Top 10 places to visit in Koper: a chance to find out a little more about this superb Slovenian town! At the crossroads between Western Europe and the Balkans, Slovenia is a discreet country where the art of living is soothing. Today, we’re taking you on a little trip to Koper, this jewel on the Mediterranean coast. So, before you leave for your work placement in Slovenia, here are the Top 10 things to do in Koper!

Koper is a municipality in Slovenia with a population of over 50,000. It is one of the largest urban municipalities in the country. The town is rather special when it comes to languages: the country’s official languages are Slovenian and Italian, making it a bilingual town. Slovenians have the highest average language level in Europe, with an average of 3.2 languages spoken by the population.

The cathedral and the Bell Tower

Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower are two iconic landmarks in the charming Slovenian port town of Koper.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, also known as Saint-Nazaire Cathedral, is a magnificent Gothic-style church dating back to the 12th century. It is located in the heart of Koper’s old town and is considered one of the city’s architectural gems. Inside, the cathedral boasts magnificent frescoes, marble altars and a peaceful atmosphere conducive to contemplation. Visitors can also admire the cathedral’s impressive bell tower, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea from its summit.

The Bell Tower, also known as the Campanile, is a structure adjacent to the cathedral. It is recognisable by its slender silhouette and its beautiful clock. The Bell Tower is a remnant of the former church that stood on this site before the cathedral was built. Visitors can climb the tower’s stairs to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings.

These two historic monuments bear witness to Koper’s rich history and remarkable architecture. They offer visitors the opportunity to discover the city’s cultural heritage and admire breathtaking views from the heights of the Bell Tower. Whether you want to explore the interior of the cathedral and discover its serene atmosphere or enjoy the panoramic views from the Bell Tower, these sites are a must when visiting Koper.

The Praetorian Palace

The Praetorian Palace, also known as the Pretorian Palace, is an impressive historic building located in the heart of the old town of Koper in Slovenia.

This majestic palace was built in the 15th century in the Venetian Gothic style and served as the residence of the local rulers. It is considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of late Gothic architecture in the region. The palace features an elaborate façade with finely carved architectural details, arcades and mullioned windows. It also boasts a magnificent balcony and an elegant staircase.

Today, the Praetorian Palace houses the Koper Regional Museum, which presents a collection of historical and cultural artefacts reflecting the history of the Koper region and Slovenia. Visitors can explore the palace’s various rooms to discover exhibitions on archaeology, local history, art and other aspects of Slovenian culture. The richly decorated rooms and artefacts on display offer a fascinating insight into the history and past life of the region.

In addition to its historical and cultural value, Praetorian Palace is also a lively meeting place. Its inner courtyard is often used for cultural events, concerts and festivals, adding a lively atmosphere to this historic site.

A visit to the Praetorian Palace is an enriching experience for lovers of history, architecture and culture. It’s a chance to delve into Koper’s rich past and discover the importance of this magnificent palace in the city’s development.


Vinakoper is one of Slovenia’s largest and oldest wine cellars, located in the Slovenian coastal town of Koper. Founded in 1947, Vinakoper has a long winemaking tradition and a reputation for producing quality wines.

The Vinakoper winery owns vineyards in various wine-growing regions of Slovenia, notably on the Adriatic coast and in the Koper region. These vineyards benefit from a Mediterranean climate that favours the cultivation of various grape varieties, such as malvasia, refosco, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and many others.

The Vinakoper winery offers visitors the opportunity to discover the winemaking process and taste a wide selection of quality wines. Wine lovers can take part in guided tours of the winery, where they will learn about the various stages in wine production, from harvesting to bottling. Tastings provide an opportunity to sample local wines and discover the unique characteristics of each grape variety.

As well as tours and tastings, Vinakoper also organises special events and wine festivals throughout the year. These are the perfect opportunity to discover Slovenian wine culture, talk to wine experts and taste exceptional wines in a friendly atmosphere.

A visit to Vinakoper offers an enriching experience for wine lovers, allowing you to discover quality Slovenian wines and learn more about the wine-growing history of the Koper region. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply curious to learn more about Slovenian wine production, Vinakoper is a must-see stop on your visit to Koper.

