First of all, it is important to say that you are coming to Poreč in the ideal time since it is only the beginning of the tourist season and you probably won’t see as many people as you would if you came here in July or August. That is a great advantage because you will be able to see phenomenal stuff without even waiting in the lines. I made a detailed list of must see attractions across the city, top restaurants that are highly rated (one of those is owned by my friend) and many other stuff you will definitely find useful during your trip. So here we go!
Since Poreč is well known as a place that was strongly influenced by Italians throughout the past centuries, it is not surprising that you will see phenomenal stuff here.
WHAT TO SEE
Definitely a number one architecural miracle that you must visit. It was made in the sixth century under the reign of Bizant and it is one of Croatia’s UNESCO protected monuments. Don’t miss it since it is the symbol of the city and the whole Istria!
Not so far from the Basilica so it is really nice to continue walking and see this house. A really specific architecture that reminds of Venice style and it actually pictures the life of rich people of Poreč in 15th century. The best way to get to know how this city lived in the past centuries is to visit this!
If you like the combination of medieval towers and magnificent views, this is the ideal place for you and your family. Phenomenal atmosphere up there if you ask me! You can order a drink on the tower, but I would not recommend it since it is really expensive. Outstanding view though!
POREČ OLD TOWN
If you like narrow and small streets with very high rock houses, you should definitel visit old town by night. The thing about Poreč and many other Croatian seaside cities is that the life starts at night. You will bump into many live music performers, people who have all sorts of talents. You will be able to sit and enjoy the smell of flowers around you since the area is full of flowers. I will talk about food later more, but the Old Town is a must see location because of food too! Many people told me it reminds them of little Italy.
ISTRIAN ASSEMBLY HALL
A very classy assembly hall from 19th century with amazingly decorated ceiling that took my breath away the first time I saw it. This building proves the importance of Poreč during the 19th century and it could be an interesting thing to see something a bit more modern other than all the Roman stuff!
REMAINS OF NEPTUNE TEMPLE + MARAFOR SQUARE
The remains of this temple were actually a smaller part of the biggest temple in whole Istria, that was built in 1st century. It was considered that the temple was dedicated to god Marx because of the interpretation of the name Marafor as the Martis forum, the Mars forum. It is also important to emphasize that there was a square called Marafor you should also visit. It is not so hard to find it since it was and it still is the central monument of the whole Old Town.
If you like taking cool photos and admire architecture, this is the ideal opportunity to see something really outstanding. This wooden house attracts tourists from all parts of the world because of its uniqueness. There is a small souvenir shop at ground level there.
JAMA – GROTTA BAREDINE
Since Croatia is worldwidely known for its nature, it is important to mention Jama – geomorphologic monument of nature and the first speleological locality in Istria opened for tourism. This unique sightseeing lasts 40 minutes and the visitors descend along a 300m long pathway up to 60m below the ground and an underground lake and visit beautifully decorated chambers. The cave is well-lit and ordered, the pathway and the stairs have firm rails. The temperature is very pleasant – around 14°C. In the waters of the cave, you can see one rarely animal, a human fish. Also, there are lots of stalactite and stalactites that occurred over time in that wet ambient. The only thing you have to bear in mind is to be careful with the stairs since all of this is 100% natural.
Something similar to Grotta Baredine, but very specific in its own way since it has two beautiful small lakes in it! It is not so popular in compare to Grotta Baredine but the cool thing about it is that you can see hundreds of bats living there!
Another phenomenal building that dates from the times when people from Venice reigned in Poreč. As you walk up the narrow stairs to the top of the Pentagonal Tower you walk through a restaurant and on the rooftop they have tables and chairs so you may enjoy an afternoon or evening drink. The views from the tower are amazing. You probably won’t miss it since it is really really huge!
