Soča Valley Views

How much does it cost to explore Slovenia?

Paul Ryken Last Updated: Monday 30 March 2020 Afford your trip, Slovenia Leave a Comment

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Slovenia is known for its sustainability focus. And it is the only country in the world with love in its name. How could we not be excited to explore this pocket-rocket of a country? While we only visited for 8 days (as Paul had to leave Schengen Visa area at the beginning of June), we could have stayed much longer (and we will definitely return).

Our daily expenses in Slovenia were USD57.06 / EUR51.03 per person per day – well over our budget of USD50.00. We stayed three nights in Ljubljana, one night in Bled, two nights in Bovec and two nights in Kobarid – a total of eight.

What is the currency of Slovenia?

After joining the European Union in 2004, Slovenia adopted the Euro (EUR) in 2007. Prior to that, from 8 October 1991 when the country became an independent state until 2007, Slovenia used the Slovenian Tolar.

Assumptions

When reading our travel costs for Slovenia, please keep the following in mind:

  • The costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
  • We did not travel as part of an organised tour group but as independent travellers.
  • Not considered is the entry or exit transport into/out of the country.
  • We are digital nomads so base ourselves in accommodation that has good Wi-Fi.
  • Included in the overall daily costs (for the period of time we are in the country) are:

Where We Travelled

Map of Slovenia and the destinations we explored
Map of Slovenia and the destinations we explored

Accommodation

We found accommodation to be more costly in Slovenia than in other European countries we have visited recently, especially in Bled. Partially, this is due to the tourist tax charged, which varies from city to city/town to town, and which our hosts collected in cash when they sighted our passports.

We sourced the majority of our accommodation through Booking.com rather than Airbnb. With only one or two nights in one place, Airbnb tended to be more expensive, thanks to its service fee and the cleaning fee that some properties charge.

Accommodation NameLocation (including alternative options)TypeCost Per Night (including Tourist Tax)Tourist Tax (per person per night)
Sunny and cozy apartment in LjubljanaLjubljanaApartment with own bathroom and kitchenEUR44.40EUR3.13
Back HostelBledBunk bed in dormitory (for four), shared bathroom and kitchenEUR29.66EUR3.13
Apartmaji Pri TicelnuBovec(Studio) Apartment with own bathroom and kitchenEUR46.00EUR2.00
Apartma ZotlerKobarid(Studio) Apartment with own bathroom and kitchenEUR49.00EUR2.00
Accommodation in picturesque Bled is more expensive than elsewhere in Slovenia | Image by lino9999 from Pixabay
Accommodation in picturesque Bled is more expensive than elsewhere in Slovenia | Image by lino9999 from Pixabay

Transport

From/to the airport

While about 25km north of the capital, Ljubljana airport (IATA Code: LJU) has good bus connections to both the capital and the surrounding towns and villages. The ticket to Ljubljana was EUR3.60 per adult one way. You buy the ticket from the driver. Note: the bus from/to the airport is not part of the public transport system of the city of Ljubljana. More on that below.

In Ljubljana

Ljubljana has only one mode of public transport: buses. Trams and trolley buses were phased out in 1958 and 1971, respectively. To use Ljubljana’s buses, you first need to purchase an Urbana Card, a rechargeable plastic card (as drivers do not carry cash).

The card can be purchased for a one-time fee of EUR2.00 from various outlets, including newsagents and tobacconists, selected petrol stations and post offices, the main Bus Station and the Tourist Information Centres in Ljubljana. Some bus stops apparently also have ticket machines but we didn’t come across any.

To use Ljubljana's buses you need to buy the Urbana Card at outlets such as a newsagent
To use Ljubljana's buses you need to buy the Urbana Card at outlets such as a newsagent

If you have the choice buy your card from a Tourist Information Centre (and keep the receipt), as this is the only place that takes your card back at the end of your visit and returns the EUR2.00 fee. Before you buy the Urbana Card, calculate the amount you think you’ll need over the time you’re there, as you won’t get any money stored on it back when you leave Ljubljana. You can always recharge it as needed (at the same outlets).

The good thing: One Urbana Card can be used between multiple people. Just tell the bus driver before you tap it on the card reader upon entering the bus. One journey costs EUR1.30, but you are allowed to change buses within 90 minutes at no additional charge. Another great thing: you can also use the card to rent a bike from the public bike sharing stations and to pay for the cable-car to Ljubljana Castle.

