Pula, Croatia: The Historical Attraction and A Magical City with Unspoiled Nature
Join us as we visit Pula - the largest city in Istria County, Croatia with a gorgeous harbor, beach-lined coast, and Roman ruins.
Pula is situated at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula. Historical attractions aside, it is a busy commercial city on the sea that has managed to hold a friendly small-town appeal. Set beside the glittering Adriatic Sea, Pula is home to world-class festivals, fresh and affordable cuisine, and the most complete Roman Coliseum in the world!
When we first saw this city, it almost felt as if we were in Rome. Pula was an important provincial center during the later period of the Roman empire and its legacy of public buildings from the time is among the most impressive in Europe.
One of the best sights to visit in this town is the Pula Arena. Amazingly, this 2 thousand years old amphitheater is almost intact and had a capacity of 20 thousand people when it was in use! Filled with underground tunnels and ancient details, this amazing structure is the sixth-largest of its kind in the world, and feels like a piece of history brought to life!
As we explored the amphitheater, we found towers that used to be filled with scented water to spray on the spectators. There was also a stage being setup for a concert in the amphitheater and the girls had a blast dancing to the music!
Next we went into the tunnels where the animals and gladiators came out from. Inside, we saw some amazing contraptions and even some two-thousand-year-old clay vases.
When we finished touring Pula Arena, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant called El Pulari for some yummy burritos.
At the end of our busy day, we checked in to Ribarska Koliba Resort. Our apartment overlooked the port with a gorgeous view.
The next morning we enjoyed the view with a delicious breakfast at the resort. Even though we were visiting at the end of October, the temperature was surprisingly warm at almost 24 degrees celsius.
We then went on a tour of the town, starting at the beautiful Temple of Augustus. Even though it was bombed during World War II, a lot of its ancient architecture and statues are still in great condition.
Pula was one of the most important ship construction sites in the country. Unfortunately, it is now closing down and a lot of people have lost their jobs.
After a short trip to the shipbuilding site, we took a detour to the market and browsed some ornaments & dresses. Our next stop was at the coastal area where the fishermen were bringing in their catch.
Unfortunately, it was Sunday and off-season for tourists, so a few of the attractions in the town were closed. However, we stumbled upon the Istrian olive oil museum where they produce high-quality olive oils and have been in operation for over two thousand years!
An interesting thing about this city is that everywhere you go, you will find some ancient Roman ruins or tunnels. We saw many as we walked around the charming downtown with cobblestone streets, beautiful fountains, and ornate gates.
Our walk eventually took us to Fortress Kaštel. Situated right by the sea and lined with huge cannons, this fortress was built to once protect the town. We could not resist climbing the fort tower for a gorgeous view of the surrounding area and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
That same day was also our 18th wedding anniversary, so in the evening we went out for dinner to celebrate!
Before heading out of Pula, we took a tour of the surrounding canyons and beaches in the town. The coastal area was absolutely stunning with people enjoying the amazing weather and sunbathing on the beach.
We really enjoyed our time in the Istria region of Croatia and can't wait to return again in the future.