Ljubljana related

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.

05 Jan 2019, 18:06 PM

The lights should be down by the end of the week, and as we work to get over the Christmas/New Year backlog there’s less time than we’d like to go out and have fun. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t looked ahead with some pleasure at the things we’ll be missing, able to skim the cultural life of the city with coffee or two from the warmth of a sofa, a pleasure we now hand on to you in the form of this multimedia guide to what’s on in Ljubljana next week (with past editions 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

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.

Cankerjev dom – The Dutch movie Girl is playing here this week.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is showing, among other features, The Old Man & The Gun, Den tid på året, Maria by Callas, Todos lo saben, Lady Bird (special rendez-vous with coffee and talk screenings) and The House That Jack Built.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing The Wrestler (Aronofsky), Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci) as well as some Slovene and Yugoslav classics.

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, and Mary Poppins Returns. The new releases this week are a dubbed version of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and The Old Man & the Gun.

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

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.

Božidar - Friday, January 11, you can dance from 23:59 to 05:00 with the fantastically named Joy Orbison b2b Jon K - All night longgg!

Channel Zero – Friday, 23:00 to 06:00, there’s an event called Traxman (Tekk Dj'z), with support from DJs SunnySun, Terranigma and Bakto. It’s being promoted with the following mix.

Gala Hala – Friday night there’s Wave Riders! with DJs Torulsson and Kobayashii and VJ Maii. Saturday the fun continues in this Metelkova venue, with a free event called Swaguljčica and hip hop from DJs Lil Ris, Tschimy, Borka and Cookie.

Klub Cirkus – Dress with care on Friday and brush off any dust or dandruff as it’s time for BLACK MOON – UV Gathering #5, a UV black light party soundtracked with dance, future house, edm, house, r&b, hip hop, and trap, as provided by LVN x Tim Black. Saturday is then a party night called Veliki Collegium After Party, with no details available as to the music.

Klub K4 – Friday night the klub 4 kool kids that’s into its 4th decade has K4 Gibanica, with “dance” being played by Nitz & LARA H, Tzena, Perodinamika, and Yurii, with VJ 5237 giving something for you to look at. Saturday there’s more dance in the form of Temnica, with music from СИНИ, Tritch, and S.S.S.

Orto Bar – Saturday, 22:00 to 04:00 there’s a night dedicated to Elvis Presley’s birthday. At present all that we can tell you is the music will be provided by DJ Martin13. Starting just before this, at 21:00, Yu Generacija are hosting, and playing, a selection of Yugo rock.

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Poster: drogart.org

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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going and, as ever, avoid unknown powders of questionable content and dose.

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 Castle has its own vineyard at the other end of the hill, as well as a cutting from Maribor's "World's Oldest Vine" growing in the courtyard. Screenshot: Google Maps

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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, ice cream and pizza.

Open-air ice skating can be found in Tivoli Park until March 10, 2019, with the details here.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – There's always an interesting and varied range of shows on for both adults and families 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.

Live music in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Thursday, 19:30, Rinnat Moriah, soprano, and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano, will perform under the baton of German pianist and conductor Michael Wendeberg, featuring Richard Strauss, A Hero's Life.

Klub Gromka – You can enjoy some European free jazz in Metelkova from 19:00 to 02:00 on Thursday, with performances from Frame Trio, Olfamoštvo, and Abstract Truth. Then Friday the 11th there’s live grindcore with Ritval VI - Glista, Trobec, and Alberto Tomba.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night at the Castle, and this Friday, 21:00, you can enjoy the live sounds of Papir, as seen below.

Pinelina dnevna soba – Friday evening, 20:00 to 23:00, you can enjoy live music from Mónika Lakatos, being promoted as follows: “Passionate, tragic, painful, life-affirming music of Hungarian Roma singer Mónika Lakatos accompanied by a guitarist Mihály “Mazsi” Rostás in intimate atmosphere of the Pinelina dnevna soba.”

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. Nthing else is planned for this week, but take a look below.

Klub Tiffany – Te gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. This Saturday it also has LFU - Večer feministične, lezbične in kvir pornografije, “LFU invites you to a film projection and talk about feminist, lesbian, and porn pornography from contemporary Berlin production. The event is open to lesbians, women and trans persons.” More 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.

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.

Kino ŠiškaKino Šiška – A show on Contemporary Graphic Arts, with the focus on printing, is running here until January 21, as well as various other exhibitions.

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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park is showing, among other things, (R)evolution of the museum 1948-2018. 70 years of the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia.

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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Thursday, 19:30, Rinnat Moriah, soprano, and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano, will perform under the baton of German pianist and conductor Michael Wendeberg, featuring Richard Strauss, A Hero's Life.

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 – There’s nothing on here this week.

Slovenska filharmonija – This orchestra is playing at Cankerjev dom, see above.

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

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

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Zvezda. Photo: JL Flanner

Finally...eating ice cream in Ljubljana in winter

Only serious ice cream stores keep making and selling ice cream through the winter, so we took a look at six of the best in the pedestrianised area, with something for sophisticated tastes as well as those who like to pile on the candies, cookies, syrups and treats. Read all about it here.

30 Dec 2018, 19:00 PM

The big event this week is obviously New Year’s, with plenty of action in bars, pubs and clubs around town, as well as on the streets and in the squares. The city-sponsored free events include Children's New Year's Celebrations in Congress Square at 16:00, then at 21:00 there are concerts at the following squares around town, all within a close distance of each other:

New Year's Celebrations at Congress Square featuring Anabel, Nika Zorjan and Victory

New Year's Celebrations at French Revolution Square featuring Super Action Heroes, Red Five Point Star and Elvis Jackson

New Year's Celebrations at City Square featuring Maraaya & Jazzilaz and Klara Jazbec

New Years Celebrations at Pogačar Square (the marketplace) featuring Gala Kvintet and France In Krila

For a rundown of events happening on the 31st around Slovenia, check here

Related: Remember the drink driving limit in Slovenia

IMPORTANT: Most supermarkets seem to be closed January 1 and 2, so stock up, work around or be disappointed. As a point of reference I have two bags of coffee, three bottles of penina and two dozen mandarins to ensure an easy start to the year.

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 this week in the same place. 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, Green Book, Den tid på året, The Favourite and Captain Morten and the Spider Queen.

Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is showing Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky, and on Saturday, January 5, all three Lord of the Rings movies will be shown.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin HoodThe Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyRobin Hood, Johnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svetPat in Mat znova v akcijiThe Nutcracker and the Four Realms, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, Bumblebee, a dubbed version of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magique, and Second Act. New this week are Mary Queen of Scots, Južni vetar, Mary Poppins Returns, and L'Empereur de Paris.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Mary Queen of Scots.

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night (New Year’s Eve) there’s NYE w/ Everything GOES with DJs Rope, Jerry, Sunneh, Fogy, and Stojc.

Gala Hala – Monday brings Piratska mineštra, with funk and hip hop from DJs Udo Brenner, Bakto, K’Pow and Dado. Friday, January 4, there’s a release party for SN3F, with music from DVMIR and KANOMOTIS.

