Since Roman times, Pula has been an important centre of commerce and culture in the Istrian peninsula. From its iconic amphitheatre to its hilltop Venetian fortress, the city has retained its timeless charms while also offering visitors a window into Istrian culture, cuisine, and incomparable natural beauty.
The vineyards, rugged shores and idyllic beaches of Istria have long attracted holidaymakers from far and wide – and Pula is their gateway to unforgettable holidays. Travellers are welcomed by the remnants of Roman settlement, with the city’s iconic amphitheatre joined by the forum and temples. The name of a leading family, the Sergians, is borne by the centrally located Via Sergia and the Arch of the Sergians.
While in Pula, be sure to experience the local culture during the film and music festivals held during the summer, in the excellent seafood restaurants that dot the city, or by sampling a local wine vintage or olive oil. Excursions around Pula might take you to the beaches and wooded resorts of the Verudela peninsula or further afield to the beaches of Cape Kamenjak or the forests and white-sand beaches of the Brijuni islands.
With so much to offer, you’ll be glad you chose Pula for your next holiday. Fly with SWISS from Zurich to Pula today.
What is the best way to see Pula’s beaches?
While Pula’s seaside location offers views and excellent transportation options along the Istrian coast, the city centre does not have an urban beach for the seaside wandering you may be itching to do. For this, you can take one of the city buses to the Verudela peninsula, with several beaches, camping areas, and seaside cliffs with amazing views. A closer option, also accessible by bus, are the neighbouring bays of Valkane and Valsaline. For a more natural experience, take a ferry from nearby Fazana to the Brijuni Islands, where you can visit isolated beaches and well-maintained Roman ruins.
When is the best time to visit Pula?
The answer depends on what you want to do on your Istrian holiday. Tourists flock to Pula in the summer seeking the mild, sunny escapes of the region’s beaches. The cool sea water in the spring and the rainy autumn means that summer is the main option for a beach holiday, with water temperatures remaining pleasant into September. However, spring and autumn are perfectly fine options for exploring the historical sites, the beautiful landscapes and the local cuisine – and accommodation will be much easier to come by at a reduced rate.
What is the currency in Croatia?
Croatia uses the kuna, which derives from the Croatian word for marten, an animal whose pelt used to be used as currency. The currency is abbreviated kn or HRK. Most tourist destinations do accept credit cards, though cash can also be withdrawn at ATMs in most towns. In addition, banks and exchange bureaus can also change foreign currency for kuna.
Discover Pula’s Roman past
Pula’s most famous sight is, without a doubt, its massive Roman amphitheatre – the sixth-largest remaining in the world. The facade, almost fully intact, is the most striking feature, though you can also explore the cavernous lower rooms. These areas currently house an exhibit on wine and olive oil production. When you’ve seen the amphitheatre, check out the Forum and the Via Sergia, with its intact Roman mosaic and the Arch of the Sergians, the gateway to the heart of Pula. The city offers a variety of historical attractions, including:
- The Franciscan monastery
- Sveta Srca Church
- The Temple of Augustus
Relax in the nature surrounding Pula
A trip to Pula wouldn’t be complete without some time spent relaxing on the beach. The best bet within the city is to head to the shingle beaches of the Verudela peninsula in the south of the city, or take a day trip to Cape Kamenjak, where a natural park offers stunning beaches and sheer cliffs with much fewer crowds than their city counterparts.
The best time to see the Pula amphitheatre is in one of the major festivals that the city puts on. Summertime sees the Histria Festival, where internationally acclaimed music acts take the stage in the historic amphitheatre alongside local groups for an extravaganza that ranges from popular music to opera. In the heyday of Yugoslavia, the Pula Film Festival brought together major names from east and west – while its modern counterpart is somewhat smaller, nothing quite compares to watching films under the stars while sitting in an amphitheatre over 2,000 years old.
Whether your Istrian holiday is in search of history, cuisine or a seaside getaway, Pula is a safe bet for an unforgettable adventure. Book your ticket from Zurich to Pula today.
Indulge yourself with Pula’s Istrian fare
With some of Croatia’s finest agricultural and fishing areas, Istria provides visitors with culinary delights that are hard to equal. Istrian olive oil is some of the finest in the region, and local specialities from oysters to hand-made pasta grace the menus of local eateries, while truffles are an upmarket addition to many recipes. In Pula, the trick to finding great restaurants is to look just outside the city centre to its seaside suburbs, which contain some of Croatia’s finest seafood and pasta restaurants.
Local vintages from Malvazija to mistletoe brandy
The vineyards of Istria are famed for their quality, and the wine bars of Pula are a great place to discover them. From rich Terrano reds to crisp, floral Malvazija whites, you’re sure to enjoy what the region has to offer. For a touch of something different, check out the local biska liquor, made from mistletoe berries, which have been harvested from the region’s woodlands since the time of the druids. Enjoy an outdoor drink in the alfresco bars of the forum or head to an open-air concert in the Roman amphitheatre. As with restaurants, there are plenty of first-rate watering holes in the suburbs to the south of the old city as well.
Something to remember your trip by
Pula is not known as a shopping destination – the region’s first mall, City Mall, opened in Pula in 2016. However, the streets of the city centre and the Pula market offer up some interesting opportunities to bring back a bottle of finest Istrian olive oil or some local truffles.