Rovinj is a small town, romantic, full of history and hidden corners, with SightRun tour you’ll get a glimpse of what it can offer and we are sure you’ll enjoy your sightseeing run. Don’t miss this opportunity while you are there.
Although we have tried to combine many attractions with SightRun tours, there are still many things for you to see and to visit in your free time. If you wonder what to see in Rovinj, here are our suggestions.
A small Church of St. George used to be situated where the Church of St. Euphemia is located today. When St. Euphemia’s sarcophagus was brought to Rovinj, the old little church became too small for all the pilgrims. In 10th century the people of Rovinj started building a new, bigger church. In the beginning of the 17th century, a new gold-plated stone statue was made which until this day remains on the altar. On the left side, there is the altar of the Holy Sacraments with statues of angels. On the right side from the main altar, you will see the altar of St. Euphemia, the patron-saint of the town. The altar itself is rich in marble. Behind the altar you’ll see a sarcophagus in which relics of St. Euphemia are kept. The bell-tower reaches the height of more than 61 meters. It’s a beautiful view of all Rovinj area from the bell-tower and when the weather is good you can even see the Alps.
Where the Balbi’s Arch stands today, there used to be the main gate to the fortified city of Porton della Pescheria. The old gate was pulled down in 1678/79 and the Balbi’s Arch was built in its place. It was built during the time of Mayor Daniel Balbi. The inscription written on a stone board placed on the arch bears witness to that fact. The arch leads to Grisia street. On one side there’s the carved head of a Turk and on the other side is the carved head of a Venetian.
The Batana Eco-museum is the first eco-museum not only in Istria, but also the first in Croatia, which has completely come to life within its local community. This eco-museum is dedicated to the same-named little fishing boat and the local community who has recognised it as the symbol of its heritage. It reflects the continuity of the local maritime and fishing heritage, as well as the continuity of the everyday life of the local population. The museum consists of: The House of Batana – an interpretation and documentation centre; Spacio Matika – Rovinj’s version of a tavern, an authentic space of the living experience of the culinary, linguistic and musical intangible heritage of Rovinj; Mali Škver – a place for the preserving and transmission of the intangible heritage of the construction of the batana, added to the list of the Republic of Croatia’s intangible cultural heritage.
Official page: Batana Heritage Museum
St. Andrew’s Island is the biggest island in Rovinj’s archipelago. A 15 minute boat ride is enjoyable and offers lovely views on the old town and Golden Cape forest area. Also known as the Red Island it actually consists of two islets: bigger one St. Andrew and a smaller islet Maskin. The island has some historical buildings: never finished family mausoleum Huetterott, old Church and a monastery. The islands vegetation is very rich with over 180 different plants.
St. Catherine Island is a smaller island and it’s closer to the shore. It takes only 5 minutes by boat to reach it. The boat runs every half an hour in high season. It has beautiful gardens and parks with over 450 different plants. Beaches are mostly rocky.
The forest park Punta Corrente (Golden Cape) is one of the most important natural attractions of Rovinj. At the end of the 19th century Georg Hütterott bought four Rovinj islands (St. Andrew, Maskin, Sturag and San Giovanni) and began cleaning up an area of about 90 hectares on the Golden Cape to build a spa. The uniqueness of Punta Corrente has been recognized in 1961 and declared a nature park. Golden Cape is ideal for various sporting activities such as running, cycling, gymnastics. The old quarry has been transformed into a paradise for lovers of free climbing. The whole area is closed to traffic from motor vehicles. Himalayan cedars, cypresses and pines are planted.
#Tip for Trail Runners: Discover Golden Cape with SightRun App. Chose a Golden Cape Run and enjoy running through the most beautiful landscapes of the western Istria. The tour is 8 km long and it at the park entrance.
Visit archaeological site of Monkodonjo. The site dates back to the Bronze Age. The settlement was encircled by 1 kilometer long stone walls. It consisted of three parts: the central barrow, the crafts district and the living quarters. Over thousand people lived here. Today you can visit the ruins of this once important settlement.
It’s the most famous open-air exhibit in Croatia and most famous cultural manifestation in Rovinj. It carries the name of the street where it’s being held, Grisia street which conects main city square and St. Eufemia church. Great number of artists are exposing their art to many visitors of Rovinj. The exhibit dates back from 1967 and it has a competitive character, everyone can take part.
It’s located in a baroque palace of the counts of Califfi from the 17th/18th century. The museum operates in the public interest as a city gallery and a place where more valuable items from the rich museum collection are permanently exhibited: archaeological exhibition, maritime section, collection of works by old masters, contemporary Croatian art. Because of the scarcity of space and the rich gallery activity program, only a small fragment of the museum wealth is available for the visitors today.
Official page: Rovigno City Museum
The construction of this beautiful Baroque building started in 1702. The monastery belongs to a type of claustral city monasteries and, according to its integral parts, it is traditional and adjusted to the life of the monks and the wider community. The monastery library stores a collection of about twelve thousand books, mainly of theological content, some of which date from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and are true rarities. The monastery also has a monastery collection of over 250 exhibits representing various and diverse evidence of human creativity, knowledge and achievement.
