Piran is a beautiful small town on the Slovenian Coast that seems to fly somewhat under the radar. Don’t get me wrong, Piran is no secret, but it took us two trips to Slovenia before we visited this very special place. We are so excited to share our guide to Piran with you, so you can experience it too. Piran has a strong Italian influence, as it was once part of the Venetian Republic, which you will see in some of the architecture and small lanes. But I think the best way to describe Piran is the feeling it gives you.
When I arrived in Piran this wave of appreciation came over me. Appreciation for the smell of the ocean, appreciation for being able to travel and experience such amazing places, appreciation for the simple things. Arriving in Piran feels like you have just been given an amazing gift that you didn’t even realise you needed. I might be getting a bit carried away, but there is something special about Piran that I’m not sure can be captured by words, but you will feel it when you get there. So to help you plan your trip, here’s our guide to Piran so you can enjoy the best things to do in Piran, best places to eat in Piran, best Piran hotels and everything you need to know before you go to Piran. We also have a printable guide to Piran at the end of this post.
A Guide To Piran Slovenia
Piran Slovenia Map
Things To Do In Piran
The great thing about Piran is that there’s just enough to do here to give some variety to your days, but not so much that you feel like you have to run around like crazy. It’s the perfect place to relax and really be present whilst still doing some incredible things.
Tartini Square is the heart of Piran, a beautiful square surrounded by restaurants and shops. This is where you will find Venetian House, apparently, a house built for a Venetian traders love interest. When word got out about their relationship in town, people began to talk, so there is still an inscription on the house today that translates to ‘Let them talk’.
Just in front of Tartini Square, you will find Piran Harbour where all of the boats are moored and the fishing boats come and go.
One of the best things to do in Piran is to Walk the Old City Walls of Piran. It is fairly easy to do and doesn’t take very long as there is only a short part of the walls left intact, but you can get some incredible views from the walls and imagine what it was like before.
Another great place for some of the best views of Piran is from the St. George Bell Tower (Campanile). The stairs to the top have been freshly refurbished and although there are quite a few stairs it’s worth it. You can also visit the Church of St. George below, which lies on the top of the hill overlooking Piran.
On your walk back down into Piran you can stop by the Monastery of St. Francis, of which my favourite part was the stunning inner courtyard.
In terms of swimming, there are no sandy beaches in Piran, people just hop into the water from the cement path, ladders or off the rocks. If you keep walking around Piran point, there is a pebbly beach where you can walk in, and further around you will find Fiesa Beach. In the other direction, you will also find Portoroz beach.
If you’re spending a few nights in Piran you will have time to walk to some of the neighbouring towns on the Slovenian Riviera. On your walk up to St. Geroge Church, just before the church you can continue the walk along the cliffs around to Fiesa, which has a beach to relax at. In the opposite direction, within about 30 – 40 minutes walk you can reach Portoroz, a coastal resort town with many beaches and restaurants. If you are standing at Tartini Square facing the ocean, follow the coast to the left the entire way to Portoroz. Both of these Piran walks are great things to do in Piran for exercise, to see nature and explore more of the surrounds.
Where To Eat In Piran
Our favourite food experience in Piran was eating fresh seafood outside in a small square on a beautiful sunny day. This delicious restaurant was Fritolin Pri Cantini. Order your dish at the window, you will get your number on a shell, and when your order is ready simply collect it from the window. We had the fish fillet with Polenta and the fried calamari. Both dishes were fresh, simple and delicious.
If you’re looking for more of a restaurant experience we enjoyed Pri Mari. The restaurant has a traditional feel to it, nice but cosy. The menu has a nice range of dishes including seafood, pasta and other local dishes and the service is friendly.
If you’re looking to get your pizza fix, then try Pizzeria Petica. Although we enjoyed the pizza here, it was a little underwhelming. Still, we loved sitting outside in the quiet laneway with the ocean at the end of the street.
If you’re looking for a place to get a decent coffee, or simply just want a casual lunch by the water, try Cafinho Piran. We tried the pizza here and it was actually quite tasty. Sit outside and you could people watch for hours.
A guide to Piran would not be complete without a delicious place to get gelato. We loved Zvezda’s Ice Cream, a little window on Tartini Square.
Where To Stay In Piran
Here are our picks for the best Piran Hotels…
There are also some great options for Airbnb in Piran. Click here for $50 credit towards your first stay.
Piran Travel Essentials
How to get to Piran? You can reach Piran a number of different ways depending on where you start your journey. You can easily reach Piran from Venice, Ljubljana, Croatian Istrian Coast and many more places. There are multiple ways to reach Piran, include ferry, bus, shuttle services and more. We will be going into each option on how to get to Piran in detail, from multiple different locations in an upcoming article.
If you’re looking for flights to Piran, the nearest International Airports would be Ljubljana, Zagreb, Vienna and Milan, with smaller airports in nearby Pula (Croatia) and Trieste (Italy).
Getting Around Piran
Getting around Piran and surrounds is easy by walking. Some of the nearby towns, such as Portoroz, can be reached on foot in 40 minutes. But other towns you can easily get a local bus or taxi too.
When To Go
So when is the best time to visit Piran? The main things to look at to help you decide when to go to Piran is the weather and peak and shoulder seasons.
Being by the ocean, Piran is a popular destination in summer. This is the busiest time to visit Piran but you will also have great weather if you want to go swimming, but it might be a little too hot to fully enjoy walking to neighbouring towns or exploring. Keep in mind the availability of accommodation will be less during this time of year and prices will be higher.
The shoulder months of September and May are also great, perfect for exploring, and September, in particular, is still great for swimming.
We visited Piran in September and we had beautiful warm days, great for exploring, swimming and enjoying Piran to it’s fullest. There were definitely still tourists visiting Piran, but by no means did it feel too touristy or busy at this time. So in our opinion, the best time to visit Piran is September because it seemed to offer the best of all worlds.
Getting Out | Day Trips from Piran
Piran is a beautiful town on the Slovenian Coast, but there are a few other towns that make up this stunning area. Nearby towns and sights include Fiesa, Portoroz, Strunjun nature park, Izola, Koper and Sečovlje salt pans (Sečovlje Salina Nature Park). Some of these you can walk to, some you can catch a local bus or get a taxi, and for the Salt Pans, you will need to arrange your own transport. You can also reach Trieste in Italy with a 1-hour bus or 30-minute ferry in summer.
If Piran is your base for a longer time, you can also catch a ferry to Venice for the day, or explore the Croatian Istrian Coast. But really, all of these destinations deserve much more time, as does Piran. So I would spend my time in Piran and exploring the nearby towns.
How Long To Stay For
How many days should you stay in Piran? Piran is a small town so even though you could do a Piran day trip and still see a lot, I think it would be difficult to really experience Piran in a day trip. We would recommend a minimum of 2 nights in Piran if you want to see the main sights in Piran and do one walk to a nearby town. If you want to relax more and see more towns along the Slovenia Riviera, then we would recommend at least 3 – 4 nights in Piran.
If you have the time, spend a few nights in Piran to really make the most of the mornings and evenings. You can easily combine your trip to Piran with trips to other areas in Slovenia like Lake Bled and Ljubljana. Visiting Piran would also work great as an itinerary with the Croatian Istrian Coast, and Trieste or Venice in Italy. There are so many ways to include Piran into your itinerary. Download or print off our guide to Piran below to help you plan your trip to Piran Slovenia.
A Printable Guide To PiranGet your free printable guide to Piran with map here.