Slovenia, a country in Central Europe, has long been famed for its rich cultural life and one of a kind landscapes – snow-capped peaks, lush rolling hills, magnificent lakes and castles. Though considered as a small country, Slovenia is incredibly diverse. Piran, the country’s lovely coastal settlement, is one of Slovenia’s hidden gems. Home to the Gothic red Venetian house and important historical attractions, Piran will surely surprise you. Whether this is your first trip to the city or you’ve been here a few times before, a 3-day stay opens up tons of new and interesting things to do. While it’s almost impossible to experience everything – even if your trip lasts more than a week – this itinerary is designed to allow you to visit the city’s most famous attractions. Read on for suggestions on how to make the most of your time in Piran.
Things to know before traveling to Piran, Slovenia:
Language – The official language of Slovenia is Slovenian. Most Slovene speak English so you can absolutely get by without speaking Slovenian language. Croatian, French, German and Italian are also spoken by some Slovene. Like in other countries, speaking at least some Slovenian phrases or attempting to learn is greatly appreciated by the locals.
Currency exchange – Slovenia uses Euros, the same currency now used by most European Union countries with the exception of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Prior to traveling, you can buy some euros (enough for one day or whatever your preference) and then exchange your money in the banks to get the best rates. You may also transact with foreign exchange bureaus, shopping center, travel agencies, petrol stations and hotels. It is also good to know that there are plentiful of ATMs available throughout the country so you will surely have easy access to cash.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Slovenia. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and health as you would in any other country. Although most visits are trouble free, remain vigilant because petty crimes like pick pocketing and theft do occur. For medical emergencies, dial 112; and for police services, dial 113.
Transportation – Getting around Piran and the rest of Slovenia is fairly easy. The city is quite compact so visitors can easily explore its tourist attractions on foot. If you are short on time or you prefer less time walking, Piran has efficient bus transport network and taxis. You can also bike on your own or join one of the guided biking tours offered in the city. If you are on a luxury vacation, consider hiring a driver to take you around the city. Renting a car and driving on your own is another great option, which will give you complete control of the trip.
Accommodation – There are many types of holiday accommodation in Piran, from luxury hotels to cheaper accommodation like youth hostels and bed and breakfast. The most frequent question from first-time travelers is, “What’s the best area to stay in when visiting Piran?” Without a doubt, the best place to stay in the city is around Tartini Square. It contains almost all of the main sights and the best places to eat. So, staying here makes a lot of sense, especially if your time is very limited.
Hotels to consider in Piran:
Detailed itinerary: 3 days in Piran – Slovenia’s little known treasure
Today starts your adventure in Piran! Check into your chosen accommodation where you will be staying for three days. Get settled and spend the morning in your hotel to rest a little. Then, set out this morning to see some of the most beautiful attractions in the city. Head to your fist destination, Tartini Square, which is one of the most beautiful market squares in Slovenia and the whole Europe. The square has the mid-15th-century Gothic red Venetian House, church, town hall, shops, restaurants, and hotels. This also where you will find the birthplace of violinist Giuseppe Tartini, called the Tartini House.
After lunch visit the St. George’s Parish Church, located atop the hill above the town center. Built in the 12th century, the cathedral is said to be the protector of the city. Aside from the outstanding architecture of the cathedral, its interior, especially the Baptistery are worth seeing. Here, you’ll see plenty of paintings from different periods.
In the late afternoon, walk up the hill to Piran’s Town Walls, one of the most famous attractions in the city. This is a perfect place for sunset viewing where you can get splendid panoramic views of the city and Slovenia’s Adriatic coast. The best time to visit is in the late afternoon so you can catch the sunset as well as see daytime and nighttime views of Piran. Then, head to one of the best seafood restaurants in the Old Town to celebrate your first night in the city.
On your second day, leave before dawn and wait for the sun of the new day to appear over the Adriatic coast at Port Piran, which is one of the most photographed attractions of the city. After breakfast, visit the Piran Shells and Snails Museum and see its permanent exhibition, “Magical World of Shells”. The museum features thousands of species of shells and snails from all around the world, and it promotes environmental awareness and conservation.
Then, it’s time to hit the sun and bask in the laid-back Piran Beach. Although it’s not a sandy beach as its long promenade is paved in concrete, many locals love this beach because of its lively atmosphere. It’s also a photographer’s favorite because the city’s Venetian structures can be seen in the distance. Who would not want easy access to the beach with lots of restaurants offering fresh Mediterranean seafood dishes?
After you’ve dried yourself off, rent a bike from Luma Sport and go on a self-guided biking tour. Then, make your way to Sergej Mašera, a maritime museum which houses some extraordinary historic and artistic relics about Slovenian seafaring. You may spend as much time as possible here if you would like to learn more about sea-related Mediterranean industries like ship building, oil-making, fishing, among other things.
After a full day exploring, enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants with a view of the marina. Do not miss to enjoy some seafood platters at Fritolin pri Cantini (Prvomajski trg 6), Pirat (Zupanciceva 26) or Pri Mari (Dantejeva ulica 17). If you still have energy, be ready for a city nightlife hit at Café Teater (Kidričevo nabrežje 6) or Žižola Kantina (Tartinijev trg 10).
Taking into consideration that you most likely stayed out rather late the other night, you can start your third and last day in Piran at around 10 to 11 in the morning. You can dedicate this day wandering around Tartini Square. You can do your souvenir shopping here as well, especially at Piranske Soline. If you would like some chocolates, then there’s better place to go to than Čokoladnica Olimje Piran, one of best chocolaterie in Slovenia.
Have you been to Piran or anywhere else in Slovenia? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: View of the port with boats and buoys in Piran town in southwestern Slovenia (RossHelen / Shutterstock.com)