The beautiful eastern European capital of Ljubljana is found at the heart of Slovenia, a small country bordered and heavily influenced by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy. This city is the largest in Slovenia, and is famous for its university student population, beautiful architecture, literary symbol France Prešeren, and its short but fascinating history as a country brimming with culture. To learn more about Slovenian history and culture when visiting, head to the best museums in Ljubljana listed below.
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM)
Located in perhaps one of the coolest (and most graffitied) quarters of Ljubljana called Metelkova, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) is one of the best museums to visit if you are in search of inspiration and cultural or historical enlightening of all things Slovenia. Filled with frequently changing and intimate exhibitions, here you can find abstract concepts explored in a physical and often interactive way. The surrounding area is filled with countercultural art and architecture as well, so it’s worth having a walk-around.
This museum is dedicated to exploring the ethnographic history of Slovenia through a collection of documents, artefacts and art all curated into an annually changing exhibition. The Slovene Ethnographic Museum also incorporates a weavers’ workshop, a museum shop called Lectarija, and a café. The permanent exhibition, Between Nature and Culture, brings together over 3,000 items from Slovenia’s and the world’s ethnological heritage. Remember to check for student discounts!
National Museum of Contemporary History has been located in Ljubljana’s largest and most central green area, the Tivoli Park, inside the Cekin Mansion since 1951. The museum includes collections from World War I, World War II, postwar Yugoslavia, and independent Slovenia. This is explored through a mixture of historical items, including archives, artworks, and photographs. The architecture and building itself is incredibly ornate and masterfully built, and worth a visit for its beauty.
The Museum of Modern Art is the central museum and gallery of Slovenian artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries. From the local impressionists to constructivism and socialistic avant-garde, to current contemporary creations, all lovers of modern art will find comfort and inspiration in the exhibitions displayed in this museum. Entry to this museum can be purchased simultaneously with entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art, and allows visitors to experience a full day of learning and culture.
The City Museum of Ljubljana is housed in the Turjak Palace in the city center, and is itself of historical and cultural importance. As recently as 2002 and 2003, archaeological expeditions were held right where the museum stands, and produced valuable artefacts from the Roman imperial period, early modern and late medieval periods. This museum categorizes and explores Slovenian history through its artefacts and traces back to the roots of Slovenian culture in an aesthetic and informational presentation.