Planning a visit to Istria’s most beautiful town? Here are 20 awesome things to do in Rovinj, Croatia that you simply cannot miss!
Rovinj is a gorgeous destination on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula. It’s romantic, historic, artistic, and incredibly photogenic. This charming town is simply one of those places that’s easy to fall in love with, and it should definitely be on your Croatia bucket list.
Keep reading to discover the best things to do in Rovinj, Croatia so you don’t miss any of the highlights during your visit.
20 Awesome Things to do in Rovinj Croatia
1. Get Lost in the Old Town
There is no better way to experience the charm of Rovinj than by simply getting lost in the Old Town.
Let your imagination lead you through the hilly maze of beautiful Venetian architecture. Allow the narrow winding streets and pastel houses to tell you the story of this charming fishing town. Follow them to discover photogenic alleys, hidden ateliers, colorful laundry fluttering in the wind above you, and lazy cats napping in front of leafy entrance ways.
Look for the houses that border the perimeter of the peninsula to uncover narrow staircases that lead down to the sea. Here, you can catch a glimpse of mesmerizing views or enchanting stone terraces like this one!
2. St. Euphemia Church and Bell Tower
The first thing visitors notice when they arrive in Rovinj is the bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia. Situated on a hilltop right in the heart of Rovinj, this dominant landmark can be seen from every corner of the town!
The church is named after the patron saint of the town, a young girl known as Euphemia who sacrificed her life for her beliefs. She was arrested by Diocletian’s soldiers, and despite the persecution she went through, she refused to convert her religion. Legend has it that after her death, the marble sarcophagus in which she was laid to rest was found floating in the sea. A small boy and his two little cows hauled the coffin to the church at the top of the hill.
The townspeople declared it a miracle and proclaimed Euphemia the patron saint of the town.
3. Farmer’s Market
Every morning until about 10:00 PM at night, Trg Valdibora transforms into an open-air farmer’s market. The stalls at the market overflow with juicy fruit and fresh veggies, while vendors entice visitors with free tasting samples. While the produce can be a little on the pricier side, strolling through the market is an experience in itself.
Many stalls at the farmer’s market also offer regional products like locally pressed olive oil, soft cheese, preserved truffles, Istrian wine, and handmade soaps. This is a great opportunity to snag some items to take home to friends and family.
4. Indulge in Truffles
The fertile soil in Istria is ideal for producing these pungent underground treasures, and you’ll find that truffles run rampant in this area.
If you love truffles, then this is your chance to indulge in them to your heart’s desire. If you’ve never tried them, this is also an ideal place to do so as it is unlikely you’ll find them so affordable elsewhere!
Truffles are definitely an acquired taste, but sampling a few truffle-inspired dishes is a must when visiting Rovinj.
5. Shop for Local Treasures on Grisia Street
Perhaps the most famous street in all of Rovinj, Grisia leads visitors from the main square up to the church along a cobblestone path packed with art galleries and inviting boutiques.
Every August, an open-air art exhibit takes place on this beautiful picturesque street. Local artists and craftsmen come to Grisia Street for this event to display their work, making it the perfect opportunity to pick up a meaningful souvenir.
6. Mediterraneo Bar
Mediterraneo is a magical cliffside bar tucked away from the busy streets of Rovinj. A lovely escape from reality, Mediterraneo instantly transports you to a Mediterranean oasis.
The petite stone terrace, vibrant decor, and proximity to the water make for one of the most picturesque bars on the peninsula. Seat yourself at one of the colorful tables perched onto the rocky seaside and enjoy the yachts going by while you sip on a specialty cocktail.
Insider tip: If you’re up for a dip, pack your swimsuit and jump straight into the sea from the edge of the bar! A very local thing to do indeed.
7. Check Out the Beaches
There are many beaches worth visiting around Rovinj. However, one location that remains an all-time favorite is Plaza Balota (or Balota Beach).
Located right on the cliffs of Rovinj’s peninsula, just a short walk away from Mediterraneo Bar is Balota Beach. This unique swimming spot is adored by both tourists and locals. The sea here is several meters deep, and at some places, you can even jump from the cliffs into the clear water.
If you’re not up for jumping, there are several ladders scattered around for easy access into the sea. Don’t think that Balota Beach is just reserved for swimmers – it makes a wonderful place for sunbathing too!
8. Admire Design Hotel Lone
A luxurious blend of nature and modern architecture, Hotel Lone resembles a sophisticated cruise liner nestled into a grassy hillside.
This 5-star beauty is worth a glance, as the interior draws inspiration from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
You don’t have to stay here to appreciate this remarkable architectural structure. Stop in for an afternoon coffee and enjoy a stroll around the immaculate grounds and private beach.
9. Go on a Wine Tasting
A visit to Istria is simply incomplete without a wine tasting!
