If you plan a trip to this beautiful town, this post will help you to find out about the best things to do in Piran in one day.
Among all the beautiful towns along the Adriatic Coast, Piran is the most – or at least one of the most beautiful towns. It should be on any Slovenia itinerary and here is why.
It was love at first sight for me. And though Piran is tiny, it is absolutely stunning and offers a great experience. Today, I am sharing with you the best things to do in Piran in one day and some travel tips.
It will be quite a short post, but it will include the most important Piran travel tips for your visit.
WALLS AND GATES OF PIRAN
The city walls of Piran were mentioned as early as the 7th century, and now they offer the chance to have the best views of the town.
To “enter“ Piran, you pass the walls, and I highly suggest actually walking the walls for a small entry fee (about 2€).
And when I say “walls,“ I mean just a very short part that is still preserved and walkable.
However, the views… just wow.
This stop should take between 10-30 minutes.
STROLL THE STREETS
It should not be your goal to head from one attraction to another. Rather, take your time and enjoy those little, narrow streets that you have in Piran.
So, take every detour, explore every street – there are not many – before you take in some more views of the city.
This can take anything from 30 minutes to several hours depending on how many shops you explore and how many pictures you take.
ST. PAUL CHURCH
Then head to St. Paul Church – a Roman Catholic church located on the hill. Standing in front of the church already offers great views because of its elevated location. Like many buildings in Piran, it was built in the Venetian Renaissance architectural style and has been dedicated to Saint George (do not ask me who he is).
Though the views are nice from here, there are better views to come.
BELL TOWER OF ST. PAUL CHURCH
After visiting the church, it is time for more great views – this time from the Bell Tower of the St. Paul Church.
Even if you don´t want to climb all those steps, you will already have nice views before entering the Bell Tower because St. Paul Church is located on a small hill.
But the best views, as you can see in the pictures, are from the top of the Bell Tower. And from there, I felt like I was in Lisbon, Portugal.
Entry is just 2€ (cash only).
There are tight steps, but not too many, so it is totally worth it.
Attention: Do not get too close to the bells on the top. They can get really loud (and they ring quite often).
TARTINI CENTRAL SQUARE
Also, make sure to visit the market square of Piran: Tartini Central Square. It was named after violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. You will find his statue – made in 1896 – is in the middle of the square.
It is one of the prettiest market squares I have seen lately because of the cute, pastel-colored buildings worldwide and the many cafes.
Not the highlight of a day in Piran, but still worth a visit is the old harbor, which lies next to the market square.
Walk along the promenade with its pretty buildings while looking at the ocean and seeing all the little boats that dock at the port.
PIRAN MINORITE MONASTERY
The Minorite Monastery of St. Francis was founded before the 14th century. It keeps a great collection of music literature – some of the books in its library date back to the 15th century.
There are still Franciscans living in the monastery to this day, and you can visit.
Though Slovenia itself is a more than beautiful country, it lacks one thing… beach access. Piran is one of the very few places that are actually located at the beach, so this is why the “beach“ is quite busy.
Many people – Slovenians – even put their towels on the streets’ concrete and then jump into the water.
However, the “beach“ is a rather small, pebble-stoned section where people rest and enjoy their beach day (nudity is quite normal here, though it is not compulsory).
So, bring a towel and your swimsuit (or not) to rest after a beautiful day in Piran.
The above-mentioned activities do not take long – fast travelers can tick off these things to do in Piran in a few hours. However, half a day is a must, so you can really pay attention to the details. If you have the chance to stay longer, I would do it.
Though I did not hike to Moon Bay, it is an activity I have added to my bucket list for my next Piran trip.
Moon Bay looks absolutely amazing, and the hike from Piran takes about 60-120 minutes (6km). And there you have a beautiful bay section with better options to swim.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR PIRAN IN A DAY
Here are some quick tips for your Piran itinerary.
HOW TO GET TO PIRAN
The town center of Piran is car-free, so you have to park your car outside the town center. BUT, parking can be tricky: The parking garage close to the city walls was full, so I had to turn back.
I parked for free on a side street (in front of The VIP Hotel – please check signs to see if parking there is still allowed) and then had a 10-minute walk to the walls.
There are free buses to parking garages from the town center.
