Set along a wide horseshoe shaped bay in the northern Adriatic, Koper is the largest city on the Slovenian coast and the sixth-largest city in Slovenia, with a population of around 25,000. It’s located only 5 kilometers from the Italian border and less than 10 kilometers from Trieste.
Koper is considered one of the oldest towns in the country. It was originally built during the Middle Bronze Age on what was then a rocky island very near the shore inhabited by goats. That is where its Italian name Capodistria originates (capra means goat in Italian). Historically it was also named Capris, Caprea, Capre or Capristo. In the 1800’s the island was connected to the mainland by a permanent landfill, so now the island is a peninsula. A strong Italian influence can be seen everywhere in the town from architecture to food. It is officially bilingual, speaking both Italian and Slovene. Not surprising, since most of its historical past was spent under Roman and Venetian rule. Koper’s most prosperous times were during the 15th and 16th centuries when it was controlled by the Venetian Republic. After the First World War the area became part of Italy and after the Second World War, it was controlled by Yugoslavia. With Slovenia independence in 1991, Koper became the main administrative, cultural, sports, business and industrial center of the Slovenian Littoral.
Today’s Koper shows two faces to the world: one is a modern, loud and busy industrial part of the city with the only commercial port in Slovenia. The other is the charming small Old Town with the lovely square of Titov Trg and late medieval and early Renaissance buildings, such as the Praetorian Palace, the Loggia Palace and the Cathedral of the Assumption built in Venetian styles. The Titov Trg square as well as the stunning 15th-century Praetorian Palace are the most important sights and form the identity of the town! Apart from these, the Cathedral of the Assumption and Campanile, the famous bell tower which guarantees a stunning elevated view of the city are also well worth a look. The architecture and feel of the old city center is what makes Koper an enjoyable place to visit. A great thing to do is just to stroll around the old town, which is made up of narrow alleys with several lovely small restaurants, cafes, bars, antique shops and art galleries. During the summer season, you can relax and take a swim on the very well kept city’s beach, on the northwest edge of the Old Town near the marina – it’s small but it has it all, including a small bathhouse with toilets and showers, grassy areas for lying on the sun, large trees for cooling down in the shade, a playground where children can play and a bar and cafe.
While Koper is not really a main destination, it is a fantastic day trip and if you are traveling from Italy onto Croatia or vice versa, it is right on the way and a great place to stop and check out.
View our image gallery with 5 high-resolution photos that proves you absolutely have to visit Koper!
Next 4 photos below by Erich Reisinger
A beautiful elevated view over the town of Koper from the top of the bell tower.
Koper or Capodistria as it is called in Italian shows two faces to the world: one is a modern, loud and busy industrial part of the city with the only commercial port in Slovenia. The other is the charming small Old Town with the lovely square of Titov Trg and late medieval and early Renaissance buildings, such as the Praetorian Palace, the Loggia Palace and the Cathedral of the Assumption built in Venetian styles.
Location of Koper on the map
Address: Titov Trg 1, 6000 Koper, Slovenia
Latitude and Longitude Coordinates: 45.548411, 13.729713
GPS coordinates: 45° 32′ 54.2796” N 13° 43′ 46.9668” E
Region: Slovenian Littoral (Slovene: Primorska)