Would you like to travel to Slovenia on a small budget, but still value comfort and proper maintenance? A hostel just might be the perfect choice. The number of hostels in the country has increased significantly in recent years, and their guests are not only those under 30 years of age. Many Slovenian hostels are members of the international association Hostelling International, which offers attractive discounts to its members. During the summer, when school is not in session, some student residence halls are also open to tourists.
Like anywhere else in the world, hostels in Slovenia are great places to meet other travellers and exchange experience. New friendships can be forged and your network of acquaintances broadened.
Hostels are open to all age groups and to families as well. Besides double to four-bed rooms, hostels also offer large rooms for groups. Some tourist dormitories have bunk beds. Many of the Slovenian hostels provide comfort equal to that of similarly ranked hotels.
Often, the main difference is merely that hostels lack restaurants and only serve breakfast and snacks. Many have small kitchens where guests can make a spot of tea or a hot cup of coffee. Internet access is becoming a standard service offered at the majority of hostels, with some also providing wireless access for their guests.
More than 40 Slovenian hostels have joined the Hostelling International Slovenia network, a member of Hostelling International, an organisation founded in 1932 which lays down strict standards for its members but nonetheless permits them to be original and unique. Guests holding a Hostelling International membership card enjoy additional youth hostel benefits and can also get discounts from a wide range tourist service providers.
Each and every of the more than 40 youth hostels in Slovenia is a good choice, but some deserve a special mention.
Celica is a hostel located in Ljubljana’s lively Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova mesto; it used to be a military prison and was also used by the former Yugoslav National Army. More than 80 local and international artists were involved in its transformation, as they worked to transform each prison cell into a unique room. Lonely Planet, a hugely influential travel guide, labelled it the “World's #1 Hippest hostel” and Rough Guides listed it among the top 25 unique and unusual hostels worldwide.
In Novo Mesto, travellers can stay at the Situla Hostel. Its guests can get a glimpse of the ancient Hallstatt period of the Iron Age, which left a strong imprint on the broader area of today’s Novo Mesto.
Of the most unique ones, mention must be made of Tresor Hostel in Ljubljana, where a giant vault located in the basement became a breakfast area, the Youth Hostel Punkl in the town of Ravne na Koroškem, which can serve as an example of modern wooden construction, and Hostel Radovljica, housed in a renaissance manor from 1634.
During the summer, from the end of June to the end of August, some student residence halls turn into tourist facilities. A number of centres managed by the members of the Scout Association of Slovenia or members of the Centre for School and Extra-Curricular Activities network are also open to tourists during the summer, or even all year round.