HOW TO GET AROUND PIRAN
You can easily walk to all the attractions mentioned on this itinerary (except Moon Bay). Just wear comfortable shoes as it is hilly and there are many cobble-stoned streets.
Piran is a beautiful coastal town that might not have many attractions but has a lot of charm. If you visit Slovenia but skip Piran, you might end up regretting it, so make sure it is on your Slovenia itinerary.
Are you planning your 5-day Slovenia itinerary? Then read on as I share my tips on creating an epic itinerary with some fantastic places to visit in 5 days in Slovenia. Actually, I share tips with you on how to spend up to 2 weeks in Slovenia plus many travel tips for an epic Slovenia trip.
Slovenia surely is not a hidden gem anymore. Its beauty is well known by many travelers. However, compared to other countries in Europe, it still doesn’t get all the credit it deserves. I guarantee you, this country is absolutely amazing!
If you need arguments on why to visit this stunning country, you will also find more than enough reasons to add Slovenia to your bucket list! Whether you are 5 days in Slovenia, one week, 10 days, or two weeks – this Slovenia itinerary is perfect for you.
Whether you love breathtaking scenery or cute towns and cities, Slovenia has it all. On top of that, some of the nicest people in Europe live in Slovenia.
It is also quite safe in terms of crime. Driving in Slovenia was also pleasant – and if you don’t want to drive yourself, you can rely on its reliable public transportation. And if that isn’t enough, I can tell you that Slovenia is also quite affordable compared to its neighbors, Austria or even Croatia –let alone Switzerland.
Tips for Your Slovenia Itinerary
Before talking about the best places to visit in 5 days in Slovenia, here are some travel tips that will help you plan your trip.
How to get Around Slovenia
I road tripped Slovenia. But you can do this Slovenia itinerary as a road trip or by using public transportation/guided tours.
Driving in Slovenia is nice. The streets are in good condition and not overly crowded. Many places mentioned here are in the mountains. So if you are not used to driving narrow mountain roads, it might be challenging. But in general, you should be fine. The Vršič Pass is probably the most challenging pass in the country, but even that should be fine if you drive slowly. Buy a 10-day toll sticker for the motorway.
Public transportation in Slovenia is pretty good. Though I used the bus only once, the places listed here can be reached by bus/train. I met quite a few travelers who were pretty happy with the public transportation.
Best Time to Visit Slovenia
While Slovenia is great to visit at any time of the year, I highly suggest visiting during warmer months, but not in July or August.
The summer months can be quite busy though – it can get crowded, and hotel prices rise. I actually visited Slovenia in summer myself. It was jam-packed – very jam-packed.
I normally suggest visiting Europe in late spring or early fall. The weather might be less predictable, the crowds are gone, hotel prices drop, and it is more pleasant.
Winter is also a popular season to visit, but many outdoor adventures cannot be done as listed on this Slovenia itinerary. However, as an alternative, you could do some winter sports in Slovenia.
More Tips For Your Slovenia Itinerary
I have to say that I was surprised to find out that Slovenians were some of the friendliest people in Europe. Also, many speak (good) English. If you should encounter problems, I am sure you will find friendly locals helping you.
Slovenia is a mid-budget European destination. It is much more affordable than Austria or Switzerland but more expensive than many other Eastern (Balkan) countries. You will get quite a lot for your money – especially because the scenery and towns can compete with the beauty of Austria and Switzerland.
Slovenia is an overall very safe country. The crime rate is quite low, and I´d say driving here is also quite safe. Either way, as a solo female traveler, I never had to worry about my safety as I just exercise common sense.
5-Day Slovenia Itinerary
Below, you will find itineraries for 5, 7, 10 or 14 days in Slovenia. Let´s start with 5 days in Slovenia.
5 Days in Slovenia Itinerary
Here is an outline of how to spend 5 days in Slovenia. As you can see, the total days do not equal 5 days, just because I have left a bit of time for driving.
If you stay longer, check out my other itinerary suggestions.
Ljubljana – 0,5 day
Piran – 1 day
Bovec – 1,5 days
Lake Bled + Lake Bohinj – 1,5 days
Ljubljana is a charming, cozy capital – and it is a great starting point for your Slovenia itinerary. With only 5 days in Slovenia, I would only do a quick sightseeing tour and have lunch/dinner in one of the numerous cute restaurants before continuing on your journey. If you have more than 5 days in the country, you could spend a full day or even two days here.
