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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Top Things to Do and See in Rovinj
1. 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. 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.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. 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. This Mediterranean fishing village, with its friendly locals, delicious seafood, and stunning views is one of our favorite Croatian towns which we would happily return to at any moment.
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
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!
Booking.com is also a great resource to find an accommodation to suite your needs.
How to Get to Rovinj in Croatia
1. 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!
2. 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.
3. 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.
WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO I USE?
- Main Camera: Sony A7III
- Wide angle lens: Sony G Master 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom lens: Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
- Secondary Camera: Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon wide angle lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
- Underwater camera: Leica X-U
- Camera with gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket & Underwater Housing
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro
- Camera Bag: Polar Pro Drone Trekker
- External Hard Drive: LaCie 1 TB rugged mini external hard drive