Its history started about 3000 years ago when it was built by Illyrians. Romans occupied Istria in 177 B.C. After the destruction of Western Roman empire, Istrian peninsula was devastated by Ostrogoths. Slavs came in Istria during migration period in 7th century but mostly lived on countryside. At that time Pula was still inhabited mostly by Italians. Landlords in Pula changed quite frequently in middle ages from republic of Venice to Genoa to Illyrian Provinces to Austria–Hungary and many others. After second world war it has been part of Croatia. In that time Italians fled to mother Italy and Pula was inhabited by Croats. Although most of the population still consists of Croats there are lots of quite big minorities in Pula such as Serbs, Italians, Bosniaks and Slovenes.
Most tourists visit in the summer months, with most tourist trips and restaurants closing between October and May.
Pula has its own international airport with daily flights to Zagreb, and direct services from many European cities including Amsterdam, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Oslo, Vienna and Zurich. Ryanair operates direct flights from London three times a week. Many flights to Pula are charter rather than scheduled, while other flights are seasonal (summer only).
There is a scheduled bus service from the bus station in town to the airport. Buses are operated by Brioni and connect to most major flights. The cost of a one-way ticket is HRK25. A taxi from the bus station to the city should be around HRK85 in the low season and much higher in the summer.
Buses from the Pula bus station to Pula airport leave at the following times. The cost is HRK30. (last updated 6-Apr-2014)
The large and modern bus station is on the edge of the 'old town' district and is the hub of local, domestic and international bus routes. There are direct buses from Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Trieste, Ljubljana, Belgrade and Venice. Online timetables are listed at and .
There is also a train station near the waterfront with services serving Istria and into Slovenia due to historical circumstance rather than back towards the rest of Croatia (though a connecting coach service operates for services to Rijeka and Zagreb). Ticket prices, timetables and other information are on the Croatian Railways website.
Hitchhiking from Zagreb works very well. In Zagreb start from the petrol station after the "Billa" supermarket on the southside of the Sava river. In Rijeka ask people to drop you off at the little SOS stop after a pretty sharp right bend of the motor way around Rijeka.
Hydrofoil services operate from the wharf both around the Croatian coastline, and across to Venice. These are pricey, though provide a quick journey and provide some great views.
For local transport you can use the Taxi Service which has gotten cheaper since January 2012. There's a company offering taxi services now for 15-20kn/5km. Search for Taxi Cammeo on every phonebook, or hail one of their vehicles down. Local, owner operated taxis are more expensive. Buses are known to be expensive (11kn per card, per person, per ride), however, if you plan on using the Pulapromet only, you should make yourself a BusCard. The BusCard is a electromagnetic ticket that you can fill with money and then use cheaper bus rides. The price of a buscard is 30kn but they usually sell them for 70kn since they are prefilled with 40kn you can use on the bus. The BusCard reduces drastically the price of the ride making it a 6kn per hour on the city lines (lines 1 to 9). Also, up to 5 people can use the same BusCard at the same moment, for the same bus. Also, the money on the BusCard is forever, meaning you can save it for the next time you come to Pula without fearing money loss.
If you want to take a small backpack with you on an Autotrans bus, first ask the driver if this is OK before buying the ticket. Otherwise you might be refused entry on the bus and your ticket will not be refunded, even if you have bought it off the driver just 2 minutes earlier (the Brioni company seems OK -onboard small backpacks are allowed, but you have to insist.)
All buses have a luggage area. The service is charged separately from the ticket and it usually costs 7kn. Every ticket can be refunded at the ticket office (a fee will be charged). There should be no problem taking a small backpack or a small suitcase on the bus as long as you can fit it in the overhead compartment (which is rather small) or under your seat/legs..
- Arena (Roman amphitheatre). The 6th largest surviving Roman amphitheatre. Towering over the nearby buildings this huge structure was barely saved from destruction several times during its life, mostly by various Venetians with plans to take it to Venice stone by stone as demonstration of the might of the Venetian empire. Many stones were taken to build houses and other structures around Pula, but fortunately this practice was stopped before the whole structure was destroyed. Entry gives you access to wander the inside of the Colosseum and visit the caverns beneath. The audio tour is very worthwhile. HRK20.
- The Forum. The "Forum" is the main square in the centre of the city. The square is built on the site of the ancient Roman forum. On the square there is a city hall that was built in the 10th century (parts of an old temple were used for the building as it can be seen on the rear side of the hall) and the Temple of August, from the first century.
- Archeology Museum (HRK12).
- Zlatna vrata (Triumphal arch, 1st century BC), Dvojna vrata (Twin gate, 2-3rd century), Herkulova vrata (Hercules gate, 1st century BC).
- St. Francis church and monastery, 14th century
- Orthodox church, 6th century
- Kaštel, a Castle from the 17th century features Istrian history museum
- Malo rimsko kazalište, Little Roman theatre behind the Archeology museum
- Mornaričko groblje, Sailors' cemetery (1866. - about 150 000 soldiers of Austro-Hungarian nations were buried there) and Mornarička crkva, Sailors' Church
- Visit Brijuni. Group of islands famous for their scenic beauty. They are a holiday resort and a Croatian National Park. They were also setlement in roman times and were part of Republic of Venice. There is also now famous Tito (leader of former Yugoslavia) residence. Boats go from small town near Pula named Fažana .
- Go on Fish picnic. You can take a walk through local marina and check out timetables and prices. Prices are usually around HRK250 (€30) per person.
- Visit Pula Film Festival takes place in the Arena, 18-25 Jul.
- Walk down the Sergijevaca street where are many small shops, souvenir shops, bars and even sweet shops.
- Spend a whole day on beaches of Kamenjak, near Premantura (8km from Pula). This peninsula is southernmost point of Istria, and features stunning landscapes and protected nature.
- Discover abandoned Austro-hungarian fortresses , constructed just before WWI, when Pula was most fortified city in Europe. Some of those fortresses are hidden in the forests, and some are now occupied by Pula residents for different purposes, including Punta Christo, which operates as a summer club and music festival venue .
- Truffles. Istria is famous for its truffles and various truffle products.
- Malvazija and Teran. Autochthonous Istrian wine sorts.
- Medica. A honey rakija ,
- Biska. A rakija with mistletoe.
- Restaurant Farabuto. Excellent light and delicious slow food.
- Restaurant Galeb. You won't find this one in any tourist guide, but everyone in the city knows the place: they serve best "chevapchichi" (minced meat, 2in long, 1/2in wide) in the city.
- Restaurant Gina. Excellent food in a unique setting that combines elegance with history.
- Restaurant Asterix. The best pizza in town. You should try the Asterix pizza, which means you can have a pizza divided into thirds, with a different set of toppings (kinds of pizza) on each one.
- Pizzeria Bambino. Good quality pizza and grill.
- Pizzeria Jupiter. Near Arena, the Roman amphitheatre - very good pizza.
- Restaurant El Pulari. A mexican restaurant.
- Restaurant Biska.
Drinking is a pleasurable pastime in Croatia
Tourist information can provide you with a list of accommodation in Pula, although they will not make reservations for you.
- Hostel Pipištrelo, Flaciusova 6 (na Rivi), ☎ +385 91 223-0769, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the centre of Pula, close to the main town square forum, the rooms are individual mini art galleries and the whole hostel is a design project bursting with spirit. €17-23.50.
- Pula Art Hostel, Marulićeva 41, ☎ +385 95 846-6517. Small, family-run, newly refurbished art hostel in the centre of Pula. This hostel offers 2 fully equipped kitchens and beds for couples; grill on terrace; Free Wi-Fi; 24h access; Cable TV. €17-27.
- Youth Hostel. And youth camp. Not such a nice looking place, but it is situated some ten meters from the beach, so you can almost jump directly from your bedroom right into the sea. (To get there, take bus 2a from the city (3a to return) and get off at Zlatne Stijene then follow the signs.)
- Hotel Riviera (1-star). Fabulous looking hotel built in 1907 for the high-ranking officers in the Austro-Hungarian army. Never properly refurbished since then it is now showing its age, but structurally it is impressive and looks oh-so-grand from the outside. The rooms are currently decked out with 1960s/70s fittings (orange bed covers, brown wooden panelling, lime green phone), with the sparseness showing the lack of funds for upkeep. Having said all that, it's clean, tidy, and comfortable. No doubt within a few years someone will make the investment to bring it back to its former glory. Quite expensive for its facilities.
- Villa Mihaela. 3 apartments for 2-4 persons.Each of the apartments has a parking lot, and is equipped with air conditioner, SAT TV, and all other appliances that will make your stay pleasant.
- Apartments Alexandra & Erika, Kozada 12/a, Štinjan, Pula, ☎ +385 52 223505. Attractive apartments in the proximity of the well known Brijuni Islands national park. A quiet place in a family house, built in 2004. in Štinjan only a few kilometres away from the centre of Pula. Air-con, SAT TV, fridge with freezer, kitchen with all the accessories, cooking stove (electricity+gas), washing machine, balcony.
- Apartments with Swimming pool Slivar (Apartments pool Pula), Samagher 17 (veli vrh, Pula North). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. 3 modern fully equipped apartments for 2-6 persons in a calm part of Pula 150m from the sea and 3km from the beach. The spacious swimming pool in situated in our award winning garden (over 1500m2). Our apartments feature: SAT TV, microwave owen, coffee machine, and two apartments also offer a wash machine and air condition. We also offer free of charge the use of grill and bikes and a save place
- Amfiteatar Hotel, Amfiteatarska (100m from the Roman Amfiteatar and the Marina), ☎ +385 52375600. Small modern hotel with en suite, flat screen TV, A/C, free Wi-Fi and a top class restaurant. Conveniently situated for bus, rail and ferry, just 12 minutes from the airport.
- National Park Brijuni - The beautiful Brijuni islands (also referred to as Brioni) stretch alongside the south-west coast of the Istrian peninsula. The national park offers too many attractions for all of them to be described here (dinosaur footprints, archaeological finds and sites, a little zoo, extremely rich flora and fauna, beautiful beaches, a former resort for European royals) so visit their website for more information .
- Rovinj, Rovigno
- Poreč, Parenzo
- Grožnjan, Grisignana
- Motovun, Montona