Istria is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination on the Croatian coast, and Rovinj has long been considered the crowning gem of the region! These days, many visitors opt to head to Rovinj instead of Dubrovnik as, whilst both cities have a similar vibe, Rovinj doesn’t suffer from over-tourism and is generally more budget-friendly.
Though Rovinj has long been known as a highlight of Istria with locals, it is still a relatively new destination to outside travellers. This means there aren’t many guides to the city available online, making it difficult to figure out which areas are best.
That’s where we come in! We’ve consulted locals, bloggers and travel experts to create this guide to the five best neighborhoods in the Adriatic coastal city. Whether you want a calm coastal retreat for the family or to be right in the heart of the action with great restaurants, bars and cultural attractions we have you covered.
So let’s dive right into the best neighborhoods in Rovinj!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Rovinj
- Where to stay in Rovinj for the first time – City Centre
- Where to stay in Rovinj on a budget – North Rovinj
- Best neighborhood in Rovinj for families – Porec
- If you head down to the harbour next to the Old Town you can take a trip to Katarina Island
- Obala Alda Rismonda is the main nightlife hub in the Old Town
- Rovinj Aquarium is popular with both visitors and locals
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Rovinj.
Best Hostel in Rovinj: Roundabout Hostel
As the only hostel in Rovinj, Roundabout had to take our top spot for backpackers accommodation in the city! Despite the lack of competition, it is still a great pick for those wanting to socialise with other visitors to the city. They are also only a short walk from the Old Town.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Rovinj: Artists Apartment
This gorgeous apartment in nearby Pore? is truly a hidden gem! It comes with two gorgeous bedrooms, making it a great option for families and groups visiting the area – especially those that want to head to a quieter resort along the Istrian Riviera. It is designed in a traditional style.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Rovinj: Family Hotel Amarin
Located right on the coast in North Rovinj, Family Hotel Amarin is a great way to experience the laid-back atmosphere of the seaside town – even if you are on a tight budget! This four-star hotel comes with a large pool area, as well as plenty of modern facilities to ensure your comfort.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Rovinj
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Rovinj is a relatively small city and can be easily explored within a couple of days. This makes it an excellent option for those looking at destinations to form part of a wider itinerary in Croatia and the Balkans! Nevertheless, it has plenty of fantastic attractions in its own right and would make an excellent getaway if you want to sit back and relax whilst soaking up a unique culture.
The City Centre is where most tourists base themselves and is divided into two sections – the Old Town and the Wider Town! The Old Town, as the name suggests, is where you will find most of the historic attractions, as well as local cafes and restaurants. Despite being the main centre of Rovinj, the Old Town is a little bit quieter than elsewhere in the city.
The Wider Town, on the other hand, is much busier – mostly because cars are not allowed in the Old Town. If you want to hit up the local bars and check out some cultural performances, the Wider Town is a great choice. Both the Old Town and Wider Town are great for first time visitors, and can easily be visited on foot, so we have put them both together as the city centre.
Most of the outer districts in Rovinj are residential with little to offer visitors, however, North Rovinj is a worthy exception! It might seem bland and industrial, but this is where you can get to truly understand contemporary life in the region. It is far less touristy than the city centre, making it a great pick for budget travellers visiting the area on a shoestring.
Finally, it is also worth considering the neighboring towns in the region. The entire coast from Rovinj to Umag is considered the Istrian Riviera -and one of our favourite spots in this region is the town of Porec?. This small coastal town has its own Old Town where you can explore the region’s history without the crowds of Rovinj. This makes it an excellent choice for families visiting the area.
Still undecided? Check out our longer guides of each neighborhood, and the best accommodation options in each of them, below!
Rovinj 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the three best neighbourhoods in Rovinj. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Split into two sections, the City Centre is the perfect pick for first-time visitors to Rovinj that want to be in the heart of the action! The Old Town is easily the most popular destination for tourists, with historic buildings, quaint restaurants and magnificent coastal views waiting around every corner. It’s also surprisingly calm, thanks to the vehicle free policy and laid-back locals.
If you want a little bit more hustle and bustle, the Wider Town region completely surrounds the Old Town and serves as the contemporary hub of the city! Here you will find some great nightlife options, as well as modern attractions. This is also home to the main transport hubs – perfect if you want to travel further afield.
