Rijeka is a Croatian town located on the eastern coast of Istria. It is located a few kilometers east of Opatija and is one of the major ports on the Kvarner Bay. Rijeka is a coastal destination where you can enjoy the Adriatic’s clear waters, lush vegetation and a 2 km long pebble beach.
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Rijeka, a popular Croatian town
The city is geared towards tourism, and offers many recreational, cultural and leisure activities. All types of vacationers can find suitable accommodation in Rijeka. They can choose between several hotels, bed and breakfasts, apartments for rent or campsites. The town was once part of Italy and is also known as Fiume. The town has been called Rijeka since its annexation to Yugoslavia. In the end, both names refer to the same thing: a river, the Rječina (or Fiumara) that runs through the city.
There is no shortage of sports and leisure activities for visitors. For example, many hikers visit the small village Mošćenička Draga because of its close proximity to the Učka Nature Park. You can also ski with a view of the sea in the mountains near Rijeka. The city has long been connected with winter sports and has the first ski club in the country since 1885. Several skiers from the region have competed in the Winter Olympics.
Rijeka was able to keep its family atmosphere despite the development of tourism and remains a popular vacation destination for Croatians and foreigners alike. Rijeka’s appeal and activities attract the jet set in summer and it is not uncommon to see yachts stopping just off the coast. Please note that mooring in the harbor requires some caution because of the wind