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Best things to do in Slovenian Istria
Where in the world: Europe / Slovenia / Slovenian Littoral Region / Slovenian Istria
Top 15 things to do in Slovenian Istria
1. Tartini Square, Piran
Sitting close to the water's edge, paved with white marble and surrounded by elegant 19th-century buildings, Tartini Square serves as the largest square in town and a hub of activity. The square was part of the harbor until 1894, when it was filled in and mounted with a statue of violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, after whom the square is named. Most of the buildings are older than the square itself; be sure to look for the Gothic house, the only building that has preserved its original exterior. The square's distinctive oval shape comes from the time when it served as an electric railway station; today it's a pedestrianized zone. Relax with a beer, have a bite of pizza or pastry at one of the outdoor cafes, and watch the locals go about their daily lives.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $15 › Learn more about Tartini Square
2. Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower, Koper
See one of Slovenia's oldest bells and take in excellent views of the bay at Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower, whose simple exterior with Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance elements belies a luxurious Baroque interior. A large oval window above the main portal dominates the facade plated with white marble. Built in the 12th century, the church and the tower were restored on several occasions. The four-story tower holds a bell from 1333; for a small fee you can climb to the upper terrace and enjoy panoramic views of the bay. Admire the 18th-century Venetian-style frescoes adorning the interior walls of the church, and behind the altar don't miss the 14th-century chiseled sarcophagus of St. Nazarius, featuring the image of the bishop on the lid.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $43 › Learn more about Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower
3. Magical World of Shells Museum, Piran
The only venue of its kind in Slovenia, Magical World of Shells Museum features more than 4,000 specimens of rare and unusual mollusks. You'll see one of the biggest clams in the world, pearls, sea urchins, crabs, sea stars, and much more. The interactive museum is a highly informative attraction designed to promote environmental awareness and teach visitors about the importance of conservation. With a constantly expanding collection, you'll always see something new there, no matter how many times you visit.
Suggested duration: 1 hourLearn more about Magical World of Shells Museum
4. Piran Walking Tour with Local Wine and Food Tasting
A walking tour through the narrow streets of Piran will take you back to the medieval times and give you great insight how people were living here few centuries ago. In 90 minutes walking tour with tour guides who are all locals you will hear some great stories from their granddads, local fishermen, salt producers and many more.
Suggested duration: 2hTours from $33 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Walls of Piran, Piran
Put one euro in the locked gate to access the stairs and climb to the top of Walls of Piran, offering views of the city and the sea. The three walls were built during the town's long history, and large parts remain well-preserved today. See the ruins of the first wall from the 7th century in the old part of the town. The third wall with its seven towers built between 1470 and 1533 is almost completely intact. As you explore the walls, look for the oldest of the eight city entrances or "gates," which dates back to the 13th century. Among other gates, pay attention to the city's best-preserved Gothic doors, constructed in 1483 by mayor Dolfin.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $33 › Learn more about Walls of Piran
6. St. George's Church, Piran
Standing on a small hill reinforced with stone arches, St. George's Church dominates the town center. The present cathedral was built in the 14th century, but its Baroque facade dates from 1637. Legend has it that at the end of the 16th century Saint George blinded the skeptical mayor in order to motivate the citizens to restore the decaying church. Among the rich interior decoration, keep an eye out for a large medieval Gothic crucifix, a small silver-plated sculpture of St. George, and a Roman sarcophagus converted into a baptismal font. From the 46 m (150 ft) bell tower, a smaller copy of the Venetian San Marco Campanile, you can see panoramas of the Slovenian, Croatian, and Italian coast, and sometimes as far as the Julian Alps.
Suggested duration: 1 hourTours from $29 › Learn more about St. George's Church
7. Scuba & Snorkeling, Piran
Get your dose of excitement and adrenaline by going scuba and snorkeling in Piran. Guided experiences range from two to three hours and provide a way for you to experience the underwater treasures of the country. Operators and local dive schools often provide classes for beginners and can help you take your first few breaths underwater. If you are already an old pro, take a refresher course, or look for a company that provides fun dive trips for certified divers.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Scuba & Snorkeling
8. Skocjan Caves, Lipica & Piran: Karst & Coast Small-Group Day Trip from Ljubljana
Discover the Slovenian coast and the Karst region. The first stop is the UNESCO listed Skocjan Caves, one of the largest and most fascinating Karstic sites in Europe with the Reka River running 200m below the surface. Next stop in one of the local taverns with the famous Karst air-dried prosciutto tasting, accompanied with the local wine Teran – produced only in the Karst region. Short stop at Lipica, the homeland of the white Lipizzaner. Pass the coastal towns of Koper, Izola and Portoroz to reach everyone’s favourite spot on the Slovenian coast – Piran, where you can get lost in its medieval narrow streets and houses and enjoy some free time. One last stop at Predjama Castle on the way to Ljubljana. Discover the secrets of the largest cave castle (Guinnes World Records!), located on a 123-meter high cliff, and learn about the local Robin Hood, the legendary knight Erazem. Return to Ljubljana in early evening hours.
Suggested duration: 10h 30minTours from $109 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
9. Praetorian Palace, Koper
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $1,200 › Learn more about Praetorian Palace
10. Port Piran, Piran
Suggested duration: 30 minutesTours from $33 › Learn more about Port Piran
11. Piazza Tito, Koper
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $54 › Learn more about Piazza Tito
12. Private Mediterranean Fish Cooking Workshop with Irena
With Irena you will learn cooking and preparing techniques that can easily be repeated at home. This is an interactive demonstration: seafood from A to Z: preparing and filleting seabass, a secret of fish soup, preparing mussels (in season only!), seafood pasta, raw fish dishes and seabass by Irena Fonda recipe. You will learn, discover and taste an authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
Suggested duration: 4hTours from $164 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
13. Aquarium Piran, Piran
Get to know residents of the deep blue Adriatic at Aquarium Piran. The 25 tanks display diverse marine life, including giant starfish, eels, and octopi. The aquarium's manageable size makes it an ideal diversion for kids.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minTours from $164 › Learn more about Aquarium Piran
14. Vinakoper, Koper
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Vinakoper
15. Skocjan UNESCO Caves and Piran full day tour (small group, max. 8)
The beauty of the caves is enhanced by multi-coloured stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes including curtains and limestone pools. Walking through the cave you will enjoy many waterfalls and underground halls. In the afternoon part of the visit you will enjoy the scenic ride to the most charming town on the Slovenian coast – Piran. A walk through its narrow medieval streets wedged between beautiful houses, churches and squares will take you back to the medieval times. Take your time to enjoy the breeze that blows from the sea and to admire the main square named after a famous violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. You will certainly enjoy the small-town ideal to wander around for a coffee, cake, gelato or some good fresh seafood. Visit the Unesco heritage listed Škocjan caves, a majestic underground river canyon, and let it take you to world of fantasy. The exceptional volume of the underground canyon is what distinguishes the Škocjan Caves from other caves and places and is easily placed among the most famous underground features in the world. In the afternoon enjoy a scenic ride towards the Slovenian coast. Stop at Socerb castle for breath-taking views of the Slovenian coast and the Gulf of Trieste. Once in Piran you will discover the most romantic and picturesque coastal town. Piran is a tourist highlight of the Slovenian coast, strongly influenced by the old Venetian Republic. The main square is named after Giuseppe Tartini, a famous violinist and a composer who was born in Piran.
Suggested duration: 10hTours from $107 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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