Street art in Ljubljana’s funky neighborhood: Metelkova

By |2017-08-07T00:14:58+00:00July 4th, 2015|Culture, Destination, Europe, Slovenia, Urban|12 Comments

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

During my trip to Ljubljana a few weeks ago, I was introduced to one of the coolest neighborhoods I’ve seen: Metelkova.

Metelkova is an autonomous culture zone. A former military barracks. A town within the city, just a few minutes walk from Ljubljana’s city center. When I first saw photos of it, I didn’t find it inviting AT ALL. And it still isn’t.

Errr, so why visit?

Well, because that’s also what makes it charming. Metelkova is not your typical neighborhood. It has its own vibe, walls covered by urban street art and bizarre buildings with barred windows. It’s weird, but in a good-way weird. It’s a place for everyone. It’s where artists, designers, punks, hippies, squatters and students hang out together. The creative ambience sets a relaxed atmosphere where no one cares what you look like or where you’re from.

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When I visited during the day, it was quiet but visually spellbinding. Kooky Gollum-looking creatures hanging from the buildings. Colorful graffiti on the walls, the streets, the ceilings, even on the trash cans. Art installations of bike parts, vivid masks, prison windows, bright-colored mosaic tiles, a spider sculpture made out of trees. Some of it was shocking while others resembled prestigious pieces of contemporary art.

When the sun went down, Metelkova really came to live. It has the city’s best nightlife not to mention cheapest beer.

All in all, it’s the perfect place for any alternative culture loving traveler, but not for romantic nights and family trips. I felt it was a safe place to visit, even after dark, and I will definitely visit again when I return to Slovenia.

21 PHOTOS OF METELKOVA, LJUBLJANA

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Metelkova was created in 1991

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

It is home for art galleries, designers, artists and cultural organisations

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Meet Grumpy, Hungry, Screamy, Meany, Kooky, and Moody

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Scary, much?

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Street art is everywhere in Metelkova

STREET ART

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

There are no bare walls in Metelkova

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

But there’s a Metelkova UFO

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

and evil Phumba

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

and that rodent from Ice Age. On crack.

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dracula’s corner?

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hmm..

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Some of the street art was slightly devilish

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

or looked like Medusa

WHERE TO STAY – CELICA HOSTEL

Metelkova has a hostel, which is arguably the coolest accommodation in town. It’s called Celica Hostel and used to be a prison, but today it’s re-designed into hostel rooms with bars at the doors intact. If you fancy spending a night behind bars, this is the most comfortable cell you’ll find.

Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Many thanks to Celica Hostel for generously hosting me in Ljubljana. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own, regardless of who is footing the bill.

Where’s the funkiest place you’ve been?

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A guide to the funky street art in Ljubljana, Slovenia

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12 Comments

  1. Silvia of Heart My Backpack July 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Ahh you’re making me want to go back to Slovenia SO badly! You took some seriously lovely photos of the street art, and Celica Hostel looks really cool!

    • Miriam July 5, 2015 at 1:08 am - Reply

      Thanks, Silvia! I absolutely love this part of Ljubljana, and it’s so similar to Freetown Christiania in Denmark.

  2. Franca July 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Absolutely loved that place! Unfortunately we only briefly went there during our trip to Slovenia and our camera broke, so I have no photos 🙁
    I’d really love to return at some point and perhaps spend more time exploring Ljubljana and its alternative side.

    • Miriam July 6, 2015 at 12:29 am - Reply

      I knew you guys would like it 🙂 Next time you should visit after dark, too. It changes completely.

  3. Isabel July 6, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Love Metelkova but I do recommend only visiting during daylight haha. I mean it is fun and quirky for a while at least, the street art is amazing though!

    • Miriam July 6, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

      It does get a little dodgy after dark, doesn’t it 😉 It’s a cool place for a few drinks and the experience, but it’s probably not a place I’d hang out night after night.

  4. Camille July 14, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    The street art + the hostel: I’m sold!

    • Miriam July 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      It’s the perfect combination!

  5. Sarah Anderson May 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I love the look of modern street art when it’s done well like this. My favorite one, and probably the creepiest one, is the one with the creatures that look like Gollum. Are those ones actually just statues?

    • Miriam May 18, 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      They are 🙂 They were kind of creepy, but also cute & funny. I’m not really into graffiti, but like you said – when it’s done well like this, it’s super cool.

  6. Andrej August 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Best place for a night out with friends. Also my favorite concert venue, the clubs in Metelkova host the biggest and the most popular bands, musicians, artists… in the world in an intimate and friendly atmosphere. I’ve met some of them there… drank a beer together at the bar… we even managed to delay the start of the show, not yust once, because we took a member of the band on a tour of the city .
    P.S. Celica art hostel was actually woted as the no.1 hostel in the world several times.

    • Miriam August 7, 2017 at 12:01 am - Reply

      I’ll have to come back for the nightlife! I stayed at Celica which was a super special experience. Have you spent the night there?

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