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Pula, known for its magnificent buildings from Roman times, is today a tourist center best known for its amphitheater in the city center, which dates back to the 1st century and is the sixth - largest preserved arena in the world.

Pula is located in the south of the Istrian peninsula. Istria is a county in Croatia and borders on the north with Slovenia and on the west, by sea, with Italy. In Istria, the road network is well developed and the Istrian Y connects with the rest of Croatia and Slovenia on the motorway. Pula International Airport is about 10 km from the city center and is well connected by bus. Pula can also be reached by train from Ljubljana, Slovenia, from the north of Istria, Rijeka and  Zagreb. If you do not have a car available, it is better to take a bus.

Why visit Pula

Throughout its history, Pula has been dominated by Romans, Venetians and French. It was also under Italy. This diversity of people is visible everywhere, in monuments, architecture or in gastronomy. In summer, Pula abounds with events such as the punk rock music festival Viva la Pola, international concerts in the Arena and Cavea Romana, and the PUF non-verbal theater festival.

In Pula, it is possible to see monuments from the Roman era, such as the Amphitheater and the Roman Theater. In addition to the cathedral, there are many churches and chapels, such as the beautiful Byzantine church of St. Mary of Formosa.

There are many palaces and evidence from the period of the Venetian Republic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the period of Fascism and finally Yugoslavia.

Among other things, for almost 70 years Pula has been the seat of the Pula Film Festival, the most important film festival in Croatia.

Pula, in addition to being rich in historical and cultural monuments, is a vibrant city. There is a beautiful open-air and indoor market, there are many bars, restaurants and events. Not to be missed is Saturday morning at the market, full of colorful stalls with fruits and vegetables and fish from the Adriatic. Here you can taste and buy local products such as the famous Istrian prosciutto, goat cheese and cow cheese such as cottage cheese.

In addition to monuments, Pula is rich in picturesque ascents such as those leading to the Venetian Fortress from where you can see the whole city.

When to visit

The Istrian peninsula is known for its Mediterranean climate and low rainfall. The best time to visit Pula is spring and autumn ... but the livelier and more fun period is summer, rich in concerts, shows and of course swimming, sunbathing and relaxing on the beach. The city beaches in Pula are free and can be easily reached from the city center by bus or car. In summer it is better to go by bike, on foot or rent a scooter to avoid problems with parking in the city.

Pula Amphitheater

(Pula Arena) - is the largest and most visited tourist attraction in Pula. Pula Arena is the sixth largest amphitheater in the world built in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. It was built at the same time as the famous Roman Colosseum. It symbolizes the best- preserved monument of ancient architecture in Croatia. The Arena used to be used for gladiator fights, and today it symbolizes one of the most beautiful summer stages in Europe, where numerous concerts and events are held.

Temple of Augustus

The Temple of Augustus is located at the Roman Forum in Pula and is dedicated to the Roma goddess and Emperor Augustus. This ancient monument is 12 meters high and was erected between 2 BC and 14 AD. Inside the temple are ancient sculptures of stone and bronze.

Zerostrasse

Underground Pula tunnels were created during the First World War so that the population could hide in case of air attacks on Pula. They extend almost below the whole of Pula. Tunnels consist of shelters, ammunition depots, trenches, passages and galleries.

Luminous giants

Located in the Pula shipyard "Luminous Giants” has a sophisticated system of remote control of lights and scenography and can be illuminated with 16 thousand combinations of different colors. A colored spectacle lasting fifteen minutes can be seen when it gets dark and every full hour! For photography the best location is definitely the one from ACI Marina.

Forum

The Forum is the central square of Pula and the central gathering place of Pula since ancient times. Originally, there were three temples on the forum. Today, only the Temple of Augustus has survived. Today, the forum is the center of the Pula administration, cafes and restaurants where coffee is drunk, Istrian specialties are tasted, conversations are held and numerous concerts and events are enjoyed.

Golden Door

The Golden Gate or Arc de Triomphe of Sergius has erected in the year 27 BC, in honor of the family who held high officer positions in Pula. The triumphal arch leaned on one of the ten city gates - the Golden Gate, hence the name Golden Gate. It is interesting that only the western side of the triumphal arch was decorated, since it was the only one visible, while the eastern side was leaning against the walls, so it was not decorated either. Today, the triumphal arch serves as an ideal backdrop for rich summer events and cultural events.

Kaštel

Kaštel is a Venetian fortress that in the past served to defend the city and port of Pula, which was of great importance for the northern Adriatic. It was built by the architect Antoine de Ville back in 1630. Today, the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria is located in Kaštela. Visitors to the museum can see old flags, military decorations, old instruments used by sailors, weapons, old nautical charts, etc ...

Memo museums

A completely different museum is located near the Arena. It is about Memo museums - a museum of everyday life and good memories. In an interactive and multimedia way, it depicts life from the early 1950s to the late 1980s.

Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park - one of the most beautiful national parks in Croatia is only 6 kilometers away from Pula. Brijuni consists of 14 islands and islets, the most famous of which are Veliki and Mali Brijun. The magical combination of animal species on the one hand and the rare flora on the other make this archipelago one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. We recommend a visit to the Safari Park, the Old Olive Tree, Castrum and dinosaur footprints.

Olive Oil Museum

While walking through Pula, you can also visit the Olive Oil Museum, located only 50 meters from the Amphitheater. Apart from learning all about the history of Istrian olive growing, you can also go for a guided tasting of olive oil.

Giardini

The Giardini is the most valuable green oasis in the heart of the city. At the famous Pula gathering place, there are about eighty trees about twenty meters high, planted at the beginning of the 20th century.

Verudela

In the afternoon, it is best to go a little outside the city to the tourist resort Verudela, a favorite promenade of Pula. In addition to beautiful trails and beaches, cafes and restaurants on the coast, there is also the Aquarium Pula, the most visited aquarium in Croatia.

Aquarium Pula

The aquarium is located in the year-old fortress Verudela, part of the once - powerful defensive complex of the Austro-Hungarian Fortress Pula, which uniquely combines the centuries-old military history of Pula with the richness of the Adriatic. Verudela Fortress, located on the peninsula of the same name, 3 km from the center of Pula, has been in the process of being converted into an aquarium since 2002, where more than different species of animals can be seen today. Sharks, jellyfish and seahorses are the most popular inhabitants of the aquarium, and the Sea Turtle Recovery Center is not to be missed.

On the roof of the fort, with a beautiful view of the sea and the city of Pula, visitors can see the steel dome, set as part of the project of reconstruction of the central part of the fort.

Monte Zaro Park

In one of the most beautiful places in Pula, in Monte Zaro Park, there is the Pula Observatory, which offers not only a view of the sky and the stars but also the city center and the Bay of Pula. The Pula Observatory is the oldest observatory in Croatia from which 28 planetoids were discovered, three of which were named "Polana", "Adria" and "Istria".

Golden Door

The Golden Gate or Arc de Triomphe of Sergius has erected in the year 27 BC, in honor of the family who held high officer positions in Pula. The triumphal arch leaned on one of the ten city gates - the Golden Gate, hence the name Golden Gate. It is interesting that only the western side of the triumphal arch was decorated, since it was the only one visible, while the eastern side was leaning against the walls, so it was not decorated either. Today, the triumphal arch serves as an ideal backdrop for rich summer events and cultural events.

Beaches in Pula

 
The Pula coast consists of an uninterrupted series of beaches and beaches, which stretch from the south side of the bay to the municipality of Medulin and continue towards the southernmost part of Istria, Cape Kamenjak. At the exit from the center are the first beaches and the long promenade Lungomare, at the foot of which the people of Pula usually bathe. The most famous beaches in Pula are Gortanova uvala, Valkane, Stoja, Valovine, Saccorgiana, Hawaiian, Ambrela, Galebova stijena in the south of Pula and Hidrobaza and Vile below the settlement of Štinjan, on the north side of the Bay of Pula. The accessible coast and clear sea await you on the other side of the bay, between the newly renovated Hydrobase and the Villa, where the view extends to the Brijuni Islands, a national park. Water parks, beach bars, pedal boats, SUPs and other equipment are common on the beaches.

Active vacation in Pula

Among the many activities available, diving is one of the most attractive. Many diving centers offer underwater sightseeing for experienced and beginners, and excursion diving includes caves and sunken boats. Popular windsurfing and kitesurfing are most prevalent outside the city, and in recent years there have been more and more kayak and SUP enthusiasts. Beach volleyball in summer is a mandatory activity before night swimming, and for athletes and recreationists, there are many tennis and football courts, bike and hiking trails, promenades that stretch along the coast. The surroundings of Pula and the whole of Istria offer an inexhaustible offer of unexpected activities, such as paragliding from Raspadalica or "Human Catapult" in the Adrenaline Park Glavani.

Entertainment and cultural events Pula

Pula is a culturally and entertainingly active city throughout the year, but during the summer months something happens in Pula every day. In addition to many concerts of world - famous musicians in the Pula Arena, film festivals, exhibitions and cultural events, street musicians and entertainers can be seen on the streets, concerts are organized on the squares, as well as on the Castle, summer terraces and beaches. You can check all the events in Pula and its surroundings on the brochures of tourist offices or on the website of the Istrian Tourist Board. In summer, you will find artisan stalls and those with gastronomic specialties in the city. Gastronomic events are often organized in spring and early autumn, and in summer you will be able to enjoy the terraces of many restaurants with an extremely good offer of fish specialties and local delicacies. In the evening in the port of Pula, you will be able to enjoy the sunset, the exit of fishing boats to the sea and the Light Giants, a fantastic light installation in the former shipyard Uljanik.

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