The Moustache Tour

Why do Slovenians long for what is hard to obtain, why does it feel good to be up in the mountains – Slovenia is a nation of hikers – when do Slovenians swear by order and discipline, two characteristics they value tremendously, and how do they get sucked into Bohemian pleasures, which they are very familiar with; these are all questions whose answers the visitors to the new and exciting Moustache Tour in Ljubljana will be searching for. 

The new type of guided tour by Ljubljana Tourism includes three greatest Slovenian moustachioed men and a moustachioed tour guide who offer a key that unlocks the city’s secrets and provides clues to understanding the Slovenian character. 

A bike tour of the most beautiful streets, parks and even the hills of Ljubljana is a story about three great artists, all of whom donned a moustache and all of whom were daring, each in his own way. Jože Plečnik, Ivan Cankar and Rihard Jakopič are linked together in a story about an architect, a writer and a painter. As visionaries and artistic giants, each of them left their mark on Ljubljana and Slovenia. Slovenians are proud of all three and are always glad to present them to the world.

The disciplined and dedicated Slovenian architect Plečnik worked night and day to design the centre of Ljubljana as a comprehensive masterpiece with timeless elegance and an antique feel. The Bohemian Cankar resided at more than 60 addresses in Ljubljana and accepted visitors at his table in the Rožnik Inn. He paved the way for creative hedonism as the first professional Slovenian author. The charismatic Jakopič was a pioneer of modernist painting who loved foggy Ljubljana. The different personalities of the three Slovenian greats go hand in hand with their moustache styles.

The tour begins with some of the architect Plečnik’s masterpieces in the centre of the city, and stops in at his library. Then in the cultural quarter of Križevniška street the group of up to seven visitors together with the moustachioed guide knock on the door of a barber’s shop to learn about the history and art of moustache styling in Ljubljana. Only a stone’s throw away from the city centre is a different Ljubljana, with houses and gardens. Krakovo, or solatendorf, the “lettuce village”, as it was called in the past, was the birthplace of the painter Jakopič. In Plečnik’s house you can better understand the inspiration and vision of our most prominent architect. Passing the ancient Roman wall, the Moustache Tour arrives at Cankarjev dom, which honours the writer Cankar, and works of Jakopič are on view in the National Gallery, also visited on the tour.  Finally, with one foot in town, the other in the forest, the visitors and guide take a moustachioed photo in the International Graphic Art Centre.

While tour guides used to be encyclopaedias on two feet who gave tourists tons of information, in recent years guiding has changed into providing experiences – tourists are more interested in tasting the cuisine and interacting with cultural and other adventures. This tour takes it even further as the participants co-create it. The tour thus follows the newest trends of European and global tourism.  

The organisers invite you to join this special tour – it is scheduled every Friday at 15:00 and starts at the Slovenian Tourist Information Centre at Krekov trg 10 in the city centre. You will go by bike and be accompanied by a trained Moustache Tour guide who has the key to unlock the secrets of Ljubljana and Slovenian character and lifestyle. The Moustache Tour lasts three and a half hours and the price of €45 includes the guide, a Ljubljana Tourism bicycle rental, short visits to the Križanke Open Air Theatre, the barber’s shop, Plečnik’s House, the National Gallery, Cankar’s Room at Rožnik and the International Centre of Graphic Arts, a slice of potica, writer’s coffee or tea and a moustachioed surprise. The tour is offered in English, Italian, German and Slovenian.

The Moustache Tour is the only experiential tour in Slovenia that reveals in an interactive way the creative power and secrets of the city, and the special features of the Slovenian character. This is an important tour for Ljubljana, as it pursues many of the city’s main goals, attracts tourists and at the same time takes them outside of the city centre and helps direct various tourism flows. 

Text by Petra Goneli, Nea Culpa marketing agency

Photo: Aljoša Rebolj, Daša Kastelic