Around Slovenia

For our journey around Western Slovenia, we decided to rent a car for five days, as it was the most efficient way to visit Triglav National Park and the Soča Valley. While we prefer to use public transport, when we travelled at the beginning of June, there weren’t any buses (yet) to the Soča Valley via Vršič Pass (the road is closed over winter).

We managed to secure a great deal with local company AvantCar through RentalCars.com. AvantCar staff were a pleasure to deal with, and the car was a brand new Renault Clio.

Electric car Car Share Ljubljana
We hired a car to explore Western Slovenia (though not an electric one)

Groceries and Dining

Our grocery expenses were lower than in some of the other European countries we visited recently. We were eating out a bit more (you’ll know why when you read our food journey guide on Slovenia) but also because having our own car meant we could buy more in bulk.

Our cheapest meal cost us EUR12.00 at Orient Express in Ljubljana (two mains, a shared salad and a shared drink). The most expensive dining bill came to EUR33.27 at Hiša Polonka in Kobarid (two mains, a shared dessert and two drinks). Both restaurants are excellent options if you like to try traditional Slovenian food.

Activities

Most of our activities in Slovenia were free: the Free Walking Tour in Ljubljana (though we did leave a tip) and hiking the trails around Lake Bled, and around Bovec and Kobarid in the Soča Valley.

Paid activities were all entrance fees: Vintgar Gorge (EUR10 per person), Kluže Fortress near Bovec (EUR3 per person) and the Tolmin Gorge (EUR6 per person).

Soča valley views from Fort Hermann
Views like this (from Fort Hermann over the Soča Valley) don't cost you a cent

Travel Costs Summary Table

Country: SloveniaEUR per person per day
CommunicationsEUR0.321%
GroceriesEUR4.258%
DiningEUR10.6019%
Leisure ActivitiesEUR2.635%
AccommodationEUR22.1744%
MiscellaneousEUR0.441%
FinanceEUR0.000%
HealthEUR2.926%
TransportEUR7.6915%
Government CostsEUR0.000%
Total per person per dayEUR51.03

Eight nights in Slovenia: USD913.04 / EUR816.54 (two people)

Daily expenses in Slovenia: USD57.06 / EUR51.03 (per person)

Cash Needs

From a safety point of view, we like to have as little cash as possible on us, yet enough to not feel uncomfortable. Of our expenses incurred in Slovenia, we paid 17% in cash. The biggest cash amount was for the tourist tax in Ljubljana.

Withdrawing cash overseas can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. We can show you how to avoid unnecessary fees and make your travel budget stretch further.

How do you determine which card is best for your overseas trip? Using the right one can save bank fees and make your travel budget stretch further.

Ever been caught out by the bad FX rates and exorbitant commissions charged by FX bureaus? These tips allow you to minimise these charges in future. We also recommend OFX to keep more of your money when you complete a transfer.

Other Cost Summaries and Budgets

Other websites have calculated the costs as shown in the table below. We are unsure whether their data includes entry/exit cost. However, it is good to compare our actual versus their data.

NameDaily Amount Per PersonTravel Style
Budget Your TripEUR75.00Mid-range
Never Ending FootstepsEUR84.34Mid-range
Our Escape ClauseEUR48.04Mid-range
Lonely PlanetEUR80-120Mid-range

Have you seen our other articles about Slovenia?

Discovering the local cuisine is part of the fun of travelling. It also makes for a more immersive and authentic experience if you eat in a local restaurant, chat with the wait staff/chef and learn more about the food on your table. So, while in Slovenia, make sure you taste a few traditional dishes. In our food guide for (Western) Slovenia, we talk about dishes to look out for on the menu (and where to have them).

And if you're about to plan your trip and wonder how much to budget check out how affordable it is to visit Slovenia.

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Lonely Planet Slovenia (Country Guide)
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Moon Croatia & Slovenia (Travel Guide)
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Have you travelled around Slovenia? Where did you go and how much did it cost? Please leave a comment below or send us an email.

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How much does it cost to explore Slovenia?
How much does it cost to explore Slovenia?
How much does it cost to explore Slovenia?

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