Five reasons why you should visit the Museum of Architecture and Design

by Eva Gale

I’m fairly certain visiting museums and galleries is one of the top priorities for you, when visiting a new city. Ljubljana has a bunch of them, which you probably already know, but let me tell you a little secret. The non-centre part of town, can be pretty remarkable too. This is why I love to visit the Museum of Architecture and Design. It’s a great place if you’re into architecture, graphic or industrial design, so without further ado, here are my five reasons why should you consider visiting MAO.

1. It’s placed in a beautiful castle

You’ve read that right, a beautiful castle with a courtyard and everything, from the Renaissance era, overlooking the Ljubljanica river. It was renovated in the 1990’s and some beautiful wall paintings we’re rediscovered and saved. They can be seen on many spots around the castle.

  • slika 1/2
  • slika 1/2

2. A great source of inspiration

Every exhibition is an insight into designers work process, which can be a great source of inspiration for many architects, designers and other creative people who just like to look at pretty things. They usually showcase many ideas, some even unaccomplished and unpopular. Exhibitions differ from time to time, so there’s always something new, from famous Slovenian architects that are responsible for many of the city’s buildings or ex-Yugoslavian industry design gems like Iskra phones and Rex chairs.

  • slika 3/4
  • slika 3/4

3. Away from the crowds

Museum of architecture and design is located away from the city centre, and from the crowds. With the river on one side and the park at the other, MAO is perfect for afternoon relaxation. There’s a bus stop (Fužine P+R, the final stop of bus line number 20) and a parking lot right nearby, but if the weather is friendly, why not bicycle your way to the museum? There’s a lovely bike path (the Waterside Path) leading from the city centre to the Fužine neighbourhood (where our museum is located). Follow the blue signposts, they’ll lead you away from heavy traffic.

4. Guided architecture-themed tours

Of course you can’t merely enjoy architecture inside a museum, you need to see it and feel it in person. That’s why MAO offers many guided tours (in Slovene, English and German) where they take you around town. Many different themed tours are available such as Contemporary Architecture tour, Secession Ljubljana tour and so on. See them all here.

  • Slika 5/6
  • Slika 5/6

5. The coffeeshop!

Of course I simply cannot leave out the inspiring and pretty coffeeshop located inside the museum. So many retro stuff is going on in here, from Renaissance wall paintings to posters from design shows. It’s a charming place, where no two chairs are alike (probably) and where the coffee is yummy. In the warmer months the café expands to the castle’s courtyard, which is perfect when you want to enjoy some sunrays in peace and quiet.

Eva Gale

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

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