The region of Istria is filled with small charming towns. Labin, located in its northeastern part, is home to some beautiful historic architecture, lots of culture and it offers some of the best sea views in Istria. If you’re planning to visit that lovely town and wondering what to see in Labin, then keep reading.

What to see in Labin

Labin is most famous for its Old Town situated on the hill above the Adriatic Sea. However, the town is quite important as the birthplace of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, the closest associate of Martin Luther.

To help you explore it, here is the Labin Travel Guide with places you shouldn’t miss in Labin.

Read more: Things to know before visiting Croatia this summer

Labin Old Town

Labin Old Town is a stunning place filled with hilly narrow streets, colourful houses and numerous churches. You’ll stumble on many galleries and souvenir shops there, too.

Saint Florian’s Gate 

Address: Ulica Alda Negrija 16, 52220 Labin

The historical part of Labin is surrounded by solid city walls. The main entrance to the town of Labin was the Saint Florian’s Gate. Above the door, you’ll find carved the coat of arms of Labin and a lion, a symbol of the Venetian era. The door was built in 1587 as a part Venetian wall. The year of construction and the image of Saint Mark’s are carved on the door. 

Once you enter those gates, you’ll find yourself surrounded by medieval streets, which are fun to explore and will lead you to numerous exciting sites worth exploring in Labin.

Read more: Istria Travel Guide: The best places to visit in Istria 

Labin main square & the Loggia

Address: Stari trg, 52220 Labin

The main Labin square, called Stari trg, is a lovely place to start your stroll around that charming Croatian town. It contains a well-preserved loggia from the 16th century. That historic site is home to a small hotel today, making it a wonderful place to stay in Labin.

Loggia was built around 1550 and renovated in 1662. There is a part of lapidarium there with the historic crest of the town of Labin and aristocratic Labin families. 

Parish Church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Address: Šetalište San Marco 77, 52220 Labin

Labin Old Town is home to numerous interesting churches. The biggest one is the Parish Church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s one of the rare preserved monuments from the Venetian era. It was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, with parts showing the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism, making it one of the most fascinating buildings in Labin.

Its interior is equally impressive with a fascinating altar and many other beautiful artefacts.

TIP: An interesting statue is located in one of the niches in front of the church – a beautiful Venetian lion. It holds an open book with an inscription: ‘Pax tibi Marce’ (Peace to you, Mark). It shows how Venice was in peace at the time of the church’s construction. If Venice was at war at the time of carving, a lion would keep the closed book.  You’ll find these statues on many monuments on the Adriatic coast.

Saint Stephen Chapel

Address: Šetalište San Marco 77, 52220 Labin

Just next to it, you’ll find another site you shouldn’t miss while in Labin – Saint Stephen Chapel. It’s much smaller than the previous building but definitely a must-see place in Labin.

The chapel was built in the 17th century. It is a small Baroque church home to the graves of the famous Labin citizens. It was renovated in 1991, and it’s mainly used as a gallery today.

Read more: What to do & see in Pula

Chapel of Saint Mary of Carmel

Address: Ulica Prvog Maja, 52220 Labin

A small, narrow Chapel of Saint Mary of Carmel is also used as an art gallery called Alvona today. The church was built in 1615 and renovated a few times since then. The wooden altar in its interior is a witness of its former purpose. 

Read more: Colourful history of Istria – Medieval frescoes in Istria

Battiala – Lazzarini Palace

Address: Šetalište San Marco 77, 52220 Labin

The Old Town is home to several impressive palaces that should find their place on your list of places to see in Labin.

The Baroque Battiala-Lazzarini Palace, located in the Old Town centre, next to the parish church, is one of the most beautiful buildings in Labin.

The palace’s construction started in 1630 and was initiated by the Battiala family.

The palace’s main feature is the intensive red colour of its facade, lavishly decorated with architectural elements in white stone.

It has three floors with an entrance atrium from where you can go upstairs to the first floor (piano nobile) and visit its main hall. 

There are two rooms on each side of the main hall, and the same room layout is on the second floor. Today, the palace is home to the National Museum of Labin and absolutely a must-see place in Labin.

The Scampicchio Palace

Address: Šetalište San Marco 77, 52220 Labin

Another impressive building located on the other side of the parish church is the Scampicchio Palace.

It is one of the most famous palaces built in the 15th century, owned by that respectable noble family. 

You can see the family crest still on its facade. It has a bird’s wing and a leg in its central field. 

The Scampicchio family originally came from Rijeka. Soon after arriving at Labin, they were entrusted with keeping the town archives stored in their palace in the Old Town. Antonio Scampicchio was Labin’s mayor and a Istrian Parliament representative. As he was interested in geology and archaeology, he founded the first museum collection in Istria by compiling the collection of geological rarities of the Istrian region. 

