How to get to Koper and when?

How to get to Koper?

Koper is easily accessible. There are international airports nearby, and a railway station in town. Road connections (for cars or buses) are available, and you can also get to Koper by sea.

When is the best time to visit Koper?

Koper is part of the Slovenian Istria where the Mediterranean climate prevails and is therefore great to visit any day of the year.

Those who love high temperatures, the sea, sunbathing, and water sports will enjoy visiting in the summer time. Due to mild winters, our town is lovely to visit even in the colder months of the year, while spring and autumn are perfect for nature lovers, country visits, and enjoying the view of the changing nature.

In Koper and the surrounding area, interesting events are organised throughout the year, which will enrich your experience no matter when you visit. Among the most famous are the gastronomy event Sweet Istria (an international festival of desserts and sweets), December festivities, such as Fantazima v Kopru (Fantasy Winter), the Istrian Carnival, and of course various sports, cultural, and ethnological events.

Plan your visit

I will be in Koper for 2–3 hours: what is a must-see?

We suggest a stroll through the old town centre, where you can see different cultural attractions, enjoy a drink in one of the bars and/or take a stroll by the sea and through the (award-winning) Koper Central Park along the Semedela promenade.

I will be in Koper for a day: what should I see and do?

In one day, you can visit the old town centre, go to a museum, have lunch in one of the restaurants and coffee in one of the specialty cafés, or you can go to a local wine tasting at one of the wine cellars or wineries.

In the morning (from Monday to Saturday), you can visit the market where farmers sell local fresh fruits and vegetables.

A walk by the sea is always nice (you can walk all the way to Izola) and we also suggest you go to the (award-winning) Koper Central Park along the Semedela promenade.

The Škocjan zatok Nature Reserve is just a stone’s throw away from the city. There, you can admire the diverse fauna and flora in Slovenia’s largest semi-saline wetland, and children can even ride horses.

I will stay in Koper for 2–3 days: what should I see and do?

In addition to enjoying the city centre, we suggest you take a trip to the surrounding area of Koper, see the natural sights and other places in the Slovenian Istria or other parts of Slovenia. You might even decide you want to go for a hike to Slavnik or try fishing.

Of course, you can choose an organised professional guided tour or follow the tips for sightseeing within different thematic routes (hiking, cycling, riding).

If you are a fan of the Istrian cuisine, you can enjoy the numerous local delicacies. Visiting the wine fountain in Marezige can also be a spectacular experience.

In the summer time, many activities are available to you within the Active Koper Park, as well as other water activities.

Experiences and Sights

What are the most interesting events in Koper and when do they take place?

Koper is known as the city of events.

Throughout the year, various events are organised in the town and its surroundings – for every taste.

Visitors can visit :

  • Gastronomy events: “Sweet Istria” international festival of desserts and sweets, St. Martin’s Day celebrationswith wine,Refosco Festival”, “White Istriana”, “Figs and Rosé Festival”, the Koper sandwich festival “Paninifest”, as well as the “Open kitchen” and “Viva la pasta” culinary markets;
  • Major entertainment events: December and New Year’s Eve celebrations, such as Fantazima v Kopru (Fantasy Winter in Koper), the Istrian Carnival, Rumeno-modre noči (Yellow and Blue Nights), Calamari Festival;
  • Sports events (I feel Slovenia Ironman 70.3 Slovenian Istria, the Slovenian Istria Grand Prix and Istrian Cycling Marathon cycling events, Istrian Marathon (running event), Eurofest – European handball festival, Triatlon for the Istria Cup, and others);
  • Cultural events (Primorska Summer Festival, Summer museum night, MIFF – International Folklore Festival, FENS Festival – International Music Festival, Folkest, Alpe Adria PUF Festival, Frivolus – street artists festival, and others);
  • Ethnological events (“From the Wine Maker to the Olive Grower”, “Scent of Istria”, “Countryside in the city”,Koper in Your Hand,Slovenian Istria Days of Agriculture, various country “šagras”, and others).

What are the top cultural attractions of the Koper old town centre?

There are several cultural attractions in the old town centre – we definitely recommend you visit Tito Square where you can admire the beautiful palaces, the cathedral, and the Bell Tower, as well as the most famous palace – the Praetorian Palace, which you can also take a guided tour of.

