The best cities of Croatia’s Istria and Kvarner regions

The most north-western regions of Croatia – Istria and Kvarner – offer great beaches with clear blue water and colorful little towns one can’t miss visiting. See my selection of the best Istria’s and Kvarner’s cities to visit.



This third biggest city in Croatia also holds the country’s biggest port. Located in the Kvarner Bay, one has to see its city centre with Korzo promenade full of shops and cafes. There you will find the City Tower, the Rijeka Saint Vitus Cathedral and the beautiful Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc. Go to the Central Market to get some fresh fish. An absolute must see is Rijeka’s Trsat Castle, which you can access via Petar Kružić Stairways or by bus, because it is 138 meters above the see level. It offers great view of the city. Next to the castle is the church Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat and the Trsat Franciscan Monastery, which represent the largest pilgrimage centre of Western Croatia.

Rijeka Korzo Croatia

Rijeka Trsat castle Croatia

Rijeka Trsat castle Croatia view Vanja Vodenik

Rijeka Trsat Croatia

Rijeka waterfront harbour Croatia



This charming little town lies on a peninsula and is filled with cobbled alleys and colorful buildings. Admire the view of the peninsula with the red-tiled roofs, the Church of St. Euphemia and lovely fisherman’s boats on Adriatic Sea. Get lost in Venetian style architecture streets, admire beautifully decorated windows of houses, buy some local art or jewelry in many small shops. Don’t forget to go for a tasty seafood meal and an ice cream in one of restaurants and cafes situated next to the sea.

Rovinj Istria Croatia peninsula view

Rovinj Istria Croatia peninsula

Rovinj Istria Croatia peninsula

Rovinj Istria Croatia peninsula

Rovinj Istria Croatia seafood



Small coastal town of Crikvenica is the beast for a lay down vacation. It has really adorable Old Town with port and the Church of Mary’s Accession from the 15th century, however, the best are its beaches. They are beautiful, diverse and have clear blue sky. You can find sandy and rocky beaches, with more or less tourist, all with great view of the Adriatic Sea and the nearby island Krk. Crikvenica offers various water sports and it’s known for its biking routes.

Crikvenica Kvarner Croatia

Crikvenica Kvarner Croatia harbour

Crikvenica Kvarner Croatia beach

Crikvenica Kvarner Croatia Adriatic Sea

Crikvenica Kvarner Croatia Adriatic Sea



Pula is perfect city for a Roman ruins lover. It is most famous for having the 6th largest Roman Coliseum in the World, named Pula Arena. Today this coliseum, built in the 1st century AD, is one of the best spots to listen to various music performances. In Pula you can also admire the Triumphal Arch of Sergius, the Twin Gate ad the Roman Forum. The latter is situated in the lovely Old Town, where you can walk its narrow streets and admire old buildings. In the evening go past the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin to the waterfront, where you can see the Lighting Giants. This is an interesting light installation, accompanied by a music, which was designed by artist Dean Skira. He put lights in different colors on industrial cranes in the harbour of Pula.

Pula Arena Istria Croatia Roman Coliseum view

Pula Istria Croatia Roman Forum

Pula Istria Croatia

Pula Istria Croatia harbour

Pula Istria Croatia Lighting Giants



The town of Baška is situated on the southernmost part of the island Krk which is connected to Kvarner region with a bridge. Baška’s most famous Vela beach is a rocky beach with beautiful turquoise water and offers the views of the town and surrounding mountains. When you are done sunbathing and enjoying the Adriatic Sea, try out one of numerous walking trails. One of the best destinations are the bays of Vela and Mala Luka. This trail will offer you terrific views, also of a nearby island Prvić, and you will meet a lot of local sheep on the way.

Baška island Krk Croatia

Baška island Krk Croatia beach

Baška island Krk Croatia beach

Baška island Krk Croatia walking tour

Baška island Krk Croatia walking tour

5 Replies to “The best cities of Croatia’s Istria and Kvarner regions”

  1. I’d love to visit Rovinj this year, haven’t been there yet 🙂

    1. Marshmallow Travels says: Reply

      Yes, you really should visit Rovinj, it’s beautiful and close! 🙂

  2. Great pictures! While reading I wish to go for a trip to explore some new places in Kvarner 🙂

    1. Marshmallow Travels says: Reply

      Thank you! Yes, Kvarner is really beautiful. 🙂

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