15 Unique Things to Do in Maribor, Slovenia

Maribor truly has it all.

Every tourist or visitor will see why, upon arriving in the city, Maribor was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2012. When it comes to history and culture, an essential part to visit is undoubtedly the oldest part of the city: Lent.

Here, you’ll find famous towers and remnants of the magnificent city walls; Slomšek Square, where a beautiful cathedral offers views of the tower; the main city square with the Town Hall, and Dvorski Square, home to Maribor Castle and the Regional Museum.

Lent District

The oldest part of Maribor, right by the Drava River. It’s famous for having the world’s oldest grapevine. This vine has been growing in the same spot for over 400 years and is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine still producing grapes. 

Known as “Stara Trta,” the vine is situated on a house that has been transformed into a wine shop and museum. In Maribor, you can also visit one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in Europe, the “Vinag,” where you can taste and buy some of the best wines.

Lent used to be a busy place where a lot of boats with timber came to trade. There are lots of old buildings like the Water Tower and the Old Bridge, which are pretty interesting to see.

Every summer, there’s a big festival in Lent with music and food. It’s one of the biggest outdoor festivals in Slovenia. These days, Lent is a popular spot where people hang out, with many cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to see a mix of old buildings and enjoy the river view.

Maribor Castle

Built between 1478 and 1483 by Emperor Frederick III, it was the first part of the city’s defense walls. But as time went on, it turned into a fancy place for powerful people to live.

The most interesting part of the castle is the Festive Hall, which is decorated with art by the Quadri family and Laurenzo Laurigo. 

A lot of famous people have been to the castle, like Emperor Leopold I, Emperor Charles VI, and Maria Theresa of Austria. Even a Pope, Pius VI, stayed there once. The famous musician Franz Liszt played a concert there in 1874.

Now, the castle is home to the Regional Museum of Maribor.

Enjoy a Coffee with a View of the Drava

The most beautiful part of Maribor isn’t the strict city center, nor Pohorje, but rather the promenade along the Drava River. Here, you’re greeted by a flock of the most beautiful swans, strutting and posing for you.

Along the Drava, there are cafes and restaurants open from early morning. Particularly charming is the area just below the purple bridge, featuring a protruding stone dome reminiscent of Kotor. 


Much like Ljubljana has Metelkova City, Maribor is home to the Pekarna cultural center.

This place, a bit away from the city center, interestingly occupies a former military bakery from the 19th century. It frequently hosts various cultural events.

Vinag Wine Cellar

It was built back in 1847 and is right in the middle of the city. This cellar is huge, stretching over 15,000 square meters with 2.1 kilometers of underground tunnels. Inside, there are big wooden barrels and concrete tanks that can hold up to 3 million liters of wine!

What’s really special about Vinag is its wine archive. It stores 85,000 bottles of top-quality wine, some dating back to 1946. You can even buy a bottle of this special wine for important occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.

Visitors can take a guided tour through the cellar’s long tunnels, see the big barrels, and taste some of Vinag’s wines. The tour lasts about 1.5 hours and you can try a couple of different wines.

Maribor City Park

Definitely one of the most beautiful places for enjoyment is Maribor City Park. Simply walking around here is delightful. 

The park is quite large, so you won’t get bored of walking. 

Main Square

Dating back to the 12th century, it has been a central part of Maribor for a very long time.

The square is well-known for its beautiful and colorful architecture, housing many significant buildings.

One of the most notable structures here is the Maribor Town Hall, an impressive building from the 1500s. 

Right in the center of the square stands the Plague Column, a memorial built in the 17th century by survivors of the plague to honor those who lost their lives.

Pyramid Hill

When you search for Maribor online, you’ll notice how it’s surrounded by greenery. That’s why we were thrilled to discover Pyramid Hill in the city, where you can climb and enjoy a view of the town.

At the top of this hill, there used to be a castle, but now there’s a small chapel.

The walk to the top is neither difficult nor long, and the best part is being surrounded by vineyards at one point. 

