Slovenia

Cozy Slovenia is a wonderful gift not only for the body but also for the soul of the curious traveler.

The historical centers of its cities are as if frozen in the Middle Ages: neat houses under tiled roofs, majestic cathedrals, noisy squares – a perfect background for long walks. Keep the secrets of the past and ancient castles, lost in the thick forests on the banks of lakes and rivers.

And in between sightseeing tours you can enjoy the beaches or go skiing in the middle of stunning alpine scenery.

Cities and regions of Slovenia

Cityscape view on Ljubljanica river canal in Ljubljana old town. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and famous european tourist destination.

The capital is Ljubljana, referred to as “little Prague”: a mighty medieval castle towers over it as over the Czech capital. There are other attractions: Gothic chapels, baroque mansions, Art Nouveau bridges and all sorts of museums.

The introduction to architecture is worth continuing in Maribor, Celje and Kranj, seeking to surpass each other in the number of castles, cathedrals and churches.

In summertime tourists are attracted by seaside towns: fashionable Portoroz with a sandy beach and curative salt, Piran with the Italian mood and the clean sea, Koper with elegant palaces and a water park, Isola, which is loved by sailors and surfers.

Beach recreation is developed not only on the Adriatic Sea, but also on the picturesque Alpine lakes Bohinj and Bled.

Most well-known health resorts are Rogaška Slatina, Moravske Toplice and Radenci with wonderful mineral waters, Strunjan with therapeutic muds, Dobrna, Terme Čatež, Rogla, and Terme Zreče with thermal springs.

From the beginning of December to the end of April the mountain climbers are waiting for Bovec, Maribor Pohorje and Kranjska Gora.

Climate of Slovenia

slovenia, lake, water
Photo by 12019 on Pixabay

Slovenia is divided into three climatic zones: temperate continental, Mediterranean and alpine. There are no sudden changes in temperature, mild winters (not below -10 ° C) and summers without sweltering heat.

The average summer temperature in most of the country is +23 … +25 ° C, and in winter – from -2 ° C in the northwest to +6 ° C on the Adriatic coast.

In July and August on the Adriatic coast in the peak of the beach season, and in May and June and September-October here is better for those who are comfortable temperature +24 … 26 ° C. Thermal health resorts are open all year round.

Visa and customs

bled, bled castle, slovenia
Photo by adonyig on Pixabay

To visit Slovenia you need a Schengen visa and travel medical insurance.

Import and export of foreign currency is not limited. When entering from non-EU countries amounts over 13 500 EUR are subject to mandatory declaration. Duty free import of 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, up to 1 liter of spirits (alcohol content over 22%) or up to 2 liters of spirits (less than 22% alcohol), table wine up to 4 liters, beer up to 16 liters, as well as personal use goods up to 430 EUR per person is permitted.
The prices on this page are for October 2020.

It is forbidden to bring drugs and narcotics, medicines, firearms and ammunition (hunting weapons must be licensed in advance at the police department of the area of residence), explosives, pornography, plants, flowers, animals and birds without appropriate permission.

It is prohibited to import products containing meat or milk into the territory of the European Union, including sausages, canned foods, lard and even chocolates.

In addition, it is forbidden to take out articles and things of historical or artistic value.

Tax-free
A tax-free system allows you to refund 22% VAT (for books, artwork, food, and medicine – 9.5%) on goods purchased in Slovenia, except gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco.

First of all you should make a purchase of goods worth 50,01 EUR or more in a store with a relevant logo, ask the sales clerk for a special receipt and fill it in in typed Latin letters.

Before check-in at the airport it must be presented together with the usual receipt, passport and goods in undamaged packages at the customs desk, get a stamp and then exchange for cash or bank transfer at a Global Blue branch.

Transport

Beautiful aerial view on Piran town with Tartini main square, ancient buildings with red roofs and Adriatic sea in southwestern Slovenia

The most convenient mode of intercity transport is buses, which run all over Slovenia. A trip from Ljubljana to Maribor costs 11,40 EUR, to Celje – 7,50 EUR, to Portoroz – 12 EUR. Tickets are sold at train station ticket offices and on the website of Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana.

An alternative to buses are trains owned by Slovene Railways.

There are regular services between major cities, suburban trains and high-speed trains are equipped with comfortable seats and air conditioning.

Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices and tourist offices, the trip from the capital to Koper costs 9.56 EUR, to Kranj – 2.58 EUR, to Lake Bled – 8.39 EUR.

