10 Best Things to do in Rovinj, Croatia 10 Best Things to do in Rovinj, Croatia

10 Best Things to do in Rovinj, Croatia

Discover Rovinj: the jewel of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula and one of the country’s prettiest cities! Often skipped in favor of more popular destinations like Hvar or Split, Rovinj shouldn’t be missed on your Croatia itinerary — home to romantic streets, a charming harbor, and brightly painted houses reminiscent of Italian coastal towns. Whether it’s exploring the bustling markets with delicious local produce, meandering among elegant boutiques in the Old Town, or simply relaxing on the beach with a cocktail in hand, there are plenty of things to do in Rovinj!

Things to do in Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj, pronounced “Ro-veen”, is a buzzing fishing port at the head of the Adriatic Sea. With both the harbor and the tightly nestled houses of the Old Town to explore, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants. Plus, those looking for relaxation have endless cliffside beaches and paradise turquoise swim spots – just a stone’s throw away from lively cafe terraces.

things to do in Rovinj croatia walking in old town croatia

1. Explore Rovinj Old Town

The old town is the beating heart of Rovinj, situated on the headland that juts out into the Adriatic Sea. This beautiful spot is home to picturesque houses—painted in bright colors—that tightly line the cobblestone streets meandering down to the water. Most of these buildings have been transformed into Ateliers (artist’s studios); it’s a paradise for art lovers!

things to do in Rovinj old town

Wander the pedestrian walkways, exploring small alleyways that lead to tucked-away restaurants and charming bars, or peruse the many boutique shops. These streets feel very similar to some of Italy’s most famous coastal destinations, like Cinque Terre or Amalfi.

things to do in Rovinj croatia square old town restaurant

Tip: Go to location 1 and location 2 to get a perfect photo of the picturesque Old Town. Be sure to take care when walking through the alleys, though, as it can be very slippery – especially in flip-flops. High heels are definitely not recommended!

rovivnj croatia viewpoint

An Evening at the Waterside

After an afternoon of exploring, one of the best things to do in Rovinj is to head down to the pier for sunset. Follow this with a stroll along Rovinj Promenade and a visit to one of the cocktail bars lining the harbor! 

things to do in Rovinj croatia drinks at waterside

Note: Half a day is a good amount of time for exploring the Old Town and its quaint streets. Because of this, you could visit Rivinj on a day trip. However, we recommend staying in Rovinj overnight and using it to explore nearby cities like Pula and Porec.

things to do in Rovinj shopping

2. Grisia Street and Balbi’s Arch

Grisia Street is the most famous in the city and top thing to do in Rovinj! Situated in the Old Town, it leads all the way to the stunning  Church of St. Euphemia.

things to do in Rovinj croatia Balbi's Arch

To get to the street, you’ll pass through the intricately carved Balbi’s Arch, which marks the entrance to the oldest part of the city. Once you’ve emerged out the other side, you’ll find yourself in a colorfully painted street buzzing with boutiques, bars, and restaurants. This is easily one of the prettiest parts of Rovinj, so be sure to have your camera ready for photos!

Rovinj croatia street
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10 Best Things to do in Rovinj, Croatia

Did you know? Because of the large number of galleries, studios, and art exhibitions, Grisia is known as the ‘Artist Street’. This is also because it is the location for the famous fine arts event that is held annually. During this time, artists exhibit their work from all over Croatia and Europe. You’ll find displays of paintings, as well as handmade jewelry, ceramics, indigenous Istrian souvenirs, and artistic performances.

things to do in Rovinj Grisia street Croatia

3. Swim at Plaža Balota

Plaza Balota is a stunning swimming spot just off the Old Town and one of the best things to do in Rovinj. It’s not your typical city beach; instead, there are big rocks to sunbathe, and you can enter the crystal blue water from ladders. It feels authentically Croatian, with no daybeds or beach bars, just locals enjoying summer fun: playing music, eating picnics, and jumping off the cliffs.

things to do in Rovinj Croatia Plaza Balota

As it’s so close to town, it can get very busy during the day, with locals, visitors, and families filling up the rocks with their colorful towels and beach paraphernalia. Because of this, we recommend arriving early if you want to get a good spot!

4. Church of St. Euphemia

For some of the best views in Rovinj, visit the Church of St. Euphemia (known as St. Fuma by the locals). This imposing baroque hilltop church can be seen from most areas in Rovinj and is an icon of the city. Plus, the bell tower provides panoramic vistas across the turquoise sea and colorful houses of the town.

