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|image=[[Image:Ciao 533.jpg|noframe|250px]]
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|image=Ciao 533.jpg
|location=[[Image:LocationSlovenia.png|noframe|250px]]
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|caption=Ljubljana
|flag=[[Image:si-flag.png]]
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|location=Slovenia in its region.svg
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|flag=Flag of Slovenia.svg
 
|capital=[[Ljubljana]]
 
|capital=[[Ljubljana]]
|government=parliamentary democratic republic
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|government=Parliamentary Republic
|currency=€ euro (EUR)
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|currency=Euro ()
|area=20,273 sq km
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|area='''total''' 20,273 km²
|population=2,054,199 (July 2009 est.)
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|population=1,992,690 (2013 estimate)
|language=[[Slovenian]]; [[Italian]], and [[Hungarian]] (minorities)
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|language=[[Slovenian]]
|religion=Roman Catholic 84.3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.4%, Muslim 2.3%, Protestant 0.9%, atheist 10.1%
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|religion=Catholic 57.8%, Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other or unspecified 27.4%, none 10.1%
 
|electricity=230V/50Hz (European plug)
 
|electricity=230V/50Hz (European plug)
 
|tld=.si
 
|tld=.si
 
|callingcode=386
 
|callingcode=386
|timezone=UTC +1
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|timezone=UTC +1 '''DST''' UTC +2
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|emergencies=dial&nbsp;'''112'''<br />Police:&nbsp;113
 
}}
 
}}
'''Slovenia''' (''Slovenija'') [http://www.slovenia.info] is a country in [[Central Europe|Central]] [[Europe]] that lies in the eastern [[Alps]] at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, with [[Austria]] to the north, [[Italy]] to the southwest, [[Hungary]] to the northeast and [[Croatia]] to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia has a surprising variety of terrain, ranging from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Julian Alps, to the rolling hills of the south. Slovenia was already more economically advanced than other nations behind the iron curtain prior to European integration and the powerhouse of Tito's Yugoslavia. Contrary to the popular misconception, Slovenia was not a part of the Eastern bloc (not after the Yugoslavian notorious split with the Soviet Union in 1948). Added the fact that Slovenia is also home to some of the finest scenery in the "New Europe", the transition from socialism to the European common market economy has gone well and serves as a model for other nations on the same track to follow.
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[http://www.slovenia.info/ '''Slovenia'''] (''Slovenija'') is a member of the [[European Union]], Schengen Agreement and NATO. The country lies in [[Central Europe|Central]] [[Europe]] in the eastern [[Alps]] at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, bordered by [[Austria]] to the north, [[Italy]] to the west, [[Hungary]] to the northeast, and [[Croatia]] to the southeast. Despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes.
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Previously one of Yugoslavia's six constituent republics, present-day Slovenia became independent in 1991. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state.  
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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Slovenia's main industries include car parts, chemicals, electronics, electrical appliances, metal goods, textiles and furniture. It has a Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers, and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east.
 +
 
===History===
 
===History===
Slavic ancestors of Slovenians came from eastern parts of Europe and inhabited territory north of present Slovenian territory in the 6th century AD. They established a state called Caranthania (''Karantanija'' in Slovene), which was an early example of parliamentary democracy in Europe. The ruler (''knez'' in Slovene) was elected by popular vote. The Caranthanians were later defeated by Bavarians and Franks, who subjugated them. They were christianized, but they preserved many rituals of their pagan religion, and above all, they preserved their native language. The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria under the Habsburg dynasty until 1918, when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new south-Slavic state ruled by Serbian Karađorđević dynasty called the '''Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians''' ("Kraljevina Srbov, Hrvatov in Slovencev" in Slovene), renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. In WWII, Slovenia was invaded and occupied by Germans, Italians and Hungarians, leading to a parallel civil war between pro-communist liberation forces (Partizani) and axis-sponsored anti-communist reactionary factions ("Belogardisti" and Domobranci). The victory of the Allies and consequently the Partizans resulted in a violent mass exodus of those who had fought with with the occupying forces, including most of the native German and Italian minorities. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic in the reestablished Yugoslavia, which although Communist, distanced itself from the Soviet bloc and small territorial gains were made from Italy. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power in Belgrade, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 with minimal bloodshed. In 2004, Slovenia joined the European Union and NATO.  Most recently, Slovenia adopted the euro in 2007, completing a quick and efficient accession to Europe and the EU.
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Slovenes settled the region in the 6th century, when they were incorporated together with Bavarians and Franks. At that time, Christianisation took place. Afterwards, the Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire, and later they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the dissolution at the end of World War I in 1918 - when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed, and turned into a multinational state named Yugoslavia in 1929. After Slovenia was occupied by the Axis powers and later liberated by the Partisans with the help of Western Allies in World War II, Slovenia became a republic in the renewed Yugoslavia, which although communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in 2004, and joined the eurozone and the Schengen Area in 2007, completing the final steps of accession to the European Union.
; '''Independence''' : 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
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; '''National holiday''' : Statehood Day, 25 June (1991)<br/>Independence and Unity Day, 26 December (1990)
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; '''Constitution''' : adopted 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991
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Historical ties to Central Europe, a strong economy, and relatively stable democracy make Slovenia one of leading country among the new members of the EU and NATO.
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===Economy===
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Slovenia became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro on 1 Jan 2007 and has experienced one of the most stable political and economic transitions in Central and Southeastern Europe. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of the highest levels of state control in the EU. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for somewhat greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and helped to lower unemployment. Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank in March 2004. Slovenia became an OECD member in 2012. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the region average, and taxes remain relatively high. The labour market is often seen as inflexible, and legacy industries are losing sales to more competitive firms in China, India and elsewhere. The global recession caused the economy to contract - through falling exports and industrial production - by 8%, and unemployment to rise in 2009. The economic growth resumed in 2010, but dipped into negative territory with the unemployment rate approaching 12% in 2012.
  
 
===Culture===
 
===Culture===
[[Image:TartinjevTrg.JPG|thumb|240px|left|Tartinijev trg/Piazza Tartini in Piran/Pirano.]]
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Older Slovene cities have historic influences by baroque (Austrian) and Roman (Italian) architectures. Part of both, the countryside and city architecture in the northwest, shares many commonalities with neighbouring Austria, including countless baroque shrines and steeples. The [[Ljubljana]] capital was founded in Roman times; today its university has over 50,000 students.
  
For a small country, Slovenes are fiercely proud of their culture.  Two names you will run into over and over again are national poet '''France Prešeren''' (1800-1849), who penned (among other things) the Slovenian national anthem, and the architect '''Jože Plečnik''' (1872-1957), credited with Ljubljana's iconic ''Tromostovje'' bridges and, seemingly, half the modern buildings in the country.  It was the monks of the Catholic Church that kept Slovene alive over the centuries of relentless Germanization from the north. As a result Slovene survived in its unique form different than Serbo-Croatian to the south. Part of both the countryside and city architecture in [[Julian Alps]] shares a lot in common with neighboring Austria, including countless roadside shrines and pretty baroque steeples, giving the interior of the nation a truly alpine flavor. One could easily mistake parts of mountainous Slovenia for Tyrol, Salzburg or Bavaria. In modern times, industrial band '''Laibach''' (see box) has served to put Slovenia on the map. In the decades before them, Slavko Avsenik and his '''Oberkrainer''' (as known in German) did the same.
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The most famous Slovenes include the poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) who penned the Slovene national anthem, and the architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) who is credited with Ljubljana's iconic [[#See|Triple Bridge]].
 
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===Climate===
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Mediterranean climate on the coast, mountain climate in Alps with mild summers and freezing winters and continental climate with hot summers and freezing winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east.
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===Terrain===
 
===Terrain===
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Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinaric area, the Pannonian plain and the Mediterranean. Slovenia's highest mountain, the three-peaked Triglav, is depicted on the national flag. Main tourist attractions include the famous caves with their decor of stalactites and stalagmites in [[Postojna]].
  
[[Image:predjama.jpg|thumb|250px|right|Predjamski Castle in Karst]]
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Slovenia has a 46&nbsp;km long coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east. Slovenia's highest point is Mount Triglav at 2,864&nbsp;m. Natural resources include lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower and forests.
 
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A short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an Alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountain and valleys with numerous rivers to the east and Pannonian Basin in northeast. Central Ljubljana valley with Ljubljana marshes in the southern part. In the southwest there is the Karst (''Kras'' in Slovene, ''Carso'' in Italian) (where the name for karst topography actually comes from, most famously found in Guangxi Province, China).  The Karst region is a barren but beautiful limestone region directly north of the Italian city of Trieste.
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; ''Natural hazards'' : flooding and earthquakes
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; ''highest point'' : Triglav 2,864 m
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; ''lowest point'' : Adriatic sea 0 m
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==Regions==
 
==Regions==
 
 
{{Regionlist
 
{{Regionlist
| regionmap=Slovenia regions map.png
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|regionmap=Slovenia regions map.png
| regionmaptext=Regions, cities and other destinations in Slovenia
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|regionmaptext=Regional map of Slovenia.
| regionmapsize=450px
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|regionmapsize=upright=1.8
  
| region1name=[[Coast and Karst]]
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|region1name=[[Coast and Karst]]
| region1color=#d5de76
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|region1color=#d5de76
| region1items=[[Piran]], [[Postojna]]
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|region1items=[[Ilirska Bistrica]], [[Piran]], [[Postojna]], [[Sežana]]
| region1description=The southwestern corner of Slovenia with rolling hills, awe-inspiring caves and the country's 47 km of coastline.
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|region1description=The southwestern side of Slovenia with hills, caves and the coastline.
  
| region2name=[[Julian Alps]]
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|region2name=[[Julian Alps]]
| region2color=#71b37b
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|region2color=#71b37b
| region2items=[[Bled]], [[Triglav National Park]], [[Kobarid]], [[Tolmin]]
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|region2items=[[Bled]], [[Idrija]], [[Jesenice]], [[Triglav National Park]]
| region2description=The mountainous northwest with hiking, rafting, postcard pretty lakes and Mt Triglav, the symbolic heart of Slovenia.
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|region2description=The mountainous northwest lakes and Mount Triglav.
  
| region3name=[[Central Slovenia]]
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|region3name=[[Central Slovenia]]
| region3color=#8a84a3
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|region3color=#8a84a3
| region3items=[[Ljubljana]], [[Kamnik]]
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|region3items=[[Kamnik]], [[Kranj]], [[Ljubljana]]
| region3description=The urban part with capital [[Ljubljana]] and surround region.  
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|region3description=The central region with the capital city.
  
| region4name=[[Southeastern Slovenia]]
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|region4name=[[Southeastern Slovenia]]
| region4color=#d09440
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|region4color=#d09440
| region4items=[[Novo Mesto]], [[Brežice]]
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|region4items=[[Dolenjske Toplice]], [[Kočevje]], [[Novo Mesto]]
| region4description=The region around the Krka and lower Sava Rivers.
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|region4description=The southeastern region with Krka and lower Sava rivers.
  
| region5name=[[Pohorje-Savinjska]]
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|region5name=[[Pohorje-Savinjska]]
| region5color=#b5d29f
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|region5color=#b5d29f
| region5items=[[Celje]], [[Velenje]]
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|region5items=[[Savinja and Šalek Valley]],[[Celje]], [[Trbovlje]], [[Velenje]], [[Žalec]]
| region5description=Mountains in the north and the Savinja river valley.
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|region5description=The northern region with mountains and the Savinja river valley.
 
