10 Best Things To Do In Trieste

Trieste is a particular city, rich in historical traditions, tourist attractions and really surprising natural itineraries: here are some suggestions on the 10 things to do in Trieste in 1, 2 or 3 days.


1. Visiting and discovering historic cafés

Trieste becomes a city deeply linked to the coffee trade already in the eighteenth century when it is the largest emporium of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the most important European port for coffee

Caffè degli Specchi

Caffè degli Specchi

Thanks to the preservation of the original furnishings, in the historic cafés of Trieste it is still possible to perceive the Central European atmosphere that in the past attracted historical, literary and political: James Joyce, Umberto Saba, Italo Svevo were used to visit the cafes, in the 19th century, some Cafes became the meeting place for irredentists, others during the First World War were converted into printing factories for producing fake passports for anti-Austrian patriots, others were used as headquarters of the British Navy after the the second world war.
Nowadays historic cafés become a place where tourists and citizens can have a break fo talking, reading a book, playing chess but most of all for tasting a great coffee!
By the way we provide you a short guide that will help you order a coffee in Trieste:
- nero (black): espresso coffee
- gocciato: espresso with a drop of milk
- capo: small cappuccino
- capo in B: small cappuccino in glass
- caffelatte: cappuccino (large)
- deca: decaffeinated espresso coffee


Caffè degli Specchi, Piazza Unità d’Italia, 7
Caffè Tommaseo, Piazza Tommaseo, 4/c
Caffè Tergesteo, Piazza della Borsa, 14
Caffè San Marco, Via Battisti, 18
Caffè Stella Polare, Via Dante, 14
Antico Caffè Torinese, Corso Italia, 2
Bar Urbanis, Piazza della Borsa, 15

2. Free city tour


Free Tour Trieste

Trieste Free Tour starting from Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia

During the summer season, on Saturday and Sunday, you can join the free guided tour of the city. The tour takes about two hours and offers a wide array of attractions and points of interests such as Piazza Cavana, Via dei Capitelli, Arch of Riccardo, Churches of San Silvestro and Santa Maria Maggiore, Roman theater, Jewish ghetto, Old Stock Exchange square, via Cassa di Risparmio, Grand Canal, Borgo teresiano, Greek Orthodox church of San Nicol, Piazza Verdi and the Audace pier, and finally the City Hall.

When the tour guide is not active, you can rent an audio guide at the Infopoint in Via dell'Orologio 1, in the corner of the main square Piazza Unità d'Italia at a price of € 5. The audio guide is available in Italian, English, German and French language.


Infopoint , Via dell'Orologio 1, at the corner of Piazza Unità d'Italia

Open hour

Saturday 16:30, Sunday 10:15 during summer


Tour is free. Audioguide 5 €


3. Testing the traditional drink and food

The gastronomic tradition of Trieste undergoes a clear Austro-Hungarian influence: typical dishes are pork-based, boiled (so-called boiler dishes), jota, goulash, calandraca (dish with boiled meat, onion potatoes and vegetables) and the sausages of vienna or cragno.

Prosciutto Triestino

Prosciutto Triestino cotto in crosta di pane

Absolutely must try the sandwich of cooked "triestino" ham (baked inside a bread crust) and the porcina (porzina) sandwich garnished with mustard and spicy kren, served hot in one of the numerous buffets in the historic center. The buffets are a real institution of the culture in Trieste: they are small restaurants with simple furnishings and frequented by locals, where you can taste, standing or sitting, typical dishes of Trieste combined with a glass of native wine.

Another habit of the Triestines is represented by the aperitif during which you can sip a white spritz (wine mixed with mineral water), a spritz aperol (wine, soda and aperol) or a glass of Prosecco (sparkling wine produced with the Charmat method from the Glera grapes). The most popular areas for the aperitif are the following: Piazza della Borsa, Piazzetta del Barbacan, the wlking area of via Torino and viale XX settembre.


Piazza della Borsa, Piazzetta del Barbacan, via Torino e viale XX settembre.


4. Ancient tram to reach the beautiful hill town Villa Opicina

Tram de Opcina

Tram di Opicina and Picciola House

The Opicina tram is one of the most picturesque sights of Trieste: it is a rail and tram line with rack system that connects the center of the city, Piazza Oberdan, with the town of Opicina, Karst Plateau through a tortuous path so steep how panoramic. At the beginning of the path you can admire the beautiful Art Nouveau buildings of Via Commerciale, then climbing along the hill of Scorcola, you will be enchanted by one of the most beautiful panoramas that can admire in Trieste.

