Best Things to Do in Trieste Italy

Trieste, which is often called “Little Vienna by the Sea,” has a unique history, culture, and food that you can learn about. Because of where it is, the important port is very international, with impacts from Italy, Slovenia, and Austria-Hungary. This makes it interesting to look around because its design and atmosphere are very different from the rest of Italy.

It was part of Austria from 1382 until 1919. It is a small strip of land between the Alps, Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea. This is why it has so many houses from the Hapsburg era and charming old cafes that look and feel more like they belong in Vienna. Many of its statues and facades are from this time, but here and there you can find Roman ruins from a thousand years ago.

The city is now the capital of the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It has a beautiful seafront with elegant buildings, parks, and the Canale Grande. Trieste has amazing buildings, churches, and art collections that will keep you busy for a while.

List of Best Things to Do in Trieste Italy:

Saint Spyridon Church

The beautiful Saint Spyridon Church is at the end of the Canale Grande, right in the middle of the Old City. It has some beautiful art and buildings on display, and its beautiful domes and facade make for great photos.

It was built in 1756, not long after Empress Maria Theresa let the city’s Serbian Orthodox people freely practice their religion. It is the spiritual home of the city’s Serbian Orthodox people. Once you’ve looked at all the cupolas and arches, go inside to see the shiny treasures and beautiful paintings.

Aside from its huge gold altar, you can look up and see beautiful paintings on the dome and transepts’ high ceilings. We’d never been to an Orthodox church before, but this one was the first one we’d ever seen in Italy. Its spooky interior was a joy to look around.

Castello di San Giusto

The impressive Castello di San Giusto is just a short walk south of the church. From the top of its strategic hilltop, it looks out over Trieste. The fort has great views of its harbor, Old Town, and the hills around it. It also has a very interesting history to learn about.

Even though there have been defenses here since Roman times, the current castle is “only” from the 1500s. It was built by the Hapsburgs to make an ancient Venetian bastion stronger and bigger.

After crossing its wooden drawbridge and narrow moat, you can wander through its old halls, church, and courtyard, or go up onto its ramparts. It also has a lot of cool old weapons and displays about the past of the castle in its archaeological museum.

Right in front of its door are the ruins of Roman columns and the beautiful Trieste Cathedral, which is full of mosaics. All together, they make it worth it to sweat your way up Capitoline Hill.

Arco di Riccardo

At its base is another of the many ancient sites in the coastal city. The Arco di Riccardo is the only part of the city’s Roman-era walls that still stands. It is in the Old Town, in a square that otherwise looks very modern.

The huge marble gate, whose name means “Richard’s Arch” in English, was built in 33 BC. There are many ideas about what its name means. The most famous (but least likely) is that the triumphal arch is now called “Richard the Lionheart’s Arch” because Richard the Lionheart passed by it during the Crusades.

Given how old it is, the fact that its seven-meter-high stone blocks and faded designs are still there is a miracle. Now that it is part of a house, the arch looks even better when it is lit up at night. There are also a lot of small bars and restaurants nearby that you can stop at before going on your way.

Audace Pier

The Audace Pier sticks out into the glimmering Gulf of Trieste and seems to go on forever. Between the Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia and the Canale Grande, it is a beautiful place to walk and watch the sunset over the sea.

Since it was first built in 1751, the sturdy stone path has been lengthened several times. It is now about 250 meters long. The pier is named after the first ship to dock here, which was an Italian Navy cruiser. These days, it is mostly just a place for people to walk.

It’s a beautiful, quiet place to spend some time, with old iron bollards and fancy lamp posts. It has spectacular views of Trieste’s romantic harbor and main square, as well as stunning views of the Adriatic. We loved coming here to watch the sun go down and see how the buildings and landmarks of the city slowly lit up afterward.

Best Things to Do in Trieste Italy
Best Things to Do in Trieste Italy

Kleines Berlin

Since they’re only open on the last Friday of every month, it can be hard to fit a basement tour of Kleines Berlin into your trip to Trieste. The complex of WWII air-raid bunkers is a must-see if you are in town, as it shows an interesting and rarely-seen part of the city’s history.

As soon as the Germans took over Trieste in 1943, they started building a large armed defense system right away. Around the same time, creepy tunnels were built under the court area to protect both troops and civilians.

With the help of an expert guide, you’ll go down into their dark tunnels and see old items and photos from the past. They will talk about what life was like in the caves and in Trieste during the Second World War in either Italian or English. People’s favorite part of their trip to the city is often the big bunker, with its tunnels and well-made displays.

Museo Revoltella

The Museo Revoltella is one of the most important modern art museums in the country. It is right on the corner of Piazza Venezia. Even though the museum has a lot of Impressionist paintings and modern sculptures, the elegant rooms and old furniture are just as beautiful.

The great collection was given to the city by Baron Pasquale Revoltella. It is kept in his fancy Renaissance Revival-style house. It has been kept in great shape, and the first three floors look almost the same as they did in the 1850s. This means that the rooms are filled with beautiful frescoes, glass chandeliers, and all kinds of ornate furniture. The halls and stairs are also very fancy.

