Slovenia – the most detailed information about the country with photos. Attractions, cities of Slovenia, climate, geography, population and culture.
Slovenia is a small state in Central Europe with beautiful nature, history and dynamic economy. The country is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement. Slovenia is located at the junction of the Balkans and Central Europe, in the eastern part of the Alps and the northern Adriatic. The country borders Austria in the north, Italy in the west, Croatia in the southeast, and Hungary in the northeast.
This eastern Alpine country, despite its small size, is at the crossroads of important European routes. Also nowadays Slovenia is becoming more and more popular among tourists, thanks to its natural and historical attractions and lower prices compared to Italy and Austria.
Flag of Slovenia
Geography and nature
Small Slovenia boasts great geographical diversity. The Alps rise in the northwest, the Mid-Danube lowlands in the northeast, the Dinaric highlands in the south and the Adriatic coast in the west. For the most part, Slovenia is a mountainous country. Mountains occupy about 40% of the territory. Also Slovenia is washed by the Adriatic Sea. The coastline is about 30 km long.
Nature of Slovenia
Through Slovenia there flow large rivers Sava and Drava (a tributary of the Danube). There are also many picturesque mountain and glacial lakes. The largest among them are Lake Bled and Lake Bohinjsko. Numerous karst caves are of interest – the Postojnska Jama, the Shkocjanska caves, etc.
The nature of Slovenia is also very diverse. Almost half of the country is covered by forests, in the highlands one can find steppe landscapes, in the mountains – coniferous forests and alpine meadows, while the Adriatic coast pampers with Mediterranean vegetation.
Climate and weather
Geographical diversity has also influenced the climate. The territory of Slovenia is climatically uneven: the coastal climate is Mediterranean, the mountains have a continental climate, and the lowlands have a temperate continental climate.
Winter in the mountains of Slovenia
Summer is usually warm with infrequent rain. Winters are mild with some frost. In the mountains, the weather is much harsher and a lot of snow falls.
Best time to visit
Slovenia is a country that can be visited all year round. The highest tourist season is in June and August. A great time to visit Slovenia is April-May and September-October. During this time there are few tourists, dry and warm. This is a great time for hiking, exploring the nature and sights of the country.
Slovenia in autumn
The lowest season is November-March (except for Christmas holidays). There are ski slopes in the mountains in winter. The ski season lasts from December to March.
Slovenian ancestors came to these lands in the 6th century. In the 7th century, one of the first Slavic states was formed here, which fell under the protectorate of the Frankish state in the mid-8th century. Thanks to the influence of the Franks, the Slovenes became Christians.
The first documents in the Slovenian language date from the beginning of the 11th century. In the 14th century Slovenia became part of the Habsburg Empire and remained part of Austria-Hungary until World War I.
As a result of World War I, the Slovenian coast fell to Italy, and the rest of the country became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later called Yugoslavia. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ceased to exist during World War II. The result was the socialist federal republic of Yugoslavia. Slovenia gained its independence in 1991.
Currency and money
The currency of Slovenia is the euro. In many stores and restaurants bank cards are accepted.
Hotel room for two can be rented for 30-40 euros (prices vary depending on season, hotel starriness and its location). Dinner or lunch at a restaurant and cafe will cost 20-30 euros. A pint of beer costs 2-4 euros. Tipping is usually included in the bill. If not, it is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill.
Slovenia in winter
Language and the population
The official language is Slovene. It is part of the Slavic group of languages. Many people speak English. In areas near Italy you can find people who speak Italian, and on the border with Austria – German.
The population of Slovenia is mainly represented by Slovenes. There are many natives of former Yugoslavia. More than half of the population professes Catholicism. Slovenians are quite friendly and affable nation. It is customary to shake hands in greeting.
Administrative division of Slovenia on a map.
Administrative division of Slovenia
Slovenia is a rather safe country. Statistically, 90% of crimes are thefts. The basic safety rules are as follows: do not leave your belongings unattended, be careful in crowded places and keep valuables in your car. If necessary, you can call the emergency number 112 for police or medical assistance.
How to get there
Slovenia’s main international airport is located near the capital city, Ljubljana. There are also options via the airports in Pula, Trieste and Venice.
Bus service connects Slovenia with many neighboring European cities. One can reach the capital of Slovenia from Trieste, Milan, Munich and Zagreb. It is also quite convenient to travel around the country by bus. You can buy tickets online or check the schedule here – https://www.ap-ljubljana.si.
