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Where to Stay in Istria Croatia + Best Hotels in Istria

Are you looking for the best place to stay in Istria? You’ve just landed on the ultimate guide on where to stay in Istria!

I first stepped foot in Istria in 2017 and instantly fell head over heels for the region. From the rolling green hills covered in vineyards and olive groves to the spectacularly rugged coastline and colorful seaside towns, Istria is a real life fairytale. Not to mention the fact that this region of Croatia has some of the most delicious food you will ever taste!

Since my first visit, I’ve been coming back to Istria time and time again (and even multiple times per year) because I just can’t get enough. I’ve traversed the entire peninsula, from north to south and east to west, and have stayed in tons of different accommodations along the way.

In this Istria travel guide, I’ll be sharing the best locations to stay in Istria along with my top recommendations for accommodation in each place so that you can get straight to the good stuff.

Where to Stay in Istria – The Best Towns

Here’s a quick breakdown of the best towns and areas to stay in Istria:

Rovinj is a postcard-perfect town situated on a pedestrian-only peninsula where tiny colorful houses are crowded onto the shoreline. It is one of the dreamiest towns in Istria and one of my personal favorites! It’s a wonderful place to stay in Istria if you’re looking for romantic vibes, pretty pebbled beaches, and delicious seafood restaurants.

Motovun is a darling medieval town perched on a hilltop in the middle of the Mirna Valley in central Istria. Motovun is an ideal base for exploring the rest of Istria as it is only a short drive away from much of the region’s most beautiful towns, best restaurants in Istria, and interesting local activities like truffle hunting.

Pula is the largest city in Istria and is a working city, which means that it’s alive with energy year-round. While it may not have the same picturesque charm as Rovinj, Pula is home to some amazing Roman ruins, including one of the most well-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.

Porec is a popular resort town on the west coast of Istria. It’s very popular among European tourists because of the many outdoor activities available in the area including rock climbing, beach volleyball, parasailing, cycling, and a waterpark.

A beautiful view of the hilltop town of Motovun from a vineyard in the Mirna Valley on a sunny, blue sky day in Istria.
Woman sitting on a chair on a terrace overlooking rolling green valleys sipping a cup of coffee.

Best Accommodation in Istria

When it comes to where to stay in Istria, you’ll be spoiled for choice with a spectacular array of accommodations. From seaside resorts and 5 star hotels in Istria Croatia to boutique properties surrounded by olive groves and cozy B&Bs, this list will help you find the perfect spot for your vacation in my favorite region of Croatia.

Where to stay in Rovinj

Best for: Couples, honeymooners, or travelers looking to splurge on a luxurious vacation.

Known for: It’s ultra charming and romantic vibe, top-notch restaurants, and luxury Istria hotels.

See deals: Accommodation in Rovinj

Often considered the most romantic town in Istria, with its pastel-painted houses and narrow cobblestone alleyways, Rovinj is a destination that will sweep you off your feet. The town’s streets are filled with art galleries, artisan workshops, and boutiques selling handcrafted wares, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to bring home unique souvenirs. Near the town is a gorgeous nature park, Golden Cape, or Zlatni Rt in Croatian, covered in fragrant pine trees and flanked with the most pristine pebbled beaches in the area.

Best hotels in Rovinj

Splurge | Grand Park Hotel Rovinj
For an ultra luxurious and intimate experience, Grand Park Hotel Rovinj fit the bill perfectly. This five-star hotel boasts modern, spacious rooms with breathtaking views of the town and harbor, as well as top-notch amenities including a spa, fitness center, and multiple restaurants.

Upper end | Hotel Monte Mulini
Situated in the peaceful Lone Bay, Monte Mulini is an exclusive, adults-only property that oozes with sophistication. Neutral and gold tones create an elegant and calming atmosphere, while the hotel’s private beach and pool offer the perfect spot for relaxation.

Mid range | Boutique Hotel Angelo d’Oro
Formerly a Bishop’s Palace from the 17th century, Boutique Hotel Angelo d’Oro is a Magical and romantic boutique hotel located in the heart of Rovinj. Venetian-style decor, exposed stone walls, and vaulted ceilings make this hotel a unique and charming choice for your stay.

Mid range | Hotel Delfin
Located just a 10-minute stroll away from the center of the Old Town, Hotel Delfin is a sweet boutique property with rooms overlooking the harbor. Stylish design, comfortable beds, and wonderful on-site restaurant make this hotel a memorable place to stay in Rovinj.

Budget | Casa Garzotto
Contemporary with historic accents, Casa Garzotto is a lovely place to call home during your stay in Rovinj. Located in the Old Town, this boutique hotel offers comfortable and large rooms along with a delicious buffet breakfast in the traditional Istrian tavern across the street.

