Top 5

View from the Ljubljana Castle

You know that Chris Rock movie, Top 5? (If you don’t, go and watch it right now. I’ll wait two hours for you to finish.) Chris Rock’s character asks several other characters in the film to name their top 5 rappers, a task which some can answer automatically and some have a difficult time choosing.

I’m definitely the latter. I feel so passionately about so many things, that I can never quite narrow down my choices to pick only 5. But if I had to pick a top 5 for places I’ve been, I can say with certainty that Ljubljana would definitely make the list.

The famous dragon bridge

Ljubljana is a small city that manages to pack a big punch. Even though there are fewer than 300,000 people, it has the cool, artsy vibe you find in places like Berlin or Barcelona. Street art is abundant, and you can easily find art collectives just by wandering down the right street.

The castle sits above the city on a hill, perfectly framing the beautiful buildings below. Everything is clean and the whole place is so green, full of plants and trees, even named the European Green Capital for its sustainability and environmental friendliness.

I feel like I could go on and on about how much I loved Ljubljana and never do it justice. There’s the old town, conveniently condensed and walkable along the river, with the Castle on the hill behind it.

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

The castle atop the hill
Prešeren Trg


As I wandered around the city, I came upon Trubarjeva Cesta, an artsy, eclectic street that reminded me of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. As I walked past all the hostels, cafes, and vinyl shops and the street gave way to more normal apartments and ATMs, I found this place. This art collective is in an old factory called ROG. It was wandering through here at 11 am that a drunk Italian guy asked me to marry him. Tempting offer, to be sure, but I turned him down.


It was the guy in the gray shirt, if you’re wondering


My couching surfing host showed me another art collective on my second night, but since it was completely dark and also full of people drinking and trying to have a good time, I came back the next morning to take pictures.

Near the contemporary art museum, near Metelkova

The art collective is called Metelkova. There are artists’ workshops and at night, people BYOB and hang out, plus they host concerts and parties. There’s also a hostel right in the middle, which I guess would be pretty cool.


Honestly, if you get the chance to see Ljubljana, do it! I will never get over how pretty this city is.


7 Replies to “Top 5”

  1. A variant of Top 5 is ,”Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of _____?”

    I can usually narrow favorites down to 4 or 5, but 1-2 is impossible. This would be on my list of Top Ten destinations I can’t pronounce, but it looks like it has a simple, understated beauty, with elements of other more popular destinations, especially the little bridges. That is, with the exception of the art collective which looks pretty in-your-face, much like your Italian suitor. Ah, one can only dream of what might have been had you accepted his offer.


  2. I’m really glad to see you enjoyed my city of birth, and I wonder if you have been back to Slovenia in these three years, or Italy. Will need to look around your blog some more. Another thing: maybe you’d be glad to know (unless somebody translated it for you when you were there) that the inscription in Metelkova Gledam begunca – vidim človeka means “I watch a migrant, I see a human”. Three years ago and it was an issue already. Now it’s much worse. As I walked around LJ last summer, I saw quite a number of anti-migrant street messages. Ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t been back, unfortunately. I would love to go back and spend a lot more time there as it’s so beautiful (I even applied to some teaching positions in Ljubljana, to no avail.)
      Its sad to hear about the anti-migrant graffiti, my home country is also going through a some problems with xenophobia and cruelty, as you may have heard in the news.

      Liked by 1 person

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