Klub Cirkus – Say čao to 2018 and dobro jutro to 2019 at the more commercial end of klubland with The Best of Party Hits & Bubbles, which will also feature “dance performances”. On Friday the fun picks up again with a look back at the year that was on the dancefloor, with Repriza - Best of 2018, with the sets provided by Matthew Z, David Mel and MC Dey. Party animals can then return to the scene on Saturday, with DJ Dej presenting an RnB Explosion: Fresh Anthems & Classics Cuts.

Klub K4 – K4 has been burning itself into the memories of klubbers for three decades, and is still producing good times, tired feet and natural highs on a weekly basis. This week there’s just one event, and it’s on Monday night, with a party called K4NYE. This isn’t a Kanye tribute act, but a New Year party with the fun provided by Vid Vai b2b Nitz (Phi, Synaptic), Simm. b2b Marin (Just us), Nitram (NL), Alex Ranerro (SOVLD), Elovetric (Just a dance), DEN7EL (Just a dance), and VJ 5237. A relatively chill mix by Vid Vai is below.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – Monday night there’s Neznosna Lahkost Bivanja ~ Formaviva, which will be providing techno music and psychedelic folk at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta. On Friday there’s HashtagTradicija, which seems to be presenting something by Illegal Kru and this is probably a drum and bass affair.

Orto Bar – The rock club will see in the New Year with ZaNovLet: MetalAlternativePunk & TheDancingQueen70s80s90s. This is a two part evening, with “metal, punkrock, hardcore, stoner, grunge, alternative” from Dirty Skunks and Froot Bombs, followed by a DJ set featuring 70`s, 80`s, 90`s Disco Pop Dance Hits.

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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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.

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, ice cream and pizza.

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 or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Live music in Ljubljana

Continuing until the end of the month is a programme of free festive concerts in Novi trg, while there are also many street performers around town bringing some seasonal cheer and a chance to be charitable.

Cankerjev dom – Damir Imamović will be playing a New Year show, starting at 20:00.

Ljubljana Castle – On Friday, January 4, the Jazz Club will be hosting Las Cuerdas at 21:00, who will play a set of Latin rock / reggae.

Orto Bar – Thursday brings the first Kadilnica of Death promotion of 2019, this one featuring Inmate and Ashine. Friday you can then celebrate Elvis Presley's 84th Birthday Party, with a concert from Sam’s Fever.

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, but the special event this week is Sretna UstaNOVA! For New Year’s, featuring a long list of DJs and functioning as an afterpart to the earlier evening’s fun at Pritličje (see below).

Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while for the New Year it’s offering Resolution Revolution, which will invite you to party like it’s 1999.

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. On New Year's the place is still open all day, but the party officially begins at 21:00

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.

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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 VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

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Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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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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 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.

Vodnikova Domačija Šiška – Until December 29 you can see works by a few dozen Slovenian illustrators at the December Illustration Fair, and also buy some for yourself or as a unique gift.

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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, 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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

 Cankerjev dom – You’ll believe a man and woman can fly with a live performance by Circa, a contemporary circus act, presenting a show called Humans on January 31.

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 – Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker is on stage from January 3 to 6, and tickets tend to go fast at this time of year. Note that the performance below is not from Ljubljana.

Pocket Teater Studio – Thursday you can enjoy Noches de Tablao: Urška Centa, Anja Mejač & Žiga Murko in perhaps the smallest venue in town. Music and dance, flamenco style, but note that the number of seats is very limited, and thus you should make a reservation via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 070 325 522. The price of ticket is 20€ or 15€ for students, and includes wine throughout the evening.

Slovenska filharmonija – The New Year Concert here is on January 1, 18:00, and will feature the soprano Nika Gorič in a programme that’s almost entirely Offenbach. You can hear her singing something else below.

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. This week there's also the Ana Mraz street theatre festival here, every evening from December 26 to 30, 18:00 to 20:00.

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.

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

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...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, and there's a drone video of the New Year's fireworks in 2015 below. Whatever you're up to this week, I hope you have a good time in the city I call home, and a good year wherever you are.

22 Dec 2018, 22:00 PM

Christmas week is here, with many places closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but others open on even the big day itself, including some clubs and concert venues (although no supermarkets).

In addition to the various free seasonal activities on around town, with the easiest to find being the lights and stalls along the river, one month-long festival that continues this week is the Decembrrr Festival at the former Tobačna factory complex, with 36 free music, entertainment, culinary and social events by Slovenian and international artists. The Facebook for that is here, but otherwise there’s not much online about it. There are also concerts in Novi trg each evening.

A free festival just a short walk from the centre is the Ana Mraz season of street theatre performances, running from 18:00 to 20:00, December 26 to 30, with more details here, and suitable for all the family. You can read more about it here.

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© Luka Dakskobler

And the veteran pop provocateur Magnifico is back at Stožice for another of his Christmas Day shows (tickets here), with a live version of his song for the late Sylvia Kristel below.

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 this week in the same place. 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. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, is showing The Children Act, Moomins and the Winter Wonderland (dubbed), Den tid på året, Shoplifters, Sing me a Song, and Captain Morten and the Spider Queen (in English with Slovene subtitles).

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, Vincente Minelli’s The Bandwagon, Barry Sonnenfeld’s The Addam’s Family, and Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, among other features.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin HoodThe Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyJohnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svetPat in Mat znova v akcijiMortal Engines, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, and Bumblebee. New this week are a dubbed version of Asterix: Le secret de la potion magique, and Second Act.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, The Grinch (dubbed), Second Act and Gajin svet.

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.

We missed Umek’s show on Friday, and while that mix isn’t online yet you can hear his set from last year below.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show’s is Domaćica - Badnje Veče (Dubnjak). On Friday it’s then the turn of the cryptically named SUBØ: SO ICY, with line-up that includes  Bor$aleano, cl_tr, DVS, Futon, Lil Ris and TMA playing bass-heavy electronic music. Saturday then brings Frag::ments & Friends, an all-nighter with liquid funk, techstep and drumfunk, all under the broad umbrella of drum’n’bass. Sunday you can then get in the mood for the impending new year with Mami's Magic & Channel Zero Night, with “dance” from Tischeen!, Magica, Krištof and Sinonimus.

Gala Hala – Monday this club in Metelkova has Božična ex-Yu ludara, playing local classics. Friday there’s a change in genre, with Wave riders: Electro riders, featuring DJs Torulsson, Kobayashii, and VJ Maii. On Saturday it’s techno with Versus: Shekuza / RSN.

Klub Cirkus – Tuesday night, December 25, the Christmas edition of Tutti Frutti, 90s and 00s hits, will keep you entertained until 05:00 Wednesday. You could then return that night for Prednovoletna HITčina 26/12, playing the big hits. Taking Thursday off to recover, or go elsewhere, the party then restarts on Friday night TRIP ft. Kosta Radman & MC Dey. You can then hit Cirkus for the last time this week with Best of 2018 - The Ultimate Cirkus Yearmix.

Klub K4 – Monday night the klub for kool kids, with 30 years in the business, has LuckIsOn w. Omar and Ian F. On Friday it’s K4x4 w/ Skee Mask and others playing what seems to be techno. Saturday the week ends with the LGBT all-nighter, K4 Roza, with the music coming from Sonja Sajzor, Elovetric, Ady, Toledano, B L N, and M00sh.

