- the country
In a couple of
lies in the heart of Europe, its sorounding countries being Italy, Austria,
Hungary, and Croatia.
a former republic of Yugoslavia. We gained our independence in 1991. Our
national currency is (Slovenian) tolar - SIT. The capital
city of Slovenia is Ljubljana. Our
international code is SI (si), international telephone number 386.
Gay life in
Slovenia is somewhat stiff; there aren't many explicitly gay-related activities,
bars or restaurants. The country itself, however, is quite gay friendly
altgough public opinion isn't a pro-gay one.
Slovenia is one of
the smallest countries in Europe. It is strategically located in the center
of Europe, bordered by Italy to the West, Austria to the North, Hungary
to the Northeast and Croatia to the South. Slovenia is about half the size
Despite its size,
Slovenian landscape is very diverse: Julian Alps are in the Northwest Slovenia,
there are any wonderful caves on the Karst region, Slovenia also has a
portion of coastline: Adriatic Sea costal areas lie in the Southwest corner;
there are Pannonian plains in the Northeastern part while a versatile lanscape
of hills, valleys, rivers and woods which cover half of the country dominates
its landscape. Limestone formations provide Slovenia with the unique geographical
phenomena "kras" (the Karst), with over 1,000 underground caves,
vanishing rivers and even vanishing lakes.
highest mountain is called Triglav - the name meaning "three-headed"
- and is 2864 m high. Triglav is also a state symbol, also used on the
Slovenian coat of arms and the flag.
Full country name: Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija)
Area: 20,253 sq km (7820 sq miles)
Population: 2 million
Population Density: 98.1 per sq km
Capital: Ljubljana. Population: 300,000
of the EU: no (not yet)
Geography: the country is dominated by mountains, rivers and major
north-south and east-west transit routes. Slovenia borders Italy to the
west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the
southeast, plus a 47km (30-mile) Adriatic Sea coastline
Government: Republic since 1991 (gained independence from Yugoslavia)
Language: Slovenian; most Slovenians speak at least one foreign
language: German, Italian, or English
Time zone: GMT + 1
Weights & measures: Metric
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Telephone: Country code: 386. Outgoing international code: 00. For
emergencies, dial 112 (ambulance service and fire brigade) or 113 (police)
Internet/E-mail: plenty public internet access points, mainly in
the libraries. For more information, go to e-tocke.gov.si
Opening hours: Stores: Mon-Fri 8AM - 7PM (non-stop). Banks: Mon-Fri
9AM-5PM (closed from 10AM to 2PM). Many stores are open on Saturdays 9AM
- 1PM; closed on Sundays and holidays.
Currency: Slovenian Tolar (SIT). Note bills are in denominations of 10000,
5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 SIT. Coins are in denominations
of 5, 2 and 1 SIT.
Currency exchange: The Tolar is fully convertible within Slovenia,
but visitors are advised to exchange surplus amounts to the currency of
their choice before leaving Slovenia, as it is not generally exchangeable
elsewhere. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and some hotels,
supermarkets, petrol stations and exchange offices. Exchange
Credit & debit cards: American Express, MasterCard, EuroCard
and Visa are widely accepted; Cirrus and Maestro cards also.
Travellers cheques: Widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange
rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars,
Pounds Sterling or Euro.
Visas: citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong,
the USA and most European countries do not require visas for stays of up
to 90 days. Please consult the nearest Slovenian embassy or consulate before
arrival (list can be found HERE).
Health risks: none
1-2 2001 New Year
Feb 8 Preseren Day (Slovenian Cultural Holiday)
Apr 27 Resistance Day
May 1-2 Labour Days
June 25 National Day
Aug 15 Assumption
Oct 31 Reformation Day
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 25 Christmas
Dec 26 Independence Day
There is a good selection of theatres, cinemas, casinos and nightclubs
in the larger towns. Ljubljana also has a good opera house and the symphony
orchestra plays regularly in the Big Hall of the Cultural and Congress
Centre. For gay-related activities, see Scene and
Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting. Usual European social conventions
apply and informal dress is widely acceptable. Smoking is prohibited on
public transport, in cinemas, theatres, public offices and in waiting rooms;
restaurants have special smoking
sections. Tipping: 10% is generally expected in hotels, restaurants and
national airline, Adria Airways (www.adria.si),
has nonstop flights between Ljubljana's Brnik airport (www.lju-airport.si)
and practically every major city in Europe, as well as from Tel Aviv.
Buses travel between Slovenia and Italy daily, using Nova Gorica in Slovenia
as the easiest exit and entry point. Koper also has good bus connections
with Italy: Some 17 buses a day go to and from Trieste, 21km (13mi) to
the northeast. It's also easy to travel by bus to and from Hungary, Croatia,
The main train routes (www.slo-zeleznice.si)
into Slovenia come from Salzburg (4-5 hrs away), Trieste (3 hrs), Vienna
(6 hrs) and Zagreb (2-3 hrs) in Croatia. There are dozens of international
border crossings if traveling by car, bike, or even on foot.
On weekends between April and mid-October, it's possible to sail between
Venice and Izola (one of Slovenia's Adriatic coast towns) by catamaran,
otherwise local ports and marinas are available if you sail in with your
Major cities and
places of interest
capital Ljubljana (www.ljubljana.si)
is situated in the heart of the country, along the banks of the Ljubljanica
River, within a two-hour drive of all the state borders. The old part of
the town is particularly delightful.
The second largest city is Maribor (www.maribor.si)
which history and architecture is also very interesting
fashionable mountain resort of Bled (www.bled.si)
is set on the idyllic Lake Bled, where skating and curling take place in
winter, and swimming and rowing in summer.
Another gem is the lake Bohinj (www.bohinj.si)
which is set by the foot of a mount and surrounded with breath-taking nature.
If caves and Karst interests you, you just have to see the Postojna
and Škocjan caves (www.park-skocjanske-jame.si).
The underground truly is amazing!
If you find the seaside and coastline attractive (www.slo-istra.com),
don't miss our old city Piran and the tourists resort Portorož
A small town with an interesting history is Idrija (www.rzs-idrija.si),
with Idrija lace and abandoned mercury mine (it was the second largest
mercury mine in the world).
When to Go
September is an excellent month to visit because it's the best time
for hiking and climbing, and the summer crowds have vanished. December
to March is high-time for skiers, while spring is a good time to be in
the lowlands and valleys because everything's in blossom. Try to avoid
July and August, when hotel rates rise and there are lots of tourists,
especially on the coast.
transport is widely used, bus is the preferred way of getting around Slovenia.
There are frequent departures and the network has an octopus' reach across
the country. With the exception of the ICS express train between Ljubljana
and Maribor, travel by rail is best left to sightseers: one of the prettiest
rides chugs through the Soča Valley.
Driving a car can be a good way to get to some of the most beautiful and
isolated towns and villages in Slovenia, and rental prices are reasonable.
Rental agencies at Brnik Airport and in Ljubljana have the most competitive
rates. The country's tolls and petrol prices are relatively inexpensive.
Slovenians drive on the right.
Useful links about
Slovenian Tourist Board: www.slovenia-tourism.si
Exchange rates: www.bsi.si/html/eng/financial_data/daily/tecajna_lista.asp
Government Public Relations and Media Office: www.uvi.si/eng/slovenia/
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