and galleries also have free entry, so check out that section below and see what’s available.

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (Feb 4 - 10, 2019)  then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Favourite, Women at War, Maria by Callas, The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear (dubbed into Slovene),  Jack bestelt een broertje, Green Book, Climax and Igram, sem

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing Eraserhead, Dogville and Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life. There’s also von Trier’s Antichrist and the very different Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

Kolosej - Recent arrivals at the multiplex out at BTC are Papillion, Taksi bluz, Serenity, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Green Book and Vice. A little older, and perhaps leaving soon, are Mary Queen of Scots, Glass, The Mule, The Favourite, The Upside, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), Asterix: Le secret de la potion magiqueSecond ActJužni veterAquaman, a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-VerseThe Grinch, A Star is Born and the #1 box office film of 2018 in Slovenia, Bohemian Rhapsody. New this week is Escape Room, opening Tuesday.

 Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice and Green Book.

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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.

Channel Zero – Thursday it’s Everything GOES, from 23:00 to 06:00, with party music from DJs Rope, Jerry, Sunneh, Fogy, and Stojc. Friday it’s the turn of Elektroliza: SYNC 24 (Cultivated Electronics), with dance music from Sync 24, Le Chocolat Noir, Ocular, And Nulla, and RGB on video. Saturday the third all-nighter of the week will be shaking the room with an event called Frag::ments w. HYDRO (Commercial Suicide / UK), where the music will be drum’n’bass, techstep, and neurofunk, which Wikipedia claims “emerged between 1997 and 1998 in London, England as a progression of techstep”.

Gala Hala – There seems to be no Dub Lab this week, but on Thursday there’s SOUL REBEL VII ★ Inna Soundsystem Style with a playlist that’ll include roots, dub, rocksteady, reggae, ska, drum’n’bass, jungle, hiphop, dubstep, and more. Friday thing move up in tempo with Wave Riders! This will bring the sounds of electroclash/leftfield and house/techno to clubbers, with the mixes coming from Torulsson and Kobayashii.

Klub Cirkus – Three all-nighters at the end of the week, starting on Thursday with Ice Cold pres. Zonderling (Tomorrowland, Spinnin, Hexagon). Friday it’s an RnB Explosion with fresh anthems and classics cuts with DJ Dej and DJ Martee. Things come to a head on Saturday with Tutti Frutti - Slovenska edicija, playing Slovenian dance hits from the hands of Matthew Z and Matteo Kunst.

Klub K4 – Thursday night it’s Just Us x Spaced, headlined by  Joe Delon. Two events on Friday – 18:00 to 21:00 there’s an Ableton Live workshop, then an all-nighter from 23:00 on called Gibanica, with the electronic music provided by Deconstructor Live (Destruktura), Urban Jeram (REMM), Herman K (Machine City), Thomas L (Sw:idr) and Izza. Saturday the fun continues with a night of electronic dance and hip hop called KROM w/ Traples, Tikach, and YNG Firefly.

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Live music

Cankerjev dom – Monday evening Dani De Morón - '21' will be bringing flamenco guitar accompanied by voices and dance. Tuesday it’s then Drago Ivanuša “Dviganje Glasu” and Leïla Martial “Baa Box”.

Kino Šiška – Wednesday, 20:00, the Igor Matković Quintet will be playing jazz to celebrate the release of a new album. Same time, next day, the stage will be occupied by the Austrian group Elektro Guzzi playing live techno, followed by a DJ set from Alleged Witches.

Klub Gromka – Thursday evening there’s Bernays Propaganda, Xaxaxa, 21 Vek, My Tear, and Vasko Atanasoski.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday, 21:00, Jazz at the Castle has The Dukes of Prunes playing the music of Frank Zappa.

Orto Bar – Wednesday night it’s Riffeater #7 w/ Jucifer, Asheraah, and TSO. Guitars and the heavy side of things return to the stage on Thursday, with Kadilnica of Death presenting Grob, Britof, and Smrt. And that’s that not all. Friday is Prešeren Day, in honour of Slovenia’s national poet, and Orto Bar is marking the 170th anniversary of the man’s death with two stages and a line-up of Eruption , Penitenziagite , Seul Océan , Vigilance , China_traffic , and Malorshiga. Saturday things then calm down a little, with Arstiđir (Iceland/Season of Mist). The video they’re promoting the show with is quite surprising – it’s the fourth one below. The same night you can enjoy Pence, a Queen tribute band. You can see them below, too.

