Exploring Ljubljana’s cultural scene on a budget

by Eva Gale

Every city trip consists of your typical touristy activities such as local cuisine, sightseeing and of course cultural activities like visiting museums and galleries. Ljubljana's compact size makes gallery and museum hopping very easy and some of them are free of charge which makes Ljubljana a perfect arty getaway when you're on a budget.

Art is free

I do believe that art is everywhere and you don't even have to enter a gallery to get your arty fix. This is especially awesome during beautiful sunny days, when you can take a walk around Metelkova Mesto for example, and be amazed by the vibrant urban art, graffiti, murals and sculptures. If Metelkova is a bit too much for you, why not move away from the concrete and visit the outdoor gallery on Jakopič Promenade in Tivoli Park? It's always open, free and the surrounding trees make the whole experience oh so pretty.

But during colder months you'd might want to stay indoors and I don't blame you for that. So start right in the city centre, follow the big green dot and visit the City Art Gallery. It’s relatively large but unless it’s an opening, it’s not very crowded, so you can totally come here to clear your head.

  • Metelkova/Mestna glelrija
  • Metelkova/Mestna glelrija

A short walk away there’s a smaller and newer Vžigalica gallery. Expect contemporary and sometimes even performance and interactive art. They once even featured an exhibition where you had to play that Snake game with your feet. Good times.

Not too far away there’s also Tobačna cultural centre located in a former tobacco company with some cool contemporary art. There’s also a tobacco museum inside. While you’re there, check out Filter57 cigs. They feature a tiny dragon on the pack. Ljubljana’s own cigarettes! But remember kids, tobacco is bad, but exhibitions are not!

  • Vžigalica/Tobačna
  • Vžigalica/Tobačna

Get the best bang for your buck

Now, all these arty places I’ve mentioned are indeed free of charge, but there’s a lot more Ljubljana has to offer. If you’re planning on going on a full blown cultural expedition in Ljubljana, then I would definitely recommend you to consider purchasing the Ljubljana Card. It’s totally affordable and it opens the doors to practically all cultural establishments plus so many more. It saves you a lot of money and hassle.

And one more tip: if you’re by any chance visiting Ljubljana on the first Sunday of the month, then you’re in luck. The majority of museums and galleries have free admission. The same goes for 8 February, on Slovenian Culture Day and on 3 December when we celebrate the Merry Day of Culture. Yes, we’re pretty wild when it comes to culture.

Now you know, there's a ton of options when you're feeling especially arty. So, what are you waiting for?

Eva Gale

Eva is a true Ljubljana fan and a city explorer. Loves urban art, galleries and cheap lunch places. 

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