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.

Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of the historic center of the Old Town… Embrace the romance in a boutique hotel with stone walls overlooking the Adriatic Sea… Or play some racquet on the tennis courts at the wonderful selection of luxurious hotels Rovinj has to offer.

Though Rovinj has long been known as a highlight of Istria with locals, it is still a relatively new destination to outside travellers, making it difficult to figure out where to stay in Rovinj.

That’s where I come in! I’ve consulted locals, bloggers and travel experts to create this guide to the four 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!

couple sitting on a stone wall watching sunset across the water, backpacking croatia
Enjoy a sunset from the stone walls of Old Town
Photo: Chris Lininger

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Rovinj?

Rovinj is such a stunning stop on your backpacking Croatia route. Whatever you want from a beach holiday on the Adriatic Coast, Rovinj has it. Naturally, crystal-clear water, lush green forests and marvellous cliffs decorate the area and amongst all this, there are ancient historic ruins and buildings to explore!

Before I get into where to stay in Rovinj, here are my top selections for accommodation, the best hotel, studio apartment, and Airbnb. In this article, I’ve got some great recommendations for fun things to do while you’re here and plenty more ideas for where to stay.

Hotel Lone | Best Hotel in Rovinj

Lone Hotel, Rovinj Croatia

The Hotel Lone in Rovinj is an epic choice if you want it all. I’m talking sushi bar, night club, indoor and outdoor pool… three swimming pools in fact, as well as a wellness area.

Set just 200m back from the sea within the Golden Cape Natural Park, Lone Hotel has the option for interconnecting rooms, perfect for families. Enjoy a beautiful breakfast at the Hotel Lone and make the most of the spacious surroundings and the proximity to town too.

Roko Apartments | Best Apartment in Rovinj

Roko Apartments, Rovinj Croatia

I love this bright apartment in a central location of the city. Lovely and private with all the basic necessities it’s a fabulous option for a budget stay in Rovinj.

Enjoy your private balcony, the gardens and the terrace for those balmy Croatian nights. Just 20 minutes out, I’d say it’s within walking distance of the narrow cobblestone streets of Rovinj Old Town

Artists Apartment | Best Airbnb in Rovinj

Artists Apartment, Rovinj Croatia

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 who want to head to a quieter resort along the Istrian Riviera. It is designed in a traditional style.

Rovinj Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Rovinj

FIRST TIME IN ROVINJ
City Centre Rovinj
FIRST TIME IN ROVINJ

Old Town

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!

ON A BUDGET
North Rovinj Rovinj
ON A BUDGET

North Rovinj

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!

FOR FAMILIES
Porec Rovinj
FOR FAMILIES

Porec

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!

TREAT YOURSELF
TREAT YOURSELF

Mulini Area

Mulini has beaches, the harbour and cars on the streets. With all this activity, it’s the perfect place to recharge and lounge between the sheets.

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! It has plenty of fantastic attractions and makes an excellent getaway if you enjoy relaxing and soaking up a unique culture.

Rovinj city is where most tourists base themselves and has a few different neighbourhoods.

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. This is because it’s pedestrian-only which is great for getting your steps in!

Katarina Island is just off the coast and offers a unique getaway and breathtaking views over the historical Old Town of Rovinj. I highly recommend popping out here if you’ve got time and want to get a different perspective.

Market vendor smiling over her citrus for sale, sunny winter morning in croatia
Rovinj has lots of markets, get yo self there for great local everything!
Photo: Chris Lininger

The Mulini Area, on the other hand, is just a short walk away from the Old Town and is much busier, stretching along the waterfront. Extending into Punta Corrente Forest Park, Rovinj Hotels are abundant here. It’s a great place to base yourself if you want to hit up the local bars and check out some cultural performances too.

Beyond the town, the ‘burbs and North Rovinj get pretty residential, and a bit industrial which isn’t great for pub crawls and partying… But brilliant for adventuring, you’ll get lush greenery in this neck of the woods. There are plenty of private rentals out here, close to town but off the beaten path, good for budget travellers visiting the area on a shoestring.

Finally, it is also worth considering the neighbouring towns in the region. The entire coast from Rovinj to Umag is considered the Istrian Riviera and one of my 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.

Rovinj Four Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the best neighbourhoods in Rovinj. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.

1. Old Town – Where to Stay in Rovinj for Your First Time

The charming old town is the perfect pick for first-time visitors to Rovinj who want to be in the heart of the historic centre! 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.

looking back across crystal clear water to Old town, rovinj

Cars are restricted here so enjoy the gentle exercise of walking through narrow cobblestone streets to see the sights of old Rovinj. Make your way along the harbour to the Mulini Area to get to the nearest beach outside of the harbour, the stunning Zlatni Rat Beach.

Spirito Santo Palazzo Storico | Best Hotel in Old Town

Spirito Santo Palazzo Storico, Rovinj Croatia

This whitewashed four-star gem is right in the heart of the historic centre – taking you back to the early founding of the city! A historic attraction in its own right, the rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences including air conditioning.

There is also a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning AND a wine bar… What a combo!

Hotel Adriatic | Best Luxury Hotel in Old Town

Hotel Adriatic, Rovinj Croatia

Who needs the beach when you can lounge seaside at your luxurious hotel? The Hotel Adriatic is a boutique hotel in the heart of Rovinj’s lively Old town.

During the summer this Rovinj old town hotel will ferry you between the islands of St. Katarina and St. Andrew. If you need some island time, you’re free to use the swimming pools and sun decks of the hotels. It’s all part of the service, darling.

Island Hotel Katarina | Best Hotel in Katarina Island

Island Hotel Katarina, Rovinj Croatia

This is a bonus round in my Old Town recommendations. This Rovinj hotel is set apart, literally, it’s on an island! Elevate your holiday and look back to the ancient city across the water to the Old Town and harbour from the lush green landscape of this hotel.

Home to a large swimming pool overlooking the ocean, restaurants and volleyball courts, you’ll be in paradise at the Island Hotel Katarina. As if that wasn’t enough, the grounds have private beaches, forests to walk through and a boat to ferry you to and from town as you please.

Montalbano Studio Apartment | Best Airbnb in Old Town

Montalbano Studio Apartment, Rovinj Croatia

Rovinj is a bit behind the ball on hostels but this studio apartments picking up the slack. Featuring a modern design, a cosy small kitchen and light rooms in the heart of Old Town for a relatively cheap price, you’ll want to book ASAP.

Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of Rovinj Old Town for a day of exploring from this sweet studio apartment

Things to See and Do in Old Town

TTD Old Town Rovinj Croatia
  1. The main square in the Old Town is the tourism hub containing many great cafes, restaurants and the gorgeous St Euphemia Church
  2. 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
  3. Take an unforgettable sailing trip to Venice for the day on a boat ride across the Adriatic Sea.
  4. There is a daily market at Valdibora that offers street food, fresh ingredients and handicrafts that make excellent souvenirs
  5. Marvel at the spectacular lakes and waterfalls as you hike through Plitvice Lakes, Croatia’s oldest and largest national park.
  6. Create your very own souvenir in the romantic Old Town as you experience art with all your senses in this painting workshop.

2. North Rovinj – Best Place to Stay in Rovinj on a Budget

As Rovinj is a fairly small city, North Rovinj can be easily accessed 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.

Old Town, on a blue sky day with calm water, North Rovinj Rovinj
Just up the coast, but slightly further than this

A little less polished, North Rovinj is one of the safest areas in Croatia and one of the most budget-friendly parts of Rovinj! This is a great option for those who want to discover an authentic side to modern life in Istria.

Family Hotel Amarin | 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 Old Town 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.

Rooms Figarola | Best Homestay 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.

Garden Bungalow | 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.

