The Italian city of Trieste is renowned for its culture, varied architecture and narrow old streets – but perhaps most of all, its excellent coffee. As well as Neoclassical buildings and squares filled with lively cafés, you'll find Roman ruins dotted here and there. The seafood here is also acclaimed – there's even a sardine festival.
It's easy to upload snaps of the port's limestone cliffs as most hostels in Trieste have free Wi-Fi. Trieste hostel options include a 19th-century building with handmade furnishings, vintage accents and a relaxed communal area. There's also one close to Miamare Castle with free breakfast (and sea views). The majority of Trieste hostels are close to the city centre and have good access to public transport, so you'll be able to get around easily too.
Trieste's neighbourhoods include Borgo Teresiano – the elegant city centre – where you'll find the Canal Grande. Literature fans can pose beside the life-size statue of James Joyce on the Via Roma bridge. A few kilometres to the south is the charming fishing village of Muggia. Hop on a ferry to discover this serene spot complete with 14th-century castle and small working harbour. With several trails that wind along the Slovenian border, limestone plateau The Carso is an ideal place to picnic, hike and climb.
One popular attraction in Trieste is the public beach. Known as El Pedochin, Trieste residents flock here on sunny days. To sit back and get a flavour for local life in a grand public space, head to Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia. The vast sea-facing square is a picturesque spot to have a glass of regional wine and watch the waves. Ideal for nature lovers, the neo-Gothic Castello di Miramare, 7km from the city, has 22 hectares of gardens filled with rare trees.
Friuli Venezia Giulia airport is around a 40-minute train ride from the city centre. Or, from Marco Polo Airport in Venice, it takes around an hour and a half by car or taxi. If you're heading to Trieste from Venice, the train to Trieste Centrale takes just under two hours. The local buses are the best way to get around – they'll take you from the train station to the waterfront or Via Roma. There's also a 24-hour taxi service.