Finding the next holiday destination where people are not necessarily thinking of is usually a golden ticket for a peaceful family break, even during the summer holiday. Istria is probably on this list and I am going to show you what are the things to do in Istria with the kids.

Nicknamed the Magic Land, Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea situated in the North of Croatia. This region is usually compared to Tuscany with beautiful hilly villages such as Motovun.

Strolling the streets of Rovinj is among our top things to do in Istria with kids
Source: Pixabay

When you visit Istria, you can hear inhabitants speaking Croat but also Italian due to the history of the region and the close proximity of Italy borders. The Italian town of Trieste is only 40km away from the Croatian border through Slovenia.

The region of Istria is full of little villages that you need to explore at your own pace with you children. One major city that stands out in terms of population and activities is Pula located in the South of Istria. You will enjoy a lively coastline city with its marina and the famous amphitheatre.

So let’s dive into the best things to do in Istria with kids and see what you can plan to do during your family holiday in Croatia. Idamo!

1. Brijuni National Park

A trip to Istria no matter which itinerary you decide to take must include a day trip to Brijuni National Park.

This archipelago is a beautiful island that was recognised as a national park in 1983. You will be able to wander around beautiful gardens with such diverse vegetation.

You can access this island by boat and book a tour like the one below.

To maximise the visit of the island, hiring a bike is highly recommended so you can spend all the time you want to explore this nature jewel.

Last but not least there is a small dino park to be discovered on the north of the island where you can see dinosaur footprints on the rocks.

📍Brionska ul. 10, 52212, Fažana, Croatia

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Visit Brijuni National Park island during your holiday in Istria with kids
Source: GetYourGuide

2. Dinopark in Funtana

While we are on the subject of these extinct animals, I am pretty sure your children will love the Dinopark Funtana. This theme park is fun activity to do in Istria where you will jump on different rides and paths to find different dinosaurs replicas.

Do not miss the Spectacular Show Jurassica where your family can enjoy a fun and entertaining spectacle that lasts about 30 min.

There are also opportunities for children to ride poneys plus a little zoo where they can feed goats and rabbits.

Overall, this attraction on the West coast of Istria is a great day out that can be completed between 3 and 4 hours depending if you plan to have lunch over there or not. With 3 restaurants and 1 café, I wouldn’t see any good reasons not too!

📍Istarska ul. 16, 52452, Funtana, Croatia

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Dinopark Funtana is a top attraction to do with children in Istria
Source: Dinopark Funtana

3. Aquarium Pula

If you are planning a day or two visiting Pula, make sure to stop by Aquarium Pula. This sea life venue has been built in 2002 inside a former fort, which dates back from late 19th century.

Since then, the aquarium Pula is the house of more than 200 species including caiman, jellyfish or turtles.

You would probably spend 1 hour to 90 minutes to visit the aquarium and spot all the favourite animals that your children will try to find.

The aquarium is also a reptile recovery and conservation centre where turtles are rescued every year. 

Don’t miss the great viewpoint of the city when you go up the rooftop of the fort.

📍Verudela 33, 52100, Pula, Croatia

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A little shark at Aquarium Pula - things to do in Istria with kids
Source: Aquarium Pula

4. Pula Amphitheatre

Probably the most recognisable building in Istria is Pula Amphitheatre. It is the only remaining Roman arena where all four side towers remain absolutely intact.

The venue was used to entertain Roman locals with games features gladiators and ferocious animals.

Today, you can watch different shows such as concerts, ballets or even sports competition. For instance this summer, you will be able to see Robbie Williams in late June 2023 or Imagine Dagons in August, which I am sure, will be a hit with your teenagers.

The venue can seat up to 5,000 people and can be visited every day with a small entrance fee.

📍Flavijevska ul. bb, 52100, Pula, Croatia


Pula Amphitheatre is among the best preserved Roman arenas - things to do in Istria with kids
Source: GetYourGuide

5. Relax by the beach in Pula

If you fancy a day at the beach during your Istria holiday with the family, you will be spoiled with choices around Pula. Don’t expect any sandy beaches but more pebbled beaches with rocks. Don’t forget swimming shoes or socks for the kids so they can get comfortable to reach the waters.

