Ljubljana related

19 Jan 2020, 09:00 AM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (20 - 26 January, 2020) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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You can see more about upcoming events and festivals in Slovenia  here, to fill your calendar with things to look forward to, while below is a selection of entertainments, educations and diversions on around the capital in the next seven days.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday SNG Opera and Ballet are putting on Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc, all starting at 19:30 except Friday, when it’s 18:00.

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

Friday Kino Šiška has the acclaimed Slovenian musician Bowrain presenting a new music project titled 2020 Seconds(A)live at 20:00. Same night, 21:00, there’s Jazz at the Castle, and this week it’s Femi Temowo.

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Friday and Saturday 20:00 the city’s most intimate venue, Pocket Theatre, is bringing back Vaudeville: Matilda, Let's Do It. It’s a small place and usually sells out. Details here.

Saturday the 5th Philharmonic Festival of Baroque Music is back with another concert, with this one titled Handel and the English, with the other names being Arne, Avison, Purcell, Greene and Boyce. Note that this starts at 11:00am, at Slovenian Philharmonic, Kongresni trg 10. The piece from Handel is the one shown below.

Still open until 5 March, 2020, Magic Ice-rink Lumpi Park offers 600 m2 of the covered ice surface and 180 m of ice-skating paths which enable you to skate through the Sports park Savsko naselje, at Kranjčeva ulica 24. Details here.

Looking ahead, the next edition of the MENT music festival, in early February, has just announced the full line-up. Check it out

New or new-ish movies in town this week include the following:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here. On until August 2020 there’s Book. Reason. Knowledge. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800), which presents the processes and events that encouraged and fostered the cultural and spiritual development in Ljubljana from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century – from humanism and Protestantism to the Enlightenment. More on that here.

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

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

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. BIO 26: Common Knowledge is on until 9 February, looking at information, fake news and citizenship, with details here.

Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement.

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

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

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2020 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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11 Jan 2020, 15:22 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (13 - 19 January, 2020) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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The last of the Christmas / New Year wine, beer and whisky store is long gone, and in terms of delicacies we’re down to whatever strange cheeses came through the season unharmed. It’s time, for real, to get back to work, get back in shape, and get back on track after what seems like weeks of indulgence and sloth. And what better way to reconnect with the world than by going out and having fun in Ljubljana?

You can see more about upcoming events and festivals in Slovenia  here, to fill your calendar with things to look forward to, while below is a selection of entertainments, educations and diversions on around the capital in the next seven days

Still open until 5 March, 2020, Magic Ice-rink Lumpi Park offers 600 m2 of the covered ice surface and 180 m of ice-skating paths which enable you to skate through the Sports park Savsko naselje, at Kranjčeva ulica 24. Details here.

Tuesday evening, 19:30, Cankarjev dom will host the Tetzlaff Quartett playing Schoenberg, String Quartet No 1 in D minor; and Beethoven, String Quartet No 13 in B flat Major, Op. 130 with Grande Fugue, Op. 133. That same evening, 14 January, “You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition Ritual Purification by Tadej Vaukman … at 7pm at the P74 Gallery in Ljubljana.”

Starting Wednesday 15 January and on until 1 April, visitors to Tivoli Park can enjoy Matevž Paternoster’s photographs, in an open-air show called A City With Plečnik's Signature. Wednesday also sees the opening of a new show at Aksioma, just on the corner and up the hill, away from the Castle, on the road with Dragon Bridge. It’s called The Cleaning of Emotional Data by Elisa Giardina Papa, and there should e people and wine between 20:00 and 22:00 (details).

Friday sees the 5th Philharmonic Festival Of Baroque Music at the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Kongresni trg, with a programme titled Baroque 2- Bach and Telemann. Friday is also Jazz Night at the Castle, with that jazz covering a broad range, from pop to funk. This week it’s Cherry Wine: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse. The same evening Hamo & Tribute 2 Love are playing at Cankarjev dom.

After the show you could head to Klub K4 and enjoy Šamar w/ Dacho & Levanael + Pop up LENA & Elovetric, which promises guilt-free pleasure with the likes of "Inner City, Madonna, Moloko, SNAP!, Moby, Altern 8, Sonique, Armand van Helden, Scatman John, Technotronic, The Chemical Brothers, Whitney Houston, Will Smith, The KLF, and The Prodigy".

