Three Slovenian cities brimming with endless inspiration

Slovenian cities have a unique charm. Though small by global standards, they are cosmopolitan and feature distinct characteristics that deserve attention. Within the network of Slovenian cities and towns, three cities stand out, each bearing the title of capital in its own way – together, they form a special cultural route.

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, offers a rich cultural tapestry and is centrally located, making it the optimal starting point for exploring Slovenia's cultural highlights. To the east, Maribor is an important cultural hub. To the west, Nova Gorica, sharing the title of European Capital of Culture 2025 with Gorizia in Italy, embodies the borderless spirit of Europe.  The cultural route begins in the north-east and traverses Slovenia from east to west.

🍇MARIBOR – ALL THE CITY'S A STAGE

Maribor, a picturesque city nestled at the foot of Pohorje and the Drava River, was crowned European Capital of Culture as early as 2012. It has recently been ranked among the top three European destinations, renowned for its vibrant cultural scene and culinary delights. Did you know that the city is home to the oldest grapevine in the world? But these are just some of the many reasons to visit this city. The newly renovated Lent riverfront, where the world's oldest grapevine grows, is a great place to enjoy a morning coffee and glass of fine wine in the evening, or head to one of its many galleries, museums, or puppet shows. As night falls, the area transforms into a hub for cultural activities with ballet and theatre performances, and festival concerts. The Minoriti Cultural Quarter, City Park, Art Gallery, and the theatre are just a few of the venues where these events take place. As the locals say, all the city's a stage.

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Houses with stories of art and urban development

In Maribor, you will find a unique blend of post-industrial heritage and contemporary art, with museums, galleries, theatres and venues galore. Exploring it all in just one weekend can be a challenge, but here are a few must-visit locations that are well worth your time:

Festivals and events that bring streets and squares to life

From the operatic arias that echo through the city park's canopy to the ballet dancers performing under the stars, and the vibrant rhythms of world music resonating in Lent, alongside celebrations of the oldest vine – Maribor offers a diverse array of extraordinary events throughout the year.

🏰 LJUBLJANA, A VIBRANT CITY OF ART AND CULTURE

At the heart of the trio of inspiring cities is Ljubljana, Slovenia's dynamic and bustling capital. Home to some of the country's most important cultural institutions, it is an epicentre of cultural and artistic creativity. Ljubljana thrives on creativity, influenced by esteemed figures such as the architect Jože Plečnik, as well as contemporary artists and craftspeople whose studios enrich the city's cultural fabric. Here, ancient artefacts, such as the world's oldest flute, meet modern innovations. Have you explored Center Rog or attended the Lighting Guerrilla Festival? 

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Where history and tradition meet

As befits a capital city, Ljubljana is within walking distance of many extraordinary institutions with even more extraordinary stories and collections. Here you can get up close to a Neanderthal flute, see remnants of Roman times, or nostalgically rediscover everyday objects from your childhood.

Modern and contemporary

Ljubljana is a modern city. Over the years, it has hosted many artists and art groups who have left their mark on the world of visual and other arts.

Festivals and biennials with a long tradition vs. urban and niche festivals

Did you know that Ljubljana's top cultural producers host more than 11,000 artistic and cultural events a year across various venues? Ljubljana thrives as an urban hub. Take a stroll through the vibrant urban and cultural districts of Šiška, Moste, Soteska or Metelkova. You'll find plenty of street art and other urban artworks to admire. And there's more! You can also immerse yourself in one of the city's festivals, each offering a unique experience.

🌳🎪 NOVA GORICA – CITY PARK

Nova Gorica is Slovenia's youngest city, closely connected throughout its brief history to neighbouring Gorizia in Italy. Both cities proudly share the distinction of being named the first borderless European Capital of Culture 2025. And the countdown to a year of extraordinary events has already begun. If Ljubljana is known as Plečnik's city, Nova Gorica shines under the influence of another visionary, the modernist Edvard Ravnikar. Wander through the green and thriving city while admiring its modernist architectural gems. Attend one of the lively events or catch a performance at the local theatre. Enjoy a coffee with the friendly locals or venture into the surrounding countryside and places that are closely tied to Nova Gorica – from the wine-growing Brda region and the emerald green Soča Valley to the charming Vipava Valley and the rugged Karst landscape.

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Nova Gorica and Gorizia – European Capital of Culture 2025

The countdown to 2025 is on, as Nova Gorica, Slovenia's youngest city, and its neighbouring counterpart Gorizia in Italy, a unique fusion of two interconnected cities, prepare to light up the European and global cultural stage as the cross-border European Capital of Culture. Through the presentation of Nova Gorica, Slovenia will step into the spotlight, showcasing its rich culture, world-class art, vibrant creativity and unique heritage to a global audience.

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Events galore

Its title of European Capital of Culture has really got the ball rolling in Nova Gorica, building on established events such as the Rose Festival. From concerts in unconventional venues to captivating exhibitions, festivals, and performances, the R.o.R Festival of intermedia art is a feast for the eyes.

Discover the wide range of events

Where to go for a cultural, artistic and beautiful treat?

Although Nova Gorica is a relatively young, post-war city, there is no shortage of great locations for artistic and cultural stories. Before the city fully blossoms as the European Capital of Culture with new arts venues (ECoC District), make sure to discover what defines its unique identity. Just a few kilometres or a short walk from the city centre, you will find castles, parks (such as the mysterious park at the Rafut Villa), scenic viewpoints and much more.

Slovenia – inspiring stories of art, heritage and culture

Medieval castles on the one hand, and modern architecture on the other. Traditional ethnological festivals followed by contemporary dance or street art festivals find a place on the calendar of events. The richness of historic towns and the treasures of young city centres. Classical music concerts at Plečnik's Križanke, or concerts by world-famous bands at Arena Stožice. Slovenia is a destination where everyone can find something to fill their culture- and art-craving soul.

Boutique tourism in the city centres

Plan your boutique city break in Slovenia in your own way!

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Creative art centres and venues

Some of the most exciting locations for lovers of art, culture and creative industries.

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Plečnik's Slovenia

Learn about the masterpieces of Jože Plečnik, the greatest Slovenian architect!

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Museums and galleries where you can also enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine

Where can you top off your visit to the museums and galleries with a good coffee or a glass of wine?

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Let go of your worries and enjoy the incredible festival atmosphere all around Slovenia!

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Slovenia, a spectacular film destination

Slovenia as a blockbuster filming location.

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Street art in Slovenia

Street art, graffiti, urban art in Slovenian cities.

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