Pula city tour with a tourist guide
Pula is the largest city in Istria and it is one of the largest cities in Croatia. It was an important industrial center with Uljanik shipyard, built in the Austro-Hungarian time, with the Arena textile factory and also with its cement factory. In recent years, one of the leading economies is tourism. Pula with its architectural beauties, monuments, events and with its beautiful beaches is a place to be discovered ... and why not, also to be rediscovered again. For all these reasons Pula is definitely worth a guided visit ... perhaps with the help of a professional tourist guide.
Pula is situated south of the Istrian peninsula. Istria is a region of Croatia that borders Slovenia to the north and Italy to the west by sea. In Istria there is a well-developed road network which connects Pula to the rest of Croatia and Slovenia via Ipsilon highway. Pula International Airport is about 10 km from the city centre and is well connected by bus and shuttle service. Pula can also be reached by train with connections from Ljubljana in Slovenia, from northern Istria, from Rijeka and from the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. Unfortunately, the railway network in Croatia is not very well developed and it is difficult to move exclusively by train. If you don't have a car available, it is better to travel by coach.
When to visit
The Istrian peninsula is known for its Mediterranean climate and low rainfall. The best time to visit Pula is certainly spring and autumn ... but the most lively and festive period is for sure summer, full of concerts and shows and above all a lot of swimming, beaches and sun. Pula city beaches are free and easily to reach from the centre by bus or car, although in summer it is better to use the bicycle or rent a scooter to avoid running into the problem of parking in the city.
Why to visit
Pula is one of the largest cities in Croatia and has the largest Roman heritage of the nation. There is a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre which today is home to concerts of all kinds, from opera to pop, from classical to electronic music. In its past times Pula was under Roman, Venetian and French domination. It was under Italy during Fascism and for almost fifty years it was part of Yugoslavia. This variety of presences are visible everywhere, in monuments, in architecture but also in gastronomy. In summer it is full of events such as Viva La Pola punk-rock music festival, international concerts held at the Arena and at the Cavea Romane (Roman Quarries), and PUF non-verbal theatre festival. Furthermore, for almost 70 years Pulafilmfestival has been home to the most important film festival in Croatia now and in Yugoslavia before. For the calendar of events you can check the tourist board site. And then, let's not forget, there are its beautiful beaches!
If you have the opportunity to move around, a visit (and a beautiful day at the beach), for example, deserves Cape Kamenjak, the extreme point of the peninsula inside the homonymous natural park.
What to see in Pula
In Pula it is possible to visit monuments dating back to Roman times such as the Amphitheatre and the Roman theatre. In addition to the cathedral there are also numerous churches such as the remains of the beautiful Byzantine church of Saint Maria Formosa.
There are also numerous palaces and evidences of the period of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of the Fascist period and finally of the Yugoslav period. It is also very interesting to find in Pula literally hidden sites inserted within the city, such as the suggestive and moving Roman mosaic "The Punishment of Dirce", the surprising house of Agrippina or the cloister of the Franciscan church.
Besides being full of historical and cultural testimonies, Pula is also a very lively city. There is a nice outdoor and indoor market, there are many clubs, restaurants and events. Do not miss the Saturday morning at the market, full of colourful stalls of fruit and vegetables and fresh fish from the Adriatic. Here you can also taste and buy local products such as the famous Istrian prosciutto and goat cheeses and cow's milk cheeses such as skuta.
But in Pula it is also nice to relax and sip a coffee or a glass of Istrian Malvasia, perhaps right in the main square, Forum, from where you can admire the Temple of Augustus and the Town Hall building. In addition to monuments, Pula is rich in picturesque little streets such as those leading to the Venetian Castle where tranquillity reigns and from where you can see all of Pula. If, on a rainy day, you want to stay indoors, you can go to the Museum of modern and contemporary art or to the Aquarium of Pula.
If you are interested in a visit to the city of Pula with a professional tour guide, my guided tour includes a visit to the Arena (also in case with the entrance and a visit to the basements), a visit to the main monuments including the Sergi arch and the Twin gate. We will visit the main square, Forum with the Town Hall building and the Temple of Augustus.
During the walk we will also see some .... scattered and hidden pearls of the city.
If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact me for thematic visits to the city, or tailor-made tours for groups, families and children.