Though it is a capital, it is rather small – it feels like a beautiful, laid-back big town with some attractions, but not too many, which could overwhelm you.
You can visit most places on foot or with public transportation – there is no need for a car.
Things to do in Ljubljana
Cathedral of St. Nicholas
However, with only half a day in the capital, you have to focus on a few places. I then would spend time in the old city center and along the river. Places like Ljubljana Castle are good to visit with more time in Slovenia.
From the capital, it is time to visit a smaller town – small, but stunning.
Distance from Ljublijana to Piran= 120 kilometers (75 miles)
One of the cutest and prettiest coastal towns I have been to is Piran. It is such a gorgeous place and really picture perfect. However, it can be busy during peak season.
Piran is the best example of Slovenia – small and yet full of charm and stunning pastel-colored buildings. And since it is located on the Adria, between Italian and Croatian, you can clearly tell it is a perfect mix of these countries.
Besides being gorgeous, it is also hilly, so wear comfy shoes and bring your camera because these buildings want to be photographed.
So, even with 5 days in Slovenia, I´d say that this is a must-visit place. Reserve half a day for Piran.
Things to do in Piran
City walls (they are very short though)
Climb on top of the Bell Tower
Moon Bay (hike)
Then it is time to head to Bovec. It is quite a distance to drive scenic at times.
Distance from Piran to Bovec = 170 kilometers (105 miles)
Bovec and Socca River
For this beautiful part, I would plan 2 days on a 5-day Slovenia itinerary. If you stay in the country for 10 days, add another day here.
Some of the activities and places mentioned here are in the Triglav National Park, which comprises 880 square kilometers. It is probably one of the most beautiful areas and absolutely breathtaking.
As you probably know, I adore Switzerland, and for the first time, I was reminded of that beautiful country. The Julian Alps here are as beautiful as the Swiss Alps. Seriously!
And then there is the Soca River, which is drop-dead gorgeous. That is the time to hike, explore, and be struck speechless.
I can say for myself: I will be back and spend another week here at least – it really blew me away!
Things to do in Bovec
Velika Korita (speechless)
Hiking (Soca Trail)
Source of the Soča River (wear proper hiking shoes)
With 5 days in Slovenia, you do not have that much time to travel slowly – there are just too many great places to visit, so from Bovec continue your journey to Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled.
Distance from Bovec to Lake Bohinj = 110 kilometers (68 miles)
Lake Bohinj is a lesser-visited lake area since it is more difficult to reach from Ljublijana. It is often considered the gem of the country because of its beauty and authenticity.
Though I stayed in Slovenia for more than 10 days, I had to pass here as the weather got very bad and so I focused on other places when it did not rain.
It is also located in the Triglav National Park and embraced by the Julian Alps – and is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia.
Things to do around Lake Bohinj
Then it is time to head to one of the most famous places in the country.
Lake Bled is probably the most famous tourist spot in Slovenia – and I admit I was afraid that I would be disappointed. But visiting this place was a highlight. I visited in summer 2020, so at that time and not on a Sunday definitely helped me avoid the crowds.
The lake is so picture perfect because of the castle in the middle of the lake, which you can see from all different perspectives as you can easily walk around the whole lake within a few hours.
No Slovenia itinerary would be complete without visiting Lake Bled. It is quite near and you will be after a short travel time
Distance from Lake Bohinj to Lake Bled= 30 kilometers (18 miles)
Things to do around Lake Bled
Row a boat
Ring the Wishing Bell
Ride a Polenta (traditional gondola)
From Lake Bled, you can quickly get back to Ljubljana.
Distance from Lake Bled to Ljublijana = 55 kilometers (35 miles)
5 days in Slovenia is not enough to discover the main attractions of the country at a slow pace. But it is a good amount to see at least some of the highlights of Slovenia. If you can stay longer, I suggest doing so. So, what if you stay longer than 5 days in the country? Read on to find out how to spend 7 or 10 days in Slovenia.
Slovenia in 7 Days
With one week in Slovenia, I suggest following itinerary (again, there is some time for driving etc.).
