Slovenian Istria

As one of the 3 major towns of Slovenian Istria, Piran promises a fusion of history, culture and culinary delights amid unparalleled coastal beauty.

To plan exciting and unique holidays in Slovenia, read our top travel recommendations for Piran, including what to do and see in this charming town. Discover all the ways to get there and book your ferry tickets hassle-free, with no hidden fees!

An aerial view of Piran, Slovenia, known for its architecture, including its red-roofed houses and narrow streets

A picturesque aerial view of Piran, a charming town nestled on the Adriatic Sea

Vacation in Piran

One of the loveliest and most visited towns in Slovenia, picturesque Piran is set on a narrow peninsula close to Italy’s border. It offers a tranquil escape marked by charming streets, Venetian Gothic architecture and a vibrant cultural scene. In fact, its Old Town is one of the best-preserved historical towns anywhere in the Mediterranean.

So, whether you're strolling along the waterfront promenade, savoring local cuisine in seaside restaurants or discovering hidden gems in the winding alleys, Piran encapsulates the essence of a laid-back Mediterranean getaway.

How to get to Piran

Piran is easily accessible by car, bus and ferry from certain ports in Italy and Croatia. The town is situated in the Istria region, with the closest Italian border being only 30 minutes away by car and the nearest Croatian crossing less than 20 minutes.

Specifically, from Trieste in Italy you can reach Piran in just 40 minutes, while the popular Croatian cities of Poreč and Rijeka are 1 and 1.5 hours away, respectively. If your starting point is Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia), the drive to Piran is a mere 1.5 hours.

To save yourself the effort, you can board high-speed ferries or hydrofoils to Piran. During summer, there are active ferry connections between Piran and the Italian cities of Venice and Trieste, as well as Poreč in Croatia. To learn more about ferries to Piran.

What to do in Piran

Piran’s atmospheric winding alleyways, beautiful natural surroundings, sunsets, and fabulous views are just part of the town’s draw.

Begin your exploration in the heart of the town at the impressive Tartini Square, and pay special attention to its architectural gems, particularly the Town Hall and Benečanka. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow charming streets, lined with cozy cafes, wine bars and restaurants, and discover hidden gems like St. George’s Parish Church and the iconic Piran Walls. For spectacular panoramic views of the Slovenian coast, climb to the top of the town walls and marvel at the breathtaking landscapes that unfold.

Beyond its historic charm, Piran is also great for relaxing on sandy beaches, taking a leisurely stroll along the seaside promenade, or embarking on a boat trip to explore the Istrian coastline. For those seeking a taste of local flavors, Piran's waterfront restaurants offer delectable seafood dishes, complemented by stunning sunset views. One of the town’s must-tries for lunch is Ladja Podlanica, a fishing boat docked in the harbor in front of Tartini Square. It’s definitely Piran’s most unique dining experience.

Aerial view of Piran, Slovenia, with Tartini Square and a harbor in the foreground, and the Adriatic Sea in the background

Beautiful aerial view of Tartini Square with historic red-roofed buildings

Beaches in Piran

While strolling along Piran's waterfront, you'll notice there are numerous flagstone beaches where ladders lead into the sea. So, you can take a spontaneous dip right in the heart of town if you feel the need. Alternatively, you'll find quieter and more photogenic spots for swimming on either side of the peninsula.

The best beaches in and around Piran are:

  • Old Town: concrete beaches in the center of town, with easy access to the sea. The most beautiful beach is in front of the Hotel Piran and the Piran Punta. 
  • Fornače: one of the most charming beaches just a short walk from Tartini Square. It features both concrete and pebbles, and crystal clear sea. There are also wooden terraces perfect for sunbathing. Entry points are friendly for people with disabilities.
  • Fiesa: this family-friendly beach, shaded by pine trees, features a playground, shallow waters with pebbles, and crystal-clear waters. From May to September, visitors can rent chairs and umbrellas. In addition, Fiesa is known for water sports, diving and snorkeling.
  • Portorož: the most popular beach in the Piran area, it receives the Blue Flag certification every year and is ideal for families with children. The beach is also famous thanks to its excellent sports and entertainment facilities.
  • Grand Hotel Bernardin: the beach of the Grand Hotel Bernardin is one of the most beautiful beaches between Piran and Portorož. It features a mix of concrete, stone and pebbles. There’s a cool beach bar, as well as umbrellas and deck chairs available for rent.
  • Moon Bay: part of the Strunjan Nature Park, this wild and enchanting beach is characterized by a unique crescent shape, turquoise waters and high cliffs. Only accessible on foot from the parking lot in Strunjan, it’s definitely the best choice for anyone who likes quiet and unspoilt beaches.

