Looking to discover the best places to live in Slovenia?
Due to its untouched nature, pleasant climate, low crime rates, and reasonable cost of living, Slovenia is a hidden treasure in Central Europe and a worthy consideration for expats relocating to this part of the world.
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Slovenia is an adventure playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, from lush forests and enchanting rivers to colossal mountain peaks and glacier lakes. In addition, its low crime rates and living costs make it an ideal spot for families and solo expats alike.
If you’re thinking about living and working in Slovenia, you are likely wondering where is best to base yourself. To help you out, we’ve selected the six best places to live in Slovenia for expats and digital nomads.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of each city and discover which one is best for you.
Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, is the country’s biggest and most vibrant city and a vast cultural hub.
Based in the central-Slovenian region, Ljubljana has a sizeable international university population and expat community, making it an open-minded and diverse part of the country. What’s more, English is widely spoken here.
Ljubljana is also one of the best cities to live in Slovenia regarding job opportunities. There are many jobs in the education sector, mainly teaching English.
In addition, the healthcare, IT, engineering, and finance industries also regularly employ foreigners.
Another unique feature of the capital city is its historical significance and abundance of green spaces. Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik planned and designed the city with picturesque bridges and charming river views.
In addition, the city was awarded the European Green Capital Award in 2016 for its cycling lanes, pedestrian-only areas, and vast green spaces.
Considering it is the capital city, renting in Ljubljana is relatively affordable, especially for remote workers working for companies overseas. A one-bedroom apartment typically costs between €550 and €700.
Kranj is the most significant city in the Slovenian Alps, located slightly north of the city center. Like Ljubljana, Kranji is an old city, estimated to be around 6,000 years old.
However, it is much smaller and has a more relaxed vibe than the capital city. Still, as Ljubljana is just a 30-minute drive away, you’re not too far from the hustle and bustle.
Kranj is a very cheap place to live. Rental costs are about 50% less than in Ljubljana but the downside is that there are not quite as many job opportunities, and the wages may be lower.
However, because of the close proximity, it’s possible to work in Ljubljana and commute from Kranj. The city’s backdrop is another reason why Kranj is one of the best places to live in Slovenia.
It gives magnificent views of not one, not two, but three mountain ranges, Triglav, Stol, and Grintavec. It’s also not far from the serene Lake Bled and its lush forests.
Another well-known nature spot close to Kranj is the Kokra River Canyon, the second highest canyon in Europe. The endless outdoor adventures make Kranj ideal for expats and remote workers looking for a balance between nature and city living.
Maribor may be the country’s second-largest city but is also one of the most underrated.
Located in the country’s northeastern corner, Maribor is close to the Austrian border and sits within the peaceful wine-region hills on the Drava River. However, being a 90-minute drive from the capital city, Maribor does not feel too remote.
The small city center and riverside location give Maribor a cozy community vibe. Locals and expats enjoy the quaint cafes and bars in the picture-perfect district of Lent.
There are also many cool attractions here, like the medieval fort that is now a wine bar, Vodni Stolp.
You’ll find tons of beautiful ancient buildings throughout the city, such as the old town’s main square, the Renaissance-style Town Hall, and the 15th-century Maribor Castle. Plus, on the city outskirts, you’ll find the Mariborsko Pohorje ski resort, making it a favored city among winter sports lovers.
Consumer prices are, on average, 10 to 20% cheaper in Maribor than in the capital city. However, rent prices can be as much as 60% lower, with one-bedroom apartments averaging around €350 a month.
However, there are some cons of Maribor. For example, there are no international schools, few job opportunities, and English is not as widely spoken here.
Still, as the city’s population and expat community grow steadily, this may change in upcoming years.
Velenje is a small city located halfway between Ljubljana and Maribor. Although tiny, it is undoubtedly one of the best Slovenian cities thanks to its mesmerizing setting.
Velenje sits among the rolling green hills of the Šalek Valley. To the west, you’ll enjoy views of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, and to the east, you’ll see the Pohorje Mountains.
Velenje also has unique attractions such as an underground Coal Mining Museum, a vast swimming lake, and multiple thermal springs.
Velenje is also often called “Slovenia’s sunniest town” thanks to its pleasant weather. Therefore, you’ll surely enjoy a healthy outdoorsy lifestyle by living here.
However, while the lifestyle is relaxed and enjoyable, jobs for foreigners and international schools are lacking. For this reason, Velenje is best suited to digital nomads looking to live in a peaceful nature-rich location where they can experience Slovenia’s culture.
Living costs are low in Velenje, in line with Kranji and Maribor. As a result, remote workers will find that they can save a considerable amount.
In southern Slovenia, you’ll find Novo Mesto, a tiny city with a population of 13k. Nova Mesto sits on a bend of the Krka River, close to the border of Croatia.
Like many of the other best cities in Slovenia, it has a long and fascinating history. In particular, Novo Mesto served as an important military base during the 15th century.
In the past, the city was devastated three times, twice by fire and once by plague. However, each time the town rebuilt, becoming better than before, and today Novo Mesto is a modern city and an economic and cultural center.
There are various job opportunities in Novo Mesto but in specific fields. For example, this town’s automobile, textile, and chemical-pharmaceutical are thriving.
Furthermore, the city is surrounded by picturesque wine-growing hills, which make for lovely weekend adventures. If you decide to make Novo Mesto your home, you’ll also enjoy a low cost of living, with one-bedroom apartments costing as little as €300 a month.
The region of Primorska in the southwestern corner of the country is the closest you’ll get to the seaside here. Koper is the biggest city along this coastline and one of the oldest cities in the country.
The port town is tightly packed with buildings, and its boutique-lined narrow streets create a maze around the old medieval city.
Because Primorska is geographically very close to Venice, you will spot many Venetian-influenced landmarks in Koper, such as the Praetorian Palace.
Living in Koper gives you easy access to many pleasant beaches with swimmable waters in the summer months. Plus, you will enjoy a more pleasant climate compared to the northern cities.
The coastal location and laidback lifestyle make Primorska and Koper appealing to digital nomads and remote workers living in Slovenia. However, it may not be the best city if you’re looking for job opportunities but don’t speak the local language.
Final Thoughts On Best Places To Live In Slovenia
Slovenia is an underrated European country, with nearby countries like Croatia and Italy stealing the limelight. Even so, this lesser-known part of Europe can make an excellent country to live and work in, especially if you value being close to nature.
What’s so fantastic is that all of the best places to live in Slovenia are surrounded by untouched beauty, even the capital city!
Not sure if Slovenia is the right place for you? Read one of the following expat guides: