What makes Slovenia a unique country to travel to?
Slovenia is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the European Union. Tourist facilities are widely available throughout the country. Slovenian is the official language; English is not widely spoken outside of major cities and tourist attractions.
Slovenia’s overall crime rate is low and violent crimes are relatively uncommon. Most crimes tend to be directed towards obtaining personal property, such as purse snatching, pick-pocketing, and residential and vehicle break-ins. Visitors should take normal security precautions and report any incidents to the local police.
Vehicle break-in/theft is a continuing problem in Slovenia. You should always lock your vehicles, use vehicle anti-theft devices, park in well-lighted areas, and if possible, secure vehicles in residential or hotel garages. To guard against residential burglaries, it is advisable to implement preventative security measures such as rolling down shutters and locking windows and doors when not at home and keeping garage doors closed.
We urge U.S. citizens to exercise caution with so-called "gentlemen's clubs." A few such establishments have presented foreign customers with grossly inflated bar bills, sometimes in the thousands of dollars, and threatened those customers who refuse to pay.
Incidents of violent crime, while still relatively infrequent, are possible. U.S. citizens have reported incidents of sexual assault in at least one nightclub in recent years. Use caution when accepting open drinks at bars or clubs, and don’t leave your drinks unattended.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
While you are traveling in Slovenia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own, and criminal penalties vary from country to country. If you break local laws in Slovenia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in countries where you will be traveling. And certain crimes may result in you being prosecuted both in a foreign country and in the United States. For instance, engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography is illegal in Slovenia and these actions are also prosecutable in the United States. Persons violating Slovenian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Slovenia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Slovenia, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the Embassy to your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the Embassy.
The official language is Slovene, a Slavic language. The language has a special language construct that indicates two people or things, separate to singular and plural. Slovene uses Roman characters, but excludes q,w,and x. The oldest documents preserved date back to 1000 AD. Slovene resisted the pressure to "Germanize" the language. The next most used language is English.
Medical Facilities and Health Information
Adequate medical care is readily available. Travelers to Slovenia may obtain a list of English-speaking physicians on the U.S. Embassy’s website. Antibiotics, as well as other U.S.-equivalent prescription medications are available at local pharmacies. In Slovenia all medications, including drugs considered over-the-counter and first aid supplies, are dispensed through pharmacies (called “lekarna”). Please see the Embassy’s website for a list of pharmacies open 24 hours.
Persons who engage in outdoor activities may wish to take a vaccine to prevent tick-borne encephalitis.
Safety and Security
While Slovenia has not had any incidents of international or indigenous terrorism, it shares open borders with three Schengen Zone neighbors. This allows for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity. We remind U.S. citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution while traveling in Slovenia.
While civil disorder is rare in Slovenia, there are occasional strikes, protests, and other public demonstrations. Protests in Ljubljana are usually held in areas around Kongresni Trg (Congress Square), opposite the Slovenian Parliament, and, sometimes, near the U.S. Embassy. While most demonstrations are peaceful and not anti-American in nature, some participants have occasionally expressed anti-U.S. sentiments. As all demonstrations can potentially turn confrontational or even violent, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid these events whenever possible, and to exercise caution when in the vicinity of any such gathering. For additional information, we encourage U.S. citizens to check the Embassy’s website or call the Embassy at 386-1-200-5595 (200-5556 after hours and on weekends/holidays).
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Slovenia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Slovenia is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Driving: Slovenia has a well-developed road network that is safe for travel. Highways connect to neighboring cities and countries, and are clearly marked; road signs and traffic rules are consistent with those used throughout Europe. As the number of cars in Slovenia continues to rise, roads are becoming more heavily congested during the weekends and during rush hours. Parking is difficult and can be expensive in the center of Ljubljana. Third-party liability insurance is required for all vehicles; coverage is purchased locally. Travelers driving rented automobiles from Croatia into Slovenia are generally able to purchase Slovene insurance at the border. However, at the smaller border crossings or during peak travel times, it can take several hours to arrange such coverage. Travelers should be alert to aggressive drivers both in cities and on highways. Many of the serious accidents in Slovenia occur as a result of high-speed driving. Emergency roadside assistance and towing services is available by dialing 1987. Dial 112 for an ambulance or fire brigade, and 113 for police. By Slovenian law, the maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05.
Traffic moves on the right. The speed limit is 50kph/30 mph in most urban areas and 130 kph/80 mph on expressways (the avtocesta). Motorists are required to have their headlights on during the daytime; drivers and passengers alike must wear seat belts; motorcyclists and their passengers must wear approved helmets. The use of hand-held cellular telephones while driving is prohibited in Slovenia and turning right on red is not allowed.
Between November 15th and March 15th, the use of winter tires is mandated by law. All-season tires are permitted if they carry the MS mark and have at least 4 mm of tread. In addition, local police may require chains in heavy snow. Failure to possess the proper tires/chains may result in a substantial fine and the suspension of the cited vehicle's use. Insurance may be deemed void if a vehicle which is involved in an accident between November 15 and March 15 is not fitted with winter tires.
Vignettes: Highway vignettes (which are purchased in the form of windshield stickers) are obligatory for all passenger vehicles using expressways in Slovenia. A one-year vignette costs EUR 95, a monthly vignette costs EUR 30, and a weekly vignette costs EUR 15. For motorcycles, a one-year vignette is EUR 47.50, a half-year vignette is EUR 25, and a weekly vignette is EUR 7.50. One of the most common problems faced by U.S. citizens visiting Slovenia is being pulled over on a highway for driving without a vignette. Drivers without a vignette may be fined between EUR 300-800 and must also immediately purchase a vignette. Simply buying a vignette and placing it on the dashboard is not sufficient – the vignette must be permanently affixed to the windshield of the vehicle. Vignettes can be purchased in Slovenia at gas stations, newsstands, automobile clubs, post offices (Posta Slovenije), and some toll stations, As well as at some gas stations in neighboring countries.
Driver’s licenses: U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Slovenia must be in possession of both a valid U.S. driver’s license and an International Driver’s License in order to drive legally in Slovenia. This combination of U.S. and an International Driver’s Licenses is valid for a maximum of one year, after which time individuals are required to obtain a Slovenian driver’s license. Two automobile associations are authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue International Driver’s Licenses: the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (through the National Auto Club ).
Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Automobile Association of Slovenia by calling (01) 530-5300 and from the Traffic Information Center for Public Roads.
Taxis: While Ljubljana's taxis are generally safe, clean, and reliable, taxi drivers at the airport, some hotels, and main railway stations have been known to overcharge tourists by shutting off their meters. When using a taxi, you should first ask about the rate and check to see that the meter is running during the journey.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Slovenia's national tourist office and the Slovenian Roads Agency.
Bicycling: Bicycling is popular in Slovenia, and cities have well-developed bicycling networks, with marked bicycle lanes along most roads. Slovenia has more rules governing cyclists than the United States, and police are authorized to ticket cyclists who do not follow them. There are special rules regarding children and bicycles. Please visit Slovenia’s Bicycle Safety page for a list of rules and advice for cyclists.