At the *Tourist information center (TIC) – located in the palace – you can also buy tickets for the Bell Tower, so you can admire the beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area from its top. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed and the visits are not possible.)

Some other city squares are also particularly interesting, such as Carpaccio square (next to Taverna) and, of course, Prešeren square where you can see the well-preserved old town Muda gate from 1516 and the beautiful Da Ponte Fountain. We suggest you (at least) take a walk down Čevljarska street and see the buildings near Brolo square. If you have enough time, we suggest you also take a stroll along some less-known streets where you can admire the typical town architecture and discover the hidden spots of our city.

What are the top natural attractions in Koper?

We suggest you visit the Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve, Slovenia’s largest semi-saline wetland where you can observe the interesting fauna and flora specific to the area.

The Karst edge is also a particularly special landscape in the inland area of Koper where continental Slovenia meets the coast.

The Wall of Osp – Mišja peč (one of the major climbing areas in Europe) and the natural bridges and rock-shelters near Sočerga are also breathtaking.

The Dragonja river valley, the river that represents the natural link between the Karst plateau, the flysch Istria, and the Adriatic Sea is an excellent choice for all those who enjoy nature.

Are there any museums in Koper?

Yes, Koper does have museums. In the town centre, you can visit the Koper Regional Museum, the largest museum in the Slovenian Istria with amazing collections from the ancient history, through the glorious Venetian period, all the way to recent history.

The ethnological collection in the Venetian-Gothic building on the Gramsci Square is also worth seeing.

Also interesting is the Tomos Heritage Museum where you can view the boutique collection of the famous two-wheelers from the Tomos factory in Koper.

There are interesting ethnological museums and collections even in the surrounding area of Koper.

You can visit the Bardinc House in the Lopar village  and see the Istrian “black” kitchen and the wine cellar with the oldest wooden wine press (from the 19th century), as well as learn about the local history.

In Krkavče, you will be fascinated by the ethnological collection in the traditional Istrian house called Vrešje House.

The Grozdan Pohlen’s private collection of military equipment and weapons in Hrastovlje is also worth seeing.

Which churches in Koper and the surrounding area are the most special?

You can visit a lot of interesting sacral buildings in the town and surrounding villages.

In the old town centre, we suggest visiting one of the largest churches in Slovenia, the Cathedral  of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the medieval St. Blaise church, the Baroque St. Bassus church (with one of the oldest and best preserved depictions of the crucified Jesus in Slovenia), the Church of St. Nicholas, and the church of St. Mark just outside the town.

There are many special churches in the surrounding villages, but the Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje is one that is definitely worth visiting. It is located behind a high wall on a rocky hill and is also known for its frescoes from 1490.

Some other interesting churches are the Baroque church of St. Valentine with a leaning bell tower in Črni Kal, the Gothic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Dekani, the sacral buildings in Koštabona, the rich Baroque church of St. Michael in Krkavče, St. Thomas church in Osp, the church of St. Cross in Rakitovec, and the Church of St. Stephen in Zanigrad – a Karst-Istrian church in a special location.

In Socerb, you can visit (only on Sundays at 2pm) the Holy Cave – a Karst cave with the only underground church in Slovenia.

Where can I go fishing?

In Koper and its surrounding area, it is possible to go sea, river, and/or lake fishing.

Recreational fishing at the shore does not require a permit, while sea, river, or lake fishing from a boat does require one. You can also buy the permit online (https://www.ribiskekarte.si/).

Recreational fishing in the area of Koper is possible at the Rižana river and Lake Vanganel.

Transport and parking

Is the town centre closed for traffic? Where can I park my car?

In Koper, part of the old town centre is closed for traffic, and car access is not possible in some streets, so the visitors can enjoy a lovely walk around the town.

There are several public car parks located at the city entry (Park & Rides), in the city itself, and of course in front of larger shops and shopping centres. Various parking garages are also available.

The list of public car parks is available at: https://www.marjeticakoper.si/sl/dejavnosti/parkirisca/

For an easier move around the city centre it is possible to use the *»Kurjerca« – a smaller, electrically-powered vehicle. The service is free of charge and available every day from 8.00 do 18.00, by calling the phone number +386 (0)51 488 000 or simply by stopping the vehicle in motion. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Kurjerca is currently not available.)