Church of St. Euphemia things to do in Rovinj Croatia

Although the front of the church isn’t very detailed, the inside is beautiful, with yellow-toned walls and wonderful frescoes. It’s free to enter, but if you want the ultimate view, then climb the 200 steps to the top of the 60-meter-high church tower (4 EUR). You won’t be disappointed by the incredible scenery up here — one of the top things to do in Rovinj!

Tip: The stairs to the top are a little worn and creaky (it’s not a climb for the faint of heart!).

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5. Rovinj Market

This buzzing market in Rovinj, Croatia, is where locals come to do their shopping, perusing the vendors for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as many artisanal products such as liqueur and honey. If it is a souvenir you are after, there is plenty to choose from, too!

things to do in Rovinj Croatia market

The market is located in the center of the town, so you can easily take a break from shopping in one of the many cafes nearby. Here is the exact location.

Tip: While this market is idyllic, it is on the pricey side! However, the products are high-quality and made locally.

6. Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape)

Just a 10-minute drive from Rovinj’s buzzing streets, discover the remote oasis of Zlatni Rt. Nestled in this verdant nature reserve are the pebbly shores of Zlatni Rt Beach, also known as ‘Golden Cap’. The stones make for crystal-clear water that’s perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Tip: For a unique way to explore Zlatni Rt, rent a bike from Rovinj Center. You can enjoy a leisurely cycle along the forest park’s paths, stopping for a dip and a refreshing drink along the way.

7. Visit Kamenjak National Park and Pula for the Day

Rovinj is the perfect place to base yourself to explore the fantastic surrounding countryside and cities in Istria. Two of the best day trips from the city are:


Start the day with a visit to the historic city of Pula (just 20 minutes from Rovinj), home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Croatia! 

things to do in Rovinj Pula amphitheatre

The Pula Arena is the most iconic landmark of the city, also known as the Pula Amphitheater, and is one of the 6th largest surviving amphitheaters in the world. In days gone by, many gladiator fights would have taken place here, overlooked by up to 26,000 spectators. These days, it has a more tranquil use, mainly used as a location for concerts and film festivals. 

things to do in Rovinj Pula theatre facade

After a morning exploring the Amphitheater and other historical sites like Forum Square, head for the beautiful beaches near the city — a city break and beach visit all rolled into one! 

Tip: A hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus runs during the summer months.  It has an audio tour in many different languages and stops at the main sights in town.

Pula Croatia things to do in Rovinj

Kamenjak National Park

For nature lovers with plenty of energy, the Kamenjak National Park is a must-do! Not far from Rovinj, Croatia, this beautiful nature reserve is located in a protected area of Southern Istria.

kamenjak national park things to do

Kamenjak is packed full of outdoor activities, making it ideal for those who want to get active while exploring the natural beauty of the area. Enjoy the network of hiking trails, windsurf off the headland, snorkel in the turquoise sea, or kayak among the sea caves. Kamenjak National Park is one of the best things to do in Rovinj! 

croatia kamenjak national park cliff jump things to do in Rovinj

Tip: For the real adrenaline-seekers, there’s even the option for cliff-diving. Alternatively, just watch the locals make the thrilling jump while you enjoy the relaxing shores of the beach. 

8. Explore the Village of Bale

The fascinating village of Bale may be tiny, but it makes up for it in character! It’s one of the best villages we visited in Croatia and is particularly nice to walk around in the late afternoon or early evening as the sun goes down.

best things to do rovinj croatia visit bale village

We recommend reserving a table at Restaurant La Grisa for dinner, with a wonderful outdoor terrace overlooking the valley and pretty village rooftops — bliss! After dinner, there is a great jazz cafe nearby called Kamene Priče, which sits at the center of the Old Town. Give it a try; we loved it!

bale village istria croatia

9. Day trip to Venice

Rovinj in Istria is located close to Venice. A day trip from Rovinj to Venice gives you the opportunity to discover iconic landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica, go on a gondola ride through the charming canals, and experience the city’s delicious cuisine.

Rovinj to Venice Ferry

The Rovinj to Venice ferry service allows you to enjoy a full day in Venice and return to Rovinj the same day. You can also opt to stay overnight and explore the streets of Venice in the morning, which is usually a quieter time to visit Venice.

10. Grotta Baredine Cave

One of the best things to do in Rovinj is to take a trip to Grotta Baredine, an unforgettable cave that lies 60 meters underground. As you walk down into the cave, the temperature drops and the colors of the stone intensify as you emerge into a whole new underground world! 

things to do in Rovinj Grotto Baredine Cave

Join a cave tour that takes you into 5 different chambers, each of which is home to thousands of stalactite and stalagmite formations. There’s even an underground lake! You’ll first need to pay your entrance fee (11 EUR) before you’re assigned a group where they offer different languages.

