Maribor is a fun town, filled with lots of great people, sights and monuments, yet still small enough to take a tour around it in one day. Excited? You should be!

You should start the tour early in the morning (that is about 8 or 9 o’clock for us students) with a fresh, delicious and hot cup of amazing coffee at one of the iconic coffee houses. “Huda kava” on Poštna ulica, “Astoria” on the Grajski trg or “Kavajo” just across the street from the University Clinical Center Maribor on Ljubljanska ulica are all great choices to start the day. If a nice tea is more your cup of coffee, there is a fantastic tea house right next to Astoria on Slovenska ulica called “Čajek”.

Slovenia is indeed world famous for its seamless integration of nature and urbanism. Maribor, as its second largest city, is no exception. After getting a fill of energy, there is a variety of spots to enjoy – a soft green lawn, towering trees and the quirky chirps of our winged friends. About 5 minutes from both Astoria and Čajek, heading north, is a great city park. If it’s a warm sunny day, just follow the crowd of young and old “Mariborčani”, as they head into the park for a walk, a jog or just a round of banter and good fun.

For those of you who are looking for more of a challenge (or if it is winter and heading to the park seems like a really bad idea), set your sights on Pohorje, which is usually visible from all over Maribor, and is located in the southwest. In summer its slopes are full of hikers enjoying the 30 to 60 minute hike that offers incredible views around every corner (it does take a 20 minute bus or a car ride to get there though). Winter turns the very same hill into a snowy playground for masses of skiers, boarders and hot alcoholic drinks enthusiasts. The price varies between 25 and 30 Euros for a daily ticket, but many have said it to be the best investment of their lives.

Back in the city centre, there is still a myriad of culinary and cultural pleasures. A great place to start is with a nice lunch – traditional Slovene cuisine is served at “Štajerc” on Vetrinjska ulica, mexican at “Tacos” on Mesarski prehod, traditional Bosnian at “Baščaršija” on Poštna ulica, pizza at Ancora on Jurčičeva ulica, etc. In short, you will find something for all tastes at an affordable price of 7-10 Euros per person (including drinks). Most of those restaurants also offer meals for students who are using student coupons.

For the classical cultural sights, it’s best to continue the day after lunch at “Stari most” bridge, which will give you an amazing view of the riverside “Lent” that hosts the oldest vine tree in the world (and a very interactive thematic museum to boot!). Pretty much all of the buildings between the river Drava and Stari most on one side and the city park and the stadium at the other are part of the so-called Old town, were built sometime between the medieval times and the early 20th century. The University rectorate, “Stolna cerkev”, the theatre building (all on Slomškov trg), the castle and the monument of freedom – also lovingly called Kojak after the socialist era detective – (both on Trg svobode) and the plague monument (Glavni trg) are just some of the highlights of the picturesque tour that would usually take about 60 to 90 minutes. Make sure to get a guidebook (or a person if you’re of the inquisitive nature) to get more information on the stories of these places and buildings that you just walked by.

You just had quite a day, don’t you think? Well, it isn’t over just yet! Although Maribor is rather small, it knows how to put on a grand party. Your choices include “KMŠ”, “KGB” and “Satchmo”, all within minutes of each other and the central market place, which is usually crawded with enthusiastic party goers after dark. Some way out of the centre (about 15 minutes on foot) you will find the student campus, with “Štuk” and “Trust” dominating the space there. You can find two cinema complexes in Maribor. One is near the river Drava close to “Lent”, you’ll also find club “Plus minus” that usually attracts a more posh crowd. The other cinema complex is a bit out of the city centre on your way to “Pohorje.”

For a more quiet night out (but no less filled with the traditional “špricer” – a concoction of white wine and sparkling water) try the Poštna ulica and its selection of bars. You can also find some concerts of local artists during summer weekends there.

For more information, or if you’re looking for something really specific, the best thing to do is to stop some of the friendly people on the street and just ask them. Pretty much everybody in Maribor speaks English and most speak German or French as well, so you’ll never be short of advice, fun conversation or friends to miss when you’ll be forced to return home.