Rovinj, Croatia: 7 Memorable Things You Need to See and Do

After Dubrovnik, Pula, and Rijeka, I thought I had Croatian coastal cities and towns somewhat figured out.


When stepping into a new waterfront city or town, I’d expect to find beige stone homes, red-tiled roofs, and a medieval landmark or two (or ten) commanding the steep cliffs of the Adriatic coast. (Croatian coastal cities and towns are gorgeous indeed).

And then, one hot August afternoon, I wandered into Rovinj…

Yes, Rovinij is also by the Adriatic Sea, and yes, it is undeniably stunning. But no Croatian town or city I had been to before had prepared me for this Istrian gem. You see, after a whole lot of beige and muted tones, Rovinj’s vibrant, technicolour city streets took me by surprise.

Without a doubt, Rovinj stands out. And after spending a couple of hours in the Croatian city, it was pretty clear that the city was made to stand out in more ways than through its wonderfully rainbow homes.

So if you’re planning a trip to Croatia, here are 7 reasons why you need to visit Rovinj. 


Visit Rovinj, Croatia

Planning a trip to #Croatia? Here are 7 reasons why you need to visit #Rovinj, #Istria: Click To Tweet

1. Rovinj Old Town

If you’ve ever wanted to put your maze skills to the test in the finest of environments, Rovinj’s Old Town is the place to go. The city’s narrow and winding Old Town streets make up one vibrant labyrinth that can take hours to explore.

Around every corner, there’s a new assortment of stunning buildings to see, and the tall houses are an excellent source of shade on a hot summer day.

Rovinj, Croatia Old Town

A fork in the road…with no way of knowing which path will lead you deeper into the old city and which one will take you out. 

Rovinj, Croatia Old Town

Technicolour city streets. 

Rovinj, Croatia Old Town

Rovinj, Croatia Old Town

2. Rovinj Harbour

Rovinj’s harbour is an active fishing port, so it’s quite an exciting and bustling place to visit. With a waterfront promenade a fair distance away from the city’s buildings, the harbour is also the perfect place to catch some Vitamin D, enjoy the sea breeze, and experience a panoramic view of Rovinj’s vibrant homes.

Rovinj, Croatia Harbour

Fishing boats all docked in the harbour at the end of a busy day. 

Town Clock in Rovinj, Croatia

The city square, Trg Marsala Tita, opens up into the harbour. 

3. Church of St. Euphemia and Tower

Want to experience the ultimate panoramic view of Rovinj? Head on up to the Church of St. Euphemia, which is located on a hilltop in the Rovinj’s old town. For 2 Euros, you can climb up the church’s bell tower to catch the best bird’s-eye view of the city.

Bird's-Eye View Rovinj, Croatia

Breathtaking panoramic views from the church’s tower. 

Best View of Rovinj, Croatia

Tip: make sure to wear a pair of sturdy shoes as this church’s bell tower has some of the most rickety stairs I’ve come across in years (though these stairs definitely add to the tower’s charm).

READ MORE: 8 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Piran, Slovenia

4. Venetian Architecture in Croatia

Once in a while, you may come across someone calling Rovinj “Little Venice.” Now, you won’t find any canals in the Croatian city, but you should know that for over 500 years, Rovinj (a.k.a. Rovigno) was once part of the Republic of Venice. Today, you can still find Venetian structures throughout the city.

Check out the photos below:

The Church of St. Euphemia and Tower

The Church of St. Euphemia’s bell tower (pictured just behind the church) was built when the city was under Venetian Rule, and like St. George’s Church bell tower in Piran, St. Euphemia’s bell tower resembles St. Mark’s bell tower in Venice.

Balbi's Arch, Rovinj, Croatia

Balbi’s Arch

Balbi’s Arch  was one of the main entrances into the city in the late 17th Century. It features the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol for the Republic of Venice, up at the top.

History, magnificent architecture, incredible views, great food - #Rovinj #Croatia has it all! Find out more today: Click To Tweet

5. The Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic Sea happens to be a very swimmable sea, and Rovinj happens to be right by it. If you make your way west and out of the harbour, you’ll eventually find an abundance of stairways leading you down and straight into the sea. Taking a dip in those turquoise waters is pretty hard to resist on a hot summer day.

Rovinj, Croatia Waterfront

A popular swimming area right in the heart of the city. 

Even if you’re not much of a swimmer, you can’t deny that the Adriatic Sea around the city only enhances the area’s beauty.

6. Countless Waterfront Restaurants, Bars, and Cafés

When in Rovinj, you don’t have swim in the Adriatic to enjoy the Sea. You can simply pick one of the city’s many waterfront restaurants, bars, or cafés to bask in the summer sun and the water’s turquoise hues.

You can keep it casual or luxe it up with some Moët & Chandon.

Rovinj, Croatia Waterfront

A laid back waterfront space serviced by a nearby restaurant/café… 

Rovinj, Croatia Waterfront Lounge

…followed by the most glamourous waterfront lounge. EVER.

7. Fresh and Tasty Delicacies and Treats

With Rovinj’s active fishing port, visitors can indulge on only the freshest seafood when in the city.

And if frutti di mare aren’t your cup of tea, an over abundance of gelaterias await.

Gelato in Rovinj, Croatia

Even though Stracciatella seems to be my “go-to” gelato flavour (when mango is unavailable), I was intrigued by Hello Kitty.

I originally visited Rovinj for an afternoon and evening when spending a few days in Pula, Croatia. During the handful of hours I spent in Rovinj, I was blown away by the city. The history, architecture, scenery, and local cuisine make Rovinj nothing short of a perfect vacation destination. And if you do happen to have some time on your hands, don’t make the same mistake as me: devote more than an afternoon and evening to Rovinj. It will be 110% worth it.

Want to explore more of Istria? Check out: 

Have you been to Rovinj? Would you like to go? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

Happy Travelling

One Comment

  1. Again with that mango gelato lie hahahahahahahahaha 😀 😀 😀
    It does’t exist!!! 😛

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