The history of the Opicina tram started on September 9th, 1902, the day of his inauguration. It was a day of great celebration for the city that finally realized the project that since from the stage of planning had to pass through troubled vicissitudes.

Even before the XX century it felt the need of a direct connection between the village of Opicina and the city of Trieste: originally, the project envisaged the extension of the line to Monrupino-Dutovlje, until the Vipava Valley in order to link an area which provided many fruit and vegetables to the city. The current route Trieste-Opicina must therefore represent the first part of a significant plan, however, it remained unfulfilled because of the war.

After various vicissitudes on January 9th, 1901 the General Company of Electricity established in Vienna obtained the assignment to build up a tramway between Oberdan square and the center of Villa Opicina, 329 mt above sea level.

On September 5th the line had been tested and on 9th opening ceremony took place with the presence of the authorities and the Press. With regard to the technical details, the tramcars were initially provided with a toothed wheel which allowed them to overcome the steeper sections of the route. Starting from 27th April 1928 a truck powered by wire ropes was used as an auxiliary locomotive.

During the 70's and 80 tram the service has been interrupted several time due to numerous maintenance. Currently the tram is a unique example in Europe for his technical specifications and it is not just a means of transport for workers and day-trippers (the transport of bicycles is allowed), but it becomes also a tourist attraction.


Piazza Oberdan, Trieste - via nazionale, Villa Opicina

Working hours

Currently the Opicina Tram is not in service due to maintenance work. in alternative you can take bus no. 2/ or 4 to reach Opicina in around 20 minutes.


Ordinary ticket for public transport (1.25 single journey)

5. Strolling along the scenic Napoleonic trail



Napoleonic road

Driving from Trieste, before the center of Opicina, you can see the austere figure of the Obelisk erected in 1830 to commemorate the visit of Emperor Francis I for the opening ceremony of the new road from Trieste to Opicina. Here begins one of the most famous and popular walks of the karst plateau, commonly known as the "Napoleonic road" from the popular belief wants it to have been opened by Napoleon to descend with his troops in the city. The trail leads from Opicina to Prosecco through a wide and easy path five and a half kilometers long along which you can stop in one of the many viewpoints to admire the breathtaking panorama overlooking the city and its gulf.

Originally designed to become a paved road that connects Prosecco to Opicina, the Napoleonica or "Strada Vicentina" is now one of the favorite walking path in Trieste for both locals and tourists thanks to the convenient connection with the Opicina tram that takes you directly to city centre.

At the opposite side of the path, in Borgo San Nazario, it is possible climbing on a spectacular cliff overlooking the sea.


Villa Opicina, Obelisco - Borga san Nazario

6. Going to osmizza



Signs to osmizze/frasche

The osmizze are private homes of agricultural producers who are allowed, for limited periods of the year, to sell their products directly to the public. This activity is regulated since the 1784 as per edict issued by the Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg, which established that the farmers of the karst could sell their products from agriculture, viticulture and breeding directly at their homes for a maximum of 8 days per year: osmizza comes from the Slovenian word "osem", that means eight, like the days of the concession.

In the past, for all those who wanted to take advantage of the concession, it was obligatory to expose some ivy twigs to the entrance door of the courtyard, on penalty of confiscation of all the goods. This tradition is still in force just in order to indicate the osmiza to the visitors who crowd the osmizze on spring and summer days.

The osmizze keep on preserving the original rustic style, usually equipped with wooden benches and tables placed in the courtyards or vineyards. The farmers can offer cured meats, cheeses, eggs, olives and vegetables exclusively of their own production together with a jug of local wine such as terrano, malvasia and vitovska.


Mainly on the karst plateau: follow the arrows with the "frasca"


7. Enjoying the festival of Barcolana regatta


Staying in Trieste during the second week of October, you can attend the fascinating spectacle of thousands of sailboats coming into the Gulf of Trieste for the Barcolana, the regatta that holds the world record for the largest sailing race.


