By far the largest city in the Istria region in northern Croatia
, Pula is also the most important city in Istria, which annually draws countless aficionados to its sunny shores to experience what the Romans considered one of the best portions of the Mediterranean
With a history stretching for 3000 years, the town has managed to accumulate a wealth of cultures, traditions and important landmarks, a testament to its tumultuous past. Today, during the summer months, the locals share the beaches and the city streets with lots of visitors from all over the world.
Travel & Arrival
Such a big city is dependent on having its own airport, which is why the Pula international Airport is one of the biggest air terminals in this part of the country, handling planes as big as the Boeing 747. There are internal flights from Zagreb, but there are also regular flights from Amsterdam, London, Manchester, Oslo, Vienna or Zurich. The airport is 6km away from the city but has regular buses servicing it, aiding the groups reach town.
The local bus routes reach Pula from other corners of the country, but also other destinations on the Dalmatian coast such as Rijeka or Split
as well as international runs from Trieste, Belgrade or Venice.
When arriving by water, the hydrofoils are a rather pricy but very quick and comfortable ride which come from other places along the Craotian coast, as well as from across the Adriatic, from Venice. These runs last around 3 hours and arrive in Pula 5 times a week, and still they tend to get rather crowded between July and August, when the most numerous population heads to these shores.
Avant & Apres Sail
There are lots of Roman ruins to be seen, but any self-respecting traveler should start off with the Arena, among the largest Roman constructions still standing in the world today. Then, a visit by the Forum in the main city square is obligatory. Optional attractions are the Archeology Museum, the St. Francis church and monastery from the 14th century, the Kastel (castle) and the Sailors’ cemetery and Sailors’ Church.
The central market is very popular with locals and tourists alike for the bargains you can find here. Fish, mussels, traditional handicrafts, souvenirs and many other trinkets can be bought here at decent prices. For wines, olive oil and truffles (a local specialty) head to Zigante. More modern shopping can be found at the Mercator mall outside of town heading to the airport, with items such as clothing or electronics, something for the more modern sailor.
The cuisine in Pula can be described in two words: fresh and sophisticated. The olives here are said to have a special aroma due to the soil, which is also why the region is famous for its truffles. Many Italian dishes find their way into the menus of most restaurants and thus on the tables of the masses which revel in dishes such as sea bass, sole, mussels, clams and prawns cooked, baked or fried with different sauces, vegetables or spices.
The party life in and around the city center suffers a bit due to a restriction that closes most bars after midnight, but the ones in the Veruda area make up for that , while in the north eastern part of the city, the regular will find some of the bigger clubs.
Events & Actions
Looking over the list of events throughout the year in Pula, one would realize that most of them happen during summer, such as the Seasplash Raggae Festival in July, the Pula Film Festival also in July, the Histria Festival from July to August. But there are also things happening outside the tourist season, like the International Music Festival in November.