Palazzo del Municipio at Piazza Unità, Trieste
The sea in Trieste.

Trieste (Triest in German, Trst in Slovenian and Croatian) is a city in North-East Italy that was once a very influential and powerful centre of politics, literature, music, art and culture under Austrian-Hungarian dominion.

Today, Trieste is often forgotten as tourists head off to the big Italian cities like Rome and Milan and it is a very charming and underestimated city, with a quiet and lovely almost Eastern European atmosphere, several pubs and cafes, some stunning architecture and a beautiful sea view. It was also, for a while, the residence of the famous Irish writer, James Joyce.


Trieste is the capital of the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and has 205,557 inhabitants. It is situated on the crossroads of several commercial and cultural flows: German middle Europe to the north, Slavic masses and the Balkans to the east, Italy and then Latin countries to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

Its artistic and cultural heritage is linked to its singular "border town" location. You can find some old Roman architecture (a small theatre near the sea, a nice arch into old city and an interesting Roman museum), Austrian empire architecture across the city centre (similar to stuff you can find in Vienna) and a nice atmosphere of metissage of Mediterranean styles, as Trieste was a very important port during the 18th century.


The region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is officially quadrilingual (Italian, Slovene, Friulian, and German). Signs are often only in Italian in Trieste, as the city itself is generally Italian speaking and the local dialect (a form of the Venetian language) is called Triestine. Surrounding villages and towns are often inhabited by mostly Slovene speakers. Residents, and those working in the city, can easily find free courses to learn Italian, Slovene, German, English and many other languages. When walking around Trieste, you will also hear Croatian/Serbian all the time, mainly from people who visit the city on brief shopping trips.

Get in

By air

National flights via Milan, Rome and Genoa. International flights via Milan and Rome (Alitalia); direct flights from Munich (Air Dolomiti - Lufthansa ); direct flights from London and Birmingham (Ryanair ); direct flights from Belgrade (Jat ); direct flights from Tirana and Prishtina (BelleAir ).

The International Airport of Ronchi dei Legionari is 33km north of the city centre. A bus service (number 51) runs to the airport from Trieste's bus station (next to the railway station). Weekdays buses leave at 5 minutes and 35 minutes past the hour however on Sundays the service is every 1 to 2 hours. The bus takes about 55 minutes, a taxi (around 50 euro) takes 30-35 minutes. Tickets can be bought from a machine in the airport terminal. You can also take a train from Trieste station to Monfalcone (approximately 25 minutes) and take a short bus / taxi ride to the airport.

The airport is just off the A4 Trieste-Venice motorway (Redipuglia exit). Long and short-stay car parks are available.

Monfalcone Railway Station - located some 5 km from the airport on the Trieste-Venice railway line - can be reached by Local Transport service APT Bus 10, running every 20/25 minutes.

The public transport company APT operates bus and coach services linking the airport with:

Tickets can be purchased at city bus/coach stations or at the airport: in the Arrivals Hall, with an automatic machine for selfticketing and at the Post Office.

Taxis are available outside the Arrivals hall from 08.00 to 24.00.

A greater number of flights connect with Venice Marco Polo, Venice Treviso, Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Pula (Croatia) which are all less than 2 hours from Trieste by private or public transport.

By bus

Local routes include Udine, Grado, San Candido/Innichen

At the Trieste Coach Station, bus and coach connections to several European countries, including Slovenia (Izola - Isola, Koper - Capodistria, Ljubljana, Piran - Pirano, Portorož - Portorose, Postojna - Postumia, Sežana - Sesana), Croatia (Dubrovnik, Poreč - Parenzo, Pula - Pola, Opatija - Abbazia, Rijeka - Fiume, Rovinj - Rovigno, Split - Spalato, Zadar - Zara) and Serbia (Belgrade - Belgrado) are available. Connections to Germany and Austria are available via Flixbus.

By Car

A4 Venice-Trieste, toll-gate Monfalcone-Lisert, exit point "Sistiana" (SS 14 "Costiera" ). The town is 24 km from the motorway.

