Often overlooked, Maribor, Slovenia, is the country's second-largest city and a center of the wine industry. Located 50 mi/75 km northeast of Ljubljana, Maribor merits a stop if you're on your way to or from Vienna or visiting skiing resorts in the region, such as Pohorje. Also a university town, Maribor is known for its well-preserved Renaissance architecture.

Be sure to visit the district known as Lent, located down by the Drava River, to see the world's oldest growing grapevine that has produced grapes for more than 400 years. Also, stop at one of the riverside cafes to sample a glass of local wine or have a cup of sipek (rosehip) tea.

The section of Maribor known as Old Town is also worth a visit, starting at its main square—Glavni trg—where a monument to victims of the plague can be found. From there, you can easily explore Maribor by foot, as this district is reserved for pedestrians and limited auto traffic. Be sure to stop by the Cathedral of Maribor and the Church of St. John the Baptist just north of Glavni trg where you can climb the church tower for a striking view of the whole town.

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