20+ Amazing Things to Do in Pula, Croatia
Pula is a coastal city located at the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula. It is the largest city in the region and home to Roman ruins and gorgeous beaches. We spent 3 weeks in Pula, experiencing everything we could and learning about the city.
There is so much to do in Pula and it is often overlooked by nearby cities. Don’t skip out on Pula and miss the amazing things there are to do here.
In this post we list a TON of things to do in Pula, for historians, nature lovers, and families. In case you aren’t in the mood to dive deep yet, check out the list below and then pin this post to save for later!
Planning a trip to Pula? Check out our Everything Guide to Pula, Croatia
Top 5 Must Dos in Pula
- Visit the Pula Arena (You can’t miss it)
- Relax at Cape Kamenjak
- See the Arch of Sergii, Forum, and Temple of Augustus
- Visit the Museum of Olive Oil (and do a tasting!)
- Take a boat tour or rent a kayak to explore the rocky coast!
Take in the History of Pula
Pula is filled with historical sites ranging from Roman times to their much more recent history. Our first recommendation to introduce yourself to the history of Pula is to take a tour, then dive deeper on your own!
Take a Tour
We took a tour with Fat Cat Free Walking Tour and really liked the amount of information our guide provided. Take the free walking tour with them or check out other options offered in Pula such as:
Pula was once part of the Roman Empire and still, today holds much of this history. The most famous site and reason to visit Pula is the Pula Arena.The Pula Arena is the most intact Roman monument that exists today.You can walk around the outside of the arena or enter it for a fee. The Arena also holds concerts and events so be sure to check the calendar when planning your visit.
Cost: To enter the Arena for 70 kuna (or roughly $10.50 USD) per person
Free Sites: Outside of the Pula Arena, Temple of Augustus in the Forum, Roman Mosaic
Tip for finding the mosaic: If using Google Maps, you may get confused as it seems like it is inside a building in the old town. However, it is actually behind the buildings and you can access it by walking behind the buildings and through a parking lot. Don’t miss it like we almost did!
In Pula, you will also find influences of the Venetian Empire. The Pula “Kaštel” is a fort built under Venetian rule and many artifacts can be found in Pula museums today.
Cost: Free to walk around the fort but to enter the museum it is 20 Kuna or $3 USD
There are so many cool sites to explore here, some more adventurous than others. We visited 6 of the rumored 26 abandoned forts from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Found across the many peninsulas, forts from the times of the Austrian-Hungarian rule can be explored in Pula.
Some are accessible by car such as Fort Ovine and Fort Punta Christo. However, some require some walking and these were our favorites. Read more about the forts we visited here.
Cost: The forts are free to explore, including our favorites like Fort Grosso.
Many of the forts can be found on Google Maps and our favorites were found while exploring this section of Pula:
More Recent History:
Zerostrasse, Underground tunnels were built as a shelter during WWI and expanded during WWII. Now part of the tunnels is used to share history, hold galleries, and sometimes host events or exhibitions.
Cost: 15 Kuna or $2.25 USD
Soak up the Sun: Beaches in Pula
Pula offers many beautiful beaches and places to lay out in the sun. Most are rocky coasts or cliff-like, however, in some places you can walk down to the water on rocky beaches like on the Stoja peninsula.
Beach Tip for Non-Europeans: In Croatia, and Europe in general, it is not uncommon to find topless sunbathers. This might shock some, especially those coming from the U.S. When looking for a beach, avoid any that say FKK unless you are searching for a nude beach. FKK beaches are clothing optional.
Sea Gull Rocks
A popular beach for cliff diving. The water was too cold for us at the end of October, however, we still enjoyed the colors of the water and the beautiful coastline on our sunny days.
This picturesque beach can get crowded so make sure to head there early to claim your spot amongst the white pebbles and turquoise waters.
This peninsula is filled with beaches to relax at and they are all just as stunning as the next. Find a place to swim or go cliff jumping along the rugged coast.
Don’t worry these aren’t the only ones. Pula is filled with beaches, this list could go on forever. Many beaches can be found in Medulin or along the Stoja and Verudela Peninsulas.
Cost: Free to enter by foot or bicycle. By car 80 kuna or $12 USD
Water Excursions in Pula
Go Kayaking and Snorkeling
You can use a company like Pula Kayak Rental to rent your own gear or go on a tour like these ones below:
Cost: Ranges from $20-$100+ USD
Along the harbor in Pula, you will find a ton of different boating companies going on tours throughout the day. From a day tour to Brijuni National Park to sunset dinner tours, you are bound to find one that fits your interests!
