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What you need to know about living in Slovenia
Slovenia is a hidden gem that is very underestimated. This beautiful country of mountainous landscapes and beautiful coastlines has a lot to offer, including high salaries, a prosperous service sector, and many opportunities for expats. With just 2 million inhabitants you can imagine that Slovenia isn’t busy and full of concrete cities, but instead green urban city centres where you can enjoy the benefits of a big city and the cosy feeling of a small town.
Work in Slovenia
A work week in Slovenia consists of 40 hours, divided into 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday and they usually aren’t flexible. The people are hardworking and don’t mind working long hours. The working day usually starts between 7 am and 9 Am depending on the sector you work in. Their work culture is often compared to Germans or Austrians, with a more formal way of being.
The business environment is welcoming towards expats, providing good conditions and opportunities. As an employee, you are entitled to the same conditions of healthcare as nationals, and you have four weeks of vacation annually. Recently the Slovenian government introduced new benefits like study leave for work-related courses or flexible working hours for mothers. The average annual wage is €26 000 which is plenty for living a good life.
Work in Ljubljana
Most expats work and live in the capital city Ljubljana because it is the center of economic development for Slovenia. In your future working place, you will meet both nationals and internationals since the environment is diverse.
Slovaks are trustworthy and straightforward and expect the same from their employees. They also highly appreciate punctuality and consider being late as a sign of disrespect. The dress code tend to be more formal in larger companies compared to smaller ones.
Main industries include machinery, steel, chemicals, ceramic, textiles and automobiles.
Taxes in Slovenia
Income tax rate in Slovenia is based on your income and starts at 16% and ends at 50%. The lowest tax is paid by individuals earning €8.500 and less, and the highest tax applies for earnings from €70.000. Taxation rate rules are the same for residents and non-residents and the application form can be submitted both online or filled out in person and sent by post. There is no fee, however, in case you don’t apply within the limit of time you might be charged a fine.
Popular cities in Slovenia
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Life in Slovenia
Whether you seek a peaceful life surrounded by nature or a vibrant urban lifestyle, Slovenia has it all. From arts and to healthy work-life balance, living in Slovenia promises a fulfilling experience.
Slovenia has a rich culture that has survived until these days thanks to the efforts of their people. The cornerstone of Slovenian culture is their language. They are very proud of their cultural traditions and language and you can see their cultural activity like festivals in the main cities as well as in small towns. Each little town, is submerged into their roots.
Basic facts about Slovenia
Slovenia is inhabited by around 2.1 million people whose national language is Slovenian. The capital city is Ljubljana and their currency is the Euro (€). It is located in the Balkans with stunning mountains and a beautiful, rocky coastline. They have a continental climate with Mediterranean impact in the coastal area. Summers are warm and sunny, while winters tend to be cold. Therefore, it’s a picturesque country to explore all year round.
4 fun facts about Slovenia
- They are bee lovers: around 80.000 people are beekeepers in Slovenia and it’s considered almost like a religion.
- Slovenians definitely are not the “fight me” type, they rank as the 7th country in the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness” survey, out of 163!
- It has the world cheapest ski resort, a stay here may cost you half of the total in other ski resorts.
- A really (really) beautiful lake resides here, the Lake Bled. With a temperature of 26º it’s a daydreaming destination, plus it has a tear-shaped island in the middle with the Church of the Assumption from the 15th century.
Culture in Slovenia
Slovenians have many notable events like the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts (which has gained a reputation as one of the greatest European visual art events) the annual Ljubljana Summer Festival, Festival Lent in Maribor, the Life film festival, the Exodos festival of dance arts in Ljubljana, the Ana Desetnica street theatre gathering, the PEN Writers’ Meeting in Bled, the Vilenica Writers’ Meeting in Sežana, and the Biennial of Industrial Design.
There are many cultural events in Slovenia. You can easily find cultural news about when the next celebration is taking place, and don’t hesitate to join any of their activities by visiting their many centres spread along the country.
Cuisine in Slovenia
Part of the rich culture in Slovenia is their food and wines. Wine has a special place in Slovenian cuisine. It is very unique, and for every 70 people there is a vineyard in Slovenia. Along with wine, honey making is also popular in Slovenia. They respect and adore bees, so a big part of the population are beekeepers: and actually, this profession is born in Slovenia.
Hotpot dishes are the highlights of Slovenian culinary style. Every meal tends to start with this kind of dish. Slovenian food has become a jewel due to different influences and mixed cultures. Therefore, their typical food include anything from light, fluffy pastries and subtly flavoured, fresh pasta dishes, Austrian strudel or dumplings as a result of this mixture.
Between the famous dishes in Slovenia there are:
- Bled Cream Cake: from the Gorenjska region, it’s a cream slice made of dough and packed with a layer of vanilla/custard and a thick layer of cream.
