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215 215 9814

Pula Travel Guide: Notes for Exploring Pula

June 19, 2024 11 min read.

Pula is a wonderful tourist destination thanks to its fabulous historical heritage and its natural beauty. In this Pula travel guide you will find the necessary information to plan your vacation in this beautiful destination in Croatia.

Pula Overview

Dare to make your trip to Pula and discover the wonders of this Croatian treasure.

Pula is a city located on the coast of Croatia, specifically on the Istrian peninsula. It is known to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country due to its rich history and beautiful natural landscapes.

Dating back more than 3,000 years, Pula boasts an impressive cultural heritage. One of its main attractions is the Roman amphitheater, known as the Pula Colosseum. This historic structure, built in the 1st century AD, is one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world and offers a fascinating glimpse into Roman times.

In addition to the Colosseum, Pula is home to other historical sites such as the Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Augustus. These archaeological sites bear witness to the Roman influence on the city and provide a unique experience for visitors interested in ancient history.

The city also has a stunning coastline and beaches with crystal clear waters. Kamenjak Nature Park, located near Pula, is a natural paradise with impressive cliffs, coves and sea caves. Nature lovers can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and exploring marine life.

Pula Coliseum

Pula Coliseum

Picture of Nathanael Lim on Unsplash

Location of Pula

Below, we show you where Pula is located:

Map of Pula on Google Maps

Sites of Interest in Pula

Pula is a destination that brings together history, culture and beautiful landscapes, which makes it a must stop on your trip to Croatia. Below we will tell you about some of the most outstanding sites in the city so that you do not miss a thing during your adventure.

Pula Amphitheater

Also known as the Pula Coliseum, it is a well-preserved Roman amphitheater and one of the main attractions of the city. Built in the 1st century AD, it offers a fascinating insight into ancient Rome and hosts cultural events and concerts today.

Arch of the Sergios

This triumphal arch, built in the 1st century BC, is an impressive Roman monument in the center of the city. It is a testament to Pula's glorious past and a must-stop for history buffs.

Temple of Augustus

Located in the heart of Pula, this ancient Roman temple was built in honor of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Although only parts of the original building remain, it remains an impressive example of Roman architecture.

Pula Fortress

Perched on a hill above the city, the Pula Fortress offers a panoramic view of Pula and its port. This ancient fortress was built by the Venetians in the 17th century and is an interesting place to explore and learn more about the region's military history.

Forum Square

The heart of the city, Forum Square, is a lively and vibrant place where locals and tourists come together. Here you will find a mixture of Roman and Venetian architecture, as well as cafes, restaurants and shops to enjoy.

Istrian Museum of Contemporary Art

If you are an art lover, this museum is a must. It exhibits a collection of Croatian and international contemporary art and regularly organizes temporary exhibitions.

Kamenjak Nature Park

Located near Pula, this impressive nature park offers beautiful beaches, steep cliffs, crystal clear waters and walking paths. It is an ideal place for lovers of nature and outdoor activities.

Beaches of Pula 

Pula offers several beautiful and picturesque beaches along its coastline. Here are some of the most popular beaches in Pula:

  1. Verudela Beach: Located on the Verudela peninsula, this beach has crystal clear waters and a wide range of facilities, including bars, restaurants and water activities. There are also areas with umbrellas and sun loungers for rent.
  2. Valkane Beach: Located near the center of Pula, this pebble beach offers plenty of space to relax and sunbathe. There are free beach areas and also areas equipped with umbrellas and deckchairs for rent. The beach has bars and restaurants nearby.
  3. Ambrela Beach: Located on the Verudela peninsula, this pebble beach is known for its natural beauty and crystal clear waters. It is a quiet and relaxing beach, ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. It also has basic facilities and services.
  4. Havajsko Beach: This pebble beach is located in Verudela Bay and offers a quiet location and panoramic views of the sea. It is a less crowded beach and is perfect for those looking for a more relaxed environment. There is a beach bar to enjoy refreshing drinks.
  5. Stoja Beach: Located on the Stoja peninsula, this beach offers a combination of pebble areas and rocky platforms for sunbathing and swimming. It is a quieter and less crowded beach, ideal for those who prefer tranquility and privacy.

Beach of Pula

Beach of Pula

Picture of Alen Rojnic on Unsplash

Eating in Pula

Pula's gastronomy is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean influences and local traditions. With its coastal location, the city offers a wide variety of tasty dishes that highlight fresh produce from the Adriatic Sea and ingredients from the Istrian region.

Seafood lovers will enjoy a wide variety of dishes, such as the famous grilled calamari and fresh prawns. These shellfish are prepared in different ways, either grilled, baked or in traditional dishes such as "buzara", which is a seafood stew with white wine, olive oil, garlic and aromatic herbs.

The black truffle is another culinary treasure from the Istrian region and is used in many typical Pula dishes. From truffle pasta to truffle meat dishes, this aromatic and flavorful ingredient adds a distinctive flavor to local cuisine. You can also find truffle-flavored olive oils, which are popular in the region.

Local sausages and cheeses are an important part of Pula's gastronomy. Istrian prosciutto, an air-cured ham with exceptional flavor, is a star dish served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to numerous dishes. Sheep's cheeses are also highly prized, and visitors can try different varieties, such as the famous Pag sheep's cheese.

Pula's cuisine is also enriched by traditional Croatian dishes, such as "ćevapi", which are small grilled meat sausages, and "pasticada", a slow-cooked meat stew served with potato gnocchi.

