The city of Pula in Istria has always been popular as a heritage city due to the well-preserved buildings left behind by the Romans. This may have caused many families to shy away from visiting the city as it might not appeal to the younger crowds. However, there are now plenty of kid-friendly sites and activities available in Pula, pulling in travellers of all ages to enjoy the city in a new light.

    From adventure parks close to the main beach to a world-renowned observatory for aspiring astronomers, check out our list of things to do with your family in Pula and surrounding towns.

    1

    AquaPark Pula

    Adventures by Svjetionik Beach

    Gear up for some adrenaline-inducing fun at AquaPark Pula, located around 300 metres northeast of Svjetionik Beach. This inflatable water playground is suitable for children above the age of 6 and senior citizens up to 66 years old, with obstacle-like challenges that turn family times into friendly competitions.

    Admission fees vary, with tickets available from 30 minutes to a full day of water play, as well as discounted tickets for group bookings. All activities at AquaPark Pula are supervised by lifeguards and staff members – lifejackets are also provided to ensure your safety.

    Location: Verudela b.b, 52100, Pula, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 9am to 8pm

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    2

    Aquapark Istralandia

    Take a day trip to Croatia's first waterpark

    Aquapark Istralandia is famously known as Croatia’s first waterpark, having opened in Nova Vas back in 2014. You'll be treated to one of the Mediterranean's largest wave pools, which spans over 2,500 sq m. Various thrill rides and shows are also available at this 8-hectare theme park. Passes are available at Istralandia’s ticket booth, with discounted prices for children and senior citizens. If you’re visiting on your birthday, you can enjoy free entry to Aquapark Istralandia.

    Aquapark Istralandia is around 72 km north of Pula. For your convenience, the waterpark also provides lockers, sunbeds, family-sized gazebos, and even a pet kennel rental at a small fee.

    Location: Ul. Ronki 1, 52474, Nova Vas, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 10am to 6pm

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    photo by Aquapark Istralandia (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    Adventure Park Pula

    Enjoy a full day of outdoor fun

    Adventure Park Pula is located by the woods near the Lungomare boardwalk. Suitable for adults and children above the age of 4, this outdoor park has 30 challenges and 3 mini ziplines through its obstacle course, along with an 80-metre-long zipline. If you have a fear of heights, the Adventure Park Pula obstacle course will help you in pushing boundaries for the day.

    You’re welcome to retake the challenges as many times as you wish, though the zipline rides are limited to only once per guest. Tickets to Adventure Park Pula include safety equipment rental. You’re also required to attend a safety briefing before starting the challenge. All challenges are supervised by trained staff members to ensure the safety of the guests.

    Location: Lungomare bb - Mornar, 52100, Pula, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 9am to 9pm

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    4

    Ambrela Beach

    Beachside fun for the whole family

    Ambrela Beach in Pula is excellent for families thanks to its sandy expanse and calm waves. A large floating obstacle course can be seen close to the shore, while a playground with a large trampoline is available right on the beach. As a result, parents get to unwind while staying close to their little ones.

    Ambrela Beach has a defined area for swimming that’s relatively far from motorised water sports. Jet skis and motorboats are available for rent on the beach. Facilities include sunbeds for rent, public showers, and parking. Ambrela is located around 4 km south of Pula’s city centre.

    Location: Verudela 21, 52100, Pula, Croatia

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    5

    Tican Observatory

    A must-visit for aspiring astronomers and science lovers

    The Tican Observatory (formerly known as the Visjnan Observatory) is located near the village of Višnjan, around a 45-minute drive from Pula. The centre is only open to the public on Thursdays, and it’s free of charge. While you’re there, you can look through the telescope to see the moon and planets around the Solar System – if you’re lucky, you might be able to hold a piece of meteorite that’s displayed at the observatory.

    Various activities often take place at the Tican Observatory, including workshops and lectures by renowned astronomer, Korado Korlevic. Guided tours are available for a small fee, and conducted in English, Croatian and Italian.

    Location: Tican field, 52463, Višnjan, Croatia

    Open: Thursday from 9pm to 10.30pm (hours vary by season)

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    6

    House of Istrian Olive Oil

    A museum and olive oil tasting experience in one

    The House of Istrian Olive Oil is the first of its kind in Pula, showcasing the history of olive growing and production in Istria. For your convenience, the museum provides audio tours in 12 different languages. A staff-supervised kids' corner is available for parents who want to join the tour without their children. You’ll get to take part in the olive oil tasting session at the end of the guided tour. Led by a trained staff of the museum, you can learn about different types, smells, and tastes of olive oils.

    Tours at the House of Istrian Olive Oil are split into 3 tiers – depending on the tour package, a visit to the museum might take between 40 minutes to 1 hour.

    Location: Ul. Svetog Teodora 1a, 52100, Pula, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 10am to 6pm

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    7

    Peekaboo Pizzeria

    Stop for the pizzas, stay for the fun

    Peekaboo Pizzeria is an air-conditioned Italian restaurant near the Pula Arena. It’s one of the city’s most popular dining spots, especially for families with young children. The pizzeria is famous for offering extra-large pizzas at affordable prices. It also provides complimentary dips with every pizza.

    Try the highly recommended tuna pizza or opt for half-and-half choices to please the whole family. Peekaboo Pizzeria has a dedicated children’s area that requires a small fee. As a result, it offers families a rather lively dining experience.

    Location: Flavijevska ul. 12, 52100, Pula, Croatia

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12pm to 10pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10am to 10pm

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    8

    Kestenijada Festival

    Party with the locals at Pula’s annual chestnut festival

    Kestenijada is the Croatians’ way of welcoming all things autumn with their favourite local treat – chestnuts. The festival first took place in Oprtalj in 2008 and is the only one in the country that celebrates chestnuts.

    Pastry workshops and concerts are held in various locations across the small town. By the city square, locals prepare sweet and savoury dishes with chestnuts as the core ingredient. Kestenijada takes place annually in October. Oprtalj is within an hour’s drive north of Pula, offering scenic views along the way.

    Location: Oprtalj, 52428, Croatia

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    9

    MEMO Museum Pula

    Jump back in time to experience life in the 1950s

    The MEMO Museum of Good Memories is a 3-part interactive museum that takes you through the everyday lives of locals in Pula. The experience starts from the beginning of the 1950s to the end of 1980s. Guests of all ages are welcome to explore the museum on their own, trying on clothes and posing for pictures with antiques such as gramophones and vintage TVs.

    Don’t forget to take a seat in the Zastava 750, an antique car first produced in 1955. It now sits in the heart of the MEMO Museum, giving you plenty of Instagrammable moments. The MEMO Museum of Good Memories is located just 200 metres southwest of the Pula Arena.

    Location: Scalierova ul. 4, 52100, Pula, Croatia

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 5pm (closed on Sundays)

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    Elie Lam | Contributing Writer

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