Pula Travel Guide
Contents [click on chapter for quick jump]
- 1 Get to know Pula – ancient beauty from Roman time
- 2 Things to do in Pula
- 2.1 Sightseeing in Pula
- 2.2 Visualia Festival in May
- 2.3 Days of Antiquity – Pula Svperiorvm in June
- 2.4 Pula Film Festival in July
- 2.5 Lighting Giants
- 2.6 Discover city Pula by E- Bike for free
- 2.7 Cape Kamenjak Nature Park by bike or boat
- 2.8 Shipwreck diving along the coast of Cape Kamenjak
- 2.9 Brijuni National Park
- 2.10 Aquarium Pula
- 2.11 Relaxing on the beach
- 2.12 Discovering hilltop towns in Istrian inland
- 2.13 Discovering nearby coastal towns
- 2.14 Take a wine – gourmet tour or cooking class
- 2.15 Hit the bike trails in Pula area
- 2.16 Kids! Two waterparks are very close to you
- 2.17 Scuba diving for beginners
- 2.18 Skate Park
- 2.19 Pula Adventure Park
- 2.20 Excursion to Venice!
- 3 Beaches in Pula and surroundings
- 4 Accommodation in Pula – where to stay
- 5 Where is Pula and how to get there
- 6 Car rentals in Pula
- 7 Map of Pula
Get to know Pula – ancient beauty from Roman time
Pula/Pola is the largest city on Istrian peninsula, located in a beautiful bay with many outstanding well-preserved historical locations.
Pula city is absolutely great destination in Istria offering you a fantastic nightlife, concerts, clubs, festivals, restaurants and taverns in ambience of ancient time.
The most famous attraction in Pula is Roman amphitheater Arena, the 6th largest amphitheater in the world and one of the most famous sights in Croatia. Besides this unique historical site there are numerous other antique beauties all around the city you will enjoy to discover in mixed atmosphere of modern and ancient life.
Amazing nature in surroundings
At very short distance from city center, Pula offers you two fantastic nature sites for you escape from rush and crowd in summer months – Brijuni National Park and Cape Kamenjak Nature Park. It’s hard for us to recommend just one of them, so try to visit both in your own arrangement or join an organized group.
Accommodation and beaches
In Pula and surroundings you’ll find all kinds of accommodations from few hotels and many apartments and villas in the city center, to excellent hotels and resorts that are mostly located on the nearby Verudela peninsula.
The most popular beaches are on Verudela peninsula (beaches Ambrela, Hawaii and Histria), Stoja Beach, Štinjan beach and Lungomare beaches. You’ll be surprised by great choice of beaches in the nearest city center’s neighborhood!
Read about history of Pula.
Things to do in Pula
Sightseeing in Pula
Amphitheatre Arena, Forum square, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi – Golden Gate, Temple of Augustus, Gate of Hercules, Twin Gates and City Walls, Small Roman Theatre, Chapel of St. Maria Formosa, Communal Palace, Church and Monastery of St. Francis, Castle, Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, Floor Mosaic “The punishment of Dirce”, House of Croatian Defenders, Underground Tunnels Zero Strasse, Nesactium archaeological park.
Museums: Archeology Museum of Istria, Museum of Contemporary Art of Istria, Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, Agrippina House.
If you are not in the mood to explore Pula by yourself you can choose between two sightseeing tours –hopefully one of these you’ll love to take:
Visualia Festival in May
The Visualia Festival 2016 presents itself to visitors from May 12 – 14 at several locations in the very heart of Pula. Keeping up with the latest trends in audiovisual art, the Festival brings to Pula new lighting installations, interactive performances and 3D video mapping that will completely transform the city’s visual identity. Don’t miss! Check Visualia facebook for being informed.
Days of Antiquity – Pula Svperiorvm in June
The festival of antiquity – Pula Svperiorvm is incredible event bringing ancient history of the city and its surroundings to all interested visitors. All programs are held at ancient locations that are fantastic scenery for musical and theatre program.
Pula Film Festival in July
Watching the movies under the summer sky at Pula film festival, the oldest Croatian film festival taking place in Roman amphitheater Arena every July or August, is incredible experience you shouldn’t miss.
Read more about Pula Film Festival official website.
Don’t miss unique attraction of illuminated cranes in Pula’s shipyard – spectacular lighting show every evening from dusk till midnight. Designer Dean Skira has turned eight cranes at one of the world’s oldest working shipyards into a giant light show.
Pula’s Lighting Giants display happens every night from 9 pm-12 am, starting on the hour every hour and lasting for 15 minutes each time.
Discover city Pula by E- Bike for free
If you want to get to know Pula in a different way take your own sightseeing tour by E-Bike.
E-Bike stations are located at Giardini and the central marketplace where you can take your electric bike free of charge.