The MENT music festival doesn’t open until February, but you can learn more about the performers here if you like to plan ahead.

The Opera and Ballet only has one show this week – Saturday’s nights Joan of Arc, by Tchaikovsky Here's Jessye Norman with some of the music.

Saturday, 18 January “The refined Ljubljana group Neomi will finally present their long-awaited second album at their return to [Kino] Šiška”. Earlier in the day there’s Record fair Ljubljana-Biljardna Hiša-Parmova 25, 10:00 to 18:00 – details. Later that night Klub K4 offers New Blood, with the young DJs Laurus, Inneas, Jona and Chiro making you feel old as they play dark techno and old-school house music. Also ,on Saturday, 21:00 to 03:00, Klub Monokel is hosting “Sin Girls”, which appears to offer entertainment in the form of Lesbians Got Talent! (apply to enter here). The night also has a 50s, 60s theme, so dress, or down, in historical butch and femme style (I'm quoting) - or just come as you are.

New or new-ish movies in town this week include the following:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

i would prefer not to ljubljana slovenias.jpg

Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month, until 17 January, there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here On untl 30 August is BOOK. KNOWLEDGE. REASON. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800), with details here.

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

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

Ljubljana Castle - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here. It ends 12 January.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. BIO 26: Common Knowledge is on until 9 February, looking at information, fake news and citizenship, with details here.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here. Until 12 January there's a nice collection of Travel Posters, like the one below, to enjoy.

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The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2020 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – On until 12 January 2020 is SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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04 Jan 2020, 13:58 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (6 - 12 January, 2020) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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That’s it. The party’s over. Time to get back on a normal diet and stop subsisting on cheese, wine, chocolate and coffee, with the occasional mandarin thrown in for colour and fibre.

So we’re entering what for many folk is gloomiest part of the year. Not only do we need to detox and move more, but the days are getting colder and the next big funtime is some weeks away, with the Carnival season in February. You can see more about upcoming events and festivals here, to fill your calendar with things to look forward to, while below is a selection of entertainments, educations and diversions on around the capital in the next seven days

Still open until 5 March, 2020, Magic Ice-rink Lumpi Park offers 600 m2 of the covered ice surface and 180 m of ice-skating paths which enable you to skate through the Sports park Savsko naselje, at Kranjčeva ulica 24. Details here.

Tuesday, 17:00 to 20:00, Hotel Tresor, which is on Čopova, has Swap #22, a chance to recycle preloved clothes, books, accessories and fall in love with some "new to you" items. You can see the rules here.

Tuesday Cubana Ljubljana has a class on reggaeton dance, while the next evening there’s Afro-Cuban dancing. Details here.

Friday, 10 January, Metelkova’s KUD Channel Zero offers Štrom: 21 Rave Street from 23:00 to 06:00. The music policy will be everything rave, including industrial, breakbeat, decostructed, club, bass, jungle, techno, ambiental, house, footwork, and Detroit. The full line-up is here, but one of the DJs is called Terranigma, with a set below. The same night, 21:00 to 03:00, Orto Bar has a show from [email protected].

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Friday, 21:00, is Jazz Night at the Castle, and this week it’s Tadej Kampl, promoting his new album, Habits. The same night, but at 20:00, also sees Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik’s dance / theatre performance “What Remains” at Kino Šiška, which “materializes in a poetics of situations created by the artists through movement, sound, light, and poetry. They thus create parallel spaces that form harmonies resonating (into) potential narrations.” Tickets.

Saturday, 20:00, Kino Šiška then hosts AKA Neomi, a Ljubljana-based group presenting their second album, promising “from electronic indie pop and trip-hop to a more downtempo acoustic feel”. On the same evening, 19:30, opera returns after a short break at SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, with Tchaikovsky’s The Maid Of Orléans. Details here, and some of the music above. The same night, starting 23:00 and running till 05:00, K4 has the first Temnica of the year.

New movies this week (and ones we didn’t cover because of the holidays) include the following:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month, until 17 January, there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here On untl 30 August is BOOK. KNOWLEDGE. REASON. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800), with details here.

