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Koper (Italian: Capodistria) is Slovenia's only commercial port and one of its oldest towns with a very rich history.

Praetorian palace on Tito square (Dinner in the city)
Taverna, the former salt warehouse


Koper, the oldest town in Slovenia, developed on a rocky island with the Roman name Capris. Out of the three Slovenian coast cities (Koper, Izola, Piran), Koper has experienced the most numerous layout modifications. The reasons for that also need to be sought in the changes of various reigns and states, all of which marked the city with their specific traits and names. Koper was called Capris in Roman times, in the times of the pope Gregory I (599) Insula Capraria (“goat island”), Iustinopolis under the Byzantine Empire (between mid 6th and 8th centuries) and Caput Histriae (‘head of Istria’) by the Aquileia Patriarchs. The Venetians rendered that name into the Italian form, Capodistria. The Slovenian equivalent of the name is Koper.

The longest reign over the city was that of the Venetian Republic (1279-1797), when Koper experienced economic (trade, salt production) and cultural prosperity (painting, music). The Venetian period is still echoed by the city architecture; despite numerous modern interventions, it has preserved its medieval character, with the city of Koper being a member of the European Association of Medieval Cities. In the Middle Ages, Koper was an island surrounded by walls and connected with the mainland with a wood bridge in the direction of Škocjan. It was protected by a mighty fortress – Lion Castle, and surrounded by vast saltpans. Koper’s importance began to diminish in the 18th century, when Trieste was proclaimed a free port, which ended with the downfall of the Venetian Republic.

In the period from the 19th century to the First World War (i.e. from the Napoleonic Empire 1806-1813 to the Hapsburg Monarchy 1813-1918), Koper experienced numerous changes in the economic and social development. This period was marked by the reduction of the saltpans, which were entirely abandoned in 1912, and the changing layout of the city, which began to lose its island character. In 1825, a second road connection with the mainland was constructed (Semedela Road) followed by the coastal road in the middle 19th century, a sea connection with Trieste-Poreč and the railway connection Trieste-Poreč in 1902.

Under the Italian Empire, Koper entirely lost its island character by means of the draining of the deserted saltpans.

The time after the Second World War brought further changes. Until the final determination of the border with Italy through the signing of the London Memorandum in 1954, when it became part of former Yugoslavia, Koper was part of Zone B administered by the Yugoslav national Army, first belonging to the Julian March and from September 1947 to the neutral state called the Free Trieste Territory (FTT). As part of Yugoslavia, Koper experienced profound changes in its national structure. This also brought about new architectural interventions both in the city centre and its surroundings, especially in terms of huge development with the construction of the port.

Today, Koper is both an commercial and tourist city, continuing to develop its offer in terms of seaside resorts, nautical tourism, sports and shopping. It has also become a University City.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in[edit]

Koper panoramic view (former island)

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is in Trieste (TRS IATA - 64 km), with Pula (PUY IATA - 102 km), Ljubljana (LJU IATA - 124 km), and Venice airports (VCE IATA, TSF IATA - about 174 km) as options. A company named GoOpti provides a shared shuttle transfer from Venice and Ljubljana (and their airports) with dynamic pricing based on time of booking, typically between €25-50. The Trieste airport is not close to Trieste, but there are frequent train connections between them. Flixbus also provides scheduled service from Venice airport.

