Rovinj, Croatia: An Expert Travel Guide!
Rovinj is a charming port town on the west coast of Istria and definitely one of the most beautiful places in Croatia! No longer an insider tip, visitors come from all over the world to marvel at this magical highlight. Especially fascinating is the old town of Rovinj, which is picturesquely located on a small peninsula. With the countless colorful houses, it creates a breathtaking cityscape. However, during a visit, there are many more fantastic things to do in Rovinj! The charming waterfront with the lovely cafés, the beautiful harbor, the idyllic beaches and the offshore islands are just a few of the attractions to visit. But what are the must-see places in Rovinj, what are the best attractions and the best tips for your trip?
In this travel guide you will find all the important information on Rovinj in Croatia! In addition, we show you the best things to do in Rovinj, the most beautiful pictures, reveal real insider tips and where you can find amazing accommodations.
General information about Rovinj
Rovinj, a town of about 15,000 inhabitants, is located on the west coast of Istria, about 35 kilometers from Pula and 32 kilometers from Poreč. The old town of Rovinj is one of the most famous landmarks of the Istrian peninsula and is also one of the most beautiful attractions in Croatia! During a visit you can expect many cultural attractions, fabulous restaurants, a lively nightlife with chic bars and great opportunities to do some shopping and stroll around. An absolute highlight is the Golden Cap, a nature park where countless dream beaches and picturesque cycling and hiking trails are located.
In its original form, Rovinj had once been its own island, which got connected to the mainland in 1763. Today, you stroll along a beautiful peninsula with the old town stretching high up on a hill. The town is dominated by the Church of St. Euphemia, the symbol of Rovinj, which is located at the highest point, wherefrom you can also enjoy the most magnificent views. Really beautiful are the 22 islands and islets that lie off the coast and give this port city an extra dose of charm!
Best Things to do in Rovinj
There is plenty to discover on a trip to Rovinj, as every corner hides a new highlight and a pretty attraction. One day in Rovinj should be enough to explore the historic old town. However, it is worth to stay longer to make the most of your visit. Here is a comprehensive list of the most beautiful things to do in Rovinj, which you shouldn’t miss during a visit.
Rovinj Old Town
The beautiful old town of Rovinj is definitely the main attraction of the coastal town. Together with the picturesque waterfront promenade, it forms the vibrant center where you will find countless restaurants, cafes and bars as well as fine boutiques and small art galleries. Situated on a peninsula, the old town stretches up a hill and this creates an exceptionally charming backdrop. The colorful houses are built closely together, and narrow romantic alleys lead from the sea up to the top of the old town. On the way, you will discover interesting attractions, a charming square or a great viewpoint almost at every corner.
Also interesting are Rovinj’s characteristic chimneys, which are considered a special feature of this coastal town. Thanks to its rich historical and cultural heritage, the old town was declared a cultural monument in 1963.
Port of Rovinj
Another must-see in Rovinj is the romantic fishing harbor, which is located directly in front of the old town and, together with the colorful town houses, conjures up a terrific motif for photos. Walking along the harbor promenade, you will experience a quiet, authentic flair and you will have the opportunity to watch the fishermen at work. Boat rentals and excursion boats are also available here, waiting to discover the island world off Rovinj with tourists. Another highlight are the cozy cafes and small bars, which are located along the harbor and where you can admire the beautiful ambience with a cool drink.
Church of St. Euphemia
Probably one of the most famous things to see in Rovinj is the Church of St. Euphemia, also known as Sveti Eufemija. It is located at the highest point of the historic old town and its 60-meter high bell tower rises high above the landscape. This baroque structure was built in 1725 in Venetian style, although the tower is 70 years older and was modeled after St. Mark’s Church in Venice. The most interesting thing is the spire, where the copper statue of St. Euphemia is located. Still, the interior of the church, where you can see various altars and precious paintings, is also worth a look. Also worth seeing is the small park with the café opposite, from which you have a unique panorama over the coast.
Tip: Not only the church is worth seeing, but also the view of Rovinj is unique from up here! Many visitors love to come in the evening to enjoy the sunset.
Main Square & Clock Tower
Probably one of the most beautiful squares in the center of Rovinj is the main square, Trg Marsala Tita, with its impressive clock tower. The tower was built as early as the 12th century as part of the southern defensive fortifications and has been renovated several times over the years. On the facade of the historic clock you can still see the winged St. Mark’s lion, the trademark of Venice. Once a prison, the building now houses a currency exchange office and the city’s tourist information center.
Amazing are also the countless romantic cafes located in the almost 1000-year-old main square, which invite to take a nice sightseeing break.
Tip: Opposite the clock tower is the Hotel Adriatic, an astonishing 4-star hotel that delights with a dreamlike atmosphere and the delicious breakfast on the square!
The picturesque waterfront promenade is the absolute highlight of the coastal town, and a walk is almost a must on any city tour. It starts far before the forest park and leads past the romantic harbor to the old town, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the colorful houses from the jetty. Along the promenade there are lovely little boutiques as well as cozy cafes and restaurants with enchanting sea views, which invite to linger.
City Beach Baluota
The beautiful Baluota Beach offers a breathtaking backdrop. This small city beach is located directly below the historic walls of the city center and enchants with a fantastic ambience of turquoise sea colors and the old stone houses of Rovinj in the background. A visit in the evening during sunset is also wonderful, when the sky displays the most beautiful shades of red and you can experience the play of colors together with other vacationers.
