Piran and Portoroz are cities located on the Adriatic Coast in Slovenia. They are lovely cities that you absolutely must visit if you are a tourist in Slovenia. I love going to Piran, especially in summer, because it is the best place to swim in summer in Slovenia.
Piran is the most beautiful city on the coast, and there are a lot of things to do there like visiting Tartini Square, St. George’s Parish Church, the Salt Pans, and of course, swimming while looking at three different countries: Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy.
If you are a tourist in Slovenia and want to see as many things as possible, you will probably spend about 24 to 48 hours in Piran. I have lived in Slovenia for a while now, and I always love visiting Piran. Let’s take a look at what to do for 24 hours in Piran and Portoroz from a Slovenia Insider point of view.
Park Outside of the City
Inside Piran, you cannot park if you are a tourist or you will get a fine. You must park on the parking on payment outside of the city. However, do not worry, they are not far from the city, and you will not have to walk for hours from the town’s parking.
What I usually do is that I park at the parking Piran near Fiesa Lake and then walk to the city using Pešpot Piran. The way is very easy to recognize, and the parking is not very expensive.
Address: Jezeri v Fiesi, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
Address: Fiesa 57, 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia
When you park there, you will see a lake and camping. You have to walk in front of the camping and follow the path following the sea until you reach the city. You can then go down directly to Tartini Square and the town or go up to Saint George’s Parish Chruch and then continue until you reach Piranski svetilnik.
I would advise the second option to have the best view possible on Piran and to follow the sea. This way, you will have time to see Piran entirely because all the narrow alleys will finally take you to Tartini Square.
Rise Above Piran at the St. George’s Parish Church
If you go for the visit to St. George’s Parish Church, which is what I did the first time I went to Piran, you will rise above the city and have one of the most beautiful views. From there, you will see Tartini Square, the Port, the sea, and the entire town with its red and orange roofs.
The panoramic view from St. George’s Parish Church is the iconic view that you see on every postcard of Piran, with a picture of the entire peninsula. I also love going when the sun is setting. If you spend the night in Piran, you should go back to the Church to see the splendid city in orange and pink light.
On the other side of the Church, you will see mostly the sea, but also Italy and the rest of the Slovenian coast. It is also a fantastic view worth seeing and breathtaking. It is my favorite place in Piran, hands down.
St. George’s Parish Church is a relatively small church, but it is lovely. The Church is of Venetian Renaissance architectural style and is very beautiful. There is a nice clock tower, and the Church is picturesque.
It is a Roman Catholic Church, which is the most common Church in Slovenia, considering over 60% of Slovenians are Roman Catholic.
St. George’s Parish Church
Address: Adamičeva ulica, 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia
Take a Walk in the Narrow Alleys
Piran is a beautiful city, and one of its main characteristics is the significant amount of narrow alleys. Do not start with Piran if you are planning on visiting other cities on the Adriatic Coast because Piran is so beautiful, you will be disappointed by the others afterward. If you only have time for one city, definitely go for Piran.
Getting lost in Piran is always a great adventure, and you never actually get lost because the city is tiny.
I always love to roam in Piran’s alleys, especially when it is hot in summer because the shadows between the buildings offer a very welcomed freshness. If you wander around in Piran, you will always end up near the sea or on Tartini Square after a few minutes, so do not worry about losing hours in the streets.
I also love to observe the buildings and the gardens in those streets. Piran is a very touristic city, but it is not a ghost town when tourists leave at the end of summer. About 4,000 people are living in Piran during the year, and there is always life, even when the sun is gone at the end of the year.
You will also often meet cats and lizards in the streets. They love to stay in the sun, and Piran is the perfect city for this hobby.
Visit Tartini Square, the Port, and the Piran Minorite Monastery
After wandering in the narrow alleys, you will end up on Tartini Square. It is the main square in Piran. This square is lovely, surrounded by restaurants, bars, the sea, the Port, and the city hall.
In the center of the square, you will find a sculpture of the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, which was built in 1896. Tartini was an Italian Baroque composer and musician. He was born in Piran that was then in the Republic of Venice.
The town square is lovely, and it definitely is a must-see in Piran. You will still see the remains of trolley tracks that connected Piran to Lucija in the early 1900s. A tram was used there until 1953.
I love Tartini Square, especially on Sunday, because it is the perfect place for a delicious meal or brunch when it is sunny. You can get there and appreciate the time you are spending doing nothing but enjoy your food and the rays of sunshine.
Address: 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia
After seeing Tartini Square, go to the Port. It is small but lovely, and I like looking at the clean sea and the small boats everywhere. It is also the ideal place for a beautiful holiday picture near the sea. From this side of Piran, you can even see Croatia.
When you are done visiting the Port, you should go back into the narrow alleys to find the Piran Minorite Monastery. It is a small monastery, but it is charming.
If you like visiting churches and other religious buildings, you will love this tiny Monastery. Sometimes, there are exhibitions there, and I think it is a nice monument in Piran.
Piran Minorite Monastery
Address: Bolniška ulica 30, 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia
Phone: +386 5 673 44 17
Visit the Tower and the Walls of Piran
When you are done with Tartini Square, the Port, and the Monastery, you should climb to the oldest part of Piran’s walls, where you will find a tower. If you go up the tower, you will get a very nice Piran view, worthy of a postcard.
On your way there, you should find a small shop that sells painted postcards of Piran. I remember buying a few, and the owner was really lovely. If you are looking for a sweet souvenir that is not expensive, these cards are perfect.
The walls of Piran are medieval remains from the 7th century and onwards. The view from up the tower in Piran is breathtaking; however, it is not free. To climb up the building, you will have to pay about 2,00 € per person.
