Weekend Trip to Miramare Castle and Trieste: The Complete Guide

trip to miramare castle and trieste guide

If you’re planning a trip to Friuli Venezia Giulia, a stop by Trieste and Miramare Castle should be on top of your list. The two are perfect for a weekend getaway, especially now in autumn.

Trieste is a beautiful coastal city on the Slovene-Italian border, most famous for being one of the largest and most important harbors on the Adriatic Sea. Being a part of different empires and rulers throughout history, Trieste developed a unique atmosphere worth visiting. Especially visible are the remains of the Austrian Habsburg Empire.

IDEA: Why not visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia? It’s less than an hour away!

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🏡 Where to stay in Trieste: San Nicolò Suites / Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta, Trieste

🚗 How to reach Trieste: Train tickets to Trieste

✈️ Best day trip from Trieste: Ljubljana, Slovenia

🍕 Best guided tour: Trieste Hop on Hop off Bus Tour with Audio Guide

💸 Save money on exchange rates with a Revolut card, you can order yours here

How to reach Trieste?

I take this trip each time I return from Italy back to my home country, Slovenia, so you can take me as an expert when it comes to reaching Trieste by any means of transport. Joke aside, these are the best ways to reach Trieste:

1) By train – there are direct connections from Milan, Brescia, Verona, Garda, Vicenza, Padova and Venice. For non-direct trains, you will likely need to switch trains in Venice.

Reach Trieste from Milan: The fastest and cheapest way is to take Frecciarossa from Milano Centrale to Trieste Centrale. The train is direct, the ride takes about 3.5 hours. Ticket prices can vary; I found the cheapest ones for 9.99eur (booking about 2 months in advance), whereas the most expensive was around 60-70eur one way (booking a day before).

Mind that from Trieste back there’s only one or two direct trains per day. One in early morning and one in late afternoon.

2) By bus – Flixbus arrives at Trieste Centrale from almost any larger city in Italy you can think of. Check their website for timetables. Compare all bus and train tickets easily through Omio.

3) By plane – did you know? Trieste has its own international airport, Ronchi dei Legionari. Check the flights to and from Rome airport here.

Where to stay in Trieste?

Trieste is a medium-sized city. For the best experience and the least of a headache with moving, I recommend staying in the city center.

Here are my top picks of where to stay in Trieste:

What to see in Trieste?

I recommend at least two days to experience Trieste and Miramare Castle to the fullest. If you’d then like to visit nearby attractions, feel free to add on some extra days.

Trieste is completely walkable so no need to rent a car or use public transport; unless you wish to see attractions further away. In this case, you can use public transport for 1.25eur per ride. Tickets can be bought at kiosks or machines and must be validated each time.

TripAdvisor is a cool place to see what the best activities to do in Trieste are and how visitors liked them.

1. Canal Grande di Trieste

Let’s start by one of the most Instagrammable parts of Trieste – the Canal Grande di Trieste. The canal is today a popular cafe and aperitivo spot with bars and restaurants by the water and a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Two bridges cross the canal – The Ponte Rosso (red bridge) and The Ponte Verde (green bridge), both named after their colors.

Canal grande di Trieste

Canal Grande di Trieste

2. Piazza Unita d’Italia

Piazza Unita d’Italia is easily reachable on foot From Canal Grande di Triste. The narrow streets soon open up to the most grand square in Trieste. The square was built under the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and you can see the architecture resembles the period. Piazza Unita d’Italia is named to be the largest European square on the waterfront! 

Piazza Unita d'Italia, Trieste
Piazza Unita d'Italia, Trieste

Piazza Unita d’Italia

3. Have a coffee at one of the antique cafés of Trieste

Trieste has an important coffee history. Trieste was and still is an important port. Coffee trading began due to the city’s status as a free port and coffee remained routed in Trieste’s spirit up to today.

Here are the 10 best coffee places in Trieste:

  1. Caffè degli Specchi 
  2. Antico Caffè San Marco
  3. Caffè Torinese
  4. Caffè Tommaseo
  5. Pasticceria La Bomboniera
  6. Caffè Urbanis
  7. Pasticceria Pirona
  8. Caffè Stella Polare
  9. Pasticceria Penso
  10. Harry’s Grill

4. Have an Aperitivo

The famous aperitivo drink in Trieste is called Spritz. That’s not the usual Aperol Spritz you know. In Trieste, Spritz is a white drink, made of white wine and sparkling water, served with ice and lemon. If you wish to have the usual Aperol, make sure to say so.

Here are some ideas for aperitivo in Trieste:

  • Gran Malabar
  • Caffe degli Specchi
  • Urbanis

Aperitivo in Trieste @Urbanis

5. Castelo di San Giusto

Visit Castello di San Giusto, a museum and once a Roman fortress with a spectacular view of Trieste. How to reach Castelo di San Giusto? You can choose to walk, take a lift at the back of the parking garage next to the Roman Theatre, or simply take bus number 24.

6. Barcola Beachfront Promenade

Have a walk in Trieste’s famous beachfront promenade Barcola in the equally named neighbourhood. Barcola is known for its exclusive and rich architecture, high life quality and free beach access. It can get crowded in the summer as the locals and tourists often come here for a swim.

SAVE THE DATE – each first Sunday of October, Trieste fills up with tourists. This is the time of Barcolana, the most crowded international sailing regatta. Viewers tend to gather up in the hills around Trieste Gulf to watch the spectacle. This year, the Barcolana 2023 takes place on 8th October.

Barcolana (image source: Italia.it)


The Miramare Castle (Castello Miramare) is a scenic castle by the sea, a residence that once belonged to Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg, the brother of Emperor Franz Joseph. The castle is kept in great condition with original furnishings and collections from all around the world. The Miramare Castle is surrounded by a lush 22-hectare park with greenhouses and its own small port.

Miramare Castle, Tireste, Castello Miramare

Miramare Castle

The castle is open daily between 9 am – 7 pm, the tickets cost 12eur. You can also join in on an organized tour. The entrance to the outside of the castle is free.

The park’s opening hours change depending on the season, generally the park opens at 8 am and closes at 5 pm or 6 pm (7 pm in summer). The entrance is completely free of charge.

HINT: For the most Instagrammable spot, find Cave of Archduchess Charlotte, located in the park

Miramare Castle, Tireste, Castello Miramare

View on the Miramare Castle from the Cave of Archduchess Charlotte

How to reach the Miramare Castle?

  • By car (car parking available for 2eur/h), limited spots
  • By bus from Trieste Centrale; take public bus (either number 6 or 36) direction Miramare-Grignano and get off at Bivio di Miramare bus stop
Miramare Castle, Tireste, Castello Miramare
Miramare Castle, Tireste, Castello Miramare

Postcards from the Miramare Castle


Hi, it's Neja

I am an expat from Slovenia,
 living in Milan since 2021 and writing a travel blog for all of you who are curious about life in Italy or traveling in Europe.

Follow me on my journey and learn everything about Italy and the European destinations.

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