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Slovenia Country Information
A small country, half the size of Switzerland in the south of central Europe, Slovenia is packed with unusual and often unique attractions and experiences, from primeval forests to a lively architecturally beautiful city, and thermal springs to the mysterious Karst (limestone plateau) caves.

Visitors to this picturesque corner of Europe can enjoy several amazing contrasting experiences in the space of one day: start with a morning dip in the Adriatic, followed by a couple of hours skiing on Alpine slopes, then explore the subterranean wonders of the Karst or become invigorated with a thermal bath, before strolling through vine-clad hills or ancient forests, and ending the day in a sophisticated casino. Ideally, though, it takes much longer than a day to sample all the delights of this fascinating Republic.

Finally, Slovenia boasts of having 2,000 hours of sunshine a year in which to enjoy all its offerings. The locals are proud to explain why visitors are enchanted with their country: Slovenia is the only country in the world with 'love' in its name.

The Basics
Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between March and October).

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Round pin attachment plugs and

Money: The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Banks offer the best exchange rates for cash and travellers cheques. Banking hours are 8am to 12.30pm, and 2pm to 6pm on weekdays, and from 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. Numerous bureaux de change are open outside banking hours throughout the country. ATMs are readily available in major cities. Credit cards are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and shops

Language: The official language of Slovenia is Slovene. Italian and Hungarian are also spoken in some communities.

Getting around: Getting around by bus is relatively inexpensive and is the best way to get around for shorter distances. The well-organised, frequent services connect all major towns and cities. For longer journeys, travel by train is the most popular form of transport. Car rental is available from various major international car hire companies at reasonable rates, and hiring a car is a pleasant way to see the country, as roads are excellent, and the scenery picturesque.

Travel Health: Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations are recommended. In forested areas hikers should guard against tick bites, as tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease are a risk. Mains water is safe to drink, milk is pasteurised and local meat and produce safe to consume. Free emergency treatment is available from hospitals and private doctors contracted. Slovenia has a reciprocal health agreement with most EU countries, including the UK, providing emergency health care on the same terms as Slovenian nationals. EU travellers should take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Tipping: A 10% tip is expected in restaurants, hotels and by taxi drivers.

Safety Information: There are extremely few risks involved in travel to Slovenia. The threat of terrorism is low, as is the crime rate, however sensible precautions are advised with valuables.

Local Customs: A copy of a passport or other form of identification should be carried at all times.

Business: Business etiquette in Slovenia is similar to the rest of Western Europe. Men and women should dress conservatively in formal business suits. Shaking hands of both men and women is the common form of greeting and it is considered polite to shake the women's hand first. Slovenians are referred to as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. (or other titles) followed by their surnames. Business cards are often exchanged after introductions. Appointments should be made in advance and confirmed. Business hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international dialling code for Slovenia is +386. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relative country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). City or area codes are in use, e.g. (0)1 for Ljubljana. Public telephones are operated with tokens or magnetic cards, which are available from newsagents, post offices and tobacco kiosks. Two major mobile phone operators provide GSM 900/1800 coverage. Internet cafes are prolific in Ljubljana and the larger towns.

Duty Free: The following goods may be brought in to Slovenia duty-free by travellers from non-EU countries: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or a proportional mix of these; 1 litre of spirits over 22% alcohol content or non-denaturated ethyl alcohol of 80% alcohol content and over, or 2 litres spirits, aperitifs or other alcoholic beverages with less than 22% alcohol content, or liqueur wines or sparkling wines, or a proportional mix of these and 2 litres of still wine; 250ml eau de toilette and 50g perfume; medicines for personal use and other goods such as gifts to the value of €175 for adults and €90 for children under 15 years. Prohibited items include meat and meat products.

Visa and Entry Information

  • Entry requirements for Americans: US passport holders do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days, but a valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for UK nationals: Holders of British passports endorsed British Citizen do not require a visa. British Overseas Territories Citizen, British National (Overseas) or British Subjects with right of abode in the UK do not require a visa to stay in Slovenia for up to 90 days. A valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians do not require a visa to enter Slovenia for a stay of up to 90 days, but a valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens do not require a visa to stay in Slovenia for up to 90 days, but a valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for South Africans: South African passport holders require a visa to visit Slovenia. A valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand nationals do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days, but a valid passport is required.
  • Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals do not require a visa, but a valid passport is required.

Passport/Visa Note: Passports should be valid for the period of stay. Those with non-EEA passports are also recommended to hold documents for onward or return travel, and sufficient funds of at least €70 for adults and half that amount for children under 18, per day of stay, or the equivalent in another hard currency. The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all.

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Climate in Slovenia
Ljubljana has a climate influenced by its situation in a large basin, surrounded by sub-Alpine and Karst regions. Summers are warmed by the balmy breezes from the Mediterranean, making the weather usually sunny and hot. During winter temperature inversions cause the foggy air to hang heavy over the city, bringing cold, moist conditions.