Slovenia is well connected by rail to many European countries (except Italy). You can get by train from Budapest, Prague, Zagreb, Vienna and other cities. Train tickets are easy to find here – https://www.goeuro.de
Slovenia has excellent road connections with neighboring countries. Due to the good roads and the small size of the country is very convenient to travel by car. To travel by car you need to purchase a special permit – a “vignette”.
Slovene cuisine is a kind of synthesis of Austrian and Italian cuisine. Here you can find Austrian schnitzel and strudel, Italian pasta, risotto and pizza, and Hungarian goulash. The local dishes are similar to our dumplings štruklji with different fillings, dried pork (prsut), potato dumplings, bean soup, a variant of Italian polenta, ribs with garlic, traditional Slovenian pie potica.
Slovenian cuisine is very hearty. The meal usually includes beef and chicken soup with egg noodles, a second meat dish of beef, pork, chicken and turkey, and seafood is common on the coast.
Of alcoholic beverages, beer and wine predominate. From the local beers the most common are Laško and Union. Among non-alcoholic drinks coffee is very popular.
International fast-food chains operate in large cities and tourist locations. In Slovenia also work large chains of supermarkets – Lidl, Leclerc, Aldi, Mercator.
Cities of Slovenia
Cities of Slovenia are quiet, small and quite picturesque. The capital and largest city of the country is Ljubljana. In it you will not find world-famous sights, you will not run in an attempt to have time for everything. Here you can concentrate on leisurely walks and getting to know the city.
Ljubljana – Capital of Slovenia
Ljubljana is one of the smallest European capitals with the population of 300 thousand people. The old city is a complex of antique and medieval buildings, beautiful baroque buildings of the 17-18 centuries. On a hill above the city rises an ancient castle – Grad.
The second by population and importance city in Slovenia is Maribor. The city with a population of more than 100 thousand people is located among the picturesque hills and vineyards. Maribor is located near the border with Austria. The historic center of the city is very compact. Here you can see Maribor Castle, the old cathedral, one of the oldest in Europe synagogues, the oldest vine in the world, walk through the old streets and squares.
Another interesting city is Zele. The third largest city in Slovenia and one of the oldest in the country. This is a small town with a population of 50 thousand people with a beautiful old center and a castle.
City of Piran
Piran is a small picturesque city on the Adriatic coast of Slovenia. It is located on the Istria peninsula, 7 km from the border with Croatia. Here you can not only have a rest on the excellent beaches, but also visit the ancient monuments of Venetian medieval architecture.
Other major and significant cities of Slovenia are Koper, Velenje, Nova Gorica, and Kranj.
Interesting places and attractions in Slovenia
The most interesting places and attractions in Slovenia:
Lake Bled – the most beautiful lake in the foothills of the Alps. Beautiful natural scenery, architectural monuments and the clearest water in which you can swim in the summer. Bled is rightly considered the best Slovenian resort.
Predjamski Castle is one of the oldest castles in Slovenia and one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The castle in Gothic style was founded in the 12th century and is nestled on the edge of a large rock. It is located 10 km from the town of Postojna.
Postojnska Jama is one of the most visited sites in Slovenia. It is a system of karst caves, more than 20 km long. About 5 km are open to the public. It is the world’s largest accessible underground tourist attraction.
The Otocec Castle
Otočec Castle is an ancient medieval castle 7 km from Novo Mesto. Built on a small island in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Triglav National Park
Triglav is the only national park in Slovenia and one of its symbols. It includes beautiful alpine landscapes, mountain rivers, lakes and the highest peak of the country – Mount Triglav.
€100 for a tour
Škofja Loka – the alpine fairytale of Slovenia
Immerse yourself in the Slovene Middle Ages, listen to the legends of the old town and taste the local specialties
Slovenia is a country in the center of Europe. The inhabitants speak Slovenian, and in some areas – Hungarian and Italian. The Republic has borders with four countries. It occupies the prealpine part of the Balkans. There is access to the Adriatic Sea.
The state has more than 10 cities, which are divided into two hundred communities. They are characterized by a stable economy. It was one of the first countries that came out for the accession to the European Union. Many ethnic groups live in the territory – Slovenes and Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and others. The country is a secular state in terms of religion.
