Rovinj is a coastal town on Croatia's Western Coast of the Istrian peninsula. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia due to its well-preserved, old town and scenic location along the Adriatic Sea. Rovinj's old town features medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture that reflects various rulers throughout history. Rovinj has a total population of 12,968 residents. This population breakdown shows that 11,629 residents live in the city proper, with the remainder in the outlying area of Rovinjsko Selo.
Rovinj features cobblestone streets lined with houses, shops, galleries, restaurants and cafés in Venetian-influenced architecture. Rovinj is known for landmarks like the Church of St. Euphemia, the lively harborfront and scenic nature areas like Golden Cape Park nearby. Some activities visitors can do in Rovinj's old town are to explore the narrow alleyways, visit sights like St. Euphemia Church, climb the bell tower, go shopping at small artisan boutiques, dine at a seaside café and take in the quaint, artsy atmosphere. Other activities in the Rovinj area include boating, kayaking or paddleboarding from the harbor, hiking nature trails, cycling, wine tasting and more. There are beaches, parks, museums, boat tours and ample sightseeing.
Rovinj appeals to people of all ages and interests. Families, couples, solo travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, history and architecture buffs will all find something to enjoy. Certain parks and beaches are family-friendly. There are guided tours and kid-focused museums, making it engaging for children. Rovinj is located in the Central European Time (CET) zone. The standard time is defined as UTC+1. This means Rovinj is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time.
Listed below are the best things to do in Rovinj.
- Old Town (Stari Grad). The Old Town (Stari Grad) is the well-preserved medieval center of Rovinj, located on a peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea. The Old Town is known for its Venetian architecture and active street life. The pedestrian-friendly cobblestone lanes feature historic sights, shops, galleries, cafés and harbor views. Visitors can explore the winding alleyways, climb the bell tower of St. Euphemia Church, go shopping or dining and take in the quaint, artsy atmosphere. The Old Town is perfect for people of all ages interested in architecture, history, arts and culture and there is no admission fee to enter the Old Town.
- Church of St. Euphemia. The Church of St. Euphemia towers over Rovinj Old Town from its hilltop location. Built 1725-36 to house the relics of Rovinj's patron saint, the church is notable for its ornate interior and 61-meter bell tower modeled on St. Mark's in Venice. Visitors can view the decor, the saint's sarcophagus and artwork and climb the tower for sweeping views over the town. The church and bell tower appeal to visitors of all backgrounds interested in architecture, history, religion and sightseeing, with no admission fees.
- Rovinj Harbor. Rovinj Harbor is an active fishing and tourist port on the Adriatic Sea in the town of Rovinj on Croatia's Istrian Peninsula. It offers beautiful views of Rovinj's old town and is lined with colorful houses, small fishing boats, tourist boats and yachts. Visitors can take boat tours to nearby islands, go fishing, watch fishermen haul in their catch, browse cafes and restaurants along the waterfront and enjoy the views and sunset. It can be easily accessed on foot from Rovinj's old town.
- Balbi's Arch. Balbi's Arch is a 17th-century stone archway in Rovinj, Croatia's old town. It stands on the site of a former entrance gate into the medieval fortified town. It has intricate stone carvings, including the Balbi family crest, Venetian symbols and Turkish head sculptures. The arch serves as the entrance into the pedestrian zone of Rovinj's old town, leading to Grisia Street. Visitors can admire the ornate stonework and pass through the archway into Rovinj's historic core.
- Golden Cape Park (Zlatni Rt Park). Golden Cape Park (Zlatni Rt Park) is a 71-hectare protected forest park on a peninsula south of Rovinj, Croatia. The park was established in 1961 and it contains native and exotic trees like Aleppo pine, cypress, cedar and olive. Key features include Himalayan Cedars planted in a six-pointed star shape, remnants of Johann Georg Hütterott's 19th-century estate and a former Venetian quarry now used for rock climbing. The park offers stunning views over Rovinj and nearby islands and coastlines. It provides opportunities for walking, cycling, climbing and swimming from its beaches and coves and can be easily accessed and enjoyed by visitors.
- Lone Bay. Lone Bay is a 0.3-kilometer (0.1 miles) pebbly and rocky beach in the Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape) forest park in Rovinj, Croatia. It features crystal-clear waters and tall pine trees that provide natural shade. The beach offers amenities like showers, public toilets, chairs, umbrella rentals and a beach bar. Popular activities at Lone Bay include swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding. The beach is suitable for all visitors, especially families, due to its shallow, calm waters. Lone Bay offers stunning sunset views and easy access by foot, bike or car, with free public parking available. There is no admission fee to enter the beach.
- Grisia Street. Grisia Street is a cobblestone pedestrian street in the old town of Rovinj, Croatia, lined with art galleries, shops and restaurants. Local and international artists display paintings, photographs and sculptures, turning the street into an outdoor art gallery during the annual open-air art festival held each August. Visitors can view artwork while strolling uphill past colorful Venetian-style architecture to the Baroque-style St. Euphemia Church, which offers panoramic views over Rovinj.
- Rovinj Aquarium. Rovinj Aquarium is located in Rovinj, Croatia and houses over 300 species of Adriatic marine life in 30 tanks. It first opened in 1891 as a field research station for the Berlin Aquarium, making it one of the oldest aquariums in Europe. Visitors can observe fish, mollusks, sea spiders, rays, sharks and more while learning about each species through informational signs. The aquarium is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm during peak season. It is perfect for all ages, especially those interested in marine biology. Rovinj Aquarium allows observing numerous marine creatures closely in a 19th-century facility.
