Rovinj is one of the many beautiful towns on the Istrian Coast of Croatia, and it’s also our favourite. From Rovinj beaches to beautiful Rovinj Old Town to restaurants perched on rocks near the sea, it’s a special place to explore. So to help you plan your trip, here’s our Rovinj travel guide so you can enjoy the best things to do in Rovinj, best places to eat in Rovinj, best Rovinj hotels and everything you need to know before you go to Rovinj. We also have a printable Rovinj travel guide at the end of this post.
Rovinj Travel Guide Croatia
Things To Do In Rovinj Croatia
Where To Eat In Rovinj
Rovinj Travel Essentials | Getting There | Getting Around | Day Trips | When To Go | How Long To Go For | Tips
Rovinj Travel Guide Video
Rovinj Croatia Map
Here is our Rovinj Croatia Map, with Rovinj restaurants and landmarks pinpointed so you can easily find your way around. We also have a printable Rovinj travel guide at the end of this post with the map and summary of this Rovinj blog post so you can easily save it to your phone or print it out to take with you.
Things To Do In Rovinj
For us, visiting Rovinj isn’t about ticking off a list of things to do. It’s about relaxing and enjoying the simple things, which is pretty easy to do here.
Walking through the little cobblestone streets of Rovinj Old Town never gets old. Rovinj (Rovigno) was once part of the Venetian Republic (1283 – 1797), and you can definitely see and feel this today in the beautiful small streets, the architecture and even the colours of the buildings. Interestingly, Rovinj Old Town was actually an island until it was connected to the mainland in 1763.
The Church of St. Euphemia is located on a hilltop of Rovinj Old Town and has stunning views from either in front of the church or from the Campanile (church tower). This church is a baroque church and is home to St. Euphemia’s sarcophagus. You can read more about the legend of St. Euphemia here. The Campanile was built by the Venetians which is why it resembles the one in St. Marks, Venice.
Other places of interest in the Old Town include the Town Clock located in the main square, Balbi’s Arch which was once the main town gate during Venetian times and you can still see the Venetian symbol of the lion above the gate today. Grisia Street is a popular street to explore and is lined with small art galleries and other local items, but honestly, every street is worth exploring, especially those with fewer people on them.
Rovinj Green Market is a great place to go for fresh fruit and vegetables and they also have a seafood market inside. Come here for a deliciously healthy snack or stock up on food to cook with if you’re staying in an Airbnb or apartment. It’s located not too far from Trg Maršala Tita (Rovinj’s main square) and the port, near the Valdibora Parking. Rovinj Green Market is open every day for most of the day but we loved visiting in the morning.
At Rovinj Marina, you can see the local fisherman bring in their catch, watch the boats come and go, and also get stunning views back of Rovinj Old Town. It’s another great place to watch the sunset in Rovinj.
You might be wondering does Rovinj have a beach? Well, yes it has a few beaches and places to swim, but they’re not your typical big white sandy beaches. In Rovinj Old Town you have Monte Beach (also known as Balota Beach), which is a stunning rocky area with beautiful water and some ladders to hop in and go for a swim. It’s a nice place to sit and watch the sunset too. And just outside of the Old Town there are also some small pebble beaches with clear water to swim in. Swimming at Rovinj beaches or off the rocks in the Old Town is always a nice addition to the day.
One of our favourite things to do in Rovinj is to walk around a beautiful forest area with many pine trees, Lone Pine Park (pronounced Lon-e). It’s a beautiful way to spend the evening. Our hosts referred to it as Lone Pine, but it seems to go by quite a few names, including Golden Cape, Park Forest Zlatni Rt and Punta Corrente, but we have put it on our Rovinj map so you know exactly where to go. It’s here surrounding the park you will find beautiful little pebble beaches with clear water to swim in. Our favourite places to swim here are the beaches facing the Old Town. Some of the little beaches have a few umbrellas and a place to buy drinks and snacks, some are just little spots you can have all to yourself.
In the surrounds of Rovinj, if you have a car or are happy to explore with taxi or public transport, or take a tour, there are also many opportunities to visit wineries and olive farms and learn about olive oil production. One of the popular things to do in Rovinj is to go on a boat trip to Lim Fjord (channel) and have a fish picnic. You can also visit some of the surrounding small islands such as Red Island (also known as Crveni Otok which is actually made up of two islands, St. Andrew Island and Maškin island), Sveta Katarina (Santa Caterina) and further away, Brijuni Island National Park.
There are also some great festivals in Rovinj. We were there during St. Euphemia Day and the Rovinj Wine Festival which had local wines, olive oil tastings, local food and a nice atmosphere with everyone out and about.
Rovinj is also a great base to explore the rest of Istria, like Porec, Motovun, Grozjnan and Pula. You can do this by yourself if you have a car, you can also visit some of these places with local buses, or you can do a day tour of Istria. We personally did a day tour of Istria and it was a fantastic way to see more of Istria and have a local guide too. We did this with Krug Travel and couldn’t recommend them enough.
