Top 15 Amazing Things to Do in Maribor (Slovenia)
The many wonderful things to do in Maribor make the city a true pearl in Slovenia. A visit is definitely worthwhile, as Maribor is still a real insider tip for a city trip and offers many interesting attractions. Particularly worth seeing and the heart of the city is the charming old town, which is located directly on the Drava River and gives the city center a true picture postcard ambience. Highlights of the city center include the imposing Maribor Castle, a landmark of the city, and the picturesque main square with the Plague Column and City Hall. During a city tour, you can also admire the world’s oldest fruit-bearing vine and taste top Slovenian wines. Apart from that, there are many other great things to see and to do in Maribor, so you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time while sightseeing in Slovenia’s second-largest city.
In this travel guide, you’ll find all the important tips and information about Maribor in Slovenia. We show you great pictures, the best activities and things to do in Maribor, give you lots of insider tips and tell you where to find great places to stay.
General Information about Maribor
With a population of 112,000, Maribor, also known as Marburg, is the second largest city in Slovenia and a popular destination for a day trip, city break or stopover on a trip to Croatia. It is located in the northeast of the country, about 130 kilometers from the capital Ljubljana and 240 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea. Maribor is known as a European City of Culture, but also for its exquisite wine-growing culture and in winter, thanks to its location at the foot of the Pohorje Mountains, as an urban ski resort. A special feature of Maribor is also its location on the River Drava, which gives the city an extremely impressive ambience with its picturesque banks along the river.
The city of Maribor can look back on a long and rich history. Already mentioned in 1164 as Markburg or Marchburg, you can still admire a diverse cultural heritage in many places in the city center during a city tour. One of the most important attractions in Maribor and a must to see at the same time is the Maribor Castle, which is located right in the old part of town and today houses an interesting museum. Maribor is also well known for its viticulture. Directly in the city there is the oldest vine in the world with more than 400 years, there are several wine museums and green wine roads in the immediate vicinity.
The Best Things to Do in Maribor
When you are traveling to Maribor, you can look forward to a number of sights worth seeing right away. Most of them are located in the Old Town, which you can visit on foot during a sightseeing tour. To help you get the most out of your visit, we’ve put together a list of Maribor’s best attractions and things to do:
Glavni Trg Main Square
A visit to the Glavni Trg main square is one of the best things to do in Maribor and a must on any tour of the old town. With its rich history and a large number of architectural monuments, it is the beating heart of the city center. Here you can admire a number of charming buildings and interesting attractions. Among the most important things to see are the beautiful Plague Column from the 17th century and the symbolic Rotovž Town Hall, whose history dates back to 1515. Furthermore, there are also many charming cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy the delicacies of the local cuisine and soak up the wonderful atmosphere.
Tip: Worth a visit is also charming little side street Postna Ulica, where some of the best bars and restaurants in Maribor are lined up.
One of the most famous attractions in Maribor is the Maribor Castle. This historical fortress complex was built between 1478 and 1483 on the orders of the Emperor Frederick III, and at that time it served as a defense for the north-eastern part of the city walls. While the outside of the castle is already a real gem, the inside of the castle is also well worth a visit. The best way to get to know it is to go and visit the Regional Museum. Among other things, you can admire the Baroque staircase from 1747 to 1759 and the Knights’ Hall with the impressive ceiling painting by the artist Jožef Gebler. On the south side of the façade there is also the Chapel of the Loreto, which was built between 1665 and 1675.
Tip: The square in front of the castle, Trg Svobode, is also beautiful. There are several charming cafés and good ice-cream parlors that invite you to take a break from sightseeing.
Regional Museum Maribor
The Regional Museum Maribor is one of the most important museums in the center, and its location right in the Maribor Castle is also spectacular. This museum is considered a cultural treasury because it is dedicated to the archaeological, ethnological and cultural history of the Maribor area. The exhibits come from 23 different municipalities and are housed in the various rooms and halls of the castle. During a sightseeing-tour, you will be amazed by numerous highlights, such as the collection of regional furniture, the “Portrait of the Bourgeoisie” exhibition, and the extensive medieval collection. A magnificent art collection and an exhibition of military uniforms are also part of the museum.
