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[http://www.slovenia.info/ '''Slovenia'''] (''Slovenija'') is a small country in Central Europe - a member of the [[European Union]], Schengen Agreement and NATO. Not to be confused with ''[[Slovakia]]''. The country lies in South Central Europe in the Julian [[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 south/southeast. Despite its small size, this  Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes.
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[http://www.slovenia.info/ '''Slovenia'''] (''Slovenija'') is a small Balkan country - a member of the [[European Union]], Schengen Agreement and NATO. Not to be confused with ''[[Slovakia]]''. The country lies in South Central Europe in the Julian [[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  Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes.
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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===History===
 
===History===
Slovenes are Slavic people. Slovenia did not exist as a nation until 1991. The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire, and later they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its dissolution following the end of World War I in November 1918 - when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed on 1st December that same year, and turned into a multinational state named Yugoslavia on 3rr October 1929. After Yugoslavia 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 socialist republic in the renewed Yugoslavia, which although Communist, distanced itself from direct Moscow rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short ten-day war. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in 2004, and joined the Eurozone and the Schengen Area in 2007, completing their final steps of accession to the European Union.
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Slovenes are Slavic people. Slovenia was never a country till 1991. The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire, and later they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its 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 Yugoslavia 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 socialist 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===
 
===Economy===
Slovenia became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the Euro single currency on 1 January 2007 and has experienced one of the most stable economic transitions in Central and Southern Europe. Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated workforce, and a strategic location between Central and Southeastern Europe. Structural reforms to improve the business environment under the guidance of the European Union have allowed for greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and helped to reduce unemployment. Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank in March 2004 and became an OECD member in 2012. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the regional average, and taxes remain relatively high. The labour market is 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.
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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 economic transitions in Central and Southcentral Europe. Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between Central and Southeastern Europe. Structural reforms to improve the business environment under the guidance of European Union have allowed for 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 and became an OECD member in 2012. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the regional average, and taxes remain relatively high. The labour market is 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===
 
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.
 
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 [[#See|Triple Bridge]]. However, outside of Slovenia, the most famous Slovene citizen at present is Melania Trump, former First Lady of the United States (2017-21) and third wife of former US President Donald Trump (2017-21).
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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]].
  
 
===Terrain===
 
===Terrain===
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]].  
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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]].  
  
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.
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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==
 
==Regions==
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===By plane===
 
===By plane===
The Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (IATA - LJU) (formerly named Brnik) is Slovenia's primary international airport. The cheapest air connections are available via easyJet's daily flight from London Stansted Airport in [[England]].
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The Ljubljana Airport (formerly named Brnik) is Slovenia's primary international airport. The cheapest air connections are available via easyJet's daily flight from London Stansted Airport in [[England]].
  
 
The [[Ireland|Irish]] AerLingus 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.
 
The [[Ireland|Irish]] AerLingus 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.
From there you can use one of other public transport options described or hire a taxi or one of private transfer companies in Slovenia like:
 
 
[https://www.airportljubljana.co/Slovenia_private_transfers.php Airtrail Slovenia] one of the oldest and the most popular private transfers companies in the region according to TripAdvisor.
 
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
[https://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/ 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.
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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.
  
 
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.  
 
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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===By car===
 
===By car===
 
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/Toll/Methods_of_payment/Vehicles_up_to_35_t/Vignette_308.aspx vignette] (road tax) before using motorways or expressways. For passenger vehicles, the vignette costs €15 for a week, €30 for a month, or €110 for a year. For motorcyclists, this costs €7.50 per week, €30 for 6 months, and €55 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.
 
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/Toll/Methods_of_payment/Vehicles_up_to_35_t/Vignette_308.aspx vignette] (road tax) before using motorways or expressways. For passenger vehicles, the vignette costs €15 for a week, €30 for a month, or €110 for a year. For motorcyclists, this costs €7.50 per week, €30 for 6 months, and €55 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.
 
Always up to date touring information or traffic conditions can be reached on pages of Slovenian national automobile association - [https://www.amzs.si/en AMZS] 
 
  
 
====From Austria====
 
====From Austria====
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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
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]]. Travelers 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.
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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===
 
===By thumb===
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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 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. You sure do not want to miss [https://www.postojnska-jama.eu/en/ Postojna cave] as well as [https://www.park-skocjanske-jame.si/en/ Skocjan caves park] which is one of UNESCO world heritage sites.
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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 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.  
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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 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 drinksm including public transport) 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]].
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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===
 
===Tipping===
Used not to be expected in Slovenia. However, in recent years, tips are becoming common, especially in some of the areas highly visited by foreign tourists. Common tip is up to 10%.
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Used not to be expected in Slovenia. However, in recent years, tips are becoming common, especially in some of the areas highly visited by American tourists. Common tip is up to 10%.
  
 
===Shopping===
 
===Shopping===

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