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Maribor

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Eastern Slovenia : Maribor
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The centre of Maribor

Maribor is the second most important centre and the second largest city of Slovenia. It has about 114.000 inhabitants who live embraced in its wine growing hills and the Mariborsko Pohorje mountain. Located near the Slovenian border with Austria, beside the Drava River and at the centre of five natural geographic regions, Maribor is the capital of Štajerska, the Slovenian Styria.

Phone: The local area code is (0)2. The country code for Slovenia is +386. Internet TLD .si.

Understand

Maribor was first mentioned back in the 12th century. Though the city had been attacked by the Turks several times, it was constantly under the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs until the end of the World War I. After the war was over the city was claimed by both the Austrians and by the new state of Yugoslavia. Finally it fell to Yugoslavia. It was occupied by the Germans during World War II but became part of Yugoslavia again after the war was over. In 1975 the University of Maribor was founded and this has helped the city to become more and more an attractive, vibrant, student city. After Slovenia declared independence, back in 1991, the city suffered from the economic consequences.

Today, Maribor is a trans-regional financial, educational, trade and cultural centre. And since it`s pleasantly small and lodged in the nature of Pohorje Mountain on the one side, the wine growing hills on the other, and with the river Drava wending its way through it, Maribor has grown into one of the country’s most important tourist destinations. Its key features are: the rich wine culture (the oldest vine in the world, numerous wine roads and wine cellars), the old town`s cultural offer (theatre, traditional events, galleries and museums), and the recreational activities (hiking, cycling and skiing).

Orientation

Maribor is situated among the Pohorje Mountain, the Slovenske gorice Hills and the Kozjak Hills on the gravel terrace of the Drava Valley. The river Drava divides the city on the so-called left (north) and the right (south) bank. The city`s old town core is situated on the left bank of the river Drava. On north, Maribor is embraced with the town (wine-growing) hills, and on the south-western part of the city, the foothills of the Pohorje Mountain start to rise.

A good first stop in the city is Infopeka, a information center which gives out free advice, free internet usage and free rent-a-bicycle. They can be found across the old bridge from the Glavni Trg, on the right side of the street.

Get in

By car

By car, you can travel to the Maribor region from the direction of Ljubljana (Slovenia) on the A1/E57, from the direction of Zagreb (Croatia) on the E59, from the direction of Budapest (Hungary) on the E59/E65/E71/M7, and from the direction of Trieste (Italy) on the E57/E70. Maribor is located only few minutes from the Austrian boarder: you can travel to Maribor from the direction of Graz on the A9/E57/E59, from the direction of Klagenfurt on the road B80/B70, and from the direction of Villach on the B80/B70/E66/B83.

In order to use motorways and express roads in Slovenia, a vignette is required. You can purchase the vignette at the border, at petrol stations in Slovenia and neighbouring countries, at post offices in Slovenia, at some kiosks etc. The monthly vignette is € 30, while the weekly one is € 15 (for motorcycles € 7,50).

Between Maribor and other ex-Yugoslavia coutries' capitals is a distance of: Ljubljana 123 km, Zagreb 110 km (Croatia, Sarajevo 487 km (BiH), Belgrade 512 km (Serbia), Podgorica 703 (Montenegro) and Skopje 945 km (Macedonia).

Between Maribor and other European cities is a distance of: Paris 1299 km (France), Venice 365 km (Italy), Prague 548 km (Czech Republic), Budapest 340 km (Hungary), Berehove 653 km (Ukraine), Shkodra 759 km (Albania), Hamburg 1163 km (Germany), London 1488 km (England), Nordkapp 3699 km (Norway), Lisbon 2739 km (Portugal), Belgorod 1925 km (Russia), Thessaloniki 1134 km (Greece), Frankfurt 1050 km, Graz 68 km, Milan 622 km, Munich 493 km, Prague 595 km, Salzburg 352 km, Split 460 km, Trieste 216 km, Vienna 255 km, Zurich 803 km.

