Piran seems a world away from the rest of Slovenia. This is an great part of Slovenia to visit as a family as there are many great options for things to do in Piran Slovenia with kids.
Piran and the rest of Coastal Slovenia just have a different feeling to them. The rest of Slovenia feels sturdy and reliable and somewhat slow moving. Piran feels like Slovenia’s lithe, graceful, exciting other half.
The fact that you can be in the mountains in the morning and by afternoon be eating gelato in a distinctively different climate is one of the many wondrous things about visiting Slovenia, and it the sudden change gives Piran an air of mysterious possibility.
While the rest of Slovenia is heavily influenced by its shared border with Austria, the streets of Piran feel much more like Mediterranean Italy. Piran Slovenia was a part of the Republic of Venice for a large part of its history which contributed to its Venetian look with picturesque central squares linking together charming, narrow cobblestone streets.
There are enough things to do in Piran with kids to fill a pleasant day or afternoon. The city is small and the distances are eminently walkable for small legs. Many of the streets are made of cobblestones and there are some hills to negotiate. For this reason, it might be hard to get around with a regular stroller, but a larger wheeled jogging or all terrain stroller should be fine. When the kids were little, we always found it easier to carry them in an infant carrier until they got too big.
Once you are done checking out all of the things to do in Piran Slovenia with kids, this charming city would also make a great base for 2-3 nights for exploring the rest of what the rest of Coastal Slovenia has to offer families.
Things to do in Piran Slovenia with Kids
If you are looking for suggestions for what to do in Piran, start your day by heading for the old city walls.. You will likely pass by the city walls walking down from where you parked. This remarkably intact section of the city fortifications will yield those stunning views of beautiful red roofed Piran against the background of the blue ocean that postcards are made of.
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The attraction is definitely not stroller friendly. We folded ours up and left hidden from sight right near the exit and we had no issues.
An important note – there ARE railings on the old city walls, but the bars are farther apart than is mandated for safety in the US. A curious 3 or 4 year old could EASILY slip through with terrible consequences. Please watch your kids carefully here!
Cost: 2 euro/person (children under 12 free)
Continue down the hill into the heart of Piran and Tartini Square. This is where the main tourist information is in the city as well as a nice place to let the kids burn off some steam while you get your bearings and take a potty break. There are many nice little cafes along the square which would be a lovely place to stop for lunch or a treat, but you will find somewhat better prices as you head deeper into the city.
Admire the beautiful cobblestoned streets for a while. If it is lunch time, check out my MUST EAT restaurant recommendation below. Continue meandering through town until you reach the sea wall. There is a lovely pathway around the end of the point. Snag some gelato (gelato places were plentiful here). The limestone blocks that they used to make the seawall are filled with fossils. The kids had a fun time looking for fossils here.
Meander with your gelato around the point clockwise and you will eventually get to where the road ends. This is where the Piran beach is (though it is not really a beach…it is a small section of rocky coastline.) The kids still had fun here throwing rocks into the ocean for a bit, and there are a couple of restaurants here with outdoor seating if you want a quiet spot to stop for refreshment.
If you are looking for more sandy beaches, you would be better served by heading to either nearby Izola or Strunjan, as these are much more scenic (Izola had a great beach area with a playground nearby!)
You need more ideas for what to do in Piran, there is also a small but lovely aquarium that we didn’t have time for on this trip. It highlights ocean creatures native to the area and would most certainly make a pleasant outing with young ones (and a break from summer heat). The aquarium is located straight south from Tartini Square.
Cost: 5 euros for adults, 3 euros for children age 2-12
Hours: July and August 9:00am-8:00pm, rest of year 9:00am-7:00pm
Alternatively, you could also visit the Sečovlje Salt Works just outside of Piran to learn about how salt has been mined here for ages. You can see the small salt museum and learn about the long history of salt making in the area, as well as walking around the salt flats. The website listed guided tours, but I was unable to determine the cost for these. They can be booked via a form on the website.