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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – December sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatrr 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 or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

December at Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction, the Castle, has a lot planned for December, including an innovative projection on the walls at 17:00 each day. Learn more about what’s going on up on the hill this month here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Continuing until the end of the month is a programme of free festive concerts in Novi trg, while there are also many street performers around town bringing some seasonal cheer and a chance to be charitable.

Cankerjev dom – Friday evening there’s a concert celebrating the work of Jacques Brel, 40 years after his death. Saturday then has music from Rudi Bučar and Istrabend.

Gala Hala - Thursday there’s a live show from morvern.

Klub Gromka – Thursday night there’s Praznična Moonleejad(ic)a, with Nikki Louder, Analena, and Hoax Program playing post-punk. Friday the stage belongs to Čarovnice se vračajo vol. 3, with live sets from pavleisdead and Prasila Koynsk. On Saturday things take a hardcore turn, with performances from Aktivna Propaganda, Growing Rats, and Iamdisease.

Ljubljana Castle – On Friday night jazz night – which often leans to pop and funk – has a show from Tadej Toš & the band: Prosto po Prešernu.

Orto Bar – The rock club has a quiet week until Friday, when Kadilnica of Death presenting live sets from Space Unicorn On Fire & Metal Dedek Mraz. Saturday there’s a line-up of grunge tribute acts, with Dropped-D (Alice in Chains), Kung Foo Fightres (Foo Fighters), Supergarden (Soundgarden), and  Temple of the Wolf (Temple of the Dog).

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 K4 – Saturday there’s an LGBT all-nighter, K4 Roza, with the music coming from Sonja Sajzor, Elovetric, Ady, Toledano, B L N, and M00sh.

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

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. This Friday there’s a December Punch Party, with DJ Zois.

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is 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.

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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 VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

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Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

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.

Vodnikova Domačija Šiška – Until December 29 you can see works by a few dozen Slovenian illustrators at the December Illustration Fair, and also buy some for yourself or as a unique gift.

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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, 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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

 

Cankerjev dom – December 29 to 31, from Saturday on, there’s contemporary circus with Cirka from Australia pushing the limits of what the human body is capable of in a show called Humans.

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 – Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker is on stage from Wednesday and Thursday, and tickets tend to go fast at this time of year. You can try and buy some here. Note that the performance below is not from Ljubljana. Friday there’s Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, while Saturday it’s Rossini’s Cinderella and on Sunday Verdi’s La Traviata.

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. This week there's also the Ana Mraz street theatre festival here, every evening from December 26 to 30, 18:00 to 20:00.

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.

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

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

Lake bled bench google image search.png

Photo: Google Image Search

Finally...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while the following video tells the story of what seems to be a dying tradition along Trubarjeva cesta.

16 Dec 2018, 13:15 PM

All of a sudden we’re here at the start of the last full week before Christmas, from which we’ll tumble, well-fed and rested, into the last week of the year, with 2019 now turning up on invoices, bills, library stamps and short-term planning schemes. If you’re in town and looking to buy some gifts without visiting a mall then you’ll find plenty of small, interesting items within the pedestrianised area, with a quick look at 10 places to buy toys, candy, drink, books and fashion items here.

In addition to the various free Christmas activities on around town, with the easiest to find being the lights and stalls along the river, one month-long festival that continues this week is the Decembrrr Festival at the former Tobačna factory complex, with 36 free music, entertainment, culinary and social events by Slovenian and international artists. The Facebook for that is here, but otherwise there’s not much online about it. There are also concerts in Novi trg each evening.

 

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 this week in the same place. 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. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, is showing The Children Act, Moomins and the Winter Wonderland (dubbed), Capharnaüm, Den tid på året, and Manbiki Kazoku.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing Ridley Scott’s The Counselor (2013), Jean Rouch’s Moi, un noir and then his La pyramide humaine. Finally, Penelope Spheeris’ Waynes World is playing on Sunday 23.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin HoodThe Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), WidowsFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldBohemian RhapsodyJohnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svetFahrenheit 11/9Pat in Mat znova v akcijiMortal Engines, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, dubbed and subbed versions of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Kursk and  Aquaman. New this week is Bumblebee.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, and the The Grinch (dubbed).

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show’s is Domaćica, an open mic event. The dub returns on Friday, with Dubwise Massive!, featuring the Dubbing Sun sound system.

Gala Hala –  Friday there’s an all-nighter called Rx:tx predstavlja: Kode9 (Hyperdub), with a set from the headliner below.

Klub Cirkus – A busy week here. Tuesday night there’s a Christmas party being run by the Economics Faculty. Wednesday it’s the turn of the Sports Faculty to take the floor, while on Thursday it’s a party for all the faculties. Friday there’s music from the New Age Gang, with a live performance from AMN. The week then ends with a an all-nighter on Saturday offering house classics, with Roger Sanchez feat. Kristen Knight.

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Klub K4 – The kool kids outside of Metelkova are only having two parties this week. On Friday there’s K4DNB w. Roots in Session, with drum and bass from Roots In Session, YooRonYaa, Rak3ta, Fornax, Spade, and Dominus Diaboli. On Saturday there’s SOLVD w. Nevena Jeremić, moving between minimal, acid and electro.

Orto Bar –  Friday night this rock club is going back the 80s, for a super, mega, 80s DJ party.

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, andout story on the group is here. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – December sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatrr 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 or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

December at Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction, the Castle, has a lot planned for December, including an innovative projection on the walls at 17:00 each day. Learn more about what’s going on up on the hill this month here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Continuing until the end of the month is a programme of free festive concerts in Novi trg, while there are also many street performers around town bringing some seasonal cheer and a chance to be charitable.

Cankerjev dom – The Symphony Orchestra and RTV Slovenia’s Big Band are playing a Christmas concert here on Sunday 23.

Križanke – There’s a free Christmas concert in the Knight’s Hall at 18:00 on Monday.

Gala Hala - Wednesday there’s a live set from Vasko Atanasovski Trio: Tradicionalno Vaskovanje. The next night you can then see the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble.

Klub Gromka – Thursday you can see a live show from Snake, Srack and Lev Quintet, playing contemporary jazz, along with a set by Tea Vidmar.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – The alternative to Metelkova has a night of techno on Friday, with Tektonika, featuring DJ Ane Marta, among others.

Ljubljana Castle – Saturday night is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by Wakili

Orto Bar – Thursday night the Kadilnica of Death team is presenting a release party for Nekrotik, with support from Sweet Sorrow. Friday the Drunk in Public crew takes over, with punky good times from Pink Panker, Billy Clubs, and Cener. Saturday, 21:00, you can see veteran crowd-pleasers Partibrejkers.

Slovenian Philharmonic Hall – Thursday, 18:00, there’s a Christmas concert from the orchestra and choir.

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 night.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. On Thursday, 20:00, there's the Cafe Evening with a New Year Quiz. Saturday there's then a Madonna-themed Trash-out party, which, per the Facebook, promises the "najbolj queer zabava v mestu."

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is 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 dom – Running 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.

