Where to Stay in Pula [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

So you’re heading to the home of Game of Thrones? The series is largely set in Croatia, and what better way to experience the Viking era than in the city of Pula? The city is located in Istria, Croatia and is every bit as medieval as the series makes it out to be.

Majestic view at famous european city of Pula and arena of roman time. Location place of Istria county, Croatia, Europe. Wonders of the world. UNESCO world heritage site. Discover the beauty of earth.

The town is built into the crumbling cliff side, creating an exotic backdrop to a wonderfully authentic, European-inspired city. So let’s jump into this guide featuring where to stay in Pula. So, is Pula safe?

Well, firstly, Traveling King doesn’t recommend places that aren’t safe for you to visit. Secondly, this may ease your mind about traveling to a less-touristy destination. This guide will show you where to stay in Pula Croatia.

Pula has a low crime rate, has a welcoming environment, the residents of Pula are known for their friendly and hospitable nature, and has a visible police presence deployed in all of the public areas. With the Pula basics covered, let’s jump into this guide for where to stay in Pula.

Below are 5 of the best neighbourhoods in Pula to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best places to stay in Pula for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible to find the best accommodation in Pula Croatia.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Pula so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Old Town Pula – where to stay in Pula for tourists

Old Town Pula, also known as Pula’s Historical Center, is an area located in the city of Pula, Croatia and is situated on the Southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula, along the Adriatic Sea. It is arguably the best area to stay in Pula for tourists.

The city has a rich and diverse history that stretches back over 3,000 years, and Old Town Pula is a testament to its ancient past. Guess you can well believe that there may have been dragons circling the area… just like in House of the Dragon.

The history of Pula dates back to ancient times when it was a settlement of the Illyrians, a pre-Roman civilization.

The Romans arrived in the 2nd century BC and established a military outpost called “Pietas Julia,” which later became the flourishing city of Pola. Under Roman rule, Pula prospered and became a significant administrative, military, and cultural center in the region.

Why Stay in Old Town Pula?

Old Town Pula is home to many of the city’s top attractions, including the Pula Arena, Temple of Augustus, Arch of the Sergii, and numerous other historical sites.

By staying in the heart of the old town, you’ll have easy access to these landmarks, allowing you to explore them at your leisure.

Old Town Pula is a vibrant mix of cultural events, festivals, and entertainment. Throughout the year, the area hosts concerts, art exhibitions, theater performances, and other cultural activities.

By staying in Old Town Pula, you’ll have easy access to these events, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and nightlife. And guess what? You’ll never be bored!

Things to do in Old Town Pula 

  • Start your journey in Old Town Pula by visiting the iconic Pula Arena, a well-preserved Roman amphitheater. Marvel at the impressive architecture and imagine the grand spectacles that took place within its walls. You can also visit the Arena’s underground chambers and exhibitions to learn more about its history.
  • Head to the Forum, the central square of Old Town Pula, and admire the Temple of Augustus. This beautifully preserved Roman temple dedicated to the first Roman emperor is a remarkable sight. Step inside to appreciate the intricate details of the temple’s architecture and explore the nearby archaeological museum.
  • Take some to pretend you’re a pilgrim and explore the streets of Old Town Pula. Enjoy the picturesque views of colorful buildings, cobblestone lanes, and hidden squares. Explore the narrow alleyways lined with local shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Don’t forget to visit the Market Square (Giardini) to experience the atmosphere of the local market.
  • Located near the Forum, the Cathedral of Pula is a splendid example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Admire the beautiful facade and step inside to explore the intricate interior, including its stunning altars and ornate chapels. You can also climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.
  • Furthering your pilgrimage, walk along the city walls of Old Town Pula to admire the historic fortifications. Visit the Kastel, a medieval fortress that now houses the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria. From the fortress, enjoy breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding cityscape. You can also explore the Twin Gates (Dvojna vrata) and the Hercules Gate (Porta Herculanea) to get a glimpse of Pula’s past.