Škocjanski zatok 

Škocjanski zatok is a nature reserve near Koper in Slovenia. It is a spectacular coastal marsh that is home to a variety of plant and animal species, particularly migratory birds.

The Škocjanski zatok reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. More than 220 species of birds can be found here, some of which are rare and endangered. Flamingos, herons, white stilts and elegant avocets are just some of the birds that regularly visit the reserve. Well-maintained footpaths allow you to explore the reserve on foot and observe the birds in their natural habitat.

As well as birds, Škocjanski zatok is home to a diverse flora, with flooded meadows, reeds, willows and riparian trees. The reserve also offers an ecosystem rich in insects, fish and other aquatic animals.

For nature lovers, the Škocjanski zatok reserve offers a wealth of opportunities for observing flora and fauna. Birdwatching stations are available along the trails, offering great vantage points for birdwatching in complete tranquillity. Guided tours are also available to learn more about the reserve’s ecosystem and discover the species that live there.

Škocjanski zatok is an ideal place to relax, go for a walk and enjoy unspoilt nature. It is a sanctuary for migratory birds and a nature reserve of great ecological value. If you are passionate about nature and birds, Škocjanski zatok is a destination not to be missed on your visit to Koper.

Koper Regional Museum

The Regional Museum of Koper is one of the main museums in the town of Koper, Slovenia. It is located in the city’s historic centre, in a magnificent building that lends it a charming atmosphere.

The museum presents exhibitions that trace the history and culture of the Koper region. The museum’s collections cover different periods, from antiquity to the present day, highlighting the rich and diverse history of the region. Exhibits include archaeological artefacts, historical objects, works of art, photographs and other documents of historical interest.

One of the museum’s most remarkable collections is that devoted to the Roman period, showcasing the archaeological remains of the Roman colony of Iustinopolis (formerly known as Koper). Here you can see statues, mosaics, pottery and other objects that bear witness to the daily life of the inhabitants of the Roman period.

The Regional Museum of Koper also offers temporary exhibitions on a variety of cultural, artistic and historical subjects. These exhibitions offer visitors a unique opportunity to discover specific aspects of the Koper region and explore a variety of themes.

Muda Gate

The Muda Gate, also known as Porta Muda, is one of the ancient medieval gates of the town of Koper in Slovenia. It is located in the town’s historic centre and is one of the main entrances to the old quarter.

This fortified gate dates back to the 13th century and was part of the medieval fortifications that surrounded the town. The Muda Gate was once one of the main access points to Koper and was used to control the flow of goods and people entering the town.

The gateway is architecturally interesting, with thick stone walls, round arches and defensive features. Sculptures and decorative motifs can be seen above the arch of the gate, adding an artistic touch to the structure.

Today, the Muda Gate is a historic landmark and a symbol of Koper’s rich history. It attracts visitors as they stroll through the cobbled streets of the town centre and offers picturesque views of the surrounding area.

Walking through the Muda Gate, you can soak up the medieval atmosphere of Koper and discover the historical importance of this gate. It’s also a great place to take photos and capture the essence of the town’s ancient architecture.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast or simply curious to discover Koper’s emblematic sites, the Muda Gate is a recommended stop on your visit to the town.

The islands off Koper

Off the coast of Koper, Slovenia, there are a number of islands offering magnificent scenery and opportunities for relaxation and recreation. Here are some of the most popular islands near Koper:

  1. Strunjan Island: Located near Koper, Strunjan Island is famous for its sheer cliffs and nature reserve. Visitors can enjoy magnificent panoramic views, stroll along coastal paths and discover a diverse range of flora and fauna.
  2. Île de Saline: This small island is known for its ancient salt pans and picturesque landscapes. Visitors can explore the salt pans, watch migratory birds and enjoy the tranquillity of this unspoilt natural environment.
  3. Island of Fiesa: Located near the town of Piran, just a few kilometres from Koper, the island of Fiesa is famous for its beautiful sandy beach and crystal-clear waters. It’s an ideal place to relax in the sun, swim and enjoy water sports.
  4. Island of St. George: This island, located opposite the town of Piran, is dominated by an imposing church perched at the top of the hill. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of the Slovenian and Italian coasts.
  5. Island of Kozlovec : Located in the Gulf of Trieste, this small island is an important bird reserve. It is home to many species of migratory birds and offers great wildlife-watching opportunities.