Best apartments and holiday homes in Rovinj

Splurge | Boutique Residence Arion
This boutique property gives you the best of both worlds – it’s close to a beautiful beach and close to the heart of the Old Town. Rooms here are modern and clean with all the amenities you need, while the views from the balconies are breathtaking.

Upper end | Casa Alice
Casa Alice is a family-run accommodation in Rovinj that is situated in a restored, traditional Istrian house. Just a short walk away from the beach, this boutique property also boasts a large terrace and outdoor swimming pool surrounded by olive trees.

Mid range | Royal Apartments
These mid-range apartments in Rovinj are in a fantastic location, right on the main square and just steps away from the harbor. The rooms are brand new and beautifully furnished with chic and modern decor, while the views of the marina from the windows are unbeatable.

Mid range | Royal View
As the name suggests, these apartments truly have a royal view! Each unit here is well-decorated, spacious, and comfortable, and features amazing rooms from the window. The location is perfect for exploring the charming streets and sights of Rovinj.

Budget | Apartments La Scogliera
If you’re on a budget but still want a clean, comfortable and convenient place to stay in Rovinj, Apartments La Scogliera is a great choice. These modern apartments are bright and airy and are only a 10-minute walk to the center of the Old Town.

Historic charm in Rovinj, Istria, with aged multi-story buildings featuring a mix of peeling pastel paints and exposed brickwork, nestled closely together along the edge of calm waters. One vibrant red building stands out among the muted tones, adding a dash of color to the quaint seaside architecture.
A charming view of Rovinj Old Town in spring, with the iconic church tower rising above terracotta-roofed houses, framed by vibrant pink blossoms in the foreground, under a clear blue sky.

🌟 Staying in Rovinj? Don’t miss the best things to do in Rovinj!

Where to stay in Motovun

Best for: Couples or travelers who love nature, tranquility, and are looking for an excellent base to explore the heart of Istria.

Known for: Medieval charm, world-class restaurants, and for being the truffle capital of Istria.

See deals: Accommodation in Motovun

Resting on a 277-meter-high hill in the middle of the Mirna Valley lies Motovun – a historic gem in Croatia known for its annual summer spectacle, the Motovun Film Festival. The town is surrounded by rolling green valleys and truffle-rich forests that produce the region’s most sought after ingredient which flavors the dishes of local eateries. Sunsets here are extra spectacular, making Motovun the perfect retreat after a day of adventure in the region.

Best apartments, holiday homes and hotels in Motovun

Splurge | Winery and Design Hotel Roxanich
If you really want to indulge on your trip to Istria, then you’ll want to book a few nights at Roxanich. This hotel is one of the most unique ones I’ve stayed at – the design is funky and it blends in surprisingly well with the landscapes of central Istria. In addition to the artistically designed rooms, the hotel boasts its very own 4-level winery, where you can enjoy a tour of the facilities and tasting of their award-winning wines.

Mid range | Villa Borgo B&B
I booked this place for my parents when I planned their Istria itinerary for them and they were absolutely in love with this property. The owners are incredibly friendly and welcoming, the rooms are cozy and charming, and the breakfast is homemade using fresh local ingredients. Plus, it’s located in the heart of Motovun with a beautiful terrace overlooking the Mirna Valley from which you can enjoy your morning coffee or take in the evening sunsets.

Mid range | Boutique Hotel Kaštel
An adorable hotel situated on a hill with sweeping views of the surrounding area. The rooms are comfortable and clean, decorated with a traditional touch. The staff is attentive and accommodating, making sure that all guests have a pleasant stay. And of course, the highlight of this hotel is the indoor pool and spa facilities, ideal for a relaxing vacation.

Budget | Guesthouse Villa Marija
Located in a pretty, red, Venetian-style building in the middle of the old town, Guesthouse Villa Marija is a top choice when it comes to budget accommodation in Motovun. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, each with its own private terrace overlooking the valley below. The hosts cook a fresh local breakfast each morning, too, making this place really feel like home away from home.

Budget | Bed & Breakfast Antico
Antico is a darling and historic bed & breakfast with an old-world vibe nestled right next to the Motovun watch tower. The rooms here are sizable and come with all the amenities you might need, including private parking. Guests rave about the hosts, who provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as delicious homemade breakfast served in the cozy garden.

Where to stay in Pula

Best for: Couples, families, or travelers looking for a more budget-friendly vacation and great base for day trips to the surrounding areas.

Known for: The Pula Amphitheater, ancient Roman buildings, and history of shipbuilding.

