Slovenia

Ptuj, Slovenia – a charming little gem

(Last Updated On: 03/12/2019)

I’m always ready for a good hunt of charming Central European towns. They might look similar, whether they are located in southern Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia or Slovenia, but I still keep falling for them all the time.

There’s just something about the Central European vibe, the distinctive architecture and the multicultural past that makes me excited. I can’t even fully explain this feeling but every time when I find this kind of unknown place with Austria-Hungary legacy I feel just right there. And that was also the story with Ptuj, Slovenia.

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Before my visit I only knew the place called Ptuj exists in Slovenia but I couldn’t really locate it on the map, say if it’s a big, important city or name famous monuments. I went there with an open mind and no expectations at all and let the town charm me.

From the moment we crossed the river Drava and saw the picturesque view of the castle towering above the city with red rooftops I knew we will be friends with Ptuj. The town looked so beautiful in the warm afternoon sun, like a painting!

In the next few hours the more I was learning about Ptuj, Slovenia, the more I was falling for it. The town turned out to be such a little gem!

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Ptuj – the oldest town in Slovenia

Ptuj is the oldest town in Slovenia, dating back to the Stone Age. In the 1st century BC Ptuj (then named Poetovium) was an important center and legion-camp in the Ancient Roman Empire.

It might not look so obvious right now as the majority of the town’s center is built in the finest style of Austria-Hungary but the grounds below Ptuj still hide some valuable remnants of the old times.

It is forbidden to dig deeper than 1 meter (in the very center it’s only 70 centimeters) as no one really knows what still might be found down there.

These days the town is a rather languorous place on the outskirts of the country where life goes by at its own, calm pace. But the charm is definitely there and you can feel the city was up to some grand things in the past.

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Ptuj Castle – the best viewpoint in the city

The town is dominated by the castle, standing proudly on the hill above Ptuj.

Due to the strategic position at the bank of Drava river the castle hill was occupied since the early days of Ptuj and it played an important role over the centuries. The look of the building we can see now dates back to the 18th century and it actually reminded me a lot of the castle in nearby Maribor or the courtyards I could see in Brno or Bologna.

These days Ptuj Castle is home to the museum that hosts the biggest collection of music instruments in whole Slovenia. But that’s not the only reason why it’s worth climbing up the steep hill to the castle.

The view from up there is the best one you can get in Ptuj, with the whole town, the nearby Ptujsko Jezero and the surrounding idyllic countryside at its best.

The river crossing the city and the sea of the red rooftops reminded me a lot of similar views I could admire in Novi Sad or Graz and I was falling for them as much as I did for the one in Ptuj, Slovenia.

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Things to do in Ptuj, Slovenia

But the castle is only one of the few interesting things to see in Ptuj. The maze of the colorful lanes is typical for Central Europe and so pleasant to wander around.

Every corner hides some little gems, whether it’s street art, small cafes or interesting backyards. Whenever your curiosity pushes you to enter a gate in Ptuj center do that as chances you will find something exceptional are really high, for me, it was an absolute success!

Each year in August an interesting festival takes place in Ptuj – Days of Poetry and Wine, gathering established artists from all around the world. While the event itself lasts only for a few days the outcome can be seen on the walls at Jadranska Ulica in the heart of Ptuj. All these small details were the reason why I enjoyed Ptuj so much.

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

When wandering around Ptuj don’t focus only on the details as there’re some grand monuments around too!

Don’t miss Orpheus Monument – a Roman tombstone from the 2nd century, the Town’s Tower – probably the most distinctive landmark of the city or the Town Hall built at the beginning of 20th century in the beautiful art nouveau style, reminding me or the exceptional architecture of Subotica, Serbia.

I was really surprised by how many amazing things this small town has to offer!

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Ptujska Gora – the Gothic masterpiece

Not far from Ptuj, on the hill at the border between Drava flatlands and Haloze hills yet another little gem can be found – the parish church of Ptujska Gora. It was built in the 15th century and is one of the best examples of the Gothic style in the area.