Attractions in Slovenia

  • National Museum - The impressive National Museum of Slovenia is housed in a lovely neo-Renaissance style palace, the most interesting and popular of Ljubljana's many museums. The permanent exhibition consists of archaeological material, displayed in chronological order, such as ancient Palaeolithic artefacts discovered in Karst cave sites and even the only Egyptian mummy in Slovenia.
  • Joze Plecnik House - Architect Joze Plecnik is largely responsible for the city of Ljubljana being as neat and well-planned as it is, with his insistence on classical lines and uniform dimensions. The renowned architect's home and studio, furnished and equipped as he left it, is open to the public twice a week. His influence is, however, everywhere to be admired in the city at sites like the wide Shoemaker's Bridge and the colonnaded market beside the river.
  • Ljubljana Castle - The imposing landmark castle towers over the city, offering spectacular views of the Ljubljana River and the attractive skyline of the old town, with the distant Alps providing a backdrop. The medieval castle with its impressive tower, which was added in the 19th century, is linked to the old town by a steep cobbled street. The castle complex includes a museum, restaurant and chapel.
  • Cathedral of St Nicholas - The magnificent Baroque cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, dates from the early 18th century, but was renovated and had beautiful carved bronze doors added for the Pope's visit in 1996.

Slovenia Airport

Ljubljana International Airport (LJU)

  • Location: The airport is situated 16 miles (26km) north of downtown Ljubljana.
  • Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 between March and October).
  • Contacts: Tel: +386 (0)4 20 61 000.
  • Getting to the city: There are frequent bus connections between the airport and city, the journey taking about 45 minutes. Taxis are available in front of the terminal building for the arrival of each flight.
  • Car rental: Car rental companies Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty, Sixt are all represented at the airport.
  • Facilities: Facilities at the airport include a bank, bureau de change, restaurants and bars, shops (including duty free), a tourist agency, lounges, a mobile phone rental shop, and a post office.
  • Parking: Short- and long-term parking is available.
  • Departure Tax: None.

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Driving Information

Drinking and driving:
If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05 per cent or more, severe penalties include fine or suspension of driving licence.The driver can still be fined for levels under 0.05% if the driver is unable to drive safely. These rules also apply to narcotics.

Driving licence:
Minimum age at which a UK licence holder may drive a temporarily imported car and / or motorcycle (exceeding 125cc) 18. An IDP is compulsory for holders of driving licences not incorporating a photograph.

Fines:
On-the-spot, they must be paid in local currency. Refusal to pay could result in your passport being held. Illegally parked vehicles will be towed away or clamped.

Fuel:
Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane), diesel and LPG available. No leaded petrol (lead substitute additive available).

Petrol in a can permitted. Credit cards accepted at filling stations, check with your card issuer for usage in
Slovenia before travel.

Driving Distances:
Please click here http://www.viamichelin.com/ for driving distances


Lights:
Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory.

Motorcycles:
Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory. Wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger. Children under 12 not permitted as a passenger.

Motor Insurance:
Third-party compulsory. Green Card recognised.

Passengers / Children in cars:
Child under 12 and smaller than 1.5 metres must use suitable restraint system for their age and size and they are only permitted to travel on the rear seats. Children over 12 may wear normal seat belts.

Seat belts:
Compulsory for front / rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.

Speed limits:
Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers: In built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h), outside built-up areas 55 mph (90 km/h) but 62 mph (100 km/h) on “fast roads” (dual carriageways) and
80 mph (130 km/h) on motorways.

There are areas with a restricted speed limit of 18 mph (30km/h). The minimum speed on motorways is 37 mph (60km/h). Vehicles equipped with snow chains must not exceed 31 mph (50 km/h).

In bad weather and when visibility is reduced to less than 50 metres due to bad weather the maximum speed limit is 31 mph (50 km/h).

Compulsory equipment:

  • Reflective jacket – (not motorcycles) The reflective waistcoat/s should be kept in the vehicle and not in the boot as any person exiting the vehicle must wear a reflective safety jacket as soon as they leave their vehicle, fine for non-compliance.
  • Warning triangle – two if towing a trailer. Not required for two wheeled vehicles.
  • Snow chains – must be carried between 15 November and 15 March (and at other times under winter weather conditions) by private cars and vehicles up to 3.5tonnes unless vehicle fitted with four winter tyres. Minimum tyre tread depth is 3mm at times when snow chains/winter tyres required.

Other rules / requirements:

Warning triangle and/or hazard warning lights must be used in an accident/ breakdown situation.

At night if hazard lights fail, in addition to a warning triangle a yellow flashing light or position lights must mark the vehicle.

Fire extinguisher, first-aid kit and set of replacement bulbs recommended.

Foreign drivers involved in an accident must call the police and obtain a written report. On leaving the country, damaged vehicles must be accompanied by this report, as Customs will ask to see it, to allow exit.

It is prohibited to overtake a bus transporting children when passengers are getting on / off.

Use of the horn is prohibited in built up areas or at night, except in cases of danger/injury/illness.

A vignette system has been introduced which replaces tolls. The vignette will have to be displayed when travelling on motorways and expressways and will be available to purchase from filling stations in Slovenia and in neighbouring countries. The vignettes are available with validities of 1 year (vehicle up to 3.5t 55 EUR) and
half a year (vehicle up to 3.5t 35EUR), with the yearly one being valid from 1st December to the 31 January the following year, fine for non-display 300 Euros minimum.

New tariffs apply:
Vehicles not exceeding 3.5t - 7 day vignette €15 / Annual vignette €95

Motorcycle - 7 day vignette €7.50 / Annual vignette €47.50

The use of spiked tyres is prohibited. Hazard warning lights must be used when reversing.

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