Barcolana - Golfo di Trieste

The first edition of the Barcolana Autumn Cup Regatta took place on 1969 organized by the Yachting club of Barcola and Grignano, with 51 boats on the starting list. From year to year the event has progressively increased its popularity till it become the most crowded regatta in the world: in 2001 the starting list reached the remarkable number of 1968 boats attracting international crews and famous skippers from all over the world. The special formula of the regatta Barcolana provides a single departure for all boats, although belonging to different categories, and takes place on a 15-mile four-sided course starting from the headquarters of the Yachting club Barcola and Grignano, reaching Miramare castle and ending in front of the Audace pier and Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia where more than 250,000 spectators are waiting for the finish line from the banks. Currently the Barcolana can't be defined just a sailing competition since it become an event involving the entire city for a whole week thanks to other side events: during the second week of October concerts, night regattas and the Barcolana village, with food and wine stands and exhibition spaces for equipment and technical materials, attract every year thousands of sail-lovers and tourists in Trieste.

The best places to watch this unique spectacle are the coastal road of barcola and some areas of the Karst from where you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the gulf, such as the belvedere near the Opicina obelisk, the panoramic Strada del Friuli and the Napoleonic road.


Gulf of Trieste.

Viewpoints to watch the regatta: the Audace and Rive di Trieste wharf, the Napoleonic road, Monte Grisa, the Friuli road.

Event time

Every year in the Gulf of trieste on the second sunday of October

8. Viewing the sunset from the Audace Pier


Molo Audace

Molo Audace, Riva del Mandracchio

Thanks to its location nd its west-facing coast, Trieste offers the chance to behold breathtaking sunset as the sun falls into the Adriatic sea and the clouds catch the last red-orange rays. One of the most evocative places that boasts the most striking sunsets is undoubtedly the Molo Audace pier jutting into the sea in front of the beautiful main square Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia.

Initially it was named San Carlo pier because it had been built in 1751 on San Carlo wreck sunk eight years before. On 3 November 1918, the landing pier experienced its most significant and touching day when the destroyer Audace docked on it and the general Pelitti Roreto  desembarked and proclaimed "to take possession of the city of Trieste on behalf of the King" It was the long-awaited and suffered annexation to Italy and the happiness of the population was so overhelmed that the Bersaglieri (a kind of sharpshooters), disembarked on the landing pier (hence its name "Bersaglieri") were literally suffocated by the crowd embrace. In order to commemorate this important moment in the history of Trieste, the Audace anchor was deposed at the basement of the Victory Lighthouse, which rises from a Karst edge in the district of Gretta.


Molo Audace pier, Riva del Mandracchio


9. Having a tour on the ferryboat Green Dolphin (Delfino verde)


Delfino Verde

Delfino Verde (Green Dolphin)

The Green Dolphin is the best and easiest way to make a boat trip out of Trieste from the convenient departure point of Bersaglieri pier in city center. The maritime line, operated by Trieste Trasporti, the public transport company of Trieste, connects Trieste to the chaming fishing village of Muggia: particular areas of interest are the Marconi square characterized by the venetian architecture, the dome and the City Hall overlooking the main square and the Old Town hill (Muggia Vecchia) with the Basilica of S. Maria Assunta and the archaeological site.

During the summer season the line also connects Trieste to the most popular seaside resorts: Barcola, Grignano and Miramare, Sistiana, Portopiccolo and Grado.


Line Trieste – Muggia

TRIESTE – molo Bersaglieri pier
MUGGIA – inner side of the foranea dam

Line Trieste – Barcola – Grignano – Sistiana

TRIESTE – riva Nazario Sauro angolo Molo Bersaglieri
BARCOLA – inner side of the foranea dam
GRIGNANO – central pier
SISTIANA – central pier

Working hours

Linea Trieste – Muggia

Daily all over the year

Linea Trieste – Barcola – Grignano – Sistiana

from June 1st to September 7th


Line Trieste – Muggia

Single trip € 4,25
Round trip € 7,90

Line Trieste – Barcola – Grignano – Sistiana

Single trip € 1,70 € 2,55 € 4,25 € 6,80

For further info on timetables and prices visit the website http://www.triestetrasporti.it/orari-e-percorsi/servizi-marittimi/


10. Visit the civic museums


Revoltella Museum

Revoltella Civic Museum

On the first Sunday of each month free admission in most of the municipal museums and some archaeological site. Below is a list of the structures supporting the initiative:

• Civico Museo Revoltella / Mostre “Monaco, Vienna, Trieste, Roma. Il primo Novecento al Revoltella”, e “Vito Timmel e i pannelli decorativi per il Cine Ideal–Italia” - Via Diaz, 27 – orario 9-19
• Castello di San Giusto / Armeria e Lapidario Tergestino al Bastione Lalio / Mostra “Le stagioni delle armi. Trieste e il suo Castello” – Piazza della Cattedrale 3 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo d’Antichità “J. J. Winckelmann” – Piazza della Cattedrale 1 / Via della Cattedrale, 15 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo Sartorio – Largo Papa Giovanni XXIII, 1 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo d’Arte Orientale / Mostra “La nave dei carta. Opere di Nobushige Akiyama” – Via San Sebastiano, 1 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo Teatrale “Carlo Schmidl” – Via Rossini, 4 – orario 10-18
• Civico Museo del Risorgimento e Sacrario Oberdan – Via XXIV Maggio, 4 – orario 10-17
• Civico Museo di Guerra per la Pace “Diego de Henriquez” – Via Cumano, 22-24 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo della Risiera di San Sabba / Monumento Nazionale - Via Giovanni Palatucci, 5 – orario 9-19
• Civico Museo della Cultura Istriana Fiumana e Dalmata - Via Torino, 8 – orario 10-19
• Centro di Documentazione della Foiba di Basovizza / Monumento Nazionale – Località Basovizza – orario 10-14
• Civico Aquario Marino - Molo Pescheria, 2 - Riva Nazario Sauro, – 1 orario 9-19
• Civico Museo di Storia Naturale / Nuove sale dedicate ai Dinosauri del Villaggio del pescatore, all'Orso delle Caverne e alla Fauna nascosta sotto e sopra il Carso – Via dei Tominz, 4 – orario 10-19
• Civico Museo del Mare / Mostra “In viaggio con Thalia. Dalla nave bianca del Lloyd alla Principessa del mare (1907-1967)” - Via Campo Marzio, 5 – orario 9-13
• Civico Orto Botanico – Via Marchesetti, 2 – orario 9-13


10+. Walking along the Rilke trail and visiting the Duino castle


Castello di Duino

Duino Castle

The Rilke trail, one of the most charming routes to admire the natural beauty of this area, leads along the cliff rising up from Sistiana bay and the small port of Duino.  The path overlooking the sea has a spectacular view, 80 meters on the sea levels, and the landscape changes after every turns, sometimes under the shining sun, sometimes under the shade of the grove surrounded by the fragrances of aromatic herbs typical of this area. The track has even a particular interest and importance to the botanist since here are the rarest species of the entire Karst, such as the Centaurea Kartschiana, the most precious flower of the plateau, or euphorbia, a plant with yellowish flowers and acrid perfume.

Once arrived in the characteristic village of Duino you can visit the New Castle, owned by the princes Torre and Tasso as well as the ruins of the Old Castle located on the so-called White Lady's rock (Rocca della Dama Bianca).


Duino village, 32, 34011 Duino-Aurisina TS

Open hours

Saturday 09:30–16:00

Sunday 09:30-16:00

Entrance fee

Adults: € 8
Children up to 6 years: free
Children 7-14 years: € 4
Over 65 and students: € 6
Old castle + € 3


At the end of this short guide we mention two noteworthy tourism initiatives: 

- the Trieste HopTour, the new tourist transport service HopOn HopOff of the city of Trieste. For BNBTRIESTE cstomers there is a discount for buying tickets on line by using the code "farida9920" for tours in Trieste (15% discount) and "farida9910" for the tour out of town (10% discount). For more information visit the website https://www.hoptour.it/home/

- the FVGcard, the tourist card with a validity of 48 hours, 72 hours or 7 days which allows free entry to attractions, conventioned facilities and sightseeing tours. The cost is respectively € 18.00 / 48 h, € 21.00 / 72 h, € 29.00 / 1 week. Among the conventioned attractions we mention as follows:

Giant Cave, Revoltella Museum, Civic Museum of War for the Peace of Diego De Henriquez, Natural History Civic Museum of Trieste,  History and Art Civic Museum and the Lapidary Garden, Civic Marine Aquarium of Trieste, Botanical Garden La Carsiana.

In case you appreciated this guide on "10 things to do in Trieste" please check the guide on "10 things to see in Trieste" https://www.bnbtrieste.com/en/10_must_see_trieste.html