Rovinj Travel Blog: Things to do in Rovinj Croatia
- Rovinj Travel Blog: Things to do in Rovinj Croatia
- What to See in Rijeka
- Visit the Rovinj Old Town
- St. Euphemia Church
- Shop For Truffles
- Stroll Through Grisia
- Watch the Fisherman
- Golden Cape Forest Park
- Scuba Dive the Baron Gautsch Wreck
- See the Islands
- Go Big Game Fishing
- Punta Corrente Forest Park
- Find The Best View
- Take an Istria Wine Tour
- Rovinj Museums
- Enjoy a Little Wellness
- Swoon Over The Sunsets
- Jump on Two Wheels
- Day Trips From Rovinj
- Best Beaches in Rovinj Croatia
- Best Restaurants in Rovinj Croatia
- Key Festivals in Rovinj Croatia
- Rovinj Hotels
- Photos of Rovinj
- Traveling to Rovinj Croatia
If you’ve seen postcards or advertisements of the north-western region of Croatia, then the chances are you’ve seen pictures of Rovinj. It’s the idyllic Istrian city with a tall bell tower standing over the seaside city like a knight in shining armor.
Rovinj is a beautiful port city located in the North of the Adriatic Sea on the peninsula, Istria. Rovinj was settled by Illyrian tribes before it was captured by the Romans and later incorporated into the Byzantine Empire. Rovinj remains a large port and fishing center and has become a great tourist destination.
If you’re planning on visiting the picturesque city of Rovinj Croatia, which was named one of the most beautiful coastal towns of 2014 by Travel and Leisure Magazine, and you want to make the most of your vacation but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading as we’ve composed a list of the best things to do in Rovinj Croatia. We’ve been busting to share these ideas with you all since our very first visit. So here is our list of what to do in Rovinj. Before heading off, make sure you have all the essential travel items which will make your vacation that much more comfortable.
What to See in Rijeka
Visit the Rovinj Old Town
One of the first things to do in Rovinj is to wander the cobbled streets of the Rovinj old town. Its my one of my favourite Rovinj attractions. Beset by the remains of three town gates and remnants of the walls that used to protect this historic city you’ll get to enjoy beautiful architecture that dates as far back as the early 1700’s. There’s a fantastic view from the town bell towers, and the small square is a regular tourist hotspot making this an ideal place to start off your holiday. Keep an eye out for Balbi’s Arch, which is the original entry to the town. We’ve stayed in a few hotels in Rovinj old town and love the vibe and how there are no cars – making it extremely kid friendly.
St. Euphemia Church
The Church of St. Euphemia is the first thing visitors will see when they get to Rovinj. This church, built in 1736, stands on a hill in the middle of the peninsula overlooking the rest of Rovinj. The Church of St. Euphemia is a beautiful representation of the baroque architecture that dominated the era it was built in. The tomb of the sweet 14 year old body of St. Euphemia can be found behind the altar. According to local legends, the patron saint was tortured and thrown to the lions by Emperor Diocletian for her Christian faith. Her body disappeared on a stormy night and washed up on the coast of Rovinj where a little boy and two calves moved the Saint to where she lies now.
Shop For Truffles
You simply can’t be in Istria and not eat (over and over again) truffles. Istrian truffles are truly world class, with Mr. Chasing the Donkey claiming he can’t tell the difference between their Italian cousins. While you are shopping, be sure to pick up some of Croatia’s best olive oil in the open air market. Valdibora markets are open 7 am and 4 pm daily. If you do grab a truffle, here is a great truffle recipe to try or try one of the local restaurants. Surprisingly there are quite a few Croatian recipes which include the use of the Istrian Truffle.
Stroll Through Grisia
This beautiful, old neighborhood is filled with quaint little shops and art galleries. Visitors get a feeling of stepping back in time when they walk down the cobblestone streets of Grisia. The buildings that line the winding streets of Grisia show different styles of architecture from years gone by. You’ll see Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles. Most of the buildings were constructed at a time where Rovinj was experiencing a population increase, and large families lived in one room with a fireplace.
Watch the Fisherman
The fishing port is still active, which is surprising given Rovinj is such a big tourist destination. It’s great to see that Rovinj has stayed true to its long history of fishing and many families in the area are still making a living from it. My guess is that that fisherman, love the pastel colors of the city as their backdrop each day.
Golden Cape Forest Park
While on holidays in Rovinj be sure to work the Golden Cape Forest Park into your itinerary. A mere 20 minutes’ walk from the center of town this area is pretty much perfect for anyone who wants a serious dose of nature. Golden Cape is a beautiful, almost fairy tale like woodland.
Scuba Dive the Baron Gautsch Wreck
If wandering around an island isn’t your cup of tea and you want something a bit more action orientated you could Scuba dive the Baron Gautsch Wreck. This old boat lies at the bottom of crystal clear waters that’s surrounded by numerous species of underwater flora and fauna.
