A Visit to Piran, Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

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.

Tartini square. Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Tartini Square in Piran, Slovenia
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).


Related: A Visit to the Charming City of Ljubljana


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

Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Views of Piran, Slovenia

Views of 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 Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel
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.

Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel

boats in Piran, Slovenia

sunset in Piran, Slovenia

sunset in 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) and I was fed up from lugging our 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 beautiful and relaxing Piran for 3 days was a good thing.

A Visit to Piran, Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel


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 took the bus: Piran to Koper, then Koper to Trieste. It took us 1 ½ hrs (not the greatest connections between Slovenia and Italy).

Accommodation.  Hotel Piran is right in the center, Excellent hotel and can’t beat the location. Art Hotel Tartini is right on Tartini Square. Funky, with large modern rooms. Good value.

– 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.

Tours worth taking. A half day tour of Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, two of Slovenia’s highlights.

Car. Want to see things by yourself? You’ll need a car because public transportation is awful throughout the Balkans. We use Rentalcar.com for all our car rentals.


Related: Our Guide to Slovenia


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

 Like This Article? Pin it!

Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel
Piran Slovenia’s Coastal Jewel
Ps. If you find our blog helpful, please consider using our links to book your flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals. Have a look at our Travel Resources page.



  1. I see you have been to Slovenia. Piran is a lovely town, indeed. But for me, the most remarkable and gorgeous landscape in Slovenia is Gorenjska. I guess you’d like it, too, as you enjoyed the view and the scenery of Biokovo. You can’t see the sea from Gorenjska (except from some quite high mountain peaks), but there are many stunningly beautiful lakes and waterfalls. In our terms, Gorenjska is expensive, but nowhere near the prices you experienced in Lucerne – and, at least in my opinion, much prettier. And even in the high season, you can find magnificent sites with no crowd. If you do decide to visit, contact me if you want.

    1. Thank you Aleksandra, I’ve never heard about Gorejska – I just looked it up and I see it’s well known for winter sports.
      Is that where you are from?
      Yes, we’d like to see more of Slovenia – we’ve only seen Ljubljana and Piran, haven’t even see Bled. With Autumm (and less tourists) coming up we’d like to visit.

      1. Sorry I haven’t replied for so long.
        I’m not from Gorenjska but a two-hour-drive from it. Yes, it’s known for winter sports, but for me, it is much prettier in the summer. Try Googling Triglavski narodni park, Mangart, Vršič, Krnsko jezero, izvir Soče … or, just across the SLO-ITA border, Rabeljsko jezero and Laghi di Fusine. There are too many beautiful sites, accessible by car, to name them all. Bled is gorgeous, a “must-see”, but a little too commercialized, crowded and expensive for my taste. The landscape (lake, island, surroundings – mountains) is impeccable. Autumn is a good choice – everything is less crowded then.
        Travel safe!

        1. Thank you Aleksandra for the suggestions. Yes, Autumn is a great time – we’ve lived in Croatia over the last year and Sept/Oct are still very warm and there are much fewer tourists.

  2. 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.

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

  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.

  4. 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 🙂

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

  5. 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

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.