- Punta Corrente Park (Golden Cape Forest Park). Punta Corrente Park (Golden Cape Forest Park) is a 52-hectare protected nature area located south of Rovinj, Croatia. Established in the late 19th century, it contains a rich biodiversity of Mediterranean plants. The park's scenic trails, beaches, quarry and recreational facilities draw outdoor enthusiasts. Its uniqueness was recognized in 1961 by designating it a protected forest park. The park can be easily accessed from Rovinj Center by foot or bicycle and is free from any entrance fees.
1. Old Town (Stari Grad)
The Old Town (Stari Grad) is the historic center of Rovinj, located on a peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea. It dates back to the Middle Ages and features narrow, cobbled streets with houses, shops, galleries, restaurants and cafés. The Old Town is renowned for its picturesque Venetian architecture and harbor views. Visitors can explore the winding alleyways, visit sights like St. Euphemia Church, climb the bell tower, go shopping, have a meal at a seaside café and take in the character of this quaint area.
The Old Town is located on a peninsula in Rovinj, in the Istria region of Croatia. It is referred to as Stari Grad Rovinj or Rovinj Stari Grad. Visitors can explore the narrow cobblestone streets, shops and galleries, have a meal or drink at a café, climb the bell tower of St. Euphemia Church and take in the sights and atmosphere. The Old Town is pedestrian-friendly. The Old Town can be reached on foot from Rovinj town center. It is accessible by car or taxi, with parking lots on the outskirts since the interior streets are mostly car-free. The Old Town is perfect for people of all ages interested in architecture, history, arts and culture and there is no admission fee to enter the Old Town.
2. Church of St. Euphemia
The Church of St. Euphemia is a Baroque church in the heart of Rovinj's Old Town. It was built between 1725 and 1736 to house the sarcophagus and relics of Saint Euphemia, a Christian martyr and the patron saint of Rovinj. The church is in the central square of Rovinj's Old Town, at Trg Sv. Eufemije 52210, Croatia. It is sometimes referred to as the Basilica of Saint Euphemia. The Church of St. Euphemia is significant as the largest church in Istria and one of Croatia's most important Baroque monuments. It dominates the skyline of Rovinj with its imposing 61-meter bell tower modeled after St. Mark's Campanile in Venice.
Visitors can see the decorated interior of the church, view artwork and frescoes, visit the altar and sarcophagus housing Saint Euphemia's relics and climb the bell tower for panoramic views over Rovinj. The church can be accessed by walking through Rovinj's Old Town. It sits atop a hill at the highest point of the peninsula. The church and bell tower appeal to visitors of all backgrounds interested in architecture, history, religion and sightseeing, with no admission fees.
3. Rovinj Harbor
Rovinj Harbor is an active fishing and tourist port nestled on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in the coastal town of Rovinj, Croatia. It is situated on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, surrounded by the old town of Rovinj. The harbor is dotted with bobbing fishing boats, yachts and local banana boats, with colorful pastel-hued houses lining the waterfront. From the harbor, visitors are treated to scenic vistas of Rovinj's red-roofed old town clustering up the hill, crowned by the towering Church of St. Euphemia. In the mornings, one can watch the local fishermen haul in crates of fresh seafood right off their boats.
The harbor walkway and piers are lined with cafes, gelaterias, seafood restaurants and bars, perfect for whiling away the afternoon with a glass of wine or coffee. Visitors can book boat trips to nearby islands, go sea fishing or simply relax along the water's edge. Ferries and water taxis to Red Island, Katarina Island and beyond operate from the harbor. The easy accessibility of Rovinj Harbor from the pedestrian-only old town makes it one of the most visited and photographed spots in Rovinj.
4. Balbi's Arch
Balbi's Arch is a historic Baroque-style arch in the pedestrian-only old town of Rovinj, Croatia. It stands on what was previously one of the main gates into the medieval fortified town of Rovinj during the 17th-century Venetian rule. Built between 1678 and 1679, the archway is intricately decorated with carvings of symbolic faces and figures representing the Venetian empire and the reigning Balbi family. These include a stone-carved Venetian lion holding an open book, a coat of arms of the Balbi family, a bearded Venetian face and an ornate Turkish face wearing a turban on the opposite side.
The arch spans the cobbled street, serving as the main passageway from Rovinj's central town square into the atmospheric web of narrow, winding streets that characterize the old town. Visitors can admire the fine stonemasonry and symbolic carvings up close while walking under the elaborate archway. The landmark makes for beautiful photography, with the arch framing the old town behind it. As the entrance to the pedestrian-only streets, the Balbi's Arch signals one's entry into the historic heart of Rovinj, which has remained remarkably preserved through the centuries. The archway is open to the public year-round at no cost.
5. Golden Cape Park (Zlatni Rt Park)
Golden Cape Park, known as Zlatni Rt Park or Punta Corrente Forest Park, is a protected 71-hectare forest park located on a peninsula, south of Rovinj in Istria, Croatia. It was established in 1961 within a coastal area landscaped in the late 19th century by Austrian admiral Johann Georg Hütterott. The park contains native and exotic tree species, including Aleppo pine, stone pine, cypress, cedar, olive and others. There are open meadow areas. The park offers stunning views over Rovinj as well as the nearby islands and coastline. Key features include the Himalayan Cedars planted in the shape of a six-pointed star, remnants of Hütterott's estate and a former Venetian quarry now used by rock climbers. The protected area provides walking, cycling, climbing and swimming opportunities from the park's beaches and coves.
The park was established in the late 19th century by Georg Hütterott, a wealthy businessman who landscaped the area with exotic tree species and walking paths with the intention of developing a health resort. Although his vision was never fully realized, the area was later protected as a nature park due to its ecological significance. Golden Cape Park is a popular spot for recreation and outdoor activities. Visitors can go hiking, running or cycling on miles of trails, rock climbing on the coastal cliffs and quarries or relaxing on the park's beaches and pebble coves. There are restaurants, cafes and beach clubs located throughout the park.