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

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

Ljubljana Castle - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here. It ends 12 January.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. BIO 26: Common Knowledge is on until 9 February, looking at information, fake news and citizenship, with details here.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here. Until 12 January there's a nice collection of Travel Posters, like the one below, to enjoy.

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The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2020 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – On until 12 January 2020 is SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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21 Dec 2019, 20:44 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (23 - 29 December, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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Things you’ll see around town include the Land of Ice exhibition of ice sculptures in Congress Square / Zvezda Park, in a corner with a very good view of the Castle. That requires a ticket, but something free is the same area is the Magical Forest, 16:30 to 19:00, which will host creative workshops of making environmentally friendly Christmas decorations. The Ice Queen will also be appearing until 22 December and offering “ice artists who will impress with juggling, sorcery and acrobatic points that will convince even the most discerning viewers”. This will move around as the evening progresses, following this route from 17:00 to 19:00: Krekov trg Square, Petkovškovo Embankment, Prešernov trg Square, park Zvezda, Gallus Embankment, and Mestni trg Square. There will also be organ grinders wearing vintage clothing and performing without monkeys. There's also live music (and food, drink) in Pogačarjev trg (the square that usually hosts Open Kitchen) from 17:00 to 22:00

Open until 5 March, 2020, Magic Ice-rink Lumpi Park offers 600 m2 of the covered ice surface and 180 m of ice-skating paths which enable you to skate through the Sports park Savsko naselje, at Kranjčeva ulica 24. Details here.

The Castle has a festive fair, and it’s a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city at night. On until 6 January, every evening 17:00 to 20:00 there’s Awaken the Dragon, a free to see architectural projection/3D mapping show that runs every 15 minutes. Note that you also get a great view of the lights from up on the hill.

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This week’s focal event is Christmas, and so expect packed stores and bars until the day itself, when things will be rather quiet. Although not everywhere, to be sure, as 25 December (Wednesday) is when Magnifico will have his traditional show in Stožice, while the candles will be lit for Hanukkah at 18:30 at the Jewish Cultural Centre on Križevniška Street. Klub K4 also has a Christmas event, with Just A (Euro)Dance starting at 23:00, the dress code being 70s/80s/90s Après Ski Party and DJs DEN7EL, Von Meister, Elovetric and Pohalino.

Live music continues every day, including Christmas, from 19:00 to 20:00 in Novi trg.

Monday and Thursday, 18:00, SNG Opera and Ballet is staging Rossini’s Cinderella.

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, 17:00 to 18:00 in front of Town Hall you can enjoy the annual free Christmas Concert, right in the centre of the Old Town.

Thursday, the 26th, Dedek Mraz, or Grandpa Frost, will appear riding in his carriage, drawn by white Lipizzaner horses and accompanied by a procession of snowmen, bears, rabbits and other creatures from folk and fairy tales. He’ll visit the Festive Fair and venues that host children's events, with the magic starting at 17:00 and the route being Breg, Cobblers' Bridge, Mestni trg Square, Stritarjeva street, Prešernov trg Square, Wolfova street, Kongresni trg Square, and finally the stage at Novi trg Square.

The same evening, 17:00 to 19:30, there’s another free event, with Ana Mraz bringing performances by street theatre troupes, circus performers and other artistes to Špica, which you can reach if you follow the river upstream, on the same side as the Castle. Don’t worry about missing it for Grandpa Frost, though, as it’s on from 26 – 30 December.

Another thing that starts 26 December is the series of free concerts in Kongresni trg that run up until New Year. The artists take the stage at 20:00, and the biggest names – i.e. the ones I recognize – will be there on Friday, the 27th, with Eurovision’s Lea Sirk and the man himself, Vlado Kreslin.

Want to see Dedek Mraz, aka Grandpa Frost, back in 1959 and 1961? Click this way.

Friday night there’s also Jazz Club at the Castle, at 21:00, with the Balkan Boys.

Saturday night Cankarjev dom will see Cirque Éloize’s Hotel, with acrobatics, theatre, dance and live music “to guide you through this intimate refuge, styled with an avant-garde scenography inspired by the elegance of only the greatest hotels”.

There are no new movies this week, and the biggest ones in town seem to be the following:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – On until 12 January 2020 is SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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14 Dec 2019, 11:34 AM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (16 - 22 December, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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It’s the last full week before Christmas and the only thing we’ve done so far is string up some lights in the new office / yoga space and buy too much chocolate and wine, along with some orders of books. Which, now I see it written down, seems quite enough.