See deals: Accommodation in Pula

Located at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, Pula is the region’s largest city and business hub. It is known for its long fishing and shipbuilding history, as well as its many ancient Roman ruins, including the famous Pula Arena. It is also home to the 5th busiest airport in Croatia, offering great budget-flight options from many other European countries.

Best hotels in Pula

Splurge | Grand Hotel Brioni Pula, A Radisson Collection Hotel
Hotel Brioni is the best luxury hotel in Pula, offering elegant rooms and suites with sea views, a private beach, outdoor swimming pool, and dreamy terrace overlooking the shimmering Adriatic Sea. This property is situated in a peaceful corner of the Verudela Peninsula and within walking distance to Pula’s best beaches.

Upper end | Park Plaza Arena Pula
Located on the Verudela Peninsula, just a short 15-minute drive from the center of the Old Town, Park Plaza Arena Pula is a great choice for a beachfront escape. The rooms here are modern and clean, and the hotel is footsteps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in Pula – Hawaii Beach.

Mid range | Hotel Scaletta
Just a stone’s throw away from the ancient Pula Arena, Hotel Scaletta is perfectly positioned for exploring the Old Town. The rooms at Hotel Scaletta are clean and spacious with good air conditioning, making it a comfortable stay during the hot summer months. The hotel also offers a delicious breakfast included in the room rate.

Mid range | Centinera Resort
Situated right on Centinera Beach in the quiet village of Banjole, this resort is a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle Pula. The rooms are simple yet comfortable, and many have stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. This hotel is great for families with children as the beach has an inflatable jungle gym for kids to play on.

Budget | Boutique Suites Joyce
Simple and modern, Boutique Suites Joyce is a budget-friendly option in the heart of Pula. The rooms are clean and well-maintained, offering all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. The hotel is located within walking distance to many popular sights, like the Roman Arena, while the Arch of the Sergii is literally within arm’s reach from the balcony of the Deluxe Double Room!

Best apartments and holiday homes in Pula

Splurge | Arena Design Apartments
Cozy and well-designed, this apartment is worth the splurge for a luxurious stay in Pula. In addition to a terrace and fully equipped kitchen, guests can also use the free private parking. Located just steps away from the Roman Arena and the main ferry port, this modern apartment is great for taking day trips from Pula

Upper end | Apartments INCIS
Recently renovated and tastefully decorated with modern furnishings, Apartments INCIS offers a chic and comfortable stay in Pula. The location is exceptional (just a 2-minute walk from most major attractions), the host is super kind, and there is parking in the backyard of the building.

Mid range | Apartments Forum 2
Modern and rustic, these apartments are perfect for anyone looking to experience the charm of Pula. Light and breezy, each apartment is designed with a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, with artistic elements throughout the space. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll have easy access to all the sights and sounds Pula has to offer.

Mid range | Main Square Apartments With Sea View
As the name states, this apartment is right near Pula’s Forum Square, and perfectly positioned for exploring the city. With a gorgeous sea view from the dining area, you can enjoy sunrises over the water each morning. The apartment is spacious and comfortable, with a mix of modern and traditional decor to make you feel right at home.

Budget | LukaDoraJana Pula City Center
This budget apartment is a cozy and stylish place that offers excellent value for money. Located in a quiet area of the Old Town, right next to the police station, you have everything you need for a short stay in the city, including a huge, comfy bed, kitchenette, and parking right across the street.

The Temple of Augustus in Pula, Croatia, with its ancient Roman columns and pediment, stands majestically under a clear blue sky, flanked by modern street lamps and set against the backdrop of pale contemporary buildings.
A serene street scene in Pula, Croatia, showcasing the charming blend of historic architecture and casual urban life, with pedestrians strolling and resting along the paved road flanked by tall green trees and pastel-colored buildings.

🌟 Staying in Pula? Don’t miss the best things to do in Pula!

Where to stay in Poreč

Best for: Families or travelers looking for an active vacation with lots of options for beach-front resorts.

Known for: The UNESCO protected Euphrasian Basilica, beautiful beaches, and outdoor activities.

See deals: Accommodation in Porec

Porec is one of the more popular destinations in Istria among European travelers from bordering countries looking for a relaxing vacation. The town is known for its historic Euphrasian Basilica, which is well-worth visiting and climbing up to the top of its bell tower! In addition to the Roman ruins scattered throughout the town, Porec offers many beaches, a beautiful seaside walking path, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained for days. Think parasailing, beach volleyball, diving, cycling, and even an outdoor waterpark.

Best hotels in Porec

Splurge | Martis Forum Heritage Hotel & Residence
This stunning boutique property is conveniently set in the center of Porec, just steps away from the famous Euphrasian Basilica. The hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with modern amenities, as well as a relaxing outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast each morning before heading out to explore Porec.