The family gave several intellectuals and mayors of Labin through history until the 1920s, when they moved to Italy.

The Franković – Vlačić Palace

Address: Ulica Giuseppine Martinuzzi 7, 52220 Labin

The site you should definitely put on your list of places to see in Labin is the Franković – Vlačić Palace. It is the birthplace of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, one of the most critical European scholars of the 16th century. A versatile philologist, theologist, historian and scientist, he was one of the most prominent supporters of the Protestant reform in Istria. 

His Memorial Collection is kept in this Baroque palace. The collection consists of three parts. Its introduction presents the region of Istria and Labin. The second part is dedicated to towns and figures from the Illyrian movement, while the third part exhibits his books.

Saint Just Bell – Tower

Address: Joakima Rakovca 4, 52220 Labin

Saint Just Bell is one of the most recognisable sites in Labin. Located in its Old Town, it is devoted to the patron saint of Labin – Saint Just. The tower was built in 1623 on the site once occupied by the Church of Saint Just. The tower is 35 metres (around 115 feet) high, making it a recognisable Labin landmark.

TIP: You can climb the Saint Just Tower and enjoy a fantastic view of Labin, Istria and the Adriatic Sea from it.

The Little Theatre

Address: Mali trg, 52220 Labin

While strolling around Labin’s narrow streets, you’ll undoubtedly stumble on a distinctive yellow building – the Little Theatre. 

It was built in the mid-19th century on a former grain warehouse site. 

The construction and adaptation of the theatre were financed by the members of the theatre troupe. The first official theatre troupe was founded in 1840. However, its history goes back to the beginning of the 19th century when Labin youth staged plays. 

The theatre building had different functions – it served as barracks and a sports hall for some time. After the opening of the cinema in 1938, the inhabitants called the building the Little Theatre or Teatrino. 

TIP: Particularly interesting is the vault of the theatre, which was decorated in 1893 by the Pula artist Giovanni Demori.

Windows of Labin’s Legends

Address: Old Town

Although it’s a charming historical town, Labin is also home to some modern art.

A project called Windows of Labin’s Legends is an exhibition in the Labin Old Town. It consists of murals located in the windows of the Labin historical palaces and buildings.

The main goal of the project is to include citizens in the activities of preservation and promotion of the identity, tradition, culture and customs of the Labin area.

Murals show people who left a strong impact on the Labin area. The teacher, writer and revolutionary Giuseppina Martinuzzi, inventor of electric speedometer Josip Belušić, famous sculptor Mate Čvrljak, miner Antun Bičić, important scholar, Matija Vlačić Ilirik and handball legend, Klaudio Brezac Mikot are just some shown in the murals.

Birth house of Giuseppina Martinuzzi 

Address: Ulica Paola Sfecija 4, 52220 Labin

Giuseppina Martinuzzi was the Istrian teacher, writer and revolutionary born in 1844. One of the streets in Labin Old Town was named after her. However, you’ll find the house where she was born, not far from the city centre. 

The house was built in the 19th century, and the courtyard facade has some elements of the Secession. On the first floor of the courtyard facade, you’ll find a stone relief with a lion of Saint Mark.

Read more: 10 Best tours & activities in Istria

Sculpture Park Dubrova 

Address: Štrmac 85, 52231 Nedešćina

Sculpture park Dubrova is an exceptional place you should visit while in Labin.

It is outside the city centre, but it will take you only ten minutes by car to get there.

It consists of 71 sculptures made since 1970, when Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium was established. Each year since then, an art residence has been organised in it. Many famous Croatian and worldwide artists created statues of Istrian stone during that time. 

A unique part of the walk there is the White Road. You can wander around it and explore sixteen areas decorated by different artists. 

Where to eat in Labin

If you get hungry while exploring Labin, there is a very famous place for Italian pizza and cannelloni called Rumore, just outside of the Old Town. You’ll have some delicious food there, all while enjoying a beautiful view from it.

If you prefer fish, there is a charming fishing village, Trget, located some nine kilometres (around five miles) away from Labin. A restaurant by the sea called Martin Pescador serves fresh fish just taken out of the sea.

The closest beach to Labin

If you want to swim or just walk by the beach, Rabac is only five kilometres (around three miles) away and it has some of the most beautiful beaches in Istria. 

Read more: What to see in Central Istria

Lots of culture, interesting stories and a great meal await you in Labin and the area. You will most definitely enjoy it whenever you decide to go there, in summer or even winter. I hope this Labin travel guide helped you decide what to see in Labin.

Have you been to Labin? Would you add anything else to this list? Let me know in the comments below.