Things are not what they seem at the Museum of Illusions

by Inga Batur

Museum of Illusions located in the Ljubljana city centre offers interactive exhibits that will show both kids and adults, museums can be fun, as well as educational. Here are our tips on how to best plan your visit and make the most of it.

A fun but educational museum

I keep telling my kids that museums are fun, but truth be told, some of them aren’t. Yes, they can be educational and interesting, but fun? That might be me overexaggerating.

I was very happy that the Museum of Illusions proved me right for once. It has everything I promised my kids museums have: around 40 interesting exhibits, that teach you something new, make you think about things we take for granted. Photo illusions, optical illusions, holograms engage you, so you don’t just wander the halls moving from one item to the next, knowing full well you have no idea what you just saw five minutes ago.

It might be small in size and true, if you didn’t pay attention you could be done with the two floors it covers in 10 minutes. But I dare you to try. Once you enter, even if you weren’t convinced it sucks you in and you can’t help yourself but take your time and be intrigued. So, do plan to spend well over an hour exploring the museum.

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Don’t trust anybody

You know how in movies the character is told to not trust anybody but rely only on itself. Well, in this museum you’ll soon discover that might not be such good advice when you see how easily your mind can be tricked.

You will see exhibits, some you have maybe encountered before, that will leave you boggled. For example, optical illusions: I saw two lines one next to the other and I knew they had to be the same length, but my brain wasn’t buying it. Luckily the museum lets you examine it, so you can be certain. Yet even as I write these words, my brain is still doubtful.

Then there are special rooms, like the Anti-gravity Room, where everything seems to defy the laws of gravity, Infinity Disco Room, where fun and dance stretch into infinity, Ames Room where you can grow taller or smaller, etc.

And once you are done with the exhibits there’s also a playroom at the end, where you can spend even more time figuring out different mind-boggling games. The good thing is that the friendly staff is on standby should you need help.

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Where is it?

You can’t miss it, as it’s located on the Kongresni trg square in the centre of Ljubljana. You’ll see its yellow flag hanging from one of the quaint buildings that line the square.

How to plan the visit?

The museum is very crowded most of the time, but especially during the weekends, even more so if the weather is sour. You have to options to escape the big crowds: plan your visit either in the evening, it’s open until 10 pm, or before 11 am in the morning. It opens at 9 am.

The cost?

Entrance fee: €9.5 per person; children from 5–15 years €5.5; families (2 adults + up to 2 children) €23,50.

Or get the Ljubljana Card, which offers free admission to major museums – Museum of Illusions is included, attractions and several other benefits.

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Best of the Museum?

After the visit, the whole family took a vote. Our definite favourite exhibit was the Vortex room. As soon as we entered what looked like a rotating cylinder, we got get this crazy feeling that the surface will turn upside down when it’s in fact perfectly stable. We probably seemed a bit crazy fighting to stay upright and walk over it, but that’s part of the appeal, watching others conquer it.

Inga Batur

Inga Batur thinks all the trips with the kids should be fun(ny).

More about Inga Batur

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