View of the Moon Bay in Slovenia, with smooth white rocks and turquoise waters

 Stunning view of the Moon Bay, showcasing a tranquil cove nestled amidst towering cliffs

Sightseeing in Piran

Nestled along the picturesque Slovenian coastline, Piran beckons with its rich history and captivating charm. Celebrated as the cultural pearl of the Slovenian Riviera, Piran unfolds a tapestry of architectural wonders, modern art galleries and boutiques that make it a must-visit for any avid sightseer. Here are some attractions in Piran not to be missed:

  • The marbled Tartini Square (or Tartinijev trg), the largest and main square in the town of Piran
  • The Venetian House, one of the most striking buildings on Tartini Square 
  • Casa Tartini, the birthplace of the composer Giuseppe Tartini
  • The Court Palace
  • The stone Walls of Piran (Obzidje Piran), constructed from the 7th century 
  • The Town Hall of Piran, built at the end of the 13th century by the Venetians
  • St. George's Parish Church, the largest church in town built in baroque style in the early 17th century
  • Mediadom Pyrhani, an exciting cultural center and multimedia museum ideal for those interested in the history of Piran
  • The Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, housed in the 19th-century Gabrielli Palace, it’s located along the Piran harbor
  • The Piran lighthouse and the 13th century Church of St. Clement, the most romantic spot to watch the sunset
  • The Sečovlje/Sicciole Saltpans Nature Park, one of the last salt pans in the Mediterranean. You can see the salt-making process during the summer months.
  • The Piran Aquarium, a great choice for families to spend a few hours learning about the various creatures that inhabit the waters around the Slovenian coast

View of the rooftops of the Old Town of Piran, Slovenia, with St. George's Parish Church on top of a hill

The impressive St. George's Parish Church overlooking the sea

Nightlife in Piran

Even though it’s relatively calm, Piran has plenty of evening entertainment options, particularly during the summer months. The town hosts many festivals, events and small concerts during July and August, in Tartini Square and at the local bars.

For those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, head to one of the bars or romantic cafes along Piran’s scenic coastline, to enjoy a refreshing drink and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.

For more options, you can head to the casinos and clubs in Portorož.

Food in Piran

The traditional cuisine in Piran and its vicinity are heavily influenced by Italian and Istrian traditions, offering a diverse selection ranging from seafood delicacies and hearty stews to pizzas, pasta, and truffles. Despite this, it's worth noting that you can still discover restaurants in the area that proudly feature traditional Balkan food on their menus.

The team of Ferryhopper highly recommends trying the following:

  • fritolin (fried fish and seafood bites)
  • Piran's sea bass
  • fuži with truffles (Istrian fuži pasta served with a truffle sauce, cream and Parmesan)
  • Sarajevo čevapcici (a grilled dish of minced meat)
  • tufahija (stewed apples cooked in sugar syrup and stuffed with walnuts)
  • prebranac (baked beans stew)
  • Piranska sol (Piran’s salt produced by hand and with no additives)
  • Refošk (red wine)
  • Malvazija (white wine)
  • the Hugo Cocktail (the town’s signature drink based on elderflower liqueur and Italianate prosecco)

Useful info: if you’re interested in learning more about Piran’s tradition of salt production, it’s worth visiting the town during The Saltpans Feast held every year by the end of April on Tartini Square.

What to visit around Piran

Piran serves as an excellent starting point for discovering other coastal destinations in Slovenia, including Koper (the biggest city on the coast), Izola, Sečovlje Pans, and Portorož. 

Portorož, a garish Riviera resort town described as Piran’s posh cousin, is located just 4 km from Piran. You can walk all the way to Portoroz’s waterfront area from Piran, by following the coastal path that starts at the southern end of Tartini Square or you can take the bus. During your time here, make sure to have a spa treatment, check the event schedule of the Portorož Auditorium and try the salt flower cake (Torta Solni cvet).