By train

The Maribor train station is situated in the eastern part of the Maribor city centre (at Partizanska cesta 50). By train, you can travel to Maribor for example from:

  • Vienna Meidling – Maribor (3 h 30 m)
  • Graz – Maribor (1 h)
  • Venezia Santa Lucia – Ljubljana – Maribor (9 - 10 h)
  • Zagreb – Dobova – Zidani most – Celje – Pragersko – Maribor (3 h 30 min)
  • Budapest – Vienna – Graz – Maribor (6 h 30 m)
  • Budapest – Hodoš – Murska Sobota – Ormož – Ptuj – Pragersko – Maribor (6 h 30 m)
  • Budapest – Murakerestur – Zagreb – Maribor (13 h 30 m)
  • Prague – Vienna – Maribor (9 h)

You can find more connections and schedule information at Slovenian Railways (Slovenske železnice).

By plane

Although Maribor has an international airport, e.i. the Edvard Rusjan Airport or simply just Maribor Airport, it does not provide regular flight connections.

Nearby airports are in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Graz (Austria), Zagreb (Croatia), and Klagenfurt (Austria). Airports in Ljubljana, Graz and Klagenfurt are also destinations of the low-cost carriers easyJet (Ljubljana) and Ryanair (Klagenfurt and Graz). Closest to Maribor is the Graz Airport: trains from the Graz Airport to Maribor leave six times a day, and the journey takes about an hour and a half.

By bus

The Maribor bus station is situated in the eastern part of the Maribor city centre (at Mlinska ulica 1), only few metres from the main train station. There are a few international bus connections running through Maribor:

~ Ljubljana – Beograd (Serbia)

~ Beograd (Serbia) – Ljubljana

~ Maribor – Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

~ Maribor – Neum (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

~ Maribor – Vienna (Austria)

~ Maribor – Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

~ Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Maribor

By bike

It is handy to visit the Maribor region by bike, since there are numerous widespread trails over the slopes of the Pohorje Mountain and in the picturesque Maribor surroundings.

If you`re arriving to Maribor from the direction of Italy, Austria or Croatia, you can cycle along the Drava Cycling Route, starting in Dobbiaco (Italy), passing Lienz, Spittall, Villach (Austria), Dravograd, Ruše, Maribor, Ptuj, Ormož (Slovenia), and ending on the Slovenian-Croatian border.

Get around

On foot

Maribor is quite a small town, so it's easy to get around the city centre on foot. There are two tourist information centres in Maribor: one is located at Partizanska ulica 6a, just next to the Franciscan Church (the red-brick one). The other one is in the Old Vine House on Lent, the oldest part of the town next to the river embankment (at Vojašniška ulica 8). The tourist information centres are open every day, provide free maps, and will help you arrange accommodations. Maps of central Maribor (aerial photos) can also be found in the streets fitted on the walls of houses.

By bus

Maribor has an extensive bus network, but there is no need to use it unless you want to go to the outer districts of the city. For tourists, bus No. 6 is the most interesting one - it takes you under the Pohorje Mountain (lower station of the cable railway, hotels, apartments and campsites, wellness centre, restaurants, recreational activities: hiking, cycling and skiing etc.).

Some bus numbers are more regular (arriving at stops every 15 minutes) than others (arriving at stops every 30 - 45 minutes). The approximate operation time of the bus lines is from 5 am to 10.30 pm on weekdays and from 6 am to 10.30 pm on weekends. Two circulator buses run from Monday to Friday from 11.15 pm to 12 pm. Bus ticket can be purchased either on the bus (€ 1,10 for single-ride ticket) or in advance (2, 6, 10 or 20 ride ticket) in kiosks or at the Main Bus Station (at Mlinska ulica 1).

For visiting the wider surroundings of Maribor, local bus isn`t the best transportation choice due to rather irregular bus frequencies and poor bus links. Car rental recommended.

By car

Travelling around Maribor region and its wider surroundings is best by car. Thus, you can fully enjoy the picturesque countryside and visit the most hidden corners of the Pohorje Mountain and the wine hills. There`s a good highway network around Maribor that directly connects the city with smaller places like Ptuj, Murska Sobota and Slovenska Bistrica. Regional roads are well maintained, as well.

If you go to the Maribor city centre by car, it might be difficult to find toll-free parking space during weekdays. Most of the inner city is covered by the "blue zone" that is payable. Alternatives are the parking garage below Trgovski center City (€ 1,50/hour), the Forum parking garage (€ 1,00/hour), or the Kolosej parking garage (€ 1,20/hour). Usually, the longer you stay, the cheaper it gets. A good chance to find toll-free space might be in the area of the Mestni park. During the day, free parking is also possible in shopping centre Europark. Otherwise, parking in the blue zone gets free after 5 pm and on weekends.