Upper end | Hotel Parentium Plava Laguna
For a classic beach vacation where you have everything at your fingertips on the premises of the resort, Hotel Parentium Plava Laguna is the perfect choice. Located right on the beach, this luxurious hotel offers spacious rooms with sea views and all modern amenities. Jump in for a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool, relax in the sauna, indulge in delicious cuisine, and enjoy easy access to water activities and bike rentals during your stay.

Mid range | BO Hotel Palazzo
Situated in a gorgeous historic building right on the waterfront in the Old Town, BO Hotel Palazzo is a charming boutique hotel that offers a unique and intimate stay in Porec. The elegant rooms feature traditional decor with modern touches, and many offer superb views of historic monuments. This is the ideal place to stay for soaking up the atmosphere of Porec while also enjoying top-notch amenities and service.

Mid range | Minella Residence
Minella Residence is a dreamy waterfront villa that has been restored to perfection, offering guests a lovely place to call home in Porec. The tastefully decorated rooms feature elegant interiors with high ceilings and exposed stone walls, while the location of the property is popular for cycling, hiking and snorkeling. Minella Residence is a 15-minute walk along the waterfront to the Old Town.

Budget | Boutique Hotel Melissa
Clean, modern, and quiet, Boutique Hotel Melissa offers a budget-friendly option for those looking to explore Porec. The hotel boasts a prime location, just steps away from the beach and right in the heart of the town center. The rooms and facilities are very comfortable, while the staff are super friendly and accommodating

Best apartments and holiday homes in Porec

Splurge | Maj Luxury Residence
For a luxurious apartment experience, the Maj Luxury Residence is the perfect choice. These 5-star apartments are beautifully decorated and equipped with top of the line amenities including a private terrace, jacuzzi, fully equipped kitchen, and two outdoor swimming pools.

Upper end | Superior Apartment Sincic
This 3-bedroom apartment is an excellent choice for families or groups of up to 6 people. It offers roomy and modern accommodation with all the necessary amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen, balcony with sea views, and free private parking on-site. The location is also ideal, just a short walk from both the beach and the town center.

Mid range | Apartments Urban
Footsteps away from the Old Town, Apartments Urban are clean and have everything you need for a comfortable stay in Porec. Cool decor and your own private terrace make for a relaxing retreat, while the location is unbeatable, with easy access to all the main attractions and restaurants in town. This place is also pet friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the trip!

Mid range | Villa Alena
With an outdoor pool, large terrace, and shared garden with a barbecue area, Villa Alena offers guests a cozy stay just outside of Porec Old Town. The property has modern rooms, perfect for families or groups of friends. Free on-site parking is available, and the friendly hosts will provide you with local tips on how to easily reach the center of the city.

Budget | Studio Apartment Doris
If you plan to use Porec as a base for taking day trips around Istria, Studio Apartment Doris is the perfect budget option. Isolated from the crowds and located north of the Old Town, this cozy studio has all the essentials for a comfortable stay. Plus, with affordable prices, you’ll have more money to spend on exploring the beautiful surrounding areas.

View of the medieval seaside town of Porec Croatia from the water, with the stone tower of the Euphrasian Basilica piercing the blue sky.
Looking through a stone arch inside of the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec Croatia with Byzantine mosaics on the upper walls.

Getting to Istria Croatia

By car: Traveling to Istria by car is one of the best options, and my personal favorite. There are so many beautiful towns to visit in Istria, which unfortunately are not well connected by public transportation. So if you want to explore beyond the main cities, renting a car is highly recommended.

By air: You can reach Istria by flying into the Pula Airport, the region’s only international airport. Located just 6 kilometers from the city center, the airport welcomes flights from several major European cities such as Vienna, Paris, London, and Naples. I like to use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight options.

By boat: If you’re looking to arrive in style, you can also reach Istria by ferry. The port of Pula is connected to Venice, Italy, so you can easily combine two trips into one! Check out my Croatia and Italy itinerary ideas here for some trip inspiration.

By bus: You can reach Istria by taking a coach bus from Zagreb or other major destinations in Croatia. I recommend Flixbus as their buses are newer, clean, have wifi onboard, and typically offer the most direct routes.

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    Final Thoughts On Where to Stay in Istria Croatia

    There you have it! Now you know all of the best places to stay in Istria, Croatia.

    Whether you choose Rovinj, Motovun, Pula, or Porec, you’ll have an unforgettable experience during your time in Istria.

    Before you go, be sure to check out my 7 day Istria itinerary so that you don’t miss out on the best spots!

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