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Piran, Slovenia is the best seaside destination in the country. The Piran beaches are the biggest draw for holidaymakers, but there are more things to do in Piran than sunbathe and swim. We are highlighting the top attractions for your Piran to do list!
Why Visit Piran, Slovenia?
Charming. Lovely. Appealing. Enchanting. These are just a few adjectives that could be used to describe the peninsula town of Piran. It’s 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.
For travelers visiting Slovenia, Piran is a top destination that shouldn’t be missed! We are sharing our list of the best things to see in Piran – plus helpful Slovenia travel tips.
10 Best Things To Do in Piran, Slovenia
Most Piran holidays are spent on the Slovenia beaches and in the Adriatic 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 main square that bears his name.
Above the red-tiled rooftops, a lone bell tower pierces the sky, while defensive walls rise along the hillside. If you are wondering what to do in Piran, use our Piran travel guide to help you plan your vacation to Slovenia.
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#1 See the Sights in 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 Piran 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.
What To See in Piran, Slovenia: Tartini Square
Not to be missed on Tartini Square is the statue of Giuseppe Tartini. 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 building houses the Piran Tourist Information Office, where you can pick up info and maps.
That said, the Venetian House is the most famous Piran building and oldest preserved house on the square. Built in the 15th century in the Gothic-Venetian style, the Venetian House features a unique corner balcony.
The other buildings that surround the square – a church and the birthplace of Tartini among them – are part of Piran history that dates 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 Piran Harbor.
#2 Stroll the Piran Harbor
Just beyond the entrance to Tartini Square, is the Piran Harbor. The small oval-shaped harbor is 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
Seeing St. George’s Church is a must when visiting Piran! It’s impossible to miss the hilltop church, but we strongly recommend walking up to the church to get a better view.
Standing in front of St. George’s Church, the Renaissance façade looms high overhead. The imposing effect was intentionally designed as a deterrence to possible invaders arriving by sea. The attackers would certainly think twice about attacking a town that had a population big enough to deserve such a large church.
St. George’s Church was 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 – so it sits empty to this day.
Frescos and statues adorn the inside of the church, which are well worth a look. However, the most notable piece of artwork at the church is The Crucified from Piran – a realistic wooden sculpture of Christ on a cross.
Behind the church, built separate from it in 1608, is the iconic bell tower. It was styled after the campanile of St. Mark’s Church in Venice.
#4 Climb the Piran Bell Tower
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 over the Adriatic Sea and across borders to both Italy and Croatia.
Already built at the top of a hill, the bell tower reaches a height of 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
Wondering what to do in Piran, Slovenia on a sunny, summer day? Set sail on a boat trip!
Sailing from Piran’s harbor on the Adriatic Sea provides the most dramatic views of the historic town. The vantage point highlights the dominance of the church that dwarfs the rest of the surrounding area.
Near the tip of the peninsula, it is possible to glimpse the entirety of Piran Town. In one line of sight, we could see it all – from the lighthouse on the point to St. George’s on the hill to the walls standing formidably on the hillside, protecting inhabitants from harm.
#6 Admire the Piran Rock Art
Like much of the Adriatic coastline, Piran beaches are made of rocks (and concrete), not sand. Without a true sandy beach in Piran, the breakwater rocks are where tourists sunbathe by the sea.
However, the City of Piran has invited artists to chisel the rocks into sculptures. Artists tap on their hammers steadily to create designs in the limestone rocks. The unique art is definitely one of the interesting things to see in Piran!
#7 Watch Sunsets from the Walls of Piran
Watching the sun set is one of the top Piran, Slovenia things to do – and the Medieval walls of Piran are the place to do it!
Through the arches of the remaining hillside town walls of Piran, visitors have picture-perfect view of the setting sun over the sea. St. George’s Church and the Piran Bell Tower capture the last light of the day.
The defensive walls of Piran that were built on Mogoron Hill between 1470 and 1534. The fortifications include eight towers and mark the eastern edge of town. We think the elevated platform is the best place to watch the sunset in Piran.
That said, 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 Plaza Piran beach.
#8 Stand at the Point of Piran
Standing on the tip of the Piran Peninsula is one of the fun things to do in Piran, Slovenia.
A unique church – that also serves as a lighthouse – sits on the point of Piran’s peninsula. Built in 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, the church enjoys healthy doses of sunshine and glows 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 how to take the walk from Piran to Strunjan!
#10 Relax at Piran, Slovenia Beaches
The beaches on the rocky Prian shoreline are what attract many visitors to the coastal destination – and spending time on the waterfront shouldn’t be missed.
Plaza Piran is the public beach on the north side of the peninsula and is mostly a concrete platform. It’s the closest beach – but there are better beaches nearby.
Beach Fornace to the south and Strunjan Beach to the east are fantastic beaches in Piran to visit during your vacation!
Map of Piran Attractions
Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive, online version of our Things To Do in Piran Map.
Planning a Trip to Piran, Slovenia
Visitors traveling from abroad should start their Slovenia trip planning with our guide on How To Plan a Europe Vacation. In the guide, we feature need-to-know details and share personal travel tips.
