What to visit in Piran?
Updated: May 9
While walking around Venetian-style narrow streets you can hear a mix of languages, feel the sea breeze and smell fresh seafood. Piran or so-called the pearl of the Adriatic sea is a charming city located on Istria Penisula. For many years it was a part of the Venetian Empire and nowadays we can see its influence on architecture and local culture. Piran is located on a short coastline of Slovenia between Italy and Croatia. It’s a perfect vacation destination for those who like to wander around the city, jump to the sea and explore beautiful nature. This city is one of the best places to go in the whole country. Learn more about the top things to do in Piran and get inspired to travel there!
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What not to miss?
Tartini Square (Tartinijev trg)
Piran is the home of Giuseppe Tartini - an Italian great violinist and composer. After him is named the main square in the town, which is also located in the monument of the musician. Tartinijev trg is also the most important place in the city center. It is impossible to miss - just a few steps away from the old town and the promenade. During the summer in Tartini Square, many concerts and events are important to local culture.
The Old City Wall
Not far away from Tartini Square, you can find the wall of the city. You can walk there only 10 minutes from the city center. The first fortifications date back to the VII century and the ones that we can visit today are from XV and XVI centuries. Now the wall is a great viewpoint for the city and its surroundings. The entrance fee is 2€ and the best time to go there is right before sunset. You will have a beautiful view guaranteed. It’s a perfect spot for a walk. From a few observation towers, you can admire a 360° view of breathtaking landscape.
St George Cathedral with The Bell Tower
The baroque church with its bell tower is one of the most iconic buildings in Piran. Located on a small hill is visible on all postcards. From the small square in front of the church, you can again admire the beautiful area. But if you want to see even more you should climb around 150 wooden stairs to the top of the tower. It will cost you only 2€ and for sure you will not forget this view for a long time. From one side you can see the Italian coastline and the city of Trieste. From another side, you can admire the beautiful Croatian shore.
Just a few steps from Tartini Square and you are already in the harbor of Piran. Perfect location for a walk. This area is also full of great restaurants and great coffee shops. At the end of the peninsula, you can find a church and a small lighthouse.
St. Francis Church
St. Francis Church is next to the Franciscan monastery. Both of the buildings were built around 1300. It is worth entering inside because the church is rich in beautiful paintings and ornaments.
One of the best things to do in Piran is simply walking around. Italian-style narrow streets will charm you. Colorful buildings, numerous coffee shops, and souvenir shops - you can just wander around and feel the vibe of Slovenian Istria.
During the summer you can also jump to the Adriatic sea. In Piran, there is a beach where you can relax and sunbathe. If you want to explore more wild beaches you can just drive outside the city. The water is warm and crystal clear. Piran and the area around is very famous among Slovenians to have a perfect summer vacation.
What else to visit?
Nature Reserve Strunjan
The Strunjan Landscape Park is a beautiful, preserved piece of nature in the Istria Penisula. It is located in a bay on a cliff. It is possible to walk there and admire the blue sea from the top and the greenery around. You can also find there wild beaches like Bele Skale beach and one located in so-called Moon Bay. This area is just a few kilometers from Piran and is defenitely a place to go. The outstanding nature will leave you speechless.
Sečovlje Saltpans Natural Park
Did you know that the Piran area is also very famous for salt production? The Sečovlje Salt Pans Natural Park is one of the last salt pans in Europe, where salt is obtained manually. The workers use several hundred years old very traditional method which is also nature and human-friendly. Besides salt production, Natural Park is also a great place to observe nature. It’s home to numerous species of birds and plants. If you are a nature lover you should visit Sečovlje Saltpans.
How to travel there?
To Piran, you can come by bus from Ljubljana or other big cities in Slovenia. You can also find bus connections from Trieste, and with changes also from Vienna, Maribor, and Bratislava. If you look for a bus connection we recommend visiting search for it on the Arriva website.
To Piran is impossible to arrive directly by train but you can use this means of transport to arrive in any big city that offers a bus connection. You can find trains to Ljubljana from Vienna, Bratislava, or other big cities. Then in the capital of Slovenia, you can change to a bus which will take you to Piran in around 2 hours.
Renting a car in Slovenia is a great idea. Not only to come to Piran and the area around but to explore the whole country. This is probably the most comfortable way of traveling but for sure not the cheapest one. If you have a travel companion this is a great option.
If you plan to come by plane you should know that the nearest airport is in Ljubljana. It operates mostly on national airlines but also on low fares. From the capital, you can find the bus with which you can reach your destination. Also if you decide to land in Venice which is not very far away you can take a bus or train to Trieste and from there a bus to Piran.
When to travel there?
As Piran is a perfect coastline destination the best time to travel there is summer. The months from May to September are the best ones because you can fully enjoy Slovenian Istria and swim in the Adriatic sea.
In Slovenia, you will pay in euros. Piran is an affordable destination for many. For a hotel, you will pay from 80€ to 150€ per night for two people. If you like to travel on a budget you can a hostel for 25€ per night per person. In the restaurants, the main course starts at around 8€, ice cream costs around 1-2€ and coffee 1,5€.
Where to eat?
If you want to try local seafood, straight from Adriatic, Neptun restaurant is a place to go! You can order their delicious fish, seafood prepared in various ways, fresh pasta, and many more great dishes.
Fritolin pri Cantini
Another great restaurant with fresh seafood. Famous for its Slovenian food, mostly from the coast region. You can also try local wine and desserts.
As Piran is a city influenced a lot by Italians so also it’s easy to find great pizza and pasta. If you want to try great food Porta Marciana is a restaurant to visit. Fresh pasta with seafood (and not only of course!), real Italian pizza, local meat, amazing wine, and many more! We recommend also trying their tiramisu - you will not regret it!
Do you want to chill with a drink and a beautiful view? Go to Cafinho Piran. It’s a bar located just a few steps from the sea. You can sit on the terrace order one of their great beers, cocktails, or coffee, and just relax admiring the Slovenian Istria. They also serve snacks, sandwiches, and desserts and play good music. This place has a great vibe!
Piran is a city of Giuseppe Tartini so naturally, it’s also a city of music. During the summer it has festivals that include classical music and cultural events. Here are two of the most famous events in Piran:
Town Walls Festival Piran
This festival takes place next to the city walls every September. It’s full of live music concerts. Great musicians are coming to share their talent and create a wonderful atmosphere in this magical city.
Probably the most iconic festival of the city. Great classic musicians from Italy, Austria, Hungary, and more come to Piran to give amazing concerts. Solos, quartets, and orchestras give a show for over 20 years now. The festival takes place in August and September and it’s a really great event in Piran. It’s a great opportunity to listen to beautiful classical melodies.
Hope you enjoyed the Piran guide! We believe that you got inspired to travel and this article will help you to plan your trip there. This charming little city has an amazing atmosphere and it’s difficult not to fall in love with it. We also have other places for you to explore, see our guides to Vienna, Zurich, or Monte Carlo. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.