Slovenska filharmonija – Friday, Prešeren Day, there are two family concerts taking place here, at 10:00 and 13:00.

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Opera, theatre and dance

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.

Grand Hotel Union – The fancy hotel on Miklošičeva will have an evening of romantic arias on Monday, starting at 19:00, as performed by José Cura, Elvira Hasanagić and Monika Bohinec, with support from the SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra. Then on the 6th, a Wednesday, the same venue is hosting The Queen’s Six vocal group.

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

Orto Bar – Tuesday night there’s stand-up with Antivalentinova StandUp predigra - BREZ censure. You have been warned

SNG Opera and Ballet – Stravinsky’s ballet Orphic Hymn is on here Wednesday and Thursday, 19:30, while opera fans should consider attending Smetana’s Bartered Bride, to be performed at 11:00 Monday and 18:00 Saturday.

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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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia, although CBD is allowed (here's a look at a store on Trubarjeva cesta).

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Photo: JL Flanner

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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

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. A sample of some of the shows from several years ago is below.

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week on Thursday there's also Druga redna skupščina, while on Saturday night it's open as a bar again.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00, there's Kavarniški večer: Rave.

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

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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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums & Galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square also has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it).

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm.jpg

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Tina Dobrajc, The Balkan Saga II, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150 cm.jpg

Tina Dobrajc, The Balkan Saga II, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150 cm

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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

ivana-kobilca.jpg

St Giles c.1505.png

JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dynasty China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Tina Konec ravnikar galeria.jpg

Ravnikar Gallery SpaceTina Konec has a show here until February 8, v megli (In the Fog).

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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.

ljubljana sticker art jl flanner - smaller.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

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,

JL Flanner P9148114.jpg

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.

main image smaller antika carniola (12).JPG

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.

visitljubljana.com spica.jpg

visitljubjana.si

maxpixel.net Woman-Meditation-Fitness-Pink-Yoga-People-Mat-2562216.jpg

maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

maxpixel.com CC-by-0 Golfing-Putting-Golf-Golf-Course-Golf-Ball-Hole-1284011.jpg

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

Lake bled bench google image search.png

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 part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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27 Jan 2019, 12:14 PM

The streets are empty in Ljubljana at the moment, making the Old Town look like an abandoned movie set at times. And while it's nice to be able walk around with ease and get seats in cafes it can seem rather lifeless, which is why it's a good idea to go out with a plan rather than relying on street performers, tour groups and serendipity to provide the entertainment. The biggest event this week is probably the MENT festival of independent / alternative music, taking place at venues around town, with more details in the live music section below. There's also a major new show opening at the Moderna galerija's Tivoli branch this Thursday night, on young Slovene painters, where you'll find me stroking my chin and wondering if there's a free bar from 20:00 on - see a couple of the featured works in the museums and galleries section.

If you're in town and it's not the week of January 28 - Feb 03 2019, then you can see the latest edition of this guide here.

Want to hang out with people who love science? Then consider going to Science Bites at 19:00 on Tuesday, January 29. This regular event will be held at ŽMAUC, not far from the Filozofska fakulteta, and three scientists will give three talks in English introducing their work, with details here, and our interview with one of the people behind the series here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Old Man & the Gun, Maria by Callas, Women at War, Climax¸ Todos lo saben and Green Book.

Kinoteka – It’s a feast for fans of Lars von Trier this week, with Breaking the Waves, Idioterne, and Dancer in the Dark, while if you’re looking for something from the Japanese legend Beat Takeshi then you can enjoy (in Japanese, with Slovene subs) Hana-bi and Zatôichi. Check out the actor, writer, director who also works as a TV host and comic below.

Kolosej - New at the multiplex in BTC this week are Papillion, Taksi bluz, Serenity, Climax, a dubbed version of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and on Thursday Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice. Staying on are Mary Queen of Scots, Glass, The Mule, The Favourite, The Upside, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magiqueSecond ActJužni veterBumblebee, Second Act, Aquaman, a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-VerseRobin Hood, The Grinch, Johnny English 3A Star is Born and the #1 box office film of 2018 in Slovenia, Bohemian Rhapsody

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and Mary Queen of Scots.

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night there’s Domaćica Original: Dj CLASH, with reggae, dancehall, drum’n’bass, ska, dub and so on. A Dub Lab project.