6. Lone Bay
Lone Bay is located in Rovinj, Croatia, along the Adriatic Sea. It sits within the protected Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape) forest park. The beach stretches to 0.3 kilometers (0.1 miles) and features crystal clear waters, pebbles, pine trees and views of Rovinj's old town skyline and nearby islands.
Visitors to Lone Bay can go swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, paddle boarding or kayaking. There are amenities like public restrooms, outdoor showers, chair and umbrella rentals, a lifeguard in season and a beach bar for drinks and snacks. The beach is easily accessible by foot, bike or car, with free public parking. Lone Bay attracts all types of visitors but is especially popular with families due to its shallow, calm waters. There is no admission fee to access Lone Bay beach.
7. Grisia Street
Grisia Street is a cobblestone pedestrian street in the old town of Rovinj, winding uphill from the harborfront to the imposing Church of St. Euphemia. It earned a nickname as “the street of artists,” Grisia is lined with art galleries, souvenir shops, cafés, restaurants and colorful two-story townhouses and studios featuring lovely Venetian Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Stone steps and narrow alleyways branch off the main street, revealing small courtyards and creative niches to explore.
Grisia Street is most famous as the site of a massive open-air art exhibition held annually here since 1967. Local and international artists display paintings, photographs and sculptures, turning the street into an outdoor art gallery during the annual open-air art festival held each August. Visitors can casually stroll down the street to view a wide range of works while chatting with artists about their creative process and inspiration. The festival features poetry readings, theatrical performances and musicians. People of all ages attend, including serious art collectors and families, locals and tourists. The free event allows visitors to appreciate art al fresco against the charming backdrop of historic architecture.
8. Rovinj Aquarium
Rovinj Aquarium is located in Rovinj, Croatia, at the address Giordano Paliaga 5. It is referred to as the Center for Marine Research Ruder Boskovic. Rovinj Aquarium is special as it is one of the oldest aquariums in Europe, opened in 1891. It started as a field research station for the Berlin Aquarium. The Rovinj Aquarium houses over 300 species of Adriatic marine life in 30 tanks, including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, sea spiders, sea horses, rays, sharks and more.
Visitors can observe the various sea creatures and learn about marine biology through informational signs about each species. The aquarium is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm during peak season. It is perfect for people of all ages, especially those interested in marine life. Bus, ferry or foot transportation is required to reach the aquarium in Rovinj's old town.
9. Punta Corrente Park (Golden Cape Forest Park)
Punta Corrente Park, known as Golden Cape Forest Park, is a protected nature area on a peninsula south of Rovinj in Croatia. It covers 52 hectares and contains a rich diversity of native and exotic Mediterranean plant species, including pine, cypress, cedar, oak and olive trees. The park was established in the late 19th century by Count Johann Georg Hütterott, who landscaped the area with the intention of building a health resort. The beauty of Punta Corrente was recognized in 1961 when it was officially designated as a protected forest park.
Punta Corrente Park is special for its scenic landscape and rich biodiversity. It contains thousands of native and exotic plant species coexisting in a Mediterranean landscape. The park offers various outdoor recreational activities in a serene natural setting. Visitors to Punta Corrente Park can go hiking, running, cycling, rock climbing, swimming, sunbathing, picnicking and nature walking. There are scenic trails, beaches, coves and an old quarry transformed into a free climbing site and entry to Punta Corrente Park is free. The park is perfect for people of all ages, especially outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, families and couples who frequent the park for recreation.
10. Monte Mulini Beach
Monte Mulini Beach is located in Lone Bay on the southern coast of Rovinj, Croatia, near ACI Marina. It is a newly renovated public beach reopened in 2014 with modern amenities while retaining its natural charm. The beach is referred to as the “Moulin Rouge” beach.
Monte Mulini Beach has a scenic coastal walking promenade connecting it to Punta Corrente Park, clear blue waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling, a relaxed ambiance and sunset views across Rovinj's old town and islands. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, walk along the beachfront, enjoy views of nearby islands, have drinks and light meals at the beachfront bar and watch beautiful sunsets. Water sports activities like stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are also available. Monte Mulini Beach can be easily accessed from Rovinj town center via the waterfront walking path past the marina and forest park. The beach is perfect for people of all ages, including families with children. Entry and access to Monte Mulini Beach is free. Sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented from nearby hotels.
11. Batana Eco-Museum
Batana Eco-Museum is located in Rovinj, Croatia, at Obala Pina Budicina 2. It is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the maritime heritage of Rovinj, with a focus on the traditional wooden batana fishing boats that have long been an important symbol of the town's fishing culture.
The museum features a permanent multimedia exhibition that allows visitors to explore the history and significance of the batana through interactive displays, videos, photographs and authentic objects. Events that bring the batana traditions to life are held in the summer. Visitors can observe batana boats being built and launched in the “Little Shipyard”, enjoy concerts of traditional Rovinj music and sample local seafood specialties. The museum also offers opportunities to ride in an authentic batana boat, guided by local “barkarioli” fishermen.
The Batana Eco-Museum won recognition from UNESCO in 2016 for its efforts to preserve Rovinj's intangible maritime heritage. It provides a unique look at this coastal town's identity and serves as an innovative model for community-driven cultural conservation.
12. Katarina Island
Katarina Island is a small island in the Adriatic Sea, just off the coast of Rovinj, Croatia. It is the second-largest island in the Rovinj archipelago, with an area of about 130,000 square meters. The island features abundant Mediterranean vegetation like pine trees, oleander bushes, vineyards and olive trees. It is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, originally designed in the 19th century. Katarina Island is referred to as St. Catherine's Island or Santa Catarina Island.