  • GoOpti. Shared airport shuttle service to Koper. GoOpti (Q25045434) on Wikidata GoOpti on Wikipedia
  • FlixBus. Scheduled bus services from some airports to Koper. FlixBus (Q15712258) on Wikidata Flixbus on Wikipedia
  • 1 Trieste Airport (Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport). TRS - 64 km from Koper. Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (Q893154) on Wikidata Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport on Wikipedia
  • 2 Pula Airport, +385 52 550 926. PUY - 102 km from Koper (with border checks). Pula Airport (Q389327) on Wikidata Pula Airport on Wikipedia
  • 3 Ljubljana Airport (Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport). LJU - 124 km from Koper. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (Q1109558) on Wikidata Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport on Wikipedia
  • 4 Treviso Airport. TSF - 174 km from Koper. Treviso Airport (Q513474) on Wikidata Treviso Airport on Wikipedia
  • 5 Venice Airport (Venice Marco Polo Airport). VCE - 176 km from Koper. Venice Marco Polo Airport (Q849347) on Wikidata Venice Marco Polo Airport on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

Koper has easy highway connections from Ljubljana and Trieste. There are no regular border immigration checks between Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, Croatia became a member of the Schengen agreement in January 2023.

Beware of the need for a Vinjeta (highway toll sticker) before driving on Slovenian highways! There is a fuel station immediately at the border where you can purchase one. Controllers are often stationed exactly after that station to issue heavy fines to violators.

Parking rules are enforced in the city, but some public lots are free on weekends and after-hours. If you get a traffic fine and do not have a European bank account to pay it, any Slovenian post office can make the money transfer for you for a very small fee.

By rideshare[edit]

A locally-created website and app named Prevoz[dead link] is the most widely used ride sharing site within Slovenia. The typical fare to Ljubljana is €5 from the 6 Tržnica / Oly Burger bus stop in the center. This is often the fastest and least expensive way to travel to Koper from other parts of Slovenia.

  • 7 Prevoz. Ride sharing stop in Koper. €5 to Ljubljana.

By bus[edit]

From Trieste[edit]

The direct bus services to Trieste operate between 3 and 6 times a day, costing about €3-5 depending on the bus company. As of November 2019, the fixed price on Arriva is €3.30. The drivers can sell tickets on the bus but sometimes prefer if you pre-purchase it in the station. The journey takes between 20 and 40 minutes.

The very cheapest way to get between Koper and Trieste is to take an inter-urban bus to Škofije at the Slovene border (€0.80), walk ten minutes on a path under the highway to Bricocenter in Muggia, and take Trieste city bus no. 20 to the centre (€1.30). Use of Google Maps is recommended to follow your drive for the first time, and the Slovene buses are infrequent. Trieste city buses do not sell tickets on the bus, but they can be purchased with the nationwide Italian "MyCicero" app (Android/Apple), or at locations in Trieste. Make sure your ticket is validated/stamped after boarding.

By intercity bus[edit]

There are different stops:

  • 8 Koper bus station. Flixbus operates here from/to Sarajevo.
  • 9 Banka Koper used for some inter-urban services and GoOpti airport shuttles. Flixbus operates here from/to Pula.
  • 10 Tržnica / Oly Burger.

Koper has bus connections with Ljubljana, Trieste, other Slovenian seaside towns, and Croatia. There are three scheduled inter-city bus companies: FlixBus and Črnja tours provide frequent international service, and Arriva white/blue buses provide domestic bus service along the Slovene coast with some international routes[dead link] including Trieste. Nomago sometimes provides some regional inter-city services.

See the warning under 'Taxi' about drivers overcharging at the bus/train station.

By suburban bus[edit]

The local city administration (in Slovenian) maintains a list of timetables and a map of the suburban bus lines to nearby villages in the Koper district up to the Italian border. These routes should cost €0.80 per ride.

There are also hourly buses from Ljubljana listed at the Ljubljana bus station with many stops on the way.

By train[edit]

The national railway company Slovenske železnice operates 5-6 daily trains from Ljubljana (2 h) and Maribor (4½ h). 11 Koper railway station (Železniška postaja Koper) is close to the bus station and is about 1 km south the Muda Gate to the old city. There is no longer any direct train service to Trieste, but trains run a lazy route to Ljubljana a few times per day. See Slovenian Railways. Sometimes, the train station sells discount tickets in person to cities as far away as Vienna and Munich at prices not available online (around €30).

See the warning under 'Taxi' about drivers overcharging at the bus/train station.

