Trieste or Piran, Slovenia?

Old Mar 15th, 2015, 04:12 PM
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Trieste or Piran, Slovenia?

Hi --
I'm in the process of planning a trip to Slovenia with my 70-something parents for a week this August and am wrestling with one leg of the trip. We'd like to spend two nights on the Adriatic, seeing a bit of Trieste and Piran, but I'm trying to decide which is the better city to make as a base. Trieste seems to have more hotel options, being a larger city. I'm guessing the food might be better there too.

Is one preferable as a place to stay? We're not going to be hitting the beach, so that's not a factor. Our interests are more in historical/cultural sites and wandering historic neighborhoods.

Thank you very much.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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Given that choice a few years ago, having been to neither before, I chose Piran. It is a smaller town, sure - it's also Slovenia's marquee beach/coastal town. And in August, it's likely to be crowded with sun-and-fun tourists (probably not American tourists). Even at the end of September, on a warm, sunny weekend, I found Piran pretty busy. I also found the town delightful. I loved it. (In my case, the fact that hotels were a lot more expensive in Trieste than Piran - at least in September - was a factor too. I'd guess Piran prices go up a lot in August.)

I stopped in Trieste only long enough to catch the train (I did walk around for half an hour around the station). Driving through it on the way to the train station, I got the idea it truly is a much larger town with a different character. I don't know what it's really like. However, I'd guess you won't enjoy the sun-and-beach atmosphere in Piran in August. But I hope you at least stop in Piran for a few hours before heading on to Trieste. I walked the walls for some great views down on the town, maybe not something your parents will want to do. (You can read my 2011 trip report by clicking on my name and finding pictures of Piran.)
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 03:43 AM
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Andrew,
Thanks very much. We'll definitely take a few hours to see Piran even if we don't stay there. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate and it won't be too hot either. We'll be coming from Julian Alps where it will probably be much cooler!
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:53 AM
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I haven't been to Piran, but I spent three nights in Trieste last fall and regretted it (admittedly, the weather didn't help). If you are into 19th century Hapsburg architecture you might like it. I found none of the charm I expected from reading Jan Morris' book, and the weather was too bad for a visit to Miramare.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 06:23 AM
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WE loved Piran, but also look at hotels in Portorocz which is very close.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 06:52 AM
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I really enjoyed Trieste as both a walker's city and for its unusual history and position within Italy. You are right that the food is fantastic, and the coffee too. However, it is not a "quaint" city, even though it is filled with antique streets. Its architecture very much reflects its position as a super-important international port through many different stages of history (not just Hapsburg, but Mussolini, Medieval, Byzantine, Venetian and Roman). Curiously, the place it most reminded me of is Barcelona, although it is utterly different, and Trieste is not a mega-tourist destination like Barcelona But the embedded cosmopolitan outlook of both port cities, and the restless modern creativity of their young -- who in Trieste are an astonishingly poly-lingual mishmash -- was interesting to me.

But I can think of 10 good friends I would steer away from Trieste because their main interest in Europe is wandering in pre-18th places, the more medieval the better. From pictures alone, Piran looks to tick that box in grand style, whereas Trieste is a more complicated curiosity, and is very much a working modern port town overall.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 01:08 PM
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I dropped my rental car in Portorož before moving on to Piran. Portorož seemed like a busy resort area to me, whereas Piran was a charming, beautiful old town
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 04:16 AM
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Thanks for all the good advice. I think we'll probably stay in Trieste but plan a day in Piran so we can at least get a flavor of the city. And if we can really make the time, driving down through Istria to Rovinj also looks like a worthwhile trip.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 02:05 PM
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Trieste is boring city, just working port with few interesting buildings, Castle Miramare and Tram to Opicina where you have great view over Trieste Bay.
You can visit Piran, Lipica Stud, wine region both in Italy and Slovenia. Croatian Istria is also near.
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