Often referred to as the “New Tuscany”, Istria is well known for producing world-class wines. The region’s signature wine is a delicate white variety known as Istarska Malvasia, although ruby red Teran and sweet Moscato are also popular.
For the full experience, you’ll want to book a wine tasting in a traditional Istrian tavern. Relais & Wine San Tomasso is an excellent choice as it is a short drive away from Rovinj in the rustic village of Golaš.
10. Ride on a Traditional Batana Boat
The batana boat is a traditional flat-bottomed boat that got its name from the sound the boat makes when crashing down onto the waves.
The Rovinj Tourism Board organizes a weekly batana boat parade in the summer. An entertaining cultural experience, the batana boat parade takes visitors on a cruise around the peninsula followed by an authentic dinner at an Istrian tavern.
11. Dine in Style at Monte
The very first restaurant in Croatia to receive a Michelin star, Monte fuses innovative cuisine and modern elegance. Excellent wine, a romantic ambiance, and impeccable service complete the experience.
For those who enjoy the creme de la creme of dining affairs, this is the place you want to go.
12. Catch a Sunset From the Pier
The best place to catch one of Rovinj’s dazzling golden sunsets is from the pier that extends south from the Old Town. The view from the pier is absolutely breathtaking, but be sure to get there early to grab a good spot!
13. Chill at Mulini Beach Bar
Situated at the foot of the dazzling Monte Mulini Hotel, Mulini Beach Bar is a wonderfully indulgent place to enjoy brunch and cocktails.
Guests can lounge in luxury while enjoying 360-degree views of 5-star hotels, sparkling waters, and a gorgeous pine forest.
14. Enjoy a Coffee at Hotel Adriatic
Hotel Adriatic, Rovinj’s oldest hotel, is set in a building from 1892 and is an iconic landmark of the town.
This notable site underwent complete renovation just 5 years ago, when it was transformed into a design masterpiece. Featuring work from local artists in each and every one of its rooms, spending the night at Hotel Adriatic is like spending a night at a museum.
You don’t have to be a guest of this art hotel to enjoy their restaurant and beautiful terrace. Grab a seat on one of their cozy couches and sip your coffee while watching the world go by.
15. Spend the Day at Punta Corrente Forest Park
Also known as the Golden Cape, Punta Corrente Forest Park is a large oak and pine forest located close to the Old Town. Entrance into the park is free, and it is a fantastic place to spend the day.
Punta Corrente is one of the most gorgeous landscapes around Rovinj, extending along the picturesque bays of Lone and Skaraba. This stunning nature park provides visitors with rocky capes, pebbly beaches, and plenty of shade during those long summer days.
Punta Corrente is also a great place for outdoor activities like bike riding and hiking. There is even an old quarry in the park that is popular with rock climbers. It is interesting to note that a great deal of rock from the quarry was actually used to build the city of Venice!
16. Bike Through the Countryside
There are countless biking trails in the Rovinj area that are marked and regularly maintained. Choose from mountain trails, road trails, and family-friendly trails that wind past the sea and throughout the green interior.
For a more leisurely ride, the spacious countryside is located just north of the Old Town. This area is ideal for those who want a casual ride past endless olive groves and vineyards.
17. Take a Boat Trip to the Lim Channel
Declared an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Lim Channel is one of the top things to do in Rovinj.
A relaxing change of pace, the boat trip from Rovinj to the Lim Channel provides a spectacular ride through the 19 islands that make up Rovinj’s archipelago. The Lim Channel stretches 35km, almost to the center of Istria, with mountains lining both sides.
Apart from the incredible natural scenery, Lim Channel is also famous for its cultivation of fish and shellfish. These local delicacies can be sampled at the restaurant overlooking the beautiful bay.
18. Visit Red Island
Just a short 15-minute boat ride away from Rovinj, Red Island makes for a pleasant day trip.
Composed of two islets (St. Andrew and Maskin), and not actually red, this pine-covered enclave is a true Mediterranean oasis. Much of St. Andrew’s Island is dedicated to Hotel Istra, from which you can walk to the connected island of Maskin.
There, you can take full advantage of the near-private rocky coves or stroll along the paths that weave in and out of the wooded forest.
19. Day Trip to Experience Fairytale Towns in Istria
Hire a rental car and take a day to explore the enchanting fairytale towns in Istria! Many of these towns and villages are just a short drive away from Rovinj and provide a fascinating glimpse into what life was like many years ago on the Istrian peninsula.
20. Visit Venice
Yes, you read that right – you can visit Venice, Italy from Rovinj!
Just a short, 3-hour boat ride will take you to straight from Rovinj to the shores of Venice, Italy. Spend the day sipping coffee on the piazza and getting lost in the maze of bridges and canals that make up this stunning Italian city.
Have you ever been to this Istrian gem? Help a fellow traveler out and share your favorite things to do in Rovinj in the comments below!
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