Top Things to Do in Ljubljana in 2019
The moment all were waiting for has arrived. Here’s the crème de la crème selection from the Alternative Ljubljana Team about where to go in Ljubljana in 2019 and what are the sweet things to see in Ljubljana. We’ve thrown among the top things to do in Ljubljana 2019 edition a varied bunch so you’ll be able to pick up the ones that suit you best when you feel like going somewhere during a rainy day or to venture outside in the winter chill. Got questions or suggestions? You’re welcome to ask us in the comment section especially about your experiences where to go in Ljubljana or the amazing things to see in Ljubljana. And finally feel free to share and distribute our rad selection word wide. So here’s what we had in mind for the top thing to do in Ljubljana in 2019.
Metelkova Ljubljana Events
We’ll start with our second home – the autonomous cultural centre Metelkova City. Be it day or night, Metelkova, will always have something for your taste. The daytime easy-to-spot legal graffiti pieces, fab murals or art installations are meeting the nocturne Metelkova Ljubljana events. You can check the events on the official page – almost every day something’s going on. Clubs and bars are located on the bottom floors, but to find the entrance might be sometimes a bit tricky. Don’t worry, eventually you’ll locate the right door. To suggest our favourites Metelkova Ljubljana events, or better yet, clubs: you can’t go wrong with Gala Hala on Friday or Thursdays where they showcase local fresh bands and DJs. Dull start of the week? No prob, Channel Zero runs a legendary Monday reggae, dub, roots, dubstep and bass parties “DubLab” (concerts gigs “Level up” are worth visiting too). In the same part of Metelkova check the LGBTQ+ clubs Tiffany and Monokel – they host club nights, exhibitions, discussion, cabaret nights, and literary readings. Another contemporary art exhibition venue in Metelkova is Alkatraz Gallery (the entrance is located next to the enormous mosaic). Remember: don’t snap photos of people as this tends to be annoying for all regulars.
Free Walking Tour Ljubljana
We deem that the highlight of all free walking tours in Ljubljana is… (drumroll): Ljubljana Graffiti Tour! Joking apart, we’ve been running it since 2014 as a daily free walking tour and we are proud to showcase the best street art and murals as well as to present the local and international artists on the spot. The free walking alternative tour also treats the facades as a huge public canvas where social, political and cultural changes and conflicts are depicted. It ends with a grand finale in the above-mentioned autonomous cultural zone Metelkova (Ljubljana) where we can help you with decoding what’s going on in the evening.
Beside the graffiti tour, Alternative Ljubljana regularly organises two more free walking tours in Ljubljana. We summon monthly the mischievous history in the Ljubljana Wicked Tour. The tour brings together odd stories and dark spirits of Ljubljana’s past.
We also regularly run as a free walking tour in Ljubljana the Ljubljana LGBT Tour. It was designed by the longstanding LGBT activists and artists and gathers together pre-socialist and socialist struggles for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer community.
Ljubljana Nightlife: Things to Do in Ljubljana at Night
Since Ljubljana wouldn’t be the same without the architect Plečnik, it tends to give him luminosity also during the Ljubljana nightlife. So, for all of the night owls, in the selection things to do in Ljubljana at night we thought of something a bit different. While having a stroll in the city centre or on the fringes, the Ljubljana nightlife will show you a different face with the illuminated city architecture. Here’s one possible one hour walking itinerary: start your night walk at Ljubljanica Sluice Gat (Zapornica), continue through the arcades on the central market, and turn right to go up to picturesque Jakopič Promenade in Tivoli Park where you can glance at one of the photo exhibitions.
