Slovenia has an extensive cultural, historic and even artistic history, which you can explore in the top Slovenian museums.
We often get asked which are some of the top museums in Slovenia, believe it or not. Since we like to help people out we have made a list of top museums in Slovenia, which might come in handy the next time you decide to explore the best Slovenian museums and learn a thing or two about our history and culture.
The museums listed below our favorites, but if that’s not enough to satiate your cultural appetite, you can check out our full guide the best Ljubljana’s museums and galleries here.
National Gallery of Slovenia
Number one on our list of top 10 museums in Slovenia is the National Gallery of Slovenia. Housed inside a fabulous late 19th-century neo-Renaissance palace designed by the Czech architect František Edmund Škabrout and with extra space in a modern wing, this wonderful gallery features the very best in Slovene art from the 13th century up to the first half of the 20th century, including paintings by such notable artists as Ivan Grohar (1867-1911), Richard Jakopič (1869-1943) and Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926).
Gostilna Lectar’s very own living museum makes a traditional Slovene craft, gingerbread from honey dough. The hospitable family, dressed in everyday medieval clothing, will give you a tour of the museum. Tools dating back over 100 years are still used to produce these uniquely decorated cakes and the oldest preserved wooden mold is from the 16th century. Back in medieval times, they were considered prestigious gestures of romance, these days they make great gifts and can be personalized. How cool is this top museum in Slovenia? Make sure you make your very own gingerbread souvenir in the Lectar museum in Radovljica. We can guarantee you will have an amazing experience in this top museum in Slovenia.
Slovenia is famous for its lace from Idrija. Want to learn more about it? Then we recommend you visit the next top museum in Slovenia on our list. Idrija’s award-winning city museum is housed in the 16th-century Gewerkenegg Castle, which towers over the old town from its perch on a small hillock to the west. This top museum in Slovenia highlights include the mineralogical and petrographic collection, where among other items you can view a bowl of liquid mercury with a solid iron ball floating in it and pick up a mercury-rich chunk of cinnabar, and the Idrija lace collection, which was opened in 2008 and details the history of the city’s lace production from its 17th-century beginnings all the way up to modern lace fashion by some of Slovenia’s top designers. However, the single most impressive lace piece in this top museum in Slovenia may be the large intricate tablecloth that was created by a team of 12 master lacemakers in the 1970s as a gift for Tito’s wife Jovanka (which was never actually given to the Yugoslav first lady due to a dispute with the protocol office).
In 1998, the oldest hydropower station along the Drava River was renovated into a museum where it offers visitors a glimpse into both the past and the science behind hydropower and turbines. This is a perfect museum in Slovenia if you are interested in hydroelectric power plants and how they produce energy in Slovenia.
House of Illusions
Isn’t it aimzang waht the hmaun mnid is cbapale of seineg? To experience just how much your eyes and brain can be deceived, go check out the fascinating and informative House of Illusions. Best enjoyed by groups so you can see each other be transformed, take the family, friends or colleagues for a fun-packed hour or two exploring the three floors of optical illusions and mind-bending installations. There’s also a games room where you can try your hand at one of their mind-bending puzzles which are also for sale, so perhaps that’s your gift shopping sorted, too. A word of warning. Consider avoiding the vortex tunnel if you’ve just had lunch or a few drinks. A visit to this top museum in Slovenia is a must!
Škofja Loka Castle & Museum
Next on our list of top museums in Slovenia is the Škofja Loka Museum. Since 1959 the castle has been the home of the Loka Museum, which makes great use of the space to present a collection ranging from history and archeology to ethnology and natural history to fine arts and local crafts. Highlights include artifacts from the Palaeolithic Era, a copy of the founding deed in which German Emperor Otto II granted Loko and the surrounding lands to Freising Bishop Abraham, scale models of Škofja Loka’s development from the middle ages to modern times, well-presented exhibitions of the town’s early guilds and industries, and a great collection of modern art in a unique basement-level exhibition space.
While you are visiting Koper, make sure to visit the next top museum in Slovenia. Mostly housed inside the wonderful Belgramoni-Tacco Palace, the Koper Regional Museum offers the beauty and splendor of the Renaissance and Venetian periods of Koper. Apart from a number of finds, ranging from paintings, arms, statues, folk instruments, and uniforms, the museum has also a striking lapidary, a perfect place to relax and enjoy the surrounding beauties in this top museum in Slovenia.