Katarina Island highlights its peaceful, car-free environment and proximity to Rovinj's Old Town. Visitors to Katarina Island can enjoy swimming and sunbathing at its rocky and pebbly beaches on the east side, cliff jumping off the 20-meter high “Golden Rock”, exploring the walking trails or relaxing at the Island Hotel Katarina, which has pools, restaurants and bars. The island is accessible by boat, which departs hourly from Rovinj's Delfin Pier. Katarina Island is perfect for all visitors, including families, couples and solo travelers seeking a scenic getaway.
13. Adriatic Sunset Cruise
The Adriatic Sunset Cruise is a 2-hour boat tour that departs from Rovinj, Croatia and takes visitors around the nearby islands while enjoying dusk falling over the Adriatic Sea. The cruise is operated by a local tour company called Rovinj Archipelago, which picks visitors up from Rovinj's ACI Marina.
The sunset cruise allows visitors to witness the captivating colors of the sky during golden hours as the sun slowly sinks into the sea. It is a scenic opportunity to view the old town of Rovinj and the surrounding islands. Visitors may even have the chance to encounter wild dolphins swimming and dancing in the sea during their cruise. The cruise costs €30 ($32, £26) per adult and includes an experienced skipper and hostess, bottled water and fruit juice, small bites, windproof jackets and a glass of champagne. It is perfect for adults and older children seeking scenic views, possible dolphin sightings and a unique sunset experience off the Croatian coast.
The cruise company is at Šetalište vijeća Europe 1, 52210, Rovinj, Croatia. Their port of departure is the ACI Marina in Rovinj, just steps from where visitors are picked up and dropped off.
14. Rovinj Heritage Museum
Rovinj Heritage Museum is an art museum in a 17th-century Baroque palace in the old town of Rovinj, Croatia. The museum houses a collection of over 1500 works of art, including Renaissance and Baroque paintings, contemporary Croatian art, archaeological artifacts, maritime objects and ethnographic items. Visitors can view the permanent collections and special exhibitions focused on modern artists or eras. The museum also hosts events and has guided tours available.
Visitors can view the permanent collections and special exhibitions at the Rovinj Heritage Museum. Guided museum tours are also available. The museum is perfect for adults, children and families interested in art, history, culture and maritime heritage. The Rovinj Heritage Museum can be reached on foot. Parking is available outside the old town, with transfers to the museum by golf cart from select hotels.
15. Limski Kanal (Limski Fjord)
Limski Kanal, known as Lim Fjord, is a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) long sea inlet located on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia, between the towns of Rovinj and Vrsar. It was formed when a river valley flooded during the last ice age, creating steep, forested cliffs up to 150 m high along the winding channel. The area is known for its dramatic natural scenery, rock climbing routes, caves, rich marine life and seafood such as mussels and oysters from local farms. Boat trips and restaurants can be found along the shores of Limski Kanal.
Limski Kanal has a protected status due to the purity of the water and rich biodiversity. Visitors can take boat trips to see the scenery of Limski Kanal, enjoy swimming and rock climbing along its shores, explore caves like St. Romuald's Cave and feast on fresh local seafood at waterside restaurants. Limski Kanal can be accessed by road by taking the main coastal highway to Rovinj or Vrsar. Organized boat trips to the channel are available from various towns along the Istrian coast. Limski Kanal is perfect for nature lovers, adventure seekers, foodies and sightseers of all ages looking to experience the natural beauty and activities of the area. There is no admission fee to access Limski Kanal.
16. Rovinj Islands
The Rovinj Islands are a group of 22 islands and islets located just off the coast of Rovinj in Istria County, Croatia. The two largest islands are St. Andrew Island and St. Catherine Island. St. Andrew Island, also known as Red Island or Crveni Otok, consists of St. Andrew Island and the smaller Maskin Island, which are connected by an embankment. The islands feature scenic landscapes with dense Mediterranean vegetation, old-growth forests, walking trails and small, quiet beaches and coves that are popular swimming spots.
Visitors can take hourly taxi boats from Rovinj to explore the islands. The main attractions are the remains of a 6th-century Benedictine monastery, the 19th-century castle and the Family Hotel Istra on St. Andrews Island, one of the islands of Rovinj. The hotel has a restaurant, pools, sports facilities and a wellness center. St. Catherine Island has lush parks, gardens with rare plants and trees and the Hotel Katarina. There are no admission fees to visit the islands. The islands appeal to nature lovers, couples seeking romance and families.
17. Outdoor Activities (Water sports, hiking)
Rovinj is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering a wide range of activities to enjoy the beautiful seascapes and landscapes. The most popular water sports include sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), windsurfing, kitesurfing and scuba diving. Many local companies, such as Adistra, offer kayak and paddleboard rentals and guided tours that take you around the islands and coves near Rovinj. These tours allow visitors to explore the areas while also getting adventurous with snorkeling and swimming stops. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are also popular due to the wind conditions off Rovinj's coast. And the clear waters provide high visibility for exciting scuba diving opportunities. Dive sites like the Baron Gautsch shipwreck let certified divers explore the fascinating underwater world.
In terms of land activities, hiking and biking are very popular ways to take in the scenery inland from Rovinj. Golden Cape Park, just south of Rovinj, offers pleasant walking trails through peaceful pine forests along the seaside. The cobblestone streets lead up to landmarks like St. Euphemia Church, making for scenic hiking paths down to the harbor. Cyclists can bike along flatter areas like the Lim Fjord or take on more challenging mountain biking trails. Many guided hiking, cycling and multi-adventure tours can be booked through prominent local companies like Rovinj Adventure. With so many options, Rovinj has outdoor activities to suit solo travelers, couples, families, groups and all interests and abilities.
18. Wine tasting
Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. It involves observing the wine's appearance, smelling its aromas, tasting it and spatially spreading the wine in the mouth to sense mouthfeel and other tactile properties. The purpose of wine testing is to assess certain characteristics and qualities of the wine and determine its value and potential for storage and aging.
