A country that is continually growing in popularity, Slovenia has two main sites that always steal the spotlight; the beautiful Lake Bled (naturally!) and of course the capital city of Ljubljana. The city of Maribor, encircled by the Mariborsko Pohorje Mountains, the Drava River and wine growing hills, is the second largest and unarguably one of the oldest cities in the country meaning it’s full of historical gems. Discover what Maribor has to offer and take a trip back into history with a visit to some of the earliest sights in the city
Despite its relatively large population, Maribor has a welcoming small town feel to it. There are plenty of communal squares where you can stop by for a drink or a bite to eat and pass some time people watching. Main Square does what it says on the tin and is found right near to the Old Bridge and Koroska Street. This is the heart of the city which is filled with plenty of activity throughout the day whilst the locals go about their business. A few hours here makes for a fantastic introduction to the city. Many places of interest and historical attractions can also be found here including the Town Hall as well as Plague Column and Aloysius Church.
One of the most unmissable attractions in Maribor is undoubtedly Maribor Castle. Surrounded by Grajski Square, Generala Maistra Square and Svobode Square, the castle sits majestically amidst the bustling throng of the city centre. It dates to the 15th Century and contains the Knights Hall which hosts a somewhat disproportioned painting on the ceiling. Inside you’ll also find the Regional Museum with many impressive collections to be seen. The building is regarded as the most architecturally impressive so a visit here should feature highly on your itinerary.
The Cathedral in each city around the world will usually never fail to impress and Maribor Catheral doesn’t buck the trend. The Cathedral here is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and the gothic building dates back to the 12th Century. On a sunny day, the stained glass windows will come alive with colour and if you climb to the top of the bell tower, you can immerse yourself in the views of the city and the surrounding area.
Head to the banks of the Drava River for a visit the Drava Regional Park and relax in one of the cities several parks. Why not visit the Slovene National Theatre for an elaborate evening, enjoying ballet or opera. Get active, and climb Piramida Hill for unforgettable, city wide views.
If you enjoy wine, Maribor will be the city for you as it produces some of the best. Interestingly, the city is home to the oldest growing vine in the world at 400 years, as certified by Guinness World Records. Its age, without a doubt, certifies the country’s rich wine culture and their expertise in the production of delicious wines. An annual Old Vine Festival takes place at the end of September in celebration of the vine’s grape harvest. Be sure to sample, if not buy, some of the white wine during your time here – you’ll be hard pressed to be disappointed.
This list is genuinely just a taste of must-sees in Maribor; other activities range from a visit to the Terme Baths to a high rope course at Adrenaline Park in Pohorje, a 20 minute drive from the city centre with a car hire in Slovenia. Whilst in Pohorje, hit the slopes at Slovenia’s biggest ski resort and even enjoy a bit of downhill in the dark!
It’s true that direct flights to Maribor are not readily available these days, however Maribor and Ljubljana are very well connected. They are located approximately 80 miles apart and therefore easily reached with car hire or even express rail link if necessary in around 1.5hours. Cheap flights to Ljubljana are readily available with several low cost airlines.