town and settlement in Istria County, Croatia
Europe > Balkans > Croatia > Istria > Rovinj

Rovinj (Italian: Rovigno) is a city in Istria. The city is officially bilingual (Croatian and Italian).

View of Rovinj at sunset
Rovinj harbor

Understand edit

Get in edit

By plane edit

Rovinj is served by Pula airport approximately 30 km south. The easiest way to reach Rovinj from the airport is to drive - the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. Cars are not permitted in Rovinj, but Rovinj is pretty small, so parking is available close to most of the outside of Rovinj. Prices are around €0.30 per hour (the park-o-meters accept only coins).

By bus edit

There are also buses from Central Pula run by Flixbus.

By boat edit

Venezia Lines is a high speed ferry company in the North Adriatic, linking Venice to the Istrian coast and in particular Rovinj. Departure (in season) every day at 17:00 and arrival at 20:00.

Get around edit

Rovinj and the surrounding area are small, and are easily accessible on foot. Bicycle hire is quite inexpensive in Rovinj and there are very good cycle tracks up and down the coast.

See edit

Rovinj at night

Rovinj is best explored on foot. Worth seeing are the original entrance into the city, the Balbi Arch; the market at Valdibora; the cathedral of Sv. Euphemia; the artists' street of Grisia, described as "Rovinj's Montmartre"; and the harbour in the centre of town.

There are also taxi boats and excursions to St Katherine's Island, in the harbour.

Do edit

  • Walk around in Rovinj.
  • Climb the campanile of the cathedral of Sv Euphemia in the middle of Rovinj.
  • Shop for truffles, olive oil, seafood or fruit and vegetables in the open air market, between 07:00 and 16:00.
  • Cycle there are miles of cycle tracks to the south through pine forest that follow the coast line. Cycle Hire is relatively cheap for good quality bikes.
  • Swim right there, below the church you can clamber over the rocks and take a dive in the Adriatic.
  • Rovinj Heritage Museum, Trg marsala Tita 11/52210 Rovinj, +385 52 816 720. 09:00-15:00, 19:00-22:00 (late opening, summer only). The museum is housed in a Baroque palace that in the 17th and 18th century belonged to the Califfi counts. It was founded in 1954 by a group of artists from Rovinj with the intention of collecting and exhibiting works of art. Today it serves as a town gallery and as a place where its rich bank of works of art is permanently exhibited. €2.

Rock climbing edit

There is a big climbing area just half an hour by foot from the city centre (follow signs to the Park Hotel, then 10 minutes further down the road).

There are several other climbing areas in the region, but you need a car to get there:

  • Limski Canal
  • Dvigrad

Buy edit

The excellent market on Valdibora sells fresh fish straight from the boat; truffles and truffle oil; olive oil; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Eat edit

Be sure to carry cash, as not all places accept cards, and in those which do, the feature is usually "temporarily out of order". Many establishments close over the winter.

  • Calisona, Trg Pignaton 1 (Opposite from the museum). Multilingual menu, with pizza, pasta, risotto, as well as specialty meat and fish dishes. Reasonable prices with excellent service. €5.50-16.
  • Neptun, Joakima Rakovca. 11:00-22:00. Quiet, quirky restaurant specialising in seafood, pizzas and veal cooked in the peka - a slow-cooking method using live coals and a long-handled pan. You need to order two days in advance for this. main course €6-16.
  • Lampo, Sv. Križa 22, Rovinj. Great restaurant with nice waiters, the food is excellent and the view is stunning. main course €6-16.
  • Basilica, Cesta za Valaltu-Lim 5 (Drive towards camping Valalta, and pay attention to the right side of the road, there will be a big sign that says Basilica). A very good restaurant with excellent staff, and the food is excellent and abundant. The steak here is extremely good. main/high course €6-27.

Drink edit

  • Cocktail Bar Valentino, Rovinj. Fantastic location by the sea with atmospheric under sea lighting and seating on the rocks.

Sleep edit

  • Villa Baron Gautsch (follow the signs to the Park Hotel located in the same street), +385-52-814042, fax: +385-52-840537. Nice guesthouse with very friendly and personal staff. Clean, small, single rooms are available. €20-37 per day per person including breakfast, depending on the season.

Go next edit

Rovinj is well-placed for visiting the Limski Kanal (Lim Canal), where the film The Long Ships was shot. Excursions can also be made to the Brijuni Islands National Park, and to many of the other cities in Istria, such as Pula, Novigrad, Porec, Pazin, and Opatija. A slightly longer journey could take you to Rijeka; Izola or Piran in Slovenia; or Trieste in Italy, all of which fall within the ancient boundaries of Istria. There is a daily high-speed ferry during the warmer months to Venice from the harbour in Rovinj. The ferry takes about 2 hours and takes you to almost the centre of Venice.

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