If you are coming to Slovenia, you might want to share interests with people living there. Even for just a vacation, taking Slovenes habits is a good way to understand their culture and their lifestyle.
People in Slovenia are very sportive, like to hang out at cafes, listen to music, and drink alcohol with their friends to spend their free time. Slovenians love living outdoors and are always looking to have a good time with friends or family.
When visiting Slovenia you will easily fall into Slovenians’ habits. Life in Slovenia is relaxed and punctuated by sport and musical events. Let’s take a look at what they do in their free time to inspire you for your activities and prepare you for life in Slovenia.
Slovenians Love Sports And Supporting Their Favorite Teams
Only 22% of Slovenes never do sports. Slovenia is a country where Sport is very important and everyone participates. The geography is perfect for hikes, jogs, and ballads. After a day of work, you will very often see people running, or biking in the numerous parks and forests all around the country, including the capital Ljubljana.
On the Ljubljanica you can do Stand-Up Paddle (SUP), kayak, and other river sports. There even is a place for kayak competitions next to Ljubljana.
During summer or spring when the weather is nice, or in winter when the snow starts falling in the mountains and the parks, Slovenes love going hiking. If you ever come to Slovenia you must try walking along with one of the many hiking trails all over the country.
Hiking is one of Slovenes favorite leisure activities. You can see a thousand different landscapes and sceneries throughout the country. Slovenes will enjoy walking in the mountain such as Triglav, on the coast, or even near the city. In Ljubljana for example you can easily decide to go for a hike after work at Tivoli Park, at the Trail of Remembrance, or even in the marsh.
There are about 10,000 kilometers of marked and adapted path for hiking in Slovenia. After a long hike (or even a small one if you are not the adventurous type), Slovenes will appreciate observing the diverse and rich landscapes everywhere they go, and you can do the same.
Even though Slovenia is a small country, every sport is available, and Slovenes enjoy this activity a lot during their free time. You can go hiking, mountaineering, skiing, running, walking, etc.
They also love participating in competitions. The Ljubljana Marathon attracts several thousands of people every year
Slovenes are also very fond of team sports. They often play football, ice hockey, basketball, handball, volleyball, and many other sports.
After doing sports themselves, Slovenes also love cheering for their favorite sports teams. For example, at the last European volleyball championship, there were 8,000 Slovenian fans in Paris cheering for the Slovene team.
Even more impressive, 60,000 people come every year to the Ski Jumping World Cup in the north of Slovenia in Planica.
Hanging Out At Cafes And Drinking: The Best Way To Spend Your Free Time in Slovenia
One of the best things to do in Slovenia during summer, no matter where you are, is to sit at a cafe to drink “kava” (coffee in Slovenian) for long hours and observe the calm and lovely life of the city you are in. In Ljubljana, sit at any of the bars, cafes, or restaurants along the Ljubljanica, and stay there for a few hours.
No one will kick you out, and you will be able to enjoy the fresh air and the warmth of the sun while sipping on a long drink, a local beer, or an excellent coffee.
At the cafe, you will be surrounded by locals. Slovenians love spending time at a cafe’s terrace, whether it is in the center of Ljubljana, on the border of the city, or in the countryside.
In Slovenia, coffee is very important. It is a way to maintain social bonds and social contacts between the inhabitants. You will find cafes everywhere where people from the neighborhood or the town meet very often to talk about everything.
In Slovenia, you do not need parties to reunite the neighbors or the families, it is very common for people to meet around a cup of coffee or tea to chitchat.
In the evening, Slovenes will go from coffee to beer (“pivo” in Slovenian), gin, or wine. No party or gathering happens without Lasko or Union beer. The drinking culture is very important in Slovenia.
During their free time, many Slovenes even make their own alcohol. If you go to someone’s house you might get the chance to visit the cellar and taste these unique alcohols.
In Slovenia, drinking is pretty normal and is seen as a way to bond with others the same way coffee is. Do not worry if you are a heavy drinker, no one there will judge you. Slovenes drink 2 to 2,5 times more than the average person in the world.
Alcohol is part of the culture not only during parties and barbecues but during big events such as festivals, rituals, or carnivals.
This free time activity is also explained by the geography of the country which boosts the cultivation of plants such as vines to make alcohol.
Slovenes do not drink to forget or evade from the world, they drink for the social aspect of alcohol, and the taste. Even during business events, it is not uncommon to see employees and bosses getting a little drunk towards the end of the event.
Festivals, Carnivals: Music And Traditions Are Very Important in Slovenia
In Slovenia, everyone loves festivals, carnivals, and other music or dance events. In Ljubljana, the city-center is always very lively with many events everywhere, especially during summer.
Every dance, music, and theater school presents their little show in the center at some point which gives the city a festive and familial atmosphere. Most Slovenes love this kind of events and you will always see many people watching the surprise concerts.
There are so many festivals in Slovenia, it is difficult to count them. It is one of Slovenes favorite activity and all the festivals reunite hundreds of people.
If you are interested in the most famous and visited festivals and carnivals in Slovenia, here is a non-exhaustive list:
- The Ljubljana Festival: This festival is amazing and is the most famous summer festival in Ljubljana. Almost eighty concerts are organized between June and September.
- Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival: The last week of July in Ljutomer you will find this great horror and fantasy film festival. You will also experience wine tastings, workshops, expeditions, concerts, and a traditional Zombie Walk.
- Lent Festival: This festival in Maribor attracts half a million visitors every year to enjoy theater performances, ballet, concerts, stand-up, opera, magicians, folklore, and much more.
- Kurentovanje – International Carnival in Ptuj: Kurentovanje is a traditional carnival organized every year. Slovenes love the tradition of Kurent, a demon supposed to bring summer and abundance.
- Ana Desetnica International Street Theater Festival: In Ljubljana, at the beginning of the summer, this Street Theater Festival takes place. You will see performances by mimes, magicians, dancers, and theater groups, but also children shows and dance performances.
- Mladi Levi: Still in Ljubljana, this festival is an international festival of contemporary theater and dance performances during the course of 10 days and free of charge.
- City of Women – International Festival of Contemporary Arts: The annual festival organized since 1995 in the capital (as most festivals) aims to draw attention to the relative lack of participation and presentation of women in the arts. Events are performances, exhibitions, debates, and workshops by performers and scholars.
- Panč – Stand-Up Comedy Festival: This festival takes place in August (there is also an edition in winter) in the Ljubljana Castle. It gives Slovenian stand-up comedians a chance to perform in front of larger crowds.
- Kino Otok – Isola Cinema Festival: In June, in the coastal city of Izola, are projected numerous movies otherwise unavailable in mainstream or art cinemas, combined with an exceptional selection of local and international guests.
People in Slovenia Volunteer Very Frequently
Slovenians are usually kind and generous people. Statistics show that for many of them, volunteering is an important part of their free time. There are 1,650 volunteer organizations in Slovenia according to Slovenian Philanthropy and more than 290,000 volunteers including 30% of Slovenian citizens.
To spend their free time, people in Slovenia have many ideas. After their day of work or school, they will go out for a run, or even a hike. Slovenes also love hanging out together at cafes or at the bar for a traditional coffee, or a local beer. They will also enjoy a concert in the city center or during the many festivals. Take into account people’s leisure activities, this way you will find the best things to do if you decide to visit Slovenia or even to move there.