WHAT TO DO IN ROVINJ (IN ONE DAY OR LONGER)
Are you planning your Rovinj itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Rovinj in one day? This post is for you as I am sharing my favorite places to visit, along with some important travel tips for first-time visitors to Rovinj.
When I created my Croatia itinerary, it was clear to me that I had to visit Rovinj early on. 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.
IS ROVINJ WORTH VISITING?
Rovinj is a town you should not miss, and here is why: It is a colorful, medieval town with a touch of Italy – right in Croatia.Rovinj is known for several things:
- Of course, the pretty old town is the main tourist attraction.
- Then, there is the 67-kilometer-long shoreline (who wants to take a dip?).
- Some beautiful green parks are great for strolling and hiking!
- And then there are 16 islands, islets, and reefs.
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Best Things to Do in Rovinj in One Day +
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.
Rovinj is quite small and it does not have many attractions in itself. The whole town is a beauty, so don’t worry too much about following a strict Rovinj itinerary. The town was once part of the Venetian Republic (from 1283 to 1797), so you will see and feel the Italian influence (you will also see the Venetian lions here and there as a remnant of this history).
Stroll the Promenade
Depending on 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 immediately.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 cruise boats.
The promenade is 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 will find small shops, many cafes, and restaurants, and sometimes you can look to the side and see the ocean through the alleys.
- Cobblestone alleys have their pitfalls, and the old town is also quite hilly, so make sure to wear comfy shoes.
Explore Ulica Grisia
Ulica (meaning street in Croatian) Grisia is one of the main places to visit in Rovinj. When wandering this 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 St. Euphemia´s Church as well as the bell tower (61 meters high, it looks taller than it actually is, as it stands on a hill). It supposedly offers great views over Rovinj for just a few euros. It was closed during the time of my visit, but I saw pictures from the bell tower. So I think it is worth climbing the 190 + stairs. The view was almost as beautiful as the view from the bell tower in Piran in Slovenia.
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, which still plays an important role today. You can smell it the minute you step onto the promenade.
Also, the many fishing boats and fishermen show this. If you want 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 enough time for hitting the beach.Here are the best beaches in Rovinj. And if you’re not a beach person, it is still nice to look at them. 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, which offer different boat tours. 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. The best place to watch the sunset is from the promenade – ideally on one of the benches in Rovinj Marina or in one of the cafes that line it.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN ROVINJ (2+ DAYS)
If you have more than one day in Rovinj, you can check out the following activities.
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.
Punta Corrente Forest Park
If you want to be more active, head to the Punta Corrente Forest Park for a nice walk, bike ride, or swim. A lot of greenery comes with some beaches – and lovely 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.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE DAY IN ROVINJ
Now, here are some quick essential travel tips for your Rovinj itinerary.
How to Get to Rovinj
By plane: 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).
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).
How to Get Around Rovinj for One Day
You will most likely spend your time, if you only have a day or two in Rovinj, in the city’s old town. 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 a 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).
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 options are hard to find, but most restaurants have pizza and pasta dishes.
Food prices are quite high. 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. If you want to look for more affordable restaurants, check out the ones on the side streets.
Where to Stay in Rovinj
In general, I suggest staying in or near the old town.
- I picked a little B&B near the old town. The prices were good. They allowed dogs (which isn’t always the case in Croatia) and offered free parking. Within a few minutes, I was in the old town. 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 a 10-minute walk from the old town – check out the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
- Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.
More Things to Know
- The best time to visit Rovinj is between late April and September, I assume. I visited at the beginning of April, and it seems that Rovinj was not ready for its visitors yet. Therefore, places were closed and could not be visited – later the year, it should be better. However, July and August can be hot and busy. But I think May and June or September would be the best months to visit Rovinj.
- 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. Even though you could pay in euros, the offered exchange rate is usually quite bad (especially in shops), so I recommend changing some money.
- Heading to Dubrovnik? Make sure to check out my detailed Dubrovnik guide.
- Wondering about the best places to stay 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.
WRAPPING UP – BEST ROVINJ ACTIVITIES
As pretty as Rovinj was, I think, one day in Rovinj was a good amount to spend there. So if you do day trips or want to relax at the beach, 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, but I hope this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Rovinj.