What people think about a place, and what it actually is, can be two different realities. And so was the case with me before I travelled to Slovenia.
While I was planning the itinerary for my first backpacking trip across Europe, I expected Slovenia as a part of the ‘wild west’ or ill-famous Eastern Europe. Moreover to my guilt, my heart was always more drawn to the neighbouring countries of Italy, Austria and Hungary. But since there was no way to travel from Hungary to Italy, via land, without travelling through Slovenia (because I didn’t want to cross through Croatia holding a Schengen Visa), I decided to pass through Slovenia, and moreover stay in Ljubljana for a few days.
[Related Read: My First Impression of Ljubljana]
So if you are visiting Slovenia for the first time, then read ahead. These four significant misconceptions are the most useful travel tips for Slovenia.
Don’t Mix Slovenia And Slovakia
Slovenian people are very friendly and well-versed. For almost always you will find them smiling. But if there’s one thing that really annoys is someone referring to Slovenia as Slovakia. True, the names might sound similar. But these are two different countries. And guess what, they don’t even share a border with each other. But often tourists get confused between the names, sometimes even on the very formal level. After being an independent country for a solid 25 years, Slovenians simply cannot understand “where is the problem”?
And when in Slovenia, you never want to get involved in comparing the two countries. Just keep in mind this friendly advice. And everyone will stay happy!
Your Russian Won’t Help Your In Slovenia
If you are a Russian speaker travelling Slovenia, be aware that this language won’t get you very far in the country, because in Slovenia people don’t speak Russian, as is often misconceived. The official and national language of Slovenia is Slovene, which is spoken by a large majority of the population. Even though some of the words might be similar to Russian, Czech, or even Slovak, most people in Slovenia don’t speak these languages.
Carry A Few Warm Clothes
During the peak tourist season — i.e. between May and October — Slovenia remains pretty warm and maintains a kind of weather that makes you want to carry shorts and t-shirts. But since Postojna Cave and Škocjan Caves, are two highlights of Slovenia, and any trip to the country without visiting the two cave parks is incomplete — chances are you too, eventually, are going to visit them during your trip. And when you do that, you need pretty warm clothes, no matter what time of the year you’re visiting.
Postojna Cave has a constant temperature of 8°C to 10°C with a humidity of 95%. So, a warm jacket and decent shoes are advised in any season of the year. Though you can also rent a waterproof jacket in the Postojna Cave, you at least would want to bring some long sleeves and good shoes for the caves with you.
Never Rent A Car For Exploring Ljubljana
If you arrive in Slovenia by plane and are heading towards the capital Ljubljana — there is no real need to rent a car at the airport. Because Ljubljana city centre is car-free. There are regular buses and shuttles going to Ljubljana from the airport. Taxis might be a bit pricey, with the prices even up to 40 euros, while the shuttle transfer costs around 10 euros. Moreover, if the taxi cannot drop you at your hotel door (in case you’re staying in the city centre) then what’s the point of hiring a taxi anyway.
Have you been to Slovenia? What advice would you share with people?