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*Raving Review Alert*
After spending rather too long in Ljubljana, we wanted to escape the city and breathe in the fresh sea air somewhere along the coast. Having heard Piran was a great spot on the coastline and much nicer than Trieste or Koper, we decided to hunt for accommodation online.
It turns there’s one main hostel in Piran, Alibi Hostel, which is a sister hostel of the Alibi Hostel in Ljubljana. There are three buildings, Alibi B14, Alibi B11 and Alibi T60, all owned by the same person.
The only thing we hadn’t really thought about before booking our stay in Piran, was how we were going to get there from Ljubljana. We assumed there would be a train, but in fact there isn’t…the nearest place you can get the train to is Koper.
When I booked the hostel the night before, they sent me an email confirming my stay and telling me about their transfers and tours. At the last minute I sent them an email asking if they could pick us up from Ljubljana. I wasn’t really expecting them to be able to take us such a long way, but they replied saying they would collect us from Ljubljana and drive us to Piran for 50 Euros for the three of us. This seemed like a good deal after adding up the costs of trains and buses, plus by public transport the journey would take twice as long.
We were staying at the Hostel Celica, but they collected us from their Alibi hostel in Ljubljana. We left our bags in their luggage room and were quite impressed with the service from the staff on reception.
The owner of the hostel, a tall guy with red hair and a goatee called Gorazd, picked us up in his van and chatted the whole way there. He was so eager to show us the best parts of Slovenia that he stopped at a viewpoint along the rocky coast so we could take photos and then made a few detours to some of the towns along the way. This was before we had even checked into the hostel!
When we finally arrived in Piran, Gorazd showed us the best places to eat and the nearest supermarket, then left us to check in at reception with Nina. Nina was extremely helpful throughout our stay and she upgraded us to a better room for the same price.
There is internet at Alibi hostel which is fast, but you can only pick up the signal in reception. This isn’t too bad though as during office hours you can sit on the couch in the office, then outside of office hours your room key operates the outer door to the office, so you can sit just inside the lobby. Just ask Nina for the password and you’re good to go.
If you would rather sit and have a coffee or an ice cold beer whilst you surf the Internet, the Da Noi Bar on the oceanfront has free Wi-Fi too.
Our room was an apartment with one double bed and a set of bunk beds, along with an en suite bathroom. It was extremely clean and the bathroom had hot running water and good shower pressure (always a plus). There were plenty of plug sockets and we had our own fridge plus a dining table with chairs. I know there was a terrace on the roof, but I didn’t have a chance to get up there because it was a little too chilly.
Gorazd offered to take us on a private tour and said we could choose to go anywhere we want to go, so we sat down with Nina to plan an itinerary for the day. The great thing about the tour was Gorazd let us do our own thing, so it wasn’t like going on a guided tour where you have a set itinerary. Gorazd was our driver for the day and dropped us off at different destinations for us to explore on our own.
He drove us to the Karst region to see the Lipica Stud Farm where they breed beautiful white Lipizzan horses. We said we wanted to go to a winery since Slovenia has many vineyards, but Gorazd wasn’t familiar with any wineries that offered tastings or open cellar doors. However, he went out of his way to ask someone where the nearest winery was, then managed to negotiate a free wine tasting session for us before a big group arrived.
There was a bit of confusion about which caves we wanted to go to see, so we actually ended up at the wrong one and were too late for the last tour. There are two cave systems in Slovenia- Postojna Caves and Skocjan Caves and we had wanted to go to the Postojna Caves at 4pm. Instead we found ourselves at the Skocjan caves, where the last tour was at 3:30pm. This was a genuine mix up though, and Gorazd did his best to make up for it. He took us to Koper to have a look around, then to a traditional Slovenian restaurant in the hillside on the coast. Finally he took us to a fantastic viewpoint in Piran so we could see the twinkling lights around the harbour at night.
All in all we had a fab time at Alibi Hostel and ended up staying there much longer than expected! We stayed there for about a week and used it as our base to explore more of Slovenia and Croatia.
To book this hostel, visit Hostelworld.com