Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Venetians and join us in unwrapping the layers of history.
Throughout its history Pula was both a part of the Roman Empire, the main naval base of Austria-Hungary as well as being under Venetian rule for several centuries. Each empire that ruled over these lands left their mark on the face the town. The jewel in crown that is Istria, often described as Croatian Tuscany, Pula is a must-see destination for any tourist wanting a taste of both modern and old. Coupled with the extraordinary and world renowned Mediterranean cuisine, mild climate and a hustle and bustle of a modern town Pula provides everything you need for your vacation. Navigating the narrow streets of the old town centre, wining and dining in one of the numerous restaurants or just unwinding from everyday stress on the local beaches – the choice is all yours.
Be sure not to miss out on these attractions while in town:
The Roman Amphitheatre
Also know locally as the Arena (the Latin word for sand which once covered the fighting ground) this exquisite example of ancient architecture is unmistakeably the high point of every visit to the old town. If you have heard anything about Pula it is probably that it is the home of the world’s sixth largest Roman amphitheatre. Take a guided tour, grab an audio guide or just walk around and let the history sink in. You won’t be disappointed.
Heart of the Old Town
Just like any other thousand old town on the Mediterranean coast, Pula developed around its ancient core – the old town. In case of Pula, built on seven hills just like Rome, the heart was a hill in the centre of what was to grow into modern Pula. Walking around the old town, inhabited since the Iron Ages, you will get the feeling that every street and every building ooze history and are just waiting to be discovered by you. Passing the old Roman Forum, you can stop for coffee with the ancient Roman Temple Augustus in sight. Circling the hill from the south you will pass under the old Triumphal Arch of the Sergii, stroll past the old town walls to reach the Gate of Hercules, the Twin Gates and Archeological museum. If you are still up for some exploring climb up the the hill around which the town developed, now home to a 17th century Venetian fortress and a museum, and you will get the best view in town.
The Old Market in the Centre of Town
Built by the Austro-Hungarians at the beginning of the 20th century, the splendid example of architecture is home to the green heart of the old town. Early birds will be surprised by the variety of produce there is to choose from. If you are shopping for fruits, vegetables, looking for an authentic souvenir to bring home or just buying some olive oil you won’t be disappointed. The old market offers a little bit of everything for each taste and if you are still feeling hungry, the butcher’s is just across and the fish market offers plenty of fish. Whether you’re buying or just looking around, the old town market is a place not to miss.
Strolling through the town centre in search of culture and history is fine, but it just wouldn’t be summer without the sun and the sea. And, admit it, that’s what you’re here for. Pula can boast with more than 100 kilometres of coastline with crystal clear waters and a selection of different beaches to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you like rocky beaches or the ones with pebbles, Pula’s beaches have something for you.
Festivals and Nightlife
Once the sun sets down and the old town comes back to life after the afternoon siesta, that’s when the party starts. You can choose from a variety of restaurant, bars and clubs downtown or plan your visit to coincide with one of the festival that draw huge crowds every summer. Regardless if your choice is the Pula Film Festival, described by the Guarding newspaper as the most amazing open-air film festival in the world, Pula International Theatre Festival (alternative theatre) or a music festival, Pula will not leave you wanting. Partygoers can choose from the likes of Dimensions Festival (underground electronic music), Outlook festival (bass music and sound system culture), Viva la Pola (Rock music festival) or Seasplash (Reggae music festival).