Slovenia has no scheduled domestic flights.
- Cycling is a popular way to get around.
- Bikes can be transported for €3.50 in the baggage compartments of IC and regional trains. Larger buses can also carry bikes as luggage.
- Cycling is permitted on all roads except motorways. Larger towns and cities have dedicated bicycle lanes and traffic lights.
- Bicycle-rental shops are generally concentrated in the more popular tourist areas, such as Ljubljana, Bled, Bovec and Piran, though a few cycle shops and repair places hire them out as well. Expect to pay from €3/17 per hour/day; you will usually be asked to pay a cash deposit or show some ID as security.
There are no internal boat connections within Slovenia.
- The Slovenian bus network is extensive and coaches are modern and comfortable. You can reach every major city and town, and many smaller places, by bus.
- A range of companies serve the country, but prices tend to be uniform: around €4/6/10/17 for 25/50/100/200km of travel.
- Buy your ticket from ticket windows at the bus station (avtobusna postaja) or pay the driver as you board. There are normally enough seats. The exception is for Friday and weekend travel, where it's best to book your seat (€1.50) a day in advance. Bus services are limited on Sundays and holidays.
- Timetables inside the bus station, or posted outside, list all destinations and departure times. If you can't find your bus or don’t understand the schedule, get help from the information or ticket window (blagajna vozovnice).
- Odhodi means ‘departures’ while prihodi is ‘arrivals’.
Bus Timetable Abbreviations
The following letters and abbreviations can help you sort out bus timetables. They are used to designate which days a bus line operates, and whether the route runs on weekends and holidays.
D Monday to Saturday
D+ Monday to Friday
NP Sunday and holidays
SoNe Saturday and Sunday
SoNP Saturday, Sunday and holidays
Š Monday to Friday when schools are in session
ŠP Monday to Friday during school holidays
Car & Motorcycle
Slovenia’s national automobile club is the AMZS. For emergency roadside assistance, call 1987 anywhere in Slovenia. All accidents should be reported to the police immediately on 113.
Foreign driving licences are valid for one year after entering Slovenia. If you don’t hold a European driving licence, you might obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your local automobile association before you leave.
Petrol stations are usually open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, though larger towns have 24-hour services on the outskirts.
The price of bencin (petrol) is on par with the rest of continental Europe: standard unleaded 'EuroSuper 95' costs around €1.25 per litre.
- Hiring a car in Slovenia allows for greater flexibility than travelling by bus or train and makes it easier to access attractions outside of city and town centres.
- Rentals from international firms such as Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz are broadly similar; expect to pay from €40/200 per day/week, including unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver (CDW), theft protection (TP), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and taxes.
- Some smaller agencies have more competitive rates; booking via the internet is always cheaper.
- Rentals will normally also include the road-toll sticker, the vinjeta.
Third-party liability insurance is compulsory in Slovenia. It will be included in the cost of your car rental. If you're travelling with your own car and the vehicle is registered in the EU, you're also normally covered. Other motorists must secure a 'Green Card' (www.cobx.org), indicating they have the minimum insurance coverage needed for legal travel around Slovenia.
- Parking is restricted in many city and town centres, meaning you'll usually have to pay to park your vehicle.
- The systems and rates can vary, but normally you pay at parking vending machines, which will spit out a ticket that you display on the car's dashboard.
- Ljubljana and other large cities also have underground car parks where fees are charged (€1.20 to €2.40 for the first hour and €0.60 to €1.80 per hour after that depending on the time of day). Parkopedia (www.parkopedia.com) is a handy website for finding available parking spots in Ljubljana.
Road Conditions & Hazards
- Roads are generally excellent. Big cities are usually linked by four-lane highways and motorways, which are well signposted. Petrol stations, parking areas and restaurants are spaced at convenient intervals for stops.
- Some mountain roads, including the Vršič Pass in the Julian Alps, are closed in winter (November to April).
- Always bring along a good road atlas or GPS navigation device (Slovenian roads are normally covered under 'Central European' maps). Bring your home GPS device or rent one with your car from car-rental agencies.
- Expect heavy traffic on weekends and in July and August. This is especially true along the coast and at or near border stops with Croatia.
Road Tolls & the Vinjeta
- In place of highway tolls, all cars travelling on motorways must display a vinjeta (road-toll sticker) on the windscreen.
