12 Best Things to Do in Maribor, Slovenia: Vineyards, History, and the Drava River

by Maria
12 Best Things to Do in Maribor, Slovenia Vineyards, History, and the Drava River
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Planning a trip to Maribor? Let me guide you through the top attractions and things to do in Maribor. From picturesque riverbanks to ancient castles and the world’s oldest vine nestled in vibrant city streets, Maribor is truly a hidden gem in Slovenia.

If you’re anything like me, always on the hunt for that next hidden gem that’s off the beaten track, then boy, do I have a treat for you. Welcome to Maribor—a city that might not be on every traveler’s radar but definitely should be. Nestled by the Drava River and hugged by the rolling hills of Pohorje, Maribor is Slovenia’s secret you’ll be glad you discovered.

Why Maribor, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s where you can truly experience the essence of Slovenia without the crowds. From tasting some of the world’s oldest wine to getting lost in lush forests, Maribor is all about authentic experiences. As someone always chasing the next adventure, trust me when I say the coolest things to do in Maribor are those that let you dive deep into its local vibe and natural beauty.

Are you ready to explore what this charming city has to offer? Let’s embark on a journey through Maribor’s cobblestone streets, vibrant festivals, and breathtaking natural landscapes. I promise, it’s going to be an adventure you won’t forget.

Discover the best things to do in Maribor, Slovenia
Discover the best things to do in Maribor, Slovenia

Best places to visit in Maribor, Slovenia

Ready to discover the coolest places in Maribor? From the serene banks of the Drava River to the lush trails of Mariborsko Pohorje, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in Maribor.

Whether you’re tasting the world’s oldest vine at the Old Vine House or exploring the historic streets leading to Maribor Castle, every corner of this city is an exploration. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best activities in Maribor – each one a must-experience!

1. Stroll Along the Drava River

Have you ever just strolled somewhere and felt instantly at ease? That’s the Drava River in Maribor for you. Picture yourself walking, drink in hand, along this peaceful river, and it’s like the city slows down for you.

The path here is alive with action. You’ve got joggers, bikers, and folks lounging by the riverbank. The sunset here is unreal, too. It’s the kind of scene you’ll want to snap and share — no filter needed. If you’re up for a laid-back day, pack a picnic. This spot has chill vibes written all over it.

Without a doubt, the Drava River is my top recommendation for anyone looking for fun places to visit in Maribor. It’s free, gorgeous, and shows off the city’s laid-back side. Plus, everyone’s super friendly. A smile and a hello could lead to a chat with a local, making you feel right at home.

By the time the sun dips and paints the sky, you’ll get why this place is more than just a pretty spot. It’s where Maribor’s heart really beats. Don’t miss out on seeing it glow at dusk. It’s absolutely worth it!

A peaceful path to stroll along the Drava River
A peaceful path to stroll along the Drava River

2. Visit the Old Vine House

Did you know that Maribor is home to the oldest vine in the world? Seriously, this vine has seen it all for over 400 years. It’s a living piece of history, and you can see it right at the Old Vine House. Pretty cool, right?

Stepping into the Old Vine House is like walking into a wine lover’s dream. Imagine tasting wines that come from a lineage of centuries, surrounded by stories of each bottle. From experience, the staff here love to share tales and tidbits about this ancient vine. You’ll feel like you’re part of a secret wine society.

If you’re like me and don’t know much about wine, there’s no need to worry. This is the perfect spot to learn and sip without any of that snobby vibe. Plus, picking up a bottle here means bragging rights for life. “Oh, this bottle? It’s from the oldest vine in the world.” How’s that for a conversation starter?

Before you head out, take a moment in the garden. It’s a special place that captures Maribor’s rich wine heritage like no other. Searching for fun things to do in Maribor? Make sure to visit the Old Vine House. Believe me, it’s a unique mix of history, fun, and amazing wine.

Outside view of the Old Vine House
If you’re a wine lover, visiting the Old Vine House is like walking into a dreamland

3. Explore Maribor Castle

When people ask me what to do in Maribor, I always recommend Maribor Castle. Imagine wandering through rooms where history isn’t just told, it’s felt. Yep, this castle is a living storybook, and you’re about to be part of its next chapter.