By Taxi[edit]

In general, Slovene taxis are less expensive than Italian taxis. They are permitted to pick you up (or drop you off) in Trieste if you order them (about €20-25). Cammeo has a nice English-language app which helps with language barriers. Pick-ups from Trieste might need to be requested over the phone.

Beware of taxis waiting at the bus/train station. The usual price within Koper is about €3, but the taxi drivers waiting at the station sometimes attempt to charge more than twice that even if you speak Slovene. If you have too much luggage to walk, call a local taxi to get a fair price.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Koper's Old City can easily be covered on foot.

By bus[edit]

There are a number local buses that can take you from the main bus station to the old city centre or the newer urban and industrial area.

Local city bus services are provided by red Arriva buses and cost €0.80 paid by bus cards available at the tourist office and a kiosk at the main bus station. Other buses are available to surrounding areas (see Get In).

By taxi[edit]

Taxis within the Koper district typically cost a flat €3. See listings above.

By bicycle[edit]

The slovenian coast has an excellent network of bicycle roads. Bicycles can be rented in a few places in Koper :

  • The tourist office on Tito square has 2 bikes
  • Izposoja Koles, Kidričeva ulica 45. 08:00-20:00. Has a lot of different types of bikes. Helmets included in rental. Very helpful owner. Regular bikes for €15 a day and e-bikes for €25 a day.


Slovenian and Italian are the official languages of the city, spoken by everyone. In addition to these two, Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian is widely understood. English is also spoken by the majority of the people.


Koper old town

Koper's main sight of interest is the Venetian-era old city, of which the main structures and squares have been fully renovated and restored. The main square (Tito square) is one of the nicest Venetian type squares in the Mediterranean.

Tito square, Koper

The centre of the old city is Tito Square (Titov trg), an austere piazza surrounded by The Praetorian Palace, Loggia, Cathedral of the Assumption, Campanile, Foresteria and Armeria. From here, the cobbled Čevljarska ulica leads south to the Prešeren square with the De Ponte fountain and the old town entrance Muda gate, Kidričeva ulica leads west to the Marina, the old salt warehouse named Taverna and the Carpaccio square.

The interior of the Cathedral of the Assumpti
  • Pretorian Palace, Titov trg 3. Dating back to the 15th century and the only fully restored building in the plaza, this is Koper's symbol and it now houses the tourist office which offers guided tours of the Palace, including the city council meeting chamber and weddings room
  • Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Stolna cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja), Izolska vrata 24 (by Titov trg). The largest Cathedral in Slovenia containing famous paintings from Vittore Carpaccio, a renowned Venetian painter. Fully renovated, with much sacral heritage indoors.
  • 1 Bell Tower (City Tower) (Zvonik (Mestni stolp)), Titov trg (Tito Square, attached to cathedral.). Climb the bell tower for great views of the city and surroundings. Contains the oldest working bell in Slovenia. Adults: €5 Students & Seniors €4 Tickets from Tourist Information..
  • Armoury and Foresteria Palace (Armerija in Foresterija), Titov trg. Armeria is the former municipal armoury. The Foresteria, formerly known as Albergo nuovo, was used as reception and accommodation facilities for podesta’s (mayor's) guests. They were originally two separate buildings.
  • Loggia Palace (Loža) (Located opposite the Praetorian Palace). It was used as a debate club for all the townsmen, with their discussions considered by the city council as well.
  • 2 Taverna Koper / St Mark’s storage, Pristaniška ulica 1. Ex salt storage, nowadays is the location of the most interesting event & music venue in Koper
  • 3 Carpaccio House, Carpacciov trg. 14th century house thought to be the home of the eminent Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio.
  • 4 Da Ponte Fountain (Vodnjak Da Ponte), Prešeren Square. The biggest city fountain is a reproduction of the Rialto Bridge in Venice. It was commissioned in 1666 by podesta Lorenzo da Ponte.
  • 5 Muda Gate (Vrata Muda). The Renaissance style Muda Gate remains the only preserved city gate out of the former twelve.
  • 6 Fontico, Brolo Square. 14th century Venetian style building was used as a warehouse for the grain given to the townsmen in times of bad harvest or war.
  • 7 Koper Regional Museum, Kidričeva ulica 19. 09:00-17:00 Tu-Sa; closed Su & M.