The NOB monument is an interesting place to visit in Maribor. This bronze monument is an exceptional work of the artist Slavko Tihec from 1975 and is centrally located on the Trg Svobode square. The word “NOB” stands for “Narodnoosvobodilna borba”, which translates as “National Liberation Struggle” and refers to the resistance movement that was active in Slovenia during the Second World War. On the bronze monument is engraved the news of the execution of 667 hostages and rebels sentenced to death during the Second World War. If you look closely, you can also see the silhouettes of the victims.
The Maribor Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, is an important religious and architectural landmark in the historical center of the city. This place of worship was built in the Romanesque style as early as the year 1248. In the course of the centuries, however, the cathedral has been the subject of several reconstructions and expansions, which explains the variety of architectural influences. Particularly impressive are the Gothic vaults and filigree decorations, which give this sight a majestic presence. Inside, you’ll find a wealth of artwork, including altars, paintings, and sculptures. A real insider’s tip is the magnificent view of Maribor that can be enjoyed from the top of the cathedral’s bell tower.
Tip: Just a few steps away from the cathedral is the small Roomers Hotel, which will delight you with its modern rooms and unbeatable location.
The Lent District is one of the oldest and most picturesque parts of the city of Maribor and at the same time it is the heart of the historical center. It is also famous for the annual Lent Festival that takes place here. This enchanting quarter stretches along the right bank of the Drava River and is known for its unique panorama, characterized by well-preserved buildings from different eras. Lent is also home to some of Maribor’s most important landmarks, including the famous Old Vine House, the iconic Sodni stolp tower and the Old Bridge. One of the flagships of Maribor is also the promenade along the Lent, where a large number of pretty bars, cafes and restaurants invite you to linger and enjoy yourself.
Tip: The Fani & Rozi B&B is a very nice guest house in Lent! The rooms are excellent and furnished in a modern style, and the breakfast is very tasty as well.
Old Vine House
One of the most famous places in Maribor is the “Old Vine House“, a historical building in the Lent district, decorated with the oldest vine in the world. The “Old Vine” is a vine of the Žametovka variety, which has been growing there for more than 450 years and is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest known vine in the world. It grows on the southern wall of the house and is a living proof of the long wine culture in Maribor. The vine has been in existence since the end of the Middle Ages. It has survived battles, fires of the late Middle Ages, phylloxera and the bombing of the city by the Allies. Of particular interest to wine lovers is the Vinothek in the Old Vine House, where visitors can taste local wines in the tasting room.
Vinag 1847 Wine Museum
The Vinag 1847 Wine Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Maribor, and a tour of the museum with wine tasting is a real highlight for any wine lover. It is located in the historic old town and with its 15,000 square meters it is one of the largest classical wine cellars in Europe. It was built in 1847, and a special feature are the 2.1 kilometers of corridors that lead through an underground system. Hard to believe, but more than 3 million liters of wine are stored in the wooden barrels and concrete tanks. During a guided tour, guests will learn plenty of interesting facts about wine in Slovenia and can then participate in a great wine tasting.
The Franciscan Church
A truly iconic building right in the center of town is the Franciscan Church “Basilica of the Mother of Mercy” with its monastery. Located between the streets Partizanska Cesta and Ulica Škofa Maksimilijana Držečnika, this neo-Romanesque basilica with its two mighty 58-meter high towers and red-brick facade is a fantastic landmark in the center of Maribor. The Franciscan church has been under construction since 1892 and its consecration was in 1900. One of the most important attractions in the church is the image of the Mother of Mercy, who is said to have performed numerous miraculous healings.
