Day Trip to Piran in Slovenia

If you plan on basing yourself in Ljubljana for a while, there are many opportunities for day trips around Slovenia. Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Vintgar Gorge and Slovenia’s wine region are all within easy reach. A little bit further away is Venetian influenced Piran on the Istrian coast.

Venetian Town Piran on Slovenia's Istrian Coast

I had hoped to visit Piran when I was in Slovenia last year but after a couple of unexpected events I had to change my plans. Now I know what I missed out on I’m even more disappointed I couldn’t visit last year. I have travelled quite extensively around Slovenian Istria and Piran is by far the most beautiful town in the region.

Piran's Pretty Sidestreets

View of Piran and the Slovenian Coast

Piran has been ruled by just about everyone at some point in time. The Romans, Slavs, Franks, Byzantine Empire, Venetians and the Austro-Hungarians all influenced the city in various ways. As little as 100 years ago Piran was 95% Italian and the city continues to have a strong Italian influence with Italian being one of the official languages of Slovenian Istria.

Piran Slovenia

Church of Saint George in Piran

Tartini Square is the main square in Piran and where you’ll most likely start your tour of the city or stop to relax in a cafe.

Day Trip from Ljubljana to Piran

Tartini Square

If you walk up to the monastery above Tartini Square you get amazing views of Piran and the coast, especially at sunset.

Piran Slovenia Sunset

Even though Piran is on the coast it doesn’t really have a beach. If you want to swim you can go to nearby Fiesa which is where most of the locals go to swim but it’s not the prettiest beach in the world. You can swim in Piran itself but the shoreline is rocky and access to the water a little difficult.

Swimming in Piran

Visiting Piran

Piran is a 90 minute easy drive from Ljubljana on the motorway. Don’t forget to buy a vignette before you use the motorway or else you’ll get a fine when you cross through a checkpoint. Vignettes cost around €15 for a 7 day pass and you can buy them from petrol stations or at the border.

Piran’s old town has limited vehicle access. You can enter the city but you have to pay at the gate and then pay for parking on top of that. The best option is to park at the huge car park just before you reach the city gate. If you’re not on a day trip from Ljubljana to Piran and prefer to stay a couple of days then ask your hotel for a voucher so you don’t need to pay for parking.

Even when visiting Piran on a short trip you should have plenty of time to see the all of the city including its museums and aquarium but it’s also a great place just to hang out and relax by the water after wandering the quiet backstreets.

Piran is fun but there’s much more to see in Slovenia:

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.


  1. Hi Andrea, Istria is on my list for spring, and Piran hadn’t even made it onto the radar yet. Thanks so much for the tip and enticing pics – I’ve bookmarked this page!

  2. Those are such beautiful photos! And a super cute village. I wanna go 🙂

  3. I need to go to Slovenia and I need to go here. Now.
    What a charming little town Piran is! Seems like my initial plan of just hitting up Ljubljana and Bled should be scratched and I should spend a couple weeks in Slovenia whenever I get around to it.

  4. I was in Piran once when I was 17 and the country was called Yugoslavia. I remember a pretty little town, but your photos makes me want to re-visit. With a proper camera…

  5. I’m heading to Ljubljana later this year and would like to do a day trip to Piran – any ideas on the best way to do it if we’re not driving out there?

    • There is a direct bus which takes 2.5 hours. There are no direct trains so you would have to get the train to Koper and then a bus to Piran and that would take roughly the same time as the direct bus from Ljubljana. You can see the bus timetable here:

  6. I spent an afternoon in Piran during my trip to Slovenia earlier this year and totally fell in love with it! It was so pretty and relaxing and such a hidden gem as it wasn’t a place I knew anything about before planning the Slovenia trip!