See the Islands
14 islands make up the Rovinj Archipelago. Each one is full of lush, green grass and each is a favorite destination to visit. We suggest St. Andrews Island or St Catherine Island, both are just off the coast of the old town. These beautiful islands take between 5 and 15 minutes to get to by boat and best of all they’re car free so you can walk around the islands beaches or visit the old cathedrals.
Local Tip: Hotel Katarina on St Catherine Island offers a unique view of Rovinj.
Go Big Game Fishing
You can’t visit the Adriatic without at least trying your hand at Big Game fishing, with the chance to hook a massive tuna, reef sharks and marlin you should definitely give this a try.
Although when you’re waiting out on the boat for a bite just remember to take something to kill the time, like a book for example.
Punta Corrente Forest Park
Also known as Zlatni Rt to locals, Punta Corrente Forest Park is a lovely place for a walk, bike ride, or swim. It was founded by the Austrian Admiral Baron Hutterott in 1890 after he began keeping a villa on Crevni Otok. The park is covered by over ten species of cypress trees and opens up to the waterfront where visitors can take a swim. Punta Corrente Forest Park also boasts a spectacular view of all of the islands off the shore of Rovinj.
Find The Best View
The absolute best place to get sweeping views over the colored buildings of Rovinj is to climb to the top of the bell tower. Set adjacent to the of the Cathedral of St Euphemia in the middle in the heart of the old town – you can’t miss it.
For anyone who loves sports or water activities, Adistra is the place to go. Adistra offers a variety of water tours throughout and around the archipelago on the coast of Rovinj. Their most popular is the kayak tours they offer. The tours vary from a 9 kilometer trip around the islands and a 14 kilometer trip to the Lim Fjord. The tours include lunch and rental snorkeling gear. Another popular tour of Adistra is the Sunset Paddle that includes wine, cheese, and olives.
Take an Istria Wine Tour
Anyone who loves fine wine and exploring historic locales will love the Best of Istria Wine Tour. This tour offers a full day of wine tasting. Starting in the morning at Groznjan, anyone who takes the tour will visit the best wine locations across Istria. The areas are hidden and off the beating path, true gems of the countryside. Visitors take tours of wineries and cellars all the while taking in the views that the beautiful land has to offer.
The Batana House is a museum located on the harbor of Rovinj and documents the impact of the Batana boat for the people of Rovinj town. The Batana is a flat-bottomed fishing boat and is a symbol of Rovinj’s history and culture. Although the museum is small, it’s positioned in a 17th-century townhouse. There are occasional museum events where you can be taken on a boat ride around the town in a Batana before having a traditional Croatian meal later. There are also tours that include visiting a local fisherman, who will demonstrate the art of fishing net repair. Great for those in Croatia with kids is that the museum has plenty of interactive with captions and audios that appeal to all ages.
Cost: 10 HRK | Open: Daily June-September 10am- 2pm and 7pm-11pm
Rovinj Heritage Museum
You’ll find the museum in the Baroque palace that once belonged to the Califfi counts in the 17th and 18th centuries. Founded by a group of artists from Rovinj in 1954, the Heritage Museum now serves as the town gallery displaying a rich collection of both temporary and permanently exhibits.
Website | Cost: 15 HRK | Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
Enjoy a Little Wellness
I was blown away by the look and feel of the Lone Hotel Spa. It’s not only very welcoming, and relaxing, but the “design” concept of the hotel continues to flow into this space and has some serious WOW factor. The wellness spa is quite large at 1700 m2 and offers everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel. Including; swimming pool with hydro-massaging chairs, whirlpool rooms, sauna’s, massage & treatment rooms.
Swoon Over The Sunsets
We were in awe of the shades of orange and blue the sky turned on our trip to Rovinj. There are several park benches to sit at while you soak up the hues yourself. You can also enjoy a stroll along the waters edge and watch as the fisherman ready their boats.
Jump on Two Wheels
There is no end to places you can cycle in Rovinj. Particularly famous is the bike ride on the coastal bike route. Easy enough for the whole family, including kids. If you want something a little trickier, you can find cycle routes in and around Rovinj with varying degrees of difficulty.
Day Trips From Rovinj
Got itchy feet and want to explore Croatia a little? There are many great day trips from Rovinj, like:
- Picking up your sword and play make believe gladiators, in Pula in the Roman amphitheater
- Taking a romantic trip to any of the Istrian hilltop towns. Motovun and Groznjan were our top picks
- Heading over to the Brijuni Island National Park
- Driving to Slovenia, and explore the Postojna Caves
- Catching the ferry to Venice
These are just a few of the fun things you can do in this beautiful Croatian town. There are loads of other sights and fun things to do in Rovinj, so just make sure that when you visit this beautiful town, you make the most of your stay.