Museums, Sights, Nature and Parks in Ljubljana
The art scene finds its shelter in dozens of museums, sights, nature and parks in Ljubljana. If you are headed toward Metelkova, there are couple of institutions worth visiting in Tabor neighbourhood: the address for contemporary performances, off-off theatre and art festivals is Stara mestna elektrarna (Old Power Station). In the vicinity the Museum Quarter you can find the Ethnographic Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM), and the National Museum of Slovenia. We are keen on visiting the MGLC – International Graphic Centre and the renovated Švicarija building – both impressive museums are located in the embrace of Ljubljana biggest park – Park Tivoli. A gallery with a sight on nature is hidden under the famous Plečnik’s arcades: Dobra Vaga is a sales gallery where you can find fresh zines of the youngest generation of Slovenian artists and other artwork for sale. If you want to venture outside the centre we recommend visiting MAO – the national Museum of Architecture and Design. Although you will need to cycle there or take a bus, MAO definitely has it all when it comes to the museums, sights, nature and parks in Ljubljana.
- Old Power Station
- Ethnographic Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM)
- International Graphic Centre (MGLC)
- Dobra Vaga Gallery
- Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)
Best Restaurants in Ljubljana
Eat with a cause, not just because you are hungry or in the hunt for the best restaurants in Ljubljana. You can support some great initiatives in the city as for example Druga Violina restaurant. Besides serving some typical Slovenian meals and Ljubljana food bites, Druga Violina (meaning Second Violin) employs people with special needs. Another social enterprise designed with a peculiar cause is a little restaurant, definitely taking the prize among the best restaurants in Ljubljana: Gostilna Dela, located 5 minute walk away from the central market, is giving young people from vulnerable social groups a chance to undergo an apprenticeship with the help of experienced chefs and staff. As it’s usually packed so be sure to call ahead to book a table. In case you are interested in drinks too, it’s the easiest hear it all on a Wine Walking Tour by LjubljanaYum. Beer tends to be even more popular, local hops are for example served in the pub Lajbah.
Best Bars and Best Coffee in Ljubljana
When it comes to the question about the best bars and the best coffee in Ljubljana, you can almost always expect that a dispute will outbreak. Well, we made it easier so we’ll point you toward the ones we are sure the atmosphere is mixed with a sweet selection of drinks. Centrewise: you can’t go wrong with Tozd bar to have a drink or coffee. The interior is hipsterish, the view is over Ljubljanica river, sounds good no? In the strict Old Town, next to the Town Hall, you can find Pritličje (literally, a Ground Floor). It’s a LGBTQ+ venue and bar run by lesbian activists that in the night-time transforms into a music club and concert venue (we present the place in details on our Ljubljana LGBT Tour). Last but not least, in the selection of best bars and best coffee in Ljubljana we must include Daktari bar – located on the way to the funicular to the Ljubljana Castle, Daktari is filled with relics from Yugoslav times, yet in the embrace of the retro design various events are regularly hosted – from concerts, poetry slams and literary events.
Best Clubs in Ljubljana
Speaking of best clubs of Ljubljana we have a triplet that will win your heart. The iconic K4 where techno music was born in Slovenia, the club that in its heyday drew up to 350 party goers from near and far to its Sunday LGBT disco, nowadays features minimal, house, techno, drum’n’bass, breakbeat, funk, and what not. It’s the legendary place where the subcultural scene in the 80s in Ljubljana truly flourished. Want to rave in a theatre? Božidar club, located under the Mladinsko theatre, offers a varied programme of underground club events and sometimes even concerts. The lesbian club Monokel and the adjacent gay club Tiffany, situated in the Metelkova City complex, are during the weekdays a place where you can attend exhibitions, discussion, cabaret nights, and literary readings but On Fridays and Saturdays you most probably proclaim them as the best clubs in Ljubljana.