Gala Hala – MENT arrives in Metelkova on Friday with Hyperboloid Night, with sounds from A.Fruit, Bad Zu, Raumskaya, Saburov and Summer of Haze.

Klub Cirkus – Friday dress for the UV with BLACK MOON – UV Gathering #6, with sounds from LVN x TIM BLACK. Saturday it’s an all-nighter with El Fuego, playing Latino flavoured pop, r&b, dance, reggaeton, Latin house, tropical, and island beats, with the music from Matthew Z & DJ Papi.

Klub K4 – Friday it’s K4xMENT with Batu_music, Lawrence Le Doux, JANKA, Mistakes, TizTiz, Staša and Krilc. Saturday there’s an all-nighter called Knauf, with music from RSN, Shekuza and Tritch.

Orto Bar – Saturday night there’s a DJ show paying tribute to the longest working act in rock’n’roll, The Rolling Stones, with DJ Martin13 playing music from the band and related artists.

Live music

The MENT festival runs from January 30 to February 1 and has at least 75 performers on stages around town, including the Castle, Kino Šiška, Orto Bar, Old Power Plant, Celica, Gromka, Gala Hala, Channel Zero and Menza pri koritu . The schedule is here and has links to all the artists, including shishi, from Lithuania.

Cankerjev dom – As part of the Cankarjevi torki (Tuesday Clubbing) series the stage will be given over to Bombyx Lori and the Jimmy Barka Experience on Tuesday the 29th. The same night the pianist Richard Goode will also be in the country’s main arts centre, playing JS Bach, Beethoven, Berg and Chopin, including the following piece.

Channel Zero – Saturday there’s Snovonne from Slovakia playing rock / metal.

Orto Bar – Tuesday belongs to metal, with the entertainment coming from Brainstorm, Mob Rules, and Gloryful. Saturday then sees a live show from Blasius.

Pinelina dnevna soba – Saturday evening there’s Chloé Mons and Chris Eckman, as heard below.

Slovenska filharmonija – Saturday morning, 11:00, there’s a family concert of the Ugly Duckling, while at 19:00 the same day there’s another new year show, this one called Quiet Please!, with a programme of Strauss, Xenakis, Ligeti and others, including the piece after this text. Sunday there’s the Trobilni Quintet and Martin Belić.

Opera, theatre and dance

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.

Klub Gromka – Wednesday night there’s poetry and music with an event called IGNOR 21.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet – Friday and Saturday there’s stagings of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.

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Sena Flora is a new store selling CBD products downtown (more)

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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia

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Eating ice cream in winter in Ljubljana - learn more about some of the options downtown here. Photo: Gelateria Romantika

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

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.

LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Monday 19:15 there’s also LFU: delavnica radikalne skrbi zase, while 20:00 Thursday there’s Tiffany ARTikulacija: Pogovor z umetnikom Xiyadiejem.

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.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

Museums and galleries

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

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Cankerjev dom – On until February 28 is the exhibition Ivan Cankar and Europe, Between Shakespeare and Kafka, while until March 10 there’s a photographic show on the Ljubljanica, with images of the city’s river captured by Bojan Velikonja. Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square also has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

MGML_Elza_Kastl_Obereigner_foto M Paternoster.jpg

Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

47122450_1380634528742988_6111282134817701888_n.jpg

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following.

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm.jpg

Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm

Tina Dobrajc, The Balkan Saga II, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150 cm.jpg

Tina Dobrajc, The Balkan Saga II, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150 cm

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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

ivana-kobilca.jpg

St Giles c.1505.png

JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dynasty China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

09 jue3.jpg

Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Tina Konec ravnikar galeria.jpg

Ravnikar Gallery SpaceTina Konec has a show here until February 8, v megli (In the Fog).

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

old label 01.JPG

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.

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.

20180406_114758.jpg

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.

ljubljana sticker art jl flanner - smaller.jpg

Photo: JL Flanner

Other things to do in Ljubljana

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,

JL Flanner P9148114.jpg

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.

main image smaller antika carniola (12).JPG

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.

visitljubljana.com spica.jpg

visitljubjana.si

maxpixel.net Woman-Meditation-Fitness-Pink-Yoga-People-Mat-2562216.jpg

maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

maxpixel.com CC-by-0 Golfing-Putting-Golf-Golf-Course-Golf-Ball-Hole-1284011.jpg

Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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

Lake bled bench google image search.png

Photo: Google Image Search

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. If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

