5 Awesome Things to do in Trieste, Italy

Trieste, Italy is a place that not many people know much about. It’s tucked away in the far northeast corner near the Slovenia and Austria borders. Trieste has a checkered and interesting history but not many people visit. The area of Friuli Venezia Giulia is relatively unknown as a wine-producing region with a coastal gulf all to itself. I had always wanted to visit Trieste and I finally made the time to make it happen. Here are 5 awesome things to do in Trieste, Italy.

1. Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia

Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia is the largest sea-facing piazza in Italy and one of its most impressive. It is a great example of Austro-Hungarian planning and a source of immense pride for the people of Trieste.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia is a great place to stroll day or night. Be sure to visit at both because it looks totally different and possibly even more impressive at night. During the day of course you look toward the Gulf of Trieste and that adds to the allure.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia is a great place to chill out, have a drink, coffee or small bite before heading out to a fantastic dinner. The cruise ships dock to the immediate left of Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia so be prepared for crowds if there’s a ship in port. However, it is Italy after all so you should be used to crowds!

2. Walking Around

Walking around is by far the best way to see Trieste. There are far more than 5 things to do in Trieste so walking allows to do them and to make your own sites. I really liked the Grand Canal area. I thought it was cool, not because it was comparable to the great canals of Venice but because it owned it’s own “little” grand canal! It was a great place to meet friends and have a drink as the sun goes down.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia, canals
Pretty much anything south of the main drag of Corso Italia is epic looking. Aside from Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia you’ll stroll through Piazza della Borso for some shopping, bars and even a political rally when I was there. Gaze off into the side streets and pick the ones to your liking. Most of this area is pedestrians only so it’s really visitor friendly.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia, church
But really Trieste isn’t about sites; it’s really about just experiencing the friendly city. It’s rough around the edges like many Italian cities but that gives it charm. So just walk around and find your Trieste. That’s exactly what I did and had a great time.

3. Castello di Miramare

Castello di Miramare is about a 15-minute drive out of the center of Trieste. It is a beautiful castle that is well worth a visit and is probably the single best thing to see in Trieste.
Castello di Miramare, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia
If you don’t have your owns wheels, you can take a taxi or the bus out to Castello di Miramare. The photos of the castle itself are great but the views back to Trieste across the Gulf of Trieste make the setting to me. Make sure to also walk the gardens and walk around outside for different perspectives of the castle walls.
Castello di Miramare, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Trieste, Italia, view
You can also tour the inside of the castle for another 12 euros a person. I actually didn’t go inside because there was a massive tour group who was entering at the same time and was running short on time before driving to the airport. Honestly I didn’t feel like I missed much but feel free to check it out when you visit.

4. Eat

I was only in Trieste for one day but I certainly made the most of my eating time. From little pizza joints to gelatterias, Trieste has what you’d expect in Italy. But Trieste is a little different in that most restaurants do either meat or fish. I asked the concierge at my hotel, The Victoria Hotel, what the best restaurant in town was. He gave me three options. I went with Al Bagatto.
Al Bagatto, Things to do in Trieste, Italy, Italia
Al Bagatto was fantastic. There is no better descriptive term to use as the mains, starters, desserts, wine, ambience and everything else was perfect. I highly recommend the scallops and the radicchio. But listen to your waiter because the restaurant has seasonal tasting menus. They also know their regional wine and it is superb.

5. Drink

As I just mentioned the wine in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region is unknown and excellent. Udine produces tremendous Cabernets and I definitely indulged in a few. My absolute favorite was Petrucco. It was a bold and somewhat sweet Cabernet and I highly recommend it.
Wine, Things to do in Trieste, Italy
Anywhere you go in Trieste you can stop for a coffee. Trieste is known for their coffee and is the home of Illy. The cappuccino and espressos are perfect and the added ambience of standing in an Italian coffee bar make the taste even better.
THings to do in Trieste, Italy
Italian beers are always good but never great. I actually didn’t try any to speak of in Trieste but I was told they’re all pretty good. It’s hard to opt for beer when you’ve just come down from Austria and Italy is so well known for wine.

These 5 things to do in Trieste, Italy pretty much sum up exactly what Trieste is. It’s a very relaxed place where there is not one thing that you cannot miss but everything is worth seeing and doing. But like most places in Italy, the food and drink is killer.

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  1. Thanks for posting this, I’ve always kind of wondered about Trieste. It really is in the middle of nowhere tucked up by the Balkans. I had never really seen photos before so thanks again for posting and glad you enjoyed it.


    • Thanks Al, yes I really did enjoy it. It has always been on my radar but unless you go by road trip, it’s really out of the way from pretty much anywhere and doesn’t really stick out to warrant a trip specifically for that. Nevertheless I am thrilled I went!

  2. Since when has Castello di Miramare been a World Heritage Site? Is it part of a serial nomination? Thanks

    • David, you are absolutely correct; it is not a UNESCO site at least on my just now Google. I think I was told it was and just took the person as correct and obviously didn’t check it. Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, much appreciated! I don’t follow UNESCO sites closely even though I’ve been to many.

    • Sylvana De Bortoli says

      Thank you for writing about Trieste. I was born there and left as a teen. However, I was back many times and you left out quite a lot. I find I it annoying that Slovenia seems to be always mentioned. Living in Trieste, one is barely aware of Slovenia. There are small areas in the Carso where Slovene is spoken as well as Italian. If you wish to know more it is helpful to read “Trieste and the meaning of nowhere” by Jan Morris – a well known writer. Although she missed a few things about Trieste it is an excellent and somewhat fascinating book.

      I live in Canada and it’s a great country but my first love was Trieste!


  3. Thanks, I wasn’t too sure about Castello di Miramare either. But, you’ve been to some remote UNESCO sites, like the Ruins of Loropeni and Stone Circles in Senegal and Gambia. I was surprised that you didn’t highlight those in your reports, but I guess when you’ve been to so many spots you need to be selective.

  4. That is where my family is from in Italy! It is my dream to visit Trieste! Thanks for posting, this is inspiring to visit and see where I am from.:-)

  5. Lee, I agree that the piazza in Trieste is one of the best in Italy. It’s really dynamic plus the opening to the sea is unique and breathtaking. Much of the rest of the city is not beautiful but the piazza and the setting certainly are.

  6. Great post Lee!
    Italy is my favorite country in Europe and that’s mainly because of the fabulous food and way of living! I will definitely check out Trieste next time!

  7. after reading about Al Bagatto, I am feeling like my mouth is watering. Can’t wait to have Al Bagatto seasoning foods and explore Italy..

  8. Wow, Amazing places to visit in Italy. Once my uncle visited Trieste same thing he mentioned about love of coffee there. I will surely plan it soon.

  9. Was last week in Trieste and it was again a lovelly city we did a short stop over there from portoroz with our sailingboot took a cappucchino at the main square and visited the castle of miramare. We had perfect weather and took great pics. Thanks for your tipps in this article. All the best from Austria Eva-Maria

  10. Great article. Thank you! ? But is Trieste not near the Slovenian and Croatian borders? ? Austria is above Slovenia. Tarvisio is the Italian city that is in the corner near Slovenia and Austria. ?

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