This is an annual report produced in
conjunction with the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana.
OSAC encourages travelers to use this report to gain baseline knowledge of security
conditions in Slovenia. For more in-depth information, review OSAC’s country-specific page for
original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of
which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC
The current U.S. Department of
State Travel Advisory at the date of this report’s
publication assesses Slovenia at Level 1,
indicating travelers should exercise normal precautions. Review OSAC’s report, Understanding the Consular Travel Advisory System.
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
The U.S. Department of State has assessed Ljubljana
as being a LOW-threat location for
crime directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. While many travelers do not
encounter crime, areas tourists frequent can experience petty crime. Most
crimes are non-violent. Taking into account that crimes of opportunity can take
place anywhere, travel throughout Slovenia is safe, and there are no areas considered
best to avoid.
Criminals generally do not single
out U.S. or foreign visitors based on nationality, but rather because they look
and act like tourists. Most of the crimes committed against U.S. visitors fall
into the category of petty theft (e.g. pickpocketing, purse snatching) or unoccupied
residential/vehicle break-ins. These crimes are rare in comparison to rates in
the U.S. or neighboring European countries. In Ljubljana, bicycle theft is
disproportionately high compared to other similarly situated cities. Crimes in
Slovenia typically occur in crowded areas, train stations, restaurants, open
markets, and public transportation venues. Recent events involving U.S. Embassy
personnel included thefts of bicycles, cellular phone theft, and one case of a
robbery involving a weapon in which no one was injured. Review OSAC’s report, All That You Should Leave Behind.
Most car break-ins are committed
to obtain valuables left in plain view or the trunk. Slovenia reported 432 vehicle
thefts in 2019, a slight decrease compared to 2018.
burglaries primarily occur when security vulnerabilities exist, and/or
residents do not implement sound residential security practices. Reports
indicate thefts usually occur when occupants are away for an extended period; burglars
usually gain access through doors or other entry points left unlocked. Review OSAC’s reports, Hotels: The Inns and Outs and Considerations for Hotel Security.
Transnational organized crime networks
use Slovenia as a route to traffic narcotics and people, with human smuggling
networks also operating in-country. Auto theft, fraud, tax evasion, and counterfeit
goods are additional organized crime concerns. The violent crime that does
occur in Slovenia generally involves organized crime. Online gambling leads to
crimes, including loan sharking, threats, and/or blackmail. These incidents
have also been reported at gambling/betting establishments, in private
vehicles, and at private businesses in the late evening or early morning hours.
Organized criminals typically design these crimes to send a message, rather
than cause injury/fatality, to the intended recipient.
establishments advertising themselves as cabarets, nightclubs, strip clubs, or
gentlemen’s clubs can create vulnerabilities. In Slovenia, it is not uncommon
for “cabaret girls” (also referred to as “artistes”) to be associated with, or be
victims of, the commercial sex industry and organized crime groups. Visitors to
cabarets, or those who engage with “artistes” may find themselves significantly
overcharged for drinks, particularly when paying by credit card, and threatened
with physical violence when they refuse to pay.
U.S. citizens have reported sexual assaults in at least one
nightclub in recent years. Use caution when accepting open drinks at bars or
clubs, and don’t leave your drinks unattended. Review
OSAC’s report, Shaken: The Don’ts of
Review OSAC’s reports, The Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud and Taking Credit.
Any company operating in Slovenia
should prioritize cybersecurity and only use legitimate software. Embassy
personnel and local businesses have been targets of a range of cybersecurity
scams, and the newly-established OSAC Ljubljana Country Council has identified
cybersecurity issues as the top priority for future engagement.
Review OSAC’s reports, Cybersecurity Basics, Best Practices for Maximizing Security on Public Wi-Fi, Traveling with Mobile Devices: Trends & Best Practices, and Satellite Phones: Critical or Contraband?
Road Safety and
Slovenia has a well-developed
road network that is safe for travel. Highways connect to neighboring
cities/countries and have clear markings. Road signs and traffic rules are
consistent with those throughout Europe. As the number of cars continues to
rise, roads are becoming more heavily congested during the weekends and during
rush hours. Parking is difficult and can be expensive in the city center.
