I first visited Rovinj in early 2022 on our road trip through Croatia when we first moved to Croatia on our digital nomad visas.
Rovinj was probably the best first impression of a country that I’ve ever moved to - I was blown away by the vibrant streets, charming old town, the quaint fishing boats, tasty seafood and also how calm and welcoming it was and how much there was to do there.
I visited during the low season so while much of the usual summer activities were closed, it gave us a great incentive to come back and experience everything that Rovinj has to offer.
So is Rovinj worth visiting?
Read on to find out!
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Need to start planning your trip to Rovinj ASAP?
Below are some of the top rated tours, hotels and recommendations for visiting Rovinj. Make sure to book ahead of time to ensure availability!
Top Hotels and Accommodation in Rovinj:
1) The Grand Park Hotel (Famous for being on the BBC Amazing Hotels show!)
2) Maistra Select Island Hotel Katerina (Unique stay on an island close to the mainland)
3) Apartment City Center (where I stayed for a budget-friendly self-catered apartment)
10 reasons why you need to visit Rovinj
1. The beautiful colourful old town and architecture
Rovinj is completely different from other towns and cities you’ll see in Croatia. Its proximity to Italy and particularly Venice (a lot of Croatia was once part of the Venetian empire) means when you visit Rovinj, you might well be strongly reminded of Venice.
In fact, I also felt very reminded of the colourful island of Burano, which is off the coast of Venice.
The vibrant buildings, cobbled streets, colourful old town packed together on a hill on the Rovinj island peninsula makes this a super unique place to see and experience with its history and culture reflected in the architecture.
2. It’s cheaper than other tourist hotspots like Dubrovnik or Split (and Italy!)
Another huge reason why you should visit Rovinj is that it’s cheaper!
If you’re wondering, “is Rovinj expensive?” - especially considering the price rises we’ve seen across Europe in general over the last few years, you’ll be pleased to know that Rovinj is cheaper than other major hotspots in Croatia like Dubrovnik and Split.
It’s also definitely cheaper than nearby Italy!
We had a meal for two, plus four beers for just over 30 euros.
3. It’s underrated (but don’t wait too long!)
In fact, Rovinj is the only area of Croatia to have recovered to its pre-2020 tourist levels and it also became the first town in Croatia to record over 1 million visits in 2023. However, the main visitors to Rovinj are Germans, Austrians and Italians and most of those stays were recorded at campsites, meaning you’ve still got plenty of hotel and private accommodation options to choose from!
4. The water activities
Did you know that the Rovinj archipelago is made up of 14 islands?
There are so many water activities to experience from Rovinj, from the amazing Lim Fjord to the famous Red Island. There are kayaking trips, Dolphin spotting tours, sunset boat rides and you can even take a boat trip to Venice for the day!
5. It’s in Istria
Istria is one of the most underrated but up-and-coming areas of Croatia, with such a diverse landscape and coastline, from boat trips and shipwrecks to vineyard tours and farm-to-table experience, there is so much history and culture to experience.
If you’re visiting Rovinj, I highly recommend checking out the Istria tourism board website as they’ve had some huge initiatives recently to bring more tourism to the area which some of my friends in Croatia have been involved in and really rate!
6. It’s proximity to Venice, Italy
I’ve already mentioned this but if Venice is on your bucket list, Rovinj is worth visiting to not only experience somewhere beautiful in Croatia but also to take a day trip and visit Venice.
Venice is an iconic but expensive city to stay in for a few days. By visiting as part of a Venice day trip from Rovinj, you can experience Venice at a fraction of the cost it would be to stay there several days.
7. It’s perfect for outdoor and adventure lovers
I can’t even cover the amount of amazing activities there are to do in Rovinj if you’re a fan of the outdoors but here are a few I know of or have experienced in Rovinj:
Cycling - there are some amazing cycling routes in Rovinj along the coast but also there’s the nearby trail in the Basilica Valley
Hiking - so many trails to choose from but don’t miss the Golden Cape
Fishing, angling and underwater fishing
Sailing and windsurfing
8. You can stay at the famous Grand Park Rovinj Hotel
I actually first heard about Rovinj on a TV show on the BBC in 2021 called Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby where the hosts stayed at Grand Park in Rovinj and learnt so much about the hotel, the town and the culture of Istria - from the food to the traditions of locals.
Seeing that TV show put Rovinj on the map for me and it was my mission to visit the town as soon as I could.
9. It’s very walkable, easy to reach and easy to navigate
You can easily spend your entire trip in Rovinj without needing to hire a car or even take a taxi. The town is very walkable and compact, the walk along the coast connects the town to a long of the beachfront hotels and the Old Town is mostly pedestrianised anyway so it’s very easy to get around once you’re there.
The best way to get to Rovinj if you’re arriving by plane is to fly into Pula airport. However there are usually only international flights to Pula during the season, so if you’re travelling out of the season, Venice airport is the next best option for year-round flights and there’s a ferry that connects Venice and Rovinj.
Also check out Zagreb airport, it’s a 3 hour drive but your accommodation may be able to advise on a transfer and flights to Zagreb are often cheaper.
10. The incredible day trips
I’ve already mentioned that you can take a day trip from Rovinj to Venice, but there are so many other options too that make Rovinj worth visiting - you definitely won’t run out of things to do!
Take a sunset cruise, go dolphin watching, take a day trip to Porec or Vrsar. Or take a trip to see the incredible Roman amphitheatre in Pula (it’s better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome!)
Explore the Rovinj archipelago, visit Lim Fjord, Levan Island or Cape Kamenjak. Or head inland to central Istria for a food tour and tasting, wine tours and see the stunning town of Motovun.
Bonus 11 - It’s family friendly and perfect for couples too!
I’ve mentioned how welcoming Rovinj was when we visited and I think that plays a huge part in making it such a great location for couples visiting Croatia and also for family friendly travel to Rovinj, Croatia.
There is a variety of accommodation and attractions to suit all ages and whether you’re looking for an action-packed holiday to Rovinj or a relaxing escape - Rovinj is a great option regardless of your age, children’s age or type of holiday you want to take.
Summary: Is Rovinj worth visiting?
In case you haven’t gathered from this article, I LOVE Rovinj - I’d say it’s in my top 5 favourite places in Croatia and I think yes, Rovinj is worth visiting for anyone looking to experience an area of Croatia that offers plenty to do, escapes some of the crowds further south and offers something for every age and ability to enjoy.
Pin for later to plan your future trip!