For our New Year break we did a lot of research and wanted to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia and Zagreb, Croatia. This incorporated a bus trip between the two. Zagreb looked amazing for New Year and Ljubljana just looked really lovely so we decided we wanted to visit both. Trieste was not somewhere we had planned to go; initially we had booked direct flights to Ljubljana with Wizz Air; unfortunately they decided to cancel their route there very last minute for us. When we went to check on our flight status they had changed our flights to Prague!
We had done a lot of research as to where we wanted to spend New Year and we were dead set on Zagreb so we found a work around…. We found we could fly to Trieste in Italy and get a bus to Zagreb and Ljubljana so with some rejigging we had the unexpected and delightful addition of visiting Trieste for just under 24 hours!
We flew from London Stansted at 17.15 with Ryanair arriving at 19.20. The flights were £50 each and Ryanair appears to be the only airline in the UK that services Trieste
We used an airport taxi to get from the airport to the accommodation which was really not that far. Be warned taxis are expensive in Trieste; it cost us 15 euros to go 3km to our accommodation (though there was a distinct lack of taxis available). We also used a taxi booked by our accommodation to get to the airport train station which was approximately 3km and cost 15 euros also.
In order to get to the town centre we got the train which was 5 euros each and took 30 minutes. The Italian trains are pretty efficient, clean and ran on time. It was a case of buying a ticket from the machine, validating and boarding.
In all honesty we had no idea what to expect from Trieste; it was a last minute change to our plans and although we knew it had good transport links and was in Italy we had no idea what it would be like. The great surprise was the pretty harbour. We learned that Trieste is a large free port with five different areas for international shipping and oil distribution. We were lucky with the weather that we were able to enjoy some time here and also spy the biggest jellyfish in the harbour that we had ever seen.
What was clear from our visit is that Trieste is a unique city and not like anywhere else we have been in Italy before. We realised that it was a very cultural diverse city and historically it has only belonged to Italy since 1920 at the end of WWI. Prior to this it was part of Austria dating back to 1382 with occupation by Napoleonic troops in the 1800’s on 3 occasions. . You can read more about it’s history here. Many people here still consider this to be Austrian territory due to their ancestory however it is now under Italian rule.
When choosing accommodation we always read the reviews and look for somewhat unusual but welcoming choices. For us probably the most important things are to have a welcoming host and comfortable accommodation; B&B Izonso did not disappoint! We wanted somewhere close to the airport but also somewhere homely and welcoming and we were warmly greeted by our host with a drink and a lovely chat about the history of Trieste. We also learned our breakfast would be served in a WWI bunker! it was cosy and we were a little sad we only stayed one night. Much to Nigel’s digust they even served Grappa at Breakfast.
Our onward transport from Trieste was a Flixbus. We have used them quite a bit around Europe and always find them cheap and reliable. The train station and the bus station were next door to each other and they had a left luggage section where we left our bags whilst we explored lovely Trieste.
It was time however to get our bus and travel to our next destination for New Year – Zagreb!