These medieval walls surround Piran, and the oldest part – the one you can visit – is called Punta. The fort dates back from the 10th century. Piran puts a lot of effort into the preservation and restoration of the walls. They have been restored many times, including in the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, and from 2002 to 2008.
Walls of Piran
Address: Ulica IX. korpusa, 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia
Phone: + 386 5/671-03-90
Drink a Cocktail or Eat a Pizza Near the Sea
After all of your visits, you will probably want to take a break to eat lunch and drink some refreshments. In Piran, there are a lot of restaurants, but most of them are pretty touristic oriented. They are not very expensive, but they are not the cheapest, either.
If you love seafood, you will find everything you want in Piran. However, avoid the most touristic restaurants, they are not the best.
What I enjoyed the most about Piran’s bars, and restaurants was not the food, but rather the view. While you eat, you look at the beautiful sea, Croatia, and Italy. It truly is an incredible landscape to wonder at for the whole lunch.
At the end of the peninsula, the bars were great to drink a delicious and cheap cocktail or eat ice cream while looking at the Adriatic Sea.
All the chairs are set up to face the ocean, making it a fantastic place to rest a little before going back to tourism. One of these cafes was called Punta Caffe, and it was lovely.
Address: Prešernovo nabrežje 24, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
Follow the Sea from Piran to Portoroz (about 45 minutes)
After your meal, it is time for a little walk. The path from Piran to Portoroz following the sea is about 45 minutes. It is an excellent and easy walk, ideal for families, and to discover the area. You just have to remember that you will need to walk back to Piran afterward, but there are quicker ways not to follow the sea.
From Piran to Portoroz, you will mostly find places to go swimming. If you are visiting Piran in summer, you must bathe in the water there. It will be one of the most beautiful swim sessions you will have, caught between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.
The temperatures get above 77°F (25°C) for sure every day on the coast. The water temperature in Summer is, on average, between 68°F (20°C) and 81°F (27,5°F). It is worth bathing there.
I love going swimming in Piran. It is ideal for everyone in Slovenia because it is still close to Ljubljana and other leading cities. Nothing is ever far in Slovenia.
The only issue with Piran is that there are not really beaches anywhere. You jump directly from the city to the ocean. It is fun because people can bathe everywhere, but not ideal for spending hours playing in the sand.
There are some places with rocks so that you can leave your beach towel, but no sand. If you want something that looks more like a beach, you should head to Moon Bay in Strunjan. It is a beautiful beach down a hill. The only issue is that you have to walk a little to access it.
Moon Bay, Strunja
Address: Strunjan 117, 6320 Portorož – Portorose, Slovenia
In Piran, what looks the most like a beach is a small place at the end of the peninsula, after the bars and the NWO Mural (Prešernovo nabrežje, 6330 Piran – Pirano, Slovenia). It is excellent, especially for children.
What I like to do is to walk along the sea from Piran to Portoroz and stop wherever I want to bathe. This way, you can see where there are fewer people. You just have to be careful because many places are reserved for hotels, but usually, they are blocked.
Visit the Shell Museum
After bathing and seeing Portoroz, you should go back to Piran for the Shell and Snail Museum. This museum is a tourist favorite, and children always love it. You will find a collection of over 4,000 mollusks, clams, sea urchins, crabs, or sea stars. Children particularly love this museum because it is very interactive.
It is not a very expensive museum because it is relatively small, but it is nice to visit, especially if the weather is not ideal for bathing.
Shell and Snail Museum
Address: Tartinijev trg 15, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
Phone: +386 40 700 053
Visit the Salt Pans and Buy Piran Salt
At the end of your trip, the best thing is to bring back a souvenir. If you have time after all your visits, you should visit the Piran Salt Pans and get back some Piran Salt.
Salt production started in Slovenia in Piran in 804. Ever since then, salt production is essential in the country. You can visit the Piran Salt Pans, including the Strunjan Salt Pans and the Sečovlje Salt Pans.
In the Salt Pans, you will learn more about their 700 years long history and have the chance to observe the fantastic animal and plant species that succeeded in adapting to extreme salinity.
Strunjan Salt Pans
Address: Strunjan 152, 6320 Portorož – Portorose, Slovenia
Sečovlje Salt Pans
Address: Parecag 290, 6333 Sečovlje – Sicciole, Slovenia
Phone: +386 5 672 13 30
If you forgot to purchase the salt flower, get it in one of the many stores in Ljubljana, for example. There are many salt products to try out.
Near the Strunjan Salt Pans, you will also find the Strunjan Landscape Park, which is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful landscape parks. Over there, you will find Slovenia’s only sea lagoon but also the Adriatic’s highest cliff.
You will also have the chance to observe little typical Istrian housing, symbolizing this place’s cultural heritage, given by the locals.
Javni zavod, Krajinski park Strunjan
Address: Strunjan 152, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia
Phone: + 386 (0)8 205 18 80
Enjoy Piran in Summer
Now that you have everything you need to enjoy Piran in 24 hours or more, you are set to go. The only thing left is to know when to go, and for this, you have to see the weather. My advice is to visit Piran and Portoroz in Summer, from June to September, with a July and August preference.
Piran is the most enjoyable when the sun is beating, and the water is warm. I went to Piran multiple times this summer, but as soon as the temperature drops and the clouds start to show, I prefer hiking and visiting cities in the rest of Slovenia.
However, if you are not a fan of hotter seasons, Piran stays the most beautiful city of the Slovenian Adriatic coast and a lovely town to visit even in autumn and winter.