Best Things to Do in Rovinj in One Day
When I created my Croatia itinerary, it was clear to me from early on that I had to visit Rovinj. I have a thing for colorful coastal towns and it seemed that Rovinj would be a perfect example of that.
Located in the northwest of Croatia, on the Istrian coast below the Lim Fjord, it is a perfect place to visit towards the end or beginning of your Croatia trip. No matter where you are coming from or where you are going to later in Croatia, don’t skip Rovinj – this is a town you should not miss, and here is why!
So, if you are planning your Rovinj itinerary and want to find out about what to do in Rovinj, the best things to do in Rovinj (in one day), and its best attractions you have found the perfect post as you´ll get all the answers here plus more Rovinj travel tips.
Rovinj is known for several things. Of course, there is the pretty old town that is the main tourist attraction and also the best place to stay. Then, there is the 67-kilometer-long shoreline (who wants to take a dip?). There are some beautiful green parks that are great for strolling and hikes, and then there are 16 islands, islets, and reefs.
So, staying one or two days in Rovinj (or even longer) sounds like a great idea, right?
ROVINJ TRAVEL TIP
How to Get to Rovinj
By car: I arrived by car – getting here in the shoulder season is quite easy. There is some paid parking near the old town (if you book your hotel, check out my tip about free parking).
Rovinj does not have an airport -to get there by plane, you will need to either get to
a) Pula airport – 40 minutes drive
b) Venice in Italy – 3 hours drive (there is also a boat ferry during peak season that connects Venice to Rovinj)
c) Zagreb – 3 hours drive (here is my Zagreb travel guide).
How to Get Around Rovinj
You will most likely spend your time, if you only have a day or two in Rovinj, in the old town of the city, and from there, you can walk to many tourist attractions.
However, once in a while, you might jump on a boat to see the other places near Rovinj. But other than that, you will most likely not need a bus or your car. You can also get a bike (your accommodation might rent some) and get around that way (this is also great if you head to the forest).
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Where to Eat in Rovinj
There are many restaurants and bars in Rovinj, mostly along the promenade. Seafood and meat dishes are extremely popular, and vegetarian dishes are hard to find, but most restaurants have pizza and some pasta dishes.
Prices for food are quite expensive. Not Switzerland-expensive, but similar to prices in Italy (if you don’t compare it to the main tourist hotspots). The food wasn’t bad though (except for once when I got partly raw fries), and if you want to look for more affordable restaurants, check out the ones on the side streets (because you are mostly paying for the view).
Where to Stay in Rovinj
I picked a little B&B near the old town. Prices were good, they allowed dogs (which isn’t always the case here in Croatia), and offered free parking. Within a few minutes, I was in the old town and I was very happy with my choice. However, there are not many rooms, so book early or check out one of the many other options, as there are many places to stay. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at – Rooms Barbieri.
For a more luxurious stay – just 10 minutes from the old town – check out the rates at Grand Park Hotel Rovinj.
Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.
In general, I suggest staying in or near the old town.
More Things to Know
Many restaurants don’t accept credit cards – or have a minimum amount to spend. So, definitely have some cash on you.
The currency is not the euro, but the Croatian Kuna – and while you could pay in euros, the exchange rate is quite bad (especially in shops) and I cannot recommend it, so change some money.
The Best Things to Do in Rovinj, Croatia
Okay, let’s get started with the best things to do in Rovinj – named one of the most beautiful coastal towns by Travel and Leisure Magazine a few years ago.
Let’s talk about what made me love this little gem and about the best Rovinj attractions and sights. This is not a typical 1-day Rovinj itinerary, as you will spend most of your time just strolling and exploring without having to stress out about too many “must-see places.“ Rovingj is quite small and it does not have many attractions in itself, but the whole town is a beauty, so don’t worry too much about following a strict Rovinj itinerary.
Rovinj was once part of the Venetian Republic (from 1283 to 1797), so you will see and feel the Italian influence. It feels like a bit of Italy in Croatia (you’ll also see the Venetian lions here and there as a remnant of this history).
Stroll the Promenade
Depending on the place of your accommodation, the first thing you will head to is the gorgeous promenade of Rovinj. Walking along this pretty place will surely make you fall in love with the town within minutes.
On the one side, you have the colorful and vibrant buildings (with the church that dominates the “skyline“), and on the other side, you have the Adriatic Sea with all its little fishing boats and bigger boats for cruises.
A perfect place to start your day in Rovinj. Also, I recommend strolling the promenade all the way before walking into the old town and exploring the streets of Rovinj.
