Slovenia has all manner of places to bed down. You'll need to book well in advance if you're travelling during peak season (July and August on the coast and at Bled or Bohinj; spring and autumn in Ljubljana). At other times, you’ll have little trouble finding accommodation to fit your budget.
Hotels Runs the gamut from family-run operations to five-star boutiques.
Hostels Both indie hostels and HI-affiliated affairs are plentiful.
Pensions & Guesthouses Often family-owned and good value.
Private Rooms Single rooms or fully furnished flats. Locate via tourist information centres.
Mountain Huts Simple beds, with or without facilities, near hiking trails.
Types of Accommodation
Travellers on a tight budget will find themselves relying mainly on hostels, campgrounds and private rooms found locally through TICs. Expect clean rooms, though facilities may be shared. Options open up at midrange to include pensions, guesthouses, hotels, apartments and farmstays. You'll normally get your own bath, as well as amenities like in-room TV and wi-fi. Top-end places may offer special amenities like spas and pools, scenic views and air-conditioning.
There’s a kamp (campground) in virtually every corner of the country; seek out the Slovenian Tourist Board's Camping in Slovenia brochure. Some also rent inexpensive bungalows. Almost all sites close between mid-October and mid-April. Camping ‘rough’ is illegal in Slovenia.
Campgrounds generally charge per person. Prices vary according to the site and the season, but expect to pay anywhere from €10 to €20 per person (children are usually charged 20% to 50% of the adult fee). An overnight at one of Slovenia's luxurious 'glamping' spots will cost you considerably more. Many campgrounds offer discounts of 5% to 10% to holders of the Camping Card International (CCI; www.campingcardinternational.com).
Hundreds of working farms in Slovenia offer accommodation to paying guests, either in private rooms in the farmhouse itself or in alpine-style guesthouses. Many farms offer outdoor-sport activities and allow you to help out with the farm chores if you feel so inclined.
Expect to pay upwards from €20 per person in a room with a shared bathroom and breakfast (from €30 for half board) in the low season (September to mid-December and mid-January to June), rising in the high season (July and August) to a minimum of €25 per person (or from €40 for half board). Apartments for groups of up to eight people are also available.
Contact the Association of Tourist Farms of Slovenia or check out the Slovenian Tourist Board’s excellent Farm Stays in Slovenia brochure, which lists upwards of 185 farms with accommodation.
Hostels & Student Dormitories
Slovenia has a growing stable of excellent private hostels, including several in Ljubljana and Bled and other places that are popular with visitors. Expect the usual perks at these hostels, including free wi-fi, laundry facilities, lockers and the possibility of purchasing breakfast. Some have shared kitchens where you can prepare you own meals.
In addition to private hostels, throughout the country there are more-modest but usually cheaper dijaški dom (college dormitories) or študentski dom (student residences), moonlighting as hostels for visitors in July and August. Unless stated otherwise, hostel rooms share bathrooms.
Hostels usually cost €16 to €25 for a bed; prices are at their highest in July and August and during the Christmas break.
Hostelling International Membership
A few dozen hostels nationwide are registered or affiliated with the Maribor-based Hostelling International Slovenia. You are not required to have an HI card to stay at hostels in Slovenia, but it sometimes earns a discount or cancellation of the tourist tax.
Most visitors to Slovenia usually stay in standard hotels. Hotels cover the spectrum from midrange to top end, though at a minimum all are clean and well maintained whatever the room price. Rates vary depending on the location and amenities. Cheaper rooms may have shared facilities. Breakfast is usually, though not always, included in the room rate. Check the booking details to make sure. Air-conditioning may not be available at cheaper places.
Slovenia’s hotel rates vary seasonally, with July and August the peak season and September/October and May/June the shoulders. Ski resorts such as Kranjska Gora and Maribor Pohorje also have a peak season from December to March. In Ljubljana, prices are generally constant throughout the year, though weekends are often cheaper at top-end hotels.
The Alpine Association of Slovenia maintains around 180 mountain huts throughout the country and these are ranked according to category. A hut is Category I if it is at a height of over 1000m and is more than one hour from motorised transport. A Category II hut is within one hour’s walking distance from motorised transport. A Category III hut can be reached by car or cable car directly. It's important to book in advance, particularly from June to September.
A bed for the night runs from €21 to €27 in a Category I hut, depending on the number of beds in the room, and from €16 to €22 in a Category II hut. Category III huts are allowed to set their own prices but often cost less than Category I huts.
Pensions & Guesthouses
Pensions and guesthouses go by several names in Slovenia. A penzion is, of course, a pension, but more commonly it’s called a gostišče – a rustic restaurant with prenočišče (accommodation) attached. Generally speaking, a gostilna serves food and drink only, but some might have rooms as well. The distinction between a gostilna and a gostišče isn’t very clear – even to most Slovenes.
Pensions represent good value. They are usually more expensive than hostels but cheaper than hotels, and might be your only option in small towns and villages.
Private Rooms & Apartments
You’ll find private rooms and apartments through tourist offices and travel agencies in most towns. The Slovenian Tourist Board (www.slovenia.info) website provides photos and the location of the house along with rates.
You don’t have to go through agencies or tourist offices; any house with a sign reading ‘Sobe’ or, in German, ‘Zimmer frei’ means that rooms are available. Depending on the season, you might save yourself a little money by going direct.
In Slovenia, registered private rooms and apartments are rated from one to four stars.
Prices vary greatly according to the town and season, but typical rates cost around €20 to €40 for a single and €40 to €60 for a double. The price quoted is often for a minimum stay of three nights. If you’re staying a shorter time, you’ll have to pay 30% and sometimes as much as 50% more the first night and 20% to 30% extra the second. The price usually does not include breakfast (from €5 to €8 when available) or tourist tax.
Some agencies and tourist offices also have holiday apartments available that can accommodate up to six people. One for two/four people could go for as low as €50/70.
Accommodation costs vary widely between regions, and between Ljubljana and the rest of the country. In general, expect to pay much more in the capital for comparable facilities in other cities and towns. Similarly, room rates around Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled and along the coast skyrocket from late June through August. You can save substantially by travelling in these areas ahead of the season, in early June, or later in September.
Many local TICs do double-duty as room-finding services and usually list available properties for rent on their websites. If the TIC is closed or the town doesn't have a tourist office and you have exhausted online options, try walking around and looking for signs like 'Sobe' or 'Apartma' or in German, 'Zimmer frei', which indicate the owners have a room available.