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| region6name=[[Eastern Slovenia]]
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| region6color=#d56d76
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| region6items=[[Maribor]], [[Ptuj]]
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| region6description= The region around the Drava and Mura Rivers, with plenty of vineyards and a Hungarian influence in the east.
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|region6name=[[Eastern Slovenia]]
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|region6color=#d56d76
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|region6items=[[Maribor]], [[Ptuj]]
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|region6description=The northeastern region with the Drava and Mura rivers, and numerous vineyards.
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
==Cities==
 
==Cities==
<!-- no more than NINE cities, discuss any changes on Talk:Slovenia first -->
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[[Image:TartinjevTrg.JPG|thumb|Piazza Tartini in [[Piran]].]]
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By size:
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*[[Ljubljana]] — the picturesque, pint-sized capital
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*[[Maribor]] — Slovenia's second largest city
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*[[Celje]] — one of Slovenia's oldest cities
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*[[Kranj]] — largest city in the northwest
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*[[Novo Mesto]] — largest city in the southeast
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*[[Nova Gorica]] — largest city on the Italian border
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*[[Koper|Koper/Capodistria]] — largest city on the Slovene coastline
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*[[Velenje]] — the eighth largest city in Slovenia
  
*[[Ljubljana]] - the picturesque pint-sized capital
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==Other destinations==
*[[Bled]] - impossibly romantic mountain lake complete with castle and island
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*[[Celje]] - one of Slovenia's oldest cities
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*[[Koper|Koper/Capodistria]] - lovely Venetian city, largest on Slovenian coastline
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*[[Maribor]] - Slovenia's second largest city
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*[[Nova Gorica]] - the city literary on the border with Italy
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*[[Piran|Piran/Pirano]] - gorgeous Venetian port
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*[[Postojna]] - Site of the gigantic Postojna caves
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*[[Ptuj]] - one of Slovenia's oldest cities - pronounced "P-too-ee"
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[[Image:Solčava Panoramic Road, European Destination of Excelence.JPG|thumb|Solčava Panoramic Road, [[Savinja and Šalek Valley]].]]
  
<!-- no more than NINE cities, discuss any changes on Talk:Slovenia first -->
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*[[Logar Valley Natural Park]]  — one of the most beautiful alpine valleys, Lonely Planet described it as "a land of incomparable beauty"
 
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*[[Savinja and Šalek Valley]]  — great place for active holidays, picturesque land of natural parks and Pippi Family Festival
==Other destinations==
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*[[Bled|Bled golf courses]] — mountain lake with an island and a castle
 
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*[[Divača|Škocjan Caves]] a [[UNESCO World Heritage Site]]
*[[Divača | Škocjan Caves]] &mdash; Less commercial than Postojna but no less impressive, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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*[[Julian Alps]] — hiking, skiing, Nordic walking
*[[Triglav National Park]] &mdash; Home to national symbol Mt. Triglav and mythical golden chamois Zlatorog.
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*[[Postojna|Postojna Caves]] — enjoy the 5&nbsp;km ride through giant caves
*[[Soča Valley]] &mdash; Soča river is with its emerald colour one of the most beautiful European Alpine rivers.
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*[[Soča Valley|Soča/Isonzo Valley]] — where the emerald-coloured river flows
*[http://www.kolpariver.eu/en][[The Kolpa River]], a tourist destination in the far south-eastern part of Slovenia, in the region [[Bela Krajina]]. This green beauty is comprised of a 113km-long strip of land which borders the Republic of Croatia. The river is one of the warmest and intact rivers in Slovenia. A European Destination of Excelence (EDEN Destination) since 2010.
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*[[The Kolpa River]] — one of the intact [http://www.kolpariver.eu/en rivers] in Slovenia comprised of a 113&nbsp;km long strip of land that borders [[Croatia]]
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*[[Triglav National Park]] — home of the national symbol, Mount Triglav where you can enjoy exploring the Posočje area, canyoning, rafting, paragliding, hiking and mountaineering
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*[[Radovljica]] - tiny picturesque town in the Upper Carniola
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*[[Piran|Piran/Pirano]] - charming picturesque coastal town
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Unless you're just passing through, Slovenia is not the place for bums. Stores are friendly and gas stations usually have free access to toilets, water and quick washing necessities (by the sink), but all that becomes negated by the smug commoners patronizing you throughout the day and treating you (or the public place where you're at) as their private property.
 
  
 
===Entry requirements===
 
===Entry requirements===
 
{{Schengen}}
 
{{Schengen}}
 
Citizens of the above countries are permitted to work in Slovenia without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries.
 
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
The '''Ljubljana Bus Station''' (''Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana'') provides composite information about international and airport bus services. Phone: 090 93 42 30 (inland only), website in English: [http://ap-ljubljana.si/eng/].
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The [http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/eng/ Ljubljana Bus Station] (''Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana'') provides composite information about international and airport bus services. Connections between the [[Italy|Italian]] city of [[Trieste]] and nearby [[Koper]] and [[Piran]] are frequent on weekdays. There's also a daily bus trip between Trieste and Ljubljana, and there are trips between [[Gorizia]] in Italy and its neighbor/twin town of [[Nova Gorica]] in Slovenia at least every hour throughout the day, although the trip can also be made on foot. This supplements the railway connection between the Italia and Slovenia, or an alternative entry point from either Trieste or Venice.
 
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Connections between the Italian city of [[Trieste]] and nearby [[Koper]] and [[Piran]] are frequent on weekdays. There's also a daily bus between Trieste and Ljubljana. In addition, services between [[Gorizia]] (Italy) and its twin town of [[Nova Gorica]] (Slovenia) are at least hourly throughout the day although the journey is easily walkable. This offers an ideal connection between the Italian and Slovene railway networks or an alternative entry point from Trieste's Ronchi Airport or the city of Venice.
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===By plane===
 
===By plane===
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The Ljubljana Airport (formerly named Brnik) is Slovenia's primary international airport and the hub of national carrier [http://www.adria.si/ Adria Airways], which flies to numerous cities across Europe and offers connections to Southeast Europe. The cheapest air connections are available via easyJet's daily flight from London Stansted Airport in [[England]].
  
[[Ljubljana]] is Slovenia's primary international airport and the hub of national carrier '''Adria Airways''' [http://www.adria.si/], which flies to a number of European cities and offers connections to Southeast Europe. The cheapest ways into the city, though, are via easyJet's daily flight from [[London]]-Stansted.
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The [[Ireland|Irish]] Ryanair runs flights from [[Dublin]] to [[Pula]] across the border in [[Croatia]]. Another convenient gateway to western Slovenia is via Italy's [[Trieste]] airport, which is an hour-long drive from Ljubljana via highway. The airport in [[Klagenfurt]], [[Austria]], is also an option. The Italian Treviso Airport, serving [[Venice]] and [[Treviso]], offers alternative entry points to Slovenia.
 
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There are a few other options worth exploring. Ryanair also runs flights from [[Dublin]] to [[Pula]] across the border in [[Croatia]]. Another convenient gateway, especially to western Slovenia, is via Italy's [[Trieste]] airport, which is but an hour's drive from Ljubljana via super highway. [[Klagenfurt]], in [[Austria]], is also an option. Although further away, the Italian airports in [[Venice]] and [[Treviso]] (called 'Venice Treviso) offer other entry points to Slovenia or good day trips to/from Slovenia. Note that railway connections between Slovenia and Italy are rather poor, though (see below).
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===By train===
 
===By train===
Slovenia is well connected to Austria, Croatia and Hungary by train. The most popular routes connect from [[Vienna]] or [[Villach]] in Austria (in good weather, this journey past the Julian Alps is spectacular), from [[Budapest]] in [[Hungary]] and from [[Zagreb]] in [[Croatia]]. All lines converge on the capital Ljubljana.  
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Slovene railways are well connected to all neighbouring countries, except Italy where railway connections have gaps. The most popular routes connect from [[Vienna]] or [[Villach]] in Austria, from [[Budapest]] in [[Hungary]], from [[Zagreb]] in [[Croatia]]. To get around the poorer railway connection to Italy, travelers can board a train from other points in Italy to [[Gorizia]] and then take a bus, or walk to its neighbouring town [[Nova Gorica]] in Slovenia, where there are regular train lines to Ljubljana. For entries from [[Trieste]], it is advisable to take a bus or a taxi to [[Sežana]] where another train can be boarded.
  
Italian Railways have slashed the only remaining cross-border service. To get around this poor connection, one can take a train to [[Nova Gorica]] (Slovenia) and then walk or take a bus to its neighboring town of [[Gorizia]] (Italy) from where there are frequent trains to [[Trieste]], Udine, [[Venice]] and further afield. For trips to [[Trieste]], it may be more advisable to take a train to [[Sežana]] and then take a taxi on to Trieste (about 10km, €10) or a connecting bus (3 times a day, weekdays only, €1).
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Several international routes and special offers exist for some destinations. Some destinations have tickets on contingency basis that can run out fast, but are usually very cheap, such as [[Ljubljana]] - [[Prague]] line priced €58 for a return ticket (compared to a normal price of €200). For return trips originating in Slovenia, open-dated City Star tickets, which usually require a weekend stay, are usually the cheapest choice. With the [http://www.euro26.org/ Euro26] youth card, a discount can be received on most international lines (the discount does not stack up with other special deals). The same card also applies for all domestic lines, with a 30% discount.  
 
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English website of the Slovenian Railways company [http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en//]. There are numbers of international routes [http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/international_transport/international_links/] and special offers exist for some destinations, so you should consider informing yourself about that in advance. There are destinations, which have tickets on contingency basis, meaning that they could run out fast, but are usually a lot cheaper, such as [[Ljubljana]] - [[Prague]] line (cooperation between SŽ and Czech railways), €58 for a return ticket (compared to a normal price of €200). For return trips originating in Slovenia, "City Star" tickets, which are open-dated, but usually require a weekend stay, are often the cheapest choice[http://www.slozeleznice.si/en/international_transport/tickets_and_discounts/flat_rate_tickets/city_star_international/]. Also, be aware that you also receive a discount with the Euro<26 youth card
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[http://www.euro26.org/opencms/opencms/euro26_org/data/public/header/homepage/] on most international lines (of course the discount does not stack up if you already have a special deal). The same card also applies for all domestic lines, with a 30% discount.
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The quality and comfort of the trains on international routes varies significantly. The unwritten rule is that everything heading up north from Ljubljana has a pretty good standard. The trains usually have restaurants on board, with clean and modern toilets. The same can not be guaranteed for the lines heading south (such as [[Belgrade]], [[Sofia]], [[Skopje]] or [[Thessaloniki]]), so be sure to carry a supply of food and beverages on board (water (and coffee) is available in every sleeping compartment), when heading to or from Ljubljana from the Balkans, with the train. However, the express services which run to [[Zagreb]] (usually starting in [[Munich]], [[Germany]]) are very high quality - but the price shows this.
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===By car===
 
===By car===
Slovenia has an excellent highway network [http://www.dars.si/?lang=2] connected to neighboring countries. Slovenia demands that all vehicles with a permissible weight of up to 3.5 tons buy a vignette (road tax) before using motorways or expressways. For passenger vehicles, the vignette costs €15.00 for a week, €30.00 for a month, or €95.00 for a year. For motorcyclists, this costs €7.50 per week, €25.00 for 6 months and €47.50 for a year.[http://www.cestnina.si/Dokumenti/Cestnina/Nacini_placevanja_cestnine/Vozila_pod_3500_kg/Vinjeta_228.aspx]. Using motorways without a vignette will result in a fine of €300+. Vignettes are actually sold at the border, and the border agents are supposed to give you a flyer advising you to buy one, but they don't always do that. There are also signs advising you to buy, but they are in Slovene only.
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The [http://www.dars.si/ Slovene highway network] is well connected to all neighbouring countries, with a few poorer connections to Croatia on the Slovenian side. Slovenia requires that all vehicles with a permissible gross weight less than 3.5 tonnes buy a [http://www.dars.si/Dokumenti/Cestnina/Nacini_placevanja_cestnine/Vozila_pod_3500_kg/Vinjeta_228.aspx vignette] (road tax) before using motorways or expressways. For passenger vehicles, the vignette costs €15 for a week, €30 for a month, or €95 for a year. For motorcyclists, this costs €7.50 per week, €25 for 6 months, and €47.50 for a year. Using highways without a valid vignette can result in a fine of €300 or more. Vignettes are usually sold at borders and gas stations. There are posted signs advising a vignette purchase and border agents sometimes pass a flier advising travellers to buy one.
  