Now, picture this: you’re meandering through ancient halls, where knights and nobles once roamed. It’s not every day you get to stroll where centuries of footsteps have echoed. The castle’s vibe is magical. You half expect a knight to pop out and say hello!

Don’t skip the special exhibits. They’re like the castle’s way of keeping things fresh. One visit might take you through a medieval art collection, and the next, you’re diving into Renaissance fashion. It’s history, but with a twist that keeps you coming back for more.

Leaving Maribor Castle, you’ll feel a bit like you’ve just stepped out of a time machine. It’s that mix of adventure and discovery that makes this place unforgettable. When you’re chatting about where to go in Maribor, this castle is a must-mention. It’s an experience that makes history cool again.

The Maribor Castle looks like a picture straight from the pages of a fairy tale
The Maribor Castle looks like a picture straight from the pages of a fairy tale

4. Ride the Pohorje Cable Car

Ready for a ride that’ll lift your spirits, literally? The Pohorje Cable Car, right here in Maribor, is your ticket to some of the most stunning views the city offers. You’re going up the side of a mountain, and with every second, the scenery below becomes more spectacular.

This isn’t just any cable car ride. It’s like Maribor’s own magic carpet, whisking you up to the lush greenery of Pohorje. And the view? Wow. You’ll see the city shrink below as the landscape opens up into a panorama that’ll have you glued to the window.

Once you’re up there, the adventure doesn’t stop. If you’re into hiking, biking, or just enjoying a picnic with a view, Pohorje’s your playground. It’s the perfect spot to let loose and breathe in that fresh mountain air.

So, when you’re listing places to go in Maribor, make sure the Pohorje Cable Car is up there. It’s the start of an unforgettable day above the clouds. Trust me, you’ll want to do it all over again the moment you step off!

The Pohorje Cable Car—your ticket to some of the most stunning views Maribor
The Pohorje Cable Car—your ticket to some of the most stunning views Maribor

5. Relax in City Park (Mestni Park)

If you feel like you just need a break from the hustle and bustle? Maribor’s City Park, or Mestni Park, is your go-to oasis. Think of it as the city’s green lung, where you can kick back, relax, and maybe even forget you’re in a city at all.

This park isn’t just about sprawling lawns and pretty flowers (though it’s got plenty of those). It’s a place where you can feed ducks by the pond, marvel at statues, and lose track of time in the old greenhouse. Got kids? They’ll love the playground. In the mood for romance? The park’s paths are perfect for a lovey-dovey stroll.

And here’s a tip from me: don’t miss the aviary and the deer pen. They’re a bit hidden but totally worth the find. It’s like a mini-zoo adventure without leaving the park.

For anyone looking for free things to do in Maribor, make sure City Park is on your list. It’s the ideal spot to recharge, have a picnic, or simply enjoy a moment of peace. It’s the breather we all need now and then.

Mestni Park is definitely the perfect spot to unwind after all your Maribor escapades
Mestni Park is definitely the perfect spot to unwind after all your Maribor escapades

6. Taste Local Wines at Vinag Wine Cellar

Now, let’s talk about wine. Maribor is a wine enthusiast’s dream, especially with the Vinag Wine Cellar right at your fingertips. This place is like a treasure map for your taste buds, with corridors of barrels stretching into the dimly lit distance.

Vinag is not your average wine cellar. It’s a journey through Slovenia’s impressive wine culture, hidden beneath the city streets. The air is cool, the ambiance is just right, and the wines? Oh, they’re divine. Whether you’re a seasoned sommelier or can’t tell a Cabernet from a Chardonnay, this place will treat your taste buds.

I recommend visiting here for a tasting session. You’ll get to sip on a selection that tells the story of the region, guided by folks who love wine as much as you do (or more). It’s the perfect way to dip your toes into Maribor’s wine scene without feeling out of your depth.

Putting together a list of cool places to visit in Maribor? Carve out time for Vinag Wine Cellar. It’s a fantastic place to dive deep into the heart of Maribor’s wine culture. And who knows, you might leave with a new favorite wine and some cool stories to boot.

