Traveling in 2020 is not for the fainthearted and especially challenging for those with limited vacation time. Every day seems to bring something new and a change in policies. The point in creating this guide was to share the latest information all in one place so that you can make an informed decision about whether you will travel to Slovenia in 2020.
Please note, that I am not an official source but I do my best to stay up to date with the latest changes – check the following sites before you book, and before you depart. They are updated regularly and are available in English.
Slovenian National Institute for Public Health (The list of countries for crossing the national borders without restrictions)
Republic of Slovenia Offical Website (Current COVID-19 numbers in Slovenia)
Slovenian Police Department (Border crossing procedures and information)
A special email has been set up with the Slovenian police specifically for addressing concerns about traveling to Slovenia. You can email info.koronavirus [at] policija.si which is checked every day.
Re-open EU (EU site with the latest info about border crossings)
Traveling to Slovenia During COVID-19[UPDATED September 18th, 2020]
UPDATE: COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Slovenia. There is a new mask mandate stating masks should be worn in crowded places outside (markets, Ljubljana center) and bars and restaurants have restricted hours from 6am to 10pm.
There have not been any updates to the list of countries that can travel to Slovenia – although the UK has placed Slovenia on red as of September 17th. The EU is planning to vote on new measures concerning border crossings in the coming week.
Slovenia was the first European Union country to declare the end of COVID-19. There have been 4058 cases and 135 deaths. Daily cases have been rising a bit and there are new travel restrictions daily.
There is now a color system in place and each country is labeled either Green, Yellow, or Red. Those who are deemed safe are green and do not require quarantine to enter Slovenia. If you are coming from a yellow country then you will need some additional paperwork and a require a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Red listed countries are not allowed to enter Slovenia.
Check here to see which list your country is on.
If you have citizenship or residency in the 19 countries (listed below) you will be allowed to enter Slovenia without a 14-day quarantine. These countries were decided based on having a similar epidemiological status for COVID-19.
Please check your local policies and the most up to date for Slovenia. Countries that were previously on the list, have been taken off with little notice. You do not want to get caught quarantined for 14 days during your vacation.
If you are a Slovenian citizen or you hold temporary or permanent residency, then you may enter Slovenia without restrictions.
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Protecting yourself and others while traveling
If you do choose to travel during this time then do be mindful that you will be interacting with the local population and to be respectful of the guidelines. Keep 1.5 meters distance between people, and wear a mask while inside any public transport, when you enter restaurants, and other inside spaces.
The mask policy has been changing week by week. Exercise caution and always have a mask ready as it is mandatory to wear them inside stores, restaurants, and hotels.
Disinfectant is at every single door before you enter a restaurant, store, hotel, etc, and also found in many bathrooms. Don’t be shy, use it.
Some locations may be more strict than others, but it is good practice to follow the guidelines always so that you do not forget.
The National Institute of Public Health is advising that when at pools, beaches, lakes, or other bodies of water to keep 1.5 meters of distance onshore and 2 meters in water. They also ask that only members of the same household can sunbathe or swim in groups.
On Fridays in Ljubljana, there have been protests which can draw crowds in the thousands. They move around the center typically from Prešeren Square to Trg Republika in front of the Parliament.
Summer in Slovenia
Below I will be adding interesting events or opportunities for tourists throughout the summer. Using Ljubljana tourism events page is a great way to see what events are taking place including temporary exhibitions at museums.
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If you would like to see your event here, reach out at admin [at] wanderinghelene.com
Open Kitchen (Odprta Kuhna)
Ljubljana | Every Thursday and Friday
Every Thursday and Friday throughout the summer in the beautiful Pogačarjev Square you will find rows of stands each one with delicious offerings. You can explore Slovenian cuisine, Turkish, Iranian, Chinese, vegetarian, and more at this highly popular event.
Check the official Site for updated times and vendors.
Ljubljana | July 2nd – August 30th
A large cultural festival that takes place across the city every summer. Events include music, opera, classical, ballet, musicals, theater, visual arts, and more.
Check the Facebook event page for event times *do note that some events have been canceled and others may have restrictions on attendance.
Gin and Brin Festival
Dutovlje | July 3rd-5th
A summer festival dedicated to gin! Try local producers’ products, see presentations, and eat traditional Slovene dishes made street food style.
Caravan of Local Craft Breweries
Kranj | July 11th
Check the official event page.
Film Under the Stars (Film pod zvezdami)
Ljubljana | July 16th to August 8th every day at 21:30
A 24-day event takes place at the Ljubljana Castle. Watch movies under the stars with Ljubljana beneath you. Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles. English spoken films will have Slovenian subtitles.