SS 202 Triestina: Motorway A4, toll-gate Lisert, Carso Plateau, Opicina, Padriciano, Trieste

SS 15 Via Flavia: Koper (Slovenia) - Rabuiese border

SS 58, Carniola highway: Ljubljana (Slovenia) - Fernetti border - Opicina, where the highway joins to SS 202, Trieste

By train

Lots of trains from Venice and Udine, InterCity trains from Rome and Florence, FrecciaBianca from Milan and Torino at the Central Railway Station. If you arrive by train, the last 15 minutes of travel you have a beautiful sight, because the railway goes along the sea and if the weather is good it should be very striking.

Trains from Central Europe have all but diminished, the easiest option is to travel to the Slovenian border town of Sežana, which sees six daily trains from Ljubljana. From there, take a taxi across the border to Villa Opicina (5 km/10 minutes/10 euros - Taxi Tirič +386 41 62 13 47, Taxi Kras +386 40 23 34 90). To reach Trieste it's possible to travel by bus No. 2 or 4, or take the wonderful and very scenic historic tram to reach the city centre. Note that there is also a bus service between Sežana and Trieste but it is usually inconvenient (buses go only in the early morning and early afternoon, nothing between or later)

Get around

On foot

Like most of Europe, a stroll through the town to admire its ancient architecture is a very popular activity. You get to travel at your own pace and even get some coffee along the way. Trieste is not particularly big and if you do not have luggage with you there is no need to take a bus.

By public transport

Trieste has a network of buses running on a strict schedule. This can often be checked on the web. Routes are very frequent through the day but rarer after 9pm in the evening, on Sundays and holidays. Strikes occasionally affect buses but Trieste is a small city and most places of interest can easily be reached on foot.

Tickets cost €1.30 each, and can be bought from tobacconists and from machines which are found at some of the busier bus stops.

The bus system includes the #2 tram to Opicina, which is regarded as an attraction in and of itself.

For a small extra fee (€2-4) you can get unlimited bus and tram service with your FVG Card, which can be purchased at the Trieste tourist office in Piazza Unita d'Italia.


Unlike many other Italian cities, Trieste's all-inclusive tourist pass is well worth the price. The FVG Card can be purchased at the tourist center in Piazza Unita, and includes free access to nearly all the major attractions in the Trieste area, and many in other nearby cities. €15 for 48 hours, €20 for 72 hours, and €29 for 7 days.


Roman Theatre


Natural Wonders

Grotta Gigante

San Giusto - Cathedral and Castle

Cathedral at San Giusto

A walk on the castle ramparts and bastions gives a complete panorama of the city of Trieste, its hills and the sea.

Miramare Castle

Miramare Castle

This historic 19th-century castle is just a 20 minute trip from Piazza Oberdan on the #36 bus.

Places of Worship


Molo Audace


During the 1970s and 1980s Trieste was the number one shopping destination for tourists from Yugoslavia.


The cuisine of Trieste reflects the living traditions of the many populations that have passed through the city over the centuries. In the city's restaurants, called "buffets", you can find delicious examples of the local Austrian and Slavic tradition.



Some local specialties include:


Coffee has been an important part of Trieste since the 1700s. Some of the most famous caffè, known as much for their famous patrons as their food and drink, include:

Locals usually enjoy coffee at the bar in the form of a capo in B, a small cappuccino (kind of like a macchiato but with a but more milk and foam) served in a glass cup. This is a unique kind of coffee only served in Trieste.


Transept ceiling of Saint Spyridon Serbian Orthodox Church

The helpful tourist information in Piazza Unita can provide you with a list of accommodation and will even make bookings for you. They also have free maps.




Stay Safe

Trieste has a reputation of being one of Italy's safest cities possibly due to it being a border city (and therefore formerly full of border police and other security services). There are very few problems with regards to walking the streets at night, taking taxis or pickpocketing. Obviously normal precautions should be taken and like elsewhere in Italy be careful of drivers who tend to think that they own the road.


Speakers of Italian or Slovene or German should find work easily in Trieste. The city has a large number of science parks which employ scientists from all over the world and communication at these centres is usually in English. There are also a small number of English language schools which employ native speakers.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.