Piran, also known as Pirano, it’s Italian name, shines as one of my favorite and most beautiful city on the Adriatic coast! After visiting Rovinj and choosing it as the most beautiful city of Croatia in a previous article, Piran is toe to toe with Rovinj, probably even more beautiful! No wonder Slovenia kept this tiny opening coast to the sea where Piran is located as part of their territory.
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An example of Italian Gothic Architecture
Piran is actually very small, just about 5000 inhabitants, but definitely boosts that amount to several thousand more during the peak summer season when all the tourists are around. Its reputation is quickly gaining some momentum and soon this tiny little town will be on everybody’s itinerary as it boasts some impressive character. Chinese tourist groups are already on the lookout as I’ve seen tons of them during my stay, yet few people have even heard of Piran.
The name Piran comes from the Greek word “pyr”, meaning Fire. The interesting long shape of the old town made a great guiding point for ships going to the port of Koper back 2000 years ago, where they would light a Fire on the tip of Piran as a natural lighthouse.
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The beauty of Piran is its medieval old town which has been incredibly well preserved through its thousands of years of history. It is known to be the best-preserved Venetian Gothic towns on the Adriatic sea and is protected by Unesco in its whole. A walk around the small narrow labyrinth cobblestone streets will amazing anyone visiting even for a short stay. The old town is also built on a hill where you can find the cathedral of St-George, a fine example of a renaissance and baroque style church. A piece of the 15th-century wall is still found on top of the hill and can be visited, for a fee of course. The little port with its small marina is a marvel and makes incredible picturesque pictures, like the one shown here below.
Best 2 Days Itinerary in Piran
Start the day with breakfast at the beautiful seafront Neptun Cafe or anyone on the main strip of cafes such as Cafe Theater. Go down the main street of Presnernovo Nabrezje which goes all around the old town up north. Once you reach the end of the street, you can go in the old town’s narrow streets and go up towards the beautiful Church of St. George, a historic waterfront cathedral with a clock tower, offering panoramic views of Piran from the top. You can go up the tower right now or wait until sunset for incredible views of the old town (where I took the main picture of this article). After lunch, continue up towards Korpusa Street towards the Old City Wall, an Ancient fortified stone town wall with several notable gates, renovated since the 7th century. Go back down and reach my favorite place in Piran: the Tartini Square which is set just in front of the Port of Piran. From here, there are infinite photo opportunities of the square and the port. For dinner, go to one of my recommended restaurants (see the section below) such as Fritolin Pri Cantini or Restaurant Riva for a great experience and amazing seafood like mussels or calamaries.
The next day, continue your walk around the old town by getting lost in its labyrinth streets. Have a visit to the Church of St. Bernardine and the Cloisters of Saint Francis Monastery, as well as the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. For a bit of local culture, visit the Sergej Masera Maritime Museum. If it is in season, I recommend joining the locals and have a swim in the Adriatic Sea just in front of Piran Hotel where there are ladders to get in and out of the water.
In the afternoon, you can rent a bike or walk all the way to Portoroz along the beautiful and scenic bike lane that has been built along the seafront. It is a nice 4km ride that is well worth the effort.
Top 10 Things to do in Piran
- Piran Town Walls
- Tartini Square
- Church of St. George
- Port of Piran
- Church of St. Bernardine
- First of May Square
- Mediadom Pyrhani
- Town Hall
- The Cloisters of Saint Francis Monastery
- Church of St. Francis of Assisi
- Sergej Masera Maritime Museum
Top Rated and Recommended Cafes in Piran
- Neptun Cafe
- Punta CAffe
- Spuzva Beach Bar
- Cakola Caffe
- Mestna Kavarna
Top Rated and Recommended Restaurants in Piran
- Fritolin Pri Cantini
- Restaurant Riva
- Gostlina Park
- Trattoria Ivo
- Ristorante Pavel 2
- Restaurant Neptun
- La Bottega dei Sapori
- Pizzeria Batana
- Ristorante Pavel 1
- Da Noi
Piran In Pictures
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