Pula to Rovinj: The Ultimate Guide to a Day Trip from Pula

Looking for all the information you need for a day trip from Pula to Rovinj? Or just how to get to Rovinj? Or, maybe, you’re struggling to find up-to-date information in one place? I know I was when I was planning my time in Croatia.

So here, I’ll cover how to get to Rovinj and the best places to visit when you’re there. And as an added bonus I’ve even let you in on my recommendation for the best ice cream in the whole city!

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a qualifying purchase.

View of the Adriatic Sea and southern Rovinj from the Bell Tower. The orange roofs of the town can be seen in the foreground and a small island sits in the middle of the sea in the centre of the photo.

How far is it from Pula to Rovinj?

The distance from Pula to Rovinj (bus station to bus station) is about 35 km. Travelling this distance by car or bus takes about 40 minutes through the peaceful Istrian countryside.

How do I get to Rovinj from Pula? And to Pula from Rovinj?

You have three options: bus, taxi, or car hire. Rovinj doesn’t have a train station, so that isn’t an option. And there aren’t any ferries.

Bus from Pula to Rovinj and Rovinj to Pula

Several companies offer this Pula-Rovinj & Rovinj-Pula bus route. And prices vary slightly between bus companies.

Buses run approximately once an hour in each direction. But occasionally there’s a 2-hour gap, so always check before you head to the bus station to avoid waiting around. Typically, the journey takes between 35 and 45 minutes and all services are direct.

Tickets can be purchased either in person at the bus station or online.

You can pay by card at Pula Bus Station but you’ll need cash to buy a ticket from Rovinj Bus Station. There are a couple of ATMs nearby but it’s best to come prepared with cash to avoid any unexpected fees and last minute rushing.

Or – if you prefer to book more in advance – you can buy your tickets online and then just turn up at the right time. I find sites like Busbud useful for this as they compare the services, times and prices from different operators – all simply displayed and in English.

Make sure to buy tickets from Pula Bus Station (Autobusni Kolodvor Pula) to Rovinj Bus Station (Autobusni Kolodvor Rovinj).

And if you’re booking in person, it’s a good idea to book your return bus a couple of hours before you want to catch it. Especially in peak season as seats do sell out.

You can also purchase two singles rather than a return to give you the most flexibility over your return departure time.

The beautiful old town of Rovinj with brightly coloured buildings and the church and bell tower rising out the top. Boats in the marina are in the foreground. A great photo spot if you're visiting from Pula to Rovinj


Ubers are the cheapest taxis in Pula, followed by local-equivalent Cammeo. Getting between Rovinj and Pula in an Uber one-way costs around 50 EUR without any surge pricing.

However, Uber only operate in Pula and not Rovinj. So you won’t be able to find an available Uber for the return journey and you’ll need to use a taxi or public transport.

Given the cost, Uber may be best if you’re staying outside of Pula or far from the bus station. Additionally, taxis may be the best if you need to get to/from Rovinj very early or late in the day.

Car hire

I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car just to visit Rovinj as public transport is cheap and easy. But, if you already have a car (or are hiring one for multiple days) then this’ll be a good use of it.

Given the relatively short and straight-line drive between the two towns, the cost of fuel won’t be that much. However, parking in the centre of Rovinj might be a bit of a challenge.

Rovinj does have a few car parks – mostly located on the northern side – but these do get full in peak season. So make sure you arrive early.

Prices vary but generally for parking, you’ll pay 2 EUR per hour in high season and 1 EUR per hour in low season. This makes it an affordable option if you’re in Rovinj on a day trip from Pula but less so if you’re staying overnight.

Other Options

Unfortunately, there isn’t a Pula to Rovinj ferry. Nor is there a train that runs between the two.

And if you’re wanting to travel straight from Pula Airport to Rovinj, the only option is a taxi. To get the bus to Rovinj, you’ll need to head into Pula first.

Rovinj looking a lot like Venice with tall buidlings and the sea going right up to the walls of buildings. The bell tower rises up behind the houses on the waters edge.

What is there to do in Rovinj, Croatia?

The Old Town of Rovinj is fairly small but nevertheless filled with plenty of things to see and do. This list isn’t meant to cover everything in Rovinj. But instead enough to fit in during a day trip to Rovinj.

All of the places listed below are pinned on a map at the end of the section.

RELATED POST: Looking for things to do in Pula including other day trips? Read this guide on the 49 top things to do in Pula.

Rovinj viewpoint

The viewpoint on the northern side of the Rovinj Old Town offers one of the most famous backdrops in Rovinj (pictured). Plus, it’s only a 7-minute walk from Rovinj bus station, so it’s the perfect place to start your explorations.