When entering through northern neighbor Austria, you also need a separate vignette to use the Austrian highway network.
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====From Austria====
 +
*[[Vienna]] → [[Graz]] → [[Šentilj]] → [[Maribor]]
 +
*[[Villach]] → Karavanke Tunnel → [[Jesenice]]
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*[[Villach]] → Wurzenpass → [[Podkoren]] → [[Kranjska Gora]]
 +
*[[Klagenfurt]] → Loiblpass → [[Ljubelj]] → [[Kranj]]
 +
*[[Wolfsberg]] → [[Lavamünd]] → Vič → [[Slovenj Gradec]]
  
===From Austria===
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====From Italy====
*[[Vienna]] &rarr; [[Graz]] &rarr; [[Šentilj]] &rarr; [[Maribor]]
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*[[Venice]] [[Trieste]] → Fernetti → [[Sežana]]
*[[Villach]] &rarr; Karavanke Tunnel &rarr; [[Jesenice]]  
+
*[[Trieste]] → Škofije → [[Koper]]
*[[Villach]] &rarr; Wurzenpass &rarr; [[Podkoren]] &rarr; [[Kranjska Gora]]  
+
*[[Venice]] [[Gorizia]] [[Nova Gorica]]
*[[Klagenfurt]] &rarr; Loiblpass &rarr; [[Ljubelj]] &rarr; [[Kranj]]
+
*[[Tarvisio]] [[Rateče]] [[Kranjska Gora]] [[Jesenice]]
 
+
*[[Cividale del Friuli]] → Stupizza → [[Kobarid]] [[Tolmin]]
===From Italy===
+
*[[Venice]] &rarr; [[Trieste]] &rarr; [[Koper]]
+
*[[Venice]] &rarr; [[Gorizia]] &rarr; [[Nova Gorica]]
+
*[[Tarvisio]] &rarr; [[Rateče]] &rarr; [[Kranjska Gora]] &rarr; [[Jesenice]]
+
  
 
===By boat===
 
===By boat===
* There is a fast ferry between [[Venice]] and [[Izola]], running with an irregular schedule mainly during the summer season (for the timetable see [http://www.kompas-online.net/pages/CruisesFerries/prince.aspx]). The journey takes 3 hours.
+
A [http://www.kompas-online.net/pages/CruisesFerries/prince.aspx fast ferry] between [[Venice]] and [[Izola]] runs with an irregular schedule mainly during the summertime; the journey takes 3 hr.  
* Venezialines [http://www.venezialines.com/eng/routes.asp] run one fast ferry per week between [[Venice]] and [[Piran]].
+
 
* During the summer months, there is a fast craft service operated by Trieste Lines between [[Trieste]] (Italy), [[Piran]] (Slovenia), [[Poreč]] (Croatia) and [[Rovinj]] (Croatia). The portion of the journey between Piran and Trieste lasts 30 minutes, which is pretty much the same as the same journey in a car.
+
http://www.venezialines.com/ Venezialines] runs another fast ferry each week between [[Venice]] and [[Piran]]. During the summertime, there is a fast craft service operated by Trieste Lines between [[Trieste]] in Italy, [[Piran]] in Slovenia, [[Poreč]] and [[Rovinj]] in Croatia. The portion of the journey between Piran and Trieste lasts 30 min, which is pretty much the same as a journey by car.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Slovenia is a relatively small country and getting around is generally quick and painless.  However, the explosive growth in car ownership has meant tougher times for public transport, and bus schedules in particular have been slashed, so some planning ahead is required. Services are sparse on Saturdays and very limited indeed on Sundays.
+
Hitchhiking may be your best option to move around for free. Maps can be bought at gas stations for about €10, or at book stores for a slightly lower price. Getting around by car is generally painless when using highways, but those require a purchase of a [[#By car|vignette]]. Travellers may experience tougher times off the highways, or when using public transport. Bus schedules in particular have been slashed, so some planning ahead is required. Services are sparse and limited on Saturdays and Sundays.
 +
 
 +
===By thumb===
 +
[[Hitchhiking]] in Slovenia works and is generally safe, but be aware that by hitchhiking you are playing a gambling game as some of the times you may not get a driver who doesn't expect you to kiss his ass for the favor of a free ride. The general rule is if the gut feeling is telling you to not take a ride when someone pulls over to pick you up, just ignore them and keep hitching. Hitchhikers may also have a better experience with female drivers, though they might not be the ones to offer you a ride as often as the male drivers.
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
{{infobox|Timetable decoder|D &mdash; Mon-Fri<br>
+
{{Infobox|Timetable decoder|D — Monday-Friday<br />
D+ &mdash; Mon-Sat<br>
+
D+ — Monday-Saturday<br />
N &mdash; Sundays<br>
+
N Sundays<br />
NP &mdash; Sundays and holidays<br>
+
NP Sundays and holidays<br />
PP &mdash; Mon-Fri<br>
+
PP — Monday-Friday<br />
SN &mdash; Sat-Sun<br>
+
SN — Saturday-Sunday<br />
Šr &mdash; School days<br>
+
Š — School days<br />
V &mdash; Daily}}
+
ŠP — School holidays<br />
 +
V — Every day}}
  
Slovenia's train network, operated by '''Slovenske železnice''' (SŽ) [http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/] will get you to most destinations in the country, although there are some annoying gaps in the network and routes can be circuitous, so going from anywhere to anywhere usually requires a change at Ljubljana. Trains are, however, some 30% cheaper than buses and return discounts are available on weekends. Buy tickets before you board, as there's a surcharge for any tickets bought from the conductor - except if tickets are not sold at the station. A €1.20 surcharge also applies to any InterCity trains.
+
The 1,228&nbsp;km long [http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/ Slovene Railways] (''Slovenske Železnice'' (SŽ)) train network will get travellers to most destinations in the country, although there are a few gaps in the network and routes can be circuitous, therefore train travel often requires passengers to move to another train in Ljubljana where all Slovene railway lines converge. Trains are usually 30% cheaper than buses, and return discounts are available on weekends. It's advisable to buy tickets before boarding, as there is a surcharge for any tickets bought from the conductor - except if tickets are not sold at the station. A €1.20 surcharge also applies to InterCity trains.
  
Quite a bit of money and effort has been put into modernizing the system and the newest trains are as nice as anything you'll find in Western Europe, and although rural stations are often quite basic, most stations are extremely well kept with flowers decorating the platforms throughout summer months. In particular, the name of the station is typically only visible on a single sign on the station building itself, so figuring out where you are means craning your neck a lot. Newer trains do have an voice announcement system that tells you to which station you are approaching. Trains are punctual (except some international ones), so check the expected arrival time and some previous station names to be sure where to get off. For figuring out your next train from a station; electronic signboards are a rarity (outside Ljubljana), but printed schedules are always available: ''odhod'' (yellow) means departures, while ''prihod'' (white) is arrivals, although this is usually indicated in both English and Slovene.
+
The railway system has been relatively modernized. The railway station names are typically only visible on station building signs, so figuring out to which station the train is arriving means constantly looking outside the correct window (sometimes it's on the right side, other times it's on the left side). A few newer trains have a voice announcement system that announces to which station the train is arriving. Trains are punctual (except some of the international trains), so travellers should check the expected arrival time and previous station names to be sure where to get off. For figuring out the next train from a station (electronic signboards are rare, but printed schedules are always available): ''odhod'' (yellow) means departure, while ''prihod'' (white) means arrival, although this is usually also indicated in English.
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
 
+
Buses fill the railway gaps, and are usually a better option for some towns not directly served by train (like [[Piran]]). Some bigger bus stations have electronic [http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/eng/ search engines for schedules and fares].
Buses fill in the gaps, and are usually a better option for some towns not directly served from [[Ljubljana]] by train (eg. [[Bled]], [[Piran]]). Some bigger stations have handy electronic search engines for schedules and fares.
+
 
+
Time table in English: [http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/eng/index1.php]
+
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
 
+
The 38,925&nbsp;km long Slovene road network is usually well maintained and signposted. Although travellers may encounter several roads being limited or blocked to traffic due to maintenance work or urgent repairs (especially in wintertime), travelling on main roads usually isn't problematic. There are many taxi services in Ljubljana, as well as car rental services, some of which are [http://www.izzicarhireslovenia.com/ offering older cars] for a lower price.
Slovenia's roads are for the most part well maintained and well signposted, and you won't have a problem if you drive or hire a car. Having a car certainly does add a level of mobility and self direction that you won't get by train or bus.
+
 
+
There are a number of car rental and taxi businesses in Ljubljana. The big international companies are all represented [http://www.izzicarhireslovenia.com], but if you are on a budget, the local companies have some nice offers if you do not mind using a car which is a few years old.
+
  
 
==Talk==
 
==Talk==
[[Slovenian phrasebook|Slovenian]], the national language, is spoken as mother tongue by 91% of the population, but there are also small [[Italian phrasebook|Italian]] (concentrated on the Primorska coast) and somewhat bigger [[Hungarian phrasebook|Hungarian]] (in Prekmurje to the northeast) minorities. Historically, and prior to the end of WWII there was also a significant German speaking minority. Conversely, Slovenian is spoken in border regions of neighboring countries.
+
The national [[Slovenian phrasebook|Slovenian]] language is spoken natively by 91.1% of the population, only 4.5% are native speakers of Serbo-Croat, but it is  widely understood. 4.4% (minority communities near the national borders) speak Italian and Hungarian. Spoken English is on the level of other European countries in the nearby region. Many Slovenes also have some knowledge of German, especially in the eastern region.
  
The level of spoken English is very high when compared to most European countries. Most people you come into contact with as a tourist, especially younger ones, will speak English. Many Slovenians have some functional knowledge of [[German]], in particular in [[Eastern Slovenia]], and of Italian in the coastal region where Italian is a co-official language. [[Serbo-Croatian]] is very closely related to Slovenian and widely spoken by those above 30 and at least understood by younger people. Communication in other Slavic languages, while possible, will require some more effort and hand waving.
+
Slovene schools teach foreign languages from primary school onwards. Students can study two foreign languages (most commonly English and German) by the time they get to grammar school. Grammar schools often teach an optional third foreign language ([[French]], [[Italian]] or [[Spanish]]). While most of the younger Slovenes speak English fluently, older residents are more skilled in [[Serbo-Croatian]] and [[German]], while some of them can also read Cyrillic.
 
