Travel Guide

Travel Guide for the Gem of Istria

Pula is fun, vibrant and historical. It has a bit of everything that Croatia is famous for – all packed in one destination.

Situated on the lower tip of the Istrian Peninsula, Pula is a coastal town with an abundance of distinctive rocky beaches. It is more than just a beach destination, it has a LOT of history too. There is so much more to this charming, medieval town that makes it worth the visit and the perfect destination for you to start or end your adventures in Croatia.

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Pula is one of the biggest and most important towns of the Istria region. Due the history surrounding this area, Pula is often viewed as a little Rome with many impressive Roman ruins dispersed around the city. With comfortable, mild weather year-round and an eclectic nightlife scene, you would be remiss to avoid Pula during your travels.

Pula has a massive shipyard that lights up at night with different lights. We saw this view from our hostel window every night and it was unbelievable.

Ever noticed on the map that there’s a part of Croatia that’s on the opposite side of the sea as Italy? That’s where Pula is! With Venice just across the Adriatic Sea on the left, Pula is situated on the bottom angle of the Istrian Peninsula.

If you are planning to visit multiple places in the country, then Pula is the best place to start your Croatia itinerary. Istria is the westernmost county in Croatia which makes it an ideal place to begin your escapades around this mesmerizing country.

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Table of Contents

A Bit about Istria

You have noticed how I have mentioned Istria many times while introducing Pula. Well, here’s a little info about it. Istria is a peninsula in the Adriatic sea that’s mostly in Croatia, and some parts are also in Slovenia and Italy.

A big part of the Istria region inside Croatia is called Istria County – so, they’re not the same thing. When someone says “Istria”, they usually mean the entire region that is much bigger than the Istria County of Croatia.

In the Ancient times, Istria was called Histria and was much bigger than the present day region. This region has a lot of history, but I won’t go into that in this post. You can read about the history of Istria here.

How to Reach Pula?

It is simple to reach Pula by many different ways. We arrived here on bus from Slunj town but below are all the other ways to enter Pula:

Reaching Pula by air – Pula has an International Airport (Zračna luka Pula) which enables travellers to easily access the city from many different parts of Europe. Not just budget airlines but also bigger international carriers like Lufthansa and British Airways fly to Pula too.

Reaching Pula by bus – Travelling around Croatia is relatively simple with a reliable amount of train and bus routes that can help you access anywhere you want to go within the country and to its neighbours as well. We arrived here on a bus from Slunj (near Plitvice Lakes) and had to change it in Karlovac. You can arrive here on a bus from Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, Karlovac, Belgrade (Serbia) and Venice (Italy) to name a few. Here’s more information about reaching Pula on bus.

Reaching Pula by sea from Italy – Spending some time in Italy? Pula is nestled up to the Gulf of Venice which means you can ride a catamaran directly from Venice to Pula for a unique experience. Please note, just journey can only be done in summer.

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