Things to do and see in Slovenia

Shopping and Mooching in Slovenia

Actually, Slovenia is no different from most European countries: there are lots of shops, some local, some international, some department stores, some kitsch merchants, some nafferies and so on and on.

But you're going to be there for a week, maybe two - so time is crucial and somehow you need to sift and filter until you find the shops for you...

Tada

So let us share with you the Shops for Us. Just like our hotels, we'll show you the shops we like personally, where they sell the clothes, wine, ceramics, bags, shoes, pictures and stuff that we have bought.

Here you go then (this list will be constantly updated, hopefully by adding to it!):

Cliché

ClichéA very, very rare thing: a pun in Slovenia. The name of the shop started out as a pun on Che... but the real joke is that nothing you find here is clichéd. Elegant fashion for elegant peeps.

Novi trg 6, Ljubljana


Draž

DražBrother and sister Urška and Tomaž Draž showed their first collection of unique knitware in 1989, since when they have built a reputation second to none. Note that you will need a few days to buy something, as each piece is re-taylored for you.

Gornji trg 9, Ljubljana


Devetka

DevetkaStrikingly beautiful women's fashion. Tanja Devetak prints her own materials before transforming them into divine creations. The very last thing we grabbed before we left Ljubljana: a Devetka skirt - worth every step, pushing a stroller through the snow.

Trubarjeva 7, Ljubljana


Manitas

ManitasDesigner Kaja Kovač has a studio and shop in Bled, and during the summer months a stall in Ljubljana's craft market. Every time we saw her bags, shoes and ceramics, Darinka said, "I must have one of her bags". So, eventually, after a year, she did.

Grajska Ulica 2, Bled


Viktor Barlič

Viktor BarličThe bag-man of Ljubljana: it is a known fact that you can lose more stuff in a Barlič bag than any other... and while you're looking for your keys/personal items/purse/OED, everyone around can see what a gorgeous bag you have. Plus shoes! Perfect!

Mestni trg 8, Ljubljana


Almira Sadar

Almira SadarThe website claims that Almira has no ambition to satisfy mass taste. The weird thing is, Sadar fashion looks as though it should be worn by the masses... if only they had the good taste to wear it!

Tavčarjeva ulica 6, Ljubljana


Svila Lina

Sliva LinaHand-painted exotic silks by Dušanka Herman: dresses, scarves, men's ties - it's not often you find clothes that exude such exuberance. Wear something from Svila Lina and you'll more alive, more vibrant, more sexy. But only a little more poor.

Gornji trg 14, Ljubljana


Atelje Princ

Atelje PrincBeautiful silken dresses - ball gowns, wedding dresses... whatever you need for a very special occasion - individually hand-made for each customer. Visit early in your stay and you can have your last fitting on your last day!

Karlovška cesta 1a, Ljubljana

Kraševka

KraševkaProbably the best food shop in the country. Owners Slava in Smiljan Sosič have lovingly sourced the very best that Slovenia can offer: stupendous olive and pumpkin oils, vinegars of all kinds (plum is my favourite), schnapps and brandies, all kinds of preserved and pickled chompiness. Heaven.

Ciril Metodov trg 10


Rustika

RustikaAmazingly, but refreshingly, they don't have a website. Still, what would a shop specialising in chocolates need with a website? And not just the best chocolates in town, but cakes and pots and creamy things and croissants and the Big One in the summer: fabulous ice cream.

Trubarjeva cesta 44, Ljubljana

Kodre

KodreWhile living in Ljubljana, I walked past this fairy-tale shop many, many times, unconsciously dismissing it as a Ratneresque jools establishment. Just before leaving I unplugged my head from my fundamental and took a look in the window... and took a deep breath. Eventually I let it out again, so I could say, "Ooooohh... yummy." Fabulous jewellery made by some very, very talented jewellers, right on the bank of the Ljubljanica. Bring money (but not as much as you think).

Cankarjevo Nabrežje 27, Ljubljana

Ika

IkaIf you only have time to visit one shop in Ljubljana, make it this one. To be honest, it took me six months of living in Ljubljana to realise it wasn't a tourist shop. In fact, it's full of the very best Slovenian designers, craftspeople, artists... prices from cheap to not-so.

Ciril-Metodov trg 13, Ljubljana


Vesna Vidrih

Vesna VidrihAs with so much in Slovenia, I find it almost incomprehensible that so many artisans - chefs, designers, crafts-people etc. - are hidden under a country's bushel, so to speak. In Ljubljana, you can find Vesna at various market stalls - if it were London, she'd be in Harvey Nic's.

Available in the summer and winter markets in Ljubljana.


Nives Ratkjac Weingerl

Nives Ratkjac WeingerlAnother excellent potterer, Nives designs pretty-but-funky ceramics that will brighten up any home (as it does ours). Every piece is hand-made, so each has a character of its own.

Available in the summer and winter markets in Ljubljana and at Ika


Mojca Pretnar

Mojca PretnarMojca makes very special clothes for children - each item is individually designed, so your little one gets a unique piece. If you can't afford bespoke tailoring for yourself, at least treat your kids!

Available in the summer and winter markets in Ljubljana.


Nika Stupica

Nika StupicaYet another wonderful ceramist, Nika makes fine porcelain pieces that are at the same time modern and other-worldly. As with everyone else here, get some of her stuff while its still affordable!

Available in the summer and winter markets in Ljubljana and at Ika.

Rich Cultural Present


Slovenians have a unique talent for hiding their talents under a bushel.

They roll out the phrase 'rich cultural heritage' time and again, in a vain attempt to attach themselves to a glorious past... which only actually existed for the countries that ruled them over the last few hundred years.

And at the same time they ignore or even deny that they have a Rich Cultural Present.

When we have fellow Slovenians over for dinner for the first time, I play a little trick on them. I get the conversation around to great things we buy on holiday, and then I display a few items by Vesna Vidrih, Nina Stupica and Nives Ratkjac Weingerl, with maybe some clothes by Devetka, Farandula or Cliché... then ask them where they all come from.

Not one has ever guessed the right answer. Slovenians don't deserve their own products, which is why you should go over there and buy some.