Pula is the largest city and port on the Istrian peninsula. The architecture of the city is dominated by the style of the times of the Roman Empire and the Venetian Republic - two states under whose rule Pula was for a long time. After exploring the Old Town area, relaxing on local beaches and tasting Istrian cuisine, rent a car and go deep into the peninsula - to the medieval coastal towns that will captivate you with their romantic atmosphere and leisurely rhythm of life.
International airport Pula ( Pula International, Airport then )
IATA code: PUY
Location: 6 km from the center of Pula
Official website: www.airport-pula.hr
Information: +385 52 550 914
Rental companies such as Last Minute Rent a Car, Fleet Rent a Car, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Avis, Uniline, Oryx, Carpe Diem, Vetura, Sixt, Auto Benussi, Will Rent a Car and Uni Rent. The offices of company representatives are located in the arrivals area. There are two parking zones at the airport - for short-term and long-term parking, the first 15 minutes of parking are free.
The Croatian answer is to the Roman Coliseum and the main attraction of Pula, which is still used for mass events: concerts, film screenings and reconstructions of gladiatorial fights. The construction of the amphitheater (I century A.D.) refers to the period when Pula was in the power of the Roman Empire and was considered its important strategic point. In the V century, Emperor Honorius banned gladiatorial fights, so the arena began to be empty, and local residents began to pull away the amphitheater on the stones. At the end of the 14th century, the Senate of Venice (at that time Pula passed to the Republic of Venice) proposed dismantling the structure, but the initiative was rejected. The amphitheater remained dilapidated until, at the beginning of the 19th century, the Austrian architect Pietro Nobile took up its restoration. The Colosseum is well preserved and, according to some tourists, it looks even better,
Carrarina 3 www.ami-pula.hr
The rich collection of the museum gives a complete picture of the history of Istria, starting with the Paleolithic. The permanent exhibition is divided into three sections: the prehistoric period, the Romanesque period and the Middle Ages. The museum’s collection includes ceramics, glass and metal products, jewelry, clothes, paintings, fragments of letters and old books found during excavations. We recommend that you take an audio guide, since historical information when you examine the museum, especially such an extensive one, is simply necessary.
Against the backdrop of modern buildings, the ancient Roman arch Sergius, erected right in the center of the street, looks like a stranger. Its appearance is associated with the genus Sergius, more precisely, with two brothers from this noble family: in the 1st century BC. they won the naval battle, speaking on the side of Octavian Augustus. The arch is a tribute to memory and respect for their courage and success. The plots written on stone blocks refer to the events of that battle: for example, angels fighting with a snake are depicted on one of the plates. The image of this triumphal arch is found on the canvases of many artists, among them the great Michelangelo, whose drawing is stored in a museum in the French city of Lille.
The medieval castle of Castel was built by the Byzantines in the 14th century. In the 17th century, it was rebuilt by the French architect Antoine de Ville, and as a result it was left to the Austrians, who took possession of Pula at the beginning of the 19th century. Now in the spacious halls of the fortress a History Museum has been opened, whose collection covers the period from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. A significant part of the exposition is dedicated to navigation and the history of shipbuilding. The observation platforms of the fortress offer wonderful views of the city and the coast.
After renting a car, go to the small fortress town of Motovun, where everything reminds of the Middle Ages: paved streets that loop like a maze, low houses (maximum 3 floors), churches with pointed belfries and old signs with names written in Gothic fonts. The symbol of the city - a lion with an open book - refers to the Venetian era in the history of Istria. This symbol indicates that the city arose in the year when Venice was at war. Of the attractions of Motovun, the churches of St. Stepan (the view from the bell tower are fantastic), the Madonna de Servi and the Madonna del Porte stand out. And in memory of the city, bring canned truffles and a fish figurine carved from wood - these are the most popular souvenirs.
Another city that should be included in your itinerary is the lively and noisy Porec, which is famous not only for its unique buildings, but also for its variety of bars and clubs. In the afternoon, you can stroll to the Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, watch sharks in the city Aquarium and take a picture of one of the oldest buildings in the city with unusual architecture (a wooden balcony combined with Gothic windows) - Romanichka bunch.
It is worth coming to Novigrad for the whole day, as the city is rich in medieval monuments that need to be examined without haste. Get to know the city from the Old Town. The 16th century town hall, the bell tower with the image of the patron saint of Novigrad - St. Pelagia and the Romanesque church of St. Agatha - are the main historical points where tourists primarily seek. Fortress walls, by the way, will remind you of the architecture of the Moscow Kremlin. Please note that in July and August the entrance to the Old Town is closed to cars.
About an hour's drive in a rented car - and you will find yourself in the picturesque Rovinj, which was called the "little Venice". Miniature multi-colored houses, as if arising directly from the water, and narrow streets where 3 people can barely disperse, give it a resemblance to the famous Italian city. If there is a suitable mood, then look at the city museum, which occupies the palace of Kaliffi, and the baroque church of St. Euthymius - here is a sarcophagus with the relics of the Holy. And if your plans will not include an extensive excursion program, then take a walk along the streets of Bregovite (it was laid in the XVIII century) and Grisia, which was chosen by local artists (inexpensive paintings can be purchased here).
