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There are small, charming towns nestled in beautiful spots all over the globe. Then there’s Rovinj, the gorgeous port town on the Istrian Peninsula that seemingly has everything a vacationer’s heart (and eyes) would ever wish for. Of course, we love our Londons and our Chicagos. But for those who’ve tasted the intoxicating drink of small towns, there’s just no turning back. For many, an array of cookie-cutter hotels or attractions—no longer holds them captive. Instead, many now want local food, local attractions, and a more than a superficial encounter with a specific lifestyle.

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Fortunately, Croatia has its fair share of these sweep-off-the-feet, small-town destinations. And Rovinj is one of them. However, Rovinj itself is a bundle of several attractions most of which are spectacular in their own right.

But there’s one that Tripadvisor has ranked as the finest. And that’s the Old Town. Here’s why.

Why Vacationers Can’t Get Enough Of Rovinj

Rovinj is located in Istria, the breathtaking peninsula on the northwestern side of Croatia. Its Old Town, therefore, comes with that Istrian flavor and flair that has consistently made the 3600-square-km peninsula a hot favorite with travelers.

Going by the evocative moniker of “Little Venice,” one might not wonder why vacationers are swept away by its charm. Venice, of course, is one of the most picturesque cities in the world.

Even if we’re to be only guided by its expressive nickname, Rovinj immediately conjures up images of fabulous architecture, tiny backstreets, and a romantic allure, just like its Italian eponym.

And true to expectations, Rovinj has an ambiance that’s a mixture of downright authenticity and ethereal fairy tale.

Related: 20 Gorgeous Photos Of Croatia Taken By Real Tourists.

On either side of its narrow, winding streets, most of which are both quaint and laid back, are shops that similarly exude that antique look many of us would willingly fall in love with. And the real gem is its Old Town.

Here’s Why The Old Town Is Rovinj’s Finest (And Most Preferred)

Ranking a destination is tough. Travelers have their stubborn demands and difficult parameters. Most of the time, a consensus is as elusive as spotting the high fin dragonfish—which can only be found at sea depths of over 300 meters.

Fortunately, there are objective ways to find out travelers’ best picks. One of these is through reviews.

And according to TripAdvisor, the online travel information exchange that boasts over 490 million active users per month, Rovinj’s historic Old Town is the most preferred travel spot within and around Rovinj. Obviously, there are reasons.

Related: A Travel Guide To Croatia: 11 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip

Visiting a travel destination only to find out that the town is so touristy—that its own character has been subsumed—is usually a big disappointment. That’s why Rovinj’s Old Town is special.

The antique shops and small boutiques that line the cobbled streets of Rovinj’s Old Town are stocked with local and homemade goodies, sold by local residents, in an ambiance that’s alluringly local.

Rovinj’s Old Town isn’t some tired, generic replica of a typical western downtown. And to be honest, for many travelers, that authentic look, that uniquely different aura, IS the attraction. It’s never the glitz or glamour—even if these may be in abundance. But there are other draws.

Rovinj’s Old Town is car-free. It’s a paradise for those tired of the honking and blaring of swerving cars—characteristic of many downtown locations of big cities.

Aside from the alluring serenity that naturally ensues, the convenience alone of walking around the beautiful, narrow streets, unharried and unhurried, is an element that many will relish.

While beauty lies everywhere in Rovinj’s Old Town, the climax is Grisia Street, the longest and most famous street in the Old town. While most streets in the Old Town feature gorgeous, marble stepping stones, Grisia Street is where they are more extravagantly displayed.

To many vacationers, Grisia Street is also the town’s artisan paradise. And it’s not just in the look of its beautiful streets.

The street has shops stocked liberally (and of course, aesthetically) with several painters’ exhibits. We’ve not even touched on the food or spoken about the amazing Italian architecture.

What You Need To Know Before Visiting Rovinj’s Old Town

Before visiting any destination, some heads-up are crucial. And Rovinj’s Old Town is not any different.

For starters, in some streets, the old marble is worn out, leaving out an exterior that’s smooth and shinier. And that’s the danger. With a little moisture, the streets can be slippery. For this reason, it’ll be important to wear shoes that have a firm grip.

Also, while the charming beauty of Rovinj’s Old Town is not responsive to time or tide, the morning hours are usually quiet and uncrowded—providing the perfect environment for strolling down the cobblestone streets.

Whatever one does in Rovinj’s Old Town, a visit without a walk by the sea—is half a visit. For its architecture, look, and ambiance, thousands of TripAdvisor users have ranked the Old Town as TripAdvisor’s best.