Visit the Vinag Wine Cellar to experience Slovenia’s rich wine culture, Image Source: Semaan D. Makary
Visit the Vinag Wine Cellar to experience Slovenia’s rich wine culture | Image Source: Semaan D. Makary / TripAdvisor

7. Attend the Lent Festival

If you thought Maribor was just about quiet streets and wine, think again. The Lent Festival turns the city into a live stage, buzzing with energy. Imagine music, dance, and theater, all happening under the open sky. One of the largest open-air festivals in Europe, it’s Maribor’s way of showing off its fun side.

The Lent Festival is where you’ll mix with locals and visitors, all drawn by the vibe and the variety. One minute, you’re tapping your foot to a jazz band, and the next, you’re caught up in a street performance that’s part comedy, part magic. It’s a cultural mash-up that feels like Maribor threw a party and everyone’s invited.

Don’t think it’s all about the shows, though. The food stalls are an adventure of their own. From traditional Slovenian bites to international treats, it’s a feast for the senses. And yes, there’s plenty of wine to go around. This makes it a perfect spot to practice your newfound wine knowledge.

When you’re writing your Maribor things to do list, make sure you add the Lent Festival. It’s a celebration of everything Maribor stands for—community, culture, and, of course, a good time. Trust me, it’s an experience that will stick with you long after the lights go down.

Maribor's Lent Festival is a must-not-miss event, Image Source: Visit Maribor
Maribor’s Lent Festival is a must-not-miss event | Image Source: Visit Maribor / TripAdvisor

8. Hike in the Mariborsko Pohorje

Just a quick hop from Maribor and you’re in the heart of nature at Mariborsko Pohorje. One of the most beautiful places in Slovenia, this spot offers a range of trails, from leisurely walks to more challenging hikes. The best part is that it’s all within easy reach of the city.

If you ask me, the best times to visit are in the spring and fall. Spring brings out the mountain’s vibrant colors, while autumn turns the landscape into a mosaic of golds and reds. For those who love the cooler air and fewer crowds, these seasons offer the perfect hiking conditions. Summer is beautiful too, with longer days that allow for extended exploration and stunning sunsets.

You’ll stumble upon crystal-clear lakes that look too perfect to be real and hidden waterfalls that beg for a moment of your time. And the views, let’s talk about that. Reaching a viewpoint and seeing Maribor laid out below is a “wow” moment every time.

Pohorje is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Maribor. It’s where you get to stretch your legs, fill your lungs with fresh mountain air, and soak in views that make all those steps worth it. It’s the best kind of escape.

Maribor City as seen from the breathtaking Mariborsko Pohorje viewpoint
Maribor City as seen from the breathtaking Mariborsko Pohorje viewpoint

9. Enjoy the Views from Piramida (Pyramid Hill)

Who knew Maribor had its own pyramid? Well, not the ancient kind, but Piramida (Pyramid Hill) is a local favorite for the best views in town. Just a short walk from the city center, and you’re ascending a trail that leads to panoramic bliss.

The best part? The hike up Piramida is easy enough for anyone to tackle. You don’t need to be a mountain goat to enjoy this. In about 20 minutes, you’re at the top, and the payoff is huge. The city sprawls out below you, the Drava River winds through it, and on a clear day, the Pohorje mountains smile back at you.

Early morning or late afternoon, that’s when Piramida shines. Catch the sunrise, and you’ll see Maribor in a whole new light. Or, make it a sunset mission for skies that turn all shades of fire. It’s the perfect backdrop for a quiet moment or a lively chat with friends.

Adding Piramida to your places to go in Maribor list is a no-brainer. Whether you’re up for a relaxed stroll or a quick escape to nature, Piramida delivers. And really, those views are everything.

Your Maribo escapade isn't complete without taking a moment to soak in the views from Piramida Hills
Your Maribo escapade isn’t complete without taking a moment to soak in the views from Piramida Hills

10. Visit the Maribor Cathedral

Right in the heart of Maribor stands a piece of history that’s as majestic as it sounds – the Maribor Cathedral. This church is a time capsule smack in the middle of the city, waiting for you to discover its secrets. It’s one of the best attractions in Maribor, hands down.