Best places to stay in Old Town Pula

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Old Town Pula

Budget accommodation in Old Town Pula

Mid range accommodation in Old Town Pula

Family Friendly accommodation in Old Town Pula

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Old Town Pula

Street with colorful facade of an old houses in Pula, Croatia, Europe.

Vidikovac – where to stay in Pula with with family

Vidikovac is an area located in Pula, Croatia, known for its stunning panoramic views. The word “vidikovac” translates to “viewpoint” or “vantage point” in English, which aptly describes the main feature of this area.

Situated on the slopes of a hill overlooking the city and the Adriatic Sea, Vidikovac offers breathtaking views that attract both locals and tourists.

The history of Vidikovac is closely tied to the development of Pula as a naval and industrial center. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century, Pula experienced significant modernization and the construction of the city’s naval base.

As part of these developments, Vidikovac was established as a designated viewpoint to observe and oversee the activities taking place in the port and shipyard.

Why stay in Vidikovac? 

Vidikovac offers a tranquil environment away from the noisy city center. It provides a peaceful retreat where you can relax and enjoy just “existing”. Staying in this area can be ideal for families who prefer a quieter atmosphere and a break from the city’s noise.

The natural beauty surrounding Vidikovac, including lush greenery and stunning views, creates a picturesque setting.

This can be appealing to families looking to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, or picnicking. Children can have fun exploring the gardens and open spaces nearby.

Although there may not be a wide range of accommodations specifically in the Vidikovac area, nearby neighborhoods and hotels offer family-friendly options. Makin it best places to stay in Pula Croatia for family.

Look for hotels or guesthouses with amenities such as spacious rooms, family suites, or access to recreational facilities like swimming pools or playgrounds.

Things to do in Vidikovac

  • Take advantage of Vidikovac’s surroundings by embarking on nature walks or hiking trails. Explore the nearby forested areas or follow the paths around Vidikovac to discover the natural beauty of the region. It’s an excellent way for the whole family to enjoy fresh air, exercise, and appreciate the flora and fauna that thrive in the area.
  • Vidikovac’s stunning landscape offers a fantastic opportunity for family photography. Capture beautiful moments with your loved ones against the backdrop of Pula and the Adriatic Sea. Whether you have a professional camera or simply use your smartphone, taking pictures together can be a fun and memorable activity for the whole family.

Best places to stay in Vidikovac

Budget accommodation in Vidikovac

Mid range accommodation in Vidikovac

Family Friendly accommodation in Vidikovac

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Vidikovac

PULA, CROATIA -  Modern Hotel Park Plaza and hotel facilities, in background Pjescana Uvala, aerial view, Pula, Istria, Croatia

Šijana – where to stay in Pula as a local

Situated in the South-Eastern part of Pula, Šijana holds historical significance and offers a diverse range of attractions and amenities for both residents and visitors. Šijana dates back to ancient times.

During the Roman period, Pula (then known as Pola) flourished as a significant central point. The Romans left their mark on Šijana with the construction of villas, roads, and aqueducts, some of which can still be seen today.

Why Stay in Šijana?

Today, Šijana is a neighborhood that offers a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces. It is known for its diverse architectural styles, reflecting the different historical periods and influences it has experienced.

You can find a blend of Roman ruins, Venetian-style buildings, Austro-Hungarian architecture, and modern structures, showcasing the layers of history that have shaped the area.

Šijana is conveniently located near Pula’s city center. Residents can easily access the bustling streets, shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions of the city center within a short distance. This proximity allows locals to enjoy the city life while having a quieter residential retreat to return to.

Šijana has a strong sense of community, making it an appealing place for locals to live and tourists to visit. The neighborhood often hosts events, festivals, and gatherings that foster community engagement and create opportunities for social interactions.

The presence of community centers, sports facilities, and local associations contributes to a sense of belonging and community spirit among residents.

