Full of old world charm, the peninsula town of Rovinj is perfectly situated on the Istrian Coast. It is an ideal destination for a relaxing, seaside vacation and is very popular amongst Europeans. This guide will give you all the top things to do in Rovinj, Croatia during your visit!
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Where is Rovinj Croatia?
Find out all the best places to visit in Rovinj by clicking on the map below. You can save the map by clicking the star on the map!
Hike up St. Euphemia Church Tower
The old town is located on a hilly peninsula with winding, cobblestone streets leading up to the St. Euphemia church tower at its highest point. If you’re brave enough to climb the old wooden steps of the churches bell tower you are rewarded with an ariel view of the town and even some of the outlying islands
Wander the Old Town Streets of Rovinj
Stroll through the streets of old town or savor a glass of local wine at one of the many outdoor restaurants with views of the crystal clear waters below. In the summer, Rovinj is an ideal location to soak up the sun. Even though there are no sandy beaches, you can always find sun-bathers sprawled out on the rocky cliffs that rise out of the crystal-blue waters.
When you enter the town of Rovinj, head towards the harbor and Tito’s Square, identified by the small fountain of a boy holding a water-spouting fish in the center. Many fishing and excursion boats are tied up in the town’s main harbor and a walk around it makes for some stunning photos of this picturesque town.
From Tito’s Square, pass under Balbi Arch to stroll through the narrow streets of Old Town. Lined with lively cafes and restaurants, gorgeous art galleries and handmade jewelry shops, the steep Grisia Street is the main pedestrian street in Old Town and leads directly up to the Church of St. Euphemia.
Once an Italian town, the strong Venetian influence can be seen throughout Rovinj with a winged lion atop Balbi Arch, as well as the 190 ft tall campanile at the Church of St. Euphemia that replicates the bell tower in St. Mark’s Square. The Istrian towns are also bilingual which can be recognized by the street signs, written in Croatian and Italian, and from the language of the locals who speak both (as well as either English or German).
From the church, follow the street along the waters edge that leads back down to the harbor. This cobbled street is lined with the colorful, crumbling houses that are indicative of Istria, in addition to many restaurants and bars. Many of the restaurants along this street have outside terraces and serve up classic Istrian seafood dishes.
Take a Day Trip to Crveni Otok (Red Island)
If you’d like to head out of Old Town for the day, hop aboard one of the excursion boats that takes visitors to one of the neighboring islands. During one of our visits we ventured out to Crveni Otok (Red Island), a 15 min boat ride, to relax and snorkel in the Adriatic sea.
Watch the Sunset from the Harbor
The views are incredible from any angle surrounding the harbor.
Rovinj is one of the most beautiful Mediterranean fishing villages in Europe With its friendly locals, delicious seafood, and stunning views this Istria Croatia town should absolutely be on your list.
TIP: Most of the city closes down from mid-October through March. Some restaurants may be open but most shops will be closed down for the cooler months.
Where to Stay in Rovinj
For the duration of your stay in Rovinj you’ll likely want to be located somewhere in the heart of Old Town. This will allow easier access to the restaurants, harbor and sights within the area.
We have stayed overnight many times in Rovinj and have been lucky with the wonderful apartments we found on Airbnb.
Each apartment we have stayed in has comfortably accommodated the number of people in our party and provided us with beautiful sea views. Check out Airbnb for wonderful rentals in the area as most rent out fully furnished apartments that even include a kitchen!
How to Get to Rovinj Croatia
There are quite a few options for arriving in Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian Coast. Getting there all depends on where you are coming from and what transportation option suits you the best. Below are three of the best ways to get to Rovinj.
Get to Rovinj by Car
Rovinj is easily accessible by car, however, there is no driving or parking allowed in the city center. There are many parking lots around the outskirts of town (an easy walk) including the large waterfront lot near the boat docks. If passing through Slovenia don’t forget to pick up your vignette before you go!
Get to Rovinj by Boat
There are many boats that connect Rovinj to Venice, Piran, Trieste and other Istrian towns. The website Venezialines is the best for finding timetables for the ferries connecting Venice to Rovinj.
Get to Rovinj by Plane
The closest airport to Rovinj is the Pula airport, located 38km south equalling about a 40 min drive. The closest international airport is Venezia Marco Polo airport and is approximately a 3 hr drive or ferry ride.