Ljubljana’s museums may not be world famous, but they are as vibrant and varied as the city itself. Whether you’re looking to delve into the turbulent history of Slovenia, admire the masterpieces of local artists, or simply while away the hours on a rainy day, here are some of the best museums in Ljubljana.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum
With its distinctive collection of folk costumes, traditional musical instruments, and cultural artifacts, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum is the perfect introduction to Ljubljana’s diverse cultural heritage. Its colorful exhibits bring Slovenia’s vibrant history and traditions to life.
Museum of Contemporary History
The National Museum of Slovenia, the Ljubljana City Museum, and the Slovene Museum of Natural History are all worth a visit for those interested in Slovene history, but the Museum of Contemporary History is among the most compelling. Focusing on the city’s evolution throughout the 20th century, it’s located in the exquisite Cekin Mansion at the heart of leafy Tivoli Park.
Ljubljana Castle Museum
Ljubljana’s hilltop castle is one of the city’s most visited attractions, but after taking a ride on the Ljubljana Castle funicular and admiring the views from the Outlook Tower, be sure to visit the castle museum. The Exhibition of Slovene History chronicles the region’s history through Roman, medieval, and Victorian times, WWI, and WWII, plus there’s a puppet museum devoted to the Slovene art of puppeteering.
National Gallery of Slovenia
The top ticket for art lovers is the National Gallery of Slovenia, home to the country’s largest art collection. The vast collection spans the 13th to 20th centuries, with a focus on Slovene art, and is housed in the Narodni Dom Palace. The neighboring Museum of Modern Art is also worth a visit, with a selection of works by 20th-century Slovene and international artists.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM)
For something a little more cutting edge, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) is renowned not only for its permanent exhibition of postwar avant-garde artworks from around Europe, but for its boundary-pushing temporary exhibitions. Located in the Metelkova district, it’s just a short stroll from the Slovene Ethnographic Museum.
Architecture Museum of Ljubljana
If you’ve been admiring the dramatic art nouveau designs of local architect Jože Plečnik, head to the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana. There you can check out his collection of works and learn more about the city’s architectural development and homegrown architects.
Museum of Illusions
Among the latest additions to Ljubljana’s museums, the Museum of Illusions is fast becoming one of its most popular. Filled with quirky displays, mind-bending illusions, and interactive exhibits, it’s a fun way to take a break from sightseeing and entertaining for all ages.