9 Things to do in Piran Slovenia by JetSettingFools.com

9 Things To Do In Piran, Slovenia

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Charming. Lovely. Appealing. Enchanting. These are just a few adjectives that could be used to describe the peninsula town of Piran, one of the best coastal cities in Slovenia. Situated between Italy and Croatia on the Slovenia Adriatic Coast, the town of Piran is surrounded on three sides by the tranquil turquoise sea. The Piran, Slovenia beaches are the biggest draw for holidaymakers, but there are more things to do in Piran than sunbathe and swim.


The Best Things To Do In Piran, Slovenia

Best Things To Do In Piran, Slovenia

Most Piran holidays are spent on the Slovenia beaches and in the sea, but there is plenty of Piran sightseeing for those who need a break from the sun. In the Piran old town, café tables are abundant on the cobblestone streets that weave through the preserved Medieval center. Music often floats on the breeze, a nod to Piran-born violinist and composer, Giuseppe Tartini, whose statue stands in the center of the main square that bears his name. Above the red-tiled rooftops, a lone bell tower pierces the sky, while defensive walls rise even higher on the hillside. If you are wondering what to do in Piran, use our Piran travel guide to help! 


#1 Tartini Square Piran

Tartini Square is the heart of the Piran old town. A continuous flow of people pulses through the center of the square before disappearing down the narrow streets that lead away from it. From the vantage point on the top of the bell tower, one can imagine how the square looked prior to 1894 when it was an inner fishing port, filled with water and boats rather than shiny marble and festival tents.

The bronze version of Giuseppe Tartini has been standing in the center of Piran since 1896. Behind him, dominating Tartini Square is the Municipal Palace, which features a Venetian winged lion, marking a time of peace. The other buildings that surround the square – a church and the birthplace of Tartini among them – are part of Piran history and date to the 14th and 15th centuries. Even older are the 9th century stone pillars at the base of the flag poles that mark the entrance to the square from the harbor.


#2 Stroll the Piran Harbor

Just beyond the entrance to Tartini Square, is a small oval-shaped harbor common of Slovenian coastal towns. Blue fishing boats line the semi-circular space, bobbing on the water. Looking back toward Piran from the far end of the harbor, the multitude of sailboat masts curtain the town. Try as they might to shield the view, eyes are drawn to the hilltop Church of St. George and bell tower – one of the top Piran attractions.


#3 Visit the Church of St. George

front facade of st-georges-church-piran-slovenia

Standing in front of St. George’s Church, the Renaissance façade looms high; the imposing effect intentional as possible invaders arriving by sea would be deterred from attacking a town that had a population big enough to deserve such a large church. Built on the site of a previous church at the beginning of the 1600s, it was named for the town’s patron saint; the space above the door was built for his statue, but has never been filled. Frescos and statues adorn the inside of the church, but the most notable piece of artwork, Crucified from Piran, is a realistic wooden sculpture of Christ on a Y-shaped cross. Behind the church, built separate from it in 1608, is the iconic bell tower styled after the campanile of St. Mark’s Church in Venice.


#4 Climb the Piran Bell Tower

Piran peninsula view from St. Geroge's Church Bell Tower in Piran, Slovenia

Climbing the 146 steps of St. George’s Church Bell Tower provides some of the best views of Piran – and should be on every list of Piran things to do! The 360 degree views extend to both Italy and Croatia. Already built at the top of a hill, the bell tower reaches 155 feet, with an additional 12-foot-tall copper version of Archangel Michael gracing the top. Up-close views – and sounds – of the bells that clang every 15 minutes can also be seen from the platform.


#5 Take a Piran Boat Trip

Sailing from Piran’s harbor on the Adriatic Sea provides the most dramatic views of the historic city. The vantage point highlights the dominance of the church that dwarfs the rest of the lower town. Near the tip of the peninsula, it is possible to glimpse the entirety of Piran. In one line of sight, we could see it all:  the lighthouse on the point to St. George’s on the hill to the city walls standing formidably on the hillside, protecting the town from harm.


#6 Admire The Piran Rock Art

Mermaid and dolphin sculptures on point in Piran, Slovenia

Like much of the Adriatic coastline, the Piran beach is rocky. Without a true beach in Piran, the breakwater rocks are where tourists sunbathe by the sea. But, in recent years, Piran has invited artists to chisel the rocks into sculptures. Artists work with headphones on, tapping on their hammers steadily to create designs in the limestone rocks. The unique art is definitely something to see in Piran!

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#7 Watch Sunsets from the Walls of Piran

Watching the sun set is one of the top Piran, Slovenia things to do – and the walls of Piran are the place to do it! Through the arches of the remaining hillside town walls of Piran, St. George’s Church and bell tower capture the last light of the day. The defensive walls of Piran that were built on Mogoron Hill between 1470 and 1534 include eight towers and mark the eastern edge of Piran. The elevated platform is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. 