Things to do in Šijana

  • Celebrate the natural beauty of Šijana by exploring the parks in the area. Most parks offer walking trails, shaded areas for picnics, and open spaces for outdoor activities. Enjoy a leisurely walk or jog amidst the trees, have a family picnic, or simply relax in the surroundings. It’s a perfect place to unwind and connect with nature.
  • Šijana offers a variety of dining options where you can savor local cuisine. Visit local restaurants and cafes to experience traditional Croatian dishes and regional specialties. Enjoy seafood, Istrian truffles, or hearty meat dishes prepared with local ingredients. Trying the local cuisine is not only a treat for your taste buds but also an opportunity to support local businesses.
  • Šijana has sports facilities that allow locals to engage in various activities. Visit the local sports center or football stadium to participate in sports leagues, join fitness classes, or watch local teams in action. Take advantage of the facilities and opportunities available to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Best places to stay in Šijana

Budget accommodation in Šijana

Mid range accommodation in Šijana

Family Friendly accommodation in Šijana

Ancient Roman Arena in Pula, Istria, Croatia, historic amphitheater landscape view through the trees in park

Verudela – where to stay in Pula for beaches

Verudela offers a scenic landscape with its rocky coastline, lush Mediterranean vegetation, and numerous coves alongside some of the best beaches in Pula. The area is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches and proximity to the city center.

Verudela Peninsula is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, providing breathtaking views and opportunities for various water activities. During the Roman period, the peninsula was home to a thriving settlement called Veruda.

The Romans recognized the strategic importance of the area, and remnants of Roman villas and structures can still be found in the vicinity.

In more recent history, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century, Verudela served as a popular resort area for the nobility and the upper class.

The natural beauty of the coastline, combined with the mild climate, made it an ideal destination for summer retreats. This is the embodiment of that “Old money” lifestyle.

Why Stay in Verudela?

Verudela boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Pula area. The coastline glitters with crystal  waters, rocky coves, and pebble beaches, offering a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and water activities.

Beaches like Ambrela, Hawaii, and Bijeca Beach provide a range of amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, and water sports facilities.

By staying in Verudela, you’ll have easy access to the Adriatic Sea. Many accommodations, such as hotels and resorts, are situated right on the waterfront or within a short walking distance.

This allows you to enjoy the convenience of stepping out of your accommodation and immersing yourself in the coastal ambiance without having to travel far.

Verudela offers a range of resort-style accommodations that cater specifically to beachgoers. These resorts often provide access to private beaches, swimming pools, restaurants, bars, and various recreational activities.

By staying in one of these resorts, you can enjoy the convenience of having everything you need for a beach vacation at your fingertips.

Things to do in Verudela

  • Verudela is renowned for its beautiful beaches, offering the perfect setting for relaxation and sunbathing. Spend a day at Ambrela Beach, Bijeca Beach, or Hawaii Beach, where you can soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim in the cool waters, or simply unwind on the pebble shores. Many beaches in Verudela also provide amenities like beach bars, sunbed rentals, and water sports facilities.
  • Explore Verudela Fortress, a historical site located on the Verudela Peninsula. This fortress dates back to the early 19th century and represents the area’s military past. Check out the fort’s architecture, climb up to the top for panoramic views of the coastline, and learn about its history. The fortress is often open for visitors to explore and hosts occasional cultural events and exhibitions.
  • The Aquarium Pula is a fascinating attraction for both children and adults. Discover a variety of marine species, including colorful fish, seahorses, and other marine life native to the Adriatic Sea. The aquarium offers educational displays and interactive exhibits, providing insights into the region’s aquatic ecosystems.
  • Verudela is an excellent place for water sports enthusiasts. Try out activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, or snorkeling. Rental services are available on the beaches, allowing you to easily access equipment and explore the Adriatic Sea. Try your hand at different water sports and enjoy the thrill of adventure on the water.
  • Located near the beaches, the Verudela Art Park is a unique outdoor gallery that combines nature and art. Explore the park’s trails adorned with sculptures and art installations created by local and international artists. Enjoy the creative atmosphere, take in the beautiful surroundings, and appreciate the blend of art and nature.