As usual at this time of year the downtown area of the city itself is the focal attraction, and just wandering around and following your inclinations will lead you closer to what you desire, be that live music, mulled wine, a new pair of gloves, some meat in a bun or any of the hundreds of other delights that line the streets and sneak off into cafes and bars, museums and galleries, nightclubs and other locales.

Things you’ll see around town include the Land of Ice exhibition of ice sculptures in Congress Square / Zvezda Park, in a corner with a very good view of the Castle. That requires a ticket, but something free is the same area is the Magical Forest, 16:30 to 19:00, which will host creative workshops of making environmentally friendly Christmas decorations. The Ice Queen will also be appearing until 22 December and offering “ice artists who will impress with juggling, sorcery and acrobatic points that will convince even the most discerning viewers”. This will move around as the evening progresses, following this route from 17:00 to 19:00: Krekov trg Square, Petkovškovo Embankment, Prešernov trg Square, park Zvezda, Gallus Embankment, and Mestni trg Square. There will also be organ grinders wearing vintage clothing and performing without monkeys. There's also live music (and food, drink) in Pogačarjev trg (the square that usually hosts Open Kitchen) from 17:00 to 22:00

The Castle has a festive fair, and it’s a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city at night.

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Want to see Dedek Mraz, aka Grandpa Frost, back in 1959 and 1961? Click this way.

It’s a varied week at Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. Monday and Wednesday sees Tales of Hoffmann, Tuesday The Bartered Bride, Friday Nabucco, Saturday and Sunday Carmen. If were hoping for Nutcracker, that was last week.

Monday to Wednesday, 17:00 to 19:00, a series of short concerts by children's choirs will be presented in front of Town Hall, just a short walk forward, or back, along the Triple Bridge.

Tuesday, 17 December, the Iranian singer Alireza Ghorbani will be on stage at Cankarjev dom, with tickets here.

Friday is jazz night at the Castle, and this week it’s Eargonauts. Meanwhile, at Hala Tivoli the Harlem Gospel Choir will be performing.

Saturday Croatia’s Severina will be playing Arena Stožice

The weekend is big and long for Kurzschluss, with Friday seeing a night headlined by the biggest international DJ from Slovenia, Umek, coming back to check in on the scene he helped create. Saturday it’s Glitterbox w Roger Sanchez & more, while Sunday there’s a show with Senidah.

Sunday the Symphony Orchestra and Big Band RTV Slovenia will be having their traditional Christmas concert at Cankarjev dom, with “a selection of the finest Christmas songs in rich orchestrations for a large orchestra”. Tickets.

Heard of MENT? The annual music festival hosted by Kino Šiška will be back in the first week of February 2020, and 30 acts have already been announced. It’s too late for early bird tickets, but you can start planning ahead here.

Christmas is coming and, if your in the market for toys, check out Ristanc in the Old Town for high quality, classic and interesting toys, while for older children and adults there’s the To Je To, just a few doors down. (Not an ad, but sincere promotion for a great place.)

New or recent movies this week include the following

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – On until 12 January 2020 is SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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visitljubjana.si

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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07 Dec 2019, 12:20 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (9 - 15 December, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook, although bear in mind I'm moving house over the coming week and will be stressed, busy and possibly slow to respond. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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As with last week, and the next few, the biggest attraction is now the city itself – the lights set up, the stalls set out, and the streets full of locals and visitors, from outside Ljubljana and around the world. Move around, follow the lights, seek out some food and some music, and you’ll have enough fun without any plans.

Things you’ll see around town include the Land of Ice exhibition of ice sculptures in Congress Square / Zvezda Park, in a corner with a very good view of the Castle. That requires a ticket, but something free is the same area is the Magical Forest, 16:30 to 19:00, which will host creative workshops of making environmentally friendly Christmas decorations. The Ice Queen will also be appearing until 22 December and offering “ice artists who will impress with juggling, sorcery and acrobatic points that will convince even the most discerning viewers”. This will move around as the evening progresses, following this route from 17:00 to 19:00: Krekov trg Square, Petkovškovo Embankment, Prešernov trg Square, park Zvezda, Gallus Embankment, and Mestni trg Square. There will also be organ grinders wearing vintage clothing and performing without monkeys. There's also live music (and food, drink) in Pogačarjev trg (the square that usually hosts Open Kitchen) from 17:00 to 22:00

The Castle has a festive fair, and it’s a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city at night.