+
The Slovenian school system  heavily promotes the teaching of foreign languages from primary school onwards. Children study two foreign languages (most commonly English and [[German]]) by the time they get to grammar school. A typical grammar school often teaches an optional third foreign language, [[Spanish]], [[Italian]], or [[French]]. While the youngsters speak English quite fluently, older people are more skilled in [[Serbo-Croatian]], German and [[Russian]], and can read Cyrillic.
+
 
+
However, learning a few words of the local language will earn you a great deal of respect and some friendly smiles.
+
 
+
Remember, when speaking in English, use simple language, as anywhere where English is not a native language. It will get you further and help to avoid any misunderstandings.
+
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
 +
[[Image:Ljubljana, Slovenia - The Triple Bridge.jpg|thumb|Ljubljana's Triple Bridge.]]
 +
The National Museum of Slovenia in [[Ljubljana]] (Presernova 20, entrance from Muzejska Street), is the oldest and largest Slovene museum. It was founded in 1821. The museum building on the Museum Street was built in 1888. It was the first building assigned solely to Slovene culture. Today, the museum stores a rich collection of valuable objects. The oldest ones date back to the Stone Age, while there are also newer ones that are still used in today's modern times.
 +
 +
The new building of the [http://www.nms.si/ National Museum of Slovenia] on the (Metelkova, Maistrova Street 1), exhibits collections of the applied art heritage of Slovenia. The permanent exhibition brings together objects of applied arts from the 14th century to the present day.
  
Slovenian cities leave no doubt about historic influence played by Austrian and Italian architecture: [[Ljubljana]] is not unlike [[Prague]] and [[Piran]] could be easily mistaken for a small Italian town. While cities are far from boring, the real Slovenian must-see is its diverse and unspoiled nature.
+
In [[Savinja and Šalek Valley]] there are many Slovenian natural and cultural pearls:
  
[[Image:Ljubljana, Slovenia - The Triple Bridge.jpg|250px|thumb|right|Ljubljana's Triple Bridge at night]]
+
*Logar Valley Landscape Park with splendid Rinka Waterfall (90 m),
 +
*Solčava Panoramic Road with great vistas on Kamnik-Savinja Alps,
 +
*Cathedral of St Mohor and Fortunat in Gornji Grad (the most voluminous Slovenian chatedral),
 +
*Snežna jama Cave, the highest tourist cave in Slovenia,
 +
*Coal Mining Museum with three Velenje lakes.
  
* Visit the alpine resort of [[Bled]] and its romantic lake with an island, but continue towards Srednja vas to see some traditional villages, or hitch a ride to Pokljuka mountain, a good starting point for hikes into [[Julian alps]].
+
==Do==
  
* Enjoy the 5.3 km ride through [[Postojna|Postojna caves]], the longest publicly accessible depth of any cave system in the world, with massive stalactites and stalagmites.
+
[[File:Raduha Savinja and Šalek Valley Adventure Mosaic Mountaineering in Slovenia.JPG|thumb|Mt Raduha (2062 m) in Kamnik-Savinja Alps, [[Savinja and Šalek Valley]]. ]]
  
* After visiting the lively coastal town of [[Piran]], a trip to the serene salt works of nearby Sečovlje will feel like stepping out of this world.
+
The mountains and rivers of the Julian Alps and of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps provide the perfect location for skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting and kayaking.  
  
* Soča river is said to be one of the few rivers in the world to retain their emerald green color throughout its length. The Trenta valley, through which it flows before crossing to Italy, is also well worth seeing.
+
The southern region is an area of numerous caves.  
  
* Slovenian pint-size baroque capital [[Ljubljana]] is nice in any season but especially popular in December due to its abundant but tasteful decoration.
+
Travellers can enjoy different spa resorts in the eastern region, take a dive in the Adriatic Sea, visit cities, or enjoy the countryside cuisine and local wine.  
  
*Visit in [[Ljubljana]] ''''''NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SLOVENIA''' - Presernova''' ''(Muzejska ulica 1)''
+
Travellers can also visit [[Bled]]'s alpine resort and its lake with an island, the massive stalactites and stalagmites in the Postojna caves where the graffiti indicate that the first tourists came there in 1213, pure, picturesque and nostalgic alpine world of [[Savinja and Šalek Valley]], the lively coastal town of [[Piran]], the Soča river, or the Trenta valley.
National museum of Slovenia is the oldest and the largest Slovene museum. It was founded in 1821. Existent museum building on the Museum street, was built in 1888 and was the first, building, assigned solely to culture in Slovenia. Today its stores a rich collections of valuable objects. The oldest spring back to the Stone Age, but there are also the newer ones, which are still used in our everyday life. Important columns of museum activity are also rich museum library and unit for preservation and restoring
+
  
Permanent exhibitions:
+
==Buy==
* Treasures of the NMS
+
Stores are friendly and filling stations usually provide free access to toilets, water and quick washing necessities (by the sink).
* Slovene language: Identity and Symbol. A short history of Slovenes.
+
* The acient egyptian mummy
+
* The lapidarium
+
+
*Visit in [[Ljubljana]] '''NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SLOVENIA - Metelkova''' ''(Maistrova 1)''
+
In the new building of the National museum of Slovenia on the Metelkova Street, are exhibited collections of the applied art heritage of Slovenia. The permanent exhibition brings together objects of applied arts from the 14th century to the present day.
+
[http://www.nms.si national museum of slovenia]
+
  
==Do==
+
===Currency===
 
+
There are many great opportunities for activity holidays in Slovenia: The mountains and rivers of the Julian Alps provide the perfect location for hiking, mountain biking, rafting and kayaking. The southern part of Slovenia is an area of numerous caves. You can enjoy different spa resorts in the eastern part, take a dive in the Adriatic Sea, experience the Slovene cities, go skiing, or enjoy in the countryside tasting Slovene cuisine and local wine.
+
*'''Adrenaline adventures''' in the Posočje area, you can stay in Ljubljana and, in a short distance away, discover the amazing North-Western area of Slovenia called Posočje and Triglav National Park -- canyoning, rafting, para-gliding and much more! *While Slovenia is a small country, you can discover it in a few days. Therefore you can visit the capital (Ljubljana), Alps, Karst region, alpine lakes and much more.
+
*There are more than 8,000 known '''caves''' in Slovenia, including the tourist area of [[Postojna]] and the UNESCO listed [[Divača|Škocjan Caves]].
+
*Take advantage of beautiful nature in the Alps and go '''hiking''', '''cross-country skiing''' or '''nordic walking'''.
+
*Visit of one many '''spa resorts''' in Slovenia.
+
*Visit Slovene '''seaside''' and swim in the Adriatic Sea. Try local sea food and visit the towns of [[Piran]] and [[Portorož]].
+
*Visit one of the '''golf courses''' in Slovenia.
+
*'''Skiing''' in the Julian Alps is popular in the winter. More popular ski resorts are: [[Krvavec]], [[Vogel]], [[Rogla]], [[Cerkno]], [[Kanin]], and [[Mariborsko Pohorje]].
+
 
+
==Buy==
+
 
{{Euro}}
 
{{Euro}}
  
The euro replaced the Slovenian tolar (SIT).
+
===Costs===
 +
Prices are generally high compared to the rest of the [[European Union]]. Some prices vary depending on location. For example, a half-litre beer is usually sold at half the price outside [[Ljubljana]] compared to pub sales inside the city.
  
Prices are high compared to most of [[Eastern Europe]] (except [[Croatia]]), but lower compared to [[Italy]] or [[Austria]]. Although prices do vary quite a bit, it really depends on the location. For example, a beer (0,5 litre) in a pub in "Stara Ljubljana" (literally "Old (Town) Ljubljana") would cost you around €3.00, while a beer outside [[Ljubljana]] would cost around €1.80. A budget minded traveller can hold his own, if they are smart. For example buying your groceries in a large store (supermarket), such are Mercator, Tuš, Spar, Lidl, Hofer, E.Leclerc etc., will be likely cheaper than buying on the market, or in a small store, etc.
+
A value-added tax (VAT) of 22% (with a reduced rate of 9.5% usually applied to foods and some soft drinks) is charged on most purchases, and is always included in the displayed price tags. Non-EU residents are entitled to get this tax back for purchases over a certain value when the goods are exported. Travellers can ask the cashier to write down their name on a bill, then they can show this bill for tax returns when leaving Slovenia through Ljubljana Airport or any of the main border crossings with [[Croatia]].
 
+
A value-added tax (VAT) of 20% (with a reduced rate of 8.5% usually applied to food, including some soft drinks) is charged on most purchases—this is always included in the price displayed. Note that if you are not an EU citizen, you are entitled to VAT tax return for purchases over a certain value. Ask the cashier to write down your name on your bill (''račun'', pronounced rah-CHOON) and show this bill when you leave Slovenia through Jože Pučnik (formerly Brnik) airport, or any of the main border crossings with [[Croatia]].
+
  
 
===Tipping===
 
===Tipping===
 +
Used not to be expected in Slovenia. However, in recent years, tips are becoming more common, especially in some of the areas highly visited by tourists.
  
The flip side to the near-disappearance of Communist-style "service with a snarl" is that tips for service are not expected.
+
===Shopping===
 +
You can make relatively cheap purchases of groceries and other common supplies in several supermarkets, such as the Slovene supermarket chains of [http://www-en.mercator.si/ Mercator] (international retailer with city-malls with various other smaller local and international stores) and [http://www.tus.si/en/ Tus], or the foreign international supermarket chains of Dutch [http://www.spar-int.com/ Spar], German [http://www.aldi.com/ Aldi] (Hofer) and [http://www.lidl-info.com/ Lidl], Italian [http://www.eurospin.it/ Eurospin], French [http://www.e-leclerc.com/ E. Leclerc] and Hungarian [http://www.cba.hu/?lang=en CBA].
 +
 
 +
The standard opening hours are M-Sa 8:00-20:00, with some stores also having opening Su 8:00-10:00 or 15:00.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
 +
The old saying "there is no free lunch" is true in Slovenia. Served foods can be expensive and are commonly not appropriate for vegans, so the best way to get cheap foods to your liking is buying it directly from [[#Shopping|the local supermarkets]].
  
People from Slovenian northern neighbour [[Austria]] come to Slovenia just for the food, cause with Subalpine, Italian, Hungarian and Balkan mixture most people will find something to their liking - unless they're strict vegetarians. Many say that the pizza here is as good or even better as in neighboring [[Italy]].
+
At the top of the list of places to eat in Slovenia is the common restaurant (translated ''restavracija''), followed by common bars (called ''gostilna'' and ''gostišče'') and rustic inns in the countryside. The international McDonalds fast-food restaurants are available in larger cities. Hamburgers are also served in grills and smaller snack bars called ''okrepčevalnica''.
  
 
===Cuisine===
 
===Cuisine===
Generally speaking, Slovenian food is heavy, meaty and plain.  A typical three-course meal starts with a soup (''juha''), often just beef (''goveja'') or chicken (''piščančja'') broth with egg noodles (''rezanci''), and then a meat dish served with potatoes (''krompir'') and a vinegary fresh salad (''solata'').  Fresh bread (''kruh'') is often served on the side and is uniformly delicious.
+
Slovene cuisine is heavily influenced by that of its neighbours, including the Austrian Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel, the Italian risotto and ravioli (including pizza and several sorts of pasta), and the Hungarian goulash. Unique dishes include the air-dried ham (derived from the Italian prosciutto) called ''kraški pršut'', potato dumplings (derived from the Italian gnocchi) called [[Idrija|Idrian]] ''žlikrofi'', a variant of Italian polenta called ''žganci'' and ''ajdovi žganci'' made of buckwheat, Croatian derived dumplings ''štruklji'' (prepared in 70 different ways of stuffings with sweet fillings, meat or vegetables), and Croatian derived ''jota'' (a type of soup made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, spare ribs and garlic).
 