Tip: Only 100 meters from the beach is the Apartment Puntalina, which scores with top facilities and a fantastic location in the old town.
Rovinj Heritage Museum
The Rovinj Heritage Museum is another interesting attraction to visit in the old town. Founded in 1954 and housed in a 17th-century Baroque palace, it contains a valuable collection of artifacts. This museum mainly exhibits both contemporary art and collections of the old masters. Archaeological finds and old books, documents and photographs can also be seen here. Also of interest is the scientific library, which is equipped with more than 30,000 books.
Beach Bars & Nightlife
Rovinj is famous for its beautiful sunsets and for the cool beach bars that have settled right on the rocky coast of the old town. With relaxed chill-out music and romantic ambience you can start in a vibrant nightlife. Really recommendable is for example Mediterraneo Cocktail Bar, a real insider tip for cocktail lovers. Valentino, a cool sunset bar, which amazes with an ingenious location and a fantastic view, is also great.
The Golden Cap
Breathtakingly beautiful is the Golden Cap, a picturesque forest park with beautiful beaches, located not far from the old town of Rovinj. This picturesque natural park lies in the south of the town, near the ACI Marina and stretches out over a boot-shaped peninsula into the sea. Particularly beautiful are the pine, cypress and laurel forests, some of which are over 100 years old. Also many exotic plants like Gingko and Eucalyptus were planted here and can be admired today during a walk through the beautiful avenues.
Pretty are also the small bicycle and hiking trails that lead through the park and lead you the way to hidden little bathing bays. The Golden Cap is one of the most beautiful forest parks in Croatia; a visit should not be missed during your trip to Rovinj.
Tip: In the middle of the Golden Cape nature park is the modern Hotel Lone, which delights with a great location and wellness area.
The local market is another attraction that makes Rovinj so special. This market is located directly in the northern city center, only about 100 meters from Tito Square. Every day this authentic weekly market offers fresh fish, fruit and vegetables as well as regional delicacies such as cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, liqueur and olive oil. Right next to it is a really cool wine bar where visitors enjoy the hustle and bustle with a glass of Istrian wine.
Tip: The local market in Rovinj takes place daily, from Monday to Sunday, until about 12:00. Some market stalls are open longer, especially in the high season.
The Beaches in Rovinj
Not only the attractions are fantastic, but also the beaches in Rovinj are impressively beautiful! Many visitors are surprised by the beautiful beach opportunities that are located right near the city. A lot of the best bays are located in the forest park of the Golden Cap, but also further south, on the offshore islands and even in the old town you can find really fantastic beaches, which are perfect for a vacation in Rovinj.
ACI Marina Rovinj
The ACI Marina Rovinj is the large marina next to the coastal town and can of course also be visited by tourists. Strolling along the newly built promenade, one is amazed by the huge boats and yachts anchored in the harbor. From the complex you also have a spectacular view of Rovinj and the island Katarina. The new Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is also located directly at the marina. It is one of the absolute best hotels in the city and is also a real eye-catcher.
The Islands of Rovinj
The island world around Rovinj is also impressive. 22 islands and islets lie offshore in the sea and enchant with unique beauty and magnificent nature. The largest of these islands is the Red Island, Crveni Otok, with an area of 23 hectares. It actually consists of two islands, the island of Maškin and Sveti Andrea, where there is even a Benedictine monastery and a small castle.
Very close to Rovinj is the famous island Katarina, which shows off its Mediterranean gardens and magnificent flora. The view of the old town here is also breathtaking and a real highlight. Recommended for a beach vacation is the Island Hotel Katarina, which is best suited for a quiet stay. Own taxi boats take you directly to the old town.
Palud Bird Park
A real insider tip in Rovinj, not everybody knows about, is the beautiful bird park Palud. In the nature park you have the opportunity to explore the idyllic bird sanctuary via several hiking trails. Among other things, you will discover a lake with a huge reed belt, which is home to countless bird species. Also beautiful natural bathing bays invite to spend relaxing days on the beach. A real insider tip for all nature lovers.
Excursions from Rovinj
Thanks to its location, there are numerous possibilities for amazing excursions and day tours from Rovinj! From there you have the opportunity to discover many of the most beautiful sights in Istria. Here are the absolute best things to do near the coastal town of Rovinj.
Other beautiful excursion destinations are the Baredine Cave, a huge stalactite cave and the ruined town of Dvigrad, which can be reached via a bike path but of course also by car.
Where to Stay in Rovinj
In Rovinj there is a huge range of fantastic accommodation options. From budget vacation rentals to B&Bs and boutique hotels with pools, you’ll find it all. If you are looking for a recommendable place to stay, then we can give you these accommodation tips for Rovinj along the way…It’s worth a look!
- Family Hotel: The Family Hotel Amarin enchants with beautiful rooms, perfect facilities and their pools. Also the offer for children’s programs is huge here, so nobody will get bored!
- Hotel in the Old Town: The Melegran is an insider tip inside the old town of Rovinj. Beautifully situated in the winding alleys, this boutique hotel enchants with an extra dose of charm.
- Nice B&B: The bed and breakfast Villa Dobravac is a nice and recommendable B&B only 500 meters from the beach and also not far from the old town.
- Apartments: The Apartments Figarola offer beautiful apartments in the best location directly by the sea and the beach. The perfect apartment for a beach vacation!
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