Grožnjan Croatia: How to visit the town of music and artists

One of the most charming towns in Istria has to be Grožnjan. I’ve shared everything you need to know before you visit this artistic hilltop town.

Groznan Istria hilltop towns

It took me three visits to Istria before I managed to visit Grožnjan. And I’m so glad I did.

Grožnjan is this charming little hilltop town with an artistic, medieval vibe. From lovely konobas with home-cooked food to the beautiful old town, there are so much to take in here in Grožnjan.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to spend one day in Grožnjan, Croatia, and why it’s worth visiting.

Let’s dig in.

Read next: 15 unforgettable things to do in Istria

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Is it worth visiting Grožnjan?

100% yes!

Grožnjan is not as well known as other Croatian tourist hotspots, and that’s what makes it unique!

Its small size, stunning views, and artistic ambiance make it a charming destination if you’re looking for a day trip.

Istria - groznjan

How to get to Groznjan

The two ways to visit Grožnjan is with an organised day tour or a car. I’ll go through your options below.

Organised day tour

There are only a few tours available where you can visit Grožnjan and a few other hilltop towns (Motovun, Pazin and/or Oprtalj). These are your options:

  • Day tour to Lim Fjord, Groznjan, Motovun and Pazin (⭐ 5/5) Book here
  • Day tour to Groznjan and Oprtalj with Viator Book here

Rental car

Grožnjan is not easy to reach with public transportation, so if you’re not joining a day tour, you’ll need a rental car. That’s how we visited, and the town was easy to find. We parked at the town church (Sveti Vida) and walked around town from there.

It’s very small so it’s impossible to get lost.

Best Car Rental Company:


When booking your car rental online, I recommend Discover Cars. They compare prices at car rental agencies all over the country to get you the best deal.

Where is Grožnjan?

Grožnjan is located in the heart of Istria, in the northwest of Croatia, close to the Slovenian and Italian borders.

It’s a 25 minute drive from Umag or Motovun.

Grožnjan is located a bit higher, which means you’ll have outstanding views of the surrounding countryside and even the sea.

History of Grožnjan

Grožnjan has a rich history that traces back to the early Middle Ages.

The area was originally inhabited by the Histri, an ancient Illyrian tribe, before it became a part of the Roman Empire.

In the 10th century, the Byzantine Empire gained control and by 1102, Grožnjan was under the rule of the Patriarchate of Aquileia.

It then passed to the Counts of Gorizia in 1238 and finally came under the Habsburgs’ reign in 1420.

Today, Grožnjan is known for its preserved medieval character and vibrant arts scene. About 164 people call Grožnjan home.

Istria - groznjan

Things to do in Groznjan

1. Wander the old town

Start your day in Grožnjan by wandering through its charming old town. With its narrow streets and stone houses, it’s like you’re in a different time period.

As mentioned above, Grožnjan is a very small town, so don’t think about where you go. Simple allow yourself to get lost in the winding alleys and see where you end up.

Groznjan, Croatia
Groznjan, Croatia
Groznjan, Croatia

2. Catholic parish church Sveti Vida

Just off the main square, you’ll find the beautiful Catholic parish church Sveti Vida. This is where you can park your car.

Built in the 15th century, the church has a beautiful bell tower and altarpiece.

The church is still in use today and it shows the town’s rich religious history.

Groznjan, Croatia

3. Visit one of the 40 art galleries

Grožnjan is known as the town of music and artists.

That’s because the town is a hub of creativity and you’ll find around 20 art galleries and studios. During the summer festivals, there are more than 40 galleries open for visitors.

Istria - groznjan
Groznjan, Croatia

4. Visit Vina Zigante vineyard

If you’re a wine lover, you’ll want to visit the Vina Zigante vineyard.

Located just a few kilometres from Grožnjan, it’s one of the top wine destinations in Croatia.

Take a tour of the vineyard, taste some of their award-winning wines, and enjoy the stunning views of the countryside.

5. Check out The Town Loggia

Located in the heart of the old town is the Town Loggia, the most iconic landmark in Grožnjan.

It’s also the most beautiful place in town.

The Loggia was built in the 16th century as a meeting place for local government officials, and now it’s a popular spot to take pictures and enjoy the views.

Groznjan, Croatia

6. Join the Grožnjan Musical Summer and Jazz Festival

Every summer through July and August, the stone-paved streets of car-free Grožnjan fill with sounds from jazz to classical, drawing in music fans far and wide.

It’s not just about the tunes, though.

The festival adds a whole new layer of charm to Grožnjan’s vibe. So, if you’re up for some good music and an authentic local experience, this festival should be on your list.

Groznjan, Croatia

7. Eat and drink with a view

End your day in Groznjan with a delicious meal and a glass of wine at one of the town’s cafes or konobas.

Several of the restaurants in town offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and sitting outside in the warm Croatian sun is the perfect way to end a day of exploring.

Try out Mama Maria or Konoba Pintur!

The best food in Istria, Croatia

Where to stay in Groznjan

B&B Artegnana 1798 (⭐ 9.2) This beautiful B&B in the heart of Groznjan has newly renovated rooms and an incredible view of the green hills from your window. Breakfast is included. Check rates and availability here.

Groznjan, Croatia

Where to next?

While one day in Groznjan is enough to explore the town, Istria has so much more to offer.

If you’re looking for more hidden gems, consider taking a day trip to Motovun, Roc, or Ortalj.

Each town is unique in its own way and you can easily visit them all in a day if you have a car 👉 find great deals with Discover Cars here.


Motovun is a quaint hilltop town in Istria.

It’s set on top of a hill, surrounded by lush vineyards and truffle-filled forests.

The town has narrow streets lined with Venetian architecture, and the city walls offer great views, especially in the morning! Every year, it hosts the popular Motovun Film Festival.

Istria hilltop towns


Roc is also a small hilltop town nearby.

It’s super small, but the food at Rocka konoba and the town’s charm make it worth visiting.



Ortalj is another hilltop town in the northern part of Istria.

It’s surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, with a town loggia as its main attraction.


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