By bike

Maribor has a wide network of cyclepaths. Using a bike to get around, at least the central areas of Maribor, is one of the best choices. Bikes may be rented at the Tourist Information Centre, city hotels Piramida and Orel, cultural centre Pekarna - magdalenske mreže, the main train station, and at the cable railway station (under the Pohorje Mountain). Tourist Information Centre provides city map for cyclists who want to get to know the city from the bike and other cycling maps with cycling routes on the Pohorje Mountain and around the Maribor-Pohorje region. Maribor also hosts annual Mountain Biking World Championship on Pohorje Mountain.

By taxi

Taxis are available 24h/7. You can go to a taxi rank (at the main train station at Partizanska cesta 50 and along the Svetozarevska street next to the Trg svobode square) or simply order one by phone. There are several taxi companies providing services for a reasonable price (about € 0,70/km), e.g. Taxi Micro, Taxi Štajerka, Taxi Plus etc.

See

The oldest vine in the world
  • Old Vine (Stara trta). Guinness Book-certified oldest vine in the world (about 450 years old) growing on the front of the Old Vine House in Lent, the oldest part of the town on the enbankment of the Drava river. The Maribor`s Old Vine is given a lot of tourist promotional protocol events – the most famous and most popular is certainly the Vine’s grape harvest - the highlight of the traditional Old Vine Festival (Festival Stare trte) held annually at the end of Septembre.
  • The Old Vine House (Hiša Stare trte). A temple of wine tradition and culture, selling point of souvenirs from the Maribor-Pohorje destination and a tourist information centre, exhibition room with guided tours, place for wine tasting, event room, and the honorary seat of Slovene and international associations, sworn to honouring wine and the wine culture.
  • Vinag Wine Cellar (Vinagova vinska klet), Trg Svobode 3 (In the centre of the city). With 20.000 m2 surface and 2 km length has 5,5 millions litres of excellent wine
  • Lent. The oldest part of the town with the oldest vine in the world and the Old Vine House (Hiša Stare trte), defence towers Water Tower (Vodni stolp) and Judgement Tower (Sodni stolp), the Jewish part with the Synagogue (Sinagoga), Jewish Square (Židovski trg) and Jewish Tower (Židovski stolp), and other interesting sights on the bank of the river Drava.
  • Slomškov Square (Slomškov trg). One of the most charming squares in the city can be found in the western part of the old town core. In the square stand the Cathedral (Stolnica) and a statue of Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek. There is also park with a pool and a small statue of Korlek. The square is surrounded by mighty buildings: the Rectorate of the University of Maribor, the Slovene National Theatre and the building of the main Maribor Post office.
  • Main square (Glavni trg). With the Town Hall (Mestna hiša Rotovž), the Plague Column (Kužno znamenje), and the Aloysius church (Alojzijeva cerkev). The main square is the largest of Maribor's squares and it is one of the most important one in the city centre with historical sights and the hustle and bustle of town life flow. Here you can look at important sights of the old town core; sip coffee and sit out in the sunshine or visit some of the small shops. You can find it in the immediate vicinity of the Old Bridge and the street Koroška cesta.
  • Castle square (Grajski trg). With the Maribor Castle (Mariborski grad), the Maribor Regional Museum (Pokrajinski muzej Maribor), and St. Florian (Sv. Florijan).In the square in the old city centre, which was named after the castle in front of which it spreads, you can feel the lively throb of life in the city. On the square are also: Hotel Orel, in the 19th century a tavern named 'Pri Črnem orlu' and at the same time an important stop of coachmen, Coffeehouse Astoria with its famous "Ezlj ek", a popular meeting place of the Maribor people for many, many years, Town Savings Bank, situated in the home of the once well-known Maribor Scherbraum family and coffeehouses and shops.
  • Maribor Synagogue (Sinagoga Maribor). Built in 14th century, it is the second oldest in Europe (at Židovska ulica 4). Today, it serves as a centre for cultural activities and it offers visitors various events including exhibitions, concerts, literary evenings and round tables. The Synagogue is located in the square Jewish square (Židovski trg) in the former Jewish quarter, which is situated near the Main square (Glavni trg).
  • Water tower (Vodni stolp). One of defence towers built in the 16th century by inhabitants on account of the constant fear of Turkish raids. This mighty Renaissance town fortification can be seen close by the river Drava at Lent - the street Usnjarska ulica, one of the oldest streets in the town, will lead you past it.
  • Maribor castle (Mariborski grad). Built by Emperor Frederick III in the 15th century to fortify the northwestern part of the town wall. The castle is located right in the centre of Maribor, surrounded by the Castle square (Grajski trg) and the Trg svobode square (Trg svobode). In the castle, you can visit the Maribor Regional Museum.
  • Cathedral (Stolnica). Its History begins in 12th Century. First Bishop Beat. Anton Martin Slomšek. The construction of the cathedral and its further development brought Maribor additional cultural impetus and enforcement. It was built in the 12th century as a Romanesque building. Today it shows a Gothic style with a long chancel dating from the 14th century and a central church nave from the 15th century. Climb to the top of the bell tower and you will have a view over the city and far beyond!