Koper Hinterland

  • Church of the Holy Trinity, Hrastovlje The church boasts beautiful frescoes, an extraordinary achievement of Medieval iconography. The most famous is the depiction of the Dance of Death.
The church of The Holy Trinity with the famous Dance of Death
  • Defence tower, Podpeč This 11th century, 17 m (56 ft) defence tower is a popular tourist sight and one of the most enchanting beauty spots in Slovenian Istria.
  • Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve Stretching out over 122 ha, this is the largest brackish wetland in Slovenia. The area is home to countless birds and other animal species, such as Istrian cattle (boškarin) and Camargue horses.
  • Church of St. Roch and St. Sebastian, Boršt According to some sources, the church dates back to the 13th century. It is decorated with fragments of Medieval frescoes and inscriptions in the Glagolitic alphabet.
  • The Benko house, Črni Kal The Benko house is believed to be the oldest farmer’s house in Slovenia. It was built in 1489 by the masters Andrej and Benko of Sočerga.
  • Coat-of-arms of the De’Cani family, Dekani The name Dekani is linked to the noble Cani family, also known as De’Cani, which originates from the town of Sulmone in Abruzzi, Italy. According to some sources, the De’Cani family owned the village as long ago as the 15th century, as there is a coat-of-arms of the Cani family with the date 1479 on the building at no. 185.
  • Church of St. Nicholas, Gračišče Next to this late 18th century church, there is a 26 m (85 ft) white stone bell tower with a built-in stone plaque bearing an inscription in the Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabet that reads: “I call the living, I mourn the dead.”
  • Village architecture, Abitanti The fascinating architectural features of the protected buildings in Abitanti testify to the fact that this was once a very rich village.
Abitanti, typical Istrian village
  • Church of St. Michael, Tinjan Positioned on the edge of the village, the church building has a Baroque front; the entrance is through the large bell tower. The stone plaque built into the portal shows Christ on the Cross and the date 1704.
  • The Krkavče Stone, Krkavče Believed by some to be 3000 years old, the stone is the oldest sight in the village. It is 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall; on two sides, it features a carved image of what is probably a pagan deity.
  • The Dragonja valley At 29 km long, the Dragonja is the longest river in Slovenian Istria. The river valley is well known for its diversity of plant and animal life. Today, it is a nature park popular with hikers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts.
  • Marežganska Kanava, Marezige A beautifully preserved stone farmer's house and the main venue of the Refosco Festival and St. Martin's Day celebrations. There are three vines growing outside Kanava: Refosco, Malvasia and Žametovka, a descendant of the world’s oldest vine in Lent, Maribor.
  • The Bardinc House, Lopar The building houses a local ethnology and history exhibition with a preserved farmer’s kitchen, fireplace and wine cellar.
  • Rock shelters (“The Ears of Istria”) and natural bridge, Sočerga Above Sočerga, nature has carved out some beautiful rock shelters, also known as “The Ears of Istria”. The panoramic trail leads past three 17 m (56 ft) rock shelters to a natural bridge with a 6 m (20 ft) stone arch.
  • Slavnik, Podgorje 1,028 m (3,373 ft) high, the hill of Slavnik is situated near the village of Podgorje. The summit of Slavnik offers beautiful views, with the Adriatic Sea, Italian Dolomites, Carnic and Julian Alps, Karavanks and even the Kamnik–Savinja Alps visible in clear weather.
  • Strmec Castle, Socerb The Strmec Castle sits on top of a 440 m (1,440 ft) Karst cliff above the village. It was built in the 13th century on the foundations of an Illyrian settlement. Today, the castle is one of the most magnificent beauty spots in Slovenian Istria.
  • Sacred Cave, Socerb According to a legend, the Sveta jama or Sacred Cave was the dwelling of St. Servulus, a Trieste martyr and saint who lived in the 3rd century. The front part of the cave with a natural stone altar still houses a church today – the only underground church in Slovenia.
  • Church of the Immaculate Mother of God, village square and stone window, Šmarje The church was built in the village square in the 11th century. It was expanded and renovated in the 13th century. There is a bell tower next to the church with a built-in 9th-century stone window, the remnant of an older church that once stood in the same spot.
  • The Supot waterfall and views The 10 m (33 ft) waterfall is at its fullest in the rainy season. The macadam road towards the Dragonja also leads past a smaer waterfall with a beautiful pool.
    Waterfall Supot, Pomjan
  • Mediterranean herb garden, Manžan The Mediterranean herb garden at the Butul farm in Manžan is a unique experience. Walking through the garden is educational and relaxing at the same time. Cooking and herbal workshops can be organised by agreement.
Škocjanski zatok Natural park
Brič vineyards
Pregara, Slovenian Provansa