Best Beaches in Rovinj Croatia
Amarin Beach is one of the most popular Rovinj beaches. It is a rock and pebble beach with plenty of facilities for guests to use including cafes, swimming pools, lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, and campsites. Dogs are allowed on the beach in designated areas. There is free parking on the front part of the beach. There is a small entrance fee to use this beach because it is a part of the Amarin Resort. This is one of the best beaches in Rovinj.
Another rock and pebble beach, Valdaliso Beach offers various cafes and restrooms for users. There are lifeguards on site, and there are plenty of sports facilities. Dogs are not allowed on the beach. Valdaliso is located on the North side of Rovinj and offers a beautiful view of Old Town. There is free parking in the reception area of the campgrounds, and there is a playground for younger visitors. This beach is an excellent location to moor and dock boats for recreational purposes.
Best Restaurants in Rovinj Croatia
La Vela restaurant offers a delicious menu with very reasonable prices. They serve classic Mediterranean and Italian dishes. You’ll find tasty treats ranging from seafood to pizza at La Vela restaurant. All of the seafood used in their dishes are caught locally. Everyone falls in love after a meal here. This restaurant makes you feel welcome – the staff always treat everyone like family.
Restaurant Dream serves delectable dishes and excellent Croatian wines. Located in Old Town, this restaurant offers a mid-range priced menu of local dishes. They serve a wide variety of Mediterranean and Italian, as well as contemporary foods. There is no mistaking that the food is delicious. To top off the experience, the staff are very friendly and will love to chat with you. From appetizers to dessert, no one leaves Restaurant Dream dissatisfied.
Monte is a contemporary restaurant set in a fine-dining atmosphere. Every item on the menu is plated to perfection, and all dishes taste spectacular. The wines come from Croatian vineyards and offers a taste of Rovinj flavors. Visitors are blown away by the dishes. Monte is located in the Old Town, the unique dining experience among the cobblestone streets is one of a kind.
Best Bars in Rovinj
Gelateria Italia:. This cute little café is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee on a rainy day, or to take an ice cream break in the middle of a crazy day of sightseeing with the family. Gelateria Italia serves delicious coffees and ice creams as well as yummy snacks. Anyone who loves Italian-style ice cream should head here to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Rio Bar. Serving Mediterranean cuisine and the finest cocktails in Rovinj, the Rio Bar is a fan favorite. All of the food served at Rio Bar is delicious, and all of the wines are from local wineries. With reasonable prices, it’s no doubt why visitors come back to Rio Bar time after time. Rio Bar is open for breakfast and stays open well into the night for all of the night owls.
Key Festivals in Rovinj Croatia
Grisia Art Show
The arts are prevalent throughout Rovinj, and that becomes evident during the annual Grisia Art Show. Every second Sunday in August, the Grisia Art Show takes place. This open-air art exhibition attracts visitors from all over. Anyone can display their artwork during this festival. From professionals to amateurs and children to adults, everyone is welcome to participate. The artwork is displayed in churches, studios, and even along the streets.
Avantgarde Jazz Festival
The Avantgarde Jazz Festival is a large festival celebrating jazz music. This festival brings audiences and performers from all over the world to bring honor and celebrate jazz music. From May to July every year, this annual event is held all throughout Rovinj. Festival goers can find musical performances from the old tobacco factory on the waterfront to the main city square. Jazz lovers will enjoy this long lasting celebration of a worldwide and highly popular style of music.
If your looking for hotels in Rovinj you’ve come to the right place. We compiled a list of Rovinj Hostels, Rovinj Apartments and Rovinj Hotels to make it easy for you to choose where to stay.
- Roundabout Hostel. This new Rovinj hostel is located near the main roundabout when coming from the city Pola. A ten-minute walk from Old Town, the Roundabout Hostel offers an eight bedroom and a four bedroom with air conditioning and Wi-Fi. It is within close distance to beaches, the hospital, and located right across the street from excellent restaurants. Guests enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the Roundabout Hostel. Check rates here.
- Rooms Montalbano. Rooms Montalbano offers a guest house in the heart of Rovinj. It is only minutes away from the downtown and beach areas and is surrounded by lovely restaurants and shops on a quaint cobblestone street. Each room offered at the Rooms Montalbano can sleep two people, has a refrigerator and portable fan, and has a bathroom with a shower and bathroom facilities. Cots are also available for guest rooms if they need to sleep more people. Check rates here.
The Apartments Cvek are an excellent place to stay during your visit to Rovinj. With an extensive range of amenities, guests are always satisfied with their stay. All studios and apartments have balconies with a view. There is parking available, and all units have free Wi-Fi, air condition, satellite TV, and a fully equipped kitchen including cutlery and a coffee machine. Outside, guests can use the garden, barbecue facilities, playground, and children’s swimming pool at their leisure.