Things to See and Do in City Centre
– The main square in the Old Town is the tourism hub containing many great cafes, restaurants and the gorgeous St Euphemia Church
– If you head down to the harbour next to the Old Town you can take a trip to Katarina Island, a gorgeous retreat popular with visitors and locals alike
– Obala Alda Rismonda is the main nightlife hub in the Old Town – a bit quieter than Wider Town bars, but much more local in atmosphere
– There is a daily market at Valdibora that offers street food, fresh ingredients and handicrafts that make excellent souvenirs
– Croatia might not be the first place you think of for great wine, but you will soon change your mind after a visit to Agricultural Trade Vivoda
– Rovinj Aquarium is popular with both visitors and locals, and is a great way to learn about the aquatic life of the Adriatic
Best Hostel City Centre: Roundabout Hostel
The Roundabout Hostel has some excellent social areas – making it the best option for backpackers that want to socialise with others whilst in the city! It is a relatively new hostel, meaning all the furnishings are modern and well kept. The staff are also friendly and very knowledgeable about the city.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in City Centre: Stylish Central Cottage
Airbnb Plus is a selection of apartments and villas that have been handpicked for their style and extra touches! Only a short walk from the coast, this Old Town apartment perfectly exemplifies it with its modern take on the traditional Rovinj household. It is perfect for solo travellers and couples.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in City Centre: Spirito Santo Palazzo Storico
This whitewashed four-star gem is right in the heart of the Old Town – taking you back to the early founding of the city! A historic attraction in its own right, rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences including air conditioning. There is also a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
As Rovinj is a fairly small city, North Rovinj can be easily accessed from the City Centre either on foot or by public transport for the furthest parts. Despite this proximity it can, at times, feel like an entirely different city! It is hugely industrial, reflecting on the city’s past, but still has plenty to offer visitors.
Despite being a little bit less polished than the City Centre districts, North Rovinj is one of the safest areas in the entire country – but still manages to be one of the most budget-friendly parts of the city! This is a great option for those that want to discover an authentic side to modern life in Istria.
Things to See and Do in North Rovinj
– Rent A Boat Rovinj not only allow you to hire your own equipment, but they also provide tours for the less experienced
– Istria Wine Tours depart from North Rovinj, taking you on a tour throughout the region to sample some of the best wines in Croatia
– Head to Rovinj Sub Diving Centre – they offer a range of courses, as well as casual sessions for all experience levels
– The Mirna Fish Processing Plant is a truly unique experience where you can learn about a core part of local life
– Whilst most of the nightlife is concentrated in the City Centre, Steel is just over the boundary in North Rovinj and offers some great prices on drinks
– Restaurant Istrian Beach House is located right on the coast – giving you gorgeous views alongside a well-priced menu
Best Airbnb in North Rovinj: Garden Bungalow
This secluded bungalow is only a short walk through the park to the coast, and with room for up to three guests is great for small groups visiting the area! There are also parking facilities, making this a popular choice with those taking a road trip around Croatia. The host has superhost status, ensuring high levels of service.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel for Backpackers North Rovinj: Rooms Figarola
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in the area, this guest house is a great compromise for backpackers – especially those wanting a little extra privacy! It is located right on the waterfront, giving you gorgeous views of the crystal clear waters surrounding Rovinj. A complimentary breakfast is also included.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in North Rovinj: Family Hotel Amarin
Though right on the edge of North Rovinj, this hotel is well connected by public transport to the City Centre and beyond! It has a large pool terrace with plenty of sunloungers, as well as four restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided every morning.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Rovinj is a fairly family-friendly destination in general, but heading up north along the Istrian Riviera to Porec will give you a little more peace and quiet whilst still offering some great historic attractions! This coastal village has an Old Town of its own, and the friendly locals will be more than happy to help you enjoy the area.
Aside from the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Porec also has some great water sports facilities, locally-owned restaurants and easy-going bars! The shops are also mostly locally owned, giving you the opportunity to pick up some truly unique souvenirs.
Things to See and Do in Porec
– Just outside of the town limits is Aquacolors – a bustling water park with a huge array of slides that is loved by both local and visiting families
– Marafor Square is located right in the town centre, and is a great starting point for checking out the UNESCO World Heritage Site town centre
– Nearby Decumanus Street is where you will find many of the shopping highlights, most of which are locally owned boutiques
– The Euphrasian Basilica is the crowning glory of the city centre – dating back to the Byzantine Era, this is a must-see in Pore?
– Take a trip out to Baredine Cave – this natural wonder can be easily reached by car or with an organised tour from the town
– Restaurant Divino is one of the best-rated restaurants in the area thanks to its seaside location and delicious Mediterranean menu
Best Airbnb in Porec: Artists Apartment
This gorgeous apartment is housed within a historic building dating back to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire! Located right in the heart of the Old Town, it is within walking distance of all the main attractions in Pore?. It can sleep up to four people, and the décor keeps up the historic charm.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel for Backpackers Porec: Old Town Rooms
Another great guest house, this is the perfect choice for backpackers that want a laid-back stay in Pore?! Alongside private rooms, they also have an apartment on offer for larger parties and families. Parking facilities are accessible to guests, and it is located right in the heart of the Old Town.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in Porec: Valamar Riviera Hotel
This four-star hotel is a little bit on the pricier end, but nevertheless an excellent choice for families willing to splurge! A private beach can be reached from the hotel with a short boat ride, giving you a little added serenity during your stay. Rooms are fully air-conditioned and luxury amenities are included.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Rovinj
Rovinj is a gorgeous destination at the end of the Istrian Riviera that has a lot to offer visitors! Gorgeous scenery aside, it is also packed with historic attractions, laid-back bars and restaurants, and an up and coming culture scene. Rovinj is a must-see on any Croatian itinerary.
In terms of the best area, we have to go with the City Centre! The Old Town, in particular, is the main hub for all of the tourist attractions, but the Wider Town also offers a modern alternative.
That being said, all of the neighborhoods mentioned in this guide have their own charms! We hope we have helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip to Rovinj.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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