- Prekmurska Gibanica: This is a dough-like pastry stuffed on the inside with various fillings, but most commonly poppy seeds, cottage cheese, apple, or walnut.
- Carniolan Sausage (Krajnska Klobasa): This is a sausage made from pork, bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and is smoked.
Finding accommodation in Slovenia
While looking for a place to stay you might be pleasantly surprised because of the many available choices. Options vary from a bed in a shared room to a fully furnished apartment. The most convenient way to find accommodation is to hire an estate agent since it happens that landlords, especially older ones, might have trouble speaking English. Even though it seems like a perfect way, because the job gets done for you, keep in mind that this service costs around one to three months of rental, which can appear to be a big part of your budget.
To look for accommodation on your own, start from websites e.g. this one, choose the type of accommodation you are interested in and see offers available. Compare a few apartments or rooms and choose one that suits you best. A similar opportunity is Facebook groups about accommodation in Slovenia. You can join them and turn on notifications about new posts.
Don’t look for a place to stay at the last moment. Since you are doing it remotely it may take even more time than if you would actually be there, so start earlier to avoid a lot of stress.
Cost of living in Slovenia
Slovenia is a very affordable place to live for expats. The prices of food are less or like the standards in Europe. For a loaf of bread you will pay around €1.17, for one litre of milk, it’s around €0.84. The prices of transportation are quite similar to European standards . If you would like to take a taxi you have to pay €1.20 for the start and then €1 for every kilometre, one litre of gasoline costs on average €1.25.
See the table below for more everyday expenses of living and working in Slovenia:
Cost in Euro
15 – 30
Public transport (Monthly pass)
Mobile rate (per minute)
Pint of local beer
Fitness club monthly pass
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Slovenia
Slovenia is a beautiful country with majestic landscapes and a diverse nature, holding snowy mountains, cosy small towns, and warm lakes that are perfect for a swim. Most of the expat community stay in Ljubljana because it’s not a big country. In general Slovenians are very friendly and welcoming towards expats to the point they will treat you like a king or queen. And because they are very proud of their culture, they won’t hesitate 1 second to show you all their traditions and customs!
Where to Learn Slovenian
Slovenians are very proud of their language, so it is needless to say that when they hear foreigners trying to speak their language they become even more open than usual. For this reason, when it comes to practice, you will have many opportunities since nationals will gladly help you with your progress – either with small talk while doing grocery shopping or buying a beer in a pub.
There are plenty of free online courses intended for foreigners to learn Slovenian. You can visit websites like slonline.si to start even before departure. Also, learning from somebody who knows Slovenian will let you develop pronunciation in an excellent way. And don’t be afraid to ask your newly made friends to speak Slovenian with you, even if they are foreigners too. Knowledge of the language will help you feel more at home, so don’t hesitate to start.
Still not convinced about Slovenia?
While living and working abroad it is normal to deal with homesickness now and then. But if you choose to live in Slovenia you are guaranteed to be welcomed warmly, both in a professional field and in your private life. This affordable country with good work opportunities for foreigners, and a vivid expat community is a good place to start living and working abroad.
No, you do not need to apply for a work permit before working in Slovenia, if you are an EU citizen. Read more about it here.
Slovenians are very proud of their language, so it is needless to say that when they see foreigners trying to speak their national language they become even more open than usual. For this reason, when it comes to practice, you will have many opportunities since nationals will gladly help you with your progress by small talk while making grocery shopping or buying a beer in a pub.
There are plenty of free online courses intended for foreigners to learn Slovenian, you can visit websites like this slonline.si to start even before departure. You can also see, being already there, if there are any private teachers offering language courses. Learning from somebody who knows Slovenian will let you develop pronunciation in an excellent way. Also don’t be afraid to ask your newly made friends to speak Slovenian with you, even if they are foreigners too! Knowledge of the language will help you to get around better and faster so don’t hesitate to start.
In Slovenia, temperatures can vary depending on the region and season. In the summer, temperatures typically range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, with occasional spikes above 30°C in some areas. Winters can be cold, with temperatures ranging from -2 to 7°C on average. The coastal region enjoys a Mediterranean climate, while the inland areas experience a more continental climate, leading to diverse and enjoyable weather throughout the year.
Getting around Slovenia is relatively easy and convenient. The country has a well-developed transportation network, including buses, trains, and a well-maintained road system. Ljubljana, the capital, offers a comprehensive public transportation system with buses and a funicular. For exploring the beautiful countryside, renting a car is a popular option. Additionally, Slovenia is a great destination for cycling enthusiasts, with numerous cycling paths and bike-friendly cities.
Healthcare in Slovenia is characterized by universal coverage, providing high-quality medical services to all citizens and legal residents. The country has a well-developed healthcare system with public and private facilities, ensuring access to medical care, preventive services, and essential treatments. Slovenia also offers affordable healthcare, and patients benefit from competent healthcare professionals and modern medical technologies.