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Short trips from Istria: Venice and Trieste

Updated on February 27, 2015

Venice and Trieste

A trip to Venice or Triest should not be missed when holidaying in Istria. Both cities are within an easy distance and it doesn't matter which one you choose the scenic boat trip itself is well worth the time. In this lens I tried to collect all useful information you may need if you want to combine your relaxing beach holiday with a visit to a bustling tourist mecca or a cosy town full of magnificent architecture.

Destination Venice

Venice photo
Venice photo

Venice by numbers

  • made up of 121 islands and 177 canals
  • 435 bridges make the floating city accessible
  • in the rowing season (from April to September) more than 120 regattas take place here including the spectacular Regata Storica
  • estimated 50,000 tourists a day
  • consists of 6 districts (sestiere) and each of them has its own house numbering system

How to get here by boat from Istria?

The Italian Venezialines operates daily from mid-April to early October between Rovinj, Porec and Venice. From June to August there are lines from Pula, Mali Losinj and Rabac, as well, once or twice a week. Ticket prices vary between 61-74 euro (84-102 $) one way. In July and August add 4-7 euro to these prices. Return tickets are only slightly cheaper.

The Prince of Venice

Istria Venice by boat
Istria Venice by boat

If you prefer to take this boat from Porec, book a day-trip at Kompas Travel. Their full day tour includes a short sightseeing in Venice and a visit to Murano glass factory.

Venice from Rovinj
Venice from Rovinj

Travelling by bus

Although the bus ride to Venice takes a little bit longer (4 hours and 20 minutes) than the cruise, it is definitely more affordable. Operated by the Croatian Brioni bus company, the one-way trip from Rovinj to Venice costs only 173 HRK (32 $). The bus departs Pula at 5 am and stops in Rovinj and other small Istrian villages before crossing the border into Slovenia.

A short stop in Trieste and you are on the road along the Italian coast passing near the white Miramare castle. The arrival time is 10 am and... Venice is yours.

Business, death and falling angels

Venice has inspired not only lensmasters but such famous writers as Thomas Mann, Shakespeare or Jean-Paul Sartre. Get acquainted with the dark side of this beautiful city!

Poll about the City of lagoons

Venice lagoons
Venice lagoons

What do you prefer in Venice?

See results
Trieste architecture
Trieste architecture

The cosmopolitan Trieste

Perched on the Adriatic coast in the Gulf of Trieste, this truly cosmopolitan city looks back on a turbulent history. For long centuries Trieste belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy and became one of the most important ports of Europe. When following World War I the city was annexed to Italy, the rising Italian fascism forced the local Slovenes to immigrate to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Meanwhile ethnic Italians moved to Triest from Istria and Dalmatia and this process increased after WW II, at the birth of the communist Yugoslavia.

Today Trieste is still a significant port and a thriving city. Its centre boasts splendid palaces and houses strongly influenced by the Viennese architecture.

Piazza Unita d'Italia at twilight

Trieste main square
Trieste main square

The main square of Trieste, Piazza Unita d'Italia, is dominated by the eclectic Town Hall. Being the largest square in the city, it is also called Piazza Grande. The square is surrounded by magnificent palaces including the Palazzo del Governo on the left and the former seat of the Lloyd shipping company, the neo-Renaissance Lloyd Triestino Palazzo on the right.


How to get here from Istria?

The Italian Triestelines connects Rovinj and Pula with Trieste from June to early October. The boats run daily (except for Monday) and on certain days stop at Piran, the gem of the Slovenian coast. From Pula to Trieste the one-way ticket costs 27, 50 Eur (46,80 Eur return). From Rovinj to Trieste the one-way fare is 22,55 Eur (38,30 Eur return).

By bus

Buses are a good alternative to the boats and the only means of transport (besides cars, of course) during the off season. 4-5 buses operate daily between Trieste and Istrian towns like Rovinj, Porec, Pula (check out the timetable here). If you check the website of Brioni bus company, note that the Croatian name for Trieste is Trst. I paid 14,40 Eur (20$) for a single ticket from Trieste to Pula.

Famous people who once lived in Trieste

James Joyce


Umberto Saba

Jules Verne

Sir Richard Francis Burton

Chitchatting at the Audace pier

Chitchatting at the Audace pier
Chitchatting at the Audace pier

Bygone days of Trieste

Illy coffee
Illy coffee

The home of illy coffee

The story of one of the world’s most loved coffee brands started in Trieste. The founder of the company, a Hungarian bookkeeper, Illy Ferenc was born in Temesvar (today Timisoara in Romania). He moved to Trieste to his sister after WW I and worked for companies dealing with coffee and cocoa roasting. After founding his own company he invented Iletta, the predecessor of today’s espresso machine.

Enjoy illy coffee!

"The illy Art Collections are series of cups designed by contemporary artists, miniature limited-edition works of art that transform the act of drinking an espresso or cappuccino into an incredible experience involving the mind and all five senses."


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