+
Common mains include cutlets (''zrezek''), sausage (''klobasa'') and goulash (''golaž''), all usually prepared from pork (''svinjina''), lamb (''jagnjetina'') and game (''divjačina''), but there is a large choice of fish (''ribe'') and seafood even further away from the coast.  Popular Italian imports include all sorts of pasta (''testenine''), pizza (''pica''), ravioli (''ravioli'') and risotto (''rižota''). A major event in the countryside still today is the slaughtering of a pig from which many various products are made: blood sausage (''krvavica''), roasts (''pečenka''), stuffed tripe (''polnjeni vampi''), smoked sausage (''prekajena salama''), salami (''salama''), ham (''šunka'') and bacon (''slanina'').  Recipes for the preparation of poultry (''perutnina''), especially turkey (''puran''), goose (''gos''), duck (''raca'') and capon (''kopun''), have been preserved for many centuries.  Chicken (''piščanec'') is also common. Squid is fairly common and reasonably priced.
+
 
+
Uniquely Slovenian dishes are available, but you won't find them on every menu, so here are some to look out for:
+
 
+
* ''Kraški pršut'' - air-dried ham, similar to but not the same as Italian ''prosciutto''
+
* ''štruklji'' - dumplings which Slovenians prepare in 70 different ways stuffed with sweet fillings, meat or vegetables
+
* ''žganci'' - a type of polenta (''ajdovi žganci'' are made of buckwheat)
+
* ''žlikrofi'' - potato dumplings similar to gnocchi, specialty of the Idrija region
+
* ''jota'' - a type of soup made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, spare ribs, and the main seasoning is garlic.
+
  
Some Slovenian desserts can also be found:
+
The traditional Slovene cake called ''potica'', which is made by rolling up a layer of dough covered with walnuts, and a cake-like pastry called ''gibanica'', which is made of poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins and cheese, topped with cream.
* ''potica'' - a type of nut roll for holiday occasions also prepared with the widest variety of fillings.
+
* ''gibanica'' - a very heavy cakelike pastry of poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins, cheese etc, topped with cream
+
  
===Places to eat===
+
Slovenes have also adopted several foreign fast foods, such as the Serbian spiced-up hamburger patty pljeskavica, the Bosnian/Serbian spicy meatballs ćevapi, the Bosnian variant of Turkish Börek that is a large flaky pastry stuffed with meat/cheese/apple called burek, and the Arab/Turkish Shawarma called doner kebab.
[[Image:Gostilna pri Bundru.JPG|thumb|240px|A typical ''gostilna'', [[Kamnik]]]]
+
  
At the top of the food chain is the ''restavracija'' (restaurant), which could be a fancy restaurant with waiters and tablecloths or just a typical Chinese restaurant. More common in the countryside are the ''gostilna'' and ''gostišče'', rustic inns serving hearty Slovene fare.  Lunch sets (''dnevno kosilo'') cost around &euro;7 for three courses (soup, salad and main) and are usually good value.
+
===Common foods===
 +
[[Image:Gostilna pri Bundru.JPG|thumb|240px|A bar in Kamnik.]]
 +
Slovene foods are generally heavy, meaty and plain. A typical three-course meal starts with a soup (often made of beef or chicken) broth with egg noodles, after which a meat dish is served with potatoes and salad with vinegar. Bread is often served on the side. Common mains include cutlets, a sausage and goulash, all usually prepared from pork, lamb and game, and there is also a large choice of fish and other seafood further away from the coast.
  
Fast food, invariably cheap, greasy and (more often than not) terrible &mdash; it's best to steer clear of the local mutation of the hamburger &mdash; is served up in grills and snack bars known as ''okrepčevalnica'', where trying to pronounce the name alone can cause indigestion. There is no real Slovenian fast food, but Slovenians have adopted greasy Balkan grills like ''pleskavica'' (a spiced-up hamburger patty) and ''čevapčiči'' (spicy meatballs) are ubiquitous, but one of the more tasty if not healthy options is the [[Bosnia]]n speciality ''burek'', a large, flaky pastry stuffed with either meat (''mesni''), cheese (''sirni'') or apple (''jabolčni''), often sold for as little as &euro;2. In recent years many fast food places started making döner kebabs, and they are now among the most popular fast foods in Slovenia, and can be found virtually everywhere.
+
Other Slovene foods made of pig include blood sausage, roasts, stuffed tripe, smoked sausage, salami, ham and bacon. Recipes for the preparation of poultry, especially turkey, goose, duck and capon, have been preserved for many centuries. Foods made of chicken and squid are also commonly available.
  
 
===Dietary restrictions===
 
===Dietary restrictions===
Slovenia is not the easiest of places for a vegetarian, although even the smokiest inn can usually whip up a decent fresh salad (''solata'') and fried vegetables on request. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will have it easy in Slovenia, while strict vegans won't find more than a handful of vegan restaurants in the country (most of them in [[Ljubljana]]). It is wise to know that even the smallest store has its healthy food shelves with many non-animal alternatives. In the cities the Mediterranean chick-pea staple falafel and its cousin the vegiburger have made some inroads on fast-food menus. Many restaurants offer a "vegetarian plate", which includes potatoes, fresh or boiled vegetables and soya "steak".
+
Slovenia is not the best place for vegetarians, although some inns offer fresh salads and fried vegetables per request. Strict vegans won't find more than a handful of vegan restaurants in the country. However, even the smallest grocery store offers non-meat foods for sale. In the cities, the Mediterranean chickpea staple falafel and 'vegi-burger' can be found on some fast-food menus. Many restaurants in Slovenia offer a 'vegetarian plate', which includes potatoes and fresh or boiled vegetables with 'soya steak'. In coastal cities, local seafoods include fish, squids, mussels and octopus.
 
+
In coastal cities, there is a paradise for pescetarians and seafood lovers. Local specialities are fish, squids, mussels, and octopus.
+
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
In proper Slovene style, all bases are covered for drinks and you can get very good Slovenian beers, wines and spirits. Tap water is generally drinkable.
+
All restaurants and bars usually sell drinks like beers, wines and spirits. Tap water is drinkable.
  
===Coffee and tea===
+
===Common drinks===
In Slovenia, coffee (''kava'') usually means a tiny cup of strong Turkish coffee, and cafes (''kavarna'') are a common sight with a basic cup costing €1.00-€1.50. One can also order coffee with milk (''kava z mlekom'') or whipped cream (''kava s smetano''). Coffee culture is wide-spread in Slovenia, and one can see Slovenes with friends sitting in the same café for hours. Tea (''čaj'') is nowhere near as popular, and if they do drink it (mostly in the winter), Slovenes prefer all sorts of fruit-flavored and herbal teas over a basic black cup. Tea is served with honey and lemon by request.
+
The 'coffee culture' is widespread in Slovenia. 'Coffee' usually stands for a tiny cup of strong Turkish coffee. Coffee with milk or whipped cream is also commonly available.
  
===Beer===
+
Tea is not as popular, and only sorts of fruit-flavoured and herbal teas are usually available instead of the basic black cup. Tea can also be served with lemon or honey.
'''Beer''' (''pivo'') is the most popular tipple and the main brands are '''Laško''' and '''Union'''.  '''Adam Ravbar''' beer is good quality and is usually hard to find anywhere except in their small brewery (located in Domžale, a town about 10 km north of Ljubljana). A bottle or jug will cost you €2.50 in a pub (''pivnica'').  Ask for ''veliko'' (large) for 0.5L and ''malo'' (small) for 0.3L. Also try "Union Radler Grapefruit".
+
  
===Wine===
+
===Alcoholic drinks===
Despite what you might think if you've ever sampled an exported sickly sweet Riesling, Slovenian '''wine''' (''vino'') can be quite good &mdash; they keep the best stuff for themselves. Generally, the Goriška brda region produces the best reds and the drier whites (in a more Italian/French style), while the Štajerska region produces the best semi-dry to sweet whites, which cater more to the German/Austrian-type of palate. Other local specialities worth sampling are '''Teran''', a very dry red from the Kras region, and '''Cviček''', a red so dry and light it's almost a ros&eacute;. Wine is usually priced and ordered by the decilitre (''deci'', pronounced "de-tsee"), with a deci around one euro and a normal glass containing about two deci.
+
Beer is the most popular tipple in Slovenia. The main two Slovene beer brands are Laško and Union. Common beer amounts sold at pubs range from 'large' (0.5&nbsp;L) to 'small' (0.3&nbsp;L). The Union Radler Grapefruit is also good.
  
===Spirits===
+
Wines are usually ordered by the deciliter. The western region of Slovenia produces reds and the drier whites (in Italian/French style), while the eastern region produces semi-dry to sweet whites, which cater more to the German/Austrian-type of palate. Local wine specialities include Riesling, Teran (a very dry red from the southwestern Karst region), and Cviček (a very dry/light red from the southeast).
A Slovene brandy known as ''žganje'' or (colloquially) ''šnops'', not unlike the Hungarian ''palinka'', can be distilled from almost any fruit. ''Medeno žganje'' also known as ''medica'' has been sweetened with honey. ''Vodka'' is, as in most of Slavic nations, also very popular, especially among the youger generation.
+
 
 +
A brandy derived from the Hungarian pálinka called ''žganje'', distilled from various fruits, is very common. Other popular spirits include a honey-sweetened brandy called ''medeno žganje'' or ''medica''.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
Slovenia has a wide variety of accommodation, ranging from five star hotels to secluded cottages in the mountains.
+
Sleeping outside in a public area (outside of designated camping grounds) is not recommended. Aside from the climate's moisture posing a problem, not many Slovenes may be comfortable with seeing homeless people, and sleeping outside in a public place (especially inside a city and especially at night) can get you into trouble.
  
 +
However, Slovenia has a wide variety of high-priced accommodations, including five star hotels, secluded cottages in the mountains, and 'tourist farms' in the countryside.
  
 +
===Car camping===
 +
Sleeping in your car, though uncomfortable, is a cheap and viable option (especially during the summer season), and you usually won't get bothered in secluded public parking places, though you might not want to stay at the same place longer than a day or two. The free parking places of settlement areas are your best bet, as well as some parking places of restaurants, but you should avoid the more obvious parking areas such as the ones of supermarkets, as those are very often monitored by various securities (especially at night).
 +
 +
===Camping===
 +
Camping is not permitted in the national parks of Slovenia, but there are various designated camping grounds. It's advisable to come with a camping mat, as travellers will more likely find pitches consisting of small stones instead of comfortable grass.
  
 
===Hostels===
 
===Hostels===
There are hostels in all of the tourist destinations in Slovenia. The average price for a basic bed in a dorm is €10-€20 euro. Quite a few student dormitories (''dijaški dom'') are converted into hostels in the summer, but these tend to be poorly located and somewhat dingy.
+
There are hostels in all of the high-tourist areas in Slovenia. The average price for a basic bed in a dorm ranges from €10 to €20. Some of the student dormitories are converted into hostels in summertime, but these tend to be poorly located and badly maintained.
  
Mountain Huts can be found in [[Triglav National Park]], and they are very warm, welcoming and friendly. Information about these huts can be found at tourist information offices who will also help you plan your walks around the area and phone the hostels to book them for you. The only way to get to the huts is by foot, and expect a fair bit of walking up hills, as the lowest huts are around 700m up. There are clear signs/information around stating how long it will take to travel to/between all the huts indicated in hours.
+
Mountain Huts can be found in [[Triglav National Park]]. Information about these huts can be found at tourist information offices that will also help tourists plan their walks around the area and phone the hostels to book them. The only way to get to these huts is by foot, and the lowest huts are at around 700&nbsp;m altitude. There are clear informational signs stating how long it will take to travel between the huts indicated.
 