The Water Tower
The Water Tower, with its charming location directly on the Gerbergasse on the banks of the Drava River, is one of the most beautiful sights in Maribor. The history of the tower dates back to the 16th century. At that time, the Turkish attacks were increasing, and so this defense tower was built as a part of the large former city fortress. Today, the water tower is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists to relax on the banks of the Drava River and watch the numerous swans in the water. A visit to the wine bar on the first floor of the water tower is also recommended. Here you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or a glass of Slovenian wine while soaking up the ambience of the river.
The Old Bridge
The Old Bridge, also known as Stari Most, is a true jewel in the city center and visit is definately one of the best things to do in Maribor. This dark red steel bridge was built more than 110 years ago, in 1913. It was built where a wooden bridge used to stand. The most recent renovation was between 1990 and 1998, and today it is the most famous bridge in the old town of Maribor. Walking across the 3-arched, flower-decorated bridge, you will have a magnificent view of Maribor and the charming Lenten quarter. The postcard panorama is unique, which is why many photographers come to the Old Bridge to take their best pictures.
House of Culture
An impressive building in the center of Maribor is the House of Culture, also known as Kulturno prireditveni center narodni dom Maribor. It was built between 1897 and 1998 according to the plans of the Czech architect Jan Vejrych and modeled on the Pardubice Town Hall. The building was of great importance for the revivalist movements and cultural organizations of the time, but after the Second World War it was used by military administrators. It was not until 1992 that it was once again used as the Narodni dom House of Culture, which today organizes numerous well-known events, such as the internationally famous Lent Festival.
City Park (Mestni Park)
The City Park, also called Mestni Park, is one of the most picturesque places in the city of Maribor. It is located to the north of the Old Town and is a true oasis of peace and relaxation. The Mestni Park was founded in 1862, which is why there are so many old trees, some of which are over 140 years old. For this reason, the park was placed under the protection of historical monuments as early as 1976. Walking through this green park, you will discover numerous places of interest, such as 3 charming ponds, the popular aquarium-terrarium, several pavilions and the charming promenade. There are also several beautiful walks, the most recommended being the one to the Piramida hill.
Museum of National Liberation
The Museum of National Liberation deals with the past of northeastern Slovenia and is a must-see on any trip to Maribor, especially for history buffs. It is located in a picturesque 19th century town villa in the northern part of the city and has been a museum since 1954. Visitors can expect to get an interesting insight into the occupation during the Second World War when visiting the exhibition. Another special feature is the museum’s extensive archive, which contains 120 meters of impressive original material from the occupation and the partisan movement. Fascinating guided tours are offered for more in-depth information.
One of the most famous landmarks in Maribor is without a doubt the Piramida, the 386-meter-high hill in the city. On the top of the hill there used to be the castle of Maribor from the 12th century, which unfortunately was pulled down in 1790. The remains of the castle were used to build a stone pyramid, which today gives the hill the name Piramida. There is also a small chapel on the hill with a stone statue of the Virgin Mary, which is a reminder of the location of the old Maribor castle. The walk of about 30 minutes through the city park to the top of the hill is well worth it. On the way, you will be amazed by the beautiful vineyards and the panoramic view of Maribor.
Where to Stay in Maribor
Maribor offers a wide range of accommodation choices. From cheap backpacker hostels to modern apartments, Bed & Breakfasts and nice hotels – you’ll find it all here. If you’re searching for a recommended place to stay in Maribor, we can give you these tips…It’s worth a look!
- 4-Star City Hotel: The Hotel City Maribor is a well-kept 4-star hotel. Guests love the delicious breakfast, the restaurant on the 5th floor and the fact that it is close to the old town.
- Cheap 3-star Hotel: The B&B Hotel Maribor is a cheap 3-star hotel in a top location in the center of Maribor. The value for money and cleanliness are fantastic.
- Lovely B&B: The Fani&Rozi B&B is a charming B&B in the heart of Maribor! The rooms are excellent and modernly furnished, and the breakfast is very tasty.
- Fancy Apartments: The FERN Apartments is a fabulous choice for a vacation in Maribor. The entire apartment is lovingly decorated, and the location is also top-notch.
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