19 Jan 2019, 14:21 PM

There’s a new look to what’s on… this week, as we’ve added a table of contents and hyperlinks to make the whole thing more user friendly, and finally gotten rid of some long-standing, well-loved typos, while adding some new ones for eagle-eyed readers to spot. You can see all the editions of these guides here, and all our stories tagged Ljubljana here.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the sections below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

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 kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Children Act, Women at War, The Favourite, Maria by Callas and Climax.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing Von Trier’s Europa, two from Bertolucci, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers, and Fucking Åmål from Lukas Moodysson.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyRobin HoodJohnny English 3A Star is Born, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-VerseAquamanBumblebee, a dubbed version of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magiqueSecond Act Južni veterMary Poppins ReturnsRalph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, The Old Man & the GunThe Favourite and The Upside. New this week are Mary Queen of Scots, Glass, and The Mule, with Serenity starting on Wednesday.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Mule.

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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.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week it’s Domaćica - Open Mic, with a music policy of reggae, dub, riddim, dancehall and rap instrumental. Friday it’s SUBØ: Tigerbalm w. Moleskin and support.

Klub Cirkus – Friday it’s Crazy Cirkus ft. CHRNS (Armada, Proximity, LW) playing dance anthems & party hits, while Saturday night there’s Best of RNB.

Klub K4 – The klub for kool kids that’s not in Metelkova has two events this week. Friday there’s SOLVD w/ Andrey Pushkarev playing house and techno, while on Saturday klubbers can enjoy Techno Golden Oldies with DJs Dojaja, Plotz, Lazy and Djane Gaby.

Klub Gromka – Friday night is Darkland, playing new wave, dark wave, industrial, death rock, goth rock, and more.

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Live music

Gala Hala –  Tuesday there’s live music from Strange Cages and China Traffic. Thursday ŠKM banda will be presenting their new album. Friday it’s hip hop from Rapetek 145 with MCs Kandžija and Mirko Grozny, with DJ support from K'POW and NBGT. The week then ends of Sunday with punk rock from No Fun At All

Kino Šiška – Wednesday night you can see Stray Dogg and Eine, as seen below. The concert is being tied to the upcoming MENT festival, which starts January 30, with details here.

Klub Gromka – Thursday evening there’s a double-bill of trip hop and groove metal, with Blu.Sine and Paragoria.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night at the Castle, and this week the sounds will be provided by Big Band - Bend It!.

Orto Bar – Friday there seem to be two loud events at this guitar-based venue, with Drunk in Public presenting Gužva u Bajt, Spunk on Toast, Sereš, and Brez Vprašanj, along with Kadilnica of Death presenting MetalRock Akademija. Saturday there’s blues punkabilly/psychobilly with Knocksville and Clockwork Psycho.

Slovenska filharmonija – Monday there’s modern music with a programme of Vito Žuraj: Top spin, Nina Šenk: Baca (2018), Edgard Varèse: Ionisation, Andrej Makor: Silence (2018), Darijan Božič: Pop art III, and Enno Poppe: Schrauben (2018).

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Opera, theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday it’s ballet from SNG Maribor, with a performance of  Mahler’s Death in Venice. Puccini’s opera Turandot will be staged by SNG Maribor on Friday, January 25.

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.

Klub Gromka – A fairytale for adults, in Slovene, will be staged here Wednesday, 20:00, while on Friday, same time, it’s Za crknt: klovnski fjuzikl, a clown cabaret.

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

SNG Opera and Ballet – Thursday and Friday there’s Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, while on Saturday there’s Verdi’s La Traviata.

Pocket Teater Studio – Tuesday evening there's theatre with Golobi plešejo tango, then on Friday there's flamenco with Noches de TablaoNote 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. The price of ticket is 20€ or 15€ for students, and includes wine throughout the evening.

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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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.

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Some fun facts about the city and its castle…

Enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy your friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the castle here.

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The Puppet Museum can be found in the Castle. Photo: JL Flanner

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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

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 want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week it's Nani Mo, a club night with R36 + Volk + Estera + Torkar & Liara T'Soni.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00, there's Kavarniški večer: kviz z Milojko.

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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Museums and galleries

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

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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. Read about our guided tour here.

Cankerjev domRunning until the end of February 2019 is an exhibition titled Ivan Cankar and Europe: Between Shakespeare and Kafka. This is “An examination of Cankar’s art through an analysis of influences and interpretations, and juxtaposition with contemporary European writers. The visually elaborate architectural and graphic layout, supported by audio-visual media, installation art and diverse visual highlights, offers a vivid account of Cankar’s excellence, his comprehensively exquisite aesthetic and artistic vision.”