+
===Tourist farms===
+
Tourist farms can be found around Slovene countryside and usually they offer wide selection of traditional food, local wine, different sport activities etc. They also offer opportunities to experience real traditional countryside life.
+
 
+
===Camping===
+
Camping is not permitted in the national parks of Slovenia, but there are various designated camping grounds. It's advisable to take a camping mat of some sort, as nice, comfortable grass is a luxury at camp sites and you're much more likely to find pitches consisting of small stones.
+
  
 
==Learn==
 
==Learn==
 
+
Slovenia has four universities, located in [http://www.uni-lj.si/en/ Ljubljana], [http://www.um.si/en Maribor], [http://www.ung.si/en/ Nova Gorica] and [http://www.upr.si/ Koper], as well as business schools like [http://www.iedc.si/ IEDC Bled],[http://www.eng.doba.si/ DOBA Maribor] and [http://www.vps.erudio.si/ VPŠ ERUDIO]. The university in Ljubljana is the oldest and largest educational institution in the country, offering three art academies: Theatre and Film; Music; and Fine Arts.
Slovenia has four universities, located in Ljubljana [http://www.uni-lj.si], Maribor [http://www.uni-mb.si], Koper [http://www.upr.si], and Nova Gorica [http://www.p-ng.si] as well as several independent colleges (i.e. BSA Kranj, IEDC Bled [http://www.iedc.si/]).  
+
 
+
University in Ljubljana is the oldest, largest and most well-respected teaching institution in the country. The University of Ljubljana also contains 3 art academies: Theater and Film, Music, Fine Arts. Various recognized international charts list the University of Ljubljana in the top 3% of universities worldwide.
+
  
 
==Work==
 
==Work==
Citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland can work without the need to apply for any visa in Slovenia.  
+
Citizens of the [[European Union]], [[Norway]], [[Iceland]] and [[Switzerland]] can work in Slovenia without the need to apply for visa. Citizens of some non-EU countries are permitted to work in Slovenia without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorization for the period of their 90-day visa-free stay (see the [[#Entry requirements|'Entry requirements']] section above).
  
Citizens of some non-EU countries (see the 'Get in' section above) are permitted to work in Slovenia without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay.  
+
English-speaking graduates can get work teaching English in Slovene schools for a one-year period.
  
It's possible for English-speaking graduates to get work in a Slovene school teaching English for around a year in a scheme similar to Japan's JET programme.
+
==Stay safe==
 +
Slovenia is a relatively safe country to visit. Homosexuals are generally not in danger, although there have been reported attacks in the past. Be cautious in the evening and at night, especially in bigger cities. Some may also become aggressive in crowded bars.
  
==Stay safe ==       
+
To call police, dial 113. There are emergency phones stationed along highways and some main roads. The closest SOS phones can be found by following the signposts, which are usually put right in front of the phone station, so driving slowly is advisable.
  
Slovenia is most likely one of the safest countries to visit, but be aware of your surroundings.
+
==Stay healthy==
 +
Hygiene standards are high and tap water is generally clean and drinkable. '''The nationwide emergency number is 112.'''
  
The nationwide emergency number is 112. To call police, dial 113. There are emergency telephones interspersed along the main motorways. You can find the closest SOS-phone by the arrows on the reflection posts.
+
It's advisable to use tick repellents in the woods due to the dangers of widespread Lyme disease and Meningitis. If bitten by one of the two known species of venomous adders in the Julian Alps, you should seek medical help to provide you with antiserums (although these are seldom administered). Tourists may encounter a bear in the forests to the south, though actual attacks are rare.
 
+
People may get a bit aggressive in crowded bars and discotheques, and it is not uncommon to be grabbed or groped.
+
 
+
Petty theft is routine in vicinity of Roma settlements in southern parts, especially around Krka river. Don't worry about it, just don't leave your watch on the car seat while you go kayaking.
+
 
+
==Stay healthy ==
+
 
+
There are no unusual health concerns in Slovenia. Hygiene standards are high and tap water is potable.
+
 
+
While in nature, always use tick repellents, due to the Borreliosis and Meningitis danger. Borreliosis is very widespread in the country.
+
 
+
There are two species of venomous adders in the Julian Alps. You are unlikely to be bitten, but if you are, you should seek medical help as antiserums are available (although actually seldom administered). In the forests in the south, you may encounter a bear, although attacks are very rare.
+
  
 
==Respect==
 
==Respect==
Slovenians are generally open and friendly, so don't hesitate to address people as those younger than 50 understand English and will be eager to help you. You will impress them if you try using some basic Slovenian words. Slovenian is rarely spoken by foreigners, so your effort will be appreciated and rewarded.  
+
Slovenes are generally friendly, so don't hesitate to talk to them since many understand English (especially the younger generation) and may be able to help you. Using simple English will help to avoid misunderstandings.
  
Slovenians will insist when offering something, as "no" doesn't always mean "no," they just think it's polite for you to refuse, and polite for them to insist. Don't worry unnecessarily, but still you should take some normal precautions to study your host first.
+
It's common to shake hands when introduced to someone. In the younger generation, hugging is not uncommon between friends. Greeting people with ''dober dan'' (good day) is also common.
  
Slovenians are proud for having preserved their national identity (especially the language) in spite of the pressures from neighboring nations in past centuries. Due to their economic success as well as historical and contemporary cultural bonds to the Central Europe, they usually don't like their country to be described as part of "Eastern Europe". While Slovenian language is closely related to Serbian and Croatian, it is not the same language. Another common misconception is that Slovenia was part of the Soviet Bloc, while it was in fact, the northernmost country of [[Yugoslavia]]. You can, however, freely discuss these topics; just be aware that you can hear contrasting sides of the story, depending upon whom you're talking to and of his/her political affinity. There is still a strong division among leftists and rightists. Be careful if entering a discussion on open territorial issues with Croatia or on the Slovenian civil war during WWII and its aftermath. Consider these controversial topics a taboo.
+
===Know the locals===
 
+
The general rule is to rely on the cities for most [[#Buy|shopping options]] and choices in big [[#Shopping|supermarkets]], as well as for other related businesses. For best experience with the residents, you should avoid some of the larger [[#Cities|cities]] and rely more on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_and_towns_in_Slovenia  smaller towns with populations below 37,000]. You can also find many pleasant rural areas.
There is an active lesbian and gay scene in Slovenia. As elsewhere in this part of Europe, homosexuals are generally safe, although there have been a few reported attacks in the past. Be cautious in the evening and during the night, especially in cities. Women/girls holding hands are considered normal and a sign of friendship.
+
 
+
Practical advices:
+
 
+
* If you are invited to dinner to someone's home, bring a bottle of good wine. It's expected to give a compliment to a cook. Do it before you are asked if you liked the meal!
+
* Slovenians generally wear slippers at home, so take your shoes off when you enter. They will offer you slippers or insist you keep the shoes on. Just do whatever they say.
+
* It's normal to shake hands when introduced to someone. Don't try to make a kiss when introduced, though in the younger generation, kissing and hugging is not uncommon between friends.
+
* The Slovenian Alps (especially the highest peak Triglav, named after a Slavic god) are a national symbol. Don't litter! It's common to greet people with ''Dober dan'' (Good day) when you meet in the mountains, and to say ''Srečno'' (Good luck) when you depart. There is a strong spirit of camaraderie in the mountains.
+
* It is also polite to say ''Dober dan'' to people passing by in small towns and villages.
+
  
 
==Contact==
 
==Contact==
  
=== Telephone ===
+
===Telephone===
 
+
The international calling code for Slovenia is 386, the prefix for international calls is 00, and the area code prefix is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for special use: 080 are toll-free numbers, and 090 are expensive commercial services.
The international calling code for Slovenia is 386, and the prefix for international calls is 00; the area code prefix is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for special use: 080 are toll-free numbers and 090 are commercial services, which are usually expensive.
+
 
+
Mobile networks use the common European frequencies (900 and 1800 MHz for GSM and 2100 Mhz for 3G). Two major Slovenian mobile companies, Mobitel and Simobil, provide an excellent coverage in GSM, while 3G is mostly unavailable in mountainous regions. Roaming between European phone companies is becoming cheaper due to the EU regulation setting a maximum of 0.42€ per minute for calls made and 0.132€ for calls received, while calls to or from non-EU providers remain expensive. Slovenian pre-paid SIM cards are also available in supermarkets and gas stations.
+
 
+
[http://www.telekom.si Telekom Slovenije] operates around 3500 phone booths. They unfortunately do not accept coins but require the use of cards costing 3-15€.
+
 
+
=== Internet ===
+
  
Slovenia is generally well covered by inexpensive broadband internet due to fierce competition between multiple companies. Internet cafes are thus common in cities and internet access is offered by most hotels and hostels.
+
[http://en.telekom.si/ Telecom Slovenia] (''Telekom Slovenije'') operates around 3500 phone booths. These require the use of smart cards, which are sold for €3 - €15.
  
A free wireless internet network is also being set up in some cities by volunteers ([[Ljubljana]] [http://nodes.wlan-lj.net/network/map#lat=46.05&long=14.5&zoom=13&type=m&project=1,3,6,7,8,9,10&status=up,visible,down,duped,new,pending], [[Maribor]], [[Nova Gorica]]). You can use it if you have a computer or a WiFi enabled phone.
+
====Mobile====
 +
Mobile networks use the common European frequencies (900 and 1800 MHz). Three mobile companies, the Slovene Mobitel (major) and Tusmobil, as well as the Austrian Simobil, provide good GSM coverage. Roaming between European phone companies is becoming cheaper due to the EU regulation setting a maximum of €0.42 per minute for calls made and €0.132 for calls received, while calls to or from non-EU providers remain expensive. Pre-paid GSM SIM cards are widely available in supermarkets, post offices and gas stations.
  
=== Postal Services ===  
+
===Internet===
 +
Slovenia is covered by over 415,580 internet hosts from several companies, offering services to 1.298 million internet users. WiFi is common in cafes and bars; the service is usually free of charge, however guests may need to ask staff for login details. Some cities such as Ljubljana offer limited free WiFi throughout central areas. Internet cafes are less common, however can be found in cities, and internet access is offered by most hotels and hostels.
  
The offices of [http://www.posta.si/?localeid=en-EN Pošta Slovenije] are ubiquitous. Look for french horn-like signs on dark yellow background. Delivery takes one day within Slovenia, a few days within Europe and (usually) less than two weeks worldwide. [http://www.dhl.com DHL] is also available.
+
===Broadcast media===
 +
The national Radio-television Slovenia (''Radiotelevizija Slovenija'' (RTV)) is a public radio and TV broadcaster that operates a system of national and regional radio and TV stations. Slovenia has 35 domestic commercial TV stations (operating nationally, regionally and locally), and more than 75 regional and local commercial and noncommercial radio stations. About 60% of households are connected to multichannel cable TV.
  
 +
===Post===
 +
The offices of [http://www.posta.si/home Post Service Slovenia] (''Pošta Slovenije'') are very common. They can be found by spotting a black French horn-like sign on a yellow background. Mail delivery takes one day within Slovenia, a few days within Europe, and usually less than two weeks worldwide. [http://www.dhl.com DHL] is also available.
  
 
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Latest revision as of 18:27, 23 November 2014

Ljubljana
Location
Slovenia in its region.svg
Flag
Flag of Slovenia.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Ljubljana
Government Parliamentary Republic
Currency Euro (€)
Area total 20,273 km²
Population 1,992,690 (2013 estimate)
Language Slovenian
Religion Catholic 57.8%, Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other or unspecified 27.4%, none 10.1%
Electricity 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code 386
Internet TLD .si
Time Zone UTC +1 DST UTC +2
Emergencies dial 112
Police: 113

Slovenia (Slovenija) is a member of the European Union, Schengen Agreement and NATO. The country lies in Central Europe in the eastern Alps at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, bordered by Austria to the north, Italy to the west, Hungary to the northeast, and Croatia to the southeast. Despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes.