One of the most popular family friendly beaches in the region is Valkane Beach where little swimmers will enjoy playing. If you are staying in Pula, you can reach the beach bus in less than 10 minutes.

Another hit with local families and young children is Ambrela Beach situated not too far from the Grand Hotel Brioni Pula. The white-pebbled beach can get busy in the summer but the emerald clear waters are just incredible.

TOP TIP: most beaches in Istria and Croatia are with rocks and pebbles, so plan ahead and pack your bag with beach sandals or swimming socks. Sea urchins can also be spotted on the rocks…

📍Valkane Beach: Lungomare, 52100, Pula, Croatia | Ambrela Beach

6. Istralandia Aquapark

The water park is currently closed and reopens on 27th May 2023 until 17th  September 2023

Opened in 2014, Istralandia Aquapark is the first water park constructed in Croatia. It usually operates between May and September with of course a busy summer when the temperature is hot.

This outdoor water park boasts great rides and attractions where the focus point is the gigantic 2,500 m² wave pool. But don’t worry the park also has a family pool and kids pool for little swimmers too.

Regarding lunch options, you will find a restaurant, a pizza bar, snacks and other bars so you wouldn’t need to leave the place to feed the family.

In 2020, Istralandia Aquapark was voted the 3rd best waterpark in Europe and 5th in the World according to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice. So one more reason to enjoy a day out at Istralandia.

📍Ul. Ronki 1, 52474, Nova Vas, Croatia

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Istralandia Water Park is a top activity to do in Istria with kids
Source: Istralandia

7. Glavani Park

You are looking for an exciting adventure to stimulate the adrenaline of your children? Have a look at Glavani Park which is a fun attraction where you will be able to experience different tree rope courses like GoApe in the UK.

I love the fact that the operator of Glavani Park has thought through different levels of difficulty so your little ones can learn how to behave in this exciting activity game.

Each game costs 6€ for children under 10 years old and 8€ for everybody else.

📍52207, Glavani, Croatia

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Source: Glavani Park

8. Visit Rovinj

Exploring Istria with the kids means also discovering all these beautiful cities and villages that makes the region so unique and attractive. Rovinj is one of those places you definitely need to bookmark in your Istria itinerary.

Located on the West coast of Istria, this Croatian fishing port might remind you of Venice with the architecture and buildings almost floating on the sea. The town was indeed ruled by the Venetian Republic from 13th century until late 18th century. You can also see similarities with Venice when you spot the bell tower inspired by San Marco.

Warning: you will take a lot of photos in Rovinj because of the beauties of this town. Good to wake up early in the summer so you can stroll the streets of Rovinj without too much crowd.

The pier is a nice place to walk the children and stop by one of the restaurants an cafes for a well deserved lunch break. And you can also admire the sunset in the evening from one of the many terraces available.

DID YOU KNOW that Rovinj used to be an island until 18th century when it was connected to the mainland.


Source: Pixabay

9. Visit the Old Roman Town of Poreč

North of Rovinj, you should spend a morning of late afternoon in Poreč with lots of opportunities to take incredible pictures of this coastline summer town.

One of the highlights of the city of Poreč is the Euphrasian Basilica built in the 6th century with beautiful floor mosaics.

The quaint city of Poreč is situated on a small peninsula facing the Adriatic Sea with lots of nice walks to do at your own pace.

Source: Pixabay

10. Aquacolors Poreč

The water park is currently closed and reopens in Spring (date to be confirmed)

Here is another massive water park not to miss for a great fun day out with kids in Istria. The Aquacolors Poreč has many attractions such as water tubes, slides and free falls.

This attraction was first opened in 2015 and has driven hundreds of thousands of families every year. The park also features splash pools for little children with a whole range of catering options like pizza, burgers or salads.

If you need your children to break from the exciting of water rides, they can enjoy playing with their peers at the kids playground. Don’t forget the sun cream in the summer though!

📍MOLINDRIO 18, 52440, Poreč, Croatia

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Source: Aquacolors


I hope this guide on the best things to do in Istria with kids will get you started on how to build the perfect itinerary to visit this region for your next holiday in Croatia.

I am sure there are plenty more activities and places to be mentioned on this article.

If you have found an incredible place to visit with children in Istria, feel free to let us know. Happy Travels!



List of Things to do in Istria with kids

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