The church is devoted to the Virgin of Mercy whose statue is standing proudly in the center of the altar. When you look closer you can see it is a real masterpiece that was made by artists from the circle of Peter Parler – the architect of St. Vitus Cathedral or Charles Bridge in Prague.

Visiting Ptujska Gora church is a must for every art and architecture fan!

Visit Ptuj Slovenia

Visit Ptuj Slovenia

Visit Ptuj Slovenia

Relaxing in Terme Ptuj

There’s one more reason to visit Ptuj – to relax in Terme Ptuj Thermal Park. This is one of the youngest spa resorts in Slovenia, even if the bathing tradition in this place dates back to Antiquity.

Now the whole complex is designed in the style referring to the old times, being a connection between the great past and present.

Terme Ptuj offers not only a swimming pool (that hosts numerous national teams on the training on regular basis) and water park but also a wellness center, and of course, both places use local thermal water for the treatment and activities.

But the best thing about Terme Ptuj is the accommodation options that can satisfy everyone: from the 4* Grand Hotel Primus to the camping and holiday huts.

However the most unique way to spend the night is to sleep in the former wine barrels! How cool is that?! I haven’t seen a similar spot anywhere else and now I just wish I could have spent a night there!

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia – a hidden gem of Central Europe

Ptuj has a perfect location, next to the highway connecting northern Europe with Croatia yet it seems that not many tourists heading for the seaside holidays decide to stop there. Huge mistake!

The town has so much to offer: an interesting history, beautiful architecture, great monuments, a thriving culture, and perfect relaxing options.

Basically it has all you might ask for so why don’t you make yourself a favor and include Ptuj in your Slovenia itinerary! You won’t be disappointed!

Visiting Ptuj was definitely one of my favorite things to do in Slovenia!

Visit Ptuj, Slovenia


Travel resources

With over 15 years of independent traveling, I’ve learned which websites and services are the best when planning a trip. I always use and trust the following websites:

Money – My number one tip for everyone is to start using Revolut bank card to save money when traveling.

You get the card by mail within a few days and you can use it all over the world. You top up the card in the app on the phone, where you can also have accounts in different currencies and exchange money between them, for no extra fee and at very favorable rates.

Everything is super easy and fast, you only need an internet connection to manage your accounts in the app.

Revolut supports over 140 currencies and offers free withdrawal from ATMs all over the world. In the first 6 months I’ve used Revolut card in 12 countries, including Slovenia, in 3 continents and had no issues at all. And I saved a lot of money in the exchange rates!

Click here to learn more about the service and order your own Revolut card!

Accommodation – I always book my accommodation through Booking.com.

They have really good deals (especially with their “Genius” program that you become a member of after few reservations) and in most of the cases, if your plans change, you can cancel the reservation without any extra costs.

I also value them for a really good customer service that I had to use a few times.

Check the best deals on accommodation in Ptuj here!

Insurance – I never travel without the insurance as you never know what might happen on the road and better safe than sorry (I’ve learnt my lesson).

I can recommend World Nomads that offer the insurance dedicated to travelers just like you and me.

Click here to get the insurance policy for Slovenia here.

Day tours – I do go for a day trips when I travel as often they are the most convenient way to see the place that saves you time and money.

I most often use Get Your Guide that offers a variety of tours all over the world. Click here to check all the best tours you can take during your travels!

Offline maps – For years I’ve been using MAPS.ME app and I can’t recommend it enough!

It’s free, works offline perfectly fine and saved me many times. You can easily transfer Google Maps with all the bookmarks to maps.me and use them offline wherever you are.

Click here to download it to your phone before your next trip!


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • If you don’t want to miss new posts and news from me click here to sign to my newsletter! You can also follow me on Bloglovin!
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Slovenia too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. If you like what you are reading and seeing here and would like to support me and my blog please consider using those links. It would be like getting me a virtual drink that you don’t have to pay for! Thanks!

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Ptuj, Slovenia (1)       Ptuj, Slovenia


Disclaimer: my trip to Slovenia was in partnership with Best Press Story however all opinions are 100% mine, as always


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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Adi Adrian
    12/06/2016 at 18:37

    For me the town was also a very positive surprise. I also recommend another town in the area, in Croatia, Varazdin :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:49

      Thank you! I knew the name but never really looked up the city. Just googled it and it look really lovely!