Before setting off on E-Bike city tour you have to go to the EDIC center located at Giardini 2 and show a valid document (ID card). Then you can take your bike and ride around for 2 hours max.
Cape Kamenjak Nature Park by bike or boat
When on holiday in Pula you shouldn’t miss to visit nearby Cape Kamenjak Nature Park. We recommend you two great excursions for a perfect day in the nature –by bike or boat.
You can enjoy 5 hour bike tour of Cape Kamenjak Nature Park and soak up the atmosphere of fantastic natural landscapes and historical sites along with wine and food tasting.
If you are not in the mood for biking, we recommend you to explore beautiful bays, beaches and coves of Cape Kamenjak by boat from Pula.
In summer season don’t forget your swimming suit for refreshment break.
Shipwreck diving along the coast of Cape Kamenjak
If you are diving fan, don’t skip shipwreck adventure around the Admiral ship „Vis“, bulit in 1956 and owned by Tito, located 250 metres off the coast at the depth of 32 metres along the beautiful Cape Kamenjak. The Istrian coast is already well-known for shipwreck diving so put one more location on your diving map.
Brijuni National Park
Brijuni Islands are exceptional natural heritage of fourteen island and islets, safari park and the remains of Roman villas. You can reach Brijuni by regular boat from village Fažana (10 km on north from Pula) and when you get there join one of the tours organized by Brijuni Authority (book your tour few days before).
Brijuni National Park contact for tour booking:
Tel: +385 (0) 52 525883 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moreover, you can arrange your private or small group excursion to Brijuni National Park by boat from Pula city.
If you plan to explore Brijuni in your own arrangement, learn about the Park’s locations before you get there and then hire a bike or electric golf car for your best discovering experience.
Aquarium Pula is located in the Austro-Hungarian fortress on Verudela peninsula covering an area of 2000 m2 – and it is just 3 km from center of the city.
Relaxing on the beach
When you get tired of all these amazing activities in Pula, you can finally enjoy swimming and sunbathing on numerous beautiful beaches in city and surroundings. The most popular beaches are on Verudela peninsula (beaches Ambrela, Hawaii and Histria), Stoja Beach, Štinjan beach and Lungomare beaches. Keep on reading for detailed list of beaches!
Discovering hilltop towns in Istrian inland
Take an excursion to beautiful Istrian inland and visit the picturesque hilltop towns Motovun, Grožnjan, Oprtalj and Završje.
Check with travel agencies in your town for an organized trip or join Istrian Medieval Hilltop Towns Full-Day Tour with Viator.
You can also arrange your private tour or join a small group for the best hilltop towns discovering with professional licensed guide for Istrian region.
Discovering nearby coastal towns
For your better driving experience read our Getting around Croatia by car page.
If you consider renting a car for travelling around Istrian coastal towns, find more information on our Car rentals in Croatia page.
Take a wine – gourmet tour or cooking class
There are more than hundred wineries spread across Istrian peninsula but visiting a small family winery for a newcomer is not so easy!
If you are looking for the best when it comes to wine and local food tasting tour, don’t look further – contact EATISTRIA for an exceptional Istrian gourmet experience. They organize fantastic cooking classes as well and you’ll be interested to join at least one very soon after you discover amazing Istrian cuisine…
Hit the bike trails in Pula area
Mild Mediterranean climate allows you biking in Istria year-round. Read more on biking trails on Istria-Bike website and find out everything you need for you safe biking adventure including GPS navigation, interactive map and other useful information.
Kids! Two waterparks are very close to you
Adrenalin fans can enjoy numerous water attractions in one of two Istrian water parks.
Aquacolors waterpark is located along the side of the Zelena Laguna Resort, next to the road leading from Poreč to Funtana and Vrsar.
If Aquacolors waterpark is not enough for you, get some more adrenalin at Istralandia waterpark (direction Novigrad, Nova Vas exit). Please, check Istralandia website for more information on working hours and location.
Scuba diving for beginners
Scuba diving for beginners is perfect adventure for families who want to see amazing underwater world.
Find out more info about these exciting diving adventure for whole family fun and book online by Viator.
The first and only true Skate Park in Croatia is in Pula.
If you are a skater or you just want to watch wild skating tricks, hit Karlo Rojc Center and the Skate park is right there.
Pula Adventure Park
Surrounded by nature, Pula Adventure Park consists of aerial paths placed at different heights from ground. The lianas, ropes, Tibetan bridges, zip lines, nets and catwalks will help passing from a tree to another in total security.
Park is located between “Piscina Manna forest” and the Sites of Community Importance Forte Village and Perla Marina. Have fun!
Excursion to Venice!
Beaches in Pula and surroundings
Pula is city with wonderful beaches, mostly well maintained and easily accessible and located in the area of the resorts and hotels with free entrance and parking.
