Piran, Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Piran, Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Like Ljubljana, Piran is small. All of Slovenia’s towns and cities seem to be small. But damn is it pretty!

You can see the Italian influence in Piran. The town was part of the Venetian Empire from the 13th century to the end of the 18th century. It was part of Italy from 1918 to 1947 (today the Italian border is 30km away). On top of that, the municipality of Piran is bilingual – you are as likely to hear Italian spoken as you are to hear Slovenian.

*Interesting fact: Piran has a black mayor. Peter Bossman (good name for a mayor) was born in Ghana and moved to Yugoslavia in 1977. He was voted Piran’s mayor in 2010 (making him Eastern Europe’s first black mayor) and re-elected in 2014.

For such a small town there are some impressive sights. Tartini square (Tartinijev Trg) is known as the most impressive square in all of Slovenia. It is large and has many impressive buildings: the town hall, St.Peter’s Church, and some Venetian-era buildings. It’s the place to go to have drink, especially in the early evening when locals sit around the square while their kids go crazy running around on their bikes, roller blades etc…Tartini square is the place to be.

Below: Food, sights, and the liveliness of Tartini square.

calimari in Piran, Slovenia

buildings and statues in Piran, Slovenia

life on tartini square, Piran
A little walk up the hill (up a street behind Tartini Square) brings you to St. George’s Parish Church. The views here over the town are fantastic and become even more fantastic if you climb up the bell tower (an easy climb for those nervous about bell towers).

Below: Views down on Tartini Square, views of and from the bell tower.

views on tartini square, Piran, Croatia

belltower in Piran, Slovenia

views from the bell tower of St George Cathedral, Piran, slovenia

Even better for views are the town walls. Piran is built on a peninsula in a ‘V’ shape. The walls protected the town from land attack and from the top of the walls you can look out over the whole town as well as over the Adriatic. It’s the place to come for sunset views.

Piran views from the walls

St. George Cathdral, Piran, at sunset
The town’s streets are a bit of a maze but you can’t get too lost because you’ll eventually end up either at Tartini Square or along the water somewhere. You’ll find lots of restaurants and see locals walking around in their bathing suits to take a dip in the water. Piran doesn’t feel touristy (at least it didn’t in mid-June – might be different in July or August) and has a very relaxed vibe. It is also hot – we felt a humidity here that we hadn’t encountered further down the coast in Croatia.

Below: A few more images from around Piran.

seaside restaurants, Piran, Slovenia

boats in Piran, Slovenia

bell tower and cathedral of St. George, Piran

sunset views, Piran, Slovenia

 

Personally, Piran was a break for us. For 10 days we’d been dragging our luggage around, making our way from Split, through northern Croatia and Slovenia, to Venice (about 3 hours away from Piran) where we would be flying back to Montreal. Lissette was stressed out (going back home does that to you, even if it’s not for a long time) and I was fed up from lugging our frigin bags. The first thing we would do in Montreal would be to re-evaluate the way we travel. But at this point of the trip I had had enough and I sometimes felt stares as I unconsciously grumbled and swore at our bags under my breath. Staying in relaxing Piran for 3 days was a good thing.

views over the Adriatic, Piran, Slovenia

——-

Practical information:

– Direct bus from Ljubljana to Piran took 3 hours. The bus station is a 10 minute walk from Tartini Square (or about 3 minutes on the free shuttle bus that does the route back and forth all day long).
– You can also take the train from Ljubljana to Piran. The train actually goes to to Koper (the main town in the area) which is 18km away from Piran. You can take a bus or taxi the rest of the way.
– Piran is about 30km away from Trieste in Italy (where you can take a direct train to Venice). You can take a taxi to Trieste but it’s expensive, anywhere between 70 and 100 Euros I’m told. We toke the bus: Piran to Koper, then Koper to Trieste. It took us 1 ½ hrs (not the greatest connections between Slovenia and Italy).
– We had an excellent Airbnb apartment in Piran. Older apartment with lots of charm and a fantastic little garden for an afternoon drink. Great hosts.
– Just behind the tourist office on Tartini square you’ll find a little fruit/vegetable market as well as a supermarket (Mercator).
– Piran doesn’t have beaches (except for a cemented area with showers that they refer to as the beach). But you have access to the water anywhere in town. If you want real beaches, go to nearby Portoroz. It is a beach resort about 10 minutes away. It doesn’t have the charm of Piran however.

 

Have you been to Piran? Appreciate any feedback, thoughts or tips!

 

Next: Trieste. And remembering the things we don’t like about Italy.

 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

If you haven’t subscribed yet and want to get our posts and newsletters sent to your email, just insert your email address below:

SHARE

Comments

  1. I was SO excited to see this post because I loved Piran even though I only spent a day there but I loved the relaxed vibe and the beautiful costal ambience! We too got lost in the little side streets and I wrote all about my day in Piran just a few weeks ago (here’s the link just in case you fancy a look) so glad to hear you liked the place so much too – it has a real way of helping people de-stress doesn’t it?! http://wp.me/p3Lian-1ce
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted…Visiting the Majestically Beautiful Leeds Castle, KentMy Profile

  2. Now this looks like a place l would love to visit!!! The calamari looks fab..and the town is so pretty. Rocky beach, common sight in Malta too. I might think about this next time we visit Rome..side trip from Venice there maybe….lovely pictures. Ooohh ..progressive too! A black Mayor?? Totally cool 🙂
    Kemkem recently posted…Alcazar Palace of Seville & Podcast – Wows all the way!My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I was thinking about the parallels to Obama why was elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2014. Almost mirror image huh?

  3. Beautiful small port town and l really enjoyed the day trip we took there back in 2014. Walking around the narrow streets of the old town was the most memorable moment of our stop there and I think that we’d have been happy to spend a little longer there to take it all in.

    What’s most interesting about it are the similarities it shares with other port towns across the water in Italy. It’s so curious to see so many little pieces of design that match buildings I’ve seen in the very, very south of Italy.
    Dale recently posted…Our 20 Tips for Slow Travel First-TimersMy Profile

  4. You guys were great guests and we loved that we could be a part of your experience in our town! We started hosting so we could meet travellers like yourselfs, sharing travel experiences and talking to people from around the world is why we became Airbnb hosts. Hope you both come back to beautiful Piran, would love to have you stay in our apartment again.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Barbara/Erik – really enjoyed your place, so comfortable. And Piran such a pretty place. Thanks again for everything.
      Frank (bbqboy)

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated!

*


CommentLuv badge

css.php