Where are the bus station and the railway station?

The bus station and the railway station are located next to each other on Kolodvorska cesta (the railway station at Kolodvorska cesta 2 and the bus station at Kolodvorska cesta 11).

They are about a 15 minute walk away from the city centre. You can also use public transport (city buses and taxis) to reach different parts of the city.

Where are the taxi stands?

There are several taxi services in the city. Taxi stands can be found by the market, by the train station, and by the passenger terminal.

Is it possible to rent a car in Koper?

Several car rental companies are available in Koper, such as:

What type of public transport should I use in Koper and what are the ticket payment methods?

In the city, you can use public bus service organised by the Arriva company. You can download their app or find the bus schedules for specific routes on their website (https://arriva.si/avtobusni-prevozi/mestni-avtobusni-prevozi/mestni-promet-koper/napovedi-prihodov/).

Bus transport payment methods are:

  • The Koper Card plus (you can purchase the card at TIC, the Arriva sales points, ticket machines, and sales points marked with the Koper Card Plus symbol);
  • Cash (Warning: The driver can only accept banknotes of up to 20 EUR) and
  • Mobile phone (Moneta system – only applies if you have a subscription taken out with a Slovene mobile provider).

For an easier move around the city centre it is possible to use the *»Kurjerca« – a smaller, electrically-powered vehicle. The service is free of charge and available every day from 8.00 do 18.00, by calling the phone number +386 (0)51 488 000 or simply by stopping the vehicle in motion. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Kurjerca is currently not available.)

Where can I rent a bike in Koper?

In Koper you can rent city, mountain and/or e-bikes at different locations. These locations are:

Where can I get cycling maps?

You can find cycling maps (as well as hiking and other thematic routes maps) at https://map.slovenska-istra.si/#tours?type=kolesarske-poti, download the app to your smart phone, or get them at the *Tourist information centre (TIC). (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed.)

What type of public transport should I use to visit Ankaran, Izola, Strunjan, Portorož, or Piran? What are the distances between these towns?

The coastal towns are well connected and have good bus services (read more at https://arriva.si/). Considering how short these distances are, you can also take a taxi.

These are the approximate distances between the towns:

  • Koper–Izola approx. 10km;
  • Koper–Strunjan 14km;
  • Koper–Portorož 16km and
  • Koper–Piran 23km.

Tourist Information center - TIC

Where is TIC located?

There are two Tourist Information Centres located in Koper: TIC Koper (city centre) and TIC at the passenger terminal.

TIC Koper is located in the old town centre, specifically in the Praetorian Palace (Titov trg 3). It is *open every day of the year:

  • From 9am to 5pm between 1 October and 15 June;
  • From 9am to 8pm between 16 June and 30 September.

(*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed. We remain at your disposal by phone or e-mail.)

The TIC at the passenger terminal is only open when passenger ships arrive to Koper.

Contact Details:

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE (TIC) KOPER

Titov trg 3, SI – 6000 Koper

Tel: +386 (0)5 664 64 03

E-mail: tic@koper.si

What does TIC offer?

In addition to information on tourist attractions, Tourist Information Centre (TIC) Koper provides a wide range of promotional materials, tourist maps of the city and its surroundings, as well as other informative materials for the visitors of Koper.

At TIC, you can also book a guided tour of the Praetorian Palace and Koper city centre, as well as buy tickets for the city tower – The Bell Tower, and for some of the events taking place in Koper. You can also buy the Koper Card or Koper Card Plus, as well as many souvenirs, including the current Mayor’s wine and Mayor’s olive oil of the Koper City Municipality. At TIC you can also rent a bike.

Benefits and discounts

Is there a city card with discounts for attractions, purchases, transport, etc.?

In Koper, a special card for experiences called KOPER CARD is available; it can be used for different attractions, experiences, and benefits that allow you to enjoy everything that Koper has to offer.

The KOPER CARD plus is intended for transport by the city bus. You can choose between a top-up or monthly card.

The TOP-UP CARD is transferable. When using the city bus, it allows you to switch buses within 30 minutes from the first ticket validation. You can add up to €50 to your prepaid card.

The MONTHLY CARD, however, allows for an unlimited number of trips per month. It is issued in the cardholder’s name and is not transferable.

Read more at www.koper-card.si.