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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 VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

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Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

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.

Vodnikova Domačija Šiška – Until December 29 you can see works by a few dozen Slovenian illustrators at the December Illustration Fair, and also buy some for yourself or as a unique gift.

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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, 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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

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, 20:00, theatre comes to Metelkova with Zatiranje v Gromki: Pravljični večer z Mojimi prav(lj)icami.

Pocket Teater Studio – There’s flamenco music and dance this Friday with Noches de Tablao: Urška Centa, Anja Mejač & Žiga Murko. The number of seats is very limited, and so you must make reservations via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 070 325 522. The price of ticket is 20€ and 15€ for students (state in advance), and this includes wine throughout the whole evening.

SNG Opera and Ballet – Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker is on stage from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets tend to go fast at this time of year. You can try and buy some here. Note that the performance below is not from Ljubljana.

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.

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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...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while you can watch someone skateboard through the town below.

09 Dec 2018, 13:00 PM

The streets are starting to fill up, and it’s not always easy to ride a bike across Prešeren or the Triple Bridge, with groups of visitors from near and far stopping to look at the lights, take a few dozen pictures, and choose a direction to head off in. Wherever they go they’ll be ensured a lively walk accompanied by a growing number of street performers, as well as stalls selling seasonal items and food, with the latter being mostly sausages and burgers.

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The market that runs along one side of the Cathedral has Christmas wreaths, decorations and centrepieces for sale. Photo: JL Flanner

A month-long festival that continues this week is the Decembrrr Festival at the former Tobačna factory complex, with 36 free music, entertainment, culinary and social events by Slovenian and international artists. The Facebook for that is here, but otherwise there’s not much online about it.

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 this week in the same place. 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. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, is showing The Children’s Act, The House that Jack Built, Shoplifters and the remake of Suspira.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva, a street that’s worth walking up for the architecture alone, is showing, among other features: Fellini’s Amacord, Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, Leone’s Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo aka Dober, grd, hudoben aka The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin Hood, The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), WidowsFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldEl mayor regalo, Little ItalyBohemian RhapsodyHalloweenJohnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svetFahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s Trump movie, Pat in Mat znova v akcijiMortal Engines, Overlord, Posledice and a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse. New this week are Kursk and Suspira, while on Thursday there’s Aquaman. Note that some of these are only playing once a day.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody and the The Grinch (dubbed).

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.

Božidar - Friday, December 14th, there's a set from Josey Rebelle, as heard below.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show’s a live one from Pablo Raster, with a video for that shown in Live Music, below. Recorded music comes back with vengeance on Saturday with Kung Fu Techno!, featuring DJs STUPA, LXS, and ADAMM, with the visuals provided by Dimension and Nibera. Sadly, I wasn’t able to finds sets from any of these online.

Klub Gromka – Friday night is a celebration of 90s Eurodance.

Gala Hala –  Saturday (15th) Underground Pulse are presenting a drum’n’bass all-nighter headlined by Kyrist with support from Theejay, Fornax b2b Dominus Diaboli, Wubsonik b2b Danaja and Etrove.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland begins the week on Tuesday with a student-led Threesome Christmas party. Wednesday continues the fun with an all-nighter called I AM party presents: New Age Special with Senidah x COBY, which looks like a rap’n’trap affair. Friday it’s time to choose your clothes wisely for BLACK MOON – UV Gathering #4, with dance, future house, EDM, house, r&b, hip hop, and trap being spun under the magic of black light. Saturday then ends the week with another all-night party, this one being fuelled by the best of r’n’b.

Klub K4 – the legendary klub 4 kool kids that isn’t in Metelkova has two all-nighters this week. On Friday the sounds will be provided by Roman Flügel, with support from some names signed to Synaptic. Saturday there’s an event being promoted with nice retro poster, one I’d like to home – Tetkine zimske radosti. This promises “yugo funk beat” with DJs Bakto, Woo-D and Borka, and video magic from FŠK.

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, andout story on the group is here. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – December sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatrr 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 or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

December at Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction, the Castle, has a lot planned for December, including an innovative projection on the walls at 17:00 each day. Learn more about what’s going on up on the hill this month here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Starting on the 14th (Friday) and continuing until the end of the month is a programme of free festive concerts in Novi trg.

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, 19:30, the pianist Natasha Paremky will be performing Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Strahonik with the RTV Slovenian Symphony Orchestra. The same night, at 20:00, the progressive art rock of Moonlight Sky will be playing elsewhere in the building. Thursday and Friday evenings the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Franc Kosem on the trumpet, playing Borodin, Rojko and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Križanke – The Young Virtuosi series of free concerts continues with violin and piano music from Beethoven, Brahms, Saint-Saens and more.

Gala HalaHaiku Garden had their equipment stolen in Spain. On Thursday they’ll be playing a benefit concert to raise money for new things, with live support from The Canyon Observer and Svermirko, along with DJs Nitz, Shekuza, Nulla and R36.

Kino Šiška – Monday The Tiger Lillies are back in town after two years away, with the focus being on their latest album Devil’s Fairground. Friday you can see and hear Matter, YGT Live! and Acty. Saturday evening the stage is taken over by My Baby, being promoted as “Dutch trance/blues shamans”, with support from Serbia’s Igralom.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz at the castle, with the music often veering into Latin, funk and other genres, and this week it’s the collective Get on Board, playing “cosmic jazz”, with the saxophone held and blown by Lovro Ravbar.

Orto Bar – Thursday night you get by with the Kokr Joe Band, a Joe Cocker Tribute Band. Friday Seven Days In May are playing live, and on the same day there’s a show from Riffeater: Amalgam, Usil, and Đezm. Saturday then sees a show from Extaza.

Španski borci – Thursday, 19:30, you can thrill to the varied sounds of Orkester Mandolina Ljubljana.

Slovenian Philharmonic Hall – The choir will be joined by folk on violin, organ and harp for a programme featuring Bach, Part, Rachmaninov, Strauss and more.

Tobačna – 20:00 Saturday there’s what’s billed as a live show by Soul Tribute Mixtape.

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 night, and then on Saturday, 23:00, you can enjoy sounds from Deena Abdelwahed.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Deena Abdelwahed will also be heard here on Saturday

 

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. 

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 dom – Running 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.

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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.

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 VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije.JPG

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

Galerija Kresija – Showing in the City Hall’s right atrium until December 13 is an installation, Gorazd Krnc: Tod in Ondod (Worth Not Knowing Where Knowington Is), which includes video projections

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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

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.

Vodnikova Domačija Šiška – Until December 29 you can see works by a few dozen Slovenian illustrators at the December Illustration Fair, and also buy some for yourself or as a unique gift.

 

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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, 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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

Dance Theatre Ljubljana (Plesni Teater Ljubljana) – Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th, there’s a dance theatre performance called Razgaljeno (Exposed), with the choreography and concept from Rosana Hribar.

 

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 – Saturday night, 21:00, the techno burlesque of Tatovi podob (Image Snatchers) is back on stage for music, dance, comedy and light nudity.

SNG Opera and Ballet – This week’s operas are Madame Butterfly on Tuesday, Macbeth on Wednesday and Friday, Carmen on Thursday and Saturday.