If you are in the area, we also recommend stopping in Marezige, where Slovenia’s only wine-testing fountain is located.

A view of reflections in the crystallization pools at the Sečovlje Saltpans in Slovenia

A sprawling expanse of saltpans at Secovlje, where salt is produced using centuries-old processes

Tips for your holidays in Piran

Here are 4 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Piran:

  1. Wandering along Piran's charming streets, you'll also stumble upon cute art galleries and souvenir shops offering one-of-a-kind treasures to take home. Watercolor paintings of seascapes as well as nautical-themed handicrafts steal the spotlight.
  2. Piran’s open-air market is held every morning in a square behind City Hall. Treat yourself and grab a pack of čokolada iz kaper, delightful fudge-like chocolate squares made with salty capers.
  3. Indulge in a salt and mud treatment at one of the venues in and around Piran. The options range from high-end spas to more budget-friendly wellness centers accessible with a day pass.
  4. For active visitors looking to get in a vacation workout, Ferryhopper recommends cycling the Parenzana Trail. This is a 130-km-long cycling and hiking trail that runs from Italy to Croatia and follows the route of an old narrow-gauge railway line.

Useful information about Piran

Despite its size, Piran has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. In terms of accommodation, there are only a few good hotels in town and they tend to cost more than in neighboring towns, but you can find plenty of apartments or B&Bs.

We recommend exploring Piran either in summer, when the town really comes alive, or in spring, if you prefer to avoid the busy season. You can stay here for 1-2 days or simply visit it as a day trip.

It’s also worth noting that in this part of Slovenia, the Italian language is co-official with Slovenian.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Piran

Take a look at some phone numbers that may prove handy during your stay in Piran:

  • Health Center Piran: +38656207200
  • Piran police: +38656171600
  • Taxi Piran: +38631730700
  • Tourist information center: +38656734440
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Piran

Piran is a tiny town and you can cover the most popular attractions in just a couple of hours on foot. But if you’re interested in exploring the surrounding area and the Slovenian coast, you have to use a car or public transport. 

Piran has an excellent network of buses that will take you to other coastal destinations, as well as to Slovenia’s capital. More specifically, Local Arriva bus lines offer connections from Piran to Koper, Izola, Portorož, and Lucija, but also to smaller towns in the hinterland.

Keep in mind that there are no rail connections from Piran. However, the nearest railway station is in the port town of Koper, which is just 20 minutes from Piran.

Useful info: keep in mind that cars aren’t allowed in the town center of Piran. In regards to parking, note that there are a few small car parks on the outskirts.

Ports in Piran

The harbor of Piran is situated in the very center of the city, close to Tartini Square, and welcomes ferries from Italy and Croatia. Given its location, the area is well-equipped with bars, restaurants, and shops.

Piran ferry: schedules and tickets

Ferries to Piran depart from the Italian ports of Venice and Trieste, as well as from Poreč in Croatia.

Seasonal connections from Italy and Croatia to Piran are operated by Liberty Lines and Kompas (Adriatic Lines). The routes normally operate from May to September with weekly departures. Keep in mind that ferries to Piran do not carry motor vehicles, only passengers. However, pet travel is permitted.

Here is some more information about the routes:

  • Venice - Piran ferry: you can catch a ferry from Venice to Piran with 1 weekly crossing from May to September. Venice - Piran ferry prices range from around €85 to €112, with the trip lasting almost 3 hours.
  • Trieste - Piran ferry: there are seasonal ferries from Trieste to Piran that make the crossing in 40 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes. Ferry ticket prices start at €9.
  • Poreč - Piran ferry: you can usually find 3 weekly departures to Piran from Poreč in the summer. Ferry tickets for Piran cost around €13, while the trip lasts around 50 minutes.

View of the Old Town of Piran in Slovenia during sunset, with pastel-colored buildings and a bell tower

The Old Town and marina of Piran bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun

Book ferry tickets online to Piran

Already dreaming of your adventure in Slovenia? Don't hesitate any longer! Browse all available ferries to Piran on our interactive Map of ferries, discover the perfect option for you and plan your trip to the Slovenian Istria without any hidden fees.

Piran ferry timetable

View the complete ferry schedule from and to Piran for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.

Frequent ferry connections

Piran has direct ferry connections to 4 ports :