Piran is one of my favorite places in Slovenia. Known for its Venetian architecture and viewpoints it is a place not to be missed. The Slovenian coastline is only 46.6km (29 miles) but just like everywhere else in Slovenia, don’t let the size fool you. Slovenia is very talented in cultivating these special places that are allowed to be unapologetically themselves.
Piran is part of Slovenian Istria, which is the northern part of the Istrian Peninsula and also part of the Primorska region of Slovenia. It is a bilingual municipality which means you will see and hear both Slovenian and Italian.
How to get to Piran
Ljubljana – Piran
Car: The easiest way is to drive! It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes depending on traffic. Do be extremely mindful that this route can be very congested on the weekends during warm weekends and summer months. Slovenians flock to the seaside in numbers and this is also a similar route to Croatia.
You can not drive through Piran, there is a parking garage (Fornače 23). From here you can take a free bus from the top of the garage, or inside the garage take the elevator down and walk out towards the seaside, it’s a nice walk along the coast.
Bus: There are several bus companies that run this route but it will take almost 3 hours but only cost 4-18€. You can use Rome2rio to check times and cost.
Shuttle: GoOpti – my usual recommendations for transport around Slovenia. My best advice is to book in advance though and the more flexible you are, the cheaper the cost.
Koper – Izola – Piran
Bus is an option and takes about 50 minutes and costs just 3.10€ with Arriva. Alternatively check Rome2rio for other companies.
Taxi is also an option as it is just 17km so the price shouldn’t be more than 20€. These two companies that operate in Koper: Taxi Posteggio Stazione (Phone +39 040 418822) or Servizio Radio Taxi (Phone +39 040 307730)
Trieste – Piran
Buses run twice daily take either the 1412 or 419 from Trieste and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes with one transfer.
Things to do in Piran
The main square of Piran is called Tartini Square (Tartinijev trg or Piazza Tartini) named after the Italian Baroque violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. You will also see a large monument to him in the middle of the square. He was born in Piran when it was then part of the Republic of Venice.
An interesting music fact about Tartini is that he was the first known owner of a violin made by Antonio Stradivari. He passed this violin to this student who passed it along to Karol Lipinski. This violin is known as the Lipinski Stradivarius. Made in 1715 it is now valued at $5 million.
St. George’s Parish Church
St. George’s Parish Church is at the top of Piran and can be reached by walking through Tartini Square through the back and following the signs on buildings. It is very easy and can’t be missed. Arrive at the top you will see a door at the foot of the tower. It’s 2€ to enter and go to the top. It’s very small at the top and narrow in some spaces but gives some beautiful views around Piran.
If you walk around the church you can get views of Piran and if it is a clear day, also the Alps.
Walls of Piran
The first wall was built in the 7th century, which is in part of the old town. The wall you can go see today was actually the third wall. It is very well preserved and you even have access to viewing towers. Here you can get the best views of beautiful Piran.
The walk to the walls is steep and cobblestone just to be mindful for accessibility. Once you arrive, you place 1€ coin into the machine right of the door to get a coin. This coin then goes into the slot at the door.
There are no workers here and only one sign in the front so you can explore it on your own. You can walk along the wall and go up some of the towers. This was my favorite part of the day and I’m glad that I have saved a few things so I can keep coming back to Piran and try something new every time.
I say beach very loosely, especially coming from the East Coast of the US. There is the ability to lay out on an area much like a sidewalk and you can jump into the water and swim. That is the nicest way I can say it, more bluntly, I don’t go to the Slovenian coast to swim. If you walk along the coast, as you arrived, but walk past Tartini Square towards the tip of the peninsula there are bars and restaurants lining the coast along with areas to lounge with your towel. In the summer you can find a lot of people here.
There is an absurd amount of museums in Piran for its size. I haven’t been to any of them but after doing this research next time I go I will probably check out the Museum of Underwater Activities and the Tartini House. (I will keep this article updated as I learn more about Piran)
Town Gallery (Tartinijev trg 3) Museum of modern art.
Herman Pečarič Gallery (Leninova 2) Gallery with paintings, drawings, and graphics from the artist Herman Pečarič.
Tartini House (Kajuhova ulica 12) Is the birthplace of Giuseppe Tartini and now a building for the Italian community which holds cultural events, but also contains a memorial room for Tartini with his violins and music scores.
Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum (Cankarjevo nabrežje 3) This museum contains various collections around maritime such as archaeological finds, model ships, ship figureheads, and maritime history.
Museum of Underwater Activities (Župančičeva 24) Museum devoted to the history of diving and submariners.
Magical World of Shells (Tartinijev trg 15) I’m saving this museum for my mom when she comes to visit me next. We tried to go last time she visited but it was closed. Here you can find the world’s biggest snail shell and lots of other rare specimens.
Mediadom Pyrhani (Kumarjeva 3) An interactive museum exploring Piran’s history and archaeological record.
Where to Eat in Piran
Pirat (Župančičeva ulica 26) Almost every time I go to Piran I eat at Pirat. I can’t help myself because the food is never a letdown and the price is just right. Fresh seafood and handmade pasta is what you should be ordering if you go there to eat. Be careful the serving sizes can be large! (Those photos are over the course of three visits, not at once haha)
Kavarna Piran (Tartinijev trg 10) For some reason almost every time I go to Piran I go here for coffee and ice cream. I don’t have anything exceptional to recommend about the place. I just enjoy sitting in the square enjoying Piran from this spot.
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Thank you just as every single time for reading this post! I’m so grateful that anyone comes here and even spends a few minutes browsing so know that it means a lot to me. Feel free to share this and any other posts with a friend who might enjoy it! If you want to follow my daily adventures find me on Instagram and Twitter. – Helene
Owner of wanderinghelene.com. Anthropologist, content creator, castle explorer, coffee drinker, and lover of markets and very old places!