Friday, 10 October 2014

Ptuj – the town under the castle

The town, which the ancient Romans named Poetovio, is located between the Ptuj and Drava plains and is among the oldest settlements of Slovenia. The nice town with the city wall is despite its small size very proud of its rich cultural heritage and a millennia long history.

Today you can walk along the old centre, along the mysterious streets and explore the history of the town. The suggested tourist tour starts and the Minorit monastery and takes you across the town square tot the Orpheus monument at the Slovenian square, the town’s tower and the parish church of St. George, down the Prešeren street to the Dominican monastery and ends at the castle.

The mighty castle of Ptuj is one of the biggest tourist sights of Ptuj. It offers the visitors the greatest view of the town and the lake on the river Drava, not to mention the surrounding hills of Haloze, Donačka gora, Boča and the mountain of Pohorje.

But there’s more to Ptuj than just seeing medieval and Roman sights. Tourists can also get a lot of recreation. There are many natural beautiful sights you can explore walking or by bicycle. After a nice trip you can relax at one of the youngest spa resorts in Slovenia – the Therme Ptuj or spoil your taste buds by tasting the premium wine in one of the oldest wine cellars in Slovenia – the Wine celler of Ptuj (Vinska klet Ptuj). 

The old streets are perfect for open air events, so it’s no wonder there’s the site of many different concerts throughout the summer, with the most famous one being Ptujska poletna noč (Ptuj’s summer night), which is held every first weekend of August and attracts many people from the town and its surroundings.

But the biggest event in town, and also the craziest days you can spend in Slovenia, are held at Ptuj every year at the end of winter. “Run winter, run. The KURENT is coming!” The traditional festival of kurentovanje is taking place in winter and brings magical joy and happiness, along with the mystical magic, and is among the most important festivals of Slovenia and even the whole central Europe. The masks of the carnival, led by the kurents, overflow the whole town, but there’s also a lot of cultural life and music provided, especially during the nights!

The Ptuj region is also recommended to all wine lovers and lovers of great cuisine, and if you start exploring it, chances are, you won’t want to leave.

To sleep over, you can chose between two great hostels – HI Youth Hostel Kurent and HI Youth Hostel Poetovio, which offer great prices to everybody.

Youth Hostel Kurent is in the centre of town. It has 53 beds in 13 rooms. The rooms are modern and nice, and every one of them has its own bathroom. Hostel also offers internet access. Right next to it is the shopping centre and both bus and rail stations.

Youth Hostel Poetovio is only a 10 minute walk away from the town’s centre. You can choose between two or three bedded rooms. The hostel has its own kitchen with a large dining hall. During the week you can order all three meals and for larger groups they prepare meals also during the weekend. Guests will have free internet, parking, tea kitchenette, conference room, fitness, common rooms… at their disposal.

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