Ljubljana nightlife guide
Nightclubs, discos, clubs and bars
Taking into account the small size of Ljubljana with only 280,000 inhabitants the city offers a large number and great variety of bars and clubs which will bring even the most experienced late-night bird and hardcore clubber to his knees. Ljubljana has a buzzing student scene with more than 50,000 young people visiting one of Ljubljana University’s 20 faculties, three art academies and three university colleges. No need to say that this large student community in Ljubljana keeps the city’s spirit young and adventurous and guarantees an exciting and swinging nightlife. The alternative-lifestyle centre at Metelkova ads to the cutting-edge atmosphere which is typically for Ljubljana.
The riverside bars and restaurants spreading their terraces at the Ljubljanica River contribute to a cosmopolitan feel which you would not expect in such a relatively small city. The vibrant centre of Ljubljana by night is situated on and around the main square Prešernov trg and the narrow streets and the little bridges spanning the Ljubljanica River nearby. Drinking along the Ljubljanica is the local sport and many of the café-bars around the Triple Bridge offer live music during summer season and are packed with guests into the early hours. The Mediterranean feel of Ljubljana is at its strongest during the summer season when the cafés, bars and restaurants stay open until 3.00 am or even later and the locals and visitors just refuse to return to their homes and hotels.
Macek on Krojaska street (ulica) 5 is one of the city’s most popular cafés and an excellent place for watching people. Macek means cat and the place is funny decorated with hundreds of pictures of pussycats. The daily happy hour between 16:00 and 19:00 is also one of the major draws of Macek. At Makalonca under the Shoemaker's Bridge on the Ljubljanica you can sit literally on the edge of the river. It is a pleasant and romantic place for a local date when candles are lit and fairy-lights switched on. A more outgoing atmosphere can be experienced in As Pub on Čopova street 5a. This joint has really two faces, normally it is a quiet candle-lit basement bar, slightly hidden beneath an upmarket fish restaurant. But later in the evening the visitor will witness a real metamorphose as soon as the in house DJs transform As Pub into a vibrating crowd-pulling nightclub.
If you want to mingle with the local student population and perhaps socialize with Ljubjlana’s high educated girls the cafés near the university and alternative hangouts on Metelkova street are good bets. Klub K4 on Kersnikova street 4 is situated in the basement of the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (Študentska Organizacija Univerze Ljubljani; ŠOU). On Fridays and Saturdays there are often rave parties, while during weekdays other music styles are featured. Klub K4 is closed during the university summer break period when many students in Ljubljana return to their native towns. Orto on Graboličeva street 1 close to Metelkov offers often live music and is popular with the locals who go there for drinking and dancing until the early hours. In the studenty area Trnovo on Eipprova street 19 you will find the Šank Pub which is always packed with students. More stylish and pretentious but pulling in a young and student crowd as well is Klub Metropol, a hyper modern bar on Kersnikova street 6 with multi-coloured chairs and a cool glass bar. Also very popular with local students is Žmavc on Rimska street 21 in Ljubljana’s Old Town. In this student hangout you will easily socialize with the youngsters chatting and drinking to the backdrop of the comic strip scenes and figures decorated walls. When it comes to funny decorations a must-see is Pr'skelet, a skeleton-themed basement bar in the Old Town on Ključavničarska street 5 where cocktails are two for one during daytime.
The best cocktails and shooters in town are served in Salon (Trubarjeva street 23), a designer-kitsch cocktail bar featuring gold ceilings and drapes, fluffy sofas, padded walls and a dazzling mirror-ball behind the small bar. With its relaxing electronic tunes Salon provides the perfect ambiance for starting your nightlife tour of Ljubljana or recovering after partying hard the night before. BiKoFe is another fashionable small bar on Židovska steza 2 and frequented by the cool and hip crowd of Ljubljana. You can also relax by smoking the big water pipe in BiKoFe and in summer the shady outdoor patio is an intimate place to spend long summer evenings. Bachus-Center on Kongresni trg (square) 3 is also a good venue for chilling. Its lounge bar spreads throughout the ground floor of the building and the backyard where the winter garden is located. During summer Jazz Club Gajo (Beethovnova street 8) located in the garden of the Writer's Society behind the Opera House is another venue with a laidback atmosphere. You can sit under the trees, or sip your cocktail or local pivo (beer) in a hammock, meanwhile listening to an open air live concert.
The always packed Klub Top (the former club Global) is one of the hottest night-spots in Ljubljana and considered to be an excellent pick up place for local girls. This popular disco, located on the roof of the Nama department store (Tomšičeva street 1), is always busy in weekends and jam-packed with sexy Ljubljana ladies. An outgoing crowd dances to pulsating house and other electronic music provided by a good selection of local and foreign top DJs. Klub Top tends to be a bit posh sometimes and many people come to show off. Also the strict bouncers can be a pain in the ass, but once you are in, the atmosphere is surprisingly friendly and relaxing and a night full of unpretentious fun is assured. For Factory Ljubljana, the biggest club in town, you have to be in the industrial area Rudnik in the far southeast suburbs of Ljubljana. Factory Ljubljana is situated on Jurčkova street 224, slightly hidden in a shopping centre opposite to the Leclerc Hypermarket. The DJ’s in this large 3-room disco spin techno, house and club music which draw many beautiful local ladies to the dance floor. For Hip hop and R&B you can head to D’Place, located in the in the Kolosej multiplex cinema at BTC City Shopping Centre (Šmartinska street 152).