These islands offer visitors a tranquil escape from city life and a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the Slovenian coast. Whether relaxing on the beach, hiking or exploring nature, the islands off Koper offer a variety of activities to suit all preferences.

Dragonja River

The Dragonja is a river that flows through Slovenia and Croatia. It rises in the hills of the Slovenian Karst, flows through Croatian territory and finally empties into the Adriatic Sea.

The Dragonja River is renowned for its natural beauty and important ecological role. It meanders through picturesque landscapes, lush green valleys and rocky gorges, offering magnificent views along the way.

The Dragonja is also rich in biodiversity. Its banks are home to a variety of plant and animal species, including birds, fish, reptiles and mammals. The river and its surroundings are considered a protected area due to their ecological importance.

As well as its natural beauty, the Dragonja is also steeped in history and culture. Along its banks, you can find picturesque villages, traditional water mills and archaeological remains testifying to the region’s ancient human occupation.

The Dragonja River also offers a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can go hiking, cycling, fishing and canoeing along the river. The tranquil, unspoilt landscape makes it an ideal place to relax and reconnect with nature.

The caves of Skocjan and Psotojna

The Škocjan and Postojna caves are two of Slovenia’s most famous and impressive natural attractions.

The Škocjan caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are considered to be one of the largest underground karst cave systems in the world. The main cave, known as the Grande Gorge, is the highlight of the visit. It is over six kilometres long and reaches a depth of 200 metres. An underground river runs through the gorge, forming magnificent waterfalls and spectacular rock formations. The guided tour allows visitors to discover the immensity of the cave, its stalactites and stalagmites, and its unique ecosystem.

The Postojna cave is another of Slovenia’s underground wonders, located near the town of Postojna. It is known for its length of over 24 kilometres and its vast main gallery, which can accommodate thousands of visitors at a time. The cave can be visited by electric train, offering a unique and convenient experience to explore its vast chambers, fascinating geological formations and underground inhabitants, such as protae, a species of salamander that lives in the caves.

These two caves offer exceptional experiences of Slovenia’s subterranean beauty. The rock formations, underground rivers and vast galleries offer incredible scenery and breathtaking views. Guided tours allow visitors to learn more about the geology, history and wildlife of the caves, creating an exciting and educational experience.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a geology enthusiast or simply curious to discover the wonders hidden underground, the Škocjan and Postojna caves are a must-see when visiting Slovenia.

Da Ponte Fountain

The Da Ponte Fountain, also known as the Venetian Fountain or the Fountain of the Four Rivers, is one of the iconic fountains of the city of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

The fountain is located on the main square of the old town, Place de la Préfecture (Mestni trg). It was built in 1751 by the Italian sculptor Francesco Robba, who was originally from Venice. The fountain is a fine example of the Baroque style and depicts four female figures symbolising the four main rivers of Carniola, the historic region in which Ljubljana is located.

Each figure represents a different river: the Sava, the Ljubljanica, the Krka and the Sava Bohinjka. They are represented in the form of bronze statues, elegantly dressed and holding attributes linked to the rivers they symbolise. At the top of the fountain is a statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, holding a trident and watching over the waters.

The Da Ponte Fountain is not only an aesthetic attraction, but also a popular meeting point for locals and visitors to the city. It is surrounded by historic buildings, cafés and restaurants, making it an ideal place to relax, admire the surrounding architecture and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the square.

When visiting Ljubljana, be sure to stop off at the Da Ponte Fountain to appreciate its artistic design, symbolism and central location in the old town. It is a true architectural gem that bears witness to Slovenia’s history and culture.

Are you too convinced that Koper is worth a visit? Then get ready, International Horizons is sending you on an internship to Slovenia! Contact us for more information, and we’ll send you on your work placement abroad 😀

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