Small Roman Theatre Pula

Top Highlights

  • A testament to Pula’s rich Roman past.
  • Stunning archaeological beauty amidst urban surroundings.
  • Witness ancient Roman plays performed in summer.
  • Perfect blend of history and modernity.
  • A must-visit among Pula top attractions.
  • Panoramic views of the city and sea.

Small Roman Theatre Pula – A Journey Through Time

About the Small Roman Theatre Pula

The Small Roman Theatre Pula is a charismatic blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Nestled amidst the urban structures of Pula, this ancient theatre echoes tales of an era where gladiators roamed, and the city buzzed with Roman enthusiasm. As a slice of Pula’s Rome-era legacy, the theatre showcases how deeply the city’s roots are embedded in the glorious Roman past.

Unlike other colossal amphitheaters, the Small Roman Theatre, true to its name, offers an intimate experience. With its stone steps leading up to a magnificent view of the city and the Adriatic Sea, it’s a delightful blend of the past meeting the present.

old Roman theater ancient Roman amphitheater in Pula croatia

Historical Summary: Walking Through the Pages of Time

Pula’s Roman heritage is inextricable, and the Small Roman Theatre Pula stands as a beacon of that legacy. Constructed during the 1st century AD, this theater was once the heartbeat of the city’s entertainment scene.

Commissioned by the Roman elite, the theatre was designed to provide a space for performances that told stories of myths, legends, and heroic tales. The very purpose of the Small Roman Theatre was not just for leisure, but also to ensure that the Roman traditions and stories were passed down to subsequent generations.

Its architect remains unknown, but the brilliance in the design speaks volumes of the advanced architectural prowess the Romans possessed. Over the years, it saw various performances, from passionate plays to political commentaries.

However, the ravages of time took a toll, and what remains today is a testament to its original grandeur, attracting thousands every year eager to experience a piece of Pula’s Rome.

Historical facts

  • Location: The Small Roman Theatre, also known as the “Little Roman Theatre”, is situated on the eastern slope of the central hill of the old city core.
  • Era of Construction: The theatre was constructed during the 1st century AD, around the same time that the Pula Arena and many other Roman structures were built in the city.
  • Structure and Size: While it’s much smaller compared to the grand amphitheater (the Pula Arena), the Small Roman Theatre originally had seating for around 5,000 spectators.
  • Usage: As with other Roman theaters, it was primarily used for drama performances and recitations. Unlike amphitheaters, which hosted gladiatorial combats, theaters were places of artistic and literary expressions.
  • State of Preservation: Over the centuries, much of the Small Roman Theatre was dismantled, and its stones were used in other construction projects around Pula. It hasn’t been preserved to the same extent as the Pula Arena. The remnants mostly consist of the semicircular orchestra and the stage.
  • Excavations: Only the lower parts of the stage and the orchestra have survived to this day. The site has been the focus of multiple archaeological excavations in an effort to learn more about its history and design.
  • Today: Modern Pula has grown around the ancient ruins, and you can still visit the remains of the Small Roman Theatre. It offers a glimpse into the rich history of the city and its significance during the Roman period.
  • Cultural Significance: Though lesser-known, the Small Roman Theatre is a testament to Pula’s importance in antiquity. The existence of such a theater indicates that the city had a thriving cultural and artistic life during the Roman era.

Pula’s ancient Roman architecture, including its more famous Arena and the lesser-known Small Roman Theatre, makes it a significant destination for those interested in history and ancient civilizations. The city offers a unique blend of ancient structures amid a modern urban setting.

When to visit the Small Roman Theatre Pula?

While the theatre is open year-round, the best time to visit is during the summer months. This is when the theatre hosts a plethora of events and plays, giving you a genuine feel of ancient Roman entertainment.

What is there to see at the Small Roman Theatre Pula?

While the theatre may be ‘small’, it’s packed with sights to behold. The ancient stone steps, where once Roman locals sat, provide a spectacular panoramic view of Pula. During summers, the theatre often comes alive with plays reminiscent of ancient Roman performances. It’s also home to various exhibitions and events, offering insights into the city’s Roman legacy.

Town of Pula old Roman theater ruins view, Istria region of Croatia

How long does a visit take?

A leisurely exploration of the Small Roman Theatre can take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours. However, if you’re attending a performance or an event, plan for an extended stay.

Local Tips & Tricks

  • Arrive early if you’re attending a summer play to grab the best seats.
  • Wear comfortable footwear; the ancient steps can be a bit tricky to navigate.
  • Don’t forget your camera! The view from the top is breathtaking.

Where is the Small Roman Theatre Pula?

Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the Small Roman Theatre Pula is just a short walk from most central accommodations and attractions.

How do I get there?

The best way to reach the Small Roman Theatre Pula is on foot if you’re already in the city. Pula has an efficient public transportation system, so hopping on a local bus is also a good option. Alternatively, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available.

Contact Info

How to Get Here

Location: Center of Pula

  • The Small Roman Theatre in Pula is centrally located near both Zerostrasse and Kaštel. We suggest setting your navigation to Carrarina ul. 3 for the most direct route.

Where to park

  • When arriving, consider looking for a parking spot as you ascend via Castropola Street. Alternatively, for a comprehensive list of parking options, please consult the where-to-park section.


What is the Small Roman Theatre in Pula?
The Small Roman Theatre, also known as the Little Roman Theatre, is an ancient structure situated in Pula, Croatia. It was used primarily for drama performances and recitations during the Roman era.
How does it compare to the Pula Arena in terms of size?
The Small Roman Theatre is much smaller than the Pula Arena. While the Pula Arena could accommodate over 20,000 spectators, the Small Roman Theatre had a seating capacity for around 5,000 people.
When was the Small Roman Theatre built?
The theatre was constructed during the 1st century AD, a period during which several Roman structures were established in Pula.
How much of the theatre remains intact today?
Over the centuries, much of the Small Roman Theatre was dismantled for other construction projects. Today, mainly the semicircular orchestra and parts of the stage remain. It hasn’t been preserved as extensively as the Pula Arena.
Is it possible to watch performances at the theatre today?
Pula hosts various events and festivals where historical sites might be used as venues. It’s a good idea to check the local event calendar or inquire at the local tourist office.
How do I get to the Small Roman Theatre?
The Small Roman Theatre is located on the eastern slope of the central hill in the old city core of Pula. It’s within walking distance from many central locations in the city. When in doubt, local maps or navigation apps should point you in the right direction.