Do

Ski or snowboard at the local resort. There are a few parallel slopes with drag lifts. Moving between the different slopes can be hard work if the snow is sticky. During the summer, cycle trails are available.

  • Mestni park - despite of the relative small size of the city, Maribor has a surprisingly big park. The perfect place to have a break from sightseeing.
  • Lent - Lent is a district located at the waterfront of Drava river. It's a beautiful place with lovely small avenues, restaurants and bars.
  • Slovene National Theatre, [1] - with Opera and Ballet, Drama, Simphony Orchestra SNG Maribor attracts audience from Slovenia and Abroad. Opera is given in original languages, Drama in Slovene Language.
  • Adrenalinski park Pohorje, [2] - Adrenaline park Pohorje with High Ropes Course, one track line PohorJET, summer sledding and Bike park Pohorje.
  • Festival Lent, [3] - is ranking among the Top 50 of Europe's Best Local Festivities. A variety of more than 400 performances and half a million of visitors make “Festival Lent” one of the biggest festivals in Europe, moreover it is also known across the pond in America.
  • Pohorje Ski resort, [4] - the largest Ski centre in Slovenia. Night skiing is possible as well as snow boarding.
  • Terme Maribor, [5] - with well known wellness centre in Hotel Habakuk (thermal water), Hotel Bellevue and in Fontana (thermal water).
  • Casino Maribor, [6] - located in the beautiful belle epoque styled building on the Glavni trg (the main square). On the ground floor slot machines and electronic roulette are available, one floor higher is reserved for live games. Closed at the moment (September 2010)
  • Planet Tuš - cinema multiplex (movies are presented in orginal audio language while equipped with Slovenian subtitles; this does not apply to computer-rendered and animated movies, which are dubbed for the children). Bowling centre. Shopping centre with free parking.
  • Kolosej - cinema multiplex (movies are presented in orginal audio language while equipped with Slovenian subtitles; this does not apply to computer-rendered and animated movies, which are dubbed for the children). Bowling centre.
  • Bowling center Strike, [7] - Bowling centre Strike offers 16 highly equipped, computerised Bowling Tracks, Restaurant and Bar.
  • Piramida Hill - Beautiful View over the City. The easiest way is to walk from the Mestni park (City Park).
  • Pekarna Cultural Center - An alternative cultural center located in a former military bakery. It consists of several concert venues (the large Gustaf Hall and some smaller concert halls e.g. Supernova and Klub MC), gallery spaces (Hladilnica Gallery, several studios), a spacious second-hand bookshop called Bukvarna and band practice rooms.

Buy

Be sure to buy a bottle of wine. Wine from region around and included Maribor is one of best in the world. Especially the white wine. You can buy good quality wine at wine producers or at the normal supermarkets. Buy "bučno olje" (pumpkin seed oil). This oil is typical for Austrian and Slovenian part of Styria and has a very unique and wonderful taste. You can buy good quality oil at the normal supermarkets.