Španski borci – Saturday night there’s a performance by Via Negativa called Sorry.

 

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.

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

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...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while if you're interested in seeing the city in decades past, and black and white, then enjoy the following clips

02 Dec 2018, 13:30 PM

The lights are on but, even last night, a Saturday, the streets weren’t all that crowded for the season, and you could walk around and enjoy the scene without being overwhelmed. In the days and weeks ahead this will change, though, as the tourist season ramps up again and folk from around the world come to Ljubljana and see what’s new this year. If you’re looking for Christmas action in the capital then it’s easy to find, just follow the lights and music. And if the temperature drops and you need a hat, scarf and gloves, or some candy, dried meat, or gifts, then take a look at the stalls along the river and behind the cathedral, where there’s a stage set up for oompah music.

Miklavž, aka St Nicholas, will also be making his annual appearance in town on Wednesday, starting at 17:00 in Krakov trg – by the Puppet Theatre and Castle funicular – then heading towards Prešeren Square, with his devils hanind out candies amid music, noise and light, as see a few years ago below. (And you can learn more about the tradition, and where else you can see it in Slovenia, here.)

With regard to festivals, fans of animation, for both children and adults, should scroll down to learn more about the Animateka festival, while a month-long festival that starts this week is the Decembrrr Festival at the former Tobačna factory complex, with 36 free music, entertainment, culinary and social events by Slovenian and international artists. The Facebook for that is here, but otherwise there’s not much online about it.

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 this week in the same place. 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.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Want someone to hold your hand while you're reading Slovene? Check out our weekly Slovene-English dual texts.

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, witrh special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

Animateka, the International Animated Film Festival, is back for it’s 15th edition, running from Monday to Sunday. This is mostly happening at Kinodvor and Kinoteka, and will include features and shorts from around the world, aimed at both children and adults, with a special focus on Hungary. There are also workshops for children, masterclasses and panel discussions for adults, a related exhibition of VR and 360-degree gaming. More details can be found here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, seems to be given over to Animateka this week. For this we’ll highlight the Japanese Mirai of the Future, to be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. On Thursday you can see Ce Magnifique Gâteau! and then attend a Q&A with the directors. On Saturday there’s Stereo Expanded: National Film Board of Canada, a presentation of various shorts that play around with 3D.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva, a street that’s worth walking up for the architecture alone, is also taking part in Animateka, with some, but not all, films shown with English subtitles, so do check. One that will be supported with both English and Slovene is The Breadwinner.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin Hood, The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), The House that Jack Built, Widows, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, El mayor regalo, Little Italy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Halloween, Johnny English 3, A Star is Born, Gajin svet, The Grinch (in subbed and dubbed versions), Robin Hood and Widows. New this week are Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s Trump movie, Hannah, and Pat in Mat znova v akciji; while starting Wednesday is Mortal Engines and on Saturday a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, The Grinch (dubbed), and Fahrenheit 11/9.

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show’s being run by Šlagwerk. The on Friday there’s a night called Everything GOES, with a team of DJs made up of Rope, Jerry, Sunneh, Fogy, and Stojc, none of whom seem to have mix online.

Gala HalaBreakbeat Pressure is the name of the game on Friday, with an all-nighter featuring DJs Pips, Dado, Zhe and Woo-D. A fun mix by the last name on that list is below.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland has what I’m sure will the first of many student Christmas parties on Wednesday, with an all-nighter offering “electronic dance music”. Friday it’s the turn of R’n’B Explosion, featuring fresh anthems and classics cuts with DJ Dey and DJ Martee. Saturday then offers something a little different, with Gramophonedzie #3 LIVE!, featuring a DJ, live singer and live trumpet.

Klub K4 – The legendary klub 4 kool kids has two all-nighters this week. On Friday there’s K4 Temnica with DJs Labud, Stojan, Nulla and Gojc, while on Saturday there’s Just A Dance, with DJs DEN7EL, Elovetric and Rinçage Énergique, and visuals from VJ 5237.

Orto Bar – Friday night there’s Shadowtime, playing alternative, dark 80's, industrial, gothic rock, and synthpop.

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, andout story on the group is here. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

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Photo: JL Flanner

December at Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction, the Castle, has a lot planned for December, including an innovative projection on the walls at 17:00 each day. Learn more about what’s going on up on the hill this month here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Cankerjev domTuesday evening there’s a live show from Autoryno, as part of a series curated by John Zorn.

Gala Hala - Wednesday night there’s Kočevje u Lublan, with live performances from Pankeroschi, Septic Order, Movemental and Nika&Nejc. Thursday there’s then the Croatian band Šumski. On Saturday there the second dub night of the week – the first is at Channel Zero – starts with a live show from Hornsman Coyote, and then goes on until 06:00 with the sounds being supplied by Jahmessenjah Sound and Selektor Ohoroho.

Klub Gromka – It’s a busy week at this club in Metelkova. On Tuesday there’s Kvartet Accademia, playing chamber music. Thursday there’s Noites Do Brasil, from 19:00 until after 04:00, with live and DJ music from Brazil, with the line-up including Sherzer Brigade, Denise Dantas Trio and DJ Yors Truli. Friday there’s then another mix of live and DJ music at an all-nighter called Kornet, with the live side of things being take care of by Haiku Garden, Mint, Koshava, Ujma and Lynch, while the DJs are ZORKOW, LE_EN_ART, Kaluza8, and LNLN. The week ends on Saturday with metal from Sober Assault, Veil of Deception, and Obnounce.

Kino Šiška – Friday, 20:00 on, there’s a free to enter battle of the bands for student groups, Špil liga, with voting by SMS.

Ljubljana Castle – Thursday night, starting at 21:00, there’s Nina Strnad & the Jazz Club Gajo Quartet.

Orto Bar – A packed week at Orto begins on Wednesday with death metal from Revocation, Archspire, Soreption, and Rivers of Nihil. The metal continues on Thursday with another Kadilnica of Death production, featuring doom, groove and sludge from Mist, Deep Down Bellow (sic), and Mutism. Saturday brings yet more metal, this time from Ensiferum and Trio de facto, with the headliners – and perhaps the support – putting on an acoustic show.

Pritličje – Thursday night there’s electronic music from OVAL Live! and Luka Prinčič Live!

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 night, and this Friday there’s music all night from DJs Kieran Loftus, Felis Catus, DVMIR and Lil Ris.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Tuesday evening, 20:00 to 22:00, there’s a talk on chemsex. Thursday, 20:00 to 22:00, there’s a café night on video games and geek culture.

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night.

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 dom – Running 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.

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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 VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije.JPG

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

Galerija Kresija – Showing in the City Hall’s right atrium until December 13 is an installation, Gorazd Krnc: Tod in Ondod (Worth Not Knowing Where Knowington Is), which includes video projections

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, with the poster for the show shown below.

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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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

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, 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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

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.

Pocket Teater Studio – Friday night there’s A Sentimental Education - Songs and Stories, which is being promoted as “a colourful storytelling tour through the Sentimental Education of a subcontinent, with Carlos Pascual on the microphone and Carlos Yoder on the piano. Storytelling in English and songs in Spanish from the Latin American tradition in order to illuminate a world that seems completely gone.” The venue is tiny, and so it’s important to make a reservation via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in 070 325 522. The price of ticket is 20€ (15€ for students) and includes wine during the whole performance.