December 10 – 14 (Tuesday to Saturday) the seasonal Nutcracker (Hrestač) will be performed by SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana, although note that the video above is from a different ballet company (no good videos from Ljubljana online).

Elsewhere, on Wednesday (11/12) Cankerjev dom plays host to the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra at 20:00, playing – not Liszt – but Mozart and Beethoven.

Thursday the stage at Kino Šiška will be held by GWAR, while on Friday you can enjoy My Baby. Then on Saturday it’s the turn of the Prince’s one-time backing band New Power Generation.

Friday is jazz night at the Castle, and at 21:00 there’s a show by SwingatanTatovi podob / Image Snatchers have an early new year show at Klub Gromka on Saturday, 21:00 to 03:00, bringing their form of technoburlesque to Metelkova.

Saturday (14/12) sees the start of a series of free concerts in Novi trg from 18:00 to 21:00. The show on Sunday is Milizza - Sting & Police Tribute Band. On Sunday Ljubljana’s home of metal, Orto Bar, you can see Archspire, Beneath the Massacre, Vulvodynia, and Inferi.

New movies on this week include the following:

New or recent movies this week include the following, with the usual warning that kids' films are usually shown dubbed:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – On until 12 January 2020 is SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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visitljubjana.si

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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30 Nov 2019, 11:30 AM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (2 - 8 December, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook, although bear in mind I'm moving house over the coming week and will be stressed, busy and possibly slow to respond. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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The biggest attraction is now the city itself – the lights set up, the stalls set out, and the streets full of locals and visitors, from outside Ljubljana and around the world. Move around, follow the lights, seek out some food and some music, and you’ll have enough fun without any plans.

Things you’ll see around town include the Land of Ice exhibition of ice sculptures in Congress Square / Zvezda Park, in a corner with a very good view of the Castle. That requires a ticket, but something free is the same area is the Magical Forest, 16:30 to 19:00, which will host creative workshops of making environmentally friendly Christmas decorations. The Ice Queen will also be appearing until 22 December and offering “ice artists who will impress with juggling, sorcery and acrobatic points that will convince even the most discerning viewers”. This will move around as the evening progresses, following this route from 17:00 to 19:00: Krekov trg Square, Petkovškovo Embankment, Prešernov trg Square, park Zvezda, Gallus Embankment, and Mestni trg Square. There will also be organ grinders wearing vintage clothing and performing without monkeys.

The Castle also has a festive fair, and it’s a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city at night.

Thursday the seasonal fun finds a focus with the St. Nicholas Procession, when from 17:00 to 18:30. Here St. Nicholas will be accompanied by devils and an assembly of angels, who will be distributing biscuits, fruits and sweets to children.

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6, 7 and 8 December Ljubljana's most intimate venue, the Pocket Teater (sic), right in the centre of town and near all the lights, is presenting it's new vaudeville show “Matilda, Let’s Do It!" Lean more about that here.

Something that isn’t quite so seasonal, although it is annual, is Animateka, with the 16th edition of this animated film festival running all week, from Monday to Sunday. You can learn a lot more here, and a PDF of the programme is here.

Saturday Božidar is hosting Kraftwear, a fair of creative textiles, with the Facebook here. The same day, 7 December, in the evening, the Gospodarsko razstavišče, Dunajska cesta 18, is having a Balkan Festival headlined by Ceca & Aca Lukas, and Darko Lazić, with the first pair shown in one of their more popular videos below.

Sunday night Vlado Kreslin begins his traditional run of Christmas concerts at Cankarjev dom, continuing on Monday and Tuesday. See above is the trailer for a recent documentary on the man that's worth seeking out if you want to learn more about the varied and curious musical history of this national institution.

