The most creative museum or gallery
I will go with a museum and a gallery here. My first pick is the National Gallery (Prešernova cesta 24) since I pass it every day when I bike to work and therefore see the original of the Baroque Robba fountain through the glass windows. Built in 1896 and renovated by 2016, the museum’s collections date back to 1200. The building stands near the Tivoli Park, and I guarantee you won’t complain about taking a walk there.
For the museum, my favourite would be Slovene Ethnographic Museum, (Metelkova ulica 2) which brands itself as “museum about people, for people”. Four floors, each floor is a different exhibition (for example, there were exhibitions about shamans and beekeeping). The building itself is impressive. I have to admit I’m more frequent visitor of SEM’s café than its exhibitions, but I guess that’s part of its heritage as well. And it’s a good one!
The café where you go to read, write or be inspired
The Petkovšek and Premier pubs, located at the Petkovšek Embankment by the Ljubljanica river, are my picks year-round. They can get a bit busy on warm days, but at least you put your phone down and refocus as you check for a free seat. Literally a minute’s walk over the bridge nearby, you can’t miss Magda (Pogačarjev trg 1). Great place for a beer and you might meet a Slovenian creative there.
A restaurant with a difference
I find Slovenska hiša (there are actually two, but I prefer this one at Cankarjevo nabrežje 13) an ideal combination of a chilled environment and good food at reasonable prices. Many traditional Slovenian dishes, if you’d like to try some local tastes.
The most creative neighbourhood
Since Ljubljana is the size of a neighbourhood or two in bigger cities, it’s probably better to about talk “areas”. You can can’t miss with the Old Town, however it’s biggest minus is that it gets super crowded in the summer. On the other hand, Trnovo is a bit trendier and more chilled neighbourhood minus the large crowds. You will spot a big difference after just a couple of minutes of walking between the two. You might even get stuck somewhere in between (near Križevniška street maybe?). There are many pubs worth a visit accompanied by green scenery and a summer festival.
Photo: Irinia Tarabanova
The store you can’t walk past without going in
I was really tempted to list my local gym here (and technically I could as it has a small shop inside), but let’s go back to the city centre, to the Gallus Embankment to be exact. There’s a record store that makes my head turn and wonder: wait, was that…? (Enter the name of an artist/group you’ve almost forgotten but were really into at the time.) It’s called SpinVinyl (Gallusovo nabrežje 13) has a lot of both new and second hand vinyl, cassettes and CDs featuring rock, punk and metal.