Wine testing typically takes place in dedicated rooms called wine-tasting rooms. These rooms provide ideal environmental conditions for assessing wines, such as consistent ambient temperature, dim lighting, neutral colors on walls, no distracting sounds and separate booths for individuals or small groups. The rooms can be found at wineries producing wines, restaurants and bars serving a range of wines and wine shops specializing in selling many wine varieties. No strict admission rules exist for general wine-tasting sessions open to the public at tasting rooms. Reservations may be required for special winemaker dinners or exclusive wine events. The audience that wine tasting appeals to the most are wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs, wine traders, sommeliers and tourists curious to learn more about wines.
19. Traditional Istrian Cuisine
Traditional Istrian cuisine is the historical cuisine native to the Istrian peninsula in northwestern Croatia. It reflects various influences from its location between the Adriatic Sea and inland near the Alps, as well as domination over centuries by major empires like Rome, Venice, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Yugoslavia. This resulted in Istrian cuisine adopting elements from Italian, Slavic, Germanic, Greek and other Mediterranean food cultures.
The cuisine centers around the Istrian peninsula towns, like Rovinj, Pula, Poreč, Motovun, Labin and Buzet. It relies heavily on high-quality ingredients like seafood from the Adriatic, meats from native livestock breeds, truffles and wild asparagus from forests, olive oil and grapes from local groves and vineyards. Signature dishes include fuži pasta, maneštra bean and vegetable soup, boškarin beef stews, pršut dry-cured ham, sheep's milk cheese, fritaja omelets and kroštule fritters.
Visitors can best experience traditional Istrian cuisine by dining at rustic family-run taverns called konobas located inland, which serve homestyle cooking paired with local wines. Some popular konobas include Konoba Morgan in Brtonigla, Konoba Mondo in Motovun, Konoba Castello in Buzet and Konoba Batelina in Banjole.
20. Monkodonja Hill Fort
Monkodonja Hill Fort is a Bronze Age archaeological site from around 1800-1200 BC located about 5 km southeast of the city of Rovinj in Istria, Croatia. It sits atop a hill 81 meters above sea level, surrounded by massive dry stone defensive walls making an irregular oval shape over 250 meters long and 160 meters wide. The site is also referred to as Moncodogno in Italian, after the nearby village. Monkodonja is significant because it represents an exceptionally well-preserved prehistoric fortified hill settlement layout. There was an acropolis on top and houses terraced on two lower levels, with workshops and storerooms along the defensive walls. At its peak, Monkodonja likely had around 1000 inhabitants and was an important trade outpost.
Visitors to Monkodonja Hill Fort can take a self-guided walking tour to explore the remains of fortification walls, house foundations, storage rooms, gates and pathways traversing the settlement. Interpretive signboards provide background on the various excavated sections to help visualize life in the Bronze Age town. The site would appeal most to history and archaeology buffs interested in visualizing life in ancient times. There is no admission fee to enter the fort.
What are the best museums to visit in Rovinj?
Listed below are the best museums to visit in Rovinj.
- Rovinj Heritage Museum. Rovinj Heritage Museum is in an 18th-century Baroque palace in the heart of Rovinj's old town. It houses a rich collection of art and artifacts related to Rovinj's history and culture, including paintings, sculptures, ancient coins, ceramics and more. The highlight is the collection of works by renowned 15th-19th century Italian artists. Visitors can take guided tours and attend special exhibitions held throughout the year.
- Batana Eco-Museum. Batana Eco-Museum is dedicated to Rovinj's traditional wooden fishing boat, the “batana”. Batana Museum uses interactive multimedia exhibits to showcase the history and construction of this boat and the life of Rovinj's fishermen. Visitors can see fishing nets being repaired, join a banana boat ride and attend musical events.
- Rovinj Aquarium. Rovinj Aquarium was founded in 1891 and features aquarium houses with various marine life specimens found around Rovinj and the Adriatic Sea, including corals, sponges, mollusks, crustaceans and fish. It serves as a rehabilitation center for sea turtles. This is a great place for families and marine life enthusiasts.
- Mini Croatia Park. Mini Croatia Park is an open-air museum featuring miniature models of famous Croatian landmarks spread over 5,500 square meters. Highlights include models of Dubrovnik's walls, Diocletian's Palace and Zagreb Cathedral. This park in Rovinj is great for families.
- Atelier Sottomuro. Atelier Sottomuro is an art gallery that exhibits the dreamlike, surrealistic paintings and sculptures of artist Jan Ejsymontt in a cozy space. Visitors can view and purchase original artwork in acrylic, jewelry pieces and more. The gallery hosts art workshops and yoga classes.
What are the best things to do in Rovinj with kids?
Listed below are the best things to do in Rovinj with kids.
- Dinopark Funtana. Dinopark Funtana is a dinosaur-themed adventure park near Rovinj where kids can ride ponies, see dinosaur replicas, attend shows and more. There is a petting zoo with goats and rabbits. The park has rides, games and outdoor trails that are perfect for all the family members to enjoy.
- Beach days. Rovinj's beaches offer clear, calm waters perfect for kids to splash around in. Popular family beaches include Cuvi Beach, a peaceful cove with playgrounds and seaside Mulini Beach. Many beaches have amenities like cafes, play areas and chair rentals for a comfortable beach day.
- Rovinj Heritage Museum. Rovinj Heritage Museum offers guided tours and kids' workshops focused on Rovinj's history. Kids can handle ancient coins, stone fragments, ceramics and more while learning about local art and culture. Temporary exhibits feature interactive and hands-on displays tailored for children and families.
