Ministry of Tourism
Kotnikova 5
Tel: (061) 171 32 13 - Fax: (061) 133 12 20,
61000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Physical geography

Situated in the centre of Europe, Slovenia is surrounded by Austria in the north, Hungary in the east, Italy to the west and Croatia to the south. Slovenia offers, on a small territory of 20,251 sq. km, a huge quantity of beautiful landscapes. Its great advantage is diversity. Everything is here in abundance: the high Alps with their glacial valleys, rivers, and lakes; plenty of forests; mysterious karst caves and the warm Mediterranean. From the steep slopes of the alpine world you can reach the world of olives and vineyards on the Adriatic in less than three hours.


Slovenia has three different climatic regions: Central European, Alpine and Mediterranean. The average summer temperature is 21°C, winter 0°C.

Economic geography

The conditions for cultivating the land and for crop production are meagre in Slovenia. Farmland accounts for 44 per cent of the total area, the major part of which is pastureland. In forests and meadows Slovenia is among the richest in Europe. Stockbreeding is practised throughout Slovenia. Forests are plentiful in the Karst and on the plateaux. Vineyards and orchards bedeck the Subpannonian and Mediterranean hillsides. The Alpine region is rich with hydropower. Industry is well-developed both in the cities and in the countryside, and tourism is becoming an ever more important asset.
  • gross domestic product (1993): US$6,366 per capital;
  • exports (1993): US$6.9 million;
  • imports (1993): US$6.5 million.


The population of Slovenia 1993 was approx. 2.02 million or 99 persons per sq. km, 90 per cent Slovenes, with Italian and Hungarian minorities. Major towns: Ljubljana (276,200), Maribor (108,100) Celje (41,300), Kranj (37,300).

A brief history

The new Slovenian State is indeed young, but Slovenes were not born yesterday. They entered European history as a distinct nation some 1,500 years ago, when they came to this country from the frozen east to worship the sun, life, beauty and death. They crowned their own princes and, in the middle of a field, set them on a throne fashioned from the debris of local Roman ruins. This throne has been preserved right up to the present day, and has been weathered by influences from both the East and the West.

For a little over a thousand years the Slovenes lost their independence, and were ruled by Bavarian, Frankish, Czech and Habsburg masters, their pagan gods were replaced by the Christian God and the Slav spirit fused irrevocably with the culture of western Europe. Slovene art followed that of Europe from the Romanesque period on, first of all in church and monastic architecture, and then between the 12th and 15th centuries in the construction of castles and towns. Masters of Slovene Renaissance sculpture and painting worked side by side with famous Italian artists.

The Reformation brought a new energy to Slovene Culture: in spite of the influence of German and Latin, the Slovenes maintained a surprisingly clear awareness of their own language, and in the year 1550 the first book to be printed in Slovene appeared. From that time on, Slovene culture developed rapidly. The powerful Habsburg government strengthened the economy, while the fragmented Slovene regions were united into a single country whose cultural life became centred on the capital, Ljubljana, our jewel of Baroque creativity. The merchant classes flourished and in the following centuries, more than ever before, the paths of famous European artists crossed through Ljubljana, not only architects and plastic artists, who left a very clear imprint on the city, but also writers and composers. Ludwig van Beethoven, Niccolo Paganini and Johannes Brahms were honorary members of the Philharmonic Society, founded in 1701, while Gustav Mahler was conductor of the then Ljubljana Provincial Theatre for a whole year.

From the 19th century on, when Ljubljana was chosen to host the congress of the Holy Alliance in 1828, Slovenia enjoyed times when it was at the very centre of European attention. And celebrated Slovenes carried their successes abroad, adding their own pieces to the European mosaic.

Recent history: Republic of Slovenia, a democratic republic

At the plebiscite held on December 23, 1990, the citizens of Slovenia voted overwhelmingly in favour of a sovereign and independent state. The results were promulgated at the session of the Assembly on 26 December 1990. On 25 June 1991 the Slovene Assembly passed the Fundamental Sovereignty Acts, and proclaimed independence on 26 June 1991. The ten-day war followed. In accordance with the Brioni declaration the Slovene Assembly suspended the implementation of the Sovereignty Acts. On 8 December 1991, following the expiry of the moratorium, Slovenia entered the era of independence. She introduced her own currency, established control on all border crossings, and passed the new Constitution on 23 December 1991.


Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Slovenia (82 per cent of the population). There are also three dioceses. The remainder are Protestants, Orthodox, Muslims.

Languages spoken by nationals

The official language in the Republic of Slovenia is Slovene; in parts of Prekmurje Hungarian is also spoken and Italian is spoken on the coast. Most Slovenes speak one of the following languages: English, Italian or German.


Central European Time, GMT + 1.


The Slovenian currency is the tolar (SIT), which is divided into one hundred stotins. The exchange rate (Sept 1994): 1 US $ = 117.58 SIT, 1 CHF = 90.60 SIT, I DEM = 76.50 SIT.

Banknotes are for 10, 20, 50,100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 5,000.

Official holidays

All offices closed

Free days, besides Sundays, are as follows:

January 1 and 2, New Year's - February 8, Preseren Day Slovene cultural day - Easter Sunday and Monday - April 27, Day of Uprising against the Occupation (in the 2nd World War) - May 1 and 2, May Day holiday - May 26, Pentecost - June 25, Slovenia Day - August 15, Feast of the Assumption - October 31 , Reformation - November 1, Day of the Dead - December 25, Christmas - December 26, Independence Day.

What one should not fail to see


Ljubljana is a middle-sized, friendly city with visible remains of the Roman city of Emona, a baroque core squeezed between the castle slopes and the Ljubljanaica River, art nouveau mansions, and the architectural legacy of its own world-famous architect Joze Plecnik, who left a unique stamp on Ljubljana. This central European city has a rich cultural heritage and modern creative energy. It is distinguished by its musical tradition, a rich artistic life, and world-recognised modern theatre productions.

