Beautifully crafted craftsmanship can be found everywhere in Slovenia. Popular souvenirs are bobbin lace (the delicately crafted laces from Idrija are particularly fine), crystal glass from Rogaška, wood carvings, pottery and Slovenian wines and schnapps. A special souvenir are Panjska Koncnic – small pictures that are painted on the headboard of a beehive; mostly religious, fairytale or folkloric scenes are depicted. In the coastal region, sea salt is processed into all kinds of cosmetic products in addition to table salt.
In the suburbs of the big cities you can find large supermarkets, the most famous chains include Mercator, Tuš and Interspar. The BTC in Ljubljana is the largest shopping center in Slovenia (Internet: www.btc-city.com). In addition to numerous chain stores, some of which are internationally known, there are restaurants, a cinema and a bowling center.
In all of the larger towns there are regular farmers’ markets offering fresh fruit and vegetables as well as other specialties from the respective region. The Maribor market, where live animals are sometimes sold, is a special experience. The freshest fish in the whole country can be found in Koper’s fish hall. Once a month there is a pottery market in Ljubljana on the banks of the Ljubljanica.
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Some shopping centers are also open on Sunday mornings and on public holidays. Since the shop opening times are not regulated by law, there are also some grocery stores in the cities that are open around the clock.
According to areacodesexplorer, the country’s larger cities have a good selection of theaters, cinemas and nightclubs, which are particularly popular on the weekends. In some nightclubs and discos there is an entrance fee, which often includes a drink. There are also smaller amateur theaters and choirs in many cities.
Ljubljana is considered the country’s cultural capital. The city’s large student population creates a cosmopolitan flair in the pubs and nightclubs. A special place is the Metelkova (Internet: www.metelkovamesto.org); the autonomous center, which enjoys an international reputation as a forum for street art and youth culture, is located on the former barracks of the Yugoslav People’s Army. The originally occupied buildings are now home to numerous pubs and night clubs, which often host concerts and other events. There is also a varied cultural entertainment program in Ljubljana. In the local opera house you can also see ballet performances, and concerts by the symphony orchestra take place regularly in the great hall of the culture and congress center.
Maribor is the second largest university city in Slovenia after Ljubljana and as such also has a lively nightlife to offer. Along the coast, the resort of Portoroz is particularly popular with night owls; the Istrian carnival is celebrated here every year.
After drinking alcohol, it is advisable to leave the car behind and to go home on foot or by taxi. The fines for drunk driving are very high, and the police are tightening controls in the vicinity of nightclubs and pub areas.
- Struklji(buckwheat strudel filled with meat, vegetables or a sweet filling)
- Jota(sauerkraut and bean stew with mashed potatoes)
- Corba od pecurki sa krompirom(mushroom soup with potatoes and tomatoes)
- Potica(cake with many different fillings, especially nuts, honey, cream, raisins and cinnamon)
- Gibanica(very rich puff pastry, which is often prepared for festive occasions)
A 10% tip is customary in restaurants.
In the country’s three wine-growing regions, Primorje, Posavje and Podravje, some excellent wines are grown. Riesling and rosé wines are recommended. The brands Teran (Karst region) and Cvitschek (Dolenjska), which are only produced in Slovenia, are known. Good fruit brandy is also brewed, known is the roasted plum slivovitz.
Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages
In Slovenia you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.
There are campsites across the country. Most are on the small side, but well equipped with sports facilities and children’s playgrounds.
Other accommodation options
The youth hostel in Ljubljana is open from the end of June to the end of August, address: Vidovdanska 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana. Tel: (01) 234 88 40. Fax: (01) 234 88 55. There is another youth hostel in Maribor. Information is available from Pocitniska Zveza Slovenije (Slovenian Youth Hostel Association), Gosposvetska 84, SI-2000 Maribor. Tel: (02) 234 21 37.
Over 230 farms offer this natural form of vacation. For more information, contact the Association of Tourist Farms of Slovenia, Trnoveljska 1, SI-1000 Celje. Tel: 63 415 212.