There are many possibilities to go shopping in Maribor. Maribor is now a trans - regional shopping centre. Good places to shop are: Shopping in old city or in shopping centres as Europark, Tuš, Mercator, Qlandia or if you need furniture and gardening equipment the stores Rutar, Merkur, Bauhaus, Obi and BauMax.

  • Europark [8] is one of the largest shopping centers in Balkan and Central Europe with a wide variety of service - from clothing stores to restaurants. Has a big free of charge parking house, which is convenient as you can walk from here to the center. Free WiFi avaliable.
  • Trgovski center City is an old shopping mall located in the heart of city offering plenty of clothing shops and a supermarket.
  • Vetrinjska ulica is a small shopping street in the old center starting at Grajski trg place offering loads of boutiques containing all sorts of international brands and very good ice cream at Iglu (on the corner next to the H&M).

Eat

  • Gostilna in Pivnica Štajerc (Vetrinjska ulica 30, Tel. 22344234) is a nice inn a few minutes away from Grajski trg. Offers rather traditional cuisine (including a great salad buffet) at reasonable prices. Starters are around 3 € to 6 €, main courses from 7 € to 10 €. Serves home-made beer, brewed in the cellar under the restaurant.
  • Restavracija Mak, Osojnikova 20, Maribor (take bus line 3 and get down at Osojnikova), +386 (0)2 620 00 53, [9]. If you need break after long journey this is one of the best slow food restaurant in town! Amazing food, nice music and ambient. You will be served by cook himself (you will be surprised how many languages he speaks). For meal you will pay from 18€ up, but it is worth every cent. Open from Monday to Saturday (11:30 - 21:30) 18€.

Drink

  • Kavarna Astoria - Slovenska 2, Tel. 22515250 - a nice coffee bar/restaurant right in the heart of the city. Serves excellent coffee. Open Mo-Fr 7am to 10pm, Sa 8am to 10pm.
  • Slaščičarna in kavarna Ilich - Slovenska 6, tel. (0)2 2502408 - well known coffee bar and confectionery, usually full of people of all generations. Serves delicious homemade icecream. Open Mo-Sa 7am-9pm, Su 8am-9pm.
  • Čajnica Čajek - Slovenska 4, tel. (0)2 250 29 86 - Teahouse in the city center. Open Mo-Fr 7.30am-10pm, Sa 9am-10pm, Su 5pm-10pm.
  • Fuego - latino club, Mesarski prehod 3, [10]. If you want the best party in the town, visit the hottest latin club in town. Crazy barmans, funny DJs and delicious cocktails is all you need to dance the night away. Open: Tuesday & Wednesday: 20:00 - 4:00, Friday & Saturday: 20:00 - 5:00. And one more thing... Everyday opening day is Happy hour (all drinks are -50%) until midnight.


Sleep

  • Hostel Pekarna, Ob železnici 16, +386 (0)59 180 880 (, fax: +386 (0)59 180 882), [11]. Part of the cultural centre Pekarna, a building complex that used to be a bakery. Dorm bed from €18.
  • Lollipop Hostel, Maistrova Ulica 17, 40243160. checkout: 10am. Run by a very friendly English lady, this hostel is very conveniently located (less than 10 minutes from the train station). The owner could provide advices on everything from where to visit to the best place to hang out in town. €20.
  • Hotel Orel - a hotel located at Grajski trg in the centre. Any sights are within 15 min walking distance. Has single, double and triple rooms.
  • Hotel BAJT-garni [12]
  • Garni Hotel Tabor - close to Dvorana Tabor Hall and Ice Ring Tabor.
  • Hotel Kačar [13]
  • Hotel Piramida - business hotel located in centre.
  • Hotel Bellevue - situated on the Mariborsko Pohorje plateau. Wellness centre. Near the ski slope and cable car.
  • Hotel Habakuk - one of the best Slovene hotels is situated in a beautiful natural setting at the beginning of the Mountain Pohorje, near the ski slope and cable car. Wellness-spa and conference centre. Reachable by city bus.

Contact

There is an internet cafe in Partizanska cesta called Mark's cafe. The cafe can be found on the right side of the street (heading towards the centre of the city) between Cafova ulica and Cankarjeva ulica. Free internet access with computers (including Skype and webcam) as well as WiFi can be found in the shopping center Europark on the first floor, next to Comtron shop.

Get out

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