15 Amazing things to do in Piran, Slovenia, On Your Visit

Steve Cummings

Piran Slovenia

When most people think of Slovenia, they probably think of Lake Bled or Ljubljana. But there's so much more to see in this beautiful country. In smaller towns like Piran, you get a sense of everyday Slovenian life.

Piran is a small place, so you only need a day there. It is a good day trip destination, as it is only about an hour and a half from Ljubljana by car, but you could also take a bus. 

It's best to visit in June or September to avoid the crowds, as these are either side of the main tourist season. However, the bars and restaurants will all be open.

Let’s look at 15 of the best things to do in Piran.

1. Piran Town Walls

Piran City Walls
Credit: Depositphotos

There's something special about towns that have walls around them. They give you a glimpse into the past. When you stand on the wall, you can imagine what it was like hundreds of years ago when soldiers would have stood on the wall to keep out invaders.

Piran Town Walls were built in different stages from the 7th century to the 16th century. The main part of the wall sits on Morgoron Hill and has six towers—these give a great view of the sea and are better views than some of the bell towers.

The walls are small, with uneven steps, so you might struggle if you have mobility issues, but it's worth heading onto the wall even if you don’t manage to walk that far.

The entrance fee is a frugally nice 3 euros, and children under 12 are free.

2. Church of St. George

The Church of St. George is a Catholic church built in the Venetian Renaissance style. It offers fantastic views over Piran and the Adriatic Sea.

It sits on top of a hill, with exactly 140 steps to the top. However, if you just take your time, you'll be fine, as it's not that steep and worth it. Then, if you have the energy, make the trip up to the top of the bell tower, which was renovatedduring the past few years.

Entrance to this vantage point is also cheap, at just 3 euros, which is a lot cheaper than many other vantage points in Europe.

3. Tartini Square

Tartini Square
Credit: Depositphotos

Tartini Square is different from other European plazas. It is quaint, with the locals just going about their daily lives, which makes it feel less touristy. It has a charm about it and feels authentic. However, it is still full of activity, full ofrestaurants, cafes, and bakeries with plenty of options.

The square is named after the 18th-century violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, known for his famous piece, The Devil's Trill Sonata. There is a statue of him in the square, which is a nice photo opportunity. 

If you time it right, you might get to watch some of the locals dancing.

The tourist information office is also located here, and it will be happy to give you some ideas of other places to visit.

4. The Magic World of Shells

We have all collected shells from beaches at some point, but have we ever wondered why they are the shape or size they are or what used to live inside them? To learn more, you must visit The Magic World of Shells, a unique little museum that adults and kids will love. You will see shells here that look unreal or like they should be in a cartoon.

It's just something different to do, and there are knowledgeable staff on hand who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

5. Port Piran

credit: depositphotos

One of the best things to do in Piran, especially in the evenings, is to walk along Port Piran and admire all the boats. You could dream about what boat you would buy if you won the lottery.

Port Piran is not just about the boats and the sea; it's a busy place with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the many waterfront cafes while taking in the sea views. 

While Port Piran may not be the biggest port, you should visit it in the city.

6. Aquarium Piran

New England Aquarium
Credit: jjbooma/Depositphotos

This is only a tiny aquarium compared to others we have mentioned in other cities, but it's one of the best things to do in Piran with kids and a great way to spend a few hours.

You will find over 140 species, with fish being the star attraction. The focus here is what's in the Adriatic Sea so that you will fund mullet, gilt-head bream, sea bass, blue-green chrome, groupers, and slimy eels. If you are a fan of sharks, you will be pleased to know there are a few of those as well.

Visit during feeding times if you can, as that's when the fish come alive, and sometimes, they let the visitors get involved.

7. Sergej Masera Maritime Museum

If you are looking for something to do on a rainy day (there aren’t many of those in Slovenia), the Maritime Museum could be a good choice for an hour or two.

Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a unique exhibit featuring Stone-Bronze-Roman age artifacts displayed under glass floors, which give the sensation of walking on water—kids will love this. 

Overall, the museum has three floors containing ancient artifacts, with the top floor dedicated to wartime Slovenian sailors. It is stunning, housed inside a small palace with period furniture and intricately designed walls and ceilings.

8. First Of May Square

Earlier, we covered Tartini Square, which is the largest, but we still think it's worth visiting the First of May Square, which is a lot quieter but still a nice place to grab a coffee and watch the world go by.

A large stone platform in the middle of the square was once the city's primary water source.

The square hosts occasional musical and theater events during the summer, such as the Zrno Soli Children's Festival.

9. Wander Around The Many Alley Ways

sunset walk
credit: depositphotos

We always talk about getting lost at the Frugal Expat, which we suggest you do in the old town. Put away Google Maps and head down one of the winding streets. See where you end up, then pick a direction at the end of that road. You will come across cobbled streets and interesting buildings you wouldn’t even know existed. The best ones are the steeper ones towards the town walls.

It's also an excellent place that isn’t overrun with Air BNBs, meaning that you will pass the locals who are just going about their daily lives. 

10. Dine at Pirat Piran

Slovenian food
credit: depositphotos

One of the best-rated restaurants is Pirat Piran, a local family-run seafood restaurant in the heart of the old town. It's not only popular with tourists, but it's also a place where locals eat, which tells you everything you need to know.

Popular dishes here are the mussels caught right in the bay nearby and the seafood platter.

Although it's mainly a seafood restaurant, other options are on the menu, and the steak is highly recommended. Visit here for lunch or an evening meal for food you won’t forget.

All the staff speaks great English, and the service is excellent.

11. Shopping

Remember to take home a souvenir to remind yourself of your time here. There are a few local tourist shops, but try to find something local. 

One of Piran's famous products is its salt, known for its high quality. This salt can be used in cooking and added to baths or salt scrubs.

We recommend GourmIstra. Here, you can buy local truffles and oils or treat yourself to local wine.

12. Take a Picture With The Mermaid Statue

If you walk along the coast, look out for the lighthouse. Just opposite that is a stone statue of a mermaid. There's not much else to say about it, but it's the perfect place for a photograph with the sea in the background.

13. Diving

credit: depositphotos

Slovenia has 43km of coastline to explore, and Piran has some of the best parts of it. Piran Divers is one of the area's leading companies offering diving trips. There are five different dive sites, with something to suit all abilities. 

They also offer courses, and there's no better place to learn than the Adriatic Sea. Five different courses, ranging from beginner to advanced, are offered.

14. Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Subaquatic offers 1.5-hour boat trips from the marina, which, at the time of writing, are priced at 18 euros for adults and 12 euros for children under 12.

This is a great way to get out on the water and will allow you to see what's going on under the water, as the boat has large windows under the deck. The ship can hold up to 50 people, but booking in advance, especially in the summer, is always recommended.

The sea here is usually very calm, so if you are someone who gets seasick, you don't need to worry,

It’s also an excellent opportunity to take pictures of the city from a different perspective.

15. Head To Strunjan Nature Park

Strunjan Nature Park
Credit: Depositphotos

If you have visited all the main attractions in Piran and are staying for a second day, then heading out of the city might be a good choice.

Strunjan Nature Park is only 2.5 miles away and offers something different. It's the perfect place for cycling and walking while taking in the smell of the lovely sea air from the sea salt pans.

One of the highlights is Moon Bay, a small pebble beach with crystal clear water that never gets too crowded.

Final Thoughts

We reached our limit with 15 things to do in Piran. It's only a tiny place we think is worth visiting, even for a half or full day.

You could combine your trip to Piran with other towns along the coast, such as Izola, Koper, or Portorož, and make your way along the coast.

If we have visited anywhere on our list and have any tips you want to share with fellow travelers, please let us know in the comments below.

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