Public transportation within cities

Bled, Slovenia - Aerial view of Lake Bled (Blejsko Jezero) with the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, pletna boats, Bled Castle and Julian Alps on a sunny summer day

The best way to get around within cities is by bus, most of which run from 3:00 a.m. to 0:00 a.m. Tickets are sold at tobacconists and newsstands, as well as from drivers and conductors in the cabin.

Single trip costs from 1,20 EUR (ticket is valid for one hour, changes are possible). In Ljubljana you can pay with Urbana reusable cards (2 EUR) sold and recharged at special terminals at bus stops.

There are cab services in every Slovene city. A car can be found on a parking lot, called by phone or caught on the street. The average cost of landing – 1-2 EUR, each km – 1,20-2 EUR, at night and on holidays the prices are higher.

A transfer from the airport to the center of the capital will cost 30-40 EUR. It is pleasant to ride a bicycle in Slovenia: there are Bicikelj stations all around Ljubljana. The 1st hour is free, the 2nd – 1 EUR, the 3rd – 2 EUR, every next hour – 4 EUR.

Communications and Wi-Fi

City of Ljubljana panoramic view

Telekom Slovenije, Telemach, Simobil and Izimobil are the leaders on the Slovenian cell phone market.

SIM cards are sold in branded stores, supermarkets, post offices and gas stations and cost 10-20 EUR.

Simobil offers A1 packages starting at 7 EUR, with calls to your home country costing 1,60 EUR per minute. Cards and recharge vouchers are sold in supermarkets and newsstands.

There are payphones in Slovenian cities that accept both cards and tokens – the former are marked K and the latter A. Tokens and cards with a value of 25-300 units (3-15 EUR) are sold at post offices, tobacconists and newsstands, and are suitable only for the pay phones in your area.

Free Wi-Fi is available in hotels, cafes, restaurants and shopping malls, and the historic center of Ljubljana is covered by a WiFree network with one-hour free Internet access.

Telekom Slovenije prepaid packages include unlimited traffic for 1 day, then you have to pay 2 EUR per 1 GB per day. Simobil offers VisitorSim cards with 10 GB of traffic for 15 days for 15 EUR.

Slovenia Hotels

Breakfast, served table on the balcony

Hotels in Slovenia are comfortable and modern. Meals are usually half board, but it is not always better than just breakfasts: the country has excellent cuisine, cafes and restaurants in the resorts – in abundance.

Hotel base at a very high level, economical options are few (as a rule, it is private accommodation). Most hotels offer a discount for stays of three days or more. “Dvushki” a little, mostly hotels 3-4*, official “five” also a little, but some 4 * – is actually 5 . All 4s have swimming pools.

Many hotels have health and beauty centers (one of the most modern is in the medical resort Dobrna). Animation in the Turkish sense of the word nowhere.

Voltage in the network is 220 V, 50 Hz. Outlets are standard European.
A bed in a hostel in Ljubljana costs from 20 EUR, a double room in a three-room hotel starts from 40 EUR and a four-room hotel from 80 EUR per day. The price for a night in a hostel in Maribor starts from 33 EUR for a private room for two people, in a 3* hotel – from 40 EUR, in a 4* hotel – from 80 EUR per night. Camping offers the cheapest accommodation in Portoroz (from 39 EUR for two-bed tent), two-bed rooms start from 58 EUR, luxurious five-bed rooms – from 170 EUR per night.

On Lake Bled you can rent a cozy chalet for 180-250 EUR per night.

Local currency

Aerial view of boat at small marina in Izola, Slovenia.

The monetary unit of the country is the Euro (EUR). 1 EUR equals 100 eurocents. The current exchange rate: 1 EUR = 88.58 RUB.

Since January 2007, the official currency of Slovenia is the euro.

Banks are open from 8:00 to 18:00 with a break (usually from 12:30 to 14:00) on weekdays, from 8:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays. Weekend is Sunday and sometimes Monday. You can exchange your currency in banks (the normal fee is 1%), post offices, hotels (the highest fee is up to 5%), exchange offices (“change offices”) and travel agencies, as well as at the train station in Ljubljana (24 hours and no fee). The exchange rate may vary considerably from place to place.

Credit cards and travellers cheques are accepted in most restaurants, branches of major banks, stores and hotels. ATMs are widespread, so you do not have to worry about cash.

It is more advantageous to change your travellers cheques in banks as the exchange rate in exchange offices is less attractive. A standard tip in a canteen is 1-2 EUR while the 10% from the bill is considered a generous tip (sometimes it is included in the check). If you take a cab, round up the amount of money the driver gives you.