The Oleander is located on the ground floor of a family house on a peaceful street. This apartment has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and can sleep up to six people. Each bedroom comes with a personal bathroom. It is within walking distance to the center of Rovinj as well as the beach. Guests can enjoy the park place, terrace, garden, and barbecue during their stay. The owner is always happy to help and can be reached easily up on the first floor of the home.
3-star Rovinj Hotels
Maistra Villas Rubin Resort
The Maistra Villas Rubin Resort is located on the beach in Rovinj. It is close to Golden Cape Forest Park and Monkodonja Hill Forest. Each room has a private patio and satellite TV. There are various amenities available to guests including an outdoor tennis court, a water slide, and an outdoor pool. There is also childcare, a game room, a gift shop and a bar for guest’s convenience. The Maistra Villas Rubin Resort also comes with internet access.
This small hotel is located near the Adriatic Sea. With only 17 rooms, the Vila Lili offers a quaint, personalized stay. Even though it is small, this hotel offers many amenities to guests. There is parking available on site, as well as a shuttle to pick guests up from the airport. For guest’s convenience, there is a spa and bar in the hotel as well. Each room is unique and offers different views of Rovinj outside the windows.
4 Star Rovinj Hotels
Hotel Arupinum is located close to the Nature Park Zlanti Rt. Guests enjoy all of the amenities the rooms, as well as the hotel, provides. Each room comes with a private balcony overlooking the city, a flat-screen TV, a safe, and a minibar. Each room also has air condition. The hotel offers Wi-Fi, parking, a restaurant and bar, and an outdoor swimming pool to enhance guests’ experiences. Guests can get to shops, restaurants, spas, recreational area, and hiking trails with a short walk.
Hotel Angelo D’oro
The Hotel Angelo D’oro comes with a unique history. It was formerly a Bishop’s palace in the 17th century. The look of the hotel is supremely Venetian with vaulted ceilings and exposed stone walls. The small rooftop loggia gives guests breathtaking views of Rovinj from the middle of the heart of the city. Every room comes with a view of the garden, the sea, or the quaint cobblestone street. Amenities of the Hotel Angelo D’oro include air conditioning, breakfast, and Wi-Fi.
5 Star Rovinj Hotels
Hotel Monte Mulini
The Hotel Monte Mulini is ten minutes away from the center of Rovinj. Each room has a beautiful view of either the pool, the garden, or the sea. Rooms were created to be of luxury to guests with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, satellite TV, a minibar, and a walk-in shower. For the convenience of guests, the hotel offers airport shuttles, a fine-dining restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, and a sauna. The hotel even has beach access with changing facilities, showers, beach rental equipment, and a beach-side cocktail bar. This is one of the best hotels in Rovinj.
The modern Hotel Lone is within the Golden Cape Natural Park and is dedicated to making guest experiences perfect – we know we, loved it. With hotel amenities including an indoor pool, a sushi bar, a night club, several restaurants, a spa, a garden, buffet breakfast, and airport shuttles, there is hardly anyone who is not satisfied at the Hotel Lone. Each room comes with free Wi-Fi, a private balcony, a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a laptop safety box. The best part is that this hotel is close to the sea and a 15-minute walk to the center of town. This is one of the best hotels in Rovinj.
Lone Hotel Rovinj
Luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of Rovinj
Photos of Rovinj
Traveling to Rovinj Croatia
- Air. Pula Airport is the nearest airport to Rovinj. It is a 40-minute drive from Pula to Rovinj. If you are looking for a large international airport, you will have to go to Italy or head to Zagreb.
Bus.: There are bus stations located all over Croatia that run to Rovinj. Rovinj to Zagreb is approximately 250kms. Local buses are a very reliable form of transportation within Rovinj.
Ferry. There are several ferries that travel north along the Adriatic Sea. These ferries connect several different seaside cities and have various timetables to meet your needs – including ferries to Venice on Venezia lines Rovinj.
Train. There is a train station located in Rovinj, although taking trains in Croatia is not the best option given its limited choices.
Car: Road travel is for us, the best choice in Istria. There are a series of roads that connect Croatia to other parts of Europe and great highways internally. Book your rental car in advance as during peak season rental cars are limited.
Parking. There are several parking locations along the beaches in Rovinj. Many hotels offer parking as part of their amenities. Keep in mind, there are no cars allowed in the center of Rovinj, so plan your drive and parking accordingly.
What do you think will be your favorite thing to do in Rovinj?
We want you to know: This post contains affiliate links, which means at no extra cost to you if you make a booking, we receive a commission – each one helps keep this blog free. Main photo credit: Dennis Stauffer and many photos by Mario Fajt