TOP RESTAURANTS IN POREČ
I already told about the Old Town as the main place where you can eat phenomenal Croatian fish and shells, which I definitely recommend to anybody. The important thing you have to remember is that you will pay the dinner much more if you are eating in the strict center of Old Town, which I do not recommend. Here is the list of five restaurants that you should at least consider if you want to enjoy phenomenal food and wine here.
Since you came to taste delicious food that is specific to this area, I would definitely recommend Konoba Aba. The service is phenomenal, the prices are a bit higher but it is definitely worth the service you get there. My favourite meal there? Truffle Risotto with scampi. Truffle is a kind of a mushroom that specifically grows in Istria and it is enormously expensive. The taste is a bit intense, but you should try it! Anyway, believe me, you won’t make a mistake if you choose this restaurant. And don’t forget to drink the local wine that they are offering there!
If you are looking for a bit cheaper option with the possibility to try the local dishes, this is the right place for you. The cool thing that attracts people here is that this restaurant is also vegan friendly – you will be able to get great almost homemade meal that is not so easy to find these days. Definitely worth a try!
The great thing about this place is the atmosphere. The whole place gives you the impression of easy going Poreč people, romantic nights in the city and happiness in general. Local specialties taste like heaven and I have to say that it is really hard to decide between this one and Konoba Aba. The wine selection is pretty good, actually it is really good almost everywhere in Poreč!
I will only write one word for this phenomenal restaurant – seafood. If you like seafood or you want to try it, this is the right place for you and your family. Pleasant staff will explain everything else to you!
I have to admit that I never visited this restaurant, but dozens of my friends went there and they were astonished with the quality of the food and the service. Not a bad idea to try this one if you don’t like the ones I listed previously.
Along with Konoba Aba, my favourite place for tasting phenomenal Istrian food and unique Istrian wines that are popular all across the Europe. The best one in my opinion is Malvazija – don’t skip it for the world!
ADVENTURE STUFF IN POREČ
Okay, the whole area of Istria has become a very popular place for tourist who like adrenalin and healthy style of living even while on vacation. Since there are like 10-15 interesting places you can visit, I decided to point out 5 of those you should definitely visit. Here we go, sir!
A phenomenal modern waterpark with all sorts of fun rides (some with bigger queues than others, but that’s to be expected), and friendly staff as well. Since you are going in May, it probably won’t be so crowded and hot like in July or August, but it is definitely a priority to visit it with your kids!
If you are looking to spend some private time with your family, this is the right place for you since you can only go to Speleolit in the organized group of ten people. It is located near Poreč and it has so many thing to offer. Be careful to make a reservation on time because it is getting more and more popular these days. My first impression about this „challenge“ is like you really get the feeling that you are on an expedition. It is so much cooler than just walk into a cave horizontally if you ask me. The organisation is really great and with clear instructions.
ADVENTURE PARK SKY FOX
This is a similar story to Speleolit and it is also a fun day for the whole family. Hard to decide which one is better for me. But let me introduce you to this park – the most important thing is that the park is suitable for all generations. They have something like levels for age groups – yellow, orange and red adrenaline park routes. Yellow one is for the kids and the red one for the adults. So it is safe to say that you won’t have any problems with adjusting to the situation. THe good things is that you do not have to make a reservation like with Speleolit.
If you are a fond of fast carting cars and great atmosphere with your family members, this is the ideal place in so many ways – first of all, it is not expensive at all. Secondly, the staff is really polite and will let you ride karts without bothering you too much. The last thing and the coolest thing is that they have like a podium for the fastest driver where you can take pictures and have a lot of fun.
HUCK FINN ADVENTURE TRAVEL KAYAKING/CANOEING
The best way to get to know how the islands around Poreč and the city of Poreč look from the sea is to go canoeing. Really cool route with the staff that is very polite and is able to teach anybody the basics of it. It sometimes can be dangerous for the kids because of the wind so it is smart to check the forecast before deciding to rent this kind of equipment.
You can also rent a bike here so keep that in mind!