The beating heart of Istria

One of the Istria peninsula’s most authentic resorts, Pula is a bustling portside city. The star attraction is its impressive Roman amphitheatre, so large it looms over the harbourfront, towering above the terraced cafés and seafood restaurants. This is where the action happens over the summer, when the crumbling monument transforms into an otherworldly venue for music festivals and outdoor concerts. Pula holidays offer urban buzz, cosmopolitan dining and remote, rugged beaches.

Despite being the region’s capital, Pula has more of a small-town vibe to it, meaning you can walk at a laid-back pace as you wander around its pedestrianised Roman centre. A city of contrasts, Pula juxtaposes Renaissance architecture, Roman ruins and modernist residential blocks. Yet if you’ve come for the sunbathing and swimming, holidays to Pula won’t disappoint, as the bay offers pretty beaches, dramatic scenery and plenty of hidden coves.

Your Pula questions, answered

Crammed with architectural gems, historic monuments, relaxed restaurants and year-round nightlife, Pula is perfect for holidaying friends and history buffs alike. Families love its uncrowded beaches.

Pula is one of Istria’s most affordable resorts with plenty of budget options. That said, upmarket boutiques and villas are also dotted throughout the city.

Pula is known for its Roman amphitheatre, music festivals and as the one-time home of writer James Joyce, whose statue sits in the city centre.

Best things to do in Pula

Feast on seafood

Fishing boats dock at Pula’s harbour with their fresh hauls. Choose a waterfront restaurant and order grilled sardines with a glass of chilled Istrian white.

Spot Roman ruins

The amphitheatre is the greatest treasure in Pula, but also look out for the majestic arches of the Golden Gate and the well-preserved Temple of Augustus.

Dance all night

Pula and its surrounding coastal suburbs host some of the best summertime dance music festivals in Europe, meaning there’s always a hip party happening somewhere.