Safety

bled, slovenia, europe
Photo by milesz on Pixabay

Standard security measures – not carry all cash and leave your passport in the hotel safe – are enough for a quiet holiday in Slovenia.

The attitude to the Russians in the country is respectful: our citizens are very dignified (and also spend the most money).

Over the years, more and more Slovenians understand Russian, especially since our languages are similar. English is spoken in hotels, Italian is also common on the coast, and German on the lakes.

Since 2007 smoking in all public institutions of Slovenia is forbidden, the penalty for disobedience – 125 EUR. To smoke a cigarette is possible except in the special “smoking rooms”, equipped in cafes, or on the balconies of hotel rooms, if any.
The only serious threat to health are ticks, which are rampant throughout the country (there are fewer of them in the seaside areas).

They often carry dangerous diseases, so you may want to get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis before your trip.

Among the insects mosquitoes also pester, so you should take repellents. Do not forget about the scorching sun: on hot summer days at the beach is useful cream with a high degree of SPF-protection.

Beaches of Slovenia

slovenia, mountains, lake
Photo by 445693 on Pixabay

The coastline is only 46 km, beaches are mostly small, stony (there are also pebbles, and in some places not so large pebbles, and sandy in Portoroz), a lot of concrete platforms.

Along the Adriatic coast runs the highway connecting coastal cities, so that secluded corners are almost impossible to find, although compared to other European resorts Slovenian beaches and are not crowded.

The sea is crystal clear, near many hotels there is a bulk of sand for children. Hotels in high categories have their own coastal recreation areas, most often – platforms, but mostly the beaches are municipal, well equipped. Cost per chair and umbrella – from 8 EUR. The beaches on the lakes are grassy, with sandy areas.

Diving

Picturesque autumn scene of Julian Alps with Kranjska gora peak on background. Wonderful morning view of Zelenci nature reserve, Slovenia, Europe. Beauty of nature concept background.

Diving is not one of the most popular Slovenian pastimes, though it has all conditions for fascinating diving. The waters in the Adriatic Sea are clean and clear, and under the surface of the local lakes there is definitely something to see.

Experienced divers often make the trip to Piran, a small town on the outskirts of Portorož. The sea here is deep and cool and at the Cape Madonna it is possible to swim among mysterious caves and curious fish.

There are diving schools in Portoroz itself: the cost of a dive with an instructor is 50-70 EUR, the full course costs 250-300 EUR.

In the list of places recommended to beginners and experienced divers, it is also worth noting Strunyan and Izola: the latter, incidentally, is also good for yachting and windsurfing. Diving is possible not only in the Adriatic Sea, but also in mountain lakes: for example, the resort of Bled at a height of 500 meters is a tectonic pool more than 30 meters deep, ideal for the study of freshwater flora and fauna.

Skiing in Slovenia

The slopes of the Julian Alps are a great place for skiing: the climate is mild, the snow cover is steady, the infrastructure is developed, and the scenery is photogenic. The skiing season in Slovenia lasts from December to March-April.

river, landscape, bridge
Photo by Niksy on Pixabay

The most popular resort is Mariborske Pohorje, a short drive from Maribor. There are more than 20 elevators, 43 km of ski and 27 km of cross-country trails, including one of Europe’s longest slopes with night lighting. In the high season, a ski pass costs 27 EUR per day.

Kranjska Gora Ski Resort is located at an altitude of 810 meters, not far from the borders with Austria and Italy. Its main pride is an impressive ski jumping hill, which was the site of world championships. The total length of trails for beginners and ace skiers is 20 km, many slopes are equipped for night skiing. A one-day ski pass costs from 32 EUR.

The highest Slovene resort – Bovec: its tracks loop at an altitude of 2000 m, from hotels, located much lower, regularly shuttle buses. “Skiing and cross-country skiing can be varied by skydiving, rafting, mountaineering, and other extreme activities. The ski passes cost from 21 EUR per day.

Treatment

Slovenia is full of resorts specialized in curing various illnesses. The best known of all is Rogaska Slatina with its unique Donat Magnesium mineral water. Its regular intake normalizes metabolic processes and functions of digestive tract, restores your slenderness, and makes you feel on your feet after a long period of taking antibiotics.

The average cost of accommodation and recovery at Slovenian resorts ranges from 500-800 EUR a week.
Portorož thermal waters are beneficial for rheumatism, respiratory problems, skin and reproductive organs.