If that wasn’t enough, the top three floors have works by artists from the area and important people like Carlo Carra, Lucio Fontana, and Arnaldo Pomodoro that make you think. After you’ve seen all the paintings, sculptures, and furniture, you can go to the roof deck to see a beautiful view of Trieste.

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Teatro Romano

The Teatro Romano is one of the oldest and most amazing sights in town. It is right in the middle of the old part of town. The old steps, seats, and stage on the side of San Giusto Hill are quite different from the modern waterfront that is just a few steps away.

The small amphitheater was built by the Romans around the first century AD when Emperor Octavius told them to make Tergeste an important port. Its ruins weren’t found until 1938, after being hidden for thousands of years by garbage and buildings. Back when it was at its best, its three semicircular levels of seats could hold up to 6,000 people.

Since they were found, the 2000-year-old theater has been one of the most popular places to visit in Trieste, and many people stop by when they are in the Citta Vecchia. Even though it may not be as big or dramatic as some others in Italy or around the Adriatic, we still liked seeing it and taking pictures of it.

Museum Riseria di San Sabba

The Museum Risiera di San Sabba is a must-see because it shows in detail the terrible things that happened here during WWII. It is a very moving place. The Nazis used the old rice plant as a concentration camp. It was also the only one in the country with a crematorium.

The fleeing Nazis did a lot of damage to the five-story brick building, which is now little more than a hollow shell. They did this to hide the proof of all the horrible things they did. From 1943 to 1944, it is thought that over 25,000 Jews, partisans, and leaders were held here and questioned. Three to four thousand of them were killed by being shot, hit, or gassed.

Moving around the factory is a very sad experience because both the big empty spaces and the small, crowded rooms make you feel scared. Plaques with information are near each part of the museum, and an audio tour gives even more information. The spot is about twenty minutes by bus south of the city center. It is also a memorial for all those who died.

Enjoy a Coffee in a Historic Cafe

Since the Hapsburgs ran Trieste for so long, its coffee culture is very different from that of the rest of Italy. “Little Vienna by the Sea” is a social hub with a lot of old cafes where you can sip strong drinks and watch the sunset over the streets and seafront.

It has been known as the “Coffee Capital of Italy” for about 300 years, which is how it got that name. Trieste was Austria-Hungary’s largest port, and because it was tax-free, coffee beans came from all over the world to Trieste. Because of this, there were bars on every street, and the first one opened in 1768.

Caffe degli Specchi, Caffe San Marco, and Caffe Tommaseo are some of the oldest ones that are still open. Some of them have their brands and blends to try, in addition to their cozy old-world decor and nice outdoor patios.

In most of the country, people drink their coffee quickly at a bar, but here, each sip is meant to be enjoyed. After ordering a “capo in B,” which is kind of like a small cappuccino, you can just sit back and watch the world go by. Even though it seemed busy all the time, one of our favorite things to do in Trieste was to sit in one of its cute, old-fashioned bars.

Strada Vicentina

Hike along the beautiful Strada Vicentina between Opicina and Prosecco to see even more beautiful scenery, wildlife, and views. Locals also call it the Napoleonic Way. The path is easy, flat, and almost straight, and it goes near Grotta Gigante.

The four-kilometer-long path is either cut into the sides of the rocky rocks or runs next to them. The whole way along, you can see beautiful views of the Gulf of Trieste. It got its two names from the engineer who planned it, Vicentini, and the Napoleonic troops, who, some people think, were the ones who first used the road.

The path is paved and goes by beautiful groves of trees, colorful wildflowers, and interesting rock formations. It is very peaceful and pretty. Along the way, there are beautiful views and places to visit, like the pyramid outside of Opicina and the Brutalist-style Sanctuary of Monte Grisa.

  1. What is Trieste best known for?

    People think of Trieste as a literary and cultural center, and its cafes are known as places where writers and thinkers hang out. It is also the European port where coffee comes into the continent.

  2. Is it worth visiting Trieste, Italy?

    Trieste isn’t always the first place people think of when they think of places to visit in Italy, but it has a lot to offer. It’s a place with beautiful buildings and things to do in the summer, like pebbly beaches washed by the clear Adriatic Sea and interesting sights from the time of the Habsburgs in the old town.

  3. What is unique about Trieste?

    The Castle of San Giusto is an emblem of Trieste that was built as a fortress by the emperors of Austria to protect and protect the city. Its chambers contain a museum exhibiting medieval weapons; the Trieste Piazza Unità d’Italia is an essential must-see.


Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Asim, and I am a member of the administrative team. I hold an MSC in Generalist studies and have also completed a BS in Education. Currently, I reside in the United Kingdom where I dedicate my expertise to assisting individuals in their career development. Whether it's guiding newcomers in their career paths or helping them refine their existing skills, I strive to provide valuable support. Additionally, I offer assistance in finding easy job opportunities and scholarships to further aid individuals in their pursuit of success.

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