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while paintings, drawings, prints and from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre – Just outside the centre of town, at Dunajska cesta 18, you can see a lot of plasticized bodies at the Body Worlds Vital show, running from October 20 until January 20 2019.

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Photo: Body Works Vital

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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.

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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

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JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Škuc Gallery - You can find this in the old town, and until January 20 there;s an interesting and often moving show called Kids that you can see for just 1 euro, with works by Johanna Billing, Matic Brumen, Andreja Džakušič, Priscila Fernandes, Eden Mitsenmacher, Franc Purg, and Pilvi Takala.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

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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Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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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

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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. If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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12 Jan 2019, 22:10 PM

The lights are down, the days are lengthening and the streets are rather empty, as Ljubljana moves into the dead zone between tourist seasons. But while this isn’t good for business it does offer fresh pleasures and new views to visitors and residents, who can now have a little more time and space to themselves in the downtown area. What’s more, there’s still plenty to explore and enjoy, with an incomplete selection of the more organised entertainments, distractions and events listed below, just after the basic information.

If you're reading this and not in town January 14 to 20, 2019, then you can see all the editions of these guides here, with the latest one at the top.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something 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

Getting around Ljubljana

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. If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

Cinemas and films playing in Ljubljana this week

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. That said, parents should pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Old Man & The Gun, Maria by Callas, The House That Jack Built, Suspira (remake), The Favourite and The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear (dubbed).

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, and it's showing a few Yugoslav movies this week, including Ubij me nežno, Draga moja Iza, Sedmina, Beograjski fantom and Ne čakaj na maj. There’s also Yi Yi from Taiwan, Le bonheur by Agnes Varda, and Lars von Trier’s Forbrydelsens.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyRobin Hood, Johnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svet, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, Bumblebee, a dubbed version of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magique, Second Act, Mortal Engines, Južni veter, Mary Poppins Returns, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and The Old Man & the Gun. New this week are The Favourite and The Upside.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing The Favourite, A Star is Born, The Old Man & the Gun, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Skrbovni’ca – Bringing inclusion to the heart of Ljubljana

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir, small gift, some directions or a sit down, consider going into Skrbovni’ca when you’re next between the Triple Bridge and Town Hall, just opposite Vigo. It’s a project that aims to bring more physically and mentally disabled people into the community, and you can learn more about it here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Clubbing in Ljubljana

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 consideable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay caberet to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here.

Ambasada Rog – Friday night, at Trubarjeva 72, there’s Fight the power! Music of rebellion - Persian and Arab hip-hop.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, All Night Session: RollKing. There’s more dub on Friday, which brings Dubwise Massive! with Unlisted Fanatic, and Boris Sound System, among others.

Gala Hala – Friday night it’s Zeleno sonce 119: Russian Attack, with Dj SOUL-K and DJ Udo Brenner.

Klub Cirkus – Friday night the more commercial end of the klubland has New AGE / MILI, with trap, hip hop, and R’n’B from the New Age Gang and a live show from Mili. Saturday the dancefloor is then surrendered to TUTTI Frutti: 90s & 00s Hits, with DJs Matthew Z & Matteo Kunst.

Klub K4 – More than 30 years old and still going strong, on Friday you can enjoy Phi w/ DMX KREW Live! The next night it’s the turn of Just A Dance, with DJs Den7el, Von Meister, and Dulash (Kvalitat), along with VJ 5237.

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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. They recently published a story warning about three pills with very high contents of MDMA, with details (in Slovene) here. Also be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.

Some fun facts about the city and its castle...

Enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy your friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the castle here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Things to do with children in Ljubljana

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

Mini Teater Ljubljana – The season sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatre not far from Križanke, including: The Frog King, Puss in Boots, Carrot Dwarf and The Little Match Girl. 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 of shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Live music in Ljubljana

Channel Zero – Thursday, from 21:00 to 00:00 you can enjoy live avant-garde jazz with Bonus Level: Ottone Pesante + Koromač, with the former being described as “extreme Italian brass metal lunatics” and the latter as “mixing hardcore and metal with jazz”. Anyone interested in this should note that John Zorn will be in town this summer.

Gala Hala – Thursday, 21:00 to 00:00, there’s stoner rock with Domorodni četrtki: Blackoutt. You can see them playing live at the same venue last year, below.

