Everything you need to know about studying in Ljubljana
August 7, 2022
So you have already checked the studying programs, enrolled in the university and you are ready to begin your Erasmus experience in Ljubljana or are you? In this article, we will talk about all the secrets, tips, and tricks of living in Ljubljana as a student, which will help you navigate and start your experience here more smoothly. What will we not talk about? Main attractions and sightseeing, since we believe you have already done your fair share of research about this beautiful city.
Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, holds the oldest and biggest national university called the University of Ljubljana with about 40,000 students. Each year it hosts around 2,000 Erasmus students. Ljubljana offers many different programs from business to science, we got it all. And the best part? It is free of charge for EU citizens.
Ljubljana is divided into 17 districts, but I will only name the ones that you will most likely navigate in, since that is where the most faculties are: Center, Vič, Trnovo, Bežigrad, Rožnik, Jarše, Moste, and Rudnik. At the end of your visit, you will be most familiar with the district Center, because that’s where all the main attractions, restaurants, clubs, and bars are, and district Rožnik where Rožna Dolina is situated. Why Rožna Dolina? Well, that’s where most student dorms are, and you will 100% get invited to some parties there.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
We have great public bus connections and you can be anywhere in Ljubljana very fast. 40% of the buses are also powered by compressed natural gas, methane. Ljubljana didn’t get named the greenest city in Europe for nothing 😉
If you want to hop on a bus you need to purchase an Urbana which is a bus card that you can fill up with credits on different automatic machines called Urbanomat. You can purchase the card at different locations: at the automatic machine called Urbanomat, at the bus office at Bavarski Dvor, at the main railway station, or pay a visit to the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) Ljubljana office, this one will definitely become your best friend throughout your studies.
For 90 minutes you can hop on and off the buses as many times as you’d like for only 1.30 €. But make sure you have your Urbana card! There are many misconceptions among foreign students and tourists who think that you don’t need a bus card and you can pay with cash directly to the driver of the bus. That is only true for the buses that drive in between the cities. For example: If you were to take a bus from Ljubljana to Maribor, you could buy a ticket at the bus station or pay directly to the driver of the bus. But if you are traveling within Ljubljana, from Center to Bežigrad, you can’t pay with cash, only with the Urbana card.
You can also buy a monthly Urbana card for only 20€ per month and freely use the buses as many times as you’d like.
To help you navigate, here is the first tip: don’t rely on the official timetables, because they might be confusing to read. I have been living here for a while and I still manage sometimes to mix it up. I suggest you use Google Maps and choose a bus route and it will show you the number, the name of the stop, the time the bus arrives, and when you will get to your destination. It is surprisingly accurate, so give it a go.
IS LIVING HERE EXPENSIVE?
The thing everyone always asks, and the answer is…..yes, but also no. It depends on where you are from and what you personally find expensive. Let’s break down some categories and discuss different options and the budget you should prepare.
Unfortunately, this is very expensive in Ljubljana because Slovenia faces a problem with the shortage of apartments and too big of a demand for them, so the prices are at an all-time high right now. The whole apartment can cost you around 1400€ per month, so booking a room in a shared apartment is much more suitable for students. A single room will cost you between 350€ and 500€ per month (all costs included). A double shared room will cost you around 280€ to 350€ and a triple shared room will cost you between 220€ and 280€ per month.
Food is relatively cheap for students, because of the absolute best thing in the world called “študentski boni”. These are subsidized meals that you can use 2 times a day (at least 4 hours need to pass between each use), between 7 am and 10 pm. It’s very simple to use, all you need is your phone with a Slovene sim card or an app and your id. You can set up boni at the ESN office. The way it works is that every month you get as many “boni” or vouchers as there are working days, so usually around 20 and when you get to the restaurant you call the number on your phone and the restaurant deducts money off of your meal. The standard price that you pay for a meal with boni is between 1.60€ and 4.50€, so very cheap. So if you are not regularly ordering food delivery or overspending you can get by with around 200€ for food.
3. GOING OUT
The budget for going out in Ljubljana falls right in the middle. The prices for beers are from 2€ and 3€, the tickets for clubs are around 10€ and midnight burek snacks are around 2.5€. So not that expensive, but not that cheap.
THE PARTY SCENE
Ljubljana is a place where you can be sure to find something to enjoy. You can dance all night long or wander from pub to pub and have fun.
Another tip: If you want to save yourself some money buy your drinks in the supermarket and hang out in Tivoli park, Zvezda park, or Rožna Dolina (student homes). That’s where most students like to chill and start their night.
If you are more into bars, there are many in the center of Ljubljana, but just to name a few:
- Captain’s cabin: 2 for 1 deal on amazing cocktails and they usually let you make https://captains-cabin.si/
- Zorica: Great for fans of alternative/techno/funky/house music. The ambiance is very comfy with sofas and really nice staff that makes great drinks. It is also connected to techno club K4. https://www.facebook.com/barzorica/
- Pub Crawl: You can book a full night experience where you visit bars and clubs free of charge and without waiting in lines, compete in drinking games and drink some for free of charge https://www.partyinljubljana.com/pub-crawl
- Parlament pub: Great for starting and ending your night with cheap beers and great deals. They play all kinds of music, but most mainstream. The dance floor is relatively small, so be prepared for quite a crowd, since it’s very popular, especially because most come here to end their fun night. https://www.facebook.com/ParlamentPub/
For the main events of the night, you might want to head to some clubs with most of them being in the center.
Another tip: Try to get in the club between 10 and 11 pm, because after 11 the line gets so long that you will be waiting for at least 30 minutes if not more.
- Right in the center, there is Shooters which is a mix of a club and a bar. There is a DJ that usually plays commercial songs with a mix of hip hop and Balkan. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday and depending on the day, you can also play beer pong. The space however is decent, with some elevated surfaces, but on a busy night it gets insanely crowded, so keep that in mind. https://www.facebook.com/ShootersClubLjubljana
- Not far from Shooters, there is K4, which is perfect for techno lovers. The space is huge, so even during busy events, you won’t feel like it is crowded. They are open on Fridays and Saturdays, where they host many DJs who play techno, alternative, house, etc. A good vibe is guaranteed! The club is also connected to the previously mentioned Zorica bar, which also serves as a hostel, so you can rent a room after a wild night. https://www.facebook.com/klubk4
- 10 minutes walking from K4, we have Gala Hala on Metelkova street. The club plays mostly alternative music and hosts different Slovene underground bands and rappers. The dancing floor is more on smaller in size, so it can get very crowded, but they do have a big smoking and hangout area outside, so no need to worry. Inside they also have some elevated surfaces with tables and right next to the entrance, upstairs on the left, there are 2 couches where you can rest before you get back on the dance floor. https://www.facebook.com/GalaHala
Another tip: The club doesn’t accept cards, only cash, so make sure you have some on you.
- On the other side of Ljubljana, in district Vič is Cirkus. Probably the most famous one, because of its variety of events. Weekly they organize different themed events like Black Moon, Balkan Trap, Hitčina, Gasolina, and so on. The place is very big, with its own inside smoking room and VIP section. But despite being very big, it gets crowded fast, especially on the dance floor.
Another tip: Here the waiting line outside gets very long so make sure you go in around 10.30 pm when the club is still empty.
And now you are ready to come to Ljubljana and really get the most out of living here. Make sure you also check out our new blog post on What to see in Ljubljana: https://erasmus-home.com/en/what-to-see-in-ljubljana/