The Istrian peninsula is Croatia’s most developed tourist destination, as well as being the undisputed gourmet capital. A more tolerant mindset and more independent way of thinking has always set it apart from the rest of Croatia, and the Istrian capital, Pula, attracts a wide range of diverse people.
The world’s sixth largest Roman amphitheatre, Pula Arena, dominates the centre, as well as cultural life, but it is just one small part of the city’s rich Roman heritage. The influence of history can be seen on every building in the historic centre. But Pula is far more than a city with a past. Its beaches, adventure tourism and cultural life, combined with that relaxed lifestyle, make it an ideal place to spend an extended period to discover the wonders of the city and the wider Istrian region.
Some things to know about Pula:
- It is known as the City of Tolerance, due to its reputation of accepting people, regardless of race and background.
- Pula Arena is Croatia’s most innovative event location. A Roman amphitheatre turned concert hall, football and ice hockey pitch, and film festival location.
- The cranes of Uljanik dominate the skyline, once making ships, now the spectacular Lighting Giants.
- The tunnels under Pula can accommodate an astonishing 50,000 people, almost the entire city.
- Partly due to its military history, Pula is the only Croatian city which is not oriented on the Adriatic.
Festivals worth checking out:
- Pula Film Festival (July)
- Vinski Grad, Pula – Wine City (July)
- Visualia Festival
- Pula Arena Gladiator Fights
In addition to all the Roman heritage, Pula has a wide selection of excellent museums and galleries. Beach lover? The Verudela peninsula is the place to head to, home to many of the city’s better hotels. Gourmet lovers will head for the truffles of Motovun, while wine lovers have an enviable task finding the best Malvazija and Teran wines on the Istrian wine road. Two of Croatia’s most spectacular parks, Ucka Nature Park and Brijuni National Park, offer idyllic escapes from the crowds.
Co-working spaces in Pul
There are numerous options (and airports) to reach Pula. The closest, of course, is Pula Airport itself, but there are several others close by – Rijeka, Trieste, Venice and Ljubljana – that are well-served by the budget airlines.
The bus connections around the city, the region, the rest of Croatia, and even internationally, are excellent. There is a train station with services to Rijeka, Zagreb and Slovenia (and one which used to service Uljanik cargo, making it the only train connection to a Croatian island), but traffic is slow and in decline. Pula is connected to the national motorway network, and Zagreb is about a 2-hour drive.
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