New or recent movies this week include the following, with the usual warning that kids' films are usually shown dubbed:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – From 12 November to 1 December there was a show from called SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg, which was promoted with the following image that we can't bring ourselves to delete this week. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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visitljubjana.si

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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23 Nov 2019, 19:00 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (25 November to 1 December, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook, although bear in mind I'm moving house over the coming week and will be stressed, busy and possibly slow to respond. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

Jump to listings

Perhaps the biggest event this week is the turning on of the lights on Friday, with the switch being flipped at 17:15 on Friday in Prešeren Square, where you’ll find the city’s Christmas Tree. A festive market is set to open 3 December, but some stalls are already popping up selling mulled wine, hot food, gifts and the like.

But for me the real start of the season is SILA’s annual bazaar, when the international community in Ljubljana comes together in the ballroom of the Grand Hotel Union with stalls selling food and other items from around the world, along with cultural performances, prize draws and more, this year in aid of diabetes charities. It’s free to enter on Sunday, 1 December, 10:00 to 16:00, and you can learn more about it here.

Continuing events are November Gourmet Ljubljana, CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance, and the LGBT Film Festival – click on the names to learn more.

Thursday Vida Vatovec (saxophone) and Annemarie Glavič (flute) will be playing at 19:30 in Križanke at a free to enter concert. The same evening, same time, but with tickets you need to buy there’s Hommage Á Mozart at Cankarjev dom, with Dmitri Smirnov, Mozart Variations; Dmitri Shostakovich, Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op. 77; Valentin Silvestrov, The Messenger, for strings and piano; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony No 40 in G minor, K. 550. Tickets here.

Friday you can head to Kino Šiška and enjoy the sights and sounds of Lebanon Hanover, while at the same time the Castle will have a show by Rick Leon James. Also on the night is Noches de Tablao: Flamenco meets Persia at Ljubljana’s cosiest performance space, Pocket Theatre – details here.

Saturday 70s pop pianist and housewives’ favourite Richard Clayderman will be playing at Cankarjev dom. The blond bombshell Nancy Reagan once called the Romantic prince is on tour celebrating 40 years in the business. The same night Orto Bar has a show from Latex My Ass and Detroit Groove Gang.

New and recent movies include the following.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana - (Un)known Ljubljana is on at the top of the hill, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – From 12 November to 1 December there's going to be a show from called SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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visitljubjana.si

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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16 Nov 2019, 13:30 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (18 - 24 November, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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The public Christmas lights are already up in many parts of town, but they won’t be lit until 17:15 Friday 29 November.

Dance is in the spotlight this week, with the CoFestival international festival of contemporary dance. This runs from 22 to 27 November and takes places at assorted venues around town. Details are here. Fans of art cinema will also much to enjoy, as LiFFe – the Ljubljana International Film Festival is in town, with details here, while Gourmet November continues till the end of the month. Thursday to Sunday the 50th Snežinka Ski Fair will offer visitors a wide selection of new and used ski equipment and presentations of various ski centres.

The LGBT Film Fest opens on Saturday, 23 November, and closes 1 December - details are here.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

Wednesday, 20 November, you can enjoy the sounds made by Alexander Gadjiev at Cankarjev dom (19:30 – tickets), playing works for the piano by Brahms, Liszt, Chopin, Skriabin, Messiaen and Bartok. That same evening Kino Šiška plays host to Godspeed You! Black Emperor (20:00 – tickets).

Saturday Eros Ramazzotti is playing  Stožice Sports Park Arena at 20:00 (tickets). Later than same evening, 23:00, Erick Morillo will be making people dance at Kurzschluss, with tickets here.

The only new movie this week seems to be the following, which – like all kids movies, will usually be shown dubbed (sinhronizirano), so look carefully if you want the original sound (i.e., with subtitles / podnapisi).

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Learn Slovene with memes, here

Interested in Slovenian craft beer? Find out what’s new with Damir, of Lajbah and more.

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

 

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - From 28 November until 19 January 2020 there's a sculpture by Jiři Bezlaj.

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Jiři Bezlaj, Hrošč, 2010 - 2016. Source: Mestna galerija

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana Castle on until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title. New at the Castle is (Un)known Ljubljana, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – From 12 November to 1 December there's going to be a show from called SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

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.

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

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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09 Nov 2019, 14:31 PM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (11 - 17 November, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

Jump to listings

From Tuesday, 13 November until 24 there’s LIFFE - Ljubljana International Film Festival. This has films long and short, from all over, and in all styles, so if you’re interested check out the full schedule here. Note – check the language of the soundtrack and subtitles if needed.