SNG Opera and BalletSwan Lake will be performed from Wednesday to Sunday, although most shows seem to be sold out. Note that it continues to be performed throughout the season, so maybe book now to avoid disappointment.

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

From November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here.

If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

JL Flanner P9148114.jpg

Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.

If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still 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 at the top of this page, with more 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.

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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...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while if you're curious about the cost of living compared to other cities then you can learn more here.

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Photo montage: JL Flanner

24 Nov 2018, 22:47 PM

As of writing the lights and tree are up, but nothing lit, and so for a few more days you have the chance to see a skeletal display. This changes at 17:15 on Friday, November 30, when the switch will be flipped in Prešeren Square, somewhere near the tree, and the whole pedestrianised area will come alive, as seen in this promotional video from 2017.

Yes, December in Ljubljana is a magical time, with the lights designed by Zmago Modic - the man behind the summer rain - coming out once again but moved to different positions, making things both familiar and fresh. In addition to the lights there are stalls selling mulled wine, sausages, chestnuts and other seasonal delights, along with decorations, hats, gifts, that kind of thing, with live and recorded music to keep you on your toes.

One other event to look out for at the end of the week is SILA's annual bazaar, taking place on Sunday in the Grand Hotel Union from 10:00 to 16:00, where you can enjoy food from around the world (often cooked by embassy chefs), as well as other items, cultural performances and a prize draw. I ate Indian food twice on my visit last year, and aim to go earlier and hungrier this year. You can read more about SILA here.

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A previous bazaar. Photo: SILA

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 this week in the same place. 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 in various parts of the downtown area. 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, witrh special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

One film festival that continues this the week, the Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival, which runs until December 02. You can learn more about the festival, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here.

Kinodvor  – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, is playing, among other features: Winter FliesThe House that Jack BuiltThe Children ActPosledice, Igor Zabel: Kako narediti umetnost vidno?, Un beau soleil intérieur and The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child, with the latter also shown in a Sunday morning babysitting presentation. There’s also a dubbed version of The Highway Rat playing.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing many of the LGBT+ festival films, including, Chi salverà le rose?, My Life with James Dean, Jean Genet, un captif amoureux, parcours d’un poète combatant, and Sidney & Friends. All the festival moves will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin Hood, The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), The House that Jack Built, Widows, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldEl mayor regalo, The Girl in the Spider's Web, Little Italy, Overlord, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Bohemian Rhapsody, Halloween, Johnny English 3A Star is Born and Gajin svet.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian RhapsodyA Star is Born and The Grinch.

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, this week with Domaćica Original: Dj Večer - Zenicafaria Sound (BiH). Friday you can then enjoy Elektroliza: Electro City Ljubljana #2 with electo music from DJs Kalson, Le Chocolat Noir, Alavux, Barion, and Microslav, and visual from VJ RGB.

Gala Hala – Friday night it’s Umešana jajca with dance, breakbeat and alternative hip hop, as cooked by DJs Jopa (KopajOvo; Hr), Borka (rx:tx, Tetkine radosti) and Woo-D (GOR, Tetkine radosti).

Klub Cirkus – It’s a busy week here, with Wednesday kicking things off with a party for young economists called Brucanje Ekonomistov. Thursday the space is given over to Schweppes Experience / DJ Dey & Anthony & Gaja Prestor, again offering “party music”. Friday night things get more specific with El Fuego, who’ll be playing LatinX flavoured pop, R&B, dance, reggaeton, latin house, tropical, and island beats, offering a warm escape from whatever the weather is doing outside. The week then ends on Saturday with Tutti Frutti - Slovenska Edicija. This will see music from DJs Matthew Z and Matteo Kunst, and a special appearance by Alya, the artist behind this bouncy pop song.

Klub K4 – O šit, the klub 4 kool kids is offering an electronic dance music all-nighter on Friday, with music from DJs Eliaz Live! (Sw:idr), Looni (Elektronika 69), Kosheer (Past Present), Čunfa (TRITE) and Nebelung (Courtyard), with VJ 5237. Saturday there’s another all-night party, with Sezam & Friends playing house, techno, acid, electro, rave, and bass, and the tunes being mixed by Commercial Break, Gabi, Softskinson b2b Krilc, and Levanael b2b Felis Catus.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – The alternative to Metelkova that sits at one end of Trubarjeva will have an all-nighter from Bass Fighters on Friday, presenting a drum’n’bass audiovisual experience, with one of the DJs being Theejay. On Saturday it’s the turn of od:vod pres. Infoline, .

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, andout story on the group is here. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Facts about Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main tourist attraction is the Castle, and you’ll enjoy your visit a lot more if you know what you’re looking at, so take a look at our 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana Castle and learn, among other things, why some of these holes are round and some triangular.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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.

There's an LGBT+ Film Festival in town from thr 24th on, and you can learn more about that, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday night, but otherwise nothing seems to be planned..

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Special this week is Saturday night's event, A Star is Born. Per the promotion: "From the Trash-Out team who brought you the Britney and Mean Girls Trash-outs comes a new party to open the festive December. Come out of the cold nooks and crannies and try to come on top for one night. Let your inner diva come out and steal the spotlight. Claw you way up to the pedestal and reach for the stars; thats how stars are born! Music: The last decade of hits with Lady Gaga in the front line."

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. 

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 dom – Running 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.

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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 Vžigalica – Saša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

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Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

Galerija Kresija – Showing in the City Hall’s right atrium until December 13 is an installation, Gorazd Krnc: Tod in Ondod (Worth Not Knowing Where Knowington Is), which includes video projections

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, with the poster for the show shown below.

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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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, 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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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.

Live music in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday evening there’s Midori on the violin and Özgür Aydin on the piano playing Bach, Schubert, Franck and Respighi.

Gala Hala - Thursday night there’s Domorodni četrtki: Blue Town's Radio.

Klub Gromka – Tuesday there’s Limun Up, with Canshaker Pi and 21 Vek, the former said to be the best live band in the Netherlands. Thursday there’s another double bill, Last Rizla (Greece) and Drobovina, playing post-punk, stoner, and sludge metal.

Kino Šiška – Friday you can enjoy Marko Louis, with an aftershow from DJ Zeds and DJ Bayo, then on Sunday there’s music from Keziah Jones.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by Akordika.

Orto Bar – Wednesday evening, from 20:00 on, you can celebrate 15 years of the Rock Partyzani, plus guests. Friday Letu Štuke take the stage. The third show of the week comes from Avtomobili.

Slovenska filharmonija – Thursday evening it’s baroque music with a programme of Vivaldi and Bach. Friday there’s then a choir concert on the 90th anniversary of composer Jakob Jež

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

There’s an international improv festival, held in English, going on this week, with the name Naked Stage (Goli odor). Most the shows will be in Elektro Ljubljana, not far from Metelkova, with more details here.