Best places to stay in Verudela

Budget accommodation in Verudela

Mid range accommodation in Verudela

Family Friendly accommodation in Verudela

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Verudela

boats, sailing ships and yachts in Port Bunarina, aerial view, Pula, Istria, Croatia

Stoja – where to stay in Pula on a budget

Stoja is a neighborhood located on the Southernmost tip of the Pula Peninsula in Croatia. It is known for its scenic coastal landscapes, beautiful beaches, and historical significance.

The area was inhabited by the Illyrians, an ancient Indo-European tribe, before it came under Roman rule. The Romans recognized the strategic location of Stoja due to its proximity to the sea and established settlements and fortifications in the area.

Why Stay in Stoja? 

Stoja offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including apartments, guesthouses, and budget hotels. These options are generally more cost-effective compared to accommodations in the city center or more touristy areas.

By staying in Stoja, you can find comfortable and affordable places to stay. Which means you can splurge on cool activities and great food with the difference.

Stoja has a beautiful coastline and beaches. By staying in the neighborhood, you can have easy access to the beach and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand without having to travel far. Stoja Beach and nearby coves provide opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation at no additional cost.

Stoja offers local restaurants, cafes, and food stands where you can find affordable dining options. These establishments often serve traditional Croatian cuisine, including seafood, grilled meats, and local specialties.

By choosing to eat in Stoja, you can experience the local flavors at more budget-friendly prices compared to some restaurants in the city center.

Things to do in Stoja 

  • One of the main attractions in Stoja is its beach. Spend a day relaxing on the shores of Stoja Beach, which offers a mix of rocky and pebble areas. Enjoy the bubblegum waters, sunbathe on the beach, and take in the coastal scenery. It’s a cost-free activity that allows you to unwind and soak up the sun.
  • Stoja offers picturesque coastal paths and trails that are perfect for leisurely walks. Take a stroll along the shoreline and enjoy the scenic views of the Adriatic Sea. Explore the rocky coastline, discover hidden coves, and breathe in the fresh sea air. It’s a free activity that allows you to connect with nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  • Stoja offers excellent snorkeling opportunities, allowing you to discover the underwater world without spending a lot of money. Bring your own snorkeling gear or rent it from a nearby beach rental service, and venture into the clear waters along the coastline. Explore the vibrant marine life, swim among colorful fish, and observe the underwater ecosystems. Stoja’s rocky shores and coves provide interesting areas to explore, making it an affordable and exciting activity for nature enthusiasts.

Best places to stay in Stoja

Budget accommodation in Stoja

Mid range accommodation in Stoja

Family Friendly accommodation in Stoja

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Stoja

beautiful bay in croatia on the adriatic sea with stone cliffs and turquoise blue water, popular touristic destination in istria, landscape shot of stoja beach in pula

Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Pula

Monte Zaro is a residential neighborhood located North-East of Pula’s city center. While it is not inherently dangerous, it may have less tourist-oriented amenities and fewer attractions compared to other parts of the city. You may find limited options for dining, shopping, or entertainment in this area.

Kaštela is a neighborhood located North-West of Pula’s city center. It is primarily a residential area and may not offer significant tourist attractions or amenities. While it can be interesting to explore local neighborhoods, you may find the cultural barrier difficult to penetrate.

Veruda is another neighborhood located South-West of Pula’s city center. While it has some residential areas and a marina, it may not offer as many tourist-oriented amenities or attractions compared to other parts of the city. 

From golden goblets to meter-long table feasts, to cliff side scouring and crumbling, ruin exploring, you’ve truly immersed yourself into the Game of Thrones world.

Targaryen or not, visiting Pula is the culmination of the medieval Mediterranean that will also leave you feeling like you’ve experienced the fictional world from the novel, Song of Achilles.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Pula

❤️ Best Area first timers Old Town Pula
💸 Best Luxury HotelGrand Hotel Brioni Pula
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesPark Plaza Verudela Pula
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelHotel Milan
🛏️ Best Budget HotelFELIX Apartment Pula
✨ Best HostelHostel Antique

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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