Piran is probably the most beautiful of Slovenia's coastal towns, perched on a tiny piece of land jutting into the sea. It feels more like an Italian coastal town, without all the Italian tourists, and for good reason: Piran was part of the Venetian empire from the late 13th century to the end of the 18th century.
The nearest airport is in Trieste, about 90 minutes away by coach. Trieste is served by Ryanair, from London, among others.
There is no train service to Piran. Frequent buses connect to the nearby coastal towns of Izola and Koper, and there is a free shuttle service to the adjacent resort of Portoroz. From Ljubljana, there are buses roughly hourly, taking 2-2.5 hours for the journey depending on route. Consult this website for timetable information.
There are at least hourly buses to Koper and around 6 buses a day to Trieste in Italy.
Boat service is also available regularly from Venice.
Piran is very small. The only way to get around is to walk, but it's probably only 30 minutes maximum from one end to the other.
Cars are generally not allowed in the old town and even when they are it's not a lot of fun since the streets are very narrow and parking costs €24 per day. There is parking available outside the town center. The biggest lot is along the waterfront at Fornače and costs about €8 per day. The city provides a free shuttle bus to and from the parking lot and Tartinjev trg roughly every twenty minutes.
- Tartinijev trg, the beautiful oval-shaped main square, with a statue of the famous violinist Giuseppe Tartini. This was once the marina, but after it silted up it was paved over with marble.
- The Venetian House, the red building on Tartinijev trg, is a fantastic example of gothic Venetian architecture and the oldest building on the square. Built by a rich Venetian merchant to house his mistress, spot the inscription between the upper windows: it says Lassa pur dir, or "let them talk".
- Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Cankerjevo nab 3, +5 671-0040, . Open 9AM - 12PM and 6PM - 9PM, Tu-Su during July and August; 9AM - 12PM and 3PM - 6PM, Tu-Su, the rest of the year. Has several exhibits that tell the story of Piran's maritime history and culture.
- See the Church of St. George (Cerkev sv. Jurija). The inside is quite beautiful and the hill it is located on provides a view of the city and harbor.
- Sunset over the Adriatic sea, preferably from a bar on the waterfront with an aperitivo in hand.
- Explore Piran's narrow streets. Get lost. Find a little cafe or bar and relax. The view from atop the city walls
- There is no beach as such, but you can swim in the sea from the many piers scattered about. There is a diving school on the northern side of the town if you want to explore the clear Adriatic Sea.
- Climb to the top of the city walls to take in the view of the peninsula (follow ulica IX.Korpusa up the hill from Tartinijev trg).
- Cimb up the rickety stairway to the belltower on St Geroges church for views to Croatia and Italy
- Walk along the coastal path from the Church of St. George to Fiesa (about one kilometer each way).
Unlike many of the other towns along the Adriatic coast, there are few shops with postcards, souvenirs, football (soccer) jerseys, etc. There is a small shop about halfway up the hill on ulica IX.Korposa that advertises handmade Slovenian crafts.
Many of Piran's restaurants are located along the waterfront (Prešernovo nabrežje) with open air seating and great views. The food and service is generally good, but many of the restaurants tend to have similar menus (meat, fish, mixed grills, etc) and similar prices. Restaurants away from the main waterfront area can be a bit cheaper. There are also a number of pizzerias and gelato shops scattered around the town. If you want fresh produce, there is sometimes a market behind the municipal building off Tartinjev trg.
- Fontana, Gallusova ulica 2 (on Trg 1.maja (May 1st Square)), 5 673-1200. A small restaurant with a veranda that serves seafood and Slovenian dishes.
- Gostilnica, Prešernovo nabrežje, 5 673-2226. A bit more expensive than the other waterfront restaurants with a wider selection of seafood dishes. €10-20 for mains.
- Neptun, Župančičeva ulica 7, 5 673-4111. Open 12PM - 4PM and 6PM - midnight. A small restaurant one street back from the harbour that specializes in seafood.