Previously one of Yugoslavia's six constituent republics, present-day Slovenia became independent in 1991. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state.

Contents

Understand[edit]

Slovenia's main industries include car parts, chemicals, electronics, electrical appliances, metal goods, textiles and furniture. It has a Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers, and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east.

History[edit]

Slovenes settled the region in the 6th century, when they were incorporated together with Bavarians and Franks. At that time, Christianisation took place. Afterwards, the Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire, and later they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the dissolution at the end of World War I in 1918 - when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed, and turned into a multinational state named Yugoslavia in 1929. After Slovenia was occupied by the Axis powers and later liberated by the Partisans with the help of Western Allies in World War II, Slovenia became a republic in the renewed Yugoslavia, which although communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in 2004, and joined the eurozone and the Schengen Area in 2007, completing the final steps of accession to the European Union.

Economy[edit]

Slovenia became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro on 1 Jan 2007 and has experienced one of the most stable political and economic transitions in Central and Southeastern Europe. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of the highest levels of state control in the EU. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for somewhat greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and helped to lower unemployment. Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank in March 2004. Slovenia became an OECD member in 2012. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the region average, and taxes remain relatively high. The labour market is often seen as inflexible, and legacy industries are losing sales to more competitive firms in China, India and elsewhere. The global recession caused the economy to contract - through falling exports and industrial production - by 8%, and unemployment to rise in 2009. The economic growth resumed in 2010, but dipped into negative territory with the unemployment rate approaching 12% in 2012.

Culture[edit]

Older Slovene cities have historic influences by baroque (Austrian) and Roman (Italian) architectures. Part of both, the countryside and city architecture in the northwest, shares many commonalities with neighbouring Austria, including countless baroque shrines and steeples. The Ljubljana capital was founded in Roman times; today its university has over 50,000 students.

The most famous Slovenes include the poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) who penned the Slovene national anthem, and the architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) who is credited with Ljubljana's iconic Triple Bridge.

Terrain[edit]

Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinaric area, the Pannonian plain and the Mediterranean. Slovenia's highest mountain, the three-peaked Triglav, is depicted on the national flag. Main tourist attractions include the famous caves with their decor of stalactites and stalagmites in Postojna.

Slovenia has a 46 km long coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east. Slovenia's highest point is Mount Triglav at 2,864 m. Natural resources include lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower and forests.

Regions[edit]

Regional map of Slovenia.
Coast and Karst (Ilirska Bistrica, Piran, Postojna, Sežana)
The southwestern side of Slovenia with hills, caves and the coastline.
Julian Alps (Bled, Idrija, Jesenice, Triglav National Park)
The mountainous northwest lakes and Mount Triglav.
Central Slovenia (Kamnik, Kranj, Ljubljana)
The central region with the capital city.
Southeastern Slovenia (Dolenjske Toplice, Kočevje, Novo Mesto)
The southeastern region with Krka and lower Sava rivers.
Pohorje-Savinjska (Savinja and Šalek Valley,Celje, Trbovlje, Velenje, Žalec)
The northern region with mountains and the Savinja river valley.
Eastern Slovenia (Maribor, Ptuj)
The northeastern region with the Drava and Mura rivers, and numerous vineyards.

Cities[edit]

Piazza Tartini in Piran.

By size:

  • Ljubljana — the picturesque, pint-sized capital
  • Maribor — Slovenia's second largest city
  • Celje — one of Slovenia's oldest cities
  • Kranj — largest city in the northwest
  • Novo Mesto — largest city in the southeast
  • Nova Gorica — largest city on the Italian border
  • Koper/Capodistria — largest city on the Slovene coastline
  • Velenje — the eighth largest city in Slovenia

Other destinations[edit]

Solčava Panoramic Road, Savinja and Šalek Valley.

Get in[edit]

Entry requirements[edit]

Slovenia is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.

By bus[edit]

The Ljubljana Bus Station (Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana) provides composite information about international and airport bus services. Connections between the Italian city of Trieste and nearby Koper and Piran are frequent on weekdays. There's also a daily bus trip between Trieste and Ljubljana, and there are trips between Gorizia in Italy and its neighbor/twin town of Nova Gorica in Slovenia at least every hour throughout the day, although the trip can also be made on foot. This supplements the railway connection between the Italia and Slovenia, or an alternative entry point from either Trieste or Venice.

By plane[edit]

The Ljubljana Airport (formerly named Brnik) is Slovenia's primary international airport and the hub of national carrier Adria Airways, which flies to numerous cities across Europe and offers connections to Southeast Europe. The cheapest air connections are available via easyJet's daily flight from London Stansted Airport in England.

The Irish Ryanair runs flights from Dublin to Pula across the border in Croatia. Another convenient gateway to western Slovenia is via Italy's Trieste airport, which is an hour-long drive from Ljubljana via highway. The airport in Klagenfurt, Austria, is also an option. The Italian Treviso Airport, serving Venice and Treviso, offers alternative entry points to Slovenia.

By train[edit]

Slovene railways are well connected to all neighbouring countries, except Italy where railway connections have gaps. The most popular routes connect from Vienna or Villach in Austria, from Budapest in Hungary, from Zagreb in Croatia. To get around the poorer railway connection to Italy, travelers can board a train from other points in Italy to Gorizia and then take a bus, or walk to its neighbouring town Nova Gorica in Slovenia, where there are regular train lines to Ljubljana. For entries from Trieste, it is advisable to take a bus or a taxi to Sežana where another train can be boarded.

Several international routes and special offers exist for some destinations. Some destinations have tickets on contingency basis that can run out fast, but are usually very cheap, such as Ljubljana - Prague line priced €58 for a return ticket (compared to a normal price of €200). For return trips originating in Slovenia, open-dated City Star tickets, which usually require a weekend stay, are usually the cheapest choice. With the Euro26 youth card, a discount can be received on most international lines (the discount does not stack up with other special deals). The same card also applies for all domestic lines, with a 30% discount.

By car[edit]

The Slovene highway network is well connected to all neighbouring countries, with a few poorer connections to Croatia on the Slovenian side. Slovenia requires that all vehicles with a permissible gross weight less than 3.5 tonnes buy a vignette (road tax) before using motorways or expressways. For passenger vehicles, the vignette costs €15 for a week, €30 for a month, or €95 for a year. For motorcyclists, this costs €7.50 per week, €25 for 6 months, and €47.50 for a year. Using highways without a valid vignette can result in a fine of €300 or more. Vignettes are usually sold at borders and gas stations. There are posted signs advising a vignette purchase and border agents sometimes pass a flier advising travellers to buy one.

From Austria[edit]

From Italy[edit]

By boat[edit]

A fast ferry between Venice and Izola runs with an irregular schedule mainly during the summertime; the journey takes 3 hr.

http://www.venezialines.com/ Venezialines] runs another fast ferry each week between Venice and Piran. During the summertime, there is a fast craft service operated by Trieste Lines between Trieste in Italy, Piran in Slovenia, Poreč and Rovinj in Croatia. The portion of the journey between Piran and Trieste lasts 30 min, which is pretty much the same as a journey by car.

Get around[edit]

Hitchhiking may be your best option to move around for free. Maps can be bought at gas stations for about €10, or at book stores for a slightly lower price. Getting around by car is generally painless when using highways, but those require a purchase of a vignette. Travellers may experience tougher times off the highways, or when using public transport. Bus schedules in particular have been slashed, so some planning ahead is required. Services are sparse and limited on Saturdays and Sundays.

By thumb[edit]

Hitchhiking in Slovenia works and is generally safe, but be aware that by hitchhiking you are playing a gambling game as some of the times you may not get a driver who doesn't expect you to kiss his ass for the favor of a free ride. The general rule is if the gut feeling is telling you to not take a ride when someone pulls over to pick you up, just ignore them and keep hitching. Hitchhikers may also have a better experience with female drivers, though they might not be the ones to offer you a ride as often as the male drivers.

By train[edit]

Timetable decoder
D — Monday-Friday
D+ — Monday-Saturday
N — Sundays
NP — Sundays and holidays
PP — Monday-Friday
SN — Saturday-Sunday
Š — School days
ŠP — School holidays
V — Every day


The 1,228 km long Slovene Railways (Slovenske Železnice (SŽ)) train network will get travellers to most destinations in the country, although there are a few gaps in the network and routes can be circuitous, therefore train travel often requires passengers to move to another train in Ljubljana where all Slovene railway lines converge. Trains are usually 30% cheaper than buses, and return discounts are available on weekends. It's advisable to buy tickets before boarding, as there is a surcharge for any tickets bought from the conductor - except if tickets are not sold at the station. A €1.20 surcharge also applies to InterCity trains.

The railway system has been relatively modernized. The railway station names are typically only visible on station building signs, so figuring out to which station the train is arriving means constantly looking outside the correct window (sometimes it's on the right side, other times it's on the left side). A few newer trains have a voice announcement system that announces to which station the train is arriving. Trains are punctual (except some of the international trains), so travellers should check the expected arrival time and previous station names to be sure where to get off. For figuring out the next train from a station (electronic signboards are rare, but printed schedules are always available): odhod (yellow) means departure, while prihod (white) means arrival, although this is usually also indicated in English.

By bus[edit]

Buses fill the railway gaps, and are usually a better option for some towns not directly served by train (like Piran). Some bigger bus stations have electronic search engines for schedules and fares.

By car[edit]

The 38,925 km long Slovene road network is usually well maintained and signposted. Although travellers may encounter several roads being limited or blocked to traffic due to maintenance work or urgent repairs (especially in wintertime), travelling on main roads usually isn't problematic. There are many taxi services in Ljubljana, as well as car rental services, some of which are offering older cars for a lower price.

Talk[edit]

The national Slovenian language is spoken natively by 91.1% of the population, only 4.5% are native speakers of Serbo-Croat, but it is widely understood. 4.4% (minority communities near the national borders) speak Italian and Hungarian. Spoken English is on the level of other European countries in the nearby region. Many Slovenes also have some knowledge of German, especially in the eastern region.

Slovene schools teach foreign languages from primary school onwards. Students can study two foreign languages (most commonly English and German) by the time they get to grammar school. Grammar schools often teach an optional third foreign language (French, Italian or Spanish). While most of the younger Slovenes speak English fluently, older residents are more skilled in Serbo-Croatian and German, while some of them can also read Cyrillic.

See[edit][add listing]

Ljubljana's Triple Bridge.

The National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana (Presernova 20, entrance from Muzejska Street), is the oldest and largest Slovene museum. It was founded in 1821. The museum building on the Museum Street was built in 1888. It was the first building assigned solely to Slovene culture. Today, the museum stores a rich collection of valuable objects. The oldest ones date back to the Stone Age, while there are also newer ones that are still used in today's modern times.

The new building of the National Museum of Slovenia on the (Metelkova, Maistrova Street 1), exhibits collections of the applied art heritage of Slovenia. The permanent exhibition brings together objects of applied arts from the 14th century to the present day.

In Savinja and Šalek Valley there are many Slovenian natural and cultural pearls:

  • Logar Valley Landscape Park with splendid Rinka Waterfall (90 m),
  • Solčava Panoramic Road with great vistas on Kamnik-Savinja Alps,
  • Cathedral of St Mohor and Fortunat in Gornji Grad (the most voluminous Slovenian chatedral),
  • Snežna jama Cave, the highest tourist cave in Slovenia,
  • Coal Mining Museum with three Velenje lakes.