- Family-Fun Boat Tours. Family-fun boat tours, from dolphin spotting cruises to swimming and snorkeling tours of nearby islands. Rovinj offers lots of family-friendly boating adventures catered to toddlers. Most tours include equipment. Knowledgeable guides ensure a safe, engaging experience for the whole family.
What are the best activities for a business traveler in Rovinj?
Listed below are the best activities for a business traveler in Rovinj.
- Tour the old town of Rovinj. Tour the old town of Rovinj, which features medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, galleries and cafes. It is a great way to experience the history and culture of Rovinj during small breaks from business meetings.
- Visit the Rovinj Heritage Museum. Visit the Rovinj Heritage Museum, which houses a valuable collection of art and exhibits that showcase Rovinj's rich history. It is an interesting cultural attraction to visit when looking to take a short break from work and meetings.
- Enjoy the views of Rovinj from the Church of St. Euphemia bell tower. Enjoy the views of Rovinj from the Church of St. Euphemia bell tower by climbing up the 60-meter bell tower, which provides excellent panoramic views over the red rooftops of Rovinj's old town and the surrounding islands and sea. It is a nice spot to consider that is away from business obligations.
- Sample local cuisine and wines. Sample local cuisine and wines as Rovinj has an excellent culinary scene with many restaurants serving high-quality Istrian dishes and wines. Trying the regional specialties is a great way to experience local culture during off-hours from conferences or meetings.
- Relax at the Golden Cape Forest Park. Relax at the Golden Cape Forest Park, which is close to Rovinj and offers pleasant walking, cycling and swimming opportunities. It is an ideal place to spend free time relaxing in nature in between business commitments.
Where is Rovinj?
Rovinj is located on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula in western Croatia, on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Its geographic coordinates are 45°5′0′′N 13°38′0′′E. Rovinj is 5 kilometers (22 miles) south of the regional capital Poreč. It is 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Pula, the largest city in Istria. The distance from Rovinj to Croatia's capital, Zagreb, is 250 kilometers (155 miles)
Rovinj makes an excellent base to explore Istria's oceanside resorts or the peninsula's scenic interior. Its proximity to both sloping landscapes and medieval hill towns provides easy day trip access. Rovinj sits just across from Italy on the Adriatic, with Venice, which is 200 kilometers (120 miles) away over sea and land.
What is the history of Rovinj?
The history of Rovinj dates back to prehistoric times when it was inhabited by the Histri tribe. It was later ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Austro-Hungarians over the centuries. Rovinj was an island up until 1763 when the channel separating it from the mainland was filled in. Rovinj became an important fishing and maritime trade center during the Middle Ages and under Venetian rule. Rovinj's pivotal transformation came when it was annexed by the Republic of Venice in 1283. The Venetians developed Rovinj into an important maritime, trade and military center over the next five centuries, leaving a strong impression on architecture and culture. The 17th and 18th centuries represented an economic peak for Rovinj as a key Istrian port. Rovinj was part of Italy in the early 20th century before becoming part of Yugoslavia after WWII and eventually Croatia in 1991.
What language is spoken in Rovinj?
The main languages spoken in Rovinj are Croatian and Italian. This is due to its long history of Venetian rule and proximity to Italy. Many locals are bilingual and street signs/menus often feature both languages. Italian is widely understood and visitors from Italy make up a large portion of tourists.
What time zone is Rovinj in?
Rovinj is located in the Central European Time (CET) zone, with a standard time defined as UTC+1. This means it is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority identifier for Rovinj's time zone is “Europe/Zagreb”. Rovinj observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the summer months. On the last Sunday of March, clocks are moved forward by 1 hour to UTC+2, switching the time zone to Central European Summer Time (CEST).
How many people live in Rovinj?
Rovinj is a small coastal city in Croatia with a population of 12,968 residents. This population breakdown shows that 11,629 residents live in the city proper, with the remainder in the outlying area of Rovinjsko Selo. Rovinj's population peaked historically at 13,160 in 1910 and declined in the subsequent decades. The population had fallen to 8,589 due to war losses and migration. The population recovered, reaching 14,294 by 2011 before falling again to the current level.
What are the most interesting facts about Rovinj?
Listed below are the most interesting facts about Croatia and Rovinj.
- Currency. The currency adopted in Croatia has been in Euro since January 01, 2023, replacing the Croatian kuna (HRK) as its official currency. 1 Euro is equivalent to about 7.5 kuna. Many shops, hotels and restaurants in tourist areas accept euros and you can get a better exchange rate by paying in kuna.
- Time Zone. The time zone of Split is in the Central European Time Zone, which is UTC+1. It is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the US.
- Language. The official language is Croatian. English is widely spoken in tourist areas. German and Italian are relatively common. Learning a few basic phrases in Croatian is appreciated by locals.
- Power Plugs. Rovinj's power plugs use a standard electrical voltage of 220-240V. Power outlets accept types C and F plugs with two round prongs. Travelers from North America will need an adapter and potentially a voltage converter.
How many days are needed to see Rovinj?
It is recommended to stay for 2 to 3 days, which is enough time to see the highlights of Rovinj.
Two to three days provide sufficient time to wander through the cobblestone streets of Rovinj's captivating old town, admire views from the hilltop Church of St. Euphemia, view sunsets along the harborfront, relax at nearby beaches and potentially take a day trip to Istrian destinations like Lim Fjord or Motovun. This number of days allows immersion into Rovinj and surrounding areas, including multiple day trips and time to sample local cuisine and culture. It enables an in-depth experience without a rush and gives maximum flexibility to experience sites in and around Rovinj fully.
Is Rovinj worth visiting?
