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Slovenia Fast Facts

A castle in Bled, Slovenia

Population: 1,972,126
Capital City: Ljubljana
Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate to the east

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Language: Slovenian
International Dialing Code: +386
President: Borut Pahor

Slovenia: Refined Culture, Beautiful Nature, And A Low Cost Of Living In The Heart Of Europe

Slovenia is one of the most attractive living options in Europe, combining the best of Western European culture, international-standard dining, a young and vibrant population, and easy access to all the outdoor amenities you can dream of. With 29 miles (47 km) of Adriatic coastline, dotted by charming, colorful fishing villages… and its own just as spectacular but lesser-known corner of the Alps, Slovenia is an idyllic retirement destination.

While Slovenia has been increasingly recognized by European tourists, most people across the Pond haven’t heard of it. This tiny country of just under 20,27 km² is located between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Sharing borders with multiple countries means that, despite the country’s small size, each region is distinct and influenced heavily by its closest neighbor.

Bled with lake
Adobe Stock/Kavita

While Slovenia may be a very young nation, only achieving independence as a republic in 1991, the region has origins going back to the Paleolithic age and has been consistently occupied ever since. Slovenia underwent rulings from different countries throughout its history, most recently from Yugoslavia. In 1987, calls for independence began, and after a 10-day war in 1991 when Slovenia invaded Yugoslavia, a truce was called, and the country finally saw independence. Slovenia was accepted into the EU in 2004.

Today, Slovenia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system, and the head of state is the president. The government is working hard to attract tourists and foreign investors and has many departments dedicated to the country’s improvement in all aspects.

Living In Slovenia

Old skier with traditional old wooden skis and backpack
Adobe Stock/smuki

Slovenia’s climate is typical European continental, with four proper seasons. Though summer is never too hot, the winter can be harsh. Snow lovers: this is your ideal location. Snowfall may occur anytime from November to April but is highest from December through February. All the better for skiing and ice skating, two primo diversions in this mountainous country. Summer in Slovenia is gorgeous, with temperatures reaching up to 86℉ with minimal humidity, perfect for enjoying the country’s pristine beaches.

Slovenia is ranked among the top European countries regarding the knowledge of foreign languages, and they’re proud of it. Everyone under 30 or so learned English as a compulsory second language from third grade onward, so they speak it superbly. However, we always recommend learning the local language wherever you go, even if you don’t become fluent, knowing a conversational level is essential for integrating. It’s also a nice sign of respect for the local culture. But, no, you won’t have to learn much Slovenian to get by here… you could get by without it pretty easily throughout most of the country.

Very few foreigners live in Slovenia, apart from a few Brits who have found their way here, and some Austrians and Russians, who probably make up the largest demographic of foreigners living in Slovenia. Thanks to the prevalence of English, however, adjusting without the support of an expat community should be easier here than in other places where language can be your biggest barrier to assimilation.

Cost Of Living In Slovenia

Pouring red wine in vineyard
Adobe Stock/urosr

Wages in Slovenia are famously low, meaning the cost of living here is one of the lowest in the EU—and great value for the lifestyle you’re able to enjoy in return. The average salary in the capital Ljublana is around US$1,200, so living on that or less is doable, getting more comfortable outside the city. Rents are low, particularly outside the capital, where housing costs can get super cheap in rural areas. Although you’ll have to heat your home in winter, and might want to use air conditioning in summer, your utilities here will be far below what you are used to paying in the United States.

Most locals say they spend US$350 or less on groceries each month but add that they eat out as much or more than they eat in. Eating out is a great bargain for the quality you’ll get—a chef’s tasting menu might run you US$35… add another US$5 or so for a carafe of local wine. On a budget of US$1,700 or above, you can easily afford to eat out a few times a week—or for every meal.

Health Care In Slovenia

Slovenia’s national health care ranks high globally and is known to have the most advanced medical facilities and equipment in Central and Eastern Europe, on par with Western Europe’s standards. Every large town or city has a zdravstveni dom (health center) or klinični center (clinic). In Ljubljana, you have access to the best health care the country can offer. The University Medical Center Ljubljana is the leading medical center in Slovenia and one of the largest institutions in Central Europe.

Citizens and long-term residents in Slovenia are covered by the national health insurance program, which is funded through state taxes. This entitles taxpayers to subsidized health care. Expats are recommended to opt for private health insurance to ensure they are covered in any emergency.

Getting To Slovenia

While Slovenia may not be well-known, it’s highly accessible internationally— partly thanks to its small size… you’ve got no choice but to cross a border if you drive in just about any direction for more than an hour. Its buses and trains offer lines to neighboring countries and beyond.

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport serves the capital and offers frequent flights all over Europe. There are no direct flights to North America, but with multiple airlines flying to various European destinations, regional travel is easy, and you shouldn’t have any problem finding an easy connection back home.

Best Places To Live In Slovenia


Ljubljana, Slovenia
Adobe Stock/gatsi

Walking the streets of this city’s historic center, you may mistake yourself for strolling the rues of Paris… or the avenues of Prague… perhaps even the boulevards of Buenos Aires. The city may be a mere fraction of the size of these world metropolises, but, I assure you, Ljubljana is just as cosmopolitan as any of them. An architectural marvel, you could amuse yourself for many hours just getting lost in the little alleys, discovering new plazas, and enjoying the several hundred years of history these streets have to offer.

When you feel the need for some sunshine, head to the one of the city’s multiple parks, or the botanical gardens for an educational stroll. It’s rare for a city to value physical activity as much as it does indoor culture (usually one is sacrificed for the other), but you’ll find no shortage of either in here. Ljubljana is a university city, some 50,000 students keep it feeling young and energetic, while farmers sell their locally grown produce from wooden carts in the town square. This exciting city is an ideal base to locate yourself to explore the rest of Slovenia.


Multicolored sunrise over an alpine lake Bled in Slovenia
Adobe StockMike Mareen

Enchanted… magical… fairy-tale… these terms might be cliché used in reference to any other destination, but those are the terms you’ve got to use when describing Bled. This small town of just under 5,500 people is settled around a quiet lake and surrounded by scenic mountains.

Bled is the top Alpine resort town in Slovenia, but it retains the feeling of a small, sleepy town. There’s a steady tourism market year-round: in winter people come for ice skating and nearby skiing, and in summer they come for lakeside bathing and mountain hiking. Just 20 minutes or so from Ljubljana on an excellent highway, Bled may just be the best lakeside and mountain retreat in Europe. Bled deserves almost as much attention as Ljubljana for the potential expat, largely thanks to its proximity to the capital. You can live in Bled but still avail of all the amenities, entertainment options, and conveniences of Ljubljana.

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