Review: Hotel Barbacan, Trieste


Situated halfway up the hill in the centre of Trieste, we stayed at Hotel Barbacan for two nights as part of our Summer 2017 Tour. 

The location is great for the James Joyce Museum, the Cathedral, the Roman Theatre and Castle of Saint Giusto, and is only a short stroll into the centre of town. The piazza includes a tapas restaurant and a bar/cafe and we’re startled to find a veritable street party going on outside one afternoon: the elevation and double glazing was so good we hadn’t realised until we stepped out the front door. 

Unfortunately the bar/cafe is not open Sundays, but on the other days it provides a welcome selection of typical Italian breakfast foods.


The Barbacan is a six room hotel, two per floor, with a reception area and not much else. Our room happens to be on the top floor and with no lift, we learn which of the many steps creak and groan when we step on them. The staircase still feels secure though. 

Reception is sporadically manned – we initially wanted to check out and leave our luggage with them but on the day we went to check out there was nobody at reception so we ended up storing our luggage at the train station for €5 instead.


What the Barbacan does provide, it does well: rainforest shower, beautiful exposed beams and a view across a small piazza to the ruin of an ancient roman arch. The bed needs its own public holiday: soft, yet firm, it feels like sleeping on an osteopathic designed cloud. 

Pros and Cons


  • Reasonably priced
  • Great bed
  • Nice fixtures and decor
  • Great double glazing!
  • Great neighbourhood/social feel


  • Reception unmanned at their listed checkout time
  • Groaning stairs
  • You’re just paying for the room

Would I Go Back?

I don’t think I would – the room is fine, but with no facilities that’s all your paying for – and while the rate is reasonable, there’s just not much around which would justify a return visit.