Discover the Old Town
Rovinj is gorgeous – everywhere you turn, you will be charmed by its cobblestone alleys and colorful buildings. Then, you have small shops, many cafes, and restaurants, and sometimes you can look to the side and see the ocean through the alleys.
Make sure to wear comfy shoes – cobblestone alleys have their pitfalls, and it is also quite hilly, so keep this in mind.
Explore Ulica Grisia
Ulica (street, in Croatian) Grisia is one of the main places to visit in Rovinj. When wandering the street, you will find many little galleries and quaint shops.
I almost missed the street, but went back and forth to find it – and it was worth it. So, this is one of the very few must-see places in Rovinj.
Climb the Bell Tower of Church St. Euphemia
The Venetian Baroque Church is the main landmark of the city. Built in 1736, it stands on a hill in the middle of the peninsula, overlooking the rest of Rovinj.
The tomb of the teenager Euphemia is behind the altar. According to local legends, she was arrested and tortured for refusing to give up Christianity. Eventually, she was sentenced to death – her remains are preserved in a sarcophagus here in this church.
You can visit the church as well as the bell tower – the bell tower (61 meters high, it looks taller than it actually is, as it stands on a hill) supposedly offers great views over Rovinj for a few euros. It was closed during the time of my visit (spring 2019), but will probably reopen in summer 2019.
See the Town Clock
At the time of my visit, the town clock was being restored, so I could not see it in its full glory. However, located at the main square of Rovinj, it was originally built in the 15th century and is quite a sight.
Keep an eye out and sneak a peek as it appears to have a pinkish color…
Spy on the Fishermen
Rovinj has a long history of fishing and it still plays an important role today – you can smell it the minute you step onto the promenade.
You can also see it by the many fishing boats and fishermen – to see the fishermen come here early in the morning when they leave or later in the day when they come back from a day on the water.
Chill and Rest at the Beach
I am not much of a beach person. But if you are, and if you visit Croatia in the summer, you should plan in enough time for hitting the beach.
And if you’re not a beach person, it is still nice to have a look at what the beaches are like. It might get busy in the warmer months, so head there early or later in the day.
Go on a Boat Cruise
There are several boat operators and they offer different boat tours. The one I did the shorter boat cruise that lasted only about an hour, and what is special about this boat trip is the fantastic views of the town that I got.
It does not matter where you go along the promenade – this view you can only get from a boat.
You will also see a bit of the surrounding (and if you sit on a glass boat, you can even watch the underwater world through a glass floor). If you want to do a longer boat cruise – which gives you the chance to swim and watch the sunset from the boat – check out this tour.
Watch the Sunset
The sunsets look amazing in Rovinj. Sit on the promenade, ideally on one of the benches in Rovinj Marina or in one of the cafes that line it, to watch the sunset.
More Things to Do in Rovinj
North of Rovinj, you will find the Lim Bay, also known as the Lim Fjord. I initially had planned to go on a boat tour and visit this apparently stunning place, but the boat tour lasts about one day, which was too long for me at that time.
However, if you want to visit the Lim Canal – Lim Fjord is part of the 35-km-long Lim Valley; the Fiord itself is a little bit longer than 10 km, is 30 meters deep, and its widest part is around 600 meters wide – then you can book a boat trip tour to see it.
If you want to do a trip to the Lim Canal, you can check out boat tours here.
Punta Corrente Forest Park
If you want to be more active, then head to the Punta Corrente Forest Park for a nice walk, bike ride, or swim. A lot of greenery comes with some beaches – and nice views of Rovinj.
How to Get There: It takes a bit of walking, but after 20-25 minutes from the old town, you will get to this peaceful place and can enjoy the other side of Rovinj.
While the beautiful town of Rovinj is not extremely rich in typical sights, it has become one of the best places in Croatia on my itinerary. It is a beautiful town that can be full of tourists in the warmer months but is still well worth a visit.
As pretty as Rovinj was, I think, one day was a good amount to spend there – if you do day trips, or just want to relax then you can spend more time in Rovinj. If you are ready to see more of Croatia´s beauty, make sure to head to one of the pretty places afterward (more about those places in a few days on my blog)!
Heading to Dubrovnik? Then check out my detailed Dubrovnik guide.
Wondering about the best places to visit in Croatia? Then my Croatia itinerary can help you plan your Croatia trip.
One of my favorite places in Croatia? Trogir – find out more here.
Visiting Split? Then head to my Split itinerary.