Located on the magnificent south-western Slovenia coast, Koper is an old and beautiful city well known for its diverse ecology and natural resources, as well as many cultural attractions, natural beauty and important seaport. Only five kilometres from the border of Italy, Koper is also an important international hub connecting the two countries as a local transport centre and is officially bilingual as both Slovene and Italian are spoken in the city. Although the port of Koper nominates the city, the old town centre is full of hidden cultural gems and tourist attractions, with charming cobbled streets full of rich history and national traditions.
A main feature of Koper is the main city square, which contains the Praetorian Palace, a 15th Century landmark, once a grand residence of Venetian Gothic style now converted into the central tourist office. There is also an impressive Cathedral, which is home to one of the oldest church bells in the country, a high upper terrace offering stunning views over the Bay of Trieste and a famous Slovenian painting, the Sacra Conversazione. Visitors can stroll through the old town centre and relax in the many traditional cafes and bars, or walk by the coast for a sight of the marina, extensive sea views and the city beach. Visitors can also shop at the city shopping centres, eat at one of the many local pizzerias and restaurants, take a ferry to neighbouring coastal cities and islands, hike in the nearby hills or try a popular local water sport like windsurfing.
Koper has both a main train station and bus terminal with connections to other Slovenian cities and destinations in nearby Italy, with regular direct buses to the capital, Ljubljana, and the city of Trieste just over the border. Visitors can also access Koper via boat, and the local port is a popular destination for cruise ships on tours of the Mediterranean. In the city itself, visitors can easily travel the small centre by foot or rental bike.
Koper was originally an Ancient Greek settlement before being developed by the Roman Empire into a larger town. It has been an important trading hub since the 10th Century when links began between the city and Venice, located across the Adriatic Sea. Koper became the single commercial port of Slovenia when the country gained independence in 1991.