Pula

I had not planned much for my visit to Pula. To be honest, I had not planned anything. The only two things I knew, was that it was a very convenient starting point for my trip to Slovenia (the most important thing) and that they have a large amphitheater. If I had done just a little research, I would probably only stayed one night (I arrived late evening) and moved on as soon as possible the next day. But I obviously didn’t, so I tried to make the most of it. So here it comes; my verdict.

The amphitheater: This impressive monument was built in the 1st century AD, at the same time as the magnificent Colosseum in Rome, so make sure to see it during your visit. However, you do not need to actually enter. I did not, and concluded the views from outside is better anyway.
Amphitheatre in Pula, CroatiaOther sights: The view from the castle was a little disappointing, mostly because what you can see is the industry all around. Let’s face it; In my book an industrial harbour can never look beautiful. Even though they did do a nice try lighting up the cranes during the evening.

The industrial cranes in Pula, Croatia lit up by night

The industrial cranes lit up by night

Start by the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi, often referred to as the Golden Gate, and stroll through the old town. Make sure to do a few detours along the way to see more than just the main street.

The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi in Pula, Croatia

The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi.

Street in old town Pula, Croatia

Main square of Pula and Temple of Augustus.

Main square of Pula and Temple of Augustus.

Arriving at the main square, you will see the Temple of Augustus, constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14 . Check. And move on. The cathedral and belfry next-door looks nice, but the two restaurants there has extremely slow service (we left the first one, that’s why we know both…).
The Cathedral and belfry
At the end of the old town is the amphitheater, so here it is again.
The Amphitheatre in Pula, Croatia
On the way back, you can actually walk the underground shelter tunnels of Pula, called Zerostrasse!  The different hallways houses exhibitions, spanning from the history of the film festival, local artwork and aviation history.

Zerostrasse, the underground shelter tunnels of Pula, Croatia

Zerostrasse, the underground shelter tunnels of Pula.

The beach: We were recommended to go to Verudelia beach. It looked nice on the photo on the back of the map, so we decided to go there. For us, it was a complete waste. It was overcrowded (we could have predicted that though), so we did not even bother to dive in, although I love swimming in the ocean. But, as we both like to walk a lot when travelling, we had stopped for a quick cooling swim at the beach by the Youth Hostel along the way, so I was not completely over boiled.

Overcrowded Verudella beach in Pula, Croatia

Overcrowded Verudella beach.

Walking just across the hill from Verudelia to the marina, we sat down at the rooftop lounge. The beer was nice and cold, the view of the boats giving a pleasant atmosphere, and they served a decent all you can eat grill buffet for 100kn.

View from the rooftop terrace by Marina Bunarina in Pula, Croatia

View from the rooftop terrace by Marina Bunarina.

If you are up for a drink in the evening, stop either at one of the places at the main square if you want to stay outside, or at the small “Old City Bar” if you are keen on going indoors.
The main square of Pula, Croatia by night. With Temple of Augustus.
Where to stay: As I was travelling alone (or at least planned to), I had booked a bed in a dorm at Riva Hostel. It was nice and centrally located, with a fantastic rooftop terrace. For solo travelers this is a great place to get to know others! They also offer private rooms if you are more people travelling together.

Rooftop terrace at Riva Hostel in Pula, Croatia

Rooftop terrace at Riva Hostel.

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