Cost: Range from $30-$200+ USD
Enjoy Istrian Food in Pula
From truffles to Teran, Istria has a unique cuisine you must get a taste of during your visit.
Visit the Museum of Olive Oil
This museum was recommended to us, not only by our tour guide but also the host of our cooking class with a vast amount of knowledge of the topic. Since he said it was done very well and worth a trip, we visited on one of our last days.
Cost: 3 different packages from 50 Kuna ($7.50 USD) to 130 Kuna ($19.40 USD). Also offers discounted rates for families.
Eat Istria – Cooking classes and Tours
Looking to truly experience Istrian cuisine? Eat Istria offers cooking classes and tours focused on local cuisine. We took a cooking class with Eat Istria and cannot recommend them enough. Read all about it here.
Local Restaurants to Try
- Restaurant Kantina – We ate here and tried the Pljukanci with truffles. It was delicious!
- Konoba Batelina – Run by a family of fishermen, this restaurant is a popular place in the city since it was featured on TV in No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain
- Hotel Amfiteatar Restaurant – This restaurant is located nearby the Pula Arena and offers dishes for everyone, including vegans with a whole vegan menu!
- Bistro Alighieri – Local cuisine with highly-rated seafood dishes and beautiful outdoor seating in Dante Square.
Looking for plant-based foods while in Pula? These may be hard to find but we wrote a whole guide here. In this post, you will find delicious vegan options for Pula and the rest of the Istria region!
Sip coffee at a cafe
One thing to know about Croatian culture is they love their coffee! Most people do but in Croatia, getting coffee at a cafe is a slow and social experience. We recommend the cafes along Giardini.
Cost: $2-4 USD
Experience Nature around Pula
Brijuni/Bioni National Park
Take a ferry from Fazana or book a tour of this beautiful island. Go hiking, rent a bike, visit ancient ruins.
Cost: One Way Ferry during high season 210 Kuna per person or $31.35 USD
Located at the end of Verudela Peninsula, this small canyon holds beautiful turquoise water. Be careful as you make your way down to the water, the trail may be slippery. You can walk along nearby cliffs too!
Bike around Kamenjak
We know we already mentioned this place, BUT it’s more than just beaches. Rent a bike or walk around the beautiful peninsula. The nature reserve is home to a large variety of plant life, undisturbed like nearby regions from campgrounds and hotels.
Cost: Bike Rentals start at $15 USD per day, Kamenjak is free to enter by bike
Head to Stoja Peninsula and swim in a sea cave surrounded by rocky terraces!
Spend time at the Museums in Pula
MEMO Museum of good Memories
A museum filled with items from the good ole days. The MEMO Museum is filled with items from the 50s to 80s and has interactive exhibits of Pula from this time period. Whether you are visiting to bring back memories or spending time here on a rainy day, this museum is intriguing to anyone.
Cost: 40 Kuna per adult, ~$6 USD
Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria
Located in the Kastel, in the center of Pula. This museum is where you can tour the castle and the terrace of the adapted Venetian fort. There is a tower as well for a beautiful 360-degree view of the skyline. The underground passages also connect to this which you can take back to other parts of the city. It can be a great time for anyone!
Cost:20 Kuna or $3 USD per adult
Archaeological Museum of Istria + Roman Ampitheatre
In a region like Istria, there are always remnants of the past to be found. This museum is constantly expanding and sadly was closed during our visit. If history interests you, make sure to check out this museum. Fingers crossed it is opened during your visit.
Cost: 70 Kuna per adult or $10.45 USD
Crkva sv. Srca
A unique collection of prehistoric art. This place is a great way to cool down on a hot day and learn some interesting history of the area.
Fun for the Whole Family in Pula
Normally, this is not something we would recommend (animals in captivity). However, the aquarium in Pula doubles as a marine life recovery center. The Sea Turtle Recovery Center within the Pula aquarium has recovered at least 170 sea turtles and returned them to sea. They also have other projects that focus on conservation and education about marine life. Read more here
Cost: 130 Kuna per adult or $19.40 USD
Adventure Park Pula
Rope courses and zip lines, with a range of difficulties to challenge the whole family. We did not get a chance to visit during our time in Pula but if you are visiting with kids, this place is perfect!
Cost: Course and Zipline 110 kuna or $16.45 per adult
Wrap Up: Things To Do in Pula, Croatia
In this post, we have listed things to do all over Pula. We’d love to hear which one you are most excited about, let us know in the comments! Did we miss something? Let us know so we can check it out next time we visit!!
Planning a trip to Pula? Check out our Everything Guide to Pula, Croatia