Labin, Croatia: Colorful old town in Istria!
Labin is a beautiful little town on the east coast of Istria. It is situated on a hill overlooking the popular seaside resort Rabac and is particularly attractive for its charming old town. Strolling through the charming stone alleys of the city center, one is amazed by the many pretty attractions and colorful squares to be discovered in Labin. Thanks to its rich history, the town exudes a wonderful mix of Croatian and Italian flair. Also fantastic are the excellent restaurants and cozy cafes that invite to enjoy great food and drinks. Only 5 kilometers from the coast, there are also some amazing beaches that make a visit to Labin a unique experience.
In this travel guide you will find all the important information about Labin in Croatia. We will show you the most exciting things to do in Labin, the best attractions, where to find beaches as well as the best accommodations for a perfect stay.
General information on Labin
Labin is located on the eastern side of the Istrian peninsula, halfway between Pula in the south and Opatija in the north. The town has about 12,000 inhabitants, some of whom live in the Rabac district and the surrounding area. Situated on a hill about 320 meters high above the coast, Labin enchants with a medieval, very romantic old town, which delights with countless attractions, boutiques and restaurants. Since the town has developed into a popular cultural city over the last few years, you can also admire many small galleries in the center.
In Italian the town is called Albona, a name that most likely had its origin in the Illyrian-Celtic culture. The history of Labin goes far back to the 4th century BC, when a first settlement had been ablished on the town hill. Once, coal was mined in Labin, which is illustrated in the City museum today. Among the most famous personalities of the town is certainly Matthias Flacius Illyricus, a fellow campaigner of Martin Luther.
Things to do in Labin
When you visit Labin, you can expect a variety of attractions worth seeing. The highlight is the beautiful old town, which can be easily explored on foot. Also the surroundings with the beautiful beaches are unique. Here, we have summarized the best things to do in Labin at a glance:
Old Town Square Titov Trg
The beautiful main square, Titov Trg, is the best point to start an exploration tour of Labin. Nearby, there are also some free parking lots, where you can easily leave your car. Directly on the square are several restaurants and a very good coffee house, where you can watch the bustle with delicious tiramisu and good cappuccino.
Capital Gate of St. Florus
The Capital Gate of St. Florus is the first attraction you can see before entering the medieval old town. This beautiful city gate was built as early as 1589 and is still one of the most important sights in Labin. Very interesting is also the stone lion Serenissime on the archway, which is still a remnant of the Venetian rule.
Probably one of the most beautiful buildings and at the same time one of the most important attractions of Labin is the City Museum. Located in a red baroque palace of the noble Battiala-Lazzarini family, this 18th century structure is a real eye-catcher. Inside is a museum that uses replicas of a gallery to tell about the former mining of coal.
Alleys of the old town
Beautiful and a real highlight is the car-free old town of Labin, which conjures up an extraordinary beautiful authentic ambience with its colorful old town houses and the many pretty details. Here you feel transported back in time and you can enjoy a grandiose atmosphere. Walking through the ancient stone alleys, almost at every corner there is an attraction or a fantastic photo motif to take great pictures. Also fabulous are the small restaurants and the cozy cafes that invite you to linger during a sightseeing break.
Tip: Labin is home to some lovely art galleries, such as the Alvona Gallery, which has taken up residence in the formerly dilapidated church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Parish Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Another must-see in the old town is the Parish Church of the Nativity of Mary. It dates back to 1336, the church building being built on the remains of a church from the 11th century. Above the entrance to the church is the Lion of St. Mark, a trademark of the Venetian period, and on the Baroque façade you can spot the sculpture of Senator Antonio Bollani. Also worth seeing is the interior of the church, where you can marvel at artworks by some Venetian artists.
Stari Trg is the old main square of Labin and still enchants with its beautiful ambience. It is located not far from the main gate and cannot be missed on any city walk. Especially pretty here are the Old Theater and the Clock Tower, which together form a grandiose backdrop.
Beaches near Labin
First of all, you have to know that Labin does not have its own beaches. However, this town is only 5 kilometers from the coast, where you can find the beautiful beaches of Rabac after just a short drive. Perfect if you want to combine sightseeing and wandering around the old town with a visit to the sea. In the resort of Rabac you will enjoy a variety of fantastic bathing bays, and whether for families, couples or nudists, everyone will find their personal favorite beach here.
Tips on accommodations in Labin
There is a small but fine range of accommodation options in Labin. Most of the accommodations are privately run apartments or guesthouses. If you are still looking for a recommended accommodation in Labin, we can give you these picks on the way…It’s worth a look!
- Boutique Hotel near Old Town: The Hotel Peteani is a small stylish boutique hotel that convinces with beautiful rooms, fantastic cuisine, good breakfast and proximity to the Old Town.
- B&B: The Rialto Residence is a chic B&B close to the Old Town. Guests love the modern decor of the double rooms.
- Apartments with pool: The Apartments Rajkovic is a top choice for a quiet vacation in Labin. From the pool you have a great view of the sea and the apartments are well equipped!
- Hotel by the sea: If you prefer to stay directly by the sea, we can recommend the fantastic Girandella Valamar Collection Resort, only 6 kilometers away, with a nice pool area and located on a dream beach!
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