The place of power of Umag is the Church of St. Rock, built in 1514. Its foundation coincided with the end of the plague epidemic; therefore, the church is still perceived as a symbol of salvation from disease and death. In Umag you can sunbathe on one of the local beaches, play a game of tennis (Umag is recognized as an international tennis center) and take a walk along the promenade in the evening, where most locals flock at sunset. There will be no problems with parking for your rental car: the city is equipped with paid and free parking, and most hotels have their own guarded parking lots.
Stoja 23 www.ginapula.com
Gina relies on national color and a homely atmosphere, so instead of bright lamps there is a fireplace and candles on the tables, and the menu has traditional Istrian dishes. Juicy steaks, assorted seafood flavored with lemon juice and herbs, ravioli with delicate crab and fragrant bread baked here in the Gina kitchen - every menu item is commendable. The bar menu features over 60 locally produced wines. If you are not good at choosing wine, then turn to the sommelier, he will choose the right accompaniment for your dish.
Rizzijeva Ulica 47 www.facebook.com/pages/Fish-Food-More/574077432630673
Mecca for seafood lovers. You choose on the counter seafood that, at your request, is cooked, fried or marinated - local chefs are ready to satisfy any gastronomic wishes. Fish and shrimp are brought on long plates and complemented with slices of lime, a bucket of salad or potatoes. One of the main dishes of the institution is pasta with squid and colored shells.
Flanaticka 16 www.kantinapula.com
The interior of Kantina combines old and modern: stone wall contrasts with minimalistic white furniture in the style of Ikea. The menu contains a large assortment of meat and fish, vegetable salads, pasta and soups, especially the chef risotto with shrimps and “manestra” - a thick soup with meat broth with coarsely chopped vegetables. We advise you to stay in Kantina for dessert to try semifredo with almonds.
A family-run restaurant specializing in classic Istrian cuisine. Order seafood platter with a side dish of vegetables or venison with baked potatoes, and for drinks, we advise you to pay attention to homemade wine. The place is popular among locals; at the weekend in the late afternoon there are no free tables, so it is better to book a place in advance.
Cvajner combines a cafe with a good selection of breakfasts, a bar that serves interesting cocktails, and an art gallery with color sculptures and abstract paintings. Cvajner brings together artists, musicians and designers whose efforts this institution has turned into a kind of place for the “chosen ones”. There are several tables on the street, but basically everyone gathers inside - the interior of this art cafe has long gatherings with wine and light snacks.
Pjescana Uvala X / 12a
+385 52 397 910 www.oasi.hr double room - from € 105
Design hotel in the village of Peschanaya Uvala, a few kilometers from Pula. The nearest beach can be reached in 15 minutes, walking along the picturesque nooks and crannies. Golden beige rooms and underfloor heating add coziness and a homely atmosphere. The main restaurant, along with the main menu, offers vegetarian dishes. Paid parking is available at Oasi (reservation is needed).
Pjescana Uvala IX / 20
+385 52 397 400 www.villafeniks.hr double room - from € 99
Guest house 10 minutes walk from the beach. Nice rooms with large balconies overlooking the garden and the sea. It offers - free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, a barbecue area, jet ski, boat and yacht rental and a diet menu on request. If you are traveling with a rented car, you can take advantage of free parking.
+385 52 590 000 www.parkplaza.com double room - from € 98
The hotel is on the first line with a large beach, where all kinds of water activities are presented. Park Plaza has a spa center, which includes a saltwater pool, a Turkish bath, a Finnish sauna, an ice bath (after a spa session, you can warm up while lying on a heated sun lounger), a gym and a beauty salon. The design of the rooms is done in bright colors, there are rooms with balconies and panoramic sea views. Five restaurants and four bars are responsible for the gastronomic part, the best view is from Yacht - it is located right on the beach, so after dinner you can dance in the sand to live music. The hotel has free parking, which will be very useful for guests with rental cars.
+385 52 541 599 www.hotel-scaletta.com double room - from € 84
A small nice hotel near the main attraction of Pula - the ancient amphitheater. Classic-style rooms with an optimal range of amenities, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. In the area there are architectural monuments, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and parking, which Scaletta guests can use for free.
+385 52 383 802 www.hotelgalija.hr double room - from € 64
Three-star family-run hotel in the historic city center. The windows of spacious and comfortable rooms overlook a quiet street, so if you are relaxing with a small child, be sure that his sleep will not be disturbed by extraneous noise. For a fee and with prior arrangement, pets can be accommodated in Galija. A nice bonus for those who rented a car - paid parking is available at the hotel (a place must be reserved in advance).
In case of any problems associated with car rental in Pula, BookingCar will solve them as quickly as possible.
We will be with you 24 hours a day.
All you need is to contact us.
© Ellina Rudenko, 2016