However, the walls of Piran are not the only place to watch sunsets. We also enjoyed the view from St. George’s Church and from the Piran beach.


#8 Stand at the Point of Piran

Church of Our Lady of Health and Lighthouse on point in Piran, Slovenia

On the point of Piran’s peninsula is a unique church and lighthouse combination. The 13th century St. Clement’s Church was renamed Our Lady of Health Church in the 17th century to protect Piran from the plague. Today, it enjoys healthy doses of sunshine and shines in the light of the setting sun.


#9 Take A Coastal Walk from Piran to Strunjan

The Strunjan Nature Park, a protected natural reserve, is just 2.5 miles east of Piran – and one of the naturally beautiful places to see in Slovenia. A trail follows the rocky Slovenian coastline from Piran to the Strunjan cliffs that are covered in trees, olive groves and vineyards. Read more about the walk from Piran to Strunjan!


Our Top Tips for your Trip to Piran, Slovenia

Need more ideas of what to do in Piran, Slovenia? Check out our best day trips from Prian including Skocjan Caves and Predjama Castle!

Additional Tours and Day Trips from Piran


More Things To Do In Piran

More Piran tourist information and a Piran map can be obtained from the official Piran Tourist Office on Tartini Square. (Note: The official tourist office is located in Portoroz, but covers multiple Slovenia beach towns, including Piran.) 

See More Of Beautiful Slovenia!

15 Day Trips from Ljubljana for your Slovenia Itinerary by JetSettingFools.com


Accommodation Piran, Slovenia

During our visit to Piran, we stayed in a great Airbnb Apartment. Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!) However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many hotels in Piran to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels in Piran (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip:

  • Hotel Fiesa – Waterfront location on north side of Peninsula: Book here!
  • Hotel Piran – Located on the water in the heart of the city: Book here!
  • Hotel Tartini – Located on the scenic harbor steps from the beach: Book here!

On a budget and looking for a Piran hostel? Try booking one of these hostels in Piran for your trip: 

Start your Piran hotel search now on Booking.com


How To Get To Piran, Slovenia

How to get from Ljubljana to Piran:There is a Ljubljana-Piran bus that runs several times a day and takes about 2.5 hours each way. Check the Piran-Ljubljana bus timetable on Rome2Rio to plan your trip from Piran to Ljubljana and vice versa.


Ljubljana to Piran Day Trip: Getting a glimpse of the Adriatic Sea is one of the best day trips from Ljubljana! Check out these highly-rated tours on Viator: Piran and Portoroz Half-Day Trip and the Slovenia Coast and Karst Trip.


Before You Go To Piran

  • Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable travel shoes. I (Sarah) have always packed these shoes by Columbia, Skechers and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
  • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures and is a slim and lightweight budget camera).
  • It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good guidebook prior to arriving and bring your Best Day Bag to carry all your travel items in!
  • We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

Deciding between Piran or Rovinj, Croatia? We love them both!

{Read about our impressions of Rovinj, Croatia}


Start planning your trip to Slovenia! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


We want to know: What are your favorite things to do in Piran? What would you add to our list of things to see in Piran? Tell us in the comments!


Visiting More Of Slovenia? Great! Be sure to read our detailed guides to magical Lake Bled, Ljublijana, Maribor, Kranj, plus everything you need to know about Glamping In Slovenia and don’t miss out on amazing Lake Bohinj!


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9 Things To Do in Piran Slovenia by JetSettingFools.com

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25 thoughts on “9 Things To Do In Piran, Slovenia

  1. Beautiful, isn’t it? We enjoyed it too. Actually I think it’s just as pretty as Rovinj without the fanfare (or the tourists).

    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Piran is stunning! We were there the first two weeks of September and thought it was much busier with tourists than Rovinj was during our late September visit. It’s all in the timing! We had wonderful weather in both places – even in September it was warm enough for a daily dip in the sea. 😉

  2. Jon Dunn

    I had 10 wonderful days looking around Slovenia this spring and am envious of your two month stint! Sadly, I didn’t make it to the Adriatic coast so this excellent account helps make up for that! 😉

    • Thanks! On our first trip to Slovenia, we only visited Ljubljana (and Lake Bled for a day). We loved it so much that we went back…for two months! We loved exploring the country – so diverse and naturally beautiful! Hope you make it back to see more of Slovenia one day 😉

  3. This is too beautiful. The feature photo and the image of Tartini Square makes me imagine what the town really looks like back in the old days. And nice captions by the way! Learned a lot about the Piran and Slovenia via your post.

  4. Deanna Hall

    Loved this blog. The pictures are just amazing. I love these small towns on the water. Beautiful.

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