- Stickers cost €15/30/110 for a week/month/year for cars and €7.50/30/55 for motorbikes, and are available at petrol stations, post offices and TICs.
- A sticker should already be in place on rental cars.
- Failure to display a sticker risks a fine of up to €300.
- Drive on the right.
- Speed limits for cars and motorcycles (less for buses) are 50km/h in towns and villages, 90km/h on secondary and tertiary roads, 100km/h on highways and 130km/h on motorways.
- Seat belts are compulsory, and motorcyclists must wear helmets.
- All motorists must illuminate their headlights throughout the day – not just at night.
- The permitted blood-alcohol level for drivers is 0.05%.
Hitchhiking remains a popular way to get around for young Slovenes, and it’s generally easy – except on Friday afternoon, before school holidays and on Sunday, when cars are often full of families. Hitching from bus stops is fairly common, otherwise use motorway access roads or other areas where the traffic will not be disturbed.
Hitching is never entirely safe, and we don’t recommend it. Travellers who hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.
Domestic trains are operated by Slovenian Railways. The network is extensive and connects many major cities and towns. Trains tend to offer more space and are more comfortable than buses, and can occasionally be cheaper. Trains are useful mainly for covering long distances. The railways website has a timetable and extensive information in English.
- Purchase tickets at the train station (železniška postaja) or buy them from the conductor on the train (costs an extra €2.50).
- An ‘R’ next to the train number on the timetable means seat reservations are available. If the ‘R’ is boxed, seat reservations are obligatory.
- A return ticket (povratna vozovnica) costs double the price of a a single ticket (enosmerna vozovnica). A 1st-class ticket costs 50% more than a 2nd-class one.
- Large stations have luggage lockers (per day €2 to €3 according to locker size).
Types of Trains
The following types of trains operate within Slovenia. Trains differ widely in terms of speed, comfort, amenities and ticket price. Ticket supplements for faster international trains, usually €1.80, are included in the fare. The abbreviations correspond to notations on timetables:
ICS – High-speed InterCity Slovenia trains travel between Ljubljana and Maribor throughout the year and to Koper from June to August. They have air-conditioning and buffet cars. Seat reservations required.
IC – High-speed InterCity trains are similar to ICS trains and cover long distances quickly. Normally offer food services and require an IC supplement, included in ticket price.
EC – High-speed EuroCity trains are similar to ICS and IC trains and connect important destinations, both in Slovenia and around Europe. Most have food services, and a supplement is included in the ticket price.
MV – Used to designate international trains. When travelling in Slovenia, an MV supplement is included in the fare.
EN – Designates EuroNight trains: long-distance international trains that run at night. Typically offer sleepers and couchettes; though can also be used for simpler travel within Slovenia. Seat reservations usually mandatory. Ticket prices include any supplements.
RG, LP – Used to designate slower and simpler regional and local passenger trains that connect cities and towns. Seat reservations and supplements not required.
Most train stations will have a large central electronic timetable displaying upcoming arrivals and departures, which are also announced by loudspeaker and can be found on printed timetables within the station.
- Trains under the heading Odhod or Odhodi Vlakov are departures; Prihod or Prihodi Vlakov indicate arrivals.
- Other useful words are čas (time), peron (platform), sedež (seat), smer (direction) and tir (rail).
- Slovenian Railways (www.slo-zeleznice.si) has a handy online timetable, which includes fares.
Discounts & Passes
Slovenian Railways offers several discount schemes, including for weekend travel, and for students, families and travellers over the age of 60. See the website for details and restrictions. Some of the discounts:
- The 'IZLETka' flat-rate ticket (adult/child €15/7.50) allows for five days of unlimited travel on weekends and public holidays
- Travellers under 26 years can apply for a 30% discount on domestic travel within Slovenia.
- The Family RailCard reduces adult train fares by 40% and allows for children under 12 years to travel free.
- Travellers aged over 60 can qualify for 30% discount on train travel from Monday to Friday and 50% on weekends, though these benefits are restricted to Slovenes and permanent residents.
Slovenian Railways sells the InterRail Country Pass Slovenia from InterRail (www.interrail.eu), which is valid for rail travel in Slovenia only and available to residents of any European country (excluding Slovenia). The pass, which includes travel on ICS trains, is for three/four/six/eight days (€59/74/104/132) of 2nd-class travel within one month; those under 28 years pay €51/64/90/114.