From this viewpoint, you can see the tall, narrow buildings as they drop into the sea. And the famous bell tower rises up behind from the top of the hill that makes up the old town of Rovinj. All of this makes for a very picture-perfect scene!

You can walk right along the path next to the sea here, and there are plenty of stalls for boat tours and other trips for Rovinj. Additionally, there’s also a fairly small market where can look around for souvenirs or snacks

Steps are going down to a shop entrance, which sits between two tall buildings. The sea is directly behind the bottom of the stairs. At the centre of the photo two women are sat talking

Narrow streets and boutique shops

To feel like you’ve hopped across to Venice, take a slow walk through the narrow streets of Rovinj’s old town.

These pedestrian streets are flanked by tall Venetian-style buildings. The type that opens straight onto the street and has wooden window shutters that open outwards.

And whilst many of these buildings are full of apartments. Many have shops or cafés on the street level that’ll allow you to soak in the vibe of Rovinj.

Zoe stood on top of an abandoned bunker looking out over the dark blue sea. Zoe is wearing a light blue and white dress with flip flops.

The bunker

The disused bunker on Rovinj’s northwestern tip is a great spot for panoramic views looking out over the Adriatic Sea. Plus, you can also swim in the sea here in a specially cordoned area.

Sadly, there isn’t a sandy beach. But the rocks are fairly flat in places for sunbathing and drop nicely into the sea for paddling.

Have lunch overlooking the marina

Unsurprisingly, Rovinj has plenty of restaurants to choose from and many of these specialise in Italian and/or seafood. Given the close proximity to both.

The marina is surrounded by restaurants on all three sides to suit a range of budgets and tastes. And since many of the restaurants display their menu outside it’s easy to browse the options available.

I ate at Copacabana on the northern side of the marina, and – oh gosh – the spaghetti carbonara was to die for! 10/10 would recommend!

Overall, I did find the prices were slightly higher than in Pula. But they were generally what I’d expect for marina-side, town centre restaurants.

A bird's eye view of Rovinj looking south-east from the bell tower, the best views for your day trip from Pula to Rovinj. Orange roofs, the marina and hills in the distance can all be seen

Church of St Euphemia and its famous bell tower

The Church of St Euphemia was built back in 1736 and is still open for services and prayers today.

Sat at the top of the hill on the old town peninsula, there’s also a bell tower offering a bird’s eye view of all of Rovinj. As such, it’s the icing on the cake of any trip to Rovinj.

However… this was both my favourite and least favourite experience during my whole time in Rovinj!

To reach the top of the bell tower you have to climb 192 of the most uneven and unsteady wooden steps I have ever seen. And I was wearing flip-flops – aka the least secure footwear in the history of footwear!

Having abandoned my flip-flops and faced the rickety steps, the view at the top was even sweeter! After the 192 steps, there’s just a small ladder to climb out onto the platform where you’ll have the best views of Rovinj, Istria and the Adriatic Sea.

I could have spent hours admiring the view (and putting off descending 192 steps)! And, if you’re at the top on the hour you’ll also get to be deafened by the bells ringing out just a few feet above your head!

Given the entrance fee of just 4 EUR for the bell tower (cash only), this is one of the best value attractions in Rovinj. The bell tower is open from 10 am to 8 pm. The church itself is free to enter.

Take a dip in the sea just a stone’s throw from the old town at Plaža Balota

Although you can swim in the sea at The Bunker, the shore at Plaža Balota is a great all-around choice.

With stairs going down to both the rocky shore and into the sea, the access is very straightforward. Plus, the rocks and man-made shore areas are much flatter for comfier sitting and sunbathing.

This spot is also a great place to watch the sunset as it sits on Rovinj’s western edge.

Zoe looking out of the bell tower, the tall and narrow buildings of Rovinj can be seen between the pillars of the bell tower. Zoe is wearing a light blue and white dress with sunglasses, looking away from the camera.

Relax on the beach

Mulini Beach is just a short walk outside of Rovinj’s old town. And is a good option to escape the town for a few hours.

Whilst you can swim in the sea in Rovinj’s old town, Mulini Beach has much better facilities.

Here, there’s showers, sun loungers and parasols, along with lifeguards looking over the sea. There are steps going down into the sea and the water’s fairly shallow.

Slight further along the shore there’s also a pebble beach for more direct access into the sea.

The Rovinj tourist attractions in the old town can easily be seen in a few hours. So, an afternoon at the beach relaxing, tanning and swimming is a great option.