Kino Šiška – Thursday “diligent folk punkers” We Bless This Mess are playing a show. Saturday it’s Same Babe, who will be presenting their new album.

Klub Gromka – Trobecove krušne peći, an avant-garde postpunk band from Zagreb, will be playing with support from Idrija’s S.O.R, a double-bill you can catch on Saturday.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday is jazz night at the Castle, and this week it’s the Ratko Divjak Quartet.

Orto Bar – Thursday there’s another Kadilnica of Death presentation, with power metal from Minotauro and HairX. Friday night it’s Dirty  Skunks Fest, with Armaroth, Snogg, Teleport, Lintver, Valuk, Agregat and many others. The week ends on Saturday with a live set from Get Back, a tribute superband playing rock hits from the 60s and 70s.

Slovenska filharmonija – Thursday, the 17th, The Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Matej Šarc (musical direction and oboe) and Tomaž Sevšek (harpsichord), playing music by three of the Bachs along with Graun and Krebs, with the featured work by the latter shown in the first video below. Friday there’s new music for the new year, with a programme of Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, Matej Bonin, and Janez Matičič. The piece by Boulez is in the second video. Sunday, the 20th, Simfonični orkester RTV Slovenija will be playing Mozart and Haydn.

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Saturday there’s ballet, with Peer Gynt, as performed by the Ballet and Orchestra of the SNG Maribor Opera and Ballet. The next evening the Slovak Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic Choir will be performing Antonín Dvořák’s The Spectre's Bride.

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.

SNG Opera and Ballet – Nothing seems to be on here this week, but it's a nice building to admire on your way to or from the Moderna or National Galleries.

LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday.

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00,

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.

Museums and galleries in Ljubljana

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

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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. Read about our guided tour here. Something on for a limited time is Plečnik and the Sacred, showing here until January 20, 2019.

Cankerjev domRunning until the end of February 2019 is an exhibition titled Ivan Cankar and Europe: Between Shakespeare and Kafka. This is “An examination of Cankar’s art through an analysis of influences and interpretations, and juxtaposition with contemporary European writers. The visually elaborate architectural and graphic layout, supported by audio-visual media, installation art and diverse visual highlights, offers a vivid account of Cankar’s excellence, his comprehensively exquisite aesthetic and artistic vision.”

City Art GalleryDrago Tršar recently had a show at the main Moderna looking at his monumental works, and now this smaller gallery in the Old Town, not far from Town Hall, is showing some the sculpture’s erotic works, on until January 20, 2019. It’s being promoted with the following example, and is quite explicit in terms of breasts and vaginas, but if that's OK for you and your companions then there's much to enjoy in the paintings, bronzes and ceramics on show. You can read about my visit, and see a lot more pictures, here.

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City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while until March 3 2019 you can enjoy paintings, drawings, prints and murals from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre – Just outside the centre of town, at Dunajska cesta 18, you can see a lot of plasticized bodies at the Body Worlds Vital show, running from October 20 until January 20 2019.

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Photo: Body Works Vital

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water. Until February 24 visitors can enjoy Toasted Furniture, which presents some experiments with the reuse of plastic waste, and until February 28 there's a show on Oskar Kogoj and his chairs.

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Sam, 1966, fotografija na srebroželatinskem papirju. ©Stojan Kerbler

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.

Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park has two new shows. One is called Museum's (R)evolution 1948-2018, marking the place's 70th anniversary with an exhibition tracing its evolution through artefacts, photographs and personal stories and running until January 6 2019 (details here). There's also In Search of Freedom: 1968-2018, looking at the 1968 student protests.

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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

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JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.

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

Škuc Gallery - You can find this in the old town, and until January 20 there;s an interesting and often moving show called Kids that you can see for just 1 euro, with works by Johanna Billing, Matic Brumen, Andreja Džakušič, Priscila Fernandes, Eden Mitsenmacher, Franc Purg, and Pilvi Takala.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

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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.

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

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

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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maxpixel.net, public domain

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

Daytrips from Ljubljana

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

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Photo: Google Image Search

Finally...

1. You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here

2. We found ourselves with friends in Ljubljanski Dvor for pizza this afternoon and had forgotten about the raw size, majesty and value of their 50cm pizzas, which math says is an incredible 1,963 cm2 of flat surface, or somewhat more due to the uneven nature of the actual “pie”. See a write up of an earlier visit here.

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