(5 on the map)
Ptuj (roughly pronounced “puhTOOey”) is an easy train ride (about an hour) from Maribor, which is a lot bigger. Ptuj’s old town (the oldest town in Slovenia) is quaint and picturesque, with a castle on the hill above the town and the dominating City Tower in the center of town. It seems made for postcards.
It’s also a ghost town on a Saturday afternoon. In mid-September, there were few tourists or people on the streets; even a wedding party at the church behind the City Tower didn’t make much of a dent in the lack of excitement. There seemed to be no stores or restaurants open. (Maybe it was busier Saturday evening? I didn’t stick around to find out.) I correctly decided ahead of time that Maribor would have more going on at night and Ptuj would be better as a day trip. Still, Ptuj is stunning to walk around and very worth at least half a day or longer if you want something peaceful and quiet.