Mariborsko Pohorje

Mariborsko Pohorje is the largest ski resort in Slovenia, located just 6 km from Maribor’s center. Its biggest advantages are slopes suitable for both experienced skiers and beginners.

Interestingly, it features a 10 km long night skiing track, the longest illuminated slope in Europe.

Outside of the ski season, most Slovenians, who are typically passionate skiers, hikers, and runners, head to Pohorje with their families for a weekend getaway as early as Friday. However, for them, a getaway doesn’t mean just lounging on a meadow and having a leisurely lunch. Instead, it involves a family outing that includes several kilometers of walking, running, and climbing.

A particularly unique and beautiful experience is the gondola ride to the top, offering a panoramic view of Maribor.

At an elevation of 1,050 meters, right next to the ski slope, sits the renovated Bellevue Hotel, originally built in 1958.

The Water Tower 

This historic tower was built in 1555.

It’s a late-Renaissance structure made of large stone blocks and was designed to protect the city from river invasions. Located along the Drava River, the tower is pentagonal and was part of Maribor’s fortifications against threats, particularly from Turkish raids.

The Water Tower now has been transformed into a modern wine shop, specializing in top-quality Slovenian wines. 

On the top floor, there’s a large hall with high ceilings, used for wine tasting, resembling a medieval banquet hall. 

Maribor Cathedral (St. John the Baptist’s Church)

Dating back to the late 12th century, it originally had a Romanesque style but underwent significant Gothic and Baroque renovations.

The Gothic era added a rib vault, a larger choir, and two side naves, while the Baroque period saw the addition of the Saint Francis Xavier chapel and the Holy Cross chapel.

The cathedral’s most striking feature is its 57-meter high bell tower, built in the 18th century to replace an earlier one struck by lightning.

Inside, the cathedral contains choir benches from 1771 with gilded reliefs depicting the life of St. John the Baptist. It’s also the resting place of Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek, an advocate of Slovene culture, and known for moving the diocese seat to Maribor. 

Maribor Synagogue

Thought to originate from the end of the 13th century, the synagogue was first mentioned in 1429.

It played a significant role in the Jewish community until the Jews were expelled from Styria and Maribor at the end of the 15th century. The building was then converted into a Catholic church in 1501 and later used as a warehouse.

After extensive renovations from 1992 to 2000, the synagogue reopened in 2001 as a museum and cultural-exhibition venue, highlighting the history of the Jewish community in Maribor and Slovenia.

It’s now run by the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor and hosts various exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events.

Maribor Regional Archive

The archive’s collection, if lined up, would stretch over 17 kilometers and includes documents from the 13th century to the present.

Among its notable holdings are the earliest document from 1246, a write-off of debts by a Jewish banker, and various other significant historical records. 

Maribor Art Gallery

The Maribor Art Gallery’s collection exceeds 7,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographic and video art, multimedia installations, and interactive art projects. 

The gallery hosts about 12 special exhibitions annually, ranging from retrospectives of Slovenian authors to international festivals of contemporary art, architecture, and design. The gallery’s premises, located in a former bourgeois palace and a former church, include impressive features like the 19th-century painted ceiling in the Great Hall.

Take a Trip to Graz

From the main railway station, there’s a train that takes about an hour to reach one of the most beautiful Austrian cities.

This city, almost three times larger in population than Maribor (300,000 residents), pulsates with student life (over 40,000 students), enriching its rich historical and ancient core.

Among the city’s biggest attractions are the Schlossberg Castle, the Kunsthaus Museum, and the island on the Mur River.

Is Maribor Worth visiting?

In Maribor, you’ll find activities to suit every taste. For the adventure-seekers, drifting down the Drava River on a traditional raft is a thrilling option. Families with young children will love the memorable experience of a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city.

For those looking to stay active and maybe even lose a few pounds, renting a bicycle to explore the city’s flat terrain is perfect. For the more daring cyclists, the hilly landscapes outside the city offer a challenging adventure.