Yes, Rovinj is worth visiting. It is located on Croatia's Istrian peninsula. This seaside town is a romantic old town with colorful houses, narrow cobblestone streets and lovely views of the Adriatic Sea. Rovinj's top attractions include the Church of St. Euphemia, the picturesque harbor, quiet beaches like Monte Beach and the lively main street, Grisia Street, which is lined with art galleries and shops. Rovinj makes an excellent base to explore Istria's vineyards, olive groves and scenic hill towns. Travelers will find Rovinj a rewarding place to visit for a few days. Rovinj should be on your itinerary when visiting Croatia.
Is Rovinj expensive to visit?
No, travelers can visit attractions like churches and parks for free or low cost, eat cheap meals from bakeries and markets and stay in private rooms instead of hotels. Mid-range travelers will be comfortable with €30 ($32, £26) to €60 ($64, £52) per day per person, including modest accommodations, admission tickets, meals at nice restaurants and a few splurges. Luxury seekers staying at high-end hotels can expect to spend over €91 ($100, £79) per day per person. Visiting Rovinj needs proper planning on accommodation and food. Budget-conscious travelers can still enjoy the city without breaking the bank. The expenses seem worth it to many visitors who want to see Rovinj's beautiful sites.
Is Rovinj safe to visit?
Yes, Rovinj is very safe to visit. The city has low crime rates and is considered safe for travelers. Violent crime is rare and petty crime aimed at tourists, like pickpocketing, does occur but is relatively uncommon. Rovinj's city center and attractions are well-lit and have a visible police presence. Basic precautions like being aware of your surroundings, not leaving belongings unattended and avoiding poorly lit areas at night will ensure your visit to picturesque Rovinj is trouble-free. The welcoming locals add to this beautiful coastal city's pleasant, safe atmosphere.
Is Rovinj easy to visit with kids?
Yes, Rovinj is easy to visit with kids. Rovinj features attractions like Punta Corrente Forest Park, Zlatni Rat Beach and Lone Bay Beach, which provide perfect spots for swimming and outdoor play. St. Euphemia's bell tower, Balbi's Arch and Batana Eco-Museum engage kids with legends, history and maritime culture. Rovinj's cobblestone streets are pedestrian-friendly to explore on foot or bike. Rovinj can be a great destination for families, though it may require some advanced planning.
What is Rovinj famous for?
Rovinj is famous for its remarkably well-preserved old town located on a peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. The old town features a trove of cultural attractions, including the Baroque-style Church of Saint Euphemia, whose imposing 60-meter bell tower is modeled after the bell tower in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice. Secondly, Rovinj is famous as it is home to Balbi's Arch, a historical stone archway adorned with a sculpture of a Venetian head on one side and a Turkish head on the other, paying homage to Rovinj's storied past. Lastly, Rovinj is renowned for its coastline, including the wooded Golden Cape Park with pine tree forests and pebbly coves along the shoreline.
What to eat in Rovinj?
Listed below are what you can eat in Rovinj.
- Crni rižot (Black risotto). Crni rižot is rich black risotto made by cooking arborio rice in squid ink, which gives it its signature black color. It is usually cooked in a seafood broth and mixed with chopped squid or shrimp. This black risotto is one of the delicacies in Rovinj and is one of the best food to eat in Croatia.
- Škampi na buzara (Langoustines with buzara sauce). Škampi na buzara features plump langoustines or Norway lobsters simmered in olive oil, garlic and white wines. Skampi na buzara is a popular dish popular in the country and in the city of Rovinj.
- Tartufi od kamenica (Oysters with truffles). Tarturi od kamenica is one of Rovinj's signature seafood appetizers that feature freshly shucked local oysters, raw on the half-shell, topped simply with paper-thin shavings of pungent white or black Istrian truffles.
- Janjetina ispod peke (Lamb under the bell). Janjetina ispod peke involves seasoning a whole baby lamb and placing it under an iron bell with potatoes and vegetables. It is then slow-cooked in a fire's embers for hours until unbelievably tender and infused with smoke. It is one of the popular Croatian dishes to try.
What are the best places to eat in Rovinj?
Listed below are the best places to eat in Rovinj.
- Monte. Monte is a Michelin-star restaurant run by chef Danijel Đekić is known for dishes that blend modern techniques with high-quality local ingredients in a converted 19th-century Istrian house. Monte enjoys a long-held reputation as the finest dining experience in Rovinj and one of the restaurants to eat in Rovinj.
- Maestral. Maestral is known for its casual vibe and al fresco seating on a scenic outdoor terrace. It specializes in simple, deliciously prepared seafood. The restaurant serves the fresh catch of the day grill. Maestral is one of the restaurants in the city of Rovinj that is a must-try for local and foreign visitors.
- La Puntulina. La Puntulna is located on a seaside cliff and is considered one of Rovinj's top restaurants that provide fine dining experiences. The contemporary seafood-focused dishes match the sublime water views from the restaurant's cascading terraced levels. The menu changes based on the freshest catch but always shines with dishes like bluefin tuna tartare, lobster linguine and salt-baked whole fish.
- Konoba Barba Danilo. Konoba Barba Danilo is run by the Leskovac family. The restaurant features a tavern that sits within the open-air Campsite Ulika. The place is known for preparing simple, exquisitely fresh takes on Istrian seafood and meat classics using high-quality ingredients. Reservation requests pile up and visitors rave about whole grilled fish shining with olive oil and lemon juice, shellfish buzara and steak with truffle sauce. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere and personal attention from the passionate owners make dining there feel like eating at a friend's home. Kono is one of the restaurants in Rovinj that reflects the city’s hospitality and service.
What are the best areas to stay in Rovinj?
Listed below are the best places to stay in Rovinj.
- Rovinj Old Town. The Rovinj Old Town is located on a hilly peninsula and features winding cobblestone streets lined with houses, many dating from the medieval era. The neighborhood has bars, art galleries and restaurants tucked into every corner, making it the ideal place to stay for first-time visitors and safe for solo travelers who want to be close to attractions.
