Hach Rovinj, we like you! Pretty Rovinj is considered the most beautiful town in Istria. And when you take a look at the impressively located old town for the first time, it quickly becomes clear why.
Pastel-colored stone houses nestle against the hillside. In the center: the towering bell tower of the cathedral, visible from afar, which characterizes Rovinj’s silhouette. And in the foreground: fishing boats, sailing ships, luxury yachts. Rovinj simply exudes holiday feelings par excellence, we can promise that.
In this blog article we will show you why you should definitely make a stopover in Rovinj on your trip through Istria. We’ll take you to the most beautiful sights and of course, as always, we’ll share our personal tips for Rovinj.
1. Rovinj (Croatia) at a glance: FAQs & first travel tips What awaits me in Rovinj? Rovinj is simply a beauty – there is no other way to put it. The coastal town is bursting with energy. What you can look forward to in Rovinj:
Winding, historic old town : Photo opportunities on every corner. Alleys that seem to get narrower and narrower. Stone houses that tell a story. This is Rovinj’s old town! You can drift here for hours without getting bored. Beaches: Rovinj is located on the Croatian Adriatic coast and therefore you are allowed you can of course also look forward to swimming in the sea. Important to know: Rovinj is very urban – perfect for combining culture and the beach. If your focus is on a beach holiday, we would take that into account when choosing a hotel (close to the beach). Great excursions: Rovinj is located in the middle of the west coast of Istria and therefore quite good for numerous excursions. For example, Pula in the south is popular. Or our favourite: A trip to the enchanting mountain villages of Istria. We will give you more information later in this blog article. Is Rovinj overcrowded? Let’s get to the less good news: Yes, Rovinj is really a Extremely popular travel destination. You will notice this at the latest when you take a closer look at the range of restaurants in the center: Everything here is clearly designed for tourists.
We don’t want to judge that – after all, we ourselves are among those who come to Rovinj as guests. However, you must be aware that Rovinj is actually well visited.
What advice can we give you? If possible, plan your trip to Rovinj outside of the high season (i.e. specifically NOT in July and August).
We ourselves were in May in Rovinj. Despite the pandemic and the low season, there was a lot going on in the city. Nevertheless, we found the rush absolutely fine and did not experience Rovinj overcrowded at all. But things are different in midsummer. From Kathi’s papa’s experience, we know that it’s practically impossible to get a table in a popular restaurant in the evening, for example, without a reservation.
How many days should I spend in Rovinj? Short answer: It depends. Some only visit Rovinj as a day trip (we definitely wouldn’t recommend it), others spend their vacation here for a whole week (sounds rather tempting).
We personally recommend you to stay at least two nights in Rovinj. This gives you enough time to explore the old town and you will probably even pass many places several times. A few hours on the beach should also be in time.
Perhaps Rovinj is the only destination of your trip to Istria or Croatia? Then we would rather stay three to five nights. So you have enough time for one or the other excursion.
2. Hotel tip for Rovinj Before we straight to the most important information (namely our highlights in Rovinj), we would like to show you our grandiose hotel discovery. If you’re looking for a really great, hip boutique hotel, head to The Melegran.
What awaits you here? A carefully renovated jewel in the middle of the historical center. Each room is individually designed and furnished with incredible attention to detail and high quality. We ourselves stayed in a room in the Luxe Room category (= “deluxe twin room in the annexe”), which we can warmly recommend.
What you should know: You are staying in a historic house. That means: The rooms are not huge. But for us it was more than enough. We felt right at home from the first moment and slept excellently at the same time. There are also great extras such as a Nespresso machine in the room and super cosmetic products.
The also deserves a mention. great service. For example, there is a golf cart shuttle to and from the private car park which is approximately minutes walk from the hotel. The employees are also very courteous and had really good tips in store.
Our conclusion: Managed with love, great ambience and right in the center. We can’t help but warmly recommend this hotel to you. We would not hesitate for a second and would stay here again at any time.
You can book the hotel here: The Melegran
3. Sights in Rovinj Good to know: There are not that many classic sights in Rovinj. Or to put it another way: In our eyes, the old town ensemble of Rovinj as a whole is what makes the city so special.
Rovinj is therefore ideally suited to simply letting the little town work on you without a big plan. Of course, we would still like to introduce you to our favorite places and the most important sights in Rovinj.
Our sightseeing tip: The historic center (located on the promontory) is almost completely paved and closed to traffic. This is of course really comfortable, but you should definitely choose suitable shoes. The cobblestones can be very slippery, especially when it rains.
Church of St. Euphemia with bell tower What is our favorite thing to do when we are new in a city? Climb the best vantage point to give us a overall view. In Rovinj there’s really only one goal: the towering bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia.
The church and its tower dominate the cityscape like no other building. 360 meters the bell tower rises into the sky. From the top you can enjoy a incredible 45 degree view over the whole of Rovinj.