Third-party liability insurance
is mandatory for all vehicles; purchase coverage locally. Travelers driving
rented automobiles from Croatia into Slovenia are generally able to purchase
Slovenian insurance at the border. At the smaller border crossings or during
peak travel times, however, it can take several hours to arrange such coverage.
Be alert to aggressive drivers in
cities and on highways. Many serious accidents occur because of high-speed
driving. Emergency roadside assistance and towing services are available by
By law, the maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 (0% for
novice drivers with less than two years of experience, any driver under 21
years, and drivers of trucks and buses).
Between November 15 and March 15,
the law mandates the use of winter tires. All-season tires are allowable if
they carry the MS mark and have at least 4 mm of tread. In addition, local
police may require chains in heavy snow. Failure to possess the proper
tires/chains may result in a substantial fine and the suspension of the cited
vehicle's use. Insurance may be invalid if a vehicle involved in an accident
between November 15 and March 15 is not fitted with winter tires.
Highway vignettes (purchased in
the form of windshield stickers) are obligatory for all passenger vehicles
using expressways. One of the most common problems U.S. citizens visiting
Slovenia face is a highway police stop for driving without a vignette. Police
may fine drivers several hundred euros for driving without a vignette. If police
stop and fine a driver for driving without a vignette, the driver must immediately
purchase one. Simply buying a vignette and placing it on the dashboard is not
sufficient – you must affix the vignette to the windshield of the vehicle permanently.
You can purchase vignettes at gas stations, newsstands, automobile clubs, post
offices, and some toll stations, as well as at some gas stations in neighboring
Using hand-held phones while
driving is illegal, as is turning right on red. Some intersections have both a
traffic light and a stop sign; the stop sign only applies when the traffic
light is not working.Headlight
(day and night), seatbelt, and helmet (on motorcycles) use is mandatory. In
addition, in your car you must carry a first-aid kit, spare headlight bulbs, a
warning triangle, a reflective vest/jacket, and a blank European accident form to complete in the event of
Bicycling is popular, and cities
have well-developed bicycling networks with marked bicycle lanes along most
roads. Drivers must yield to bicyclists. Slovenia has more rules governing
cyclists than the U.S.; police may ticket cyclists who do not follow them.
There are special rules regarding children and bicycles. Visit Slovenia’s Bicycle Safety page for a
list of rules and advice for cyclists. Secure your bicycle before leaving it in
a bicycle rack or bike park.
U.S. citizens must be in
possession of both a valid U.S. driver’s license and an International Driving
Permit to drive legally. This is valid for a maximum of one year, after which
time drivers must obtain a Slovenian driver’s license. Current information
about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Automobile
Association of Slovenia by calling (01) 530-5300 and from the Traffic
Information Center for Public Roads.
Review OSAC’s reports, Road Safety Abroad, Driving Overseas: Best Practices, and
Evasive Driving Techniques; and
read the State Department’s webpage on driving and road safety abroad.
Public Transportation Conditions
Trains and buses are available
between cities, and buses provide reliable service within cities such as
Ljubljana. While Ljubljana's taxis are generally safe, clean, and reliable, some
taxi drivers at the airport, hotels, and main railway stations have overcharged
tourists. When using a taxi, first ask for an estimate of the total cost and then
check to see that the meter is running during the journey.
Review OSAC’s report, Security In Transit: Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights.
As there is no direct commercial
air service to the U.S. by carriers registered in Slovenia, the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government’s Civil Aviation
Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
aviation safety standards. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU) is located in
Brnik, just northwest of the capital. LJU is a regional airport, from which
travelers must usually transfer once before reaching distant destinations. LJU
had been the hub for Adria Airways, which ceased operations in late 2019.
The U.S. Department of State has assessed Ljubljana
as being a LOW-threat location for
terrorism directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Available information and
historical incident reporting suggests there is low risk of terrorism in Slovenia
and with little international/transnational terrorist activity observed.
Slovenia’s borders with its Western European/EU neighbors are open, allowing
for the possibility of anonymous entry/exit. Though they have not specifically
targeted Slovenian or U.S. interests in Slovenia, terrorist organizations
remain active in the region.
Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
The U.S. Department of State has assessed Ljubljana
as being a LOW-threat location for
political violence directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests.
a parliamentary democracy and constitutional republic with a multi-party,
democratic political system, characterized by regular elections, a free press,
and a strong human rights record. As a member of the Schengen area, Slovenia
exerts control over its borders and visa issuance procedures.
There is low risk of major civil
unrest in Slovenia. In recent years, Slovenia experienced large-scale protests
(up to several thousand) against the Slovenian government with frequency in
central Ljubljana and around the country, as well as minor protests against
government policies regarding wages, refugees, and other issues. Protests and
demonstrations are generally peaceful, with few instances of violence in recent
years. Protests in Ljubljana are usually held in areas around Kongresni Trg
(Congress Square), opposite the Slovenian Parliament, and sometimes near the
U.S. Embassy. In April 2018, a small group of protesters staged a peaceful
demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in response to U.S. foreign policy regarding
Syria. Review OSAC’s report, Surviving a Protest.
Slovenia has a relatively homogeneous
population, and there have been few reports of religious or ethnic violence.
Earthquakes constitute the largest
environmental threat in Slovenia, followed by other natural disasters,
including localized flooding and landslides. The northwest of the country is its
most seismically active area, but Ljubljana has also experienced tremors. Find
best practices in case of an earthquake here.
Slovenia has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure,
with a population increasingly demanding online opportunities in government, commerce,
and health. The government has dedicated funds to improve broadband in more
municipalities. Slovenia has a high mobile penetration rate.
Economic Concerns/Intellectual Property Theft
The environment for economic espionage is no different than it is
in other EU countries. Private-sector organizations should take care to ensure
the confidentiality and integrity of their data by following normal best
business practices, including use of authorized software. The intellectual
property rights (IPR) situation is in line with EU norms, and authorities
generally enforce IPR laws.
The professional business and banking community processes
information according to appropriate security procedures, guidelines, and local
and EU laws. The Embassy is not aware of any particular privacy concerns
arising from widespread misuse of such information. Cyber security should be a
priority for any company operating in Slovenia. The importance of using only
legitimate software cannot be overstressed.
Personal Identity Concerns
While most travelers typically do not encounter problems, issues have
occurred over the last few years of individuals facing discrimination. There are
no widespread trends regarding the safety and security of minority groups, but cases
of racial discrimination and discrimination against LGBTI+ individuals can
law prohibits sexual harassment, psychological violence, mistreatment, or
unequal treatment in the workplace that causes “another employee’s humiliation
or fear.” However, authorities did not prosecute any sexual harassment cases in
2019. Upon receiving reports of spousal abuse or violence, police mostly
intervene and prosecute offenders, but local NGOs report victims of sexual
violence often do not report crimes to police. Local NGOs assess that police
and courts do not effectively intervene in or prosecute cases of alleged
domestic abuse. Review the State Department’s webpage on security for female
Local NGOs assess that violence against LGBTI+ persons was not
uncommon. However, over the past year, LGBTI+-attended venues have been targets
for vandalism and members of the LGBTI+ community have been victims of physical
attack. The LGBTI+ community is protected by anti-discrimination laws, and
there are no legal/governmental impediments to the organization of LGBTI+
events. Review the State Department’s webpage on
security for LGBTI+
were no reports of anti-Semitic violence or overt religious discrimination in
2019. The government promotes anti-bias and tolerance education in primary and
secondary schools, with the Holocaust a mandatory topic in the history
curriculum. There are concerns about what some say are rising levels of
anti-Islamic sentiment in the country. Muslim groups reported anti-Muslim sentiment
in news media and online. Review OSAC’s report, Freedom to Practice, and
the State Department’s webpage on security for faith-based
Slovenian law, persons with disabilities should have access to buildings,
information, and communications. In practice, however, modification of public
and private structures to improve access is a work in progress, and many
buildings are not easily accessible. Most tourist destinations around Slovenia
are accessible by those with disabilities. Review the State Department’s
webpage on security for travelers
against socially marginalized Roma persists in some parts of the country.
