Getting Around Slovenia

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Getting Around Slovenia

Slovenia is a relatively small country and getting around is generally quick and painless. However, the explosive growth in car ownership has meant tougher times for public transport, and bus schedules in particular have been slashed, so some planning ahead is required. Services are sparse on Saturdays and very limited indeed on Sundays.

By Train

Slovenia's train network, operated by Slovenske železnice (SŽ) will get you to most destinations in the country, although there are some annoying gaps in the network and routes can be circuitous, so going from anywhere to anywhere usually requires a change at Ljubljana. Trains are, however, some 30% cheaper than buses and return discounts are available on weekends. Buy tickets before you board, as there's a surcharge for any tickets bought from the conductor - except if tickets are not sold at the station. A €1.20 surcharge also applies to any InterCity trains.

Quite a bit of money and effort has been put into modernizing the system and the newest trains are as nice as anything you'll find in Western Europe, and although rural stations are often quite basic, most stations are extremely well kept with flowers decorating the platforms throughout summer months. In particular, the name of the station is typically only visible on a single sign on the station building itself, so figuring out where you are means craning your neck a lot. Newer trains do have an voice announcement system that tells you to which station you are approaching. Trains are punctual (except some international ones), so check the expected arrival time and some previous station names to be sure where to get off. For figuring out your next train from a station; electronic signboards are a rarity (outside Ljubljana), but printed schedules are always available: odhod (yellow) means departures, while prihod (white) is arrivals, although this is usually indicated in both English and Slovene.

Timetable decoder

D — Mon-Fri
D+ — Mon-Sat
N — Sundays
NP — Sundays and holidays
PP — Mon-Fri
SN — Sat-Sun
Šr — School days
V — Daily

By bus

Buses fill in the gaps, and are usually a better option for some towns not directly served from Ljubljana by train (eg. Bled, Piran). Some bigger stations have handy electronic search engines for schedules and fares.

By Car

Slovenia's roads are for the most part well maintained and well signposted, and you won't have a problem if you drive or hire a car. Having a car certainly does add a level of mobility and self direction that you won't get by train or bus.

There are a number of car rental and taxi businesses in Ljubljana. The big international companies are all represented, but if you are on a budget, the local companies have some nice offers if you do not mind using a car which is a few years old.

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