WAY OUT THERE
Ziferblat is a place where the only thing not free is the time. It’s a place for socialising where you can really make yourself feel at home. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, help yourself to some biscuits or make your own pancakes. And when the bill comes, the only thing you pay for is the time spent in Ziferblat.
The Ljubljana Ziferblat is the world’s 13th Ziferblat to have opened its doors. The guests are actually micro-tenants and co-creators of whatever might be happening there. It’s neither a flat nor a cafe, but rather something in between, a space of freedom where you can do whatever you want: play the piano, chess, talk to complete strangers, read a book, prepare a snack and share it with friends, or perhaps do some work or even have a meeting.
The Hotel Cubo, situated in a 1930s residential building that was converted in 2011, is a small design hotel located in the heart of the city centre and near Ziferblat. The hotel restaurant, serving seasonal menus based on a fusion of Mediterranean cuisines and with the use of fresh, carefully selected local ingredients, offers the ultimate culinary experience.
It is easy to meet in Hotel Cubo, as it has two meeting rooms of a minimalistic design, strategically placed lighting and the latest in audio-visual equipment.
“It’s funny how Ziferblat can change the most introverted people into completely opposite ones – talkative and, frankly, curious ones.” – Tilen, Slovenia
MEET IN STYLE
In Ziferblat you can have any kind of event that you might imagine hosting in your own living room, so all of your guests and invitees will certainly feel comfortable and cosy. You can host all kinds of lectures, from relaxed pillow conversations through to serious conferences or even a movie screening. In Ziferblat, they have hosted any kind of event that you could possibly imagine.
On Fridays they normally bake pancakes and as a part of an international students’ conference of comparative literature studies, “First page”, they hosted a literary breakfast while reading poetry.
Last Christmas they hosted a Christmas dinner for everyone who couldn’t make it home for the holiday. Around 30 people gathered at Ziferblat and, despite the fact that they were complete strangers, by the end of the evening they left as new friends.
Ziferblat might be the only venue where you will really feel like being at home – you can take off your shoes, look through the drawers and talk to everyone and anyone present. You can also feel free to play the piano or guitar and nobody will be counting how many teas or coffees you’ve drunk or how many biscuits’ you might have nibbled. They will even teach you how to prepare a coffee, so you can then prepare one to your taste. A room for events can accommodate up to 35 people, while the whole venue can accommodate up to 60. As a bonus they have a “silent room”, to which one can slip away from the crowded environment and have a skype call or a business meeting in private.
In Ziferblat, they abide by the principle of sourcing tea from Slovenian suppliers. The story with the coffee is a little bit special too – they buy it at the cooperative store Buna, who bring their coffee to Slovenia via fair trade.
If you’re feeling peckish you can also help yourself to a toast with butter, marmalade and honey in Ziferblat. Besides this you will also find some more culinary delights in the fridge, and should there be any special request, a selected pudding can be prepared to order.
“It doesn’t feel like we visited a cafe, but like we’ve been visiting friends that we’ve known for a long time.” – Piotr and Karolina, Poland
The Ljubljana Ziferblat is located in a luxury flat at 8 Vegova ulica, converted to a social salon with a large window overlooking the street. It is just a hop away from Kongresni trg (Congress square) and Trg Francoske Revolucije (French Revolution Square), where a monument to Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces stands – they say it’s the only monument of Napoleon outside of France.
DID YOU KNOW
The name Ziferblat, which means ‘clock face’ in Russian (Zifferbatt), has associations with clocks and time, symbolic of Ziferblat’s policy of charging five cents for every minute you spend there.
The idea of Ziferblat comes from Russia, that is to say from Moskow, where Ian Mitin started the idea of the venue back in 2011. At the outset, Ziferblat was just a little room where poetry was read with a cup of tea. Soon afterwards, the place became too crowded, which was the beginning of the Ziferblat we know today. There are more than 13 Ziferblats around the world, being also located in Ulaanbaatar, London, Liverpool and Kiev.
Nowadays plenty of people cannot imagine their life without this cosy space in the heart of Ljubljana. Ziferblat invites all kinds of people to the venue when hosting any type of events, encourages people to be curious, to be talkative and open to everything unknown – which is actually the purpose of this social experiment.
“Ziferblat gave to me, personally, plenty of important life lessons – I learned that everything that is supposed to happen needs to happen at the appropriate time and with the right people to carry out the event, as only the right people and the right time can make the event special and sincere.” – Maša, Slovenia