Gastronomy

What are the typical dishes from Koper and its surroundings?

In Koper and its surroundings, you can enjoy Istrian delicacies, such as truffle “fuži” pasta, fritaja omelette with asparagus, prosciutto, bobiči minestrone, and other authentic Istrian dishes.

Just like in other Mediterranean seaside towns, you can also try fish dishes and other seafood prepared with local olive oil in Koper. Of course, some good quality local wine goes well with these dishes.

However, the meal cannot be complete without a traditional Istrian dessert, such as fritule and kroštoli.

Koper and its surrounding area offer a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Here you can try grapes, cherries, figs, jujube fruit, khaki, strawberries, tomatoes, peas, and many other seasonal produce that will impress you with their genuine taste.

Where can I try local wines?

You can try the best local wines at the Vinakoper “Hiša refoška” cellar, or in the “Okusi Istre” (Tastes of Istria) shop in the city centre (on Kidričeva street).

Another exciting experience is wine tasting at the Wine fountain in the village of Marezige where you can admire not only the wine but also the beautiful view.

You can also try the local wines in the winemakers’ cellars, or you can go with the annual selection of the best wines in the municipality and buy the current Mayor’s wine at TIC*. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed.)

Where can I buy local olive oil?

Slovenian Istria is also known for high-quality olive oil. Every year, olive oil makers from Koper receive international awards and recognition for their olive oil of superior quality. You can taste and buy it directly from the makers , in specialised shops, or in souvenir shops.

The current Mayor’s olive oil of the Koper City Municipality can only be purchased at TIC*. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed.)

Does Koper have a market? What can I buy there, what are the opening times, and where is it located?

Just like every Mediterranean town, Koper also has a market – a place where the locals meet and buy their produce. It is especially lively on Saturday mornings when it is the most crowded.

At the market, local farmers sell their produce – mostly fruits and vegetables that are very difficult to get elsewhere.

The market is open from Monday to Saturday (with the exception of bank holidays) from 7am to 1pm and is located at the city entrance on the Pristaniška street.

Where can I buy fresh fish?

You can buy fresh fish from two fish markets next to the town market and, of course, in supermarkets with fish counters.

Other

What is Parenzana?

Parenzana/Porečanka, also known as the “Path of Health and Friendship” is a 130 kilometre long path along the former narrow-gauge railway which used to connect Trieste to Poreč.

The path goes through old villages and towns, among vineyards and olive groves, and by the sea. It is characterised by different altitudes and well-maintained and illuminated tunnels. You can also see old stations and parts of locomotives.

The path is well maintained and suitable for cycling and walking.

A map with the marked route is available at https://map.slovenska-istra.si/#tours?type=kolesarske-poti&tour=parenzana-pot-prijateljstva, or at the *Tourist information centre at Tito Square. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Koper Tourist Information Centre is closed.) 

Does Koper offer free wi-fi?

In most of the city centre, you can use the Koper Wi-Free public wireless network. Search for “Koper Wi-Free” or visit the https://www.wi-free-community.net/sl/ website and follow the instructions for a 24-hour free Internet access.

A majority of restaurants, accommodation providers, and shopping centres also provide free access to the Internet to their guests.

What kind of beaches are there in Koper, how many are there, and where are they located?

There are two beaches in Koper; the town bathing area called “Mokra mačka” (Wet cat) near the town centre, and the Žusterna beach. The latter is about a 15 minute walk away from the town centre.

Both beaches are family-friendly; the town bathing area has a pebble beach and offers natural shade, whereas the Žusterna beach is made of concrete and also has a pool.

It is also possible to sunbathe and go for a swim along the former road between Koper and Izola, which has been closed to traffic since 2017.

At the end of the Semedela promenade, there is also a dog beach which is separated from other bathing areas and equipped with all the necessary equipment to allow dogs to cool off.

Is Koper suitable for persons with reduced mobility?

Yes, Koper is suitable for persons with reduced mobility.

The paths are well maintained. The paved streets of the old town can be difficult for some, unfortunately there are also few parts of the town not so easily accessible due to the stairs.

The paths by the sea, both those along the gulf and the one to Izola, are well maintained and suitable for persons with reduced mobility.