Planning on visiting more than just Piran on your trip to Slovenia? The country is beautiful and diverse – and we feature the best destinations on our Slovenia Travel blog page. You can also get started with these popular blog posts:
- Things To See in Ljubljana
- Things to do at Lake Bled
- Hiking Trails at Lake Bohinj
- Visiting Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle
- How To See Skocjan Caves
- Best Day Trip Destinations in Slovenia
Planning a Multi-Country Trip: Slovenia and Croatia
Pro Tip: Deciding between visiting Piran or Rovinj, Croatia? We love them both! Read about our impressions of Rovinj, Croatia.
European Travel Planner
As you make your trip plans, staying organized is key! Stay on top of all the details of your travels with our Printable Travel Planner. The 26-page planner is ready to be printed – so you can get started with your trip planning right away!
Tours and Day Trips from Piran
We have outlined the absolute best things to do in Piran, Slovenia. Visitors with just one day in Piran could easily see all the sights on our list. However, travelers who are staying in Piran longer can easily fill their Piran itinerary with more top area attractions and best day trips from Piran.
Piran Old Town Tour with Wine and Food Tastings
One of the best tours in Piran, a local guide leads the way through city, while sharing stories of the past and interesting historical details. The tour ends with a fun wine tastings – as well as samples of traditional Istrian fare (like my favorite truffles and Istrian olive oil)! Reserve your spot!
Istria Cooking Class: Piran Day Trip
Get a hands on experience in Istrian cuisine on a fun day trip from Piran. Guests will learn about the typical ingredients used in Istrian cooking. Then, under the guidance of a local, participants prepare a gourmet Istrian meal while sipping local wine. The best part is the feast at the end! Get more info!
Piran Day Tour to Salt Pans on Electric Bikes
Tour the Istrian coastline from Piran to Bernardin, Portorož and the Secovlje Salina Nature Park Salt Pans by e-bike! A local tour guide leads the way to historic landmarks – and the day ends with wine and local snacks. Find out more!
More Things To Do in Piran
Need more ideas of what to do in Piran, Slovenia? More Piran tourist information and a Piran map can be obtained from the official Piran Tourist Office on Tartini Square.
Accommodation in Piran, Slovenia
During our visit to Piran, we stayed in a great Airbnb Apartment. We typically like to book apartments for longer stays – as it’s nice to have a kitchen to make simple meals and the extra space. However, for shorter stays, be aware of the fees…as they can add up quickly if just staying a few nights.
Vacation rentals in Piran are available on both Airbnb and Booking.com.
The Best Hotels in Piran
There are many hotels in Piran to choose from in – or close to – the town center. We are featuring a few of the top rated Piran hotels (based on guest reviews) for your upcoming trip.
One of the best things about Hotel Fiesa is the waterfront location on north side of of the peninsula. Guests love the modern rooms with sea views. From the hotel, it is just a short 15 minute walk to the heart of Piran via the seafront promenade. Check rates and availability!
A 4-star property, Hotel Piran is located on the water in the heart of town. Guests can reserve a room with a balcony with a sea view, but there is also a rooftop bar. The included breakfast get high marks, too! Check rates for your stay!
Art Hotel Tartini
Located on the scenic harbor steps from the beach with Tartini Square views, Hotel Tartini is a boutique hotel spectacularly designed by local artists. Guests love the funky details and excellent staff. Check availability!
How To Get to Piran, Slovenia
The best way to get to Piran is by car or bus. There is no airport in Piran, Slovenia. The closest Piran airport is in Trieste, Italy (about an hour away by car) – but there are not great public transport routes between the two cities.
Visitors can also fly to the Ljubljana Airport (which is 2 hours away by car) or take one of the numerous connections from Ljubljana to Piran by bus. Find the best flights using our Tips for Cheap Airfare.
Renting a Car
How to Get from Ljubljana to Piran by Bus
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
Staying in Ljubljana, but want to see the coast? 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.
What to Pack for a Trip to Piran, Slovenia
Now that you know what to see and do in Piran, it’s time to pack your bags! We are sharing a few must-have items here – but you can find all of our advice on our Packing Tips blog page. Dreading packing? We make it as easy as possible with our FREE Packing Checklist!
The Right Travel Shoes
For your Piran, Slovenia trip, don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable travel shoes. I (Sarah) like these shoes by Columbia and these flip flops. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and these flip flops by Sanuk.
Anyone traveling to Piran, Slovenia will surely be spending time on the water! Make sure to pack beach essentials – like your swimsuit, a good pair of polarized sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. A fun vacation beach hat is a good idea, too! And, if you plan on swimming, make sure to pack a pair of water shoes.
A Real Travel Camera
We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip to Slovenia. 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 and ranks as one of the best budget cameras for travelers).
Day Bag and Essentials
Whether taking a day trip to Piran or spending a week on the seaside, travelers need a good day bag for the trip! We use backpacks to stow our essentials – like keys, wallet, phone, camera and guidebook. Use our tips to find the Best Day Bag for Travel.
European Trip Insurance
We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to Slovenia, travel protected with World Nomads.
Remember: Get (and stay) organized for your Vacation to Slovenia by using our Trip Planning Printables!
Need More Tips for Visiting Slovenia?
Great! We love traveling around Slovenia and have dedicated blog posts that feature the country’s best destinations.
- Best Viewpoints of Magical Lake Bled
- A 3-Day Itinerary for Lake Bohinj
- The most beautiful parks in Ljubljana,
- Top Things To See in Marvelous Maribor,
- Tips for Visiting Kranj
- Everything you need to know about Glamping In Slovenia
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