Metelkova mesto picture
Metelkova mesto
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Key Info

Masarykova 24

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

If you need a break from Ljubljana's old-world attractions, immerse yourself in its alternative side in Metelkova mesto. Occupying former army barracks that were abandoned after the breakup of Yugoslavia, this urban neighborhood – which was originally established by 200 squatting volunteers – is a haven for Slovenian artists and musicians. Comparable to Copenhagen, Denmark's Christiania area (minus the anarchist attitude), autonomous Metelkova mesto boasts a cool vibe complete with eclectic artwork from highly regarded and lesser-known Slovenian artists. Its colorful buildings house everything from art galleries to nightlife venues to a few retail stalls and shops.

According to past travelers, Metelkova mesto is the place to go if you enjoy live music and quirky art. However, some previous visitors said the area can feel unsafe at night, so if you're not there to attend a concert, consider arriving before dark. Also, keep in mind that the neighborhood's unconventional atmosphere means you may see squatters or other locals participating in illegal activities.

Metelkova mesto sits just south of Ljubljana's train depot, about a half-mile northeast of the Dragon Bridge. The area is located within walking distance of the Ljubljana Old Town region, but you can also reach it by taking the No. 2, 9, 12, 25 or 27 bus to the Friškovec stop. The neighborhood is free to visit 24 hours a day. But remember, if you plan on purchasing drinks at a local nightclub, charges apply. Additional amenities, such as coffee shops and restaurants, are not readily available here. Find out more about this quirky locale by visiting Ljubljana Tourism's Metelkova mesto page.

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Ljubljana Old Town (Staro mesto)
Ljubljanica
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#1 Ljubljana Old Town (Staro mesto)

Ljubljana's past is hard to miss in its historical city center. Home to must-see sights like Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge and Ljubljana Castle, the Ljubljana Old Town area features a mix of Gothic, Baroque and art nouveau architecture. Throughout the neighborhood, you'll find colorful buildings, pedestrian-only thoroughfares, ample shops and charming open-air cafes that overlook the Ljubljanica river. Plus, several of Slovenian architect Jože Plecnik's most iconic structures reside in this part of town. Don't miss the Plecnik-designed Central Market, which hosts a popular food market (Open Kitchen) every Friday from mid-March through October.

Travelers rave about the Ljubljana Old Town region, saying it offers a perfect blend of old and new. Though many suggest a summer visit so you can attend the weekly food market and people-watch while sipping a coffee outdoors, others highly recommend arriving in December to enjoy the city's festive Christmas decorations and holiday markets. No matter when you visit, vacationers say you'll discover well-maintained buildings, friendly locals and a great selection of eateries and watering holes.

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