Most visitors to Pula stay just long enough to collect their bags from the airport carousel, before driving onto Istria’s pretty fishing towns. It means that the city’s magnificent Roman remains get less attention than they deserve, with millennia-old triumphal arches and temples dotted haphazardly around a modem working city. Start at Pula Arena, the exquisitely preserved Roman amphitheatre at the heart of town, which now hosts concerts by the likes of Sting and Elton John.
The cafes around Pula’s Forum are a fine spot to idle away an evening, while the beachfront bars of Verudela, south of the centre, stay open long after the rest of the city is tucked up in bed. The next day, hop on the ferry to the neighbouring Brijuni islands – dotted with pine forests, pebbly beaches and two mined Roman villas watching over the Adriatic.
- ARRIVE – Fly to Pula from UK airports on airlines including BA, easyjet, Jet2, Norwegian, Ryanair and Thomson.
- STAY – Villa Vulin has rooms with private balconies close to the seafront.