Do[edit][add listing]

Mt Raduha (2062 m) in Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Savinja and Šalek Valley.

The mountains and rivers of the Julian Alps and of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps provide the perfect location for skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting and kayaking.

The southern region is an area of numerous caves.

Travellers can enjoy different spa resorts in the eastern region, take a dive in the Adriatic Sea, visit cities, or enjoy the countryside cuisine and local wine.

Travellers can also visit Bled's alpine resort and its lake with an island, the massive stalactites and stalagmites in the Postojna caves where the graffiti indicate that the first tourists came there in 1213, pure, picturesque and nostalgic alpine world of Savinja and Šalek Valley, the lively coastal town of Piran, the Soča river, or the Trenta valley.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Stores are friendly and filling stations usually provide free access to toilets, water and quick washing necessities (by the sink).

Currency[edit]

Slovenia has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. These 24 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. Together, these countries have a population of 327 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse, as well as all bank notes, look the same throughout the eurozone. Every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.


Costs[edit]

Prices are generally high compared to the rest of the European Union. Some prices vary depending on location. For example, a half-litre beer is usually sold at half the price outside Ljubljana compared to pub sales inside the city.

A value-added tax (VAT) of 22% (with a reduced rate of 9.5% usually applied to foods and some soft drinks) is charged on most purchases, and is always included in the displayed price tags. Non-EU residents are entitled to get this tax back for purchases over a certain value when the goods are exported. Travellers can ask the cashier to write down their name on a bill, then they can show this bill for tax returns when leaving Slovenia through Ljubljana Airport or any of the main border crossings with Croatia.

Tipping[edit]

Used not to be expected in Slovenia. However, in recent years, tips are becoming more common, especially in some of the areas highly visited by tourists.

Shopping[edit]

You can make relatively cheap purchases of groceries and other common supplies in several supermarkets, such as the Slovene supermarket chains of Mercator (international retailer with city-malls with various other smaller local and international stores) and Tus, or the foreign international supermarket chains of Dutch Spar, German Aldi (Hofer) and Lidl, Italian Eurospin, French E. Leclerc and Hungarian CBA.

The standard opening hours are M-Sa 8:00-20:00, with some stores also having opening Su 8:00-10:00 or 15:00.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The old saying "there is no free lunch" is true in Slovenia. Served foods can be expensive and are commonly not appropriate for vegans, so the best way to get cheap foods to your liking is buying it directly from the local supermarkets.

At the top of the list of places to eat in Slovenia is the common restaurant (translated restavracija), followed by common bars (called gostilna and gostišče) and rustic inns in the countryside. The international McDonalds fast-food restaurants are available in larger cities. Hamburgers are also served in grills and smaller snack bars called okrepčevalnica.

Cuisine[edit]

Slovene cuisine is heavily influenced by that of its neighbours, including the Austrian Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel, the Italian risotto and ravioli (including pizza and several sorts of pasta), and the Hungarian goulash. Unique dishes include the air-dried ham (derived from the Italian prosciutto) called kraški pršut, potato dumplings (derived from the Italian gnocchi) called Idrian žlikrofi, a variant of Italian polenta called žganci and ajdovi žganci made of buckwheat, Croatian derived dumplings štruklji (prepared in 70 different ways of stuffings with sweet fillings, meat or vegetables), and Croatian derived jota (a type of soup made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, spare ribs and garlic).

The traditional Slovene cake called potica, which is made by rolling up a layer of dough covered with walnuts, and a cake-like pastry called gibanica, which is made of poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins and cheese, topped with cream.

Slovenes have also adopted several foreign fast foods, such as the Serbian spiced-up hamburger patty pljeskavica, the Bosnian/Serbian spicy meatballs ćevapi, the Bosnian variant of Turkish Börek that is a large flaky pastry stuffed with meat/cheese/apple called burek, and the Arab/Turkish Shawarma called doner kebab.

Common foods[edit]

A bar in Kamnik.

Slovene foods are generally heavy, meaty and plain. A typical three-course meal starts with a soup (often made of beef or chicken) broth with egg noodles, after which a meat dish is served with potatoes and salad with vinegar. Bread is often served on the side. Common mains include cutlets, a sausage and goulash, all usually prepared from pork, lamb and game, and there is also a large choice of fish and other seafood further away from the coast.

Other Slovene foods made of pig include blood sausage, roasts, stuffed tripe, smoked sausage, salami, ham and bacon. Recipes for the preparation of poultry, especially turkey, goose, duck and capon, have been preserved for many centuries. Foods made of chicken and squid are also commonly available.

Dietary restrictions[edit]

Slovenia is not the best place for vegetarians, although some inns offer fresh salads and fried vegetables per request. Strict vegans won't find more than a handful of vegan restaurants in the country. However, even the smallest grocery store offers non-meat foods for sale. In the cities, the Mediterranean chickpea staple falafel and 'vegi-burger' can be found on some fast-food menus. Many restaurants in Slovenia offer a 'vegetarian plate', which includes potatoes and fresh or boiled vegetables with 'soya steak'. In coastal cities, local seafoods include fish, squids, mussels and octopus.

Drink[edit][add listing]

All restaurants and bars usually sell drinks like beers, wines and spirits. Tap water is drinkable.

Common drinks[edit]

The 'coffee culture' is widespread in Slovenia. 'Coffee' usually stands for a tiny cup of strong Turkish coffee. Coffee with milk or whipped cream is also commonly available.

Tea is not as popular, and only sorts of fruit-flavoured and herbal teas are usually available instead of the basic black cup. Tea can also be served with lemon or honey.

Alcoholic drinks[edit]

Beer is the most popular tipple in Slovenia. The main two Slovene beer brands are Laško and Union. Common beer amounts sold at pubs range from 'large' (0.5 L) to 'small' (0.3 L). The Union Radler Grapefruit is also good.

Wines are usually ordered by the deciliter. The western region of Slovenia produces reds and the drier whites (in Italian/French style), while the eastern region produces semi-dry to sweet whites, which cater more to the German/Austrian-type of palate. Local wine specialities include Riesling, Teran (a very dry red from the southwestern Karst region), and Cviček (a very dry/light red from the southeast).

A brandy derived from the Hungarian pálinka called žganje, distilled from various fruits, is very common. Other popular spirits include a honey-sweetened brandy called medeno žganje or medica.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Sleeping outside in a public area (outside of designated camping grounds) is not recommended. Aside from the climate's moisture posing a problem, not many Slovenes may be comfortable with seeing homeless people, and sleeping outside in a public place (especially inside a city and especially at night) can get you into trouble.

However, Slovenia has a wide variety of high-priced accommodations, including five star hotels, secluded cottages in the mountains, and 'tourist farms' in the countryside.

Car camping[edit]

Sleeping in your car, though uncomfortable, is a cheap and viable option (especially during the summer season), and you usually won't get bothered in secluded public parking places, though you might not want to stay at the same place longer than a day or two. The free parking places of settlement areas are your best bet, as well as some parking places of restaurants, but you should avoid the more obvious parking areas such as the ones of supermarkets, as those are very often monitored by various securities (especially at night).

Camping[edit]

Camping is not permitted in the national parks of Slovenia, but there are various designated camping grounds. It's advisable to come with a camping mat, as travellers will more likely find pitches consisting of small stones instead of comfortable grass.

Hostels[edit]

There are hostels in all of the high-tourist areas in Slovenia. The average price for a basic bed in a dorm ranges from €10 to €20. Some of the student dormitories are converted into hostels in summertime, but these tend to be poorly located and badly maintained.

Mountain Huts can be found in Triglav National Park. Information about these huts can be found at tourist information offices that will also help tourists plan their walks around the area and phone the hostels to book them. The only way to get to these huts is by foot, and the lowest huts are at around 700 m altitude. There are clear informational signs stating how long it will take to travel between the huts indicated.

Learn[edit]

Slovenia has four universities, located in Ljubljana, Maribor, Nova Gorica and Koper, as well as business schools like IEDC Bled,DOBA Maribor and VPŠ ERUDIO. The university in Ljubljana is the oldest and largest educational institution in the country, offering three art academies: Theatre and Film; Music; and Fine Arts.

Work[edit]

Citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland can work in Slovenia without the need to apply for visa. Citizens of some non-EU countries are permitted to work in Slovenia without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorization for the period of their 90-day visa-free stay (see the 'Entry requirements' section above).

English-speaking graduates can get work teaching English in Slovene schools for a one-year period.

Stay safe[edit]

Slovenia is a relatively safe country to visit. Homosexuals are generally not in danger, although there have been reported attacks in the past. Be cautious in the evening and at night, especially in bigger cities. Some may also become aggressive in crowded bars.

To call police, dial 113. There are emergency phones stationed along highways and some main roads. The closest SOS phones can be found by following the signposts, which are usually put right in front of the phone station, so driving slowly is advisable.

Stay healthy[edit]

Hygiene standards are high and tap water is generally clean and drinkable. The nationwide emergency number is 112.

It's advisable to use tick repellents in the woods due to the dangers of widespread Lyme disease and Meningitis. If bitten by one of the two known species of venomous adders in the Julian Alps, you should seek medical help to provide you with antiserums (although these are seldom administered). Tourists may encounter a bear in the forests to the south, though actual attacks are rare.

Respect[edit]

Slovenes are generally friendly, so don't hesitate to talk to them since many understand English (especially the younger generation) and may be able to help you. Using simple English will help to avoid misunderstandings.

It's common to shake hands when introduced to someone. In the younger generation, hugging is not uncommon between friends. Greeting people with dober dan (good day) is also common.

Know the locals[edit]

The general rule is to rely on the cities for most shopping options and choices in big supermarkets, as well as for other related businesses. For best experience with the residents, you should avoid some of the larger cities and rely more on the smaller towns with populations below 37,000. You can also find many pleasant rural areas.

Contact[edit]

Telephone[edit]

The international calling code for Slovenia is 386, the prefix for international calls is 00, and the area code prefix is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for special use: 080 are toll-free numbers, and 090 are expensive commercial services.

Telecom Slovenia (Telekom Slovenije) operates around 3500 phone booths. These require the use of smart cards, which are sold for €3 - €15.

Mobile[edit]

Mobile networks use the common European frequencies (900 and 1800 MHz). Three mobile companies, the Slovene Mobitel (major) and Tusmobil, as well as the Austrian Simobil, provide good GSM coverage. Roaming between European phone companies is becoming cheaper due to the EU regulation setting a maximum of €0.42 per minute for calls made and €0.132 for calls received, while calls to or from non-EU providers remain expensive. Pre-paid GSM SIM cards are widely available in supermarkets, post offices and gas stations.

Internet[edit]

Slovenia is covered by over 415,580 internet hosts from several companies, offering services to 1.298 million internet users. WiFi is common in cafes and bars; the service is usually free of charge, however guests may need to ask staff for login details. Some cities such as Ljubljana offer limited free WiFi throughout central areas. Internet cafes are less common, however can be found in cities, and internet access is offered by most hotels and hostels.

Broadcast media[edit]

The national Radio-television Slovenia (Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV)) is a public radio and TV broadcaster that operates a system of national and regional radio and TV stations. Slovenia has 35 domestic commercial TV stations (operating nationally, regionally and locally), and more than 75 regional and local commercial and noncommercial radio stations. About 60% of households are connected to multichannel cable TV.

Post[edit]

The offices of Post Service Slovenia (Pošta Slovenije) are very common. They can be found by spotting a black French horn-like sign on a yellow background. Mail delivery takes one day within Slovenia, a few days within Europe, and usually less than two weeks worldwide. DHL is also available.




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