Hotels in Slovenia are famous for comfort and service. Accommodation ranges from modest town houses and two to five-star hotels in the cities to small cottages and private farms, where locals rent several rooms to travelers. The type of food – classic “bed and breakfast” or half board, as in all European countries.
Slovenia is the Adriatic Sea, alpine meadows, mountains, mirror-clear lakes and forests. The area of the country is equal to the area of Moscow region, but there are a lot of attractions. Thanks to the mild climate, the architectural heritage is well preserved to this day.
The City Castle in Ljubljana is the most visited by tourists and fondly loved by locals. It is an informal symbol of the country. It was erected by the Habsburg dynasty in the 15th century to protect the future country from Turkish invaders. Admission inside is free and exhibitions, concerts and festivals are often held there.
St. Nicholas Cathedral in Ljubljana is the largest Catholic church in the city. On the surface, it is unremarkable; an ordinary church. But once inside, it immediately becomes clear why it is on the top pages of guidebooks to the country: the interior painting is very impressive, and the stone cascade overhead gives grandeur to the place.
The main tourist squares in Ljubljana are Preshern Square (the place where the city fortification began in the Middle Ages) and Čopova Street (the local Arbat, with souvenir kiosks and the first McDonald’s in the country).
The buildings of Piran have been preserved since the 15th century. The Roman Empire, the Byzantine legacy, the Venetian Republic and the times of the Ottoman Empire. The old part of the city is situated along the Adriatic coast. It is a very romantic and picturesque place.
The State Gallery in Ljubljana is the oldest museum in the country. It was founded in 1918. It has the best collection of paintings by artists of Slovenia and curious canvases by various authors of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There are paintings by modern authors. The permanent exhibition of the architectural museum is devoted to modern construction and industrial design. No photo exhibition and architectural biennale passes by.
Climate of Slovenia:: Mediterranean climate on the coast. Continental climate with mild and hot summers. Cold winters on the plateau and valley to the east.
Little Slovenia is full of natural treasures and places where you can relax, gain strength, get inspiration and improve your health. It has everything: the sea, mountains and lakes. The length of the Slovenian coast is only 45 kilometers. The beaches are stone and pebble, there are several with sand. Infrastructure is well developed and aimed at a relaxed, family vacation with children. Popular sea resorts are Koper, Izola, Piran, Portoroz. Popular ski resorts are Mariborskoe porje, Kranjska Gora, Terme Zreche, Bohinj. Slovenian resorts are modest, ideal for beginners in skiing. Unlike Austria, France, and Switzerland, the prices are pleasantly moderate.
Slovenia is a special country. Here you can perfectly combine vacationing at the sea with trips to the mountains and walks to architectural and historical sights. There are a lot of thermal and medical resorts known all over the world. Balneological resorts welcome visitors wishing to improve their health all the year round. In the beginning of June in Ljubljana there is a wine festival and in the end of June it is the International festival of jazz. December is famous for colorful Christmas fairs.
Locality of Slovenia:: A short coastal strip on the Adriatic. Alpine mountain region adjoins Italy and Austria. Mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers in the east.
The bus is the cheapest and fastest transport in the cities. It has a lane on the road, so you can quickly get from one end of town to the other. You can buy a ticket (in the form of a token) for a ride at special vending machines or tobacconist’s stands. Between cities you can travel by train. Tickets can be bought at train stations and tourist offices. To rent a car, you need to pay a deposit (or have a credit card) and be over 21 years old. The minimum cost is 20 euros per day.
Standard of Living
Since 2004, Slovenia is a member of the EU. At the moment the country is rapidly developing: the tourism sector is growing, industry and domestic production is increasing. In terms of prices – a little bit more expensive than the Czech Republic and Poland. Cheaper than Austria. The price of rental housing, as well as the cost of utilities, is high.
Slovenia is safe. It is not that the residents do not put the alarm system on cars, but often do not lock them. But the standard security measures are worth observing: carry a copy of passport, do not carry the entire amount of money. The Slovene language is slightly similar to Russian. Understand the locals you should not be difficult.
Slovenia has resources like: : Lignite, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests.
Cities of Slovenia
Ljubljana is the capital of the country. It is a quiet, beautiful and unhurried city, something like any of the Russian cities. Locals go to the capital’s stores, and work in Austria or Hungary. The city of Maribor in the northeast of the country is famous for its beautiful architecture. The second most populous city in the country.