To prepare for your Road trip, here is a guide about safe driving in Slovenia. All you need to know to get ready: Tips, Tolls, Rules, Road conditions, parking and other useful info. I wish you safe Travels!
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Driving in Slovenia Video
Let's start with a short video to give you an idea of what it looks like to drive in Slovenia on the different types of roads and in the towns:
Plan your road trip itinerary easily with my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Slovenia
How is Driving in Slovenia? - Short answer
Driving in Slovenia is quite easy, generally safe and on the right side of the road. The Road are in excellent conditions.
The road signs are clear and consistent with those used throughout Europe.
Just be careful with the frequent thunderstorms or with being distracted by the beautiful landscapes.
Note that, there are no tollbooths on Motorways you need a special sticker on your car.
More details on Conditions, Rules and Tolls in this article.
Driving License for Slovenia Trip
Let's make sure we have the essential to drive in Slovenia:
- You must have a valid Driving License from your country
- You must be at least 18 years old (although some rental car company have higher requirements)
- All EU driving licenses are recognized - Driver from other countries must carry an international driving permit (to get from your home country)
- You must always carry proof of insurance, proof of ownership or rental and proof of ID (e.g. passport)
Driving Rules in Slovenia
Below are the essential rules to be aware of before driving in Slovenia:
- Driving in on the right side of the road
- Driving License - see above
- Speed Limits - 50km/H in built-up areas, 130km/h on Motorways
- Alcohol - the legal limit for driving is 0.05% alcohol in the blood - so basically no drinking when driving
- Cell Phones - It is not allowed to use handheld phones while driving in Slovenia
- Seat Belt - mandatory for all
- Lights - Turn on your lights day and night
- Winter - Winter equipment is mandatory from 15th November to 15th March (and beyond depending on conditions) e.g. winter tires or snow chains in the boot
- Must-carry items - First Aid-kit, spare bulbs, refleective warning triangle, reflective jacket
In Case of an issue or accident:
- Accident - in case of Emergency call 112 for ambulance or fire truck and 113 for police
- Break-down - either call the number given by your rental car company of call 1-987 for roadside assistance
Road Conditions in Slovenia
Generally, roads in Slovenia are in excellent conditions. Let me show you what to expect:
There is a great Motorway system (about 620km) to go in every directions from Ljubljana and join the neighboring countries.
There are no tollbooths on those motorways.
You need to carry a vignette on your car for all motorways and expressways (see toll section further below)
Motorways are in very good conditions with 2 or 3 lanes.
The West of Slovenia has a lot of Mountains. They can be reached via motorways through Austria or you cna enjoy beautiful mountains passes.
The VRSIC pass road is one of the most beautiful one (see my photos).
They are quite well maintained and we saw roadwork while we were going through (which slowed us down qui a lot).
There are lots of bends, but none were very difficult compared to what I have seen sometimes in the French Alps.
Note that some mountain passes are closed in Winter. You can check the Slovenia road status map here. There are red circle when roads are closed.
I recommend getting off the Motorways to enjoy the beautiful secondary roads, especially in the East of the country. Rolling hills, rivers and trees everywhere!
It is really enjoyable to drive in Slovenia. Just be careful not to be too distracted by how beautiful the scenery is!!!
Driving in Cities
Driving in cities is of course, a little bit more hectic.
Generally speaking the cities have wide roads and easy to understand navigation.
Only old center are a bit more difficult to go through.
Be careful that buses have priority.
Sometimes to reach Slovenian destinations, your GPS might recommend roads that goes through neighboring countries because it is faster.
Make sure that your rental agreement allows it or be ready to pay from your pocket if you break down on the other side of the border.
Road Signs in Slovenia
Road signs are very classic.
For directions you have arrows, numbers and cities. Nothing fancy. Below are 2 examples.
Other Slovenia Road Signs:
Speed limits are numbers inside red circles
Entry and end of towns are in yellow. They are not always easy to spot, so be careful not to speed!
Danger signs are red triangles. Drawings are very geometric so it is sometimes funny to see some of them. Pay attention!
More and more touristic location signs are displayed to help the driver consider a detour. They are orange / Brown with a picture/drawing and the distance to it.
We encountered road works several times and they were well indicated. It felt safe.
Road Tolls in Slovenia
DARS Vignette Requirement
As I wrote before all car must have a vignette displayed when driving on all motorways and expressways in Slovenia.
If you get stopped on a Motorway without a vignette, you will have to pay a fine (300 to 800 euros)
You can purchase either a weekly, a monthly or an annual vignette
Where to get the Slovenia Motorway Vignette?
You can purchase the vignette from:
- Petrol stations in Slovenia and in the Neighboring countries
- Tabacco shops
- Some shops at the borders
Dangers on the Slovenia Roads
Generally, driving in Slovenia felt very safe.
My 2 biggest warnings to you will be.
- Be careful in Summer, there are lots of thunderstorms because of the mountains. Don't hesitate to stop when it pours too much and wait for it to stop
- It is easy to get distracted by the amazing scenery (especially in the mountains). Be careful and focus!
Parking in Slovenia
Nothing very original about parking in Slovenia:
- Yellow marked parking spots are reserved.
- Blue marked parking spots are for very short period (15 to 30minutes, check out the signs) - you can get a parking disc at the visitor centers
- White marked parking spots are free or paid carparks and might be limited in time. Check out the signs and payment systems.
It is very difficult to park on all the old city centers. Make sure you park outside those areas.
For exemple in the charming town of Ptuj, you can park across the river and enjoy the pedestrian bridge to reach the old center.
Even in Nature, Carparks for attractions or hiking are may not be free. There is either parking attendants or ticket systems. Make sure you have cash.
For example you have to pay at the Savica Waterfall carpark, the Kozjak waterfall walk carpark, the Mostnica Gorge carpark.
Renting a car in Slovenia
Nothings original either about renting a car in Slovenia.
Make sure that:
- you comply with the driver's requirements
- you can cross border (if you need too)
- all your drivers are registered
- you have a vignette for the motorways (normally included in the rental)
- the rental car has snow tires if traveling in Winter
You can compare rental prices on Autoeurope.com
If you pick up the car at the airport, note that there are 2 different areas for different companies but only one is clearly indicated...
Planning your road trip itinerary
To plan your road trip, head to my Slovenia Road trip guide that includes suggested itinerary
Or consider my eBook with my selection of the best locations and maps that make planning easy:
This location, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide-Slovenia.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
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