The Ultimate Guide to Pula, Croatia

pula-arena-front-gate-pula-croatia
  1. Dubrovink – a City of Stone and Light
  2. Kayak Dubrovnik – Roughing the Sea around Lokrum Island
  3. A short guide to Elaphiti Islands
  4. An adventure in Mljet National Park
  5. What to see in Split Croatia in one day
  6. 5 things to do in Zadar Croatia
  7. Day Trips from Split: 5 islands boat tour
  8. The Ultimate Guide to Pula, Croatia
  9. Kamenjak National Park – seeking Dinosaur footprints
  10. My top 3 meals in Croatia
  11. A half day guide to visiting Krka National Park
  12. Split to Plitvice Lakes: a self-drive road trip
  13. What to do in Zagreb? Here are 29 things (eat + see + hike)

Pula, Croatia had been on my bucket list for a while now because of its Amphitheater. Located in the northern district of Istria, this was the perfect conclusion to my love affair with Croatia with a 10-day trip that I took two months prior.

Apart from being an important Roman city in the past, its place by the Adriatic Sea also gives it an amazing coastline and beautiful nature that’s worth exploring. Here, I bring to you a guide to Pula, Croatia.

Things to do in Pula

Pula Arena

pula-arena-front-gate-pula-croatia

Arguably the gem of the city, this arena might not be as well preserved as the one in Verona or as grand as the Coliseum, with its remaining outer façade gives you a perfect view of the inside of the arena and out the other side through the open arches. This gives an impossibly splendid sea view and the gleaming white limestone structure was built around AD 27 – 68. It stands 29.4 m tall and you can take the best photo of it either at the back up the small hill, or at the front left garden. 

pula-arena-with-garden-in-front-pula-croatia

It is open for visits, although there isn’t anything inside the Arena that you can’t see on the outside. However, they do have an underground exhibition of ancient olive oil and wine production.

corridor-under-pula-arena-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat
night-inside-pula-arena-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

They also host gladiator fights as well as concerts and events that might interfere with their opening times, so it’s best to check the calendar before you visit. We ended up doing a night time visit because there was a show on during the early evenings.

Address: Scalierova ul. 30, 52100, Pula, Croatia
Opening times: July – August 8:00 – 0:00; May – Jun, Sept 8:00 – 21:00; Oct-Apr 8:00 – 19:00
Entrance fee: 40kn for adults, 20 kn for concessions and children

The Triumphal Arch of Sergius

The-Triumphal-Arch-of-Sergius-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

An imposing limestone arch marking the entrance of the Roman colony, the Triumphal Arch of Sergius is dedicated to the three brothers of the Sergii family. The Sergii was a powerful family of officials in the Roman times, and this was originally a city gate that celebrates the victory at Actium built around 29-27 BC. Built in the late Hellenistic style, it is also heavily influenced by Asia Minor and was originally built against the Porta Aurea that no longer stands.

There is now a small open area outside of it where you can clap along to street performance in the evening.

street-performance-outside-the-gate-of-the-triumphal-arch-of-sergius-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

The Augustus Temple

The-augustus-temple-top-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

Built around 2 BC to AD14, the Augustus Temple is dedicated to Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Originally part of a three temples dedicated to Augustus, the goddess Diana and a central temple, it is the only surviving one with the temple of Diana incorporated into the Communal Palace building.

the-augustus-temple-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

With gleaming white marble stairs leading up to the porch, the temple has a regal feeling with the 17.3m Corinthia columns as well as he triangular firenz. The interior is small and house a small exhibit that wouldn’t be of interest to anyone who doesn’t study classical architecture.

Address: Forum b.b., 52100, Pula Croatia
Opening times: Mon – Fri 9:00 – 22:00; Sat – Sun 9:00 – 15:00
Entrance fee: 10kn for adults, 5kn for concessions and children

Pula Kastel

top-of-pula-kastel-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

Situated at the Pula Hill top (34m), the Kastle of Pula is a 17th century fortress built by the Venetians that had been modified a few times; although signs of an earlier fort by the pre-Roman civilization Histri was found on the same site. This grey, rectangular structure overgrown by grass apart is now home to the Historical Museum of Istria; and if you are not a fan of exhibits, you can walk around and admire what is left of the walls and climb atop the lighthouse for the view of the city. Interestingly, the castle is the shape of a star from a bird’s eye view.

view-from-pula-kastel-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

Address: Kastel Hill, Gradinski uspon 6, Pula 52100, Croatia
Opening times: 15/06 – 15/09 10:00 – 22:00 daily
Entrance fee: 20kn for adults, 10kn for concessions and children

Cathedral of Pula

cathedral-of-pula-old-town-pula-croatia

Not far from the Temple of Augustus is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is a Roman Catholic Church and co-cathedral of Pula along with Euphrasia Bascilica.

