Croatia

13 Best Things to Do in Rovinj, Croatia

(Last Updated On: 05/02/2023)

Rovinj, Croatia is one of the most pleasant places you can find on the Adriatic coast. The charming town is often in the shadow of the more popular places to visit in Croatia, such as Split, Dubrovnik, or nearby Pula, but nevertheless is worth visiting. I personally liked it the most of all the seaside destinations in the country and if I had a chance to go for the seaside holidays in Croatia, I would most likely visit Rovinj again.

There might not be as many things to do in Rovinj as in other places but that doesn’t mean it’s a boring town. Its charm, beautiful sunsets, delicious food, and picturesque lanes are perfect to spend some relaxing time in, without being too overwhelmed by crowds of tourists.

things to do in rovinj croatia

If you are thinking of visiting Istria (the seaside region in the north of Croatia), be sure to put Rovinj in your Croatia itinerary or even use it as a base to explore the region. That’s what I did recently and I was more than happy with my decision.

After my trip to Rovinj, I put together this small guide with the best things to do in Rovinj, that will help you to get to know this place a bit better too.

Rovinj essentials

things to do in rovinj croatia

How to get to Rovinj

Rovinj, a town of around 15.000 inhabitants, is located in the northwest part of Croatia, in the Istria region not far from the border with Slovenia. Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is 250 km away from Rovinj while other popular destinations in Istria are much closer: Pula is 35 km away, and Rijeka is 90 km away.

Even if Rovinj is a popular destination, getting there by public transport isn’t always easy. Only buses reach the town and even if there are direct connections from Zagreb, Pula, Rovinj, or even abroad (Slovenian coast or Trieste in Italy), there are only a few of them and you need to plan your trip carefully around the schedule.

You can find schedules of buses to/from Rovinj here. Remember to buy your ticket before boarding the bus, either on the bus station or online. In the peak season it’s worth to booking tickets ahead as they might be sold out.

things to do in rovinj croatia

How to get around Rovinj

Fortunately, Rovinj is small enough that you can easily walk everywhere. The bus station is located at the edge of the Old Town (which is mostly pedestrian). The only places to visit in Rovinj that are a bit further away are some of the beaches.

things to do in rovinj croatia

Where to stay in Rovinj

Since Rovinj is a popular destination among tourists, there are plenty of accommodation options for each taste (the majority of them are private apartments though, I stayed in one of those too). I recommend staying within the Old Town, not only you will be close to all the Rovinj attractions but this place is so very charming it’s hard to resist.

You can find the best places to stay in Rovinj here.

things to do in rovinj croatia

Things to do in Rovinj

And now, without any further ado, let’s talk about the best things to do in Rovinj (besides falling for this lovely town, obviously).

Wander around the Old Town

Rovinj has one of the best old towns you can find in Croatia. It might not be packed with attractions and monuments, like in Dubrovnik or Split, but it surely has a charm that is hard to resist. Wandering around without a map is the best way to feel its vibe and enjoy it to the fullest.

You can stumble upon some real gems like small shrines on the walls, picturesque arches above the streets, and laundry hanging around. The maze of winding lanes is perfect for a slow stroll around, just be sure to wander into the backstreets as well as they are often even better than the main lanes.

The best time to get the real feel of Rovinj Old Town is in the morning, before 9 a.m. when there are still not too many people around.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Visit Church of St. Euphemia

Almost every view of Rovinj you can find on postcards and online pictures has a tall church tower in it. That’s the Church of St. Euphemia, the symbol of the town, dating back to the first half of the 18th century. In the past, there were a few other churches standing in this very place, the first one was Saint George’s built around the year 800.

What makes this place important is the Roman sarcophagus (originally from the 6th century) with the relics of Saint Euphemia. The interior isn’t overly impressive but there are some interesting works of art around: Gothic statues from the 15th century or paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

While you are here, for a small fee you can also climb the bell tower, similar to the one of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Even if it’s not too hard to get to the top, it was one of the craziest bell towers to climb as the steps are rather narrow and the space between them is pretty wide which can make you a bit dizzy.

But the view is definitely worth the challenge. From the top, you can admire the beautiful vista of Rovinj’s Old Town and beyond, including the picturesque Istrian landscape.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Walk down the Grisia street

The main pedestrian street in the Old Town is Grisia, stretching between the Church of St. Euphemia and the lower part of the town. This is probably the most charming and picturesque place in Rovinj, with cobbled steps descending on this so-called “artist street”.

The place got its name from the numerous art galleries and street artists displaying their works here. If you are looking for interesting souvenirs from Rovinj, this is also where you can get them.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

See Balbi’s Arch

One of the nicest monuments in Rovinj’s Old Town is Balbi’s Arch, guarding the entrance to Grisia street and standing in the place of the former old town gate. It dates back to the late 17th century and has small carvings on both sides: on one, you will find the head of the Turk, and on the other the head of the Venetian. There’s also the Lion of Saint Mark, the symbol of the Venetian Republic.

When wandering around the Old Town, be sure to stop here for a second to look at the arch and its carvings, it’s a really interesting piece of old architecture.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Shop at Rovinj market

If you are looking for some local produce, including things to take home with you, Rovinj market is the most convenient place for that. Prices might be a bit higher here but this place is located right in the Old Town so if you don’t plan to go anywhere further, this is your best chance to shop for some local goodies.

