Nestled in the Pohorje Mountains in the mysterious Styria region of Europe is the charming city of Maribor, Slovenia. It’s becoming a semi-popular European skiing and winter-sports destination, and the city, which is home to a the University of Maribor and thus a large academic and student population, is rife with fun things to do outdoors in the spring and summer as well. The first things you’re likely to do when in Maribor, however, is head straight to the Old Vine, the Guinness-certified oldest producing wine vine in the world. The vine, as well as its accompanying museum/store, are worth a stop, but its the gentle amble along the Drava in Lent, Maribor’s “old town,” that will be the most enjoyable. Stop by the market in Lent and pick up pumpkin seed oil (or just browse trinkets or fresh fruit, veggies, and jams), as well as take in the popular landmarks such as the Judgement Tower and Water Tower. Maribor can be enjoyed in its pedestrianized squares, Slomškov Trg and Glanvi Trg in particular are good for tucking in a drink outside and people watching, and the city is friendly and warm. While locals often drive to nearby Graz, Austria (about a 45 minute drive) to shop, there’s a lot of nice stores in Maribor, especially near the castle in Grajski Trg. The University and Slovene National Theater keep the city steady on classic and cutting edge arts and culture, and the city’s various monuments – relating to historical subjects that are a testament to the age of the city: the Plague,and, Communist occupation, the Second World War – are worth a look, especially the bizarre National Liberation Memorial. The cathedral and castle are lovely, and the view from Piramida Hill in Mestni Park. Maribor is easy to get around, and if you do grab a cab, it’ll be a cheap and quick ride. Maribor is a beautiful introduction to Slovenia and a wonderfully charming European city that deserves your visit – but do note that you’ll be arriving by car or train, as Maribor doesn’t have an airport (most people take a train from Ljubljana or Graz’s airports; the train from Graz can take a bit if you don’t time it right).
Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe | Tagged: cathedral, Drava River, Eastern Europe, Europe, farmer's market, fresh fruit, friendly folk, Glanvi Trg, Grajski Trg, jams, Judgement Tower, Lent, liberation monument, Ljubljana, Maribor, Mestni Park, monuments, Old Vine, opera, Piramida Hill, plague monument, Pohorje Mountains, public market, pumpkin seed oil, Slomškov Trg, Slovene National Theater, Slovenia, Styria, train from Graz to Maribor, train from Maribor to Graz, University of Maribor, Water Tower | Leave a Comment »