Tuesday sees the opening of an interesting looking show at Galerija Vžigalica Saeborg: Klavnica 17 / Slaughterhouse 17, as seen in the image at the top of this story.

Wednesday to Friday Festival Grounded 2019 is in town, “a festival of electronic music, critical thinking and activism that addresses current social issues by combining the seemingly incompatible: deinstitutionalised theoretical debates, every day social activism and progressive electronic club culture”. The theme is automation and power, and details are here

Thursday and Friday, 15 and 15 November, 16:00 to 21:00 the Slovenian Wine Festival is coming to Cankarjev dom, bringing wine lovers together for tastings, lectures, workshops and move, for €30 euros a ticket. Details here.

Thursday 20:00 Kino Šiška has a show from The Tiger Lillies, while the same time Saturday Lagwagon are there. Friday night Petar Grašo is at Arena Stožice and tickets are here. On Saturday you can head to K4 and enjoy drum’n’bass all night at K4DNB, with the sounds lined up by 2 Green, Rak3ta, LionShine, Kryptønite, and Skinitch.

Saturday SNG Opera and Ballet have a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Sunday, 17 November, Prifarski muzikanti are at Cankarjev dom, with a selection of some of their finest love songs.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

New or recent movies on this week include the following, with links to all the cinemas in the regular listings (scroll down):

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Learn Slovene with memes, here

Interested in Slovenian craft beer? Find out what’s new with Damir, of Lajbah and more.

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

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

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

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

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

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

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

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

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

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

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

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

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

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

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

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

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

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

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Museums and galleries

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

From 15 October to 17 November various venues around town will be hosting events related to Transform 2019: Trans-form:action, featuring students from academies from Zagreb, Sofia, Bucharest, Skopje, Istanbul and Ljubljana. Details.

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 between 3 October and 13 November you can see “selected works by the Prešeren awards recipients originating from Slovenian Istria, coming from the collections of the Piran Coastal Galleries and the Prešeren Award Winners of Fine Arts Gallery Kranj.” The free to enter show includes the following work.

Živko Marušič, Ujetniki dima III, 1986, olje na platnu, 130 x 148 cm © Marko Tušek.jpg

Živko Marušič, Ujetniki dima III, 1986, oil on canvas, 130 x 148 cm © Marko Tušek

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

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here. On until January 2020 you can see plans and models for some of the things Plečnik planned but never built in Ljubljana. Take a look at some pictures here.

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Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."

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City Gallery - Until 10 November you can see After the Canal, there was only "our" world: “The exhibition is an invitation to explore a variety of historical and geographical connections between Europe, especially its Easts, and the Middle East, particularly Egypt, with the Suez Canal as the trigger, while contemplating their reflections in the mirror of the present.”

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here

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

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

Ljubljana Castle on until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title. New at the Castle is (Un)known Ljubljana, a free to enter National Geographic exhibition with photographs of some of the lesser seen parts of the city, with one example below and more here.

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.

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. The 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3 is also on here until 12 January 2020. Titled Dead and Alive: “The exhibition unfolds around three contradictory states of now – the dead and alive state of conceptualism, analogue and liquid materiality, and the subconscious as the battlefield of cognitive capitalism. Because – how do art and avant-garde progress? By making sensible what is beyond. At the end of the day, Dead and Alive is a quantum time search for an engaged form.” More details here, on one of the works on show below.

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© Aleksandra Vajd, Collage by K. E. Graebner Nature the Unknown Acquaintance (1971) and a unit of five hand-dyed photograms titled: ‘rivalry of superior vs. inferior’, 2017

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages hereArt for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”

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JL Flanner

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2019 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

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

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Vžigalica Gallery – From 12 November to 1 December there's going to be a show from called SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17 from the Japanese artist Saeborg which is being promoted with the following image. Details here.

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SAEBORG: SLAUGHTER HOUSE 17. Photo: © DARKMOFO

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.

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

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

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Open Kitchen has no finished for the year, to be back sometime in spring 2020. Read more about it here.

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Photo: Open Kitchen

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

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

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

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

Emergencies

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

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Photo: JL Flanner

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

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

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