You can get here honey, truffles, figs, olive oil, lavender, etc – everything locally made and typical for the Istria region.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

See the Partisan Memorial

This Rovinj attraction is a bit different from the others but since it’s located right in the middle of the Old Town why not check it too?

The interesting structure of the Monument to Fallen Fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror commemorates those who suffered during the fascist regime of World War 2. The monument was erected in 1956 and, although rather small, is a good example of spomeniks in the former Yugoslavia.

things to do in rovinj croatia

Enjoy coffee with the view

One of the best places to enjoy coffee in Rovinj is Caffe Bar XL. It is located in the small park right in front of the Church of St. Euphemia, you just need to follow the path next to the church, through the arches to get there.

The place is rather small and serves only drinks (for a really fair price considering the location) but the real reason to come here is the beautiful sea view. This is such a perfect place to relax a bit and enjoy the laid-back holiday atmosphere.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

If you are looking for the best coffee in Rovinj, though, there is another place to check, a bit hidden but worth tracking down. Augusto Coffee Shop is hidden in the archway (literally) in one of the backstreets but when you find it, you are in for a treat! Here is the exact location of this coffee shop but it’s easy to miss so pay attention when walking around.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Try truffles

Istria is known for its truffles, and several kinds of them grow in the region. They were discovered in the forest near Motovun around 80 years ago and ever since they became the star of the local cuisine. There is no better place to try this local delicacy than Rovinj.

You can expect to find some dishes with truffles in basically every restaurant and trying them is definitely one of the things you can’t miss when visiting Rovinj. Some of the best local dishes with truffles are ravioli or any other pasta with truffles cream sauce, they can be also added to the fish or seafood. You can also try locally-produced truffle olive oil which is a nice addition to salads.

The best place to enjoy your truffle dish is in one of the restaurants along the waterfront. Not only you can get a great culinary experience but also admire the stunning view in front of you.

things to do in rovinj croatia

Eat the best pizza in Rovinj

What might be surprising for many, the Croatian coast side has some really good pizza places and Rovinj is no different.

I don’t remember who told me before my trip to Rovinj about Konoba Pizzeria Harlekin but I knew that if I wanted to eat some pizza, this is the place to be. And it definitely was not a disappointment!

This place is small, located in one of the narrow lanes in the Old Town, and you can easily miss it when wandering around. But if you stop by and try their pizza you will quickly understand why Konoba Pizzeria Harlekin deserved a separate point on my list.

The place has only a few tables outside so even if you need to wait a bit, it’s still worth it. Among the pizzas, they serve you can try the one with truffles. The food is not overpriced and the service is really good too.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Watch sunset

Rovinj is known for its beautiful sunsets and even when it’s a bit cloudy, you can still get a glimpse of the amazing spectacle in the sky (that’s what happened to me, I wasn’t lucky with the perfect weather but still could see a nice sunset). If you are lucky, you will be amazed at the glowing scenery in front of you.

Rovinj is simply made for admiring sunsets, you can do it from one of the waterfront restaurants or from the benches that are placed along the harbor. There are even sunset cruises if you want to experience Rovinj from the water perspective.

things to do in rovinj croatia

Go to the St. Catherine Island

Located across the Old Town, St. Catherine island is a perfect and easy getaway from the center of Rovinj. It takes only 5 minutes to get there by boat but you will be welcomed by the green oasis with great views of Rovinj’s Old Town.

Even if the main reason to visit the island is to stay at the hotel located here, non-guest can also come here to wander around the lovely parks and gardens with more than 450 different species of plants and trees. Boats to St. Catherine island depart from the Delfin dock, here is the exact location.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Relax on the beach

No matter how charming and wonderful the Old Town in Rovinj is, for many tourists the main reason to visit Rovinj is to relax at the seaside. There are numerous beaches in and around the town, unfortunately mostly with pebbles or rocks (that’s the downside of this part of the Adriatic coast).

But still, it’s so easy to plan a perfectly relaxing day at the seaside with so many beaches to choose from. Some of them are a bit wilder while others offer numerous facilities such as sun beds or beach bars. Either way, if you are hoping for a nice time at the seaside, you will not be disappointed in Rovinj.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Go on day trips

If you are staying in Rovinj for a few days, you can use the town as a base for some day trips around. There are some great places to visit in Istria that you can easily go to from Rovinj, you might also hop across the border to see the Slovenian coast (which is pretty great too).

Some of the best places you can visit as day trips from Rovinj include Lim Channel (known also as the Croatian fjord), Motovun, Dvigrad castle, or even Pula and Brijuni National Park.

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Final thoughts on visiting Rovinj

Even if there are not all that many things to do in Rovinj, the city is so lovely that spending time there is a real pleasure. I was there in early May so there were not too many people around, which probably made me enjoy it even more. And that’s when I recommend visiting Rovinj, just before or after the peak season.

But I can imagine that even in the summer months it’s a great place, inviting you to wander around or sit down in one of many waterfront restaurants and enjoy its perfect vibe. I don’t think I know a person who didn’t like Rovinj and I’m sure you will easily fall for this place too. Don’t miss it during your next trip to Croatia!

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

things to do in rovinj croatia

Travel Resources

Revolut bank card is the best way to save money when traveling. It’s a pre-paid service that offers very good exchange rates and no fees for ATM’s use. Click here to learn more and order your Revolut card.

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Rovinj

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Croatia here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


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things to do in rovinj croatia


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