By the way, practically all the alleys that lead uphill eventually end at the church. The way there cannot be missed. Right in front of the church there is a green area from which you have a nice view of the sea. The associated café is not a big highlight, but is still very suitable for refreshment.
Information & tips for visiting the church & bell tower Admission: Church free, tower 17 Kuna
Opening times: vary depending on the season, im May had the tower until 19 Open hours
Climb: The stairs takes some getting used to with its narrow wooden boards. We didn’t feel unsafe, but you should be reasonably good on foot.
Other sights in Rovinj The church is the most imposing, but by no means the only highlight in the historic old town of Rovinj. Narrow stone streets, colorful window shutters, beautiful photo motifs – you can really look forward to a charming town center in Rovinj.
We strongly recommend that you let yourself drift and sometimes look up. You discover so many details here. If you still have a few clues or want to head for specific sights, then follow our tips.
Main square with clock tower: The main square (Trg Maršala Tita) is located, so to speak, at the gates of the old town. You are guaranteed to come here several times. There are some pretty buildings in this square, including the distinctive clock tower from the Venetian era. At the northern end of the square there is another highlight with the baroque palace Califfi. Today the local history museum is housed here.
Balbi Gate: Directly opposite the clock tower you can reach the winding old town through the Balbi Arch. The main gate of the old town fortifications once stood on this spot. Today’s gate dates from 17. Century.
Harbour & promenade: Sailboats and restaurants as far as the eye can see! Rovinj’s harbor in the south of the old town characterizes the cityscape and is the liveliest part of Rovinj. This is where (as the saying goes) the post goes off. If there is too much hustle and bustle, you can walk a little further to the modern marina. The further away you get from the historic center, the quieter it gets.
Carera ulica: Rovinj’s shopping street is outside the peninsula. It connects, so to speak, the old town with the newer part of Rovinj. Here you can stroll well. A trip to the Gelateria Italia and the Augusto Coffee Shop is highly recommended – you can find more information in our culinary tips.
Balbi GateClock Tower in Rovinj Our three favorite photo points in Rovinj Rovinj is so beautifully situated that we find the city view from outside at least as great as the alleys themselves. We have a total of three on our trip Photo spots discovered, all of which we can highly recommend to you. As always, you will find all locations marked on the map at the end of the article.
From the parking lot north of the old town Admit: The parking lot itself is of course not that charming, but the view of the old town ensemble is of Rovinj is fantastic for that. We stopped by here before sunset – lovely!
From the jetty in the south of the old town In the south of Rovinj, a jetty leads out to sea, where expensive yachts or boats moor again and again. From here you not only have a great view back towards the church, but also a fantastic panorama with the many boats and the pastel-colored houses. The best time to visit is definitely at sunset.
Of the Promenade at the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj Rovinj has a new luxury hotel , the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj. The promenade in front of it is also accessible to non-hotel guests. You can also get a really nice view of Rovinj from here – but this time from a distance.
4. Beaches in Rovinj In the middle of the city: Beach Monte (= Baluota) If you want to jump into the water in the middle of the old town , you should definitely visit the Monte beach. This rocky beach is Rovinj’s city beach, so to speak, and it’s in a really cool location.
To avoid confusion: Monte Beach is often referred to as “Baluota”, but strictly speaking “Baluota” is just a section of Monte Beach.
You’re practically swimming under the walls of the old town here. Since the beach is so centrally located and the sunbathing area is limited , we would prefer a different place for a long bathing day. But if you only want to plunge into the water for a short time, this is the place for you. Access is free.
Beaches in the forest park (= Punta Corrente) South of the center of Rovinj there is a wooded peninsula, the so-called Forest Park Zlatni Rt, also known as “Punta Corrente”. In this car-free nature reserve are many of the most beautiful beaches around Rovinj, including the following two:
Lone Bay: One of the most famous beaches on the peninsula is Lone Bay. A very pretty pebble beach surrounded by fragrant pine trees awaits you here. In the high season it can get quite crowded. You can walk to Lone Strand from the city center in about 20 minutes. The path almost always leads along the water.
Zlatni Rt Beach: This rocky beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Rovinj, is located on the southernmost tip of the peninsula. You can only reach the beach on foot or by bike. From the center of Rovinj you have to plan about half an hour’s walk.
5. Eating & drinking: Culinary tips for Rovinj We’ll start this chapter with some not-so-good news: The restaurant offer in Rovinj is really very much geared towards tourism. So if you’re hoping to be surrounded by locals to dine, then you probably shouldn’t be looking in the city center. There you usually hear more German and English than Croatian.
But: That doesn’t change the fact that you can eat really well in Rovinj. Some of the top restaurants in Istria are located in Rovinj, for example.
Our recommendations for cafes & restaurants Mediterraneo Bar: Let’s go out on a limb and claim that the Mediterraneo Bar is by far the coolest bar in Rovinj. You sit here directly on the stone coast with a view of the water. What made us very happy, in addition to the fantastic atmosphere: the excellent affogato is served here. The cocktails are also said to be excellent. A very clear recommendation and a real insider tip in Rovinj!