Slovenia is not a major illicit drug-producing
country, but it is a transit country for the movement of illicit narcotics and
precursor chemicals to other European markets. Heroin transits Slovenia via the
"Balkan Route" and the port of Koper to Western Europe. Drug-related
violence is rare.
Kidnappings are extremely rare in
Slovenia, and those that have been reported have not involved U.S. citizens or the
broader international business community. Review
OSAC’s report, Kidnapping: The Basics.
Non-EU citizens staying longer
than three days must register with the Slovenian police within 72 hours of
arrival. Hotels and apartments or houses rented through a company will complete
this registration. In all other cases, the traveler must self-register at a local
police station. Failure to register can result in significant fines.
The police emergency line in Slovenia is 113. Police response and services are
good. English is the most widely spoken foreign language among the police. For
local first responders, refer to the Embassy’s Emergency
The national police maintain
internal security. The army is responsible for external security but also has
some domestic security responsibilities. Police report to the Interior Ministry
and the army reports to the Defense Ministry.
The U.S. Embassy Regional
Security Office (RSO) recommends filing a local police report in the
jurisdiction where a crime occurred. Filing a police report is not obligatory, but
doing so may assist the local police in catching the criminal(s). In the city center, report crime in person at the Ljubljana Police
Station Center, Trdinova Street 10, tel: (386)-(0)1-475-0600. Download the State Department’s Crime Victims
The medical emergency line in Slovenia is 112. Good-quality emergency medical
care is readily available. Ambulance services are widely available. When
contacting an ambulance, if you do not speak Slovenian, you may need to find a
Slovenian speaker who can explain your location. Many medical providers in
Slovenia speak excellent English, but that may not be the case for all medical
staff. For medical assistance, refer to the Embassy’s Medical Assistance page.
Make sure your health insurance
plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash
payments. Although most government-run
institutions in Slovenia provide care at little or no cost to Slovenian
nationals, foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, must pay the full cost
directly. You may later seek reimbursement from your health insurance provider.
Private clinics will require payment up front. The U.S. Department of State
strongly recommends purchasing international health insurance before traveling
internationally. Review the State Department’s webpage on insurance overseas.
Ljubljana has air pollution
levels similar to those in major U.S. cities. Visit the European
Environment Agency website for information on air quality in Slovenia.
The tap water in Ljubljana and
other cities in Slovenia is suitable for drinking. Precautions for safe food
storage and preparation are the same as would be practiced in the U.S. Detailed
laboratory reports about the water quality
are available in Slovenian. Slovenia does not put fluoride in the tap water, so
long term residents might want to consider fluoride supplements for their
children. Review OSAC’s report, I’m Drinking What in My Water?
Outdoor adventure sports are
increasingly popular with tourists in Slovenia. Such activities involve
inherent risk, and travelers should be mindful of their own personal
limitations, as well as accessibility and connectivity issues that might hinder
emergency response. Many of the mountain rescues in Slovenia involve foreign
nationals who were ill-prepared: hiking or climbing without proper footwear and
protective equipment, unprepared for altitude sickness, drinking insufficient quantities
of water, leaving marked trails, and even handling poisonous snakes. If you are
hiking/climbing, you should let family/friends know where you will be in
advance, and register at mountain huts.
Slovenia has a high incidence of
Lyme disease and encephalitis, both transmitted by ticks. For stays longer than
three months, consider getting a vaccine to prevent tick-borne encephalitis.
This vaccine is not available in the United States, but is available in
Slovenia. Use insect repellent and inspect your body after being outdoors. The
CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Slovenia.
Review OSAC’s reports, The Healthy Way, Traveling with Medication,Health
101: How to Prepare for Travel, and Fire Safety Abroad.
There is an active OSAC Country
Council in Ljubljana. Interested private-sector security managers should
contact OSAC’s Europe Team with any questions or to join.
U.S. Embassy Contact
Prešernova Cesta 31, Ljubljana
The Consular Section is open daily to the public from 0900-1130
Embassy Operator: +386 (1)-200-5500.
Marine Post One: +386 (1)-200-5556
Before you travel, consider the following