Ljubljana – 1 day
Piran – 1 day
Bovec – 2,5 days
Lake Bled + Lake Bohinj – 2 days
So, I did not add any new places for 7 days in Slovenia, as I suggest enjoying the time at each place a bit more and taking it a bit more slowly. However, if you stay longer, I have added a few more places for your 7-day Slovenia itinerary.
So, with 10 days in Slovenia, you can take your time and enjoy Ljubljana for two days, but I have added a few new destinations that you can add to your itinerary.
Ljubljana – 2 days
Piran + Izola – 2 day
Bovec – 2,5 days
Kranjska Gora – 1 day
Lake Bled + Lake Bohinj – 2 days
Here are some quick information on the new destinations if you stay in Slovenia for 10 days.
Piran and Izola
10 days in Slovenia will allow you to stop at Izola – a small seaside town that grew on a former island. It is a cute, more off-the-beaten-path town that is colorful and pretty but has fewer attractions and cannot compete with Piran. However, it is one of the cutest towns/villages in the country so take a few hours to stroll Izola.
Then you could head to Piran, explore the town in the afternoon and evening.
And with 2 days in Piran and Izola, you can do the hike to Moon Bay which takes almost a full day.
With 10 days in Slovenia, you could also add Kranjska Gora to your itinerary. After visiting Bovec, it would be your next stop for a day, where you will spend some more time outdoors in amazing nature.
While there are many places to hike in Slovenia, this area is particularly popular among hikers. But even if you are not into daylong hikes, it is a paradise and there are many things to do and see.
Things to do in Kranjska Gora
Slovenian Alpine Museum
Hiking and many more outdoor activities
Your 10-day Slovenia itinerary has the most “typical attractions” covered. You can enjoy a lot of time outdoors, explore the towns and villages and more. But if you have two weeks in Slovenia, you are really lucky.
14 Days in Slovenia
If you have 14 days in Slovenia, you are very lucky because there is much more to see. With 2 weeks, I would adjust my Slovenia itinerary so it looks like this.
Ljubljana – 2 days
Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle – 1 day
Piran + Izola – 2 day
Kobarid – 1 day
Bovec – 2,5 / 3 days
Kranjska Gora – 2 day
Lake Bled + Lake Bohinj + Vintgar Gorge – 2,5 days
As you can see, there is still some space, and it is not jam-packed, so you have time to stop along the way and admit the beauty of Slovenia. So, what about the new places I added to your 2-week Slovenia itinerary?
Though there is no shortage of beautiful outdoor places, Kobarid is probably one of the top locations to visit in Slovenia and with 10 days or more in the country, you can visit this area for a day or so.
From Kobarid, you can visit the Kozjak Waterfalls, which is probably the most beautiful waterfall in the country. Though swimming in front of the waterfall is no longer allowed, it is still worth a visit.
Things to do in Kobarid:
Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle
These two attractions can also be on your itinerary: Postojna Cave was discovered 200 years ago. It is one of the largest and most beautiful underground caves in Europe and is a rare example of karst formations, which have been formed over millions of years.
To get a tour, you have to take an underground train (something I had never seen in any other cave before).
The Predjama Castle is close by, a medieval castle that has been perched in the middle of a 123-meter-high cliff for more than 800 years.
You can get a ticket and find out about a network of secret tunnels, from which the knight Erazem of Predjama would set out on his plundering expeditions.
If you have about 14 days in Slovenia, then make sure to visit Vintgar Gorge, which is just next to Lake Bled.
The 1.6-kilometer long gorge is a popular place in Slovenia, and for an entrance fee, you can walk along the gorge and see another side of Slovenia.
Since it was not one of the highlights of my trip, I would not necessarily recommend visiting during a trip of 5 or 7 days, but if you have some spare time and are at Lake Bled, it is surely worth a visit.
CONCLUSION – A PERFECT 5-14 DAY SLOVENIA ITINERARY
Slovenia has so much to offer! It is such a stunning country and its scenery is one of the most beautiful in Europe!
5 or 7 days in Slovenia is surely not enough to see the best of the country. If there is any chance, try to plan in 10 or even 14 days for exploring Slovenia. You surely will not regret it!
But if you cannot spend more than 5 days in Slovenia, above mentioned tips have hopefully helped you plan your trip.