The tour takes 40 minutes and is the perfect thing to do at the hottest time of the day. If you have to wait for your tour to start, there is a small restaurant where you can buy drinks and food.

Tip: We recommend wearing suitable footwear to explore the Grotto Baredine, as the paths into the cave can be slippery.

Our Favorite Restaurants and Cafes

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in beautiful Rovinj. Tucked away in the alleyways of the Old Town are many charming restaurants, cafes, and bars, each with its own unique charm and taste. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Pizzaria Stari grad
  • Mediterraneo (cocktails)
  • Segutra
  • Augusto (coffee)
  • Tunaholic fish bar
  • Piazzetta bar
  • Santa Croce
  • LAB
  • Limbo (cocktails)
  • Rovinj Mali Raj
Find all locations in our Google MapsFind in our Google Maps

Tip: Get a cheap breakfast at the Mlinar bakery before a day of exploring in Rovinj, Croatia!

things to do in Rovinj croatia restaurant

Where to Stay in Rovinj

As Rovinj is such a small town, all accommodation is well-located; you’ll always be within walking distance of the Old Town and beach. The Old Town is a particularly scenic spot and offers a wide range of accommodations, from charming apartments to boutique hotels and B&Bs. Please bear in mind that it can be noisy, as it’s home to many bars and restaurants. We stayed in this hotel.

Tip: Most of the Old Town is pedestrianized, so you’ll need to park away from your accommodation. Alternatively, if you stay further out, you will find the bigger hotels, large tourist resorts, and campsites. These are more suitable options if you are traveling by car and want to park close by.

How Many Days in Rovinj

Depending on your travel plans and how much you want to explore, you could easily spend a few days in and around the town of Rovinj, Croatia. Alternatively, stay for up to a week to visit locations nearby, such as Bale and Kamenjak National Park

How to Visit Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj lies just 30 km north of Pula and 266 km away from Venice, making it a popular destination for many Europeans. It is the perfect summer getaway and most definitely worth a visit.

things to do in Rovinj Village of Babel Croatia

By Air

The closest airport to Rovinj, Croatia, is Pula (PUY), which is 45 minutes by car.  However, Venice has many more flights and is just 4 hours away by bus (Flixbus operates 4 x a week). There are also many internal flights in Croatia if you are hopping around the main cities.

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flights croatia

By Car

If you want to be independent and not rely on public transport, then hiring a car is your best option. There are plenty of things to do outside of the town of Rovinj, Croatia, and a car gives you more flexibility on your Croatia itinerary.

By Bus

Croatia has an excellent bus and ferry network; buses are frequent, reliable, and affordable. If you’re flying into Pula, the bus journey takes around 40 minutes. If you’re flying into Venice, the journey time is approximately 4 hours by bus.

authentic street istria croatia

By Ferry

The ferries in Croatia are one of the best options for getting around on your trip. If you fly into Venice, you can pick up a high-speed ferry and be in Rovinj in just three hours. Ferries on this route only run in the high season, with 1-2 daily journeys. It’s not cheap at around 79 EUR, but it’s a great way to start your vacation.

croatia ferry

Getting Around Rovinj, Croatia

The only way to get around this pretty town is on foot because Rovinj’s Old Town is on a car-free peninsula. The town is small, and the streets are narrow, so it is very easy to walk through them and explore. If you choose to take a walking tour, this takes just 1.5 hours.

If you are planning to visit some nearby sites and beaches, then having your own transportation is a good idea. However, there are also good local buses and ferries to explore the Istrian coast.

jewellery shop croatia

How Much Does Rovinj Cost?

Croatia is growing in popularity all the time, and it’s easy to see why when you get there! While it was once really good value, it is steadily becoming more expensive. Like all places in Europe, you will see higher prices in the peak summer months, although there are always budget-friendly options.

Costs of Traveling in Rovinj

Travel on a budget in Rovinj, from $420 − $450 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1020 − $2050 USD, and high-end from $1860 − $2790 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rovinj, Croatia, is during the shoulder seasons (April to June and September to October). The weather is warm at this time, and temperatures stay around 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for sightseeing and sunbathing!


Tip: Every June, the famous annual Summer Salsa festival is held in Rovinj, Croatia. It is here that the modern history of salsa began, and the festival is full of open-air dancing, workshops, shows, and live concerts — not to be missed on your Croatia itinerary!

13/02/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/croatia/rovinj-croatia/
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