Let's discover the top things to do in Maribor Slovenia, the second largest city in the country. Very different from Ljubljana, Maribor is worth getting over the first impression and exploring to discover its rich history, beautiful buildings and charming surrounding hills. Below is your guide to plan your visit to Maribor.
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Visit Maribor in one day - Video
Let's start with a short video to show you what a visit to Maribor looks like: river, old vine, churches and the views from Pyramid Hill!
About the Slovenian city of Maribor
- The area has been settled in the late Iron Age
- Its original name was Marchpurg which means the Castle in March
- The city was first mentioned during the 12th century
- It became an official city in 1254
- Its economic development is due to being part of the Vienna - Trieste Railway line
Maribor interesting Facts
- Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia, after Ljubljana
- It is known for international sporting events, especially a ski competition on the ski resort at Pohorje
- The region is rich in vineyards, and Maribor hosts every year the Old Vine Festival
- It is located by the Drava River
- It was named the European Capital of Culture in 2012
Top Things to do in Maribor Slovenia
Below is my selection of top things to do in Maribor -
- Hike to the top of Pyramid Hill for magnificent views of the city and the region
- Walk along the river and appreciate the atmosphere
- Relax at one of the many terraces with a great selection of fruity drinks
- Admire the Franciscan church
- Check out the old vine
More about these activities and other (with photos) after the practical information.
Planning Tips - Maribor Slovenia
How to get to Maribor Location
- Located in the North East of Slovenia
- Ljubljana to Maribor - 1h30 drive (by motorway)
- Zagreb (Croatia) to Maribor - 1h45 drive
- Graz (Austria) to Maribor - 1h drive
- Maribor is included in my eBook:
The Things to do in Maribor, along with many other beautiful places, are included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide-Slovenia.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
And if you don't want to drive:
Getting around Maribor
The best way to explore Maribor is by walking, especially with several pedestrian only areas. This way you can admire the many remnants of old houses and the square setting of the town.
Another option is to take the touristic train that departs near the visitor center. Sadly there were no explanation given, but it is a nice way to get an overview of the city.
Staying in Maribor
- I recommend to plan 1 day on your road trip to explore Maribor
- Parking in the old center is not free and limited
- Get a touristic map of the city at the visitor center (right next to the big red Franciscan church)
- Regarding accommodations, you can find suggestions at the end of this article or you can already check out the best customer rated accommodations in Maribor
Best view: Piramida Hill Walk (Pyramid Hill)
So my favorite thing to do in Maribor was to climb to the top of Piramida Hill. It is one of the 2 hills in the town.
It is quite a hike especially when the sun is shinning brightly.
I recommend doing the walk in the morning or late afternoon, because for most of it, there is no shade at all.
In the photo below you can see the top of the hill from the city.
Its elevation is 386m (1266ft)
The hike from the visitor center to the top and return takes 1h15 if walking slowly.
Along the way you are in the middle of the vineyards...
At the top you can find the ruins of the old castle, a chapel from the 19th century, a bar open in Summer and this amazing views of Maribor and of the region.
In the city center stands the Maribor castle, on the Castle square (Grajski trg) 🙂
I don't know what I did, but I don't seem to have a proper photo of the castle... sorry
The Maribor castle was originally built in the 15th century but was modified and restored many times since.
It is not as impressive as other castles in Slovenia.
Inside the castle is the Regional Museum of Maribor with many artefacts from the ancient city and the region.
Different rooms offer different decors with paintings, oval ceilings, statues and staircases... It is like a small city inside the city.
And there you can find many places to sit outside and enjoy a drink or an ice-cream (or both...)
The Maribor Cathedral is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It is located on Slomškov Square.
It is a Romanesque building from the 12th century.
The decor is austere without many paintings and ornaments. It has a very classic shape.
The 57m high Bell tower is from the 18th century. You can climb it during certain hours and on certain days (check here).
And don't forget to turn around to admire the organ. It is a beautiful piece.
Maribor Franciscan Church
However the religious building that stands out the most in the city is the Franciscan church. With the red brick, you really can't miss it!
It is the Basilica of Our Mother of Mercy.
It was built between 1892 and 1900. Before, the church of Our Lady used to stand there (dating back to 1613).
It is a magnificent neo-romanesque building with 2 towers.
Inside the decor is elegant and not overwhelming.
My favorite part was the surprising flooring:
Old Vine in Maribor and River side
Walk down to the side of the Drava River for a vibrant scene.
One of the main stops is the old vine along a house.
I have seen several times the claims of the oldest vines in Slovenia (with some subtle difference, some producing fruits every year for example). It is quite fun how it seems the be important to them.
However Maribor has the most famous of the vine titles. It is more than 400 years old.
The House holding the vine has been restored and is now the Old Vine House Museum.
River side views
I recommend you cross the bridge for some nice views of the old town and its orangy roofs.
The Drava river is 710km long (440mi) and is a tributary to the Danube. Its source is in Italy, then it flows through Austria before crossing the Styria region in Slovenia. Learn more about the Drava River here.
You can walk quite a while along the river on the side of the old town. You will pass by the vine and several other historical building.
One is the Water tower that you can see in the photo below.
Main square (Glavni Trg)
Just above the water front is one of my favorite squares in the town: Glavni trg.
The series of old houses with interesting façade and orange/red rooftops is fascinating.
In the middle is a baroque monument in commemoration o the 17th century Plague.
Maribor is also famous for its outside nature resort at Pohorje.
It is the South-easternmost part of the Central Alps, a mountain range rising to 1543m with lakes, waterfalls and primeval forest.
In Winter it is a ski resort. It has the longest night skiing in Slovenia
And in Summer it is an adrenaline hot spot with hiking, biking, adrenaline park and other activities.
Bus 6 takes you from the center to the bottom of the Cable Car in just 10 minutes!
Where to stay in Maribor - Accommodations
Where I stayed
I opted for a modern style apartment at 4flats with a small kitchen and a lot of space. It is located right by the Cathedral so within walking distance of everything. Photos of the building and the flat below. Check out latest prices and availability
- LUXURY - Hotel City Maribor is in Downtown by the Drava River with very spacious rooms - Check out photos and latest prices
- MODERN - If you are looking for very modern design, consider Hotel Maribor - Check out photos and latest prices
- LOCATION - Hotel Lent offers great location for price and intriguing decor - Check out photos and latest prices
- BUDGET - The Guesthouse Anna is centrally located with clean rooms and a friendly team - Check out photos and latest prices
- or check out the best customer rated accommodations in Maribor
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