There is a public beach in the sea just west of the marina. There is a large sports area called Bonifika[dead link] (basketball, football, running track, tennis courts, etc.) near the old city centre. Near the industrial area of the Port of Koper (very close to the city centre), there is a natural park called Škocjanki zatok, which is a perfect place for enjoying the flora and fauna of this natural resort.

The path along the shore to Izola and Piran lends itself very well to skating, cycling or just going for a walk and enjoying the view over the water.

Rent a bike, ride to Piran and back. It can be done in one day.


There are several shopping centres, for example: Planet Tuš Shopping Centre [dead link], Mercator, Supernova [dead link] and SPAR. There is also a big department store called Zeleni park where you will also find OVS store. In the city centre there are numerous offers.

  • 1 Agraria Koper, Ulica 15. maja 17, +386 5 663 07 00, . M-F 07:30 - 20:00; Sa 07:30-18:00; Su 08:00-13:00. Agraria Koper is a farmer's co-op supermarket selling high-quality products from local and regional producers. Produce, meats, honey, pastas, wine, and more. Something between a farmer's market and Whole Foods. It's definitely worth a visit if you want to cook yourself or bring some special treats home. There is also a much smaller location closer to the centre.


Traditional Istrian meal

Koper has many taverns and restaurants, snack bars and local smaller taverns offering local food and wine, pizzerias, traditional Osmicas (farmers offering home made food and wine), sweetshops and tourist farms with traditional home made Istrian food.

When in Koper, do not leave without trying some typical Istrian goodies and other typical Istrian products. Also, you should definitely try some local olive oil from local oil providers. Istrian olive oil is reputed to have many positive effects on the body.


Typical asparagus and ham omlette
  • 1 Fritolin, Pristaniška ulica 2 (next to the marina), +386 70 256 156. 09:30-22:00. Inexpensive seafood restaurant serving mostly take-away with some outdoor seating. Fresh catch delivered daily from local fisherman and each item is served until sold-out for the day! Great calamari. €4-7 (Aug 2020).
  • 2 Anacur Döner Kebab, Kidričeva ulica 8, +386 51 715 683. M-Sa 09:00-21:00, closed Sunday. Typical Turkish restaurant locally known for the cheapest fresh pizza in town. Great for students and backpackers. €1.20 (Aug 2020).
  • 3 Azure Koper, Župančičeva ulica 39.
  • 4 Casa de Rin, Pristaniška ulica 6.
  • 5 Mr. Milord, Pristaniška ulica 3. Pancakes
  • 6 Avokado, Gortanov trg 4, +386 51 486 704. 08:00-17:00; closed weekends. Vegan & Vegetarian food. Takeaway with tables outside & across road.


