The Slovenia Times

Time Well Spent



It's a Saturday afternoon and it's raining. Outdoor activities are out of the question but staying at home doesn't seem like an option during the precious free time of the weekend. What's a family to do? For most of those living in central Slovenia, the answer lies in a visit to BTC City. This city within a city is one of the few places in Slovenia which caters to every member of a family.

Once advertised as a "small city of big shopping" BTC soon advanced into something way beyond shopping itself. The complex is now home to a plethora of entertainment, recreation and food and drinks options. Consider that the spot to the north-east Ljubljana where BTC now stands was once home to the "public warehouses," that stored goods for the socialist economy and you quickly get a sense of how Ljubljana has changed and expanded in the past fifty years. The warehouses now host a number of small specialised stores, different in sizes, even more so in the products they offer. Additional construction projects brought about another bunch of facilities, all rounded up with a fluent traffic infrastructure and plenty of parking options.

Anything your heart desires

Imagine a family with forty-something parents, a teenage daughter, and a pre-school son. On their rainy Saturday afternoon they arrive at BTC's D-hall with its famous Emporium store, the haven of top fashion brands. Browsing through Armani, Calvin Klein, Fred Perry and tens of other famous fashion brands takes time and focus - both of which tend to be in short supply with a young child around. But all is taken care of. In the basement of the same hall, Beti in Cej children centre provides care, entertainment and even education for the kids while their parents get on with some shopping. This novel service is a further boost to the family friendliness of BTC. With the little one has been taken care of, the shopping can begin. BTC boasts 450 shops and there's literally no item that you cannot find there.

To narrow down their shopping adventure, our family could head for the A-hall with "only" 180 shops - plus restaurants, hairdressers and other services. This hall is the "historical" centre of BTC City and is easy to access, with many parking spots in the surrounding area (8,500 in the whole BTC area - all free of charge). It is proudly overlooked by the Crystal Palace, a newly built skyscraper which currently holds the title of the tallest man-made object in the country; a title it is likely to retain for some time.

Down at A-hall, shoppers swarm through specialised stores - from many boutiques dedicated to shoes and clothes, to all sorts of technology goods; from unknown budget brands to prestigious ones. One such is the new Orchestra boutique, dedicated to children's wear from this popular French label. There are even some truly exclusive places here such as Soccerbox, dedicated to all the outfits and equipment which is the inventory of the world's best players.

Some people say they forget about hunger whilst shopping but that's not the case for our imaginary family. After an hour in A-hall, a snack is inevitable. To keep them going, they need something quick and tasty and there's no better place in A-hall than restaurant Pavza. Their healthy menu of sandwiches and snacks is right for anyone who doesn't want to waste time. But if you've got longer to linger over a meal, BTC has a number of restaurants which can suit every occasion - including romantic dinners. And for those in need of food with no delay, there's something to grab at every corner.

After another hour of exciting shop-browsing and a few bags full of stuff our imaginary family pick up their young son from Beti in Cej and start to think about a treat for all four of them.

Play, Drive or Dive

The options are numerous. Have you ever driven a go-kart? There is an exciting indoor track right there, in hall 18. You can join races or even attend one of their racing schools. Electric go-karts are safe and fun to ride, even for the kids. In the entertainment quarter of BTC you can drive, bowl, play pool or video games and so on. But the family we are following decide on something they can all equally enjoy: a visit to Atlantis, an amazing waterpark where both toddlers and seniors can find ways to play or relax. Whirlpools, slides, waves, saunas... Time runs fast in Atlantis and by the nightfall, our family is a bit tired. Not exhausted, though, so perhaps there was just enough energy for some more fun; perhaps a trip to the cinema. Kolosej, a huge cinema complex, fits the bill with its massive variety of blockbusters - most of which are shown in the original language.

It is clear then than BTC is nothing if not a family venue. Actually it sets no limits in age or walk of life. There's literally everything. Therefore it is difficult to suggest quite how to spend time there. All there is to know is that it offers so many things that it can be tailored to anyone.

BTC d.d.

Šmartinska 152, Ljubljana

Phone: +386 (0)1 585 11 00,


More from Nekategorizirano