- Pavel and Pavel 2, Prešernovo nabrežje, 5 674-7101 and 674-7102. Open every day, 11AM - midnight in the summer. These two restaurants on the waterfront have tables indoors and outdoors and serve a variety of meat and fish dishes. €8-16 for mains.
- Pizzeria Batana, Kidričevo nabrežje 4, 5 676-2517. Pizzeria on the inner harbour.
- Pri Mari, Dantejeva 17, 5 673-4735. Small restaurant that specializes in seafood. It is located close to the Fornače parking lot. €8-16 for mains.
- Restaurant Miralonda, Stjenkova 1 (in the Hotel Piran), 5 676-2514. Mixed menu with seating along the waterfront.
- Restaurant Riva, Gregorčičeva 43 (along the waterfront, almost at the tip of the peninsula), 5 673-2225. Serves a variety of meat and fish dishes. €8-16 for mains.
- Tri Vdove, Prešernovo nabrežje 4, 5 673-0290. Another waterfront restaurant with a mix of meat and fish dishes. €8-16 for mains.
Piran does not have much in the way of nightclubs. There is one near the Hotel Piran, but the best bet is to go to nearby Portorož.
- Galerija Tartini Cafe, Tartinijev trg. The only cafe on the square, serves up espresso for under €1 and an array of snacks, sweet and savoury.
With a shortage of hotel accommodation the best option can be to take a 'private room', ie rent out a room in a local's house. Several local tourist agencies keep lists of such rooms and will book them for you. Don't expect the owners to speak English, but surprisingly that doesn't seem to matter even if you speak no Slovenian - they're generally very helpful and remember, they've done this before. Standards vary: sometimes you'll get towels for a shower, sometimes not. But regardless, it will certainly be an experience and a chance to meet some locals.
- Hotel Barbara Fiesa, Fiesa 68, +386 5 617-9000 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located outside of the old town on the bay between Piran and Strunjan and near Portorož. Air-con, 6 Superior rooms, 36 Plus rooms, all with balcony overlooking the sea/lake, phone, satellite TV, minibar, WC and shower. High season rates start at €55 for a Plus room and €60 for a Superior room.
- Hotel Piran, on the harbour, +386 5 676-2502, . A four-star hotel situated on Piran's harbour. 80 rooms and 10 suites, with an Internet room and WiFi access. €74 -€134 per night (high season).
- Hotel Tartini, Tartinijev trg 15, +386 5 671-1665 (email: email@example.com), . Located on Tartini square and close to the harbour. There are 43 rooms, many which look out at the square or the sea. Starts at €82 for a room or €188 for a suite in high season.
- Max Hotel, Ulica IX.Korpusa 26, +386 5 673-3436 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), . A small hotel with just 6 double rooms, tucked in the middle of the old town. All rooms have a TV, bathroom and shower, and price includes breakfast. €70 (high season).
- Val Hostel, Gregorčičeva 38a, +386 5 673-2555 (fax: +386 5 673-2556, email: email@example.com), . A cheaper option in Piran, this hostel has 22 rooms with 2, 3 and 4 beds per room. It is open year round and the price includes breakfast. €25 per night (adult, main season) with €2 surcharge for stays of one night during main season.
- Youth hostel Piran, Vodopivceva 9, +386(0)40-752660, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hostel Piran is situated on a pedestrian area, right in the heart of the old part of town. All rooms have a TV. The bathroom and the kitchen is shared between 4 rooms. The price is 22€ person/night.
Further afield, Divača and the Škocjan Caves are about an hour away by car. A short drive to the south lies the Istria region of Croatia with beaches, more Venetian towns and Roman ruins. The Italian cities of Trieste and Venice are approximately 1 hour and 2.5 hours away respectively.
This page was last edited at 16:38, on 27 January 2009 by Carl Baker. Based on work by kristjan, Ann, Zoran Vasić, Jani Patokallio and Rory, Wikitravel user(s) Ertw23, Shaund and WindHorse and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.