Slovenia General Info.
Capital Ljubljana
Min. Budget $25/day

Country Code 386,US $1 = 226.50SIT, August 2000

What to see in Slovenia
Ljubljana has enough highlights to spend 3 days just walking around the old town looking at the castle, bridges and squares. Lake Bled has one of the most beautiful churches in the world, and with so many activites to do, either 2 days or 2 weeks could be spent here. Piran is a favourite for travellers, as it is a cheap slice of Italy in a 600 year old tiny coastal town.

Language
The official language is Slovene. Most young Slovenians speak a little English, while the older speak some German. Along the coast Italian is often seen as the official language.

Weather
The best time to travel is May-August when the temperature is around the mid 20's C. During winter when the temperature is near freezing. You can ski around Bled.

Currency/Exchange
Currency: The Slovenian currency is the tolar (SIT), which is divided into the hundred stotins. Fixed on the German mark.
Denominations
: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000.
Cash: Many banks and exchange offices are in Ljubljana and Bled. It is better to exchange money here, rather than in Piran where the rate is lower. Usually no commission.
T/C: Usually no commission. Banks offer a better rate than AM Express.
Cash Advance: available at Ljubljanska Banka and Gorenjska Banka
ATM: A vailable in every town.

Basic Travel Costs
Big Mac-500SIT, Beer-270SIT, Coffee-200SIT, Drinking Water-120SIT, Breakfast-600SIT, Mars Bar-250SIT, Hot Breakfast-750SIT, Pizza-700SIT, Film-1500SIT.

Opening hours
Banks: M-F8:30 - 12:00, 14:00 - 16:30, Sa8:00 - 12:00
Post offices: M-F8:00 - 19:00, Sa8:00 - 13:00
Shops: M-F7:30 - 19:00, Sa7:30 - 13:00. Some shops close later in the evening or stay open 24 hours, including holidays and Sundays.

Immigration/Visa
Not required: Australians, US, EU countries, New Zealand, Japanese can stay for 90 days. The crossing is very relaxed, rarely a passport being stamped.
Required: South Africans require a 180 day visa for
US$45 at embassies. Visa can be obtained at the border for US$75.

Border Crossing
Villach (Austria) > Jesenice (Slovenia) via the Julian Alps region.
Socerga (Croatia) > Socerga (Slovenia) connects Slovenian Istria with the Gulf of Kvarner
Umag (Croatia) > Potoroz (Slovenia) connects Slovenian Istria with Croatian Istria
Muggia ( Italy) > Koper (Slovenia) connects Slovenian Istria with Trieste
Oriszentpeter (Hungary) > Murska Sobota (Sloevinia) connects Eastern Slovenia with the Orseg

International Transport
Flights: do fly to the capital but these are quite expensive with many over US$250 to destinations in western Europe one way. Trains: The best and most comfortable option when traveling from Budapest, Venice, Zagreb or Vienna.
Bus: No connection to Vienna, yet all other destinations mentioned are available by bus.
Trains are cheaper than bus.

National Transport
Trains are more comfortable and cheaper but do not cover all destinations. There are no train routes to Piran.
Buses: Roads are in excellent conditions. Better to catch a bus to Bled because the train does not go to Bled but a town nearby, where a bus must be then taken.

Local Transport
Because of the tiny size of Slovenian towns (Ljubljana is one of the smallest capitals in the world), local transport is hardly ever needed. The capital does have a good bus network, going to the airport and the neighboring camp site.

Tourist Information

Telephones/Mail
Country Phone Code: 386
Local Phone: Card phones only. Cards are purchased at kioks for 500SIT & 1000SIT. Local calls cost 10SIT
English Operator /Reverse charge calls. 901
Phone Cost: USA- 300SIT/min, UK - 230SIT/min, Australia 380SIT/min, New Zealand 380SIT/min, Japan 380SIT/min.
USA UK Japan Australia
Mail Cost: Postcard-100SIT, Letter 30grams-110, Parcel 1kg-, Parcel 2kg-2004

UNESCO World Hertiage Listing
The Skocjan Caves: They are situated 1.5hrs south of Ljubljana, and are consired the finest limestone caves in the world. It is open only in summer. 12 trains leave a day from Ljubljana, tickets cost 900SIT one way. Then 1600SIT for the tour, which is organised at the Divaca station (3km away from the caves).

Accommodation
There is a severe shortage of hostels in Slovenia. At this time there is only one all year hostel in Slovenia, because the other are student dormitory accommodation open only in the summer holidays. These are often very basic due to past Communistic control. A few pensions dot the towns but these are more expensive than hostels. Hotels are excellent, meeting western standards but are very expensive. Camping is a great and cheap option, but usually you must have your own tent.

Food
Slovenian food is highly influenced by Germany and Italy. In the capital and country areas heavy meat dished like sausages and schnitzel are popular. On the coast, Italian cuisine is common, and is delicious. Here the people combine traditional Italian dishes like spaghetti and lasagna with the local seafood. Coffee is also very good in this region. Beer is extremely popular in Slovenia, with Union beer dominating the market. Wine is grown in Eastern Slovenia and is considered, like Hungary, one of the worlds best wines.

Customs
Tipping: Common in fancy restaurants.
Clothing: Much like Western Europe. Not very conservative.

Souvenirs
accessories made of pearls and shells: Very popular on the coast, .

Health
Medical Care: Foreigners are entitled to emergency hospital care. All medical centers have English speaking staff, as do most Pharmacy. Medical facilities are very good.
Tap water is drinkable

Safety
Slovenia is one of the safest countries in the world. Even the streets are clean of graffiti. Police are friendly and the people are welcoming. The biggest risk could be theft from other backpackers.

Entertainment

Festivals/National Holidays
January 1, 2: New Year
February 8: Culture Day
End of Mar or beg of Apr Easter Monday
April 27: National Resistance Day (WW2)
May 1, 2: International Labour Day
June 25: National Day
August 15: Assumption
October 31: Reformation Day
November 1: Remembrance Day
December 25: Christmas
December 26: Independence Day


Miscellaneous
Time Zone: Continental European time (GMT+1). In summer the local DST is GMT+2.
Electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz

Internet
Each town mentioned has internet access, but it is quite expensive (800SIT/hr), except in the capital where it is free.

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