Because of the industry and sea traffic there are no beaches for swimming in Pula Bay but in very close surroundings, only short drive by car or public transportation from city center, you’ll find numerous amazing coves to spend a perfect day on the beach.
The most of the beaches are marked with Blue Flag as an evidence of clear sea and great facilities.
Verudela peninsula beaches
Ambrela Beach – located in small St. John Cove, very popular by locals and guests
Golden Rocks Beach – located inside two resorts: Splendid Golden Rocks Resort and Horizont Golden Rocks Resort in Saccorgiana Cove
Hawaiian Cove Beach – located in Procipina Cove
Lighthouse Beach – located near Cape Verudica, named after lighthouse located 20 meter from the beach
Histria Beach – located underneath Hotel Park Plaza Histria
Hotel Brioni Beach – located underneath Hotel Brioni
Lungomare is a well-known 4 km long boardwalk settled inside the thick pine woods with three beaches along the boardwalk:
Valkane Beach in Zelenika Cove, Gortan Beach in Gortan Cove and Valsaline (Mornar) Beach in Soline Cove.
Other beaches in Pula
Sandy Cove Beach – located in Sandy Cove settlement is one of the few sandy beaches in Pula area, on south from city center
Valbandon Beach – located in Valbandon settlement, on north from Pula center
Štinjan Beach – located in Štinjan Cove, on north from Pula center in Štinjan settlement
Puntižela Beach – located inside Puntižela resort near Štinjan
Valovine beach – located in Valovine cove on the western side of Stoja Peninsula
Stoja Beach – city beach located on the eastern side of Stoja Peninsula, inside Camp Stoja
Cape Kamenjak Beaches
Cape Kamenjak Nature Park has amazing more private beaches with crystal clear sea and surrounded by untouched nature. You’ll find numerous small coves and beaches – here is just a short selection of beaches for your perfect day in Park:
Radovica Beach – located in Radovica cove, on western side of Cape Kamenjak
Njive Beach – located in Njive cove, on western side of Cape Kamenjak
Penižule Beach– located in Penižule cove, on western side of Cape Kamenjak
Škara Beach – located in Škara cove, on eastern side of Cape Kamenjak
Accommodation in Pula – where to stay
The choice of accommodation in Pula and surroundings is extensive and excellent! You’ll find everything you need and prefer – from few hotels and many apartments in the city center, to excellent hotels and resorts that are mostly located on nearby Verudela peninsula, along with numerous campsites in area.
We believe Hotelscombined.com will be a great help to find you the best accommodation deals and to get the most out of your booking in Pula!
With Hotelscombined.com you can COMPARE ALL TOP TRAVEL SITES IN ONE SEARCH (including Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, Venera, Laterooms) and find exactly what are you looking for – EASILY and QUICKLY.
Considering your stay in a fantastic Mediterranean or modern villa in Istrian green inland offering you absolutely privacy in wonderful nature, only short drive to Pula and beaches, is a great idea that will extend your holiday expectation.
Where is Pula and how to get there
Pula is very-easy-to-reach destination from Europe by all ways. Since Pula Airport is close to the city, flying to Pula from European cities is definitely the fastest and most comfortable way of travelling. You can also fly to Pula via Zagreb Airport year- round.
If you travel to Pula by car or bus from the north or north-west, you’ll be driving on the main Istrian road called Istrian Ypsilon that connects Istrian western coast towns Umag, Poreč, Rovinj and Pula, as well as connecting coast with green inland. If you travel from the west, from capital Zagreb, you’ll be driving on motorway to Rijeka and continue driving on state road to Pula.
Finally, you can get to Pula from Venice in Italy if you are coming from this part of Europe and you want to start your holiday without any kind of wheels! Check Venezia Lines or Atlas for ferry schedules.
For more info how to get to Pula, please read our Travelling to Istria page.
Car rentals in Pula
Renting a car for getting around Pula and entire Istrian peninsula is a great idea! The road Istrian Ypsilon will take you to numerous fantastic places in any direction, to western-coast towns Rovinj, Poreč or Umag, or to green inland and its hilltop towns. The most important is to plan your travelling in advance and book your car on time, especially in the main summer season!
We recommend you to arrange you car hire with Rentalcars company – the world’s biggest online car rental service.
Rentalcars.com deals with all the major car hire companies around the world in 169 countries checking which local supplier is offering the best prices for the car you want on the date you need it whilst ensuring everyone they deal with offers a great level of service.
Before you hit the road, get to know general traffic law, toll charges, your driving license validity, Green Card Car Insurance, etc. All these answers and more information for your better driving experience and safety, you’ll find on our Car rentals page and Getting around Croatia by car page.
We recommend you to Download FREE CROATIA TRAFFIC INFO APP from iTunes with detailed traffic and travel information including roadside assistance service (available in English, Italian, German and Croatian).