Slovakia and Slovenia, these two countries are causing confusion for many people. However, these names are not two names of one country, but the names of two different European countries. Below you will find a brief explanation of the difference between Slovakia and Slovenia.
Slovakia is located in Central Europe, its official name is the Slovak Republic, the capital is Bratislava and was established as an independent state in 1993. Slovenia is also located in Central Europe, its official name is the Republic of Slovenia, the capital is Ljubljana and as an independent, the state was established in 1991.
I understand that it is still difficult for many of you to distinguish between Slovakia and Slovenia. But don’t worry, after reading this post, you will never be wrong about these two countries again.
- What’s the difference between Slovakia and Slovenia?
- Should I visit Slovakia or Slovenia?
What’s the difference between Slovakia and Slovenia?
Slovakia and Slovenia have many similar features in common, which make them difficult to distinguish. Not only their names but also their flags, geographical location, size, or language are very similar.
Quick facts about Slovakia and Slovenia:
|System of government||Republic||Republic
|Political system||Parliament democracy||Parliament democracy|
|Date of establishment||1 January 1993||25 June 1991
|Total area||49 035 km2
||20 273 km2
|The population (2019)||5 457 013
||2 078 654
Interesting fact: In the past, Slovakia and Slovenia belonged to one state, the Kingdom of Austria-Hungary.
Map showing Slovakia and Slovenia
As you can see on the map, both Slovakia and Slovenia are located in Central Europe. To correctly identify Slovakia and Slovenia on the map, follow these two tips:
- Slovakia is always the bigger one
- Slovenia is located by the sea
Another tip that can help you is that Slovakia is located on the map above Slovenia. This means that Slovakia lies more in the north and Slovenia more in the south.
Slovakia is bordered by Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Ukraine. Slovenia borders with Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. This shows that we have two common neighbors, Austria and Hungary.
Slovakia and Slovenia flags
I know, the flags of these two countries are really similar. Both are colored by the pan-Slavic colors which are White, Blue, and Red. And both contain a coat of arms.
So how can you easily distinguish them? The colors of the Slovak flag are darker and the coat of arms is larger and contains a double-cross. On the other hand, the Slovenian coat of arms is smaller and contains stars and a river.
The currency of Slovakia and Slovenia
At present, both countries use the Euro as their national currency. Slovakia adopted the Euro in 2009 and Slovenia in 2007. In the past, the Slovak koruna was used in Slovakia and the Slovenian tolar in Slovenia.
Why do Slovakia and Slovenia have similar names?
Our Slovak nation is named after the Slavs, who settled our territory in the fifth and sixth centuries. Slovakia was established by the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Czechoslovakia was named after the two nations that lived in it, namely the Czechs and Slovaks.
Slovenia was formed by the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The name Yugoslavia tells us that it is a place in the south that was inhabited by Slavs. Due to political disagreements, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia began to gradually disintegrate, Slovenia became independent in 1991. The name Slovenia originated from the predominance of Slavs who lived in this area.
So the names of both countries are based on the same concept: Slavic. The only difference is that the Slovenes belong to the southern branch of the Slavs, while we Slovaks belong to the western.
Funny fact: Names of Slovakia and Slovenia in English are very similar but they are almost the same in the Slovak language. The name for Slovakia in the Slovak language is Slovensko and the name for Slovenia is Slovinsko. The only difference is in the one letter 🙂
Funny facts about Slovakia vs Slovenia confusion
In the past, there have been several funny situations at the confusion of Slovakia and Slovenia. Politicians, in particular, have repeatedly managed to swap the two countries, causing humorous “scandals”.
I will mention the three most interesting:
- In 1999, George Bush answered a question from a Slovak journalist that he had learned everything he knew about Slovakia recently from a meeting with our (Slovak) Minister of Foreign Affairs. Unfortunately, he met with the Slovenian Minister.
- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi again introduced the Slovenian Prime Minister as the Slovak one. It is funny that Italy is directly adjacent to Slovenia.
- And the most often confusion occurs between Slovakia and Slovenia during sporting events. Whether they change the names or even the anthems of these states.
Did you know? Slovaks most often meet Slovenians as representatives of embassies, when they meet every month to exchange letters sent to the wrong country 🙂
* No, this is not true, it is just a joke about the similarity of these two countries.
Should I visit Slovakia or Slovenia?
I should probably tell you that you should definitely visit Slovakia. But to be honest, both countries are worth visiting.
Slovakia and Slovenia are well-known and popular tourist destinations mainly due to the enchanting nature and mountains. Take a look at these charming photos.
If I can advise you, I would visit both countries. Slovakia and Slovenia are not far away from each other so it is possible to visit them during one trip around Europe.
But I recommend you visit them separately, or in conjunction with other surrounding countries (mentioned in the previous section).
How to travel from Slovakia to Slovenia?
You have many options to get from Slovakia to Slovenia and vice versa. Below I will describe the options in the direction from Slovakia to Slovenia. Although Slovenia is relatively close to Slovakia, there are not many direct transport options between them.
Unfortunately, there is currently no direct air connection between Slovakia and Slovenia. However, if you would like to fly, you will have to make one transfer on departure from Slovakia. The price of a one-way ticket is around 150 – 200 euros.
As in the case of air transport, there is no direct connection between Slovakia and Slovenia in train transport.
But if you are in Bratislava or its surroundings, the best way to get to Slovenia by train is to take a train from Bratislava to Vienna and from there by train to Maribor.
This trip should take you about 5 hours and the price for a one-way trip is around 60 – 80 euros.
Finally, there is a direct bus connection between Slovakia and Slovenia. This is the cheapest way how to get from Slovakia to Slovenia.
The Flixbus buses leave every day at 15:40 (3:40 PM) from Bratislava to Ljubljana and the journey takes 6 hours and 10 minutes. Prices for a one-way bus ticket are around 20 – 30 euros.
In my opinion, this is the best option how to get to Slovenia. It is fastest one and if you travel at least in pairs, it is also the cheapest option.
The journey by car from Bratislava to Maribor takes about 3 hours (313 km) and leads through Austria. And the journey from Bratislava to Ljubljana takes about 4 and a half hours (450 km) and also leads through Austria.
Useful tip: If you decide to use this transport option, don’t forget to buy an Austrian vignette because the best route is using the highways.
So what, do you still think that Slovakia and Slovenia are one and the same country? I hope that after reading this post, it is clear to you that these are two small but even more beautiful countries from Central Europe.
And I highly recommend you to visit both of these countries, it will definitely pay off.
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