Lying on the southern tip of the peninsula, on the coast of Fažanski channel, Pula (www.pula.hr) is the largest town in Istria. It has hundreds-year-old fishing, shipping and wine-growing traditions. Pula dazzles visitors with its historic old town which is uniquely rich in attractions. 

Pula aréna


 Arena of Pula (photo: Milan Babić, source: Croation Tourist Community)


The history of the town dates back to 3000 years. The first inhabitants were Illyrians, the name ’Pula’ has also an Illyrian origin. During the Roman period, ’Iolia Pola’ developed a lively town with flourishing trade; it had water supply and sewerage system, two theatres, temples and an arena. The Romans built a wall around the city with ten gates. From these only three have preserved until today: the Gate of Hercules and the Twin Gates on the north, and the Triumphal Arch of the Sergius which was connected to one of the western gates.

After the demise of the Roman empire, for a short time Goths and Franks conquered this area. From the 12th until the 19th century Pula belonged to the Republic of Venice and was attacked several times by the Genovese, the Hungarian and later the Habsburg armies. The inhabitants of the town were decimated by not only the wars but also by epidemics.

By the second half of the 19th century Pula became one of the most important port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, its population grew from a few thousands to 40,000 during only a few decades. By then the port was in connection with the most important cities of the Monarchy by rail. At that time the official language was German but people spoke Italian in everyday life. The Croatian and Hungarian language were thrust into the background.

During World War II the town came under Italian occupation, later German military rule. After 1943, when Pula became the part of the former Yugoslavia, the majority of the Italian inhabitants immigrated.

Getting here & around

By car

Zagreb (A1) – Rijeka (A7, A8) – Učka tunnel (tunnel fee: 30 Kn) – Kanfanar (A9) - Pula
Motorway tolls:  Zagreb  – Rijeka        70 Kn

                      Rijeka  – Pula            53 Kn (including tunnel fee)

Take Šijanska cesta to get to the centre. The old town is situated nearby the Amphitheatre.
Parking: Monday – Saturday 7.00 – 20.00  4 Kn / hour  (at Giardini 15 Kn / hour)

By bus

The main bus station is situated behind the Amphitheatre, on the Trg I. Istarske brigade square. More bus companies operate here and buses leave for not only surrounding villages (e.g. Fažana, Barbariga, Medulin) and the bigger Croatian cities, but also Triest, Padova and Venice.  The airport shuttle bus leaves from here, too (the price of ticket is 29 Kn).
Many city buses stop at the main bus station. Verudela peninsula can be reached by bus No 3 and 2. Ticket price: 6-11 Kn.

There is a luggage facility at the main bus station

By train

The railway station is on the coast, a ten-minute walk from the Amphitheatre. Trains connect Ljubljana, Rijeka and Zagreb with Pula.

By plane

The airport (Zračna Luka Pula) can be found northeast from the town, in the direction of Loborika. Bus No23 stops here. Croatia Airlines, Ryanair and charter airlines land here. One-way ticket for the shuttle bus: 29 Kn.

Info: +385 52 530 105

Tourist information

The large and modern tourist office is licated at Forum 3.

Pulai turistairoda

Tel: +385 52 21 29 87  
e-mail: tz-pula@pu.t-com.hr

Opening hours:
Summer: 8.00 – 22.00    Winter:   9.00 – 17.00

Combined tickets for all Pula sights: 50 Kn (children 25 Kn). Available at the Amphitheatre.

Events in 2011:

12th Antique Days (13-15. June)

11th Seasplash Reggae Festival (18-22. July)

60th Pula Film Festival (13-27. July) 


Pula filmfesztivál







The symbol of the city where bloody gladiator fights took place in the ancient times. The amphitheatre or as the Romans called it, the Arena, was built in the 1st century AD, under the rule of Vespasianus, at the same time the Colosseum in Rome was erected. The elliptical building is the 6th biggest among remained Roman arenas, it could seat 20,000-23,000 spectators. In the Middle Ages knight tournaments took place within its walls.

AmfiteátrumToday the Amphitheatre serves as a venue of concerts and plays and this is the main venue of the Pula Filmfestival (www.pulafilmfestival.hr), as well.
Tickets: 40 Kn (children 20 Kn)

Combined tickets for all Pula sights: 50 Kn (children 25 Kn). Available at the Amphitheatre.

Archaeological Museum of Istria


Carrarina ulica 3.

Opening hours:

In the summer: Mon - Sat: 9 a.m. – 20 p.m.

