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Moving to Slovenia for 6 months - any advice welcome please!

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TheGoktor
7/27/2014 15:08 EST

Hey everyone!

Although my partner and I are UK passport holders, we haven't lived in the UK for a number of years, preferring instead to live up to six months at a time in different places across the world. This time, we're thinking of Slovenia, probably Ljubljana, although we're open to other suggestions of course!

We'll be visiting Ljubljana between 2-7 August to do a recce but I thought I'd see if I could grab some hints, tips, and pointers from people here too.

We both work for ourselves, and do not have any children, and are very quiet people, so we don't need to worry about getting jobs, finding schools, or going clubbing! However, we do need to have decent WiFi in order to be able to work, so what is the infrastructure like there?

Also, can anyone recommend estate agents, or places to find apartments to rent, please?

What about food? I've heard there are some great fresh produce markets - are these easy to get to via bicycle or public transport?

How much could we expect to pay for utilities per month, or do the costs for these generally come in with rent?

Which areas are the quietest? We don't want to be somewhere where there's a lot of noise from pubs and clubs, and noisy neighbours!

How cold does it get in winter (and when does winter generally start)? We've been living in India, Morocco, and Thailand for the past 2.5 years, so have kind of forgotten what winter is like!

Anything else you think we might need to know?

Thanks in advance!

malivv
8/14/2014 11:39 EST

I'm glad to have been useful! :)

That sounds like an optimal location! I find the central parts of Ljubljana can get quite loud on certain days and events.

Definitely bring boots or some kind of waterproof shoes. Also a windbreaker and maybe hats, gloves and scarves, depending on how well you deal with the cold. I don't need those, but doesn't hurt to be careful! The weather has been unpredictable all over the world lately.

Yes, the vignette is a road toll in the form of a sticker you must glue to the inside of your front window. You only need it if you drive on the main highways, and can avoid it if you take the older, longer, a little less maintained etc. roads. I don't have experience with car rental in Slovenia, but I would assume that, since you are supposed to permanently glue the vignette onto your window, the car rental service would take care of that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vignette_(road_tax) explains the system in more detail.

Yes, I live in Ljubljana! It is quite a beautiful city and I hope your experience will be the same! :)

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TheGoktor
8/14/2014 09:51 EST

Wow, thank you - loads of great information there!

We've found a place about 30 mins bus ride from the centre, which looks like it could be really lovely, so we've booked it for a month, starting from the beginning of September, to see what it's like, and we have the option of renting it for longer if we're happy with it. From what we've seen so far of Ljubljana, I think (hope!) it's going to be great!

I really appreciate your comments about the weather; it's not that I am particularly bothered about it being overly cold, more that I need to know what to pack, and whether to bring boots or not! :-)

Regarding the vignette, it's something I've never heard of, so thank you for letting me know. Am I right in assuming that they are pre-paid toll fees? We won't be driving much but occasionally we'll hire a car for odd days out here and there.

Are you living in Ljubljana? Be nice to keep in touch!

malivv
8/14/2014 08:33 EST

Hello!

Yours sounds like a very adventurous way of living, I'm jealous!

Sadly I'm too late to answer you before your trip, but hopefully I can still provide useful information:

Internet is good here, there are a few options to choose from. Most providers offer a WiFi router along with a modem, and internet frequently comes with a package along with television channels or telephone. The lowest connection speed is around 10/1Mbps. Some areas also have the option of optics and much higher speeds. If this is what you want, you can inquire about ISPs in the area you intend on moving to.

There are a few agencies focusing on foreigners looking to buy in Slovenia. Slovenia Estates (sloveniaestates.com) for example I have experience with, owned by an Englishman. They also have some useful information about Slovenia on their website, so you can check that out if nothing else. I'm sure all local agencies will be prepared to help you.

There is a city bus that is well connected. You can get the bus card "Urbana" which is top-up, or a monthly card. Most people prefer the top-up. There's also a very cheap service of bicycles you can borrow for up to an hour at a time without additional cost. The price is I think 3 euros yearly, with a little more if you go over the 1 hour limit, and that's reaaaally cheap since I don't own a bike myself.

The markets themselves are also close to bus stations. You could also probably walk the entire of Ljubljana on foot in about one hour, and if you live relatively close just walking to the market is not a problem, 20 minutes at most. Ljubljana is not very big.

Rent greatly depends on the area where you live. The centre of the city usually has higher rent. Utilities depend on you too. For me for example, just one person, 20 minutes out of the centre by foot, utilities come around 200-250 euros monthly, depending on electricity, heating and water use. Whether the cost is included in rent or not depends on the landlor, but generally in apartment buildings they are separate. I'm sure an estate agency will be able to help you much more than I can.

You might want to avoid neighbourhoods near the main roads or train tracks. Most of the pubs and nightclubs are located in the city centre. Another thing to be wary of is neighbourhoods where a lot of students live, since Ljubljana is where most of Slovenia's youth comes to study. Again, estate agents will be able to tell you about that more than me.

Winter's okay, not too cold. I think it rarely goes under -5 and almost never under -10 degrees celsius in Ljubljana. Be prepared for snow and icy roads however. The temperatures start noticeably dropping from mid-October to November, and December is snowy already. If you want a quick break from that, the Slovenian coast (about one hour away by car) has around 5 degrees celsius in winter,

You might want to learn some basics of the language! The locals generally speak English well, and most speak some other language too, like German. They will however appreciate your effort in learning the language greatly.

You'll need a vignette if you want to travel the main country roads by car. It costs around 30 euros for 1 month, 100 euros for a year.

If you don't own a car but want to travel to other cities I suggest www.prevoz.org - it connects you to people who are driving places and want to share the cost of petrol by carpooling. It's in Slovenian but easy to navigate.

There are also intercity trains and busses, thought the trains will take considerably longer than it would take by car.

I have spent a lot of time here, and have family, so there may be other cultural differences or things to know that I've missed. I suggest looking through the www.slovenia.info website for a more "professional" report of the country.

Hope you have a great experience spending your 6 months in Ljubljana!

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Living in Slovenia GuideLiving in Slovenia Guide

Guide to Living in Slovenia covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

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Meet other expats and talk about living in Slovenia.

Real Estate in SloveniaReal Estate in Slovenia

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Slovenia.

Contribute to Slovenia Network Contribute
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