Things to See and Do in North Rovinj

TTD North Rovinj Croatia
  1. Have a big day out on the water on this kayak tour to cliff-jumping spots!
  2. Aaaargh! Get your pirate on with this trip to the Pirate Caves
  3. Head to Rovinj Sub Diving Centre – they offer a range of courses, as well as casual sessions for all experience levels
  4. Explore Inner Istria on a guided tour and discover the medieval artists’ village
  5. Head inland to Kula Turnina and roam around the ruins

3. Porec – Best Neighborhood in Rovinj for Families to Stay In

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.

boats parked in a marina, Porec Rovinj
It’s popular to travel along the coast by boat… jump on in!

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, allowing you to pick up some truly unique souvenirs.

Valamar Riviera Hotel | Best Hotel in Porec

Valamar Riviera Hotel

This four-star hotel is a little bit on the pricier end, but 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.

Old Town Rooms | Best Hotel for Backpackers Porec

Old Town Rooms

Another great guest house, this is the perfect choice for backpackers who 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.

Artists Apartment | 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.

Things to See and Do in Porec

TTD Porec Rovinj Croatia
Photo: Moto Itinerari (Flickr)
  1. 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
  2. Treat yourself to a relaxing cruise among 20 scenic islets of the Adriatic archipelago
  3. 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
  4. Nearby Decumanus Street is where you will find many of the shopping highlights, most of which are locally owned boutiques
  5. Experience the reason why Porec is the jewel of Istra – The Euphrasian Basilica on this tour
  6. Take a trip out to Baredine Cave – this natural wonder can be easily reached by car or with an organised tour from the town
  7. Take a day trip to Venice via Catamaran and explore the city
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4. Mulini Area – Where to Stay in Rovinj to Treat Yo Self

Mulini Beach is on your doorstep, and Zlatni Rat is just around the bay. The natural beauty of this coastline is full of promenades to walk along safely and is perfect for outdoor activities. The wonderful Punta Corrente Forest Park at the end of the harbour is stunning to enjoy walking, swimming, cycling and climbing here.

Man on the side of the road in croatia in a position of arms up excitement
Cruise into Rovinj

Mulini has beaches, the harbour and cars on the streets. With all this activity, it’s the perfect place to recharge and lounge between the sheets. Woo, I’ve got some sweet Rovinj hotels for you to peruse. If you’re a nature lover like me, you’ll spend lots of time in Zlatni Rt, finding secluded beaches and stunning views.

With some pretty luxurious hotel options, the pickings are slim for budget travellers but there are plenty of apartments to rent more inland. I’ve picked the best hotels and my favourite apartment for you, my travelling friend, read on!

Hotel Eden | Best Hotel in Mulini

Hotel Eden, Rovinj Croatia

This Rovinj hotel is for my fellow nature lovers out there. On the edge of the luscious 100-year-old Zlatni Rt Park forest, this boutique hotel has its own beach, swimming pools and tennis courts.

Hotel Eden provides a diverse array of entertainment. You can sweat it out in their gym, sauna, and steam rooms; AND, there’s an outdoor terrace with a stage. You can enjoy the typical entertainment of Rovinj through live music, various shows, folklore performances and the charming old town acapella vocal ensemble called Klape.

Lone Hotel | Another Great Hotel in Mulini

Lone Hotel, Rovinj Croatia

The Hotel Lone in Rovinj is an epic choice if you want it all. I’m talking sushi bar, night club, indoor and outdoor pool… three swimming pools in fact, as well as a wellness area.

Set just 200m back from the sea within the Golden Cape Natural Park, Lone Hotel has the option for interconnecting rooms, perfect for families. Enjoy a beautiful breakfast at the Hotel Lone and make the most of the spacious surroundings and the proximity to town too. Hotel Lone is the sister hotel to Hotel Eden so check them both out.

Grand Park Hotel | Best Luxury Hotel in Mulini

Grand Park Hotel, Rovinj Croatia

The Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is simply gorgeous. With views across the Adriatic Sea to the nearby islands and through the harbour to the Old Town, this luxury hotel is here to stun.

Home to an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts as well as a wellness area, The Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is a hotel designed to entertain. Enjoy not only a buffet breakfast but various restaurants, bars and a pastry shop too.

