View from the balloon, Lake Bled

Buying a SIM Card or eSIM in Slovenia

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Slovenia is one of those countries that many travellers haven’t really heard of, and even fewer consider visiting. That’s a real shame, as far as I’m concerned.

The capital of Ljubljana is one of my favourite European cities, with wonderful coloured buildings throughout the old town, a lively bar and restaurant scene along the river, and a restored castle towering over it all that’s visible from almost anywhere.

Elsewhere in this small country lie beautiful lakes, caves and mountains, and even beaches along the Adriatic coast. There’s certainly plenty to see.

Although Wi-Fi is prevalent in bars and cafes in Ljubljana, having a local SIM card will help you stay connected in other parts of Slovenia. Fortunately, pricing is reasonable and coverage is excellent, at least if you pick the right company.

Here’s what you need to know.

Companies

  • I recommend Izi for most travelers who want a physical SIM
  • An eSIM from easySim or Nomad is the best option if you only need data

There are four cell networks in Slovenia, plus a few resellers. The best coverage is on the Telekom Slovenije network, which covers close to 100% of the country. A1 also has good coverage, but the other two networks have noticeably less.

Alongside its LTE network, Telekom Slovenije has started rolling out 5G. It covers about a third of the population at this stage, albeit almost entirely in the larger cities.

I opted to go with Izi on my trips to Slovenia: it used to be an independent reseller on the Telekom Slovenije network, but is now owned by the telco and operated as a separate prepaid brand at cheaper rates.

Travel eSIM for Slovenia

Staying connected with the local companies is reasonably cheap in Slovenia, so you’re unlikely to save money for a comparable amount of data by using a travel eSIM. There’s not much in it either way, though, so if you want to be connected as soon as you arrive or are using a phone without a SIM slot, it’s the way to go.

If you’re new to eSIMs, they offer big benefits to travelers in terms of how quickly, easily, and (often) cheaply you can get connected when you arrive in a new country. Most recent phones support them.

Nomad tends to have slightly better prices for larger data packs, while easySim is cheaper for smaller ones. The other benefit of easySim is that its Slovenia data packs include free roaming in much of Europe. You can see the list of other countries that it works in here, and given the challenges around roaming with a local SIM (see below), it’s a good option if you’re heading elsewhere in Europe or to the UK.

Other eSIM companies offer regional packs as well; you just need to specifically buy one of those rather than a single-country eSIM.

There are too many to list each one separately (and they change all the time), but as a starting point, these are the Europe eSIM options from companies I’d actually consider using:

Like most travel eSIMs, they’re data-only: you don’t get a local number. I use apps for everything from communication to transport these days, so the lack of a local number very rarely matters to me, but you might have different needs.

There’s a pricing table below that I update every week, with details of all of the plans from the companies I recommend.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Slovenia

The purchase and setup process was extremely simple. I tracked down a sign with the cheerful Izi branding outside a tiny store near the main town square in Ljubljana, and the woman behind the counter spoke excellent English.

Various prepaid options were available, but in the end I chose the call, text, and data package she suggested. She was also nice enough to swap out my usual SIM and run through the setup process for me.

After sending a text to activate the SIM and entering the APN details, I was handed back my phone and SIM pack, and was out the door in less than five minutes. There was no need to show any form of identification.

Note that without Slovenian identification and proof of residence, most providers (including Izi) won’t enable EU roaming. Mobile companies are legally allowed to do this, but in other countries they generally don’t bother. In Slovenia, however, they do.

One of the few prepaid companies I’ve found that (at this stage) does enable roaming by default is Bob. If you plan to wander elsewhere around Europe with your Slovenian SIM, you might be better off buying from them instead. Alternatively, just go with one of the Europe regional eSIMs I mentioned earlier.

Prepaid SIM and eSIM Costs

The SIM card itself was €3.50, which comes with €2 of credit. The pack that best suited me was the “Izi Kul”, which cost €7.90 and came with 6GB of data, unlimited calls/texts to the Telekom Slovenije network, and 6000 calls/texts to other networks.

The pack lasted for a month, although I wasn’t in Slovenia that long. In total, I paid €9.40 to stay connected for my entire stay. Not bad!

A few other bundles are available, including one with 40GB of data, and others that just give you a certain number of “units” that can be used as a text, one minute of calls, or 1MB of data. All of the details are available here in English.

easySim

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve found easySim to usually be slightly cheaper than the rest for small data packs, while Nomad has better prices if you need more data. Prices typically start at about five dollars for 1GB of data, valid for a week.

Of the eSIM companies I’ve used and can recommend, here’s how the best ones stack up in Slovenia. Pricing and package information were last updated on 20 May 2024.

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $9

  • $13

  • $20

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5

  • $8.50

  • $10

  • $15

  • $22.50

  • $46

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 15 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $6

  • $12

  • $14

  • $19

  • $27

  • $33

Topping Up

Izi

You can buy top-ups anywhere you see the Izi sign, and there’s a store locator here. Select “Izi value card” from the filters to see everywhere that can sell you credit. You can also buy credit online here.

easySim

Topping up with easySim is done by logging into the website and buying another package: it’ll just get applied to the eSIM that’s already installed on your phone.

Coverage and Data Speeds

Coverage was rock-solid in and around Ljubljana, and everywhere else I tried it in Slovenia. Given that the network used by Izi covers nearly the entire country, you shouldn’t have a problem staying connected almost anywhere.

Both easySIM and Nomad can use three of the four mobile networks in Slovenia, including the same Telekom Slovenije one used by Izi, so you should have even fewer problems staying connected with an eSIM than a physical SIM card.

Slovenia is part of the European Union, so EU roaming regulations apply. These “roam like at home” rules ended roaming charges across much of Europe in 2017, letting you use a SIM card from any EU country across all the others at no extra charge.

As I mentioned earlier, though, almost all providers in Slovenia require proof of residence and a Slovenian tax ID to enable this, which makes free roaming largely inaccessible for visitors.

Double-check the details at time of purchase very carefully if you’re planning to use your Slovenian SIM elsewhere in the EU/EEA, or just use easySIM or one of the regional Europe eSIMs that I recommend above instead.


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