What to Do in Ljubljana on a Rainy Day
On our tours we quite often hear the question what to do in Ljubljana on a rainy day. For us rain is a synonym for – movies! Since we firmly believe there’s no such thing as a bad weather, get yourself a fancy umbrella and check the cinemas around town. Kinodvor with its emblematic architecture and the softest seats you’ll experience offers a colourful up-to-date programme of screenings and events celebrating the movies (don’t expect to order popcorn here). Around the corner from Kinodvor, you can find Kinoteka, a cinematheque film institution responsible for the Slovenia film archive, which is screening legendary pieces from the history of cinema. In case you don’t hear a movie click when one wonders what to do in Ljubljana on a rainy day, you can always beat the water drops with theatres. To name a few: Glej theatre (off-off programme), Mestno Gledališče Ljubljansko or Cankar Centre. Last but not least, why not pamper yourself with a special souvenir of Slovenian celebrities – we don’t have in mind just Melania Trump or Slavoj Žižek (those two you’ll find in forms of shirts, coffee cups or cakes – no kidding) but get a sports shirt of the two most known Slovenian professional basketball players Luka Dončić and Goran Dragić.
Ljubljana City Centre
We haven’t mentioned yet what’s up in the Ljubljana City Centre. Since we are running cultural tours we’ll give some tips for cultural buffs. First of all, go to say hi in ŠKUC, the Student Cultural and Art Centre that during the socialist 1970s and 1980s was one of the main organisation for alternative culture. Nowadays ŠKUC functions as an independent gallery space, hosting literary events, gigs, theatre and it’s run by the non-profit cultural organization Škuc Association that is still publishing books, promoting concerts, and works as an info-point. Couple of steps away from Škuc, yet still in the Ljubljana City Centre, you can find Galerija Fotografija Gallery, the first private gallery for fine art photography in Slovenia. Another space showcasing the contemporary photographic production is Galerija Jakopič, a gallery where two thousand years ago there was a Roman basilica.
Fun Things to Do in Ljubljana
There’s quite some fun things to do in Ljubljana, but it all depends on your taste. For a unique fun experience visit the Sunday flea market on Breg Street (wake up early to since it tends to close at around 1:00 PM). If you are not really a morning type, you can always find antics, retro Yugoslav paraphernalia and local tips in Carniola Antiqua located on Trubarjeva Street. Another fun thing to do in Ljubljana for all walks of life is to ride a bike! Ljubljana is a flat town so by bike you can discover the city beyond the downtown. For a guided bike tour, Alternative Ljubljana offers a Street Art Tour by Bike where you will discover adjacent neighbourhoods and visit of the green heart of the city – Park Tivoli.
Things to Do in Ljubljana in Winter
Winter is not just Christmas light but way more. Things to do in Ljubljana in winter include cuisine, culture and sports.
In the array of cuisine don’t miss to have a taste of the mulled wine or buy a handful of roasted chestnuts to warm up. Among the favourite winter alcoholic beverages is worth mentioning a local speciality called “medica” which is basically a gorgeous schnapps with honey.
The department of culture in winter holds two not-to-miss festivals. In beginning of November, LIFFe kicks off and pops up in all cinema halls for two entire weeks. LIFFe, an abbreviation for the Ljubljana International Film Festival, screens top films by European and world filmmakers. It ranks as the biggest and most important international film event in Slovenia (all films subtitled in English). The second festival for movie-goers is definitely Animateka, Ljubljana’s International Animated Film Festival that commences in the beginning of December. For the last cultural thing to do in Ljubljana in winter we recommend attending the Winter International Festival of Street Theatre Ana Mraz. It’s a free of charge festival where young and old alike are able to experience street performances by theatre troupes, circus performers and other artists
Another winter activity is of course also the Graffiti and Street Art Workshop. Learn the tricks of spray-painting and take home a souvenir in the form of a canvas with the help of our mentors. It takes place indoors, in the warm embrace of Gala Hala in Metelkova, where you’ll use the odourless waterbased spraycans.
On a sunny winter morning put on your warmest socks and stretch your legs. From Tivoli Park the path continues uphill, to Rožnik where you can reach the peak with an elevation of 394 meters. On the way follow the signposts Cankarjev vrh that will lead you in the right direction.
Got questions or suggestions? You’re welcome post in comment section below and we’ll get back to you quicker than you can say ‘top things to do in Ljubljana in 2019’.