To complete the dining experience in Pula, you can taste the local Istrian wines. The region is known for its wine production, and visitors can enjoy wine tastings and discover varieties such as Malvasia, a dry and aromatic white wine, and Teran, a strong and robust red.

Black truffle

Black truffle

Picture of Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

The Cultural Identity of Pula 

The culture of Pula is a fascinating fusion of historical influences and local traditions rooted in the Istrian region.

With more than 3,000 years of history, the city is home to numerous vestiges of the ancient Roman civilization. Roman architecture is intertwined with Venetian and Austro-Hungarian elements, creating a unique urban landscape.

In addition to its architectural heritage, Pula has a lively cultural scene. The city hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, from classical and jazz concerts to contemporary art exhibitions.

The Pula Film Festival, one of the oldest film events in Europe, attracts filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world.

Traditional music and dance play an important role in the cultural life of Pula. Visitors can enjoy folkloric shows in colorful costumes and live traditional music, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region.

In turn, Pula is also known for its hospitality and the warmth of its people. The locals take pride in their identity and traditions, and this is reflected in the way they welcome visitors and share their culture.

How to Get to Pula

To get to Pula there are several transport options depending on your place of departure:

  1. By plane: Pula Airport (PUY) is the most convenient option if you want to fly directly into the city. Several airlines offer regular flights from different European cities. From the airport, you can take a bus, taxi or rent a car to get to the center of Pula, which is approximately 7 km away.
  2. By train: Pula does not have its own train station, so the closest option is to reach the Pazin train station, which is about 30 km away. From there, you can take a bus that will take you to Pula.
  3. By bus: Pula is well connected by bus with several cities in Croatia and neighboring countries. There are regular bus services connecting Pula with Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and other major cities. Pula's bus station is located close to the city center, making it easy to get to your final destination.
  4. By car: If you prefer to drive, you can reach Pula via the road network. The A9 motorway connects Pula with the rest of Croatia. You can also reach the city by back roads if you are exploring the Istria region.

How to Get Around in Pula?

There are several alternatives to get around Pula:

  1. On Foot: Pula is a compact city, and many of the tourist attractions are centrally located, making walking a convenient and enjoyable way to explore the city. You can stroll through the historic streets, visit the sights and enjoy the local atmosphere.
  2. Bus: Pula has a public transport system that covers the city and its surroundings. Local buses are a cheap and convenient option for getting around the city. You can check the schedules and routes at the bus stops or on the website of the public transport operator in Pula.
  3. Taxi: Taxis are another option for getting around Pula, especially if you want more comfort or are in a hurry. You can find taxi ranks in strategic places in the city or request one through mobile transport applications.
  4. Bike Rental: Pula is a cyclist-friendly city, and renting a bike can be a fun way to explore your surroundings and take in the scenery. There are several bike rental shops in the city that offer different types of bikes to suit your needs.
  5. Rental car: If you prefer more freedom and flexibility to explore the Istria region, you can choose to rent a car. There are several car rental companies in Pula, and you can find offices at the airport and in the city center. However, please note that parking may be limited in some areas of the city center.

When to Visit Pula

The best time to visit Pula in Croatia is during the spring and summer months, from May to September. During these months, the weather is warm and sunny, allowing you to fully enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.

In spring, especially in May and June, the temperature begins to rise, with sunny and pleasant days. It's an ideal time to explore the city without the tourist crowds and enjoy the beaches before they get crowded.

Summer is the peak season in Pula, with higher temperatures and a vibrant atmosphere. July and August are the busiest months, as many people choose to visit the beaches and enjoy the season's festivities. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance if you plan to visit during these months.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds, you can consider visiting Pula in the off-season, such as May, June, or September. You will still be able to enjoy a pleasant and warm climate, but with fewer tourists and more affordable accommodation rates.

Destinations Near Pula

Pula is an excellent destination to recharge your batteries thanks to its incredible natural beauty and fabulous cultural heritage.

In turn, due to its proximity to Zagreb and Rovinj, many travelers combine their visit to Pula with these destinations, so you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking to see the most wonderful landscapes? Do you want to know a fascinating culture? Do you want to enjoy a great gastronomic offer?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Pula, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our Pula travel guide and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

What is the best way to get to Pula from the airport?

You can take a taxi or use the public transport service to get to the city center from the airport.

Are there affordable accommodation options in Pula?

Yes, Pula offers a variety of affordable accommodation, from budget hotels to hostels and apartments.

Is it safe to walk the streets of Pula at night?

Pula is generally safe, but it is advisable to take the usual precautions and keep an eye on your belongings when walking around the city at night.

What are some popular things to do in Pula besides visiting the historical sites?

You can explore the local markets, enjoy boat trips to the nearby islands, or visit the city's museums.

What festivals or events take place in Pula during the summer?

Pula hosts various music, theater and film festivals during the summer months. Check the events calendar for up-to-date information.

Where can I find tourist information in Pula?

You can visit the Pula Tourist Office, located in the city center, for maps, brochures and tourist assistance.

What are some options for day trips from Pula?

You can consider visiting the Brijuni National Park, Rovinj or the city of Pazin, which are just a short drive from Pula.

Is it possible to rent bikes in Pula to explore the city and its surroundings?

Yes, there are bike rental services available in Pula, allowing you to enjoy a ride in and around the city.

Is a tip required in restaurants in Pula?

While not required, it is common to tip at restaurants in Pula. A 10% tip is standard practice.

Is there any specific dress code when visiting the historical sites in Pula?

There is no strict dress code, but it is recommended to dress respectfully and comfortably when visiting places such as churches or historical sites.

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