Chelsea fans’ guide to Maribor
Posted on 29th October 2014
These FSF guides are intended to offer a quick snapshot of advice and info for fans ahead of their trips to Europe – if you have any specific questions about the city, how to get there, where to stay or anything else then simply email us your questions. Through our extensive network of contacts at Football Supporters Europe and experience of travelling throughout Europe ourselves, we will be able to answer just about any query you have.
About the Team
Maribor were founded in December 1960, and are Slovenia’s most successful side. They’ve won the title on 11 occasions, 7 of which came on the bounce in the late 90s and early 2000s. At the height of their powers they qualified for the Group Stages of the Champions League in 1999. They’ve also won 8 Slovenian Cups.
You’ll do well to find any useable flights into the city’s airport, and so it’s a case of checking the nearby cities for connections. Airports within a couple of hours include Ljubljana and Graz, as well as Zagreb and Klagenfurt.
The best bet is a route via Graz, from where trains leave six-times daily to Maribor and take around 90 minutes, or from Ljubljana from where the direct trains leave roughly once an hour (although you can get a train and change in Zidani) and the journey time is around 2 hours. Adria Airways and Easyjet are the two most likely carriers to the Slovenian capital, with flights departing from Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted. Some flights may be seasonal for the summer holidays, however.
Trains from Zagreb similarly require a change at Zidani, and there are only around 5-6 a day, taking around 3 and a half hours.
About the Stadium
The stadium is located on the north (or left) bank of the river, to the northwest of the main city centre. It’s a short walk from just about everywhere (Maribor’s a pretty small place).
The stadium holds just shy of 13,000 fans in an all-seater layout. There are three small stands which share an inter-connected roof, with one main, slightly larger stand running along one of the touchlines.
It’s a compact but recently extensively renovated ground, so the facilities are better than you might imagine or expect. The ground plays host not only to Maribor but also to Slovenian national team games. Locally the ground is known both as the ‘football temple’ and the ‘holy grass’.
Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia behind the capital Ljubljana, with a population of around 150,000, and is a short distance from its northern border with Austria. The city has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture for 2012, and is widely known for its vineyards and wine production (it is also home to the oldest vine in the world).
The main sights include Europe’s second oldest Synangogue, but the city life is built around its numerous old squares. The Lent district is the area around the waterfront, which is packed with cafés, bars, restaurants and shops. It is home to the Old Vine House (Hiša Stare trte), the Water Tower and Judgement Tower (Vodni stolp and Sodni stolp), and the Jewish quarter.
The Main Square (Glavni trg) is home to the Town Hall, Plague Column, and the Aloysius church, and along with the Slomškov Square and Castle square (Grajski trg) is one of the city’s three main meeting points, all situated in the old town centre.
For a potential itinerary for your day(s) in Maribor, check out this guide from Maribor-Slovenia-Travel-Guide.com – they’ve already done it far better than we could! When it comes to eating and drinking in Maribor, this guide has got it licked. It offers a great run-down of the best drinking venues (in the post-8pm section). Rather than repeat their work, we’ll just point you in their direction.