Believed to have built atop the Jupiter Conservator as well as a thermal bath in Roman times, it had become Christian ground since the 4th century AD. The current church is an expansion of the 5th century structure, and the baptistery rebuilt in the 17th century after the original was destroyed. The church interior is simplistic and bathed in an eerily green light, and is home to King Solomon of Hungary and St Flora.

Address: Trg Svetog Tome 2, 52100, Pula Croatia
Opening times: daily 10:00 – 18:00 except during service
Entrance fee: free

Pula Old Town

streets-of-pula-old-town-pula-croatia

The Old Town of Pula is the area around the Triumphal Arch of Sergis and the Castle. It had been inhabited since the Roman times, it includes almost all of the sights and is full of little alleys and colourful buildings.

It’s worth wandering around to admire the quaintness and grab a pastry or ice-cream.

Pula Small Roman Theater

small-roman-theater-near-kastel-pula-old-town-pula-croatia

A ruin to a tee, the Small Roman Theater is just below the Kastel and is the smaller of two Roman theaters. Though in neglect, you can still see the semi-circular structure clearly and it makes for a nice walk and visit to appreciate its history. Besides, it’s admission free.

Address: Crarina Ulica 3 Pa 5210, Croatia
Opening times: n/a
Entrance fee: free

Flanaticka Street, Pula

Flanaticka-Street-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

A little distance from the historical center, it’s a modern and spacious street that leads away from the Triumphal Arch of Sergius. It’s the place to go if you want to visit some high street shops or restaurants. Not to mention it’s a pretty street all by itself.

Twin Gate

twins-gate-pula-croatia

Also called Porta Gemina (because Romans), the Twin Gate were part of the city wall that no longer exists due to the expansion of the town. They were built around 2 or 3 century AD and one of the ten gates that allowed people to enter the city.

Verudella

verudella-beach-pula-croatia

If you fancy some beach time and doesn’t want to go far, then Verudella is the place to go. To get there, you take bus 2a and get off at the car park of the resort, and at the same stop, you get the bus 3a back to Pula town center.

It’s a tourist resort, but the beach there is open to the public; so you can easily spend a day there sunbathing or swimming, with the added bonus of there having a supermarket.

Pula Restaurants

Mlinar

Mlinar-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

A chain pastry store that sells some delicious, local pastries and bread – it’s the perfect place to eat for budget travellers or those who are in a hurry. There’s one not far from The Triumphal Arch of Sergius.

City Old Bar

fountain-next-to-city-old-bar-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

Situated in a square with a pretty fountain, City Old Bar has a nice ambiance as well as free WiFi that drew us immediately closer. The menu was cheap and choices good, although the food wasn’t as good as some other Croatian Restaurants I have been. A Mojito and Spaghetti seafood costs 50kn each.

seafood-pasta-city-old-bar-Pula-Croatia-Laugh-Travel-Eat

Address: pro. Kod Zdenca 4, 52100, Pula Croatia
Opening times: Mon – Sat 7:00 – 02:00; Sun 7:00 – 0:00

Pula Accommodation

Budget: Be in the center of actions with Downtown Apartments Pula or City Center Arena Apartments 

Mid-range: Hotel Amfiteatar is by the Roman Amphitheater with stylish room and buffet breakfast. Kastel Garten is in the city center with a private garden and parking.

Splurge: Centrally located with modern and boutique rooms, Porta d’Oro rooms is a great choice. If you are in a large group and want to find an apartment, consider Apartment Kandler 01.

7 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Pula, Croatia

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Ljubljana, Slovenia | Laugh Travel Eat

  2. BeeHong says:

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for the Pula Guide. Like you, I get to know of Pula because of the Amphitheater.

    Can I ask how you travel to this place? I don’t have any plan to drive while in Croatia

  3. Pingback: 10 Things to Do in Pula Croatia | Savored Journeys

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