Kino Šiška – A short bus ride or taxi from the centre, this venue is hosting events that are part of the dance-based CoFestival, November 23 to 29, with the official website here and the programme here (Slovene, but easily translated by a machine). Among the delights, Lucinda Childs: Zgodnja dela (Early Works 1963 – 1978).

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.

Pocket Teater Studio – Friday night there’s CoraViento at Noches de Tablao, a Slovenian tango troupe. The venue is tiny, and so it’s important to make a reservation via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in 070 325 522. The price of ticket is 20€ (15€ for students) and includes wine during the whole performance.

SNG Opera and Ballet – Nothing seems to be on here this week.

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

From November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here.

If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.

If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still 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 at the top of this page, with more 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.

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

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

Finally...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here.

17 Nov 2018, 20:00 PM

A few small festivals on around town this week, which together make up a rather programme of concerts, talks, shows and more. For one thing there’s an electronic art, music, activism and critical thinking festival, Grounded (11/21–23), with shows at several venues around town. The Facebook is here, the website here, and the schedule here. Another multi-venue multi-day event is the Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival, which runs from November 24 to December 02 - see the Cinemas in Ljubljana or LGBT+ sections below. Meanwhile, Kino Šiška is hosting CoFestival, with a focus on dance (details here). There’s also the Naked Stage all-English international improv festival – see more here. Finally, if you're in town on Saturday (24th) then consider going to Špica, not far from the centre, and seeing a one-night only festival of fire and performances, all free, called Ana Plamenita, with details 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 this week in the same place. 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. 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, witrh special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here and here).

One film festival starts at the end of the week, the Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival, which runs from November 24 to December 02. That’s right – December’s just around the corner. You can learn more about the festival, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, is playing, among other features: Ash is Purest White, Winter Flies, The House that Jack Built, The Children Act, The Third Murder, Phantom Thread, Consequences and The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s child, with the latter also shown in a Sunday morning babysitting presentation.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook), White Material (Clarie Denis), Ex Machina (Alex Garland) and The Snapper (Stephen Frears), among other features.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Bohemian RhapsodyHunter KillerHalloween Johnny English 3VenomA Star is BornGajin svetNight SchoolMamma Mia! 2 and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The Girl in the Spider's Web, and OverlordLittle ItalyFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldEl mayor regalo, and The Grinch. The new movie is Air Strike, and that seems to be it, with The Grinch leaving almost as soon as it arrived.

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

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.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, this week with All One Love # Party Gathering. Friday’s there music from the Handy Jandy and Spejs collectives, with a list of DJs playing trap, beats, bass, breakbeat and jungle.

Gala Hala – Friday there’s Wave riders: Electro riders, with DJs Torulsson, Kobayashii and Skinar. The week then comes to a climax with a Saturday all-nighter, SNIF presents: Anklklan X 50 Franks X WNDE, with what seems to be both live acts and DJs presenting: trap, bass and grime.

Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s Holomondo playing indie post-disco.

Klub Cirkus – Two events at this regular party club, with Friday seeing an all-nighter of DJs headlined by an appearance from Mari Ferrari. On Saturday there’s R’n’B with DJ Rea, with the night ending at 05:00, still some time before sunrise.

Klub K4 – The klub 4 kool kids also has two nights this week. Friday there’s Just Us w. Francesco Del Garda, supported by Dipsas, Limc, Simm and Marin. Then Saturday you can step back in time to an era before smartphones with K4 Techno Oldies Goldies, with DJ’s play techno and house.

Koncertna Dvorana Rog – The alternative to Metelkova at one end of Trubarjeva has IIIachine City on Friday, with DJs Alfredo Mazzilli, Gesta, Lunatik and Herman K vs RSN playing techno.

Orto Bar – Thursday there’s the post-Bryan Adams Concert Ultimate Pop Rock Party, a free to enter event that will be playing music aimed at fans of Bryan Adams, who's playing Stozice 

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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Facts about Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main tourist attraction is the Castle, and you’ll enjoy your visit a lot more if you know what you’re looking at, so take a look at our 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana Castle and learn, among other things, what these people are standing around and how it’s linked to Predjama Castle.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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. We recently also published an interview with the LGBT activist and writer Suzana Tratnik, talking about - among other things - the occupation of Metelkova.

There's an LGBT+ Film Festival in town from thr 24th on, and you can learn more about that, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday night, and is also hosting some of the Grounded festival events..

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Special this week are events for Grounded and the LGBT Film Festival – including Wednesday, 20:00, a screening of Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution?, while on Tuesday evening there’ll be something for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. This Thursday there’s an event related to the Grounded festival, Vzhodno od queera ali Kjer ga najdeš | Grindr.

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.

Cankerjev dom – Running 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 recent 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 Vžigalica – Saša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije.JPG

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

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.

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Photo: City Gallery

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, with the poster for the show shown below.

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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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.” The same venue has an exhibition based on Slovenia’s Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, called “Living with Water”, and on until November 25.

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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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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.

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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 objects.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, 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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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: Alternative Ljubljana

Live music in Ljubljana

Arena Stožice will be hosting Mr Adams on Thursday, November 22

Channel Zero – Wednesday night there’s a night of live music with Maraton trojk: Lynch & Rib & Sergio Lounge.

Cankerjev dom – Saz'iso are playing Monday (19th) at 20:00. Here’s what Ry Cooder said about the album they’re promoting. “Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania?”. Saturday and Sunday there are shows marking 30 Years of the Prifarski Muzikanti Band.

Klub Gromka – Saturday there’s a night with the name Ritval IV: Grrrrinding Insanity, with live grindcore and death metal from Rotten Cold, Dickless Tracy and Glista.

Kino Šiška – Tuesday there’s a show from Anna Calvi, while on Thursday you can enjoy pop from Tsar B and Zagami Jericho.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by the E. J. Strickland Quintet.

Orto Bar – Friday night there’s the Pre-Kitzbühel party, with a live show from Lumberjack. Saturday you can then see a Pearl Jam tribute band called Pearl Jam Project.

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Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

There’s an international improv festival, held in English, going on this week, with the name Naked Stage (Goli odor). Most the shows will be in Elektro Ljubljana, not far from Metelkova, with more details here.

Kino Šiška – A short bus ride or taxi from the centre, this venue is hosting events that are part of the dance-based CoFestival, November 23 to 29, with the official website here and the programme here (Slovene, but easily translated by a machine). Among the delights, Lucinda Childs: Zgodnja dela (Early Works 1963 – 1978).

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 – Thursday evening a side project from Image Snatchers returns to the stage, Matilda & Her Buns.

Pocket Teater Studio – Wednesday there’s a theatrical production called Človek, ki je prodal svet. Thursday you can then enjoy Mascara Quartet: Fado and Tango at the Pocket. Note this is a small place and tickets should be bought in advance.

SNG Opera and Ballet – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you can enjoy dance, Moški z nožem with Kompozicija. Then Friday there’s Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann.

 Other things to do in Ljubljana...

From November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here.

If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.

If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still 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 at the top of this page, with more 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.

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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

Jackie Chan fighting in Predjama Castle

Finally...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while you can see more photos like the one below here.