Cost: 7 euros for adults, 5 euros for students (6 and under free)
Hours: From one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset
The Best Piran Restaurants for Families
Fritolin Pri Cantini: You really MUST eat at Fritolin Pri Cantini. It is a really reasonably priced restaurant that features fresh, local seafood. In a city of pricey (for Slovenia) restaurants, this out of the way gem is a ray of culinary light. It is nestled on one side of an out of the way square underneath a canopy of grape vines.
Your experience begins by ordering from the window. Take a seat and watch for your number to come up. In the meantime, a waiter from bar next door will come and take your drink order. When your order is up, you go to the window to pick up a plate of seafood heaven that will give many fancy seafood restaurants at home a run for their money at a fraction of the price. The restaurant is in a car free square, giving the kiddos a safe place to move while they wait they wait for their food.
The restaurant also had great kids meals that included fish nuggets as well as fries and a cookie on a fish shaped plate.
Pizzeria Burin: We only had a chance to eat one meal while in Piran for the afternoon, but if we had time for another, I would have eaten here. Reviews tout reasonable prices, great pizza and burgers and an outdoor seating area with views of the pretty Piran harbor (and pizza and good burgers are always popular options with the kiddos).
The Best Piran Accommodation for Families
Tourist Farm Tonin: This is where we stayed for our time exploring this beautiful region. It was not right in Piran, but within 30 minutes drive and location in the countryside in a picture perfect little Slovenian village. It was kind of nice to be able to leave the tourist busyness behind when we were done. They offer two perfect little studio apartments and the price is right, so if you have a big family you can rent both and have the whole place to yourself. You can read about our Slovenian tourist farm and our experience at Tourist Farm Tonin here.
Pachamama Pleasant Stay: This choice is a little on the spendy side for Slovenia, but the apartments look amazing and you can’t beat the location right off of Tartini Square in the heart of Piran. They offer choices for any sized family. Quadruple rooms were going for 140 euros/night during peak season, a room for 2-3 a little less at 110 euros/night.
Hostel Piran: A family oriented hostel that blurs the line of simple, budget hotel. A wide variety of clean, modern, private rooms with different bed configurations and a great location next to the Piran Aquarium and a short walk from Tartini Square put this on my list. The room rates are extremely reasonable. Standard hostel amenities like a kitchen and laundry facilities will make travel with kids easier and cheaper. This is a hostel that we would most certainly stay in on a return trip to Piran.
How to Get Around Piran Slovenia / Logistics
Walking is the easiest (and really only) way to get around the narrow streets of Piran’s old town. The whole area is not very big, so there is no extensive walking needed. The streets can be uneven because of the cobblestones and there are some hills involved.
If you are taking the bus from Ljubljana to Piran, the main bus station is on the south side of the city, a 6 minute walk from centrally located Tartini Square.
If you are driving to Piran, you will need to find somewhere to leave your car. Parking in Piran Slovenia is tough. The narrow streets do not make for a pleasant driving experience, and many are closed to cars altogether. We parked in a parking lot near the old town called Parking Arze. From here, it was a 10 minute walk downhill into the old town.
Piran Parking Information: https://www.portoroz.si/en/plan-your-stay/be-mobile-around-the-town/parking
Getting from Ljubljana to Piran Slovenia
The easiest option for those wanting to visit picture perfect Piran from Ljubljana is to drive. The drive is an easy hour and a half south west of Ljubljana on a main highway, so it is very easy driving.
For those wanting public transportation options from Ljubljana to Piran, the bus is your best bet. Check the schedules here: https://www.ap-ljubljana.si/. It is a 2-3 hour bus ride.
There is a train from Ljubljana to Piran, but you must connect in Koper. Because of this connection, the bus is a more efficient public transit option.
As an alternative, if you are just wishing to visit Piran for an afternoon to poke around a little bit consider booking a tour from Ljubljana to Piran.