- South of Old Town. South of Old Town features a seaside promenade connecting to golden beaches, verdant parks perfect for recreation and landmark hotels. It offers a range of accommodations, restaurants and parks, making it ideal for a more relaxed stay while still being close to the city center. South of Old Town is generally safe with a more relaxed atmosphere, suitable for solo travelers looking for a peaceful stay.
What are the best accommodations to stay in Rovinj?
Listed below are the best accommodations to stay in Rovinj.
- Grand Park Hotel Rovinj. Grand Park Hotel brings 5-star luxury to the city with vistas of the old town, sleek modern design and superb amenities like a spa, pools, marina and six exceptional dining venues, cementing its reputation as one of Croatia's premier seaside escapes. The location makes it perfect for relaxation and it is one of the best hotels in Rovinj.
- Hotel Monte Mulini. Hotel Monte Mulini has 113 elegant quarters and suites along Rovinj's harborside. It has a private beach and upscale restaurants, making this 5-star hotel featuring contemporary styling influenced by Mediterranean style. It is located close to beaches and offers a relaxed atmosphere where families can unwind while conveniently near the city.
- Hotel Lone. Hotel Lone is Rovinj's first design hotel with artfully minimalist guestrooms and architecture that is within Golden Cape Park's verdant trees near delightful Lone Beach's crystalline waters. The 248 rooms and suites within this architectural marvel balance style and comfort, granting access to wellness amenities. It is an ideal choice for those wanting an authentic experience while having easy access to attractions. It is one of the recommended hotels to stay in Rovinj.
How to get to Pula Airport?
There are a few ways to get to Pula Airport. These are by airport shuttle bus, airport taxi or private share and ferry services (summer season only). Firstly, by airport shuttle bus, visitors can take the airport shuttle bus from the airport to Pula Bus Station (30 mins), then transfer to a regional bus from the station to Rovinj (1 hour). Secondly, for airport taxi or private share, visitors can book an airport taxi or private transfer service, which drives directly from Pula Airport to your location in Rovinj and takes 40 minutes, depending on the vehicle type. Lastly, by ferry services, during the summer season only, there are direct catamaran/ferry services from the Italian ports of Venice, Trieste and Cesenatico to the ferry port right in Rovinj's old town area. The most convenient transportation options for getting to Rovinj are a taxi/private transfer or an airport shuttle bus that takes 40 minutes in total.
How to get from Rovinj to Zagreb?
There are a few ways to get to Zagreb from Rovinj. These are by train, bus and car. Firstly, there is no direct train connection between Rovinj and Zagreb by train. The nearest train station to Rovinj is in Pula, which is a 30-minute drive away. Visitors can take a train to Zagreb, which would take 8 to 9 hours. Secondly, by bus, there are regular bus services between Rovinj and Zagreb operated by companies like Arriva, Brioni, Črnja Tours, Flix Bus and Croatia Bus.
Buses depart from Rovinj bus station to Zagreb's main bus station. The bus journey takes 3-5 hours, depending on the route and number of stops. Lastly, driving from Rovinj to Zagreb takes 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and routes. The most direct route is via highways A9 and A1 through Istria and inland through Croatia.
Where to go shopping in Rovinj?
There are several great places to go shopping in Rovinj. These are the Rovinj Old Town, Valdibora Market, Grisia Street, Lungomare Shopping Promenade and Konzum & Lidl. Firstly, the Rovinj Old Town features small artisan shops selling locally-made jewelry, artworks, traditional crafts and souvenirs. Secondly, Valdibora Market is a large open-air farmer's market on the edge of the historic old town, with colorful stalls selling fresh produce, fish, local delicacies like wine and olive oil and handicrafts. Thirdly, Grisia Street, known as the “artists' street”, a car-free street in the Old Town, is filled with galleries, boutiques and stalls selling paintings, jewelry, leather goods, ceramics and artisan creations. Fourthly, Lungomare Shopping Promenade has upscale fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, art galleries and souvenir shops. Lastly, Konzum & Lidl are practical supermarket chains located right at the entrance to Rovinj for all your daily grocery and essential needs.
What festivals or events are taking place in Rovinj?
Listed below are the festivals or events that are taking place in Rovinj.
- Rovinj Summer Music Festival. Rovinj Summer Music Festival is a music festival featuring jazz, classical and rock concerts. It is held from July to September each year in the city of Rovinj, with performances taking place at venues across Rovinj, including churches, squares and landmarks like the Rovinj Heritage Museum. It attracts thousands of attendees. Rovinj Summer Music Festival is one of the anticipated festivals in Croatia.
- Rovinj Photodays. Rovinj Photodays is an international photography festival held in early May annually in Rovinj. The main exhibition venue is the Rovinj Heritage Museum, located in the old town. It attracts photography enthusiasts from across the region and is held only in the city of Rovinj.
- Croatian Summer Salsa Festival. The Croatian Summer Salsa Festival is a week-long Latin dance festival held in June solely in Rovinj at the Istrian Sports Hall venue. It brings together over 3,000 salsa dancers and enthusiasts from around the world.
- Grisia Art Exhibition. Grisia Art Exhibition is an outdoor art exhibition that takes place every August. It is located on Grisia Street, which is in the old town of Rovinj. It turns this street into an open-air art gallery showcasing works from Croatian and international artists.
- Rovinj Night Market. Rovinj Night Market is a weekly summer night food and crafts market every Wednesday evening at the Rovinj Harbor, located right in the city. It features local Istrian food and craft vendors.
- Weekend Media Festival. Weekend Media Festival is the largest regional communications festival, held every September inside the Old Tobacco Factory building in Rovinj. It attracts over 6,000 media and marketing professionals from Croatia and neighboring countries.
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