Below is the list of 12 things you should know before visiting Slovenia. It is actually based on personal observations that I have noticed when I visited the country in the Summer of 2022.
Don’t hesitate to write a comment in the section at the bottom of this article. Looking forward to reading what you have enjoyed or didn’t like about your trip to Slovenia.
1) Drinkable water everywhere
The first thing I can talk about travelling to Slovenia is actually more of a tip. If you travel with a water container, there are fountains everywhere to fill it. Visiting cities and waterfalls are sure ways to always have water supply.
This is a really big plus for a country like Slovenia, especially if you visit during the summer season, where temperatures can reach 40 degrees celsius. Don’t hesitate to ask cafés and restaurants venues to fill your bottle with water, I found that hospitality staff were more than happy to do it.
2) Roads and Highways are poorly maintained
The second point is that the roads are damaged or poorly maintained. In fact, you can find roads leading to mountains with no emergency lane on both sides of the road. I highly recommend to be very careful if you do a road trip.
If you drive within tourist areas you won’t encounter road issues. But if you drive to get closer to mountains and lakes, you will have to drive using those roads, that are nothing in comparison to highways and well paved roads you can see in the West. You won’t necessarily need a 4WD but extra caution in necessary.
3) The Tourist Tax
The third point is the tourist tax that is in place in Slovenia whether you pay for an Airbnb, or you book a hotel room online. It is few euros per person per night (Up to 2.5 € in Ljubljana and around 3,5€ in other parts of the country).
What you need to know is that you may not be asked to pay it depending on the venue and the location of the venue. Keep this in mind, and don’t forget to add it to your travel budget just in case.
4) Lack of infrastructures in certain areas
As a fourth point, I would like to talk about some places that lack infrastructure. Tourism is developing in Slovenia, but not everywhere yet.
For instance, I visited places such as Zelenci Nature reserve. There was no reception or information desk. I was told that it was under construction. I saw a lot of dry toilets but not necessarily welcome or reception points.
5) Gluten Free
The fifth point is that Gluten free food is popular in Slovenia. Because supermarkets have very large shelves of mostly imported goods, and restaurants have quite a few gluten-free options.
I have noticed that restaurants clearly label allergens on their menus. It’s super convenient if you know what you can and can’t eat.
6) Not every supermarket has a big fresh food aisle
The sixth point (always about food) is that I have noticed that some supermarkets I visited did not have a big fresh food aisle. I found it very hard to buy ready to eat salads, yogurts or different variety of cheeses that I use you buy in UK.
I, in few instances, had to eat a similar sandwiches because of the lack of options available in the supermarket. So, you need to keep this in mind if you plan to buy food and cook for yourself.
Contrary to the UK where shelves are full with different brands and variety of food, in Slovenia, I was surprised to see a vegan section where you can find vegan cheeses, desserts…etc.
You need to be careful when you walk in Ljubljana. I was surprised to see people cycle almost everywhere in the tourist areas, in the old town and on pedestrian lanes. It’s almost as if the cyclists have priority over pedestrians in walking areas.
8) A majority of the population speaks English
The eighth thing to know about Slovenia is that a majority of the Slovenians speak English. The Slovenians have learned english at school, especially the young generation.
Because Slovenian is only spoken in Slovenia, the locals learn English to open up to the world. Therefore it’s an advantage for us travellers when visiting this beautiful country.
I found it very easy to travel around, even in the most remote corners of the country.
9) Electric Plugs
The ninth point is about electric sockets. Slovenia uses European electric sockets (Type C plugs). Don’t forget to bring converters if you are visiting from the USA, the UK or any part of the world that uses electric plugs other that Type C.
10) Waste recycling is a major thing
The tenth point of this article is that waste recycling is very important in SLovenia. You can see all across the country, in cities and towns, the existence of two bins (one for recycled and one for general waste).
11) Daytime running lights must always be on when driving
If you’re travelling and renting a car to move around the country, remember that you’ll need to drive with your headlights on day and night. It’s definitely a legal requirement. So keep that in mind.
I didn’t know about this legal requirement, until I hit the road and when I stopped at a petrol station, a local advised me to do it, and avoid a penalty fare.
12) Don’t stay too long in Ljubljana
The twelfth and final point, don’t spend too much time in Ljubljana. It is true that Ljubljana is a small capital where you can see a lot of the attractions in 2 days.
The majority of the landmarks (Castle, bars, churches…etc) are all located in the city centre around the old town, so realistically you can see a lot in 1 day or 2.
What makes Slovenia a unique place to visit is the Lakes, Mountains and awesome looking landscapes. So I believe that’s where a traveller should spend most of his/her time when visiting the country.