For an easier move around the city centre it is possible to use the *»Kurjerca« – a smaller, electrically-powered vehicle. The service is free of charge and available every day from 8.00 do 18.00, by calling the phone number +386 (0)51 488 000 or simply by stopping the vehicle in motion. (*Due to the current situation with coronavirus the Kurjerca is currently not available.)

Where are the most stunning views?

Koper is beautiful from several points of view, however, some of the most beautiful viewpoints are: The Bell Tower, the viewpoint by the Bastion fort and, of course, the view from the beach and Markovec hill.

The countryside also offers some breathtaking views. Here are some amazing viewpoints:

  • Marezige (particularly at the Wine Fountain);
  • Socerb (you can admire the beautiful view of the Gulf of Trieste and Gulf of Koper);
  • Boršt (view of the Starec stream valley on one side, and Koper and Trieste, as well as the Gulf of Trieste – in clear weather – on the other side);
  • Čentur (view of the Vanganel Valley and the sea);
  • Glem (view of Koper and the Gulf of Trieste, all the way to Kamnik–Savinja Alps);
  • Krkavče (view of the surrounding hills and villages);
  • Šmarje (view of the surrounding hills and villages, Koper and the Gulf of Trieste);
  • Slavnik (the highest peak in the Slovenian Istria offering the view of the Gulf of Koper and Gulf of Trieste, the Alps, Kvarner Gulf, and in clear weather even of Venice);
  • The Fortress of Črni Kal (view of the Rižana Valley, the Karst edge, Gulf of Koper and Gulf of Trieste, Tinjan, and the Črni Kal viaduct);
  • Koštabona (view of the Dragonja river valley);
  • Tinjan (view of the Gulf of Trieste, Gulf of Koper, and the Karst edge);
  • Hrvoji (in clear weather, the Gulf of Trieste and Gulf of Koper can be seen from the Bell Tower, all the way to the Kvarner Gulf in Croatia).

Is Koper a dog-friendly city?

Yes, Koper is a dog-friendly city.

There is even a special dog beach (at the end of the Semedela promenade) which is separated from other bathing areas and equipped with all the necessary infrastructure for dogs to cool off.

They can also run around and play in the dog park located near the city centre. A fenced lawn with water fountains is also arranged as part of the city park along the Semedela promenade for you to walk your four-legged friends.

What currency is used in Koper? Where can I exchange money?

In Koper (Slovenia), EURO (€) is used.

You can exchange money at all banks and exchange offices.

I need a doctor – where should I go?

*Due to the current situation with coronavirus  it is necessary to first call the health providers.

As tourists in Koper, you can go to the Emergency medical service (Tel.: +386 (0)5 6647 440). On weekdays, from 7am to 8pm, medical service is available at the Koper Health Centre (at Ljubljanska cesta 6a), at night, on weekends, and on holidays, at the Izola General Hospital – Emergency Centre (address: Polje 40, Izola).

On Saturdays, Sundays, and on holidays, the Emergency dental clinic (Tel.: +386 (0)5 6647 399) is open from 8am to 12pm in the Koper Health Centre (at Dellavallejeva ulica 3, Koper).

Where can I buy medicines?

Prescription medicines can only be bought at pharmacies, while some other can be bought at drugstores.

Is there a limitation of purchase of alcohol and tobacco products?

Yes, there is. In addition to specific regulations on foods containing alcohol and locations where alcohol is sold, time limits and other limitations or restrictions apply to the sale and offer of alcoholic beverages, and beverages with added alcoholic beverages. The sale and offer of such beverages are prohibited to:

  • Persons under 18 years of age;
  • Persons for whom it can be reasonably assumed they will provide alcohol to persons younger than 18 years;
  • Persons showing obvious signs of alcohol intoxications;
  • Persons for whom it can be reasonably assumed they will provide alcohol to persons showing obvious signs of alcohol intoxication;
  • From automatic vending machines;
  • At specified hours and designated institutions, in accordance with applicable laws.

Tobacco products can only be purchased by persons of age (older than 18 years) and are sold at gas stations, in shops, kiosks, and some restaurants.

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public and work places.

Where in Slovenia did Melania Trump live?

Melania Trump (born Knavs) grew up in Sevnica, a town in Eastern Slovenia with approximately 5,000 inhabitants. Sevnica is about a 2 hour drive away from Koper.