Gelateria Italia: Probably the best ice cream in Rovinj is available in this inconspicuous ice cream parlour. It is run by an Italian couple with a lot of passion. We “cheated” once and unfortunately got our ice cream from a shop on the promenade. Well, we regretted that immediately. It simply tastes best in the Gelateria Italia.
La Puntulina: THE fish restaurant in Rovinj. The scenery alone is outstanding: the tables are right on the water on the rocks. There is also a fantastic view of the sea. The food is also impressive – but well, after all you are in a Michelin restaurant here. Make a reservation, the restaurant is always busy.
Restaurant Balbi: This restaurant is located on a small square in the middle of the pedestrian zone in Rovinj’s old town. Although (like almost everywhere) it is mainly tourists who dine here, we had an excellent meal. Big plus: There are even vegan options on the menu. If you prefer fish or meat, you’re in just as good hands here.
Augusto Coffee Shop: Probably the best coffee in Rovinj is served here Cafe tucked away in a passage near the shopping street (Carera ulica). If you are looking for a good espresso, cold brew or espresso tonic – you will find it here.
Cafe Bar Limbo: A different kind of bar! Here you don’t sit by the water, but directly on the stairs of the winding old town with a view of a picturesque square. We’ve had better Aperol Spritz before, but the flair makes up for a lot.
Mediterraneo BarMediterraneo Bar 6. Excursions from Rovinj: Our tips Mountain Villages of Istria Sure, Whoever travels to Rovinj longs above all for sea breeze and coastal flair. However, we can warmly recommend that you also make a detour inland. There are numerous beautiful, medieval mountain villages.
They are enthroned on a hill, visible from afar, radiate unbelievably charming flair and lure with photo motifs at every corner. We ourselves have visited the following villages:
Motovun: This gem is by far the best known, most visited and also one of the largest mountain villages in Istria. Although there was a lot going on even in the off-season, we found Motovun to be beautiful. You should not miss the circular route on the city wall. Food tip: Stop by Koboba Monda for lunch. We had an excellent meal here.
Grožnjan: Studios & galleries on every corner – Grožnjan is, so to speak, the artist town! The charming village is apparently still a bit of an insider tip, because there was really little going on when we visited. We thought it was magical.
Hum: Tiny, tiny, hum. This mountain village boasts of having not even 30 inhabitants to be the smallest city in the world. We personally liked it a little better in other villages, but nonetheless the medieval townscape is very charming.
Labin: We stayed here for a couple of nights and can confirm: Yes, Labin is just great! This extraordinarily colorful mountain village is really something special. Not only because it was surprisingly quiet here, Labin is one of our favorite places in Istria.
Looking for more information? Then this way to our detailed blog article: Mountain villages in Istria
Pula & Cape Kamenjak About 45 By car south of Rovinj you reach Istria’s largest city: Pula. This Roman town is home to some impressive sights, including the amphitheater, Pula’s landmark.
To be honest, Rovinj’s flair fascinated us more than that of Pula. Or to put it another way: Between Pula and us it didn’t click immediately. When we admired Pula from above in the beautiful evening light, we were definitely reconciled.
On the southernmost tip of Istria (only about 15 drive south of Pula) is also Cape Kamenjak. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Istria can be found in this protected natural area.
You can find more information and our tips in our detailed blog article: Pula & Cape Kamenjak
Bale including wine purchase en Maybe you want to buy some wine to take home? And combine the whole thing with a little trip to a really pretty village? Then we can only warmly recommend that you pay a visit to the enchanting town of Bale.
Bale is a picture book village: the stone streets in this tiny medieval town are beautiful to look at. Incidentally, our visit to Bale was surprisingly quiet. So if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Rovinj, Bale is the place for you.
Tip no. 1: We had an excellent lunch at the “La Grisa” restaurant. The restaurant, which belongs to the boutique hotel of the same name, is considered one of the best in Istria. Great quality, great service – really recommendable.
Tip no. 2: We can warmly recommend the San Tommaso winery for wine purchases. It is wonderfully idyllic, about 5 minutes by car from the center of Bale. We received a friendly welcome, good advice and, last but not least, the wines taste excellent.
By the way: The San Tommaso winery also has four rooms. We will definitely spend a few days here on our next vacation in Istria, that’s for sure. The country estate has been beautifully renovated, the pool is a dream and the overall ambience just makes you feel good.
You can book accommodation here: San Tommaso Relais and Wine
7. Map: All tips & sights at a glance Last but not least, you will find all our mentioned tips and sights of Rovinj on this map. A little tip: Just click on the rectangle at the top right to open the map on your smartphone in the Google Maps app.
Transparency: Affiliate Left 30919 This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
And now we are curious: Have you ever been to Rovinj? How did you like this town? You might want to share your experiences with us below this article – we look forward to your additional tips.