Traditional Olive oil
  • 7 Istrska klet Slavček (Slavček Istrian Cellar), Župančičeva ulica 39, +386 5 627 67 29. Su-F 07:00-22:00, closed Saturday. Small locally-owned restaurant serving regional home-style food and wines with indoor and outdoor seating. Good quality at moderate prices. Vojko, the owner, is quite friendly.
  • 8 Miramar Bar and Bistro, Carpacciov trg 4 (in Carpaccio Square by Taverna), +386 40 977 150. Tu-Su 12:30-22:00, closed Mondays. Bar and restaurant serving fresh local seafood plates, wines, and cheeses. Mostly outdoor seating.
  • 9 Oly Burger, Piranska cesta 1, +386 30 640 168. Su-Th 12:00-02:00; F Sa 12:00-04:00. The infamous Oly Burger is usually the last place open in town to get a drink (... also to-go). The food is OK but a little pricey. Bar stool seating.
  • 10 Gostilna Miranda, Vanganelska cesta 7A.
  • 11 Emonec brewery and restaurant, Vanganelska cesta 20.
  • 12 Pri Tinetu Inn, Gortanov trg 14.
  • 13 Urban Piqniq, Cesta Zore Perello - Godina 3.
  • 14 Na stopničah, Gortanov trg 12.


Hotel restaurants[edit]

Outside of town[edit]


Delicious sea food


In Koper you will find a variety of bars and pubs with a various offer of styles and drinks, bigger and smaller wine cellars with rich local wine offerings.

Bars, pubs and cafes[edit]

  • Calypso Bar, Pristaniška ulica 3.
  • Casa Veneziana, Ribiški trg 9.
  • Snack Bar, Istrska cesta 67.
  • Triglav Caffe, Pristaniška ulica 5.
  • Pastry Kroštola, Kopališko nabrežje 1.
  • Kapitanija Caffe, Ukmarjev trg 8.
  • Bowling (Disco Planet Tuš), Ljubljanska cesta.
  • Loggia Caffe, Titov trg.
  • Ziraldo Caffe, Bazoviška ulica 21.
  • Port Bar, Istrska cesta 67.
  • Tea House Vanilla, Pristaniška ulica 3.
  • Pub 33, Ljubljanska cesta 2a.
  • Pastry Klasika, Obrtniška ulica.
  • Lord Byron Pub, Repičeva 2.
  • 1 Bar Cameral, Čevljarska ulica 14. M-F 07:30-23:00; Sa 09:00-13:00&19:23. Six draught craft beers plus coffee
  • Okusi Istre, Kidričeva ulica 37.
  • Super sok, Pristaniška ulica 2.

Wine cellars[edit]

  • 2 Okusi Istre (Taste of Istria), Kidričeva ulica 37, +386 40 329 539. Wine bar and bottle shop selling high-end Istrian wines, olive oils, and other local culinary products. €3-5 per glass.



  • Dijaški dom Koper, Cankarjeva ulica.
  • Hostel Museum, Muzejski trg.
  • Motel Port, Ankaranska cesta 7.
  • Hostel Histria, Ulica pri Velikih vratih 17.
  • Prenočišča Prisoje, Prisoje 9.
  • Hostel Secret garden, Dimnikarska ulica 6. Check-out: Before 11:00. Lovely little hostel of 20 beds spread over four rooms. Well air-conditioned and very clean, but the two bathrooms containing both showers and toilets can cause some queueing in the morning. During high season (1 July - 30 September): €18.73 for a bed in a 4-bed dorm, €16.73 in a 6-bed dorm. During low season (1 October - 30 May): €16.73 and €14.73, respectively.


Go next[edit]

The rest of Slovenia's short coastline is easily accessible from Koper. Public bus service is available every 20-30 minutes to:

This city travel guide to Koper is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.