Ljubljana is a university city with great scientific potential and good foundation for wider economic co-operation with Europe. It is a congress city with a tradition reaching back to 1821.

Ljubljana is a city of history which in 1994 celebrated its 850th anniversary.


It is not only Slovenia's second largest city and only three hours away from Vienna and Trieste but much more as well. It was first mentioned in the 13th century. For centuries, its existence depended on the wine trade, a monopoly owned by the Habsburg dynasty. Maribor is still the centre of Stajerska's viticulture and wine trade and produces excellent varieties of white wine. The oldest producer of wine in the world, which has grown here for more than 400 years beside the Drava River.

Modern Maribor is a city with a university, a bishop's seat, an opera and ballet theatre; in short, Maribor is a rich cultural centre.


Bled is considered one of the most beautiful alpine holiday resorts. Its beauty and peace, mild climate, fresh air, sun, and thermal water offer ideal conditions for a pleasant rest or for an active holiday. During the long summer season, it is very pleasant to swim in the lake and enjoy rowing, sailing, wind surfing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and other activities. Also Bled offers one of the best golf courses in Slovenia.


It is the country's most popular seaside resort, delightfully influenced in both architecture and style by her Italian neighbours. During the day, there is the beach for beach lovers, while those who prefer to explore will delight in visiting Venice (only two hours by hydrofoil), Piran (a romantic little fishing town), and Lipica (a small village where the world-famous Lippizaner horse comes from).

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

All the year round. For summer holidays at the seaside: May-October (Portoroz, Piran); for winter in the mountains: November-March (Kranjska Gora, Kanin, Bovec, Pohorje).

How to dress

Warm clothes and footwear during the winter months and light clothing in the summer. Rainwear in spring and autumn.

Main holiday resorts

The main holiday resorts in Slovenia are: Portoroz and Piran - on the coast. Bled, Bohinj, Bovec, Kranjska Gora and Pohorje - in the mountains. Rogaska Slatina, Radenci, Moravske Toplice, Dolenjske Toplice, Smarjeske Toplice and Atomske Toplice - of the health resorts. Also of interest and one absolutely not to miss is the 'Karst' region with the Postoina Caves - they are among the most visited and most beautiful caves in the world, and have been visited by tourists since 1819. Skocjan Caves - are a natural wonder unrivalled anywhere else in the world. The many caverns of the Skocjan Caves are interconnected through passages and natural bridges. The cave's extensiveness and unique rock formations (sink holes, etc.) are exceptional. These caves are under Unesco protection.

Main holiday sports

Skiing (alpine and cross-country), golf, horse-riding, tennis, swimming, fishing, climbing, sailing and yachting, rafting.

What to eat and drink

The Slovene cuisine is influenced by Hungarian, Austrian, Italian and South European. A typical food of Slovenia is 'potica', a kind of cake made with nuts. If you visit the country you should not miss tasting the excellent slovene wine which is one of the best in Europe.

What to buy

Excellent Slovene wine.

Frontier formalities

Passports and visas

For a stay of up to three months: for most European countries an identity card is required; valid passport without visa for nationals of about 50 countries. • passport and visa for all other countries.


Foreigners may bring into Slovenia and take away their personal property without payment of custom duties. At the majority of border crossings there are duty-free shops.

Currency regulations

No restrictions on imports or exports.

Main travel routes

By air: While you can arrive in Slovenia at three international airports (Ljubljana, Maribor and Portoroz), the majority of travellers disembark at the Ljubljana Airport.

By train: Slovenia can be reached by train as there are regular connections with Italy, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Croatia.

By sea: There are regulary scheduled trips across the Adriatic on the Prince of Venice catamaran which runs between Venice and Portoroz, and three marinas to choose from should you arrive on your own boat.

By road

You can best get to know a country if you visit it by car. You can reach Slovenia via major express ways from Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.

Representatives abroad

AUSTRIA: Slowenisches Fremdenverkehrsamt, Hilton Center, Landstrasse Hauptstrasse 2 - 1030 Wien - Tel.:+43/1/715-40-10. Fax:+43/1/713-81 77.

BENELUX COUNTRIES: Sloveens Verkeersburo, Goudent 8, Postbus 7105 - NL-4330GC Middelburg - Tel.: +31/1180-35-790. Fax: +31/1180-39-205.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Slovenska Turisticka Kancelar, Thamova 34 -1800 Praha 8 - Karlin - Tel.: +42/601-203-544. Fax: +42/224-810-790.

HUNGARY: Szlaven Idagonforgalmi Hivatal, Gellerthegy u. 28 - 1013 Budapest - Tel.: +36/]/156-57-79. Fax: +36/1/156-28-18.

GERMANY: Slowenisches Fremdenverkehrsamt, Lessengstrasse 7-9 - 61440 Oberursel - Tel.: +49/6/171-641-660. Fax: +49/6/171-641-029.

GREAT BRITAIN: Slovenian Tourist Office, 57 Grosvernor Street - London WIX 9 DA. - Tel.: +44/71/49-97-488. Fax: +44/71/35-54-828.

SWITZERLAND: Slowenisches Fremdenverkehrsamt, St. Leodegarstrasse - 6006 Luzern - Tel.: +41/41/528-515. Fax: +41/41/528-354.

U.S.A.: Slovenian Tourist Office, 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3006 - New York, NY 10168 0072 - Tel.: +1/212/682-58-96. Fax: +1/212/661-24-69.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Slovenia thanks to the co-operation and the participation of the Slovenian Ministry of Tourism.