Slovenia travel guide
Green, clean and keen to please, Slovenia might lack the pulling power of its heavyweight neighbours, but this charming country is rich in rewards for travellers willing to take a punt.
Sandwiched between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, this diminutive nation occupies a picturesque pocket of Europe, which is characterised by verdant valleys, glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains.
Slovenia has been greatly influenced by the countries surrounding it; the baroque architecture, ancient castles and sophisticated cuisine are evocative of western neighbours, while the quaint rural villages, Slavic language and low prices have a decidedly eastern flavour.
But, ultimately, Slovenia has its own identity. The first of the former Yugoslavian states to join the EU, the country is a progressive, forward-thinking nation and its people are easygoing and welcoming to outsiders.
Most travellers begin their Slovenian adventure in the capital, Ljubljana, a charming university city whose resident academics give the place a youthful vibe. Carved in two by the Ljubljana River, the city is peppered with cafés, independent shops and a gamut of excellent restaurants. It has a laidback vibe and a calm ambiance, unlike most capitals on the continent.
But it's when you step outside the capital that Slovenia showcases her true charms; the beautiful Adriatic coastal towns; the rolling vineyards of Jeruzalem-Ormož; the picture-perfect lake Bled; the caves of Postojna and Škocjan; and the black ski runs of Kranjska Gora.
Slovenia is a particularly attractive proposition to outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies, who can try anything from cycling, hiking and paragliding to white-water rafting, caving and mountaineering. Less adventurous visitors occupy themselves basking on beaches, people-watching in cafés and quaffing some of the country's excellent wines.
However you spend your time in Slovenia, you'll probably leave wondering why more people haven't cottoned on to her many charms. But, ultimately, her quiet beauty and understated elegance make Slovenia all the more appealing.
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq miles).
2,069,362 (UN estimate 2016).
97.8 per sq km.
President Borut Pahor since 2012.
Prime Minister Miro Cerar since 2014.
Last updated: 17 February 2018
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.
Immigration controls may temporarily be in place at some road and rail border crossing points with Austria and Hungary. Full immigration controls are in place at Slovenia’s border with Croatia. You must carry your passport with you at all times. You should monitor local media and check with your transport provider, the Slovenian Automobile Association (AMZS) or Slovenian Railways websites for updates.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Slovenia, attacks can’t be ruled out.
Around 100,000 British nationals visit Slovenia every year. Most visits are trouble free.
All foreign nationals visiting Slovenia must register with the police within 3 days of arrival or risk paying a fine. Hotels and accommodation providers will usually do this as part of the check in procedures.
To drive on Slovenian motorways, you must buy and display a ‘vignette’. From 1 April 2018, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes will be required to register for an electronic tolling system. Vehicles must be fitted with winter equipment from 15 November to 15 March.
Seek advice on weather and safety conditions before travelling into the mountains. Off-piste skiing is highly dangerous due to the risk of avalanches.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
Safety and security
There is a low rate of crime, but petty crime does occur and you should take the usual precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Don’t leave valuables unattended. Be vigilant in busy tourist areas and safeguard your valuables against pick-pockets.
If you drive on Slovenian motorways, you must buy and display a “vignette” on the windscreen to indicate that road tolls have been paid.
Vignettes are available for weekly, monthly or yearly periods, and can be purchased at petrol stations and DARS (the Slovenian Motorway Company) offices in Slovenia as well as outlets in neighbouring countries near the Slovene border.
The vignette is compulsory for all vehicles under 3.5 tonnes in weight. Police monitor the motorways, and stop motorists who don’t have a vignette. Failure to have or display a vignette will lead to an on-the-spot fine of up to €800.
As of 1 April 2018, Slovenia will introduce a free-flow electronic tolling system on motorways and expressways for vehicles with the maximum permissible weight over 3.5 tonnes, meaning drivers will no longer have to stop at toll stations. You’ll need to register your vehicle under the DarsGo system and acquire the DarsGo unit at a DarsGo service point upon entering Slovenia for the first time. More information and registration can be found on the DarsGo website.
Winter equipment is mandatory from 15 November until 15 March and whenever there are winter weather conditions (for example, at times of snowfall, blizzards or black ice).
Private cars and vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes must be equipped with winter tyres on all 4 wheels, or summer tyres on all 4 wheels plus snow chains in the car boot. The minimum tyre tread depth must be 3mm. Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must have winter tyres on the driving wheels or summer tyres on all 4 wheels plus snow chains in the car boot.
You can be fined 125 Euros for not having this equipment, or 417 Euros if you cause a delay on the road for the same reason. The regulations apply to all vehicles. For more information, please see the website of the Automobile Association of Slovenia, under touring information, special regulations.
By law, you must have your headlights on at all times, while driving in Slovenia. You are also required to carry a reflective jacket, a warning triangle and a first aid kit in the vehicle. If you intend to hire a car and drive it into Slovenia you must declare this to the car hire company first, as you must have adequate car insurance cover. Heavy on-the-spot fines are in place for traffic offences and jaywalking. The police are empowered to impose on-the-spot fines for offences including speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and for using mobile phones without properly installed wireless headsets (Bluetooth).
For the latest traffic conditions, check the PIC Traffic Information Centre website.
In 2016 there were 131 road deaths in Slovenia (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 6.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2016.
If you are planning a skiing or mountaineering holiday, contact the Slovenian Tourist Board in the UK (telephone: 00442072279713) for advice on weather and safety conditions before travelling. Off-piste skiing is highly dangerous. Follow all safety instructions meticulously. There is a danger of avalanches in some areas.
Ljubljana is a small capital city and an increasingly popular destination. You should arrange accommodation before travelling.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Slovenia, attacks can’t be ruled out. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those visited by foreigners.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
Local laws and customs
Carry a copy of your passport at all times as a form of identification.
All foreign nationals visiting Slovenia must register with the Police within 3 days of arrival or risk paying a fine. If you are staying at a registered hotel or guest house, they will register you when processing your arrival. If you are staying in self-catering accommodation, check registration arrangements with your booking agent. If you are staying with friends or family, you or your host will need to visit the nearest police station to register your presence in Slovenia.
There are heavy on-the-spot fines for jaywalking. You should only cross the road at designated crossing points.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
British nationals don’t need a visa to travel to Slovenia.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Slovenia.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.
If you’re visiting Slovenia you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Slovenian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
Western Slovenia is on an earthquake fault line and is subject to occasional tremors. You can find information about preparedness on the website of Slovenia’s Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief.
The currency of Slovenia is the Euro.
ATMs are easily accessible and major credit cards/travellers’ cheques are widely accepted. Banks and bureaux de change will change travellers’ cheques, sterling and other main currencies.
Travel advice help and support
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCO travel advice
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.