Šmarješke Toplice Spa is visited by patients with psychosomatic diagnoses, diseases of musculoskeletal apparatus, nervous system, blood vessels, and heart diseases. Terme Chatege on the shore of the Sava River invites for rehabilitation after surgeries and sports traumas, as well as for fighting with excessive weight: cryomassage, lymph drainage, wrappings, and gymnastics help forget about extra pounds.

Strunjan is famous for clearing airways, asthma and bronchitis; Moravske Toplice is famous for its “black” mineral water, which cures rheumatism and skin blemishes. In Lasko you can recover from strokes, in Radenci you can cure your heart, stomach and kidneys.

Cuisine and restaurants in Slovenia

triglavský national park, slovenia, lake
Photo by kvetlotosa on Pixabay

In Slovenia there is a system of ratings of restaurants and catering establishments, which, however, does not always reflect the actual situation. The highest-level establishments are called restavracija, the lower level is called gostilna or gostisce.

Small snack outlets are called “okrepchevalnitsa”. Small snackbars are called “okkersevalnitsa”, “breweries” offer light snacks and beer, “kavarna” serves coffee and all kinds of cakes, and ice cream and sweets are served in “slascicarna”.

National cuisine masterpieces – pork sausages, Slovenian ‘strukli’ (balls of dough stuffed with minced meat), dried ham ‘prsut’ (sliced thinly with olives and wine).

Make sure to leave room for Slovenian desserts: “potica” (pie with nuts), “gibanica” (puff pastry filled with poppy seeds, nuts, raisins, apples, cottage cheese and served hot, drizzled with butter or cream) and “kremna gum” or “krem schnitta” (puff pastry with vanilla cream and light cream).

The Slovenian fast food deserves a special mention: hearty, fatty and inexpensive. “Bureks (puff pastries with meat, cheese or apples), sandwiches with cutlets “pleskavica”, sausages “cevapcici” and pancakes “palanchiki” with all sorts of fillings are sold in street stalls and simple eateries for 3-4 EUR per serving. A complex dinner in fast-food chains costs 5-8 EUR per person.

You can eat in Slovenia practically at any time and in any place: there is no village in the country where there would not be a snackbar or restaurant.

Prices in cafes and restaurants are relatively low (compared with the average European), and the food is of high quality and delicious. You can have a dinner with alcohol-free meals for 10-12 EUR per person; with wine you’ll save a little bit more money: 15-30 EUR. In hotels and restaurants service charge (10%) is included in the bill.

Entertainment and attractions

bled, lake, island
Photo by GreenvalleyPictures on Pixabay

Little Slovenia is rich in interesting sights. In the capital it is worth climbing up to the medieval Ljubljana Castle, enjoying the coziness of Stary Trg Square, walking across the unique Triple Bridge and admiring the works of art in the National Museum.

In Kranj the eclectic town hall of the 16th century, the parish church of St. Kancian and the house-museum of the poet Prešerna are notable.

Koper is interesting with its numerous palaces, built in the image and likeness of the Venetian palazzos. Recommended for a visit and medieval towns Maribor and Celje.

The Slovenian castles deserve a separate excursion: the reconstructed Maribor Castle, the majestic Celje Castle, Otocec Castle, which has not changed since the 13th century, Bled Lake – a mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque styles.

In Slovenia, not only the architecture is impressive, but also the nature – incredibly picturesque and carefully protected. Even in the capital you can touch it: Tivoli park with lawns, pond and charming castle is good for picnics and dates, and the zoo with free-range animals – for unforgettable family holidays.

In the south there are karst caves Postojnska Jama (at a depth of 2,5 km you can see bizarre stalactites and stalagmites from a slow-moving train) and Škocjan (protected by UNESCO).

9 things you must do in Slovenia

  1. Compare Ljubljana Castle with Visegrad, confirming or disputing the similarities between the Slovenian and Czech capitals.
  2. Toss a coin into the Robba Fountain symbolizing the three rivers flowing in Ljubljana.
  3. Go through the knighthood ceremony at Celje Castle and pay 540 EUR for this great honor.
  4. Ride through the caves of Postojnska Jama in a rumbling train.
  5. Strike the “wishing bell” crowning the church on the island in the middle of Bled and wait for your dreams to come true.
  6. Tasting the unique orange wine at the festival in its honour in Isola.
  7. To taste “strückles” and “prsut”, learning how to pronounce them first.
  8. Drink some mineral water in Rogaška Slatina: you will feel great and be in good spirits.
  9. You can conquer picturesque alpine peaks in Maribor Pohorje or the high mountain Bovec.