We hope you have heard of the most famous Slovenian song “Golica” before, if not you will by visiting this top museum in Slovenia. Recently renovated The Avsenik Museum gives a unique view into the works of Vilko and Slavko Avsenik. Exclusively set on three levels. The first exhibition portfolio is dedicated to Vilko and Slavko Avsenik’s childhood, followed by a wonderfully represented walk down memory lane with the stories of the individual family members and a special place that is reserved to Golica – the Echoes of trumpet song. This first-class exhibition is dynamically rounded with music and video multimedia, including touch screen interaction. An important place in the museum is occupied by gorgeous 31 carat gold, two platinum and one diamond plate. Included are national and international state awards. Who said Slovenians are not good in music? Not us!
One of our favorite museums in Slovenia is the technical museum of Slovenia. You will also see why this is one of the top museums in Slovenia. The sheer variety of exhibitions on display is astounding, covering the history of printing in Slovenia, agriculture, fishing, hunting, forestry, woodwork, electricity, textiles, and of course motor vehicles, there’s something for everyone here. A permanent exhibition in this top museum in Slovenia focuses on the first century of motoring in the country, containing within the oldest preserved car in Slovenia, dating back to 1906. Sundays see children’s workshops, Tesla’s experiments, as well as demonstrations and much more, allowing children and adults alike the chance to truly feel the technological spirit of the past. The museum’s renovated permanent exhibitions include one of classic vehicles primarily used by the former Yugoslav President Tito, and another covering the History of the Textile Industry in Slovenia.
Some 210 years of leather production were seen in the town of Šoštanj, from the period of the industrialization and finally ceasing at the end of the 20th Century. Fittingly, a museum to present this ‘industry’ was set up, in 2009, and makes use of the old factory bathroom to showcase the story, most important machines, and local life through the age. We strongly recommend visiting this top museum in Slovenia this summer.
Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica
Slovenia is a country to around 90,000 beekeepers. No wonder, there is a museum dedicated to bees. Take off into the world of the Carniolan grey bee, learn about the history of beekeeping in Slovenia, and admire the diverse painted beehive panels in this top museum in Slovenia. In the museum in Radovljica Manor, there is an outstanding exhibition of nearly 250 hand-painted beehive panels. This is the largest exhibition of this particular Slovenian folk art. The oldest known painted beehive panel, dating from 1758, is also on display. Need another reason to visit this top museum in Slovenia? No worries. We have more reasons for you to visit this top museum in Slovenia. The third part of the exhibition is devoted to the Carniolan grey bee, an indigenous breed of a bee. Due to its biological specialties the Carniolan grey bee is one of the most popular bees and among Slovenians, it has long held a special place.
The City Museum of Ljubljana is located in a true architectural monument. It is also one of the top museums in Slovenia. The permanent exhibition brings a chronological overview of the Ljubljana basin area and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the town’s history. It draws attention to the city’s important geostrategic position and to the extraordinary events in the history of the area. Two of the more notable pieces on show are a wooden wheel with a wooden axle and a wooden spear point, aged around 40,000 years old. The wheel was discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes in 2002. Radiocarbon dating shows it to be approximately 5,150 years old, making it the world’s oldest. The exhibition offers an overview of Ljubljana’s history in a creative and fun way with the use of interactive features, short films, guided tours, and workshops.
Photography Museum Maribor
Calling all photographers or lovers of photography. Maribor’s Photography Museum offers not only a permanent exhibition of camera equipment (adding up to over 1645 items), but also features a gallery that displays some truly spectacular photographs taken by famed professionals. Amazing, right? Visit this top museum in Slovenia next time you are in Maribor. And don’t forget to take pictures!
Ptuj Ormož Regional Museum is a general museum with collections and sections for archaeology, history, cultural history, ethnology, restoration workshops, and other services. It was founded in 1893, when the Museum Society in Ptuj was established and archaeological findings were exhibited in the then lower grammar school. At present, this top museum in Slovenia covers the wider area of Ptuj and Ormož, famous for its rich prehistoric and antique sites (Roman Poetovio), the period of migrations of peoples, medieval and modern age monuments, which bear witness to the cultural and economic importance of Ptuj and its surroundings, as well as of rich folklore traditions.
Where are all our train lovers? If you are one of them then you simply must visit this next top museum in Slovenia on our list. Housed primarily in a wonderful semicircular brick locomotive shed, the current incarnation of this top museum in Slovenia dates from 2004 and offers an exceptional glimpse behind the history of the technology, culture, and people of the nation’s railway heritage. In the shed find a chorus line of vast old steam locomotives, the oldest dating from 1861, whilst another building plays host to several rooms of signal equipment, railway eccentricities, uniforms, a recreation of an old station master’s office and, up a wiggly spiral staircase, a small art gallery featuring the railway-related paintings of one of the museum’s former directors. This top museum in Slovenia will simply amaze you!