Motovun – Scenic Hilltop Town In Istria

Many people compare Istria to Tuscany as its continental part is full of small hilltop towns, only a bit more colorful. Motovun is a medieval city situated on the top of a small hill, which means it has a wall circling the town that offers incredible panoramic views. In my opinion, Motovun has one of the best panoramic views out of all Istrian hilltop towns. And it’s all because of the fantastic landscape of Mirna valley and its river.

The town is most famous for the ‘Motovun film festival’ held each year in summer. Food lovers adore Motovun as vast forests all around the town hide truffles, and if you love truffles, welcome to truffle heaven.

Things to do in Motovun

1. City Walls

Make City Walls your first stop. They go all around the city and offer incredible views wherever you look. In my opinion, Motovun provides the best view of all hilltop towns in Istria. I suggest coming in the morning to see those first sun rays.

The entrance fee for City Walls is 25 KN (approximately 3.36€ or 3.73 USD) for a single person. There is a discount for students and cheaper family tickets. But again, if you come outside the working hours, entrance is free.

2. Roam through Motovun streets

I love roaming around small towns and walking all around without prior planning and end up having the best time! In Motovun you can find beautiful street art on walls of houses, cute streets, and many exciting details all over. That’s the reason why I love small hilltop towns; they offer a lot if you’re ready to explore and live in the moment.

3. Visit the main square

The main landmark in the main square is for sure the Bell Tower. It was built in the 13th century as the town’s main observation point. The tower is 27 meters high. Next to the tower is the Church of St.Stephen.

4. Try some local food or drinks in one of the restaurants

After exploring, I suggest going into one of the restaurants or cafes by the city walls where you can enjoy food with breathtaking views. Don’t forget to try a dish with truffles, that’s a must while visiting Istria. A little warning: you’ll either love it or hate it. There’s no in-between.

How to get to Motovun?

The best way to get to Motovun is by car. Coming by bus is a good option too, but keep in mind that not all cities in Croatia have a direct bus line to Motovun.

Parking and price

Motovun offers two public parking lots. One is at the bottom of the hill and one along the road before the entrance to the town. Note that you can’t enter the city in a car unless you have a friend or accommodation there to let you in the city. Only residents are allowed to enter the town in a car.
The price for both parking lots is the same, so if it’s free at that time, park at the one that’s closer to the city. During the season, that’s almost impossible as that one is much smaller.

The price is 50 KN (approximately 6.7€ or 7.45USD). There is only a daily ticket valid for 24 hours, which means no matter how long you stay, you pay the same price. However, if you come early, before the working hours of the parking lot, you can park for free. Working hours are usually from 9, or 10 am.

During December, January and February, parking is free.

When is the best time to visit Motovun?

It depends on your personal preference. Motovun is a great place to visit all year long. If you want a more „alive“ atmosphere, you need to visit in summer. Best from May/June to August. If you prefer more peaceful exploring then September/October or March/April may be best for you. But whenever you decide to come, you won’t regret it.

Stays in MotovunStays in Motovun

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