This stunning cathedral, also known as St. John the Baptist’s sanctuary, is just a stroll away from the main square. What makes it a must-see? It’s not just the architecture, though that’s pretty awesome. It’s the stories etched in every stone and stained glass window that really tell the tale of Maribor.

When you swing by, aim for late afternoon. That’s when the sunlight plays magic tricks with the colors inside, turning the whole place into a live kaleidoscope. Seriously, it’s incredible.

Checking out the Maribor Cathedral is like hitting the jackpot for those who love a mix of art, history, and a dash of tranquility. It’s a spot where you can pause, breathe, and just soak in the beauty around you. Plus, it’s a great way to get a feel for the city’s soul.

The Maribo Cathedral is one of the best attractions in Mariboro you shouldn't miss
The Maribo Cathedral is one of the best attractions in Mariboro you shouldn’t miss

11. Explore Maribor Island (Mariborski Otok)

Ready for something a little different? Maribor Island, or Mariborski Otok, isn’t your typical island getaway. It’s a slice of nature’s paradise right in the city’s backyard, offering a unique escape that feels worlds away from the urban hustle.

Tucked away in the Drava River, this spot is a local secret for unwinding and soaking up the sun. Think of it as Maribor’s very own natural retreat. What’s cool about it? For starters, there’s a beach. Yes, a beach! Lay out a towel, catch some rays, or dip your toes in the water. It’s the perfect chill-out zone for those sunny days.

Mariborski Otok is also a haven for outdoor lovers. Trails wind through the island, which makes it ideal for a walk or a bike ride. Keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife too – it’s like a mini safari in the heart of Europe.

Looking for places to go in Slovenia? Add Mariborski Otok to your list. Whether you’re up for a picnic, fancy a swim, or just want to explore, it’s a spot that offers a refreshing break from the city scene. Don’t miss it!

Mariborski Otok: A paradise right in the city's backyard
Mariborski Otok: A paradise right in the city’s backyard

12. Savor Local Cuisine at Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih

You know those meals you talk about long after you’ve left the table? That’s exactly what happened to me at Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih. It’s one of the best restaurants in Maribor, serving up local Slovenian cuisine with a modern twist. 

Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih is one of those rare finds where the setting is as memorable as the food. Picture dining in a historic building, surrounded by lush greenery, with the sound of nearby ponds adding to the ambiance. It’s cozy, it’s authentic, and it’s the perfect backdrop for a memorable dinner. 

Now, onto the menu. It’s a love letter to Slovenian cuisine, filled with dishes that warm the soul. From the heartiest stews that stick to your ribs to the lightest, flakiest pastries, the food here has a way of speaking directly to your heart. And the best part? Everything’s made with ingredients that didn’t travel far to reach your plate.

Don’t just add Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih to your list of places to visit in Maribor. Highlight it, underline it, and put a star next to it. After all, isn’t that what traveling is about? Finding those spots that turn meals into memories.

Outside view of the Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih
Outside view of the Gostilna Pri Treh Ribnikih | Image Source: Stanislav Holc / TripAdvisor

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the best things to do in Maribor, Slovenia:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Maribor, Slovenia? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia.

Is Maribor, Slovenia, worth visiting?

Maribor is definitely worth visiting. It’s a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, from the old vine in the city center to the peaceful banks of the Drava River. It’s an underrated gem in Slovenia.

Is Maribor a nice city?

Maribor is a lovely city with a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Its blend of historical landmarks, vibrant cultural scene, and beautiful parks make it a great place to explore.

Is Maribor walkable?

Yes, Maribor is very walkable. Most of its main attractions, like the Old Vine House and Maribor Castle, are within easy walking distance of each other.

Is Slovenia a cheap country to visit?

Slovenia, in general, is more affordable than many other European countries. While prices in tourist hotspots can be higher, overall, you’ll find Slovenia offers good value for money, especially compared to its western neighbors.

12 Best Things to Do in Maribor, Slovenia
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