And, if you’re travelling with someone that wants more chill than explore then this is a great compromise for your itinerary!

Enjoy Rovinj’s best ice cream at Gelataria Italia

I read this as a recommendation on the bus on the morning that I visited Rovinj. Instantly I added it to my must-visit list and it didn’t disappoint!

This little ice cream shop is just 150 metres from Rovinj bus station. So it’s a good place to end your time in the town.

Owned by an Italian family, Gelataria Italia offers a huge number of ice cream flavours as well as desserts and coffees. Just be warned, you can only pay with cash. Come prepared to avoid running around trying to find a cash machine 5 minutes before your bus from Rovinj to Pula leaves like I was!

Is Rovinj, Croatia worth visiting?

Absolutely! Rovinj, much like Pula, has something for everyone – food, drink, history, and beaches. A day trip to Rovinj is the perfect amount of time to see the town.

But consider extending this to an overnight trip if you have time to enjoy the sunset and evening culture. This day trip was one of the highlights of my time in Croatia, so I’d highly recommend Rovinj to everyone.

RELATED POST: Still wondering whether Pula is worth visiting? Check out this post on 9 reasons to visit Pula and Istria.

How long to spend in Rovinj during a day trip from Pula?

I’d recommend no less than 4 hours to explore the old town and not be rushing around. And more if you want to have lunch and visit the beach.

I spent 6 hours in Rovinj, which was long enough to see the main attractions, have lunch, relax at the beach and get back to the bus on time.

But, you could easily spend a full day or even two days if you wanted to explore Rovinj outside of the old town.

Is Rovinj expensive?

I found that food in restaurants was slightly more expensive than in Pula.

Overall, food in Pula is slightly cheaper than comparable restaurants in the UK. Whereas, Rovinj was more similar to UK prices. However, the restaurants in Rovinj are mostly right on the seafront so have great views.

Other than that, the only other things I paid for in Rovinj were: the bell tower entrance fee, Gelataria Italia ice cream, and snacks/drinks from the supermarket. All of which were similarly priced to Pula.

How do you pronounce Rovinj?

RO-VEEN. And yes, I had spent several days saying rov-inj (with a heavy J), which is absolutely not correct.

The square in the centre of Rovinj. There is a large open space iwth a statue in the middle, surrounded by buildings that are orange, yellow and beige.

So now you’re all ready to experience Rovinj! How to get there, places to visit in Rovinj, where to eat in Rovinj, and even the best ice cream in Rovinj.

And even though getting from Pula to Rovinj takes just 40 minutes, it has a totally different atmosphere. So, it’s absolutely worth visiting if you’re in Istria!

If you have any questions or want any more information drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Prices and information are correct to the best of my knowledge as of July 2023 but can always change.


Looking for more inspiration for things to do in Pula?

21 thoughts on “Pula to Rovinj: The Ultimate Guide to a Day Trip from Pula”

  1. This is such great info! I have always wanted to go to Croatia and can’t wait for the borders to open to visit … I will definitely stop here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You had me at best ice cream in all of Rovinj!! I prefer ice cream over gelato but who am I to complain about the amazing gelato at GELATARIA ITALIA! I love the view from the top of the bell tower at St. Euphemia too! What a great way to see the whole seaside town! Sign me up for a dip in the water too if it isnt too freezing!

  3. I love carbonara, ice cream, and ocean views. Also views from bell towers. I always climb them when I find them. I haven’t gotten to Croatia yet, but will add this town when I do visit.

  4. Rovinj sounds like a lovely day trip. Between the beaches, wandering the town, enjoying the local cuisine and exploring the history, it really has it all. I’d prefer to find somewhere quaint to stay the night if I could, just to enjoy the night lights and experience both the day and night aspects while I was there.

  5. The bell tower of St Euphemia reminded me of the Campanile in Venice… Or I would have placed it in Istanbul… These mediterranean towns have such a homely and quaint feel, I would love to wander in the narrow streets for a day or so.

    1. Zoe @ zoegoesplaces

      I totally agree, there’s something quite homely about the intimacy of the town, the narrow streets and small doorways/shops!

  6. This makes me a little sad as I had this exact destination planned for April. 3 weeks in Croatia, with Pula and Rovinj included in my itinerary. I hope to rebook this trip. I love the info you shared and have pinned for future reference. Especially the tip of going up the bell tower to get that amazing view of the city.

    1. Zoe @ zoegoesplaces

      Aww, gutted for you! It is a real gem of a place and hopefully you will get to visit in the not too distance future!

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