Maribor was the first stop on our Balkan road trip itinerary. Although it is Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor can easily be explored on a day trip from Ljubljana. One day in Maribor will give you plenty of time to explore the city’s attractions. You can also stop to admire the romantic river bank.
If you travel across Slovenia’s diverse landscapes you’ll come across many medieval towns with interesting historical sites and local curiosities. That’s how we discovered Maribor, a city with a rich Slovenian wine tradition, located on the banks of the Drava River.
Slovenia is one of the most beautiful Eastern European countries. Unfortunately, most visitors only devote one or two days to the beautiful Slovenia, which is a shame. Even worse, some will only use it as a refueling stop on their way to Croatia. But there is so much more to Slovenia than just Ljubljana and Lake Bled.
What to See on a Day Trip to Maribor
During the Nazi occupation, the Allies bombed Maribor heavily, but the city has been rebuilt after the war. As a result, as you walk around the city today, you’ll notice that much of its center is very modern.
There are still see many old buildings in the heart of the historic Old Town, however. Like the Gothic cathedral, a section of the 15th-century castle (which now contains the Regional Museum), or the remains of the city walls and medieval towers.
In the main square you can admire the beautiful building of the Town Hall that dates back to the 16th century. Just a short walk away you will find the colorful Vodnikov Square that holds an open air market.
The Old Vine of Maribor
But the pride of Maribor doesn’t lie in its landmarks, medieval buildings, or picturesque hills. Surprisingly, the city’s most famous attraction is a plant – the oldest vine in the world (according to Guinness World Records), which has been producing grapes for over 450 years. The Old Vine has survived wars, fires, plagues and diseases and it still grows in front of the Old Vine House in Lent, the oldest part of the city center. Experts on vine genetics from Paris confirmed the age of the vine.
The four-century-old vine only produces between 35 and 55 kilograms of grapes per year, barely enough for about 100 bottles. But the precious wine has more of a symbolic value than a great taste.
Admittedly undrinkable, the Modra Kavčina wine always made a great gift for notable personalities like emperors, presidents, and many celebrities. As expected, Maribor hosts a number of events celebrating the old vine and it is home to one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in Europe.
How to Get From Ljubljana to Maribor
There are many beautiful day trips you can take from Ljubljana and Maribor is one of them.
Ljubljana is less than 90 minutes drive from Maribor, so if you are visiting Slovenia’s capital you can easily take a day trip to Maribor. And if you decide to spend more time there relaxing on the tranquil banks of the Drava River, Maribor has enough quality accommodations, great restaurants, and quite a vibrant nightlife too.