Check Facebook event page for the schedule.
Street Food Market Maribor
Maribor | July 27th – 29th
A festival of food trucks and food stands in the center of Maribor.
Check their Facebook event page for more info.
Snežnik Castle (Stari trg pri Ložu) | July 31st – August 2nd
A several day event that centers around Snežnik Castle with music performances, visual art installations, food and drink stalls, seminars, workshops, puppet shows, and much more. The festival proclaims it is an ethno/folk/fusion experience in nature.
Check the official site for updated information.
Idrija Žlikrofi Festival (Praznik idrijskih žlikrofov)
Idrija | August 22nd
Žlikrofi originates in Idrija and Idrija žlikrof was the first Slovenian dish to be awarded protected geographical status in 2010. Every year the town of Idrija has a festival to celebrate their beloved dish.
Check the official site for the latest information.
Hotiza Fishing Days
Hotiza | August 22nd
Life along the Mura River means fish is a pretty important staple in your diet. Here you can have fish prepared in the traditional way done in the village of Hotiza for more than a century.
Check the official event page for more information.
Lendava | August 29th
Bograč is a type of goulash from the Prekmurje region. It is prepared with three types of meat in equal parts of onion among other ingredients. Each year in Lendava they have a cooking competition lining the street with large cauldrons slowly preparing this delicious treat.
Check the official event page for more information.
Lendava Grape Harvest
Lendava | September 5th
Check the official event page for more information.
The Old Vine Festival
Maribor | Sept 17th – 20th
A wine festival to kick off the wine season in Slovenia. Explore and taste various Styrian and Slovenian winemakers’ products at this multi-day festival in the place where the oldest grapevine in the world still lives today.
Summer in Slovenia Recommendations
Here are trips around Slovenia that I think are worth doing during the summer months.
Seaside and Swimming Experiences
There are no shortages of water in Slovenia with over 300 lakes, more than 50 rivers, a coastline to the Adriatic Sea, and mineral waters with healing properties throughout the country. Here are some of my personal suggestions:
Trip to Koper and Piran
Piran is my favorite seaside town in Slovenia with the colorful Tartini Square, breathtaking views, and fresh seafood this Venetian influenced town gives you a taste of the Adriatic. Koper is often overlooked next to Piran, but I adore the Medieval center and Tito Square. It is also a great place to get some fried calamari from the market! Both are relatively small places and can be visited in one day.
Visit the Velenje Castle and Beach
Velenje is underappreciated by tourists but known and enjoyed by locals. The Velenje Castle is a treat for castle lovers and history buffs with incredible collections you will not see anywhere else. Saying beach is misleading, but this is what it is called in Slovene. Velenje Lake offers swimming, food stands, diving board, restroom facilities, and more for a fresh swimming adventure.
Take a Dip in Lake Bled
Sure Lake Bled is famous for its Lake, Bled Island, Bled Castle, and especially kremšnita but did you know that you can swim in the lake? There is a designated area called Grajsko kopališče (Castle Bathing Area).
Cool off in Alpine Lakes
Head up into the Alps to visit Lake Bohinj, Lake Jasna, or Zelenci Nature Reserve for crystal clear waters and dramatic backdrops.
Adventure Sports at Soča River
One of the crowned jewels of Slovenia is the Soča River. With striking blue-green color and 138 kilometers long, the Soča River is a must-see. For the active and adventurous you can go rafting, kayaking, SUP, fishing, canyoning, and more.
Hiking and Nature Experiences
Visit Triglav National Park
Triglav National Park is the only national park of Slovenia and without a doubt worth a visit. Here you will find hiking trails and water sports during the summer. Some highlights are Kranjska Gora, Bohinj, and the Triglav Lakes.
Food and Wine Experiences
Cuisine and wine shift colors, taste, and smell as you travel throughout the country. Neighboring countries, climate, and most certainly the landscape have influenced Slovenian dishes immensely.
- Goriška Brda: The Wine Capital of Slovenia
- A Food and Heritage Walk in Idrija
- Explore Kras: Kraški Pršut at Pršutarna
- Eat Like Royalty in These Slovenian Castles
City Breaks and Castles
If city breaks are more your style and you fill your days with wandering streets, window shopping, stopping in cafes, browsing museums, and more then these itineraries are for you.
- How to Spend One Day in Ljubljana
- The Ultimate Guide to Slovenian Castles
- Visiting Škofja Loka Castle in Slovenia
- A Weekend of Slovenian Castles
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