Roko Apartments | Best Apartment in Mulini

Roko Apartments, Rovinj Croatia

I love this bright apartment in a central location of the city. Lovely and private with all the basic necessities it’s a fabulous option for a budget stay in Rovinj. I’d be tempted to set up long-term and work from here.

Enjoy your private balcony, the gardens and the terrace for those balmy Croatian nights. Just 20 minutes out, I’d say it’s within walking distance of the narrow cobblestone streets of Rovinj Old Town

Things to See and Do in Mulini

TTD Zlatni rat Rovinj Croatia
Photo: Szabolcs Emich (Flickr)
  1. Wander along the promenade – either towards Old Town Rovinj or Punta Corrente Forest Park (Zlatni Rat)
  2. Catch some rays and swim in the Adriatic Sea at Mulini Beach
  3. Explore Istra and taste the tantalising truffle on this epic day tour
  4. Take a picnic and hike out to Golden Cape Beach for the day
  5. Experience an e-bike tour and discover the beauty of Vodnjan with wine tasting too
  6. Head out past Lone Bay for some Rock Climbing, remember your bouldering shoes!
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Rovinj

Here’s what people usually ask me about where to stay in Rovinj.

What To Pack For Rovinj

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
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Hanging Laundry Bag

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Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Where are the best restaurants in Rovinj?

I love Mediterraneo Bar in Old Town Rovinj. You can sit on their colourful chairs or beanbags and dangle your toes in the heavenly water or even go for a swim! Set amongst the stone walls of the historic center, Mediterraneo Bar is perfect for a Cretian cocktail and a meal.

Are there 5 star hotels in Rovinj?

Absolutely! Check out the Grand Park Hotel for your luxury vacation, you boujee thing! This Rovinj hotel is on the old Venetian harbour so you’ve got sea views for days. Five-star beaches are here too, visit the famous Balouta Beach, a stone beach located within the old walls of the historic center.

Lone Bay Beach and Mulini Beach, out in Punta Corrente Forest Park are both sandy beaches and great places to hike, swim, sunbathe, and snorkel. Mulini is the nearest beach to Grand Park Hotel if you need an immediate vitamin sea hit.

What is the best Airbnb in Rovinj?

The Artists Apartment is my top choice for sure. Plan ahead if you’re thinking of a trip to Rovinj, especially a beach holiday during peak season or for the Rovinj carnival in February. I suggest you book your hotel at least 4 months in advance to get your pick of the best deals and accommodation. 

Where is Rovinj?

Rovinj is in Croatia’s Istra region, almost directly opposite Venice across the Adriatic Sea. A glorious spot for a beach holiday, Italian-esque with stone walls, great history and narrow cobblestone streets. English is widely spoken in Rovinj but their two official languages are Croatian and Italian.

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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 cultural scene. Rovinj is a must-see on any Croatian itinerary.

In terms of the best area, I choose The Old Town, every time! It is the main hub for all of the tourist attractions, plus the sweet stone walls and cobblestone streets that are so picturesque. This being said the Mulini area is a modern alternative if tennis courts and swimming pools are more your scene, no shade from me.

If you’re looking for a stunning hotel and off-the-beaten-track vibes, I recommend staying at Island Hotel Katarina. Here you’ll have everything you could wish for amongst the stunning nature of Katarina Island. Explore a little and you will find the historic ruins of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy integrated into the hotel.

Or, for my fellow budgetpackers out there, I’d book in at Roko Apartment. I just love this studio apartments set up, so colourful and simple but wanting for nothing. Handy for getting in that soft exercise as you walk into the Old Town for beachside cocktails.

I hope I have helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip to Rovinj. Whether you’re up for hitting the beach or roaming the old town, decide where to stay in Rovinj is best for you. All of the neighbourhoods mentioned in this guide have their charms, let me know in the comments what you choose!

woman looking out to the ocean at sunset, backpacking croatia
Set off on foot to leave the tourist hordes behind… Enjoy the trip!
Photo: Chris Lininger
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