Where To Eat In Rovinj
One thing you will notice in Rovinj is the Italian influence on the food, with a mix of Croatian and Italian dishes available. Some popular dishes to try here include Istrian Fuži pasta, truffles, olive oil, wine and seafood. Another thing to note is that not all Rovinj restaurants are open all year, some are only open during the peak tourist season.
For a nice casual restaurant, we enjoyed having truffle pasta and grilled calamari at La Vela, a restaurant which is open all year round in Rovinj Old Town. Here there is a great range of seafood options, pasta and other dishes. We loved the nice outdoor terrace with red and white checkered tablecloths and the service was friendly.
Pizzeria da Sergio is a popular pizzeria in Rovinj. We loved the thin and crispy pizza here and the ambience of the restaurant.
If you are after a restaurant that is right by the sea, La Puntulina is a great option. It has many seafood dishes, amongst other things. Chris enjoyed his octopus dish and I, yet again, couldn’t go past the truffle pasta. It is great for a special occasion, to enjoy eating right by the sea, but keep in mind it is more expensive than the previous restaurants mentioned.
Although we did not experience it ourselves, Rovinj is also home to restaurant Monte which has a Michelin Star.
If you’re after a drink with a view, you can’t go past Mediterraneo Bar, sitting on the rocks just by the water’s edge.
If you’re looking for a place to get an espresso, sitting outside in the main square at Kavana Al Ponte is a nice place to take in your surrounds.
And for something sweet, we loved the gelato from Gelateria Italia.
If you’re looking for a delicious burek in Rovinj we loved the ones from Pekara Panificio (Pekara Dan i Noc on Google), especially when they were hot out of the oven. They also had really friendly service.
The Best Rovinj Hotels
Here are our picks for the best Rovinj Hotels…
There are also some great options for Airbnb in Rovinj. Click here for $50 credit towards your first stay.
Rovinj Travel Essentials
How to get to Rovinj? You can reach Rovinj a number of different ways depending on where you start your journey. You can easily reach Rovinj from Venice, Piran, Zagreb and many more places. There are multiple ways to reach Rovinj, include ferry, bus, shuttle services and more. We go into each option on how to get to Rovinj in detail, from multiple different locations in our ‘How To Get To Rovinj‘ article.
If you’re looking for flights to Rovinj, the nearest International Airports would be Pula (Croatia), Zagreb (Croatia), Venice (Italy) and Milan (Italy).
How To Get Around Rovinj
You can easily get around Rovinj by walking, or you can choose to hire a bicycle or electric bicycle too. To get to other places on the Istrian Coast, the two easiest ways to get around are by hiring a car or going on a day tour. If you hire a car the closest parking to Rovinj Old Town is Valdibora Parking. You can also get a local bus to some towns. You can check bus timetables at Arriva and Get By Bus.
When To Go To Rovinj?
So when is the best time to visit Rovinj? Rovinj seems to have a pretty defined tourist season from April to October, and visiting outside of this may mean that some shops, restaurants and tours are closed. We were there in the second half of September which was an amazing time to be in Rovinj. The weather was beautiful, water was perfect for swimming, and as the month came to the end the crowds were fewer. Autumn and Early winter is also truffle season in Istria. I think May and June would also be a great time to visit Rovinj, with slightly fewer crowds and still mild to warm weather.
Rovinj can get really busy during July and August and these are also the hottest months. There will be less availability and prices will be higher during this time, but if you do come at this time, it will, of course, be a great time for swimming.
So in our opinion, the best time to visit Rovinj is May, June, September and October.
Getting Out | Day Trips from Rovinj
As mentioned, Rovinj is our favourite destination on the Istrian Coast, but there are also so many other amazing places to visit in Istria. We loved visiting Motovun and Grožjnan, two stunning hilltop villages, and Poreč, another coastal city. We visited these three places as part of a day tour with Krug Travel, as we decided not to hire a car but still wanted to see more of Istria and get the local knowledge of a guide. It was such a fantastic day, our guide was great and really knowledgeable about each area.
Pula is well known for Pula Arena and some nice beaches in the area. Other places you can visit include Hum, Umag, Novigrad, Medulin, Vrsar, Vodnjan, Rabac, Fažana, Bale, Buzet, Labin, Pazin, the list of possibilities goes on and on.
Although you could technically do a day trip to Venice, I think your time in Rovinj is better spent exploring Istria, and if you want to include Venice, spend a couple of nights there before or after Rovinj.
How Long To Stay In Rovinj?
How many days should you stay in Rovinj? Rovinj isn’t that big, but the beauty of visiting Rovinj is spending time taking it all in. We would recommend a minimum of 2 nights in Rovinj if you want to see the main sights in Rovinj. If you want to relax more and see more places in Istria, then we would recommend at least 5 – 7 nights in Rovinj.
Our Rovinj Travel Tips
If you have the time, spend a week in Rovinj so you can enjoy Rovinj and have time to explore the beautiful Istrian Coast. Visiting Rovinj would work great in an Itinerary with other destinations like Piran (Slovenia), Venice (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia). Download or print off our Rovinj Travel Guide below to help you plan your trip to Rovinj Croatia.
A Printable Rovinj Travel Guide
Get your free printable guide to Rovinj with map here.
Let us know if you have any questions about our Rovinj Travel Guide in the comments below…
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