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© Jaka Prijatelj

10 Nov 2018, 08:48 AM

Somehow the leaves turned and mostly fell without us noticing, which means we ought to get out more often, especially since this is a great time of year for dressing nicely, with a hat and scarf but without gloves and the fear of death by freezing. It’s also a beautiful time to enjoy the city, as it’s full of trees and you can not only savour the yellows, golds and browns, but also the new views that are afforded once the branches are bare.

The Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) is still on, with a varied programme of movies from around the world, ranging from high art to the blood spattered, with more details here, while something we added last week was Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle, with our favourite, as a long-term resident of the capital, being free. If neither of those appeal then check out our incomplete list of what's on around town, which starts after the general 

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 this week in the same place. 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. 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, witrh special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here and here).

As noted in the intro, the Ljubljana International Film Festival continues all week, with a long list of varied features, shorts, documentaries and works of fiction. You can see the official site and schedule here, and an overview along with some trailers here.

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, is showing a lot of the LIFFe movies, including Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book, Shin'ichirô Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead, and Person to Person.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing a lot of movies from what was once Czechoslovakia as part of LIFFe, which will have Slovene subtitles. These include Spalovač mrtvol, Lásky jedné plavovlásky and Ecce homo Homolka. There’s also a series of films from Germany’s Christian Petzold, such as Barbara, Pheonix and Yella.

Kolosej – The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Bohemian Rhapsody, Hunter Killer, Halloween, Hell Fest, Johnny English 3, Venom, A Star is Born, Gajin svet, Night School, Mamma Mia! 2 and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The Girl in the Spider's Web, and Overlord. New movies are the French Santa & Cie, Little Italy, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, El mayor regalo, and The Grinch.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is giving itself over to LIFFe this week.

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.

The biggest name of the week is Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, an early-adopter of rave who’s been helping people rush on their pills for more than 20 years. This week he’s playing at the Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Center, Saturday, at 23:00, with tickets here, and a great mix from 2001, below.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, this week with an event called Haris Pilton: Gipsy Side Of Dub No.10. Friday there’s another all-nighter, SUBØ: Bojler w/ Manara (UK), supported by a whole bunch of DJs, Manara (Night Slugs, BBC AZN Network / UK), cl_tr & Playboi Cati, Peglasus, Futon, and TMA, with the visuals provided by Smech. The week then ends on Saturday with Kung Fu Techno, with music from Glia, Illman, and Adamm and visuals from Mesec.

Gala Hala – Friday night there’s live and DJ’d rap with Rx:tx in Rapetek: RAS_G & the Afrikan Space Program ft. MC Kahil. Saturday it’s time to get your smiley face on with Rave Voyeur, with DJ Tolstoyed.

Klub Cirkus – The more kommercial end of klubland has two all-nighters this week. Friday there’s TRIP ft. Kosta Radman, while on Saturday it’s TUTTI Frutti: 90s & 00s Hits, with Matthew Z vs DJ Dey.

Klub K4 – Meanwhile, the klub for kool kids is also offering two all-nighters. On Friday the event is K4DNB w. Critical Sound, The Upbeats, Kasra, Misanthrop and others, playing drum’n’bass. Saturday you can then enjoy SOLVD w. Bronski.

In Metelkova news, psychiatric treatment has been recommended for the man who burned down Jalla Jalla, as reported here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

Kurzschluss – Friday there’s an all-nighter, Cocoon with Sven Väthom, which is promising Ibiza in Ljubljana.

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Pritličje – Saturday night the vinyl will be spun by Thon Kland.

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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

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, ice cream and pizza.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Fun facts about Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main tourist attraction is the Castle, and you’ll enjoy your visit a lot more if you know what you’re looking at, so take a look at our 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana Castle and learn, among other things, what the holes shown below were used for. Whjile

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Photo: JL Flanner

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. We recently also published an interview with the LGBT activist and writer Suzana Tratnik, talking about - among other things - the occupation of Metelkova. The big event this week is probably Tuesday set of events focusing on transgender issues, starting at 15:00 in Argentina Park and ending up at Pritljiče, as noted below - details (in Slovene) here.

Klub Monokel – No events are being promoted this week, but that’s no reason not to head to this lesbian bar and see what’s happening on Friday night.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00.

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. You can read more about it here. This week, on Tuesday 18:00 to 19:00 there's Trans Mic, an open mic evening for the transgender community and their allies. This is then followed by a poetry and writing event at 20:00.

Museums and galleries in Ljubljana

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

Ljubljana Castle has an exhibition on the history of dragons in Slovenia and around the world that runs until November 11, and there's plenty more to see and do when up there, including some nice walks in nature. Note that the bathroom is in the basement and rather difficult to find.

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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 – Running 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 Gallery – The gallery in the Old Town, just a few buildings down from City Hall (and thus near the beautiful, but fake, Robba Fountain), has a presentation at 19:00 Tuesday  new show from Tuesday on “Calliope - In Corn We Trust”, a project by Maxime Berthou and Mark Pozlep that will start as a restoration of a traditional paddle steamer, to cruise the 1712 miles of the Mississippi River from it source in Minnesota to its mouth in Louisiana.

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 recent 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 Vžigalica – Saša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije.JPG

Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running until November 11 is an exhibition of works by Riko Debenjak, including prints, drawings, paintings and illustrations.

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 is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.” The same venue has an exhibition based on Slovenia’s Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, called “Living with Water”, and on until November 25.

Stojan Kerbler.JPG

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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

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 scared 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 Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below.

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, funiture 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 objects.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, 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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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: Alternative Ljubljana

Live music in Ljubljana

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday evening there’s live music from Teo Collori and Momento Cigano, which is being promoted with the following video.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by Femi Temowo.

Orto Bar – Monday there’s a live show from  Zeal & Ardor and NYOS, promising black metal, blues, gospel and soul. Tuesday you can then enjoy death metal with Aborted, Cryptopsy, Benighted, and Cytotoxin. Thursday there’s another Kadilnica of Death event, with live sets from Moshead and Amber Lilies.

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

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 evening there’s music and dance in Metelkova with Za crknt: klovnovski mjuzikl. A clip from aan earlier, different show, is below.

Pocket Teater Studio – Friday this little venue offers A Sentimental Education - Songs and Stories, with Carlos Pascual on the microphone and Carlos Yoder on the piano. “Storytelling in English and songs in Spanish from the Latin American tradition in order to illuminate a world that seems completely gone.” Saturday there’s then an evening of music and dance for World Flamenco Day. Note this is a small place and tickets should be bought in advance.

SNG Opera and Ballet – Bizet’s Carmen will be staged Tuesday and Thursday , while Verdi’s Macbeth is here Wednesday and Friday.

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

From November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here, as well as the St Martin's Day wine festival in the streets on Saturday, as noted in the intro.

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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Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.

If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here.

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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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Flickr - Dave Rosenbaum CC by 2.0

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.

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Photo: maxpixel.com, public domain

Daytrips from Ljubljana

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Photo: Google Image Search

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

Finally...

We love Trubarjeva cesta, and last week we published an interview with Alja Hafner Taha, who runs a Lebanese restaurant on the street. You can read more about that here, and enjoy some of the warm and colourful pictures from the places below, all of them sourced from Libanonske meze in drugi užitki.

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