How Much Does It Cost to Spend a Month in Ljubljana, Slovenia?

by Gigi Griffis

It’s no secret that I love Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Not to mention Slovenia in general.

The city is smaller than most European capitals. It’s quieter. It’s cleaner. And while it’s drawing more and more tourists each year, it’s still a lot less crowded than its western counterparts. Mostly, though, I love it for its livability. It’s affordable and easy to navigate. The parks are huge and sprawling – so big that you might crest a hill, zoom down into a valley on your bike, and find a hidden-away ski jump. And the people are some of the friendliest in Europe. Cheerful. Laid back.

In short, it has to be one of the most livable European capitals.

Which is why Chad, Luna, and I chose to spend our August there, living alongside the park, frequenting the food festival, and exploring town with four different sets of friends who visited from as far as Tanzania and Saudi Arabia and as close as Zurich and Berlin.

As usual, I tracked my spending.

Also as usual, I’ll be sharing it here with you.

Without further ado, then…

Category Dollars Euros
Accommodations $735 619.75
Transportation (national/international) $4.26 3.59
Transportation (local) $18.65 15.73
Groceries $394.10 332.31
Supplies $45.98 38.77
Eating/drinking out $224.48 189.28
Entertainment & activities $102.20 86.18
Health & wellness $240 202.37
Totals $1,735.34 1463.24

Budget notes:

Don’t forget that I’m working while I’m traveling, which means someone spending all their time exploring, taking day trips, and eating out is likely to spend more.

Also important to note is that I fall somewhere in between the extreme budget travelers and the luxury crowd. I don’t stay in hotels (usually) and I don’t couchsurf. This means that while you can easily spend more than I do, you can also easily spend a lot less by always eating in, couchsurfing or staying in dorms or at campgrounds. Consider this budget very middle-of-the-road.

Also, these days, I’m traveling with my partner. The above expenses are my spending and do not include his expenses. We split the rent 50-50 and lunch and dinner groceries 60-40 (while purchasing our own breakfast stuff and sometimes our own snack stuff separately). Luna is my responsibility, so these are her full bills and our health insurance and healthcare costs are totally separate as well.

As usual, for accommodation, we turned to Airbnb, renting a bright one-bedroom in a local neighborhood near the big park. Surprisingly, prices for Airbnbs in Ljubljana tend to run higher than other European cities we’ve stayed in (despite the fact that Slovenia is actually more affordable in terms of living costs). We asked for a discount for a longer stay and in exchange for a review here on the blog (stay tuned for that because the place was great), so the above figure is my half of the discounted price, minus a little Airbnb credit I had accrued.

Sushi at Open Kitchen: 15 euros.

The national/international transport costs reflect a couple taxi rides to and from train stations on our way to Ljubljana. Our other international Bosnia to Ljubljana transport costs were absorbed into our last Bosnia/Croatia budget calculations.

Local transport included train tickets to visit Lake Bled and Postojna Caves, which are both stunning and worth visiting. To get around town, we mostly used our bikes or our feet, so – as per the usual – costs ran low.

Our grocery bill ran a little higher than I expected, but we did have company visit (and made meals and/or had wine nights at the house when they did) and we did buy a lot of specialty jams, jars of homemade nutella, and plenty of organic produce. We also ate out a lot more than usual: twice every Friday at the Open Kitchen event, at least a couple times a week with the various friends who stopped through town, and at least once a week with some sort of local takeout (usually Indian or Nepalese).

If you keep up with my monthly budgets, you may also be surprised at how much I spent on entertainment and activities. Normally we spend most of our time cycling, hiking, walking around town, and doing other stuff that’s free or dirt cheap. Since we had lots of friends visiting, though, we ended up doing a lot more touristy stuff (which was actually really fun), including a visit to the underground train and winding stone paths of the massive Postojna Caves (crowded but worthwhile), a hike up to the castle above Bled for sweeping views of the lake, and our first Escape Room experience.

One liter of milk from the milk vending machine: 1 euro.

Finally, health and wellness represents my normal $160-month health insurance via GeoBlue, as well as a 5-euro doctor visit for a new prescription (yes, you read that right: 5 euros to see the doctor), filling several prescriptions, and getting my hair cut (which falls into the category of wellness for me).

I left Luna’s expenses off the overall tally for this month, but if you’re curious about those, here they are:

Luna (vet bills, supplies) $211.41 178.26

She had a rather pricey month, unfortunately, with diagnostic blood tests and stocking up on pancreas medication. To keep it brief: she was diagnosed with a pancreas condition about six months ago and we’ve been trying to figure out whether it’s chronic or she can go off meds. The wonderful vets here in Ljubljana happened to be experts in the matter and after several blood tests (because the originals were inconclusive), we’ve learned that her condition is chronic and she’ll need to be on meds perpetually. All this to say part of the expenses were blood tests, part were vet visits, some were Luna’s special diet (homemade potatoes, fish, and beans), and several were for her medication, which I’m stocking up on while I’m here in Slovenia.

As a final note: the above budget is our day-to-day living and exploring costs and does not include my business expenses and certain personal expenses like books, movie rentals, and replacing water bottles and clothes. I figure those things are too personal and variable to be helpful if you’re using these budgets to figure out your own trip costs, so I generally pull them out. This month I actually spent quite a bit more because about 75% of my wardrobe wore out at once and I had to replace everything from clothes to my bicycle bag, but the above numbers are probably a better baseline for your own Ljubljana budget.

Want to see more nomad budgets? Check out this extensive post with links to all my published budgets from the last five years.

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dara-lynn September 11, 2017 - 8:14 am

Great post! Ill put it on Tango and my “to visit” list! How dog friendly did you find your month? Are dogs allowed in restaurants?

gigigriffis September 11, 2017 - 9:08 am

Yep! Slovenia is the most dog-friendly country I’ve ever been to. They’ve even let me carry Luna into a church here.

dara-lynn September 12, 2017 - 3:30 am

Slovenia just moved to the top of the list! Thanks for the info!


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