                       Sun:         10 a.m. – 15 p.m.

In the winter:    Mon – Fri:  9 a.m. – 15 p.m.

Entrance fee: 20 Kn (child 10 Kn)

Régészeti múzeum

By collecting stone monuments and fragments at the beginning of the 1800 years, marshal Marmont founded the collection of the today museum. Illyrian, Roman and medieval memories are gathered together here, the mosaics, the jewels and everyday tools found in medieval graves, sculpture and building fragments give the backbone of the collection.

To enter the statue garden of the museum, walk under the 2nd-century twin gates. Behind the museum building a small Roman theatre is worth seeing.



The square behind the Gate of Hercules was created by the widening of two parallel streets.  At the southwestern end stands the Triumphal Arch of the Sergius, one of the gates of the ancient Roman city wall. Around the Arch, the Portarata square is one of the favourite gathering places of the Pula people (the other one is Forum). The street beyond the gate is the bustling Ulica Sergijevaca.


As far back as in the Roman times, Forum has been the centre and the main gathering place of the town. You can get here by strolling down the tourist-packed Via Sergia or along the coast from the Amphitheatre.

The Temple of Augustus stands here. It was erected between the 2nd BC and the 4th century AD, dedicated to goddess Roma and Emperor Augustus. In 1944 a bomb hit and completely destroyed the temple but soon after it was reconstructed. Today it houses a collection of ancient stones and bronze sculptures. (Ticket: 10 Kn, children 5 Kn)

The Renaissance Communal Palace serves today as the city hall. During the Venetian rule this was the seat of the duke and the proveditore. It was built on the ruins of the former Diana Temple. (Only the back wall of the temple remained). Under the arches the exhibition of the Roman relieves is called Galerija Diana.

Historical Museum of Istria

Gradinski uspon 6.
Opening hours: Oct - Mar: 9.00 – 17.00, Apr - Sep: 8.00 - 21.00

Entrance fee: 20 Kn (child: 5 Kn)
Set inside the Venetian fortification built in 1630, this museum is located at the highest point of Pula. As early as the Roman era a fortification stood at this place. The collection comprising of old marine tools, yellow postcards and old clothes guides visitors to the past of Pula and the whole Istria.

The Aquarium of Pula can be found here, too.

Opening hours: Apr, May, Sep 10-18, Jun-Aug 9-22, Oct-Mar 10-16

Entrance fee: 60 Kn (children: 30-40 Kn)

Franciscan monastery

Uspon Sv. Franje Asiškog

Ferences kolostor

The church named after St. Francis of Assisi was built in 1314. The building has a late Romanesque and Gothic character.



Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary


Between Riva and Kandlerova ulica stands this magnificient cathedral. It was built in the early MiddleAges in Romanesque style at the site of a former church. In the 15th century the building was restored in Renaissance style. Around the altar and the side naves the floor is decorated with mosaics from the 5th – 6th centuries. In the main altar saints’ relics are buried.


Cape Kamenjak

Nature Park ’Cape Kamenjak’

This beautiful nature park lies at the most southern end of Istria peninsula, next to Premantura village. The cape itself is 9.5 km long and about 1.5 km wide. At the entrance you have to pay if you are by car (20 Kn) or bike (12 Kn). By walking the visit is free.

Brijuni islands

Brijunska 10., 52212 Fažana.

Tel: +385 52 525 888

internet: www.brijuni.hr

The Brijuni island group stretches along the western coast of Istria. It consists of 14 pine-covered rocky islands that together with the surrounding sea cover the area of 33,9 km2.  It was proclaimed a national park in 1984. This is the homeland of Adriatic pine and marine poppy, deers, mouflons and several fish species.

The Brijuni archipelago has been a popular resort since the Roman times. On the island of Veliki Brijuni the remains of a villa from the 1st century BC can be found. Besides the villa there are other monuments and sights here: a fortified Bronze Age settlement on a hill north of Verige Bay, the St. Mary’s church and the summer residence of the former Yugoslavia leader, Josip Broz Tito. Over thirty years several state and party delegations were welcomed here. The Safari Park was based by the animals Tito received as a present from the invited state leaders. Until the death of the communist Tito (1980) ordinary people were not allowed to enter Brijuni.

To visit the national park, sign up for a tour at the Brijuni Tourist Service office (tel: + 385 52 525 882, 525 883, e-mail:izleti@brijuni.hr) in the port of Fažana (6 km from Pula). The guided tours are available in several languages.


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