Urban culture off the beaten track: a walk along Celovška street

by Jaka Bulc

All great capitals of the world have something in common - little pockets or enclaves of culture, entertainment and fun outside the city centre. These areas, neighborhoods or streets are often the pulsing hearts of cities and offer experiences that are usually the perfect foil to the more sanitised and predictable ones in the more central locations.

Luckily, Ljubljana has been following suit. One specific area comes to mind, a stretch of Celovška street that is home to various galleries, bars, clubs, shops and all-round cool places that call for at least an afternoon’s worth of exploring.

Sports: doing and watching

Walking along Celovška street from Tivoli park, you’ll immediately encounter a brand new bicycle pump track and the best sports bar in town, Lepa žoga, where you can bond with the locals over a couple of beers, a hot dog and a game on one of the multiple big screens.

  • Lepa žoga / Pici bici
  • Lepa žoga / Pici bici

Art, bicycles and parties

Just across the road is MoTA LAB, a performance and exhibition space that belongs to the people behind the Museum of Transitory Art which has been responsible for quite a few avantgarde art events in the past couple of years.

Pici Bici, a bicycle boutique run by group of cycling enthusiasts, is located at Celovška 50. Here, you can stock up on top-notch cycling gear and get the latest scoop on the Slovenian cycling scene, including fixed-gear and cyclocross related events.

The same building houses Kreativna cona Šiška, a coworking space for creatives of all kinds, which has also become a pretty popular nightlife spot, due to its frequent clubbing events.

  • Kino Šiška - dve fotki
  • Kino Šiška - dve fotki

Urban culture hub

And now for the focal point of the whole thing! Trg prekomorskih brigad, a square just off Celovška street, is home to several vibrant and important cultural institutions. The one that gets the most attention is Kino Šiška, and rightly so. This old cinema was converted into a centre for urban culture in 2009 and has hosted a multitude of renowned musicians and visual artist since then. Kino Šiška also has a pleasant cafe which is well stocked with art magazines from all over the world.

Right next door, galleries Photon and P74 occupy the ground floor of the former municipal building. Photon’s focus is on contemporary art photography while P74 focuses on promoting the younger generation of local visual artists through exhibitions, workshops and other events.

  • Photon/Vodnikova
  • Photon/Vodnikova

Further afield

If you really want to dig deep, you can end your journey along Celovška street with a slight detour to Vodnikova street, just a couple of hundred meters away. You’ll find Vodnikova domačija there, the birthplace of Valentin Vodnik, one of Slovenia’s greatest poets. Nowadays, the building regularly hosts literary evenings, various exhibitions and a lot of kid-friendly events. It is run by the people behind Knjižnica pod krošnjami, the outdoor pop-up library.

Jaka Bulc

Jaka works as a photographer, translator and music journalist.

More about Jaka Bulc

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