  • Reply
    Ibazela Krawczyk
    13/06/2016 at 00:08

    Chcę tam jechać na festiwal folkowy :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:48

      Koniecznie! Przeurocze miasto!

  • Reply
    Bartosz Wojdon
    13/06/2016 at 07:56

    Bardzo ładne miasto ten Ptuj :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:49

      Bardzo ładne!

  • Reply
    Agnieszka Ilnicka
    13/06/2016 at 08:40

    Beczki z dachem są świetne!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:48

      Bardzo!

  • Reply
    Darek Sekula
    13/06/2016 at 10:42

    o maj! piękne to! :) jestem zachwycony Twoim blogiem!!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:49

      Dziękuję ;)

  • Reply
    Ewa Serwicka
    13/06/2016 at 10:51

    Ej nieźle, ja nawet nie wiedziałam, ze jest takie miasto. Teraz wiem :D

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:13

      brawo my! ;)

  • Reply
    Anna Nadia Bandura
    13/06/2016 at 11:12

    Też nie wiedziałam :D

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      15/06/2016 at 11:49

      Dobrze ze nie byłam jedyna!

  • Reply
    Asia
    15/06/2016 at 09:13

    Wow, night in wine barrels – amazing! And bottle of wine before sleeping:)

    • Reply
      kami
      21/06/2016 at 22:21

      exactly! wouldn’t mind trying that one day ;)

  • Reply
    Pattravel
    15/06/2016 at 09:17

    Po pierwsze, świetna nazwa miejscowości, a po drugie czarujące miejsce. Na 100% tam się wybiorę, tym bardziej że mam ze Słowenia pewną rodziną relację ;)

    • Reply
      kami
      22/06/2016 at 06:46

      to koniecznie musisz tam zawitać, urocze miasteczko!

  • Reply
    Emilia
    17/06/2016 at 08:02

    I wish to go back to Europe for backacking and visiting ALL European countries.
    Thank you for sharing your feelings about Ptuj and reminding your followers that Europe it’s not only France, Germany, Italy and Spain :)

    • Reply
      kami
      22/06/2016 at 06:59

      Europe is definitely more than these top countries! It’s such a fascinating and diverse continent, I hope you will be back soon to do some sightseeing around!

  • Reply
    Agnieszka Ptaszyńska
    17/06/2016 at 20:20

    I’ve read about Ptuj few days ago and put it on my list of thing to do in Slovenia. To be precise to drink the wine here.

    • Reply
      kami
      22/06/2016 at 07:22

      I haven’t tried wine in Ptuj but I did in many other places in Slovenia and let me tell you you’re in for a real treat!

  • Reply
    Marta - Podróżniczo
    23/06/2016 at 07:33

    It must be amazing place! I really would like to visit Slovenia, but still it isn’t on my road. I hope it will change someday and then I’ll come back to your posts about Slovenia and find out very practical and interesting information :)

    • Reply
      kami
      04/07/2016 at 22:03

      Fingers crossed you will have a chance to visit Slovenia soon, it’s such a wonderful country! One of the cutest in Europe!

  • Reply
    Tatiana
    23/06/2016 at 23:53

    After your trip to Slovenia it’s my one big dream :) Such a beautiful country!And I am ready to sleep in wine barrels :D Hope there is welcome wine inside!!

    • Reply
      kami
      04/07/2016 at 22:05

      And I really hope this dream will happen soon, I’m sure you’d love Slovenia! I guess there’s no need for welcome wine, you’d be tipsy just from being inside the barrel ;)

  • Reply
    Jules ( shadesofcourage.com)
    15/11/2017 at 12:40

    We have been to Ptuj and like you ended up loving it there. Such an unexpected hiden gem. the place is not on the radar of many tourists but we are glad we stumbled upon it.

    • Reply
      kami
      22/12/2017 at 22:09

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • Reply
    Leo Aguilar
    06/02/2018 at 20:40

    beautiful slovenia!

    • Reply
      kami
      29/03/2018 at 20:41

      indeed!

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