Slovenia’s National Parks

bled, slovenia, tree
Photo by oskripachuk on Pixabay

The beauty and pride of eco-Sloveneia is primarily the Triglav National Park (familiar to skiers from the winter resorts of Kranjska Gora, Bohinj and Bled).

The peak of the same name is considered one of the symbols of the country (depicted on the coat of arms and flag), and besides it on the territory of the park is the picturesque valley of Triglav lakes.

There are gorges, gorges, waterfalls and deciduous forests on an area of more than 800 square kilometers. For the convenience of visitors, popular trails are numbered, and a map is given at the entrance.

Here you can rock climbing, fishing, camping and exploring the area on hikes.

Another popular eco-tourism destination is the Notranjska area, famous for its amazing karst caves Postojnska Jama and Škocjan. The length of the halls and passages of the first as much as 23 km, in addition it is famous for the blind fish in the underground lakes.

You can take a steam train ride through the underground palaces. The caves Shkotsyan are considered to be the most well preserved of their ancient beauty. And the Viljenica caves were among the first in Europe, open to the public (17th century).

In Ljubljana Fens, which was included in the UNESCO List in July 2011, you can see prehistoric pile dwellings, and the surrounding landscape is also beautiful: once there was a lake, which dried up about 3.5 thousand years ago.

Holidays and events

Slovenians especially love winter holidays: on Catholic Christmas they dress up a Christmas tree, weave wreaths of pine branches, make “manger” with biblical scenes. In some places, it is still customary to walk around the house with a lighted censer, blessing them for a successful year.

Which, of course, they celebrate on December 31: they drink plum, help themselves to roast pork, and set off fireworks. And they also put 12 symbolic objects in a bag: a coin for riches, a ring for a wedding, a ribbon for the road, and so on down the list. Whoever pulls out one and the same item blindly three times certainly won’t escape their destiny.

The main cultural events are summer music festival in Ljubljana and folklore “Ocarina” over Bled.

February 8 is the Day of the Poet France Prešern with exhibitions, lectures, performances and concerts. April 27 is the Day of Resistance against Occupation in honor of the heroes of World War II.

June 25 – Statehood Day to commemorate the secession of Yugoslavia in 1991. August 15 – Christian holiday of the Ascension of Mary: believers go on pilgrimage to holy places, others rest at sea.

November 1 – All Saints’ Day in memory of the ancestors, 23 – Day of General Meister, who liberated Maribor. December 26 is Independence and Unity Day with popular festivities and rallies.


Is Slovenia a safe country?

Slovenia is completely safe to visit, and some even say it’s the safest country in Eastern Europe. Crime rates are generally low and your biggest concern will be petty theft or bag snatching on the streets. Violent crime is generally very low and decreasing yet.

Why is Slovenia so rich?

The economic policies of Yugoslavia, meanwhile, based on openness to markets in both western and eastern Europe and generally flexible domestic economic policies, worked reasonably well for Slovenia. … Slovenia achieved its wealth despite its relative marginality in Yugoslavia from 1918 through to 1991.

What is Slovenia best at?

  1. Visit Picture Perfect Lake Bled.
  2. Explore Vintgar Gorge.
  3. Visit Lovely Ljubljana.
  4. Hike Triglav National Park.
  5. Visit Piran, Slovenia’s Gem on the Adriatic Sea.
  6. Visit Koper.
  7. Spend the Day at Lake Bohinj.
  8. Explore the Soča River Valley.
  9. Tolmin Gorge.
  10. Visit Predjama Castle.
  11. Get the Postcard View at Mala Osojnica.
  12. Photograph Savica Waterfall.
  13. Peričnik Waterfall.
  14. Drive the Vršič Pass.
  15. Ride the Vogel Car for More Amazing Views.
  16. Go Wine Tasting in Maribor.
  17. Škocjan Caves.
  18. Cool Off at Lake Jasna.
  19. A White Knuckle Drive on Slovenia’s Highest Road.
  20. Kranjska Gora.

Are Slovenians good looking?

Slovenian women are very attractive. … Most women here are brunettes, but you can find more natural blondes in Slovenia than in other countries of the Balkans. Slovenians are the most northern Slavic group in the Balkans, so there is little of the italian and austro-hungarian influence in their blood.

Slovenia

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Slovenia is a small country in Europe. Slovenia is a developed country for tourism, here you will find something to your liking.

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