Cruise Port Atlas | Trieste, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Trieste, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Trieste: Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Cunard, Costa

Key Attractions: Piazza Unita d'Italia, San Giusto Castle, San Giusto Cathedral, Great Synagogue, Revoltella Museum, Riseira di San Saba, Faro, Miramare Castle, Duino Castle, Aquileie Roman Ruins, Aquileie Basilica, Grotta Gigante, Postojna Cave, Skocjan Caves, Muggia, Koper, Piran, Val Rosandra

Trieste Attractions

Trieste Cruise Terminal to Piazza Unita d'Italia - 0.5 KM, 2 minutes, 6 minute walk
Trieste Cruise Terminal to San Giusto Cathedral / Castle - 3.4 KM, 8 minutes, 16 minutes walking
Trieste Cruise Terminal to Risiera di San Sabba - 6.6 KM, 9 minutes
Trieste Cruise Terminal to Faro Vittoria - 5 KM, 8 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Docking in Trieste your ship will most likely be within easy walking distance of the massive seaside Piazza Unita d'Italia which looks like a piece of Vienna has been transplanted on the edge of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by ornate palaces, this the city's gathering place and feature some of its more famous coffee houses. Trieste is easily walkable with inviting attractions in several directions. Walking from the pier about 1 kilometer east cruisers will reach the San Giusto (Saint Just) Cathedral and San Giusto Castle which were built on the ruins of the old Roman city. In the same vicinity are a Roman Theater and remnants of an old Roman temple. An Archaeological Museum (Museo di Storia e Arte) is right around the corner from the Cathedral and offers artifacts from Trieste's long history. The city has several other excellent museums including Museo Revoltella featuring 19th and 20th century works and Risiera di San Sabba, which honors those who suffered in Italy's only Nazi concentration camp. Also not far from the dock is Europe's largest Synagogue built in 1912. Nearby is the scenic Great Canal. Just north of the city is the famous Victory Lighthouse (Faro Vittoria). Some visitors will elect to take a harbor cruise either by motor or sailing craft.



Photo of

Trieste Castles

Trieste Cruise Terminal to Miramare Castle - 9 KM, 12 minutes
Trieste Cruise Terminal to Duino Castle - 21 KM, 24 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The Trieste area offers two dramatically situated coastal castles, the 19th century Miramare Castle and the 14th century Duino Castle. Miramare was built in 1860 by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austro-Hungary who lead the national navy for his brother the Emperor before being named Emperor of Mexico. He was assasinated in Mexico in 1867. The Castle, the smaller Castelleto and the surrounding gardens are one of the most popular of attractions in the Trieste area and offer a glimpse luxury of the golden age of Austrian rule. The much older Duino Castle was built on a high cliff above the Adriatic and was used by several wealthy families as a home and also as a prison before it was purchased in the 19th century by the Thurn und Taxis family which still owns it. Open to the public the parks and castle offer stunning views of the sea along with artifacts and architecture from many eras in the castle's history.



Photo of Miramare Castle by Tiesse, Photo of Duino Castle by Aconcagua

Aquileia Roman Site and Basilica

Trieste Cruise Terminal to Aquileia - 51 KM, 47 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The town of Aquileia was the site of one of Rome's largest cities though it would be hard to see that from what remains. The Roman structures were picked over for centuries as a source for stone, so that very little remains. However, the artifacts from the area including many inscriptions and coins have been collected in an impressive museum. The largest historic building in the town is the Basilica which has elements from many different eras. Built originally in a Romanesque style, it now blends that with a later Gothic redesign. The Belltower is from the 9th century, while the flooring has elements going back to the time of Augustus when a Roman villa was on the spot. Because of the size and importance of the ancient city as well as the history of the Basilica, Aquileia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Photo of Roman Ruins (Public Domain), Photo of Aquileia Basilica by Giovanni Dall'Orto

Caves near Trieste

According to the Guiness Book of World Records the Grotta Gigante just outside Trieste is the world's largest tourist cave. Guided tours take an hour and there is a nearby museum offering my information about the cave and about caving. The Grotta is part of the same underground water system that includes the Skocjan Caves in Slovenia which have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also not far away is the most popular tourist cave in Europe at Postojna, which features a train for easy viewing. This proliferation of nearby caves are the result of the Karst geology of the region, which features soluble rock which has eroded underground resulting in caves, sinkholes and other unusual geological features.



Photo of Postojna Cave by Bostjan Burger, Photo of Skocjan Cave Entrance by Annebethmi


Trieste Cruise Terminal to Muggia - 15 KM, 19 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The tiny port town of Muggia is Italy's farthest mainland outpost and sits at the northwest corner of the Istrian peninsula. The scenic town is surrounded by hills topped by remnants of pre-historic castles. Within the old center city are buildings displaying the old Venetian gothic elements. The most popular attraction in town is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which contains lovely frescoes from the 14th-15th centuries. The tiny town offers a casual antidote to the classic beauty of Trieste.



Photo of Muggia Panorama by Tkrajina

Koper and Piran

Trieste Cruise Terminal to Koper - 24 KM, 23 minutes
Trieste Cruise Terminal to Piran - 40 KM, 41 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

outh of Trieste not far past the Slovene border are the old Venetian ports of Koper and Piran. Koper is an old city with an important place in modern Slovenia. The small old town is the tourist center with its late medieval and early renaissance buildings, such as the Praetorian Palace, Loggia and Church of the Assumption built in Venetian styles. Within sight is Slovenia's major port area. Within the cathedral are a famous Carpaccio painting, Sacre Conversationa, An entry fee is charged for admission to the Campanile (belltower) but the views are excellent. Piran sits on a narrow peninsula and is surrounded by its historic protective wall. The Church of St. George, cafes, galleries and squares are nestled together in a seductive network of cobbled streets.



Photo of Koper Cathedral and Belltower by Dieter Karner, Photo of Piran by MrPanyGoff

Val Rosandra Park

Trieste Cruise Terminal to Val Rosandra Park - 13 KM, 18 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Just to the east of Trieste along the border with Slovenia is the Val Rosandra National Park, a popular hiking and mountain biking area with great views of the Rosandria River including an impressive waterfall of 130 feet. For those who want connect with the local nature and see some of the above ground karst geology, the park offers a welcome respite.



Photo of Val Rosandra Waterfall by IzTrsta

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible