Located in the Balkans, Slovenia continues to attract expats with its variety of astonishingly beautiful landscapes including majestic mountain ranges perfect for skiing in winter, and a stunning coastline that enjoys plenty of sunshine during summer.
Expats moving to Slovenia will find a country characterised by transition. As a former part of communist Yugoslavia, the country gained independence in 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. Slovenia borders Italy to the west and Austria to the north, in the eastern Alps. For such a small country, it has a wide variety of terrains, a varied history, and a diverse culture with many languages spoken within its borders. The country escaped much of the violence that tore up other Balkan states in their pursuit of independence.
An impressive array of attractions awaits those relocating to Slovenia. An abundance of elaborate churches and hundreds of castles, thousands of miles of hiking trails through the mountains, plentiful forests, vineyards, beaches and ski resorts are on offer. The county’s compact size means that visitors can soak up some sun on the beach in the morning, enjoy a glass of wine at a castle vineyard at lunchtime and go skiing in the afternoon. The country also boasts a number of breathtaking lakes, such as the gorgeous glacial lake of Bled, which contains the famous church-topped islet and a cliffside medieval castle.
At the crossroads of historical European trade routes, Slovenia is considered a high-income country. Many expats moving to Slovenia work in the trade and export industry, notably car production, and two-thirds of the population is employed in services. Opportunities abound for expats, and its surprisingly high ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business survey (in 2020, it ranked 37th out of 190 countries) is a reflection of the country’s move to protect investors.
Although taxes remain relatively high, the capital city, Ljubljana, isn't expensive and was ranked 148th out of 209 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey in 2020. Between 65 and 79 percent of Slovenia’s inhabitants live in urban areas, particularly Ljubljana. Still, with a population of just over 2 million across the whole country, expats can expect plenty of greenery and picturesque backdrops instead of a concrete urban sprawl.
The climate in Slovenia varies dramatically depending on the area; Mediterranean on the coast, continental in the interior and Alpine in the mountains.
For expats moving to Slovenia with a family, there is a handful of good international schools, particularly in Ljubljana, offering the International Baccalaureate, French and British curricula. EU and British citizens can easily purchase property in Slovenia.
Picturesque and relatively untouched, Slovenia is perfect for adventurous expats looking to take advantage of the country's stunning coastline, imposing mountain ranges and beautiful lakes. Its people are also generally welcoming of foreigners, and will proudly show off the best of what Slovenia has to offer.
Population: Around 2.1 million
Major religions: Catholicism, Islam, Christianity
Capital city: Ljubljana (and largest city)
Legal system: Parliamentary republic
Main languages: Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Hungarian
Time: GMT+1 (GMT +2 from late March to late October)
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
International dialling code: +386
Emergency numbers: 112
Internet domain: .si
Drives on the: Right
►For more on Slovenia's varied climate, check out Weather in Slovenia
Are you an expat living in Slovenia?
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