If you wish to get familiar with Croatia, you no longer need a car, a train or an airplane; you only need to come to Rovinj, to the Mini Croatia Park and you will be able to get across Croatia in no longer than half an hour. The visitors can enjoy a nice walk on an area of 5,500 square feet, passing through Dubrovnik, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Karlovac, all the way to Istria, the Učka Tunnel, Pazin Cave, Lim Channel, Pula Arena and Rovinj’s Church of St. Euphemia.
Official page: Mini Croatia
In his gallery space located in the very heart of the city the author and owner Mr. Trani makes wooden models of batanas in various sizes. The visitors can see here over 100 exhibits – from paintings and sculptures dedicated to the fishermen and the sea, models of batanas and other vessels, to the old tools Rovinj shipbuilders used when making these characteristic boats. Certain tools date from over 200 years ago and are considered priceless exhibits bearing witness to the times past.
The Gallery was opened in 2001 and since then it has hosted the exhibitions by many eminent artists such as Edo Murtić, Vlaho Bukovac, Oton Gliha, Dušan Džamonja and others. The Adris Gallery building has the characteristics of a multifunctional cultural facility used for painting, sculpture and ambient exhibitions and for concerts.
Official page: Adris Gallery
The tradition of painting and the beauty of the city have always drawn artists to spend the summer in Rovinj or to permanently stay here. Today, several eminent contemporary artists live and work in the city. They are the members of Croatian associations of painters and have gained their reputation on numerous Croatian and international art competitions.
In this centuries-old building located inside the Maritime Research Center of the Ruđer Bošković Institute, you can experience all the diversity of the Adriatic underwater world. It was opened in 1891 and it belongs among the oldest institutions of that kind in the world. The aquarium is open to visitors and abounds the local flora and fauna presenting the typical communities that live in our undersea area.
The old town of Rovinj is the protected historical centre. The narrow cobbled alleys and the small squares which have witnessed the turbulent history of the town are full of medieval, gothic, renaissance and baroque buildings and terraces. On the northern side, you will find the remains of the walls which used to protect the inhabitants from conquerors. Walking down the old alleys is a very special experience, you will feel like time has stopped. You’ll find a new surprise at every step: small churches, monuments, old doors and arches behind every corner. Let yourself be guided by curiosity and be amazed. Peninsula of Rovinj is a labyrinth where losing yourself is good. Have no fear because everything in Rovinj is a ten minute walk from the main square. The downtown streets are teeming with restaurants, galleries, shops and cafes.
Apart from being the Praetorian Palace in the past, it also served as a prison. The core of the Communal or Town Palace, the site of present-day town administration, dates from the 16th century. During the course of time, the palace was frequently changed. The mural painting from 1580 depicting the allegory of the town administration had been preserved, recently restored and put on the town council walls.
Founded in 1968, it is situated in the immediate vicinity of the city palace. The Center disposes with a large library (more than 80 000 works) that has the status of „Biblioteca depositaria del Consiglio d´Europa“ since 1995 – the library where the European Council’s material, related to the issues from human rights and minority rights, is archived.
From 15th to 18th century, this was the location of St. Damjan’s public granary and then in 1872 it became the location of the first tobacco manufacture in Rovinj.
The Multimedia Center is a beautiful example of modern architecture and monovolume design in 250 square meters, exquisitely located in the immediate vicinity of the sea. The attractive and multifunctional structure was primarily visioned as a civic center and a venue for various cultural, educational and entertainment events. There’s a wide range of programs and events hosted in MMC (promotions, lectures, presentations, film shows, concerts, dance evenings).
8 kilometers south of Rovinj in area of 20 hectares near the sea is located the only ornithological reserve in Istria. Palud was a fresh water swamp that the Austro-Hungarian army connected to the sea in 1906 by digging a channel with the hope that the increased salinity of water would stop the development of mosquito larvae and prevent malaria. They didn’t manage to suppress malaria but as a result of the mixing of fresh and salt water in the swamp, mullets and eels, fish that prefer brackish water, found their habitat. Throughout the year this specific wetland area conceals 220 until today observed bird species.
Settled in the southern part of Rovinj’s coast, about 8 km from the center of Rovinj. In the centre of its northern wall is a niche with the most probable location of a filter for the purification of the water pouring into the cistern. If you go for a swim at the Cisterna bay, you’ll have the opportunity to see how the Romans build the tanks and made water reserves a long time ago.
Romanesque building of neo-Latin style that is in coastal Istria from the 13th century. It’s an heptagonal shrine with bare stone walls and a cupola ceiling. The interior was plastered over many times and its original style altered. Under the painted walls are sacred reproductions, ingenious mural decorations from the middle ages. The structure today is still well preserved in its best restructured condition.
The Green market in Rovinj is located in the center of town. Surrounded by a miriad of colors, sounds and scents, at the market you can really find almost anything. From fresh, local fruits and vegetables, cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, indigenous local products, liqueur, honey, while fresh fish can be found in the fish market which is located within the green market. Fish market is very rich in fresh, just caught fish and therefore we warmly recommend it. For those of you who want to bring along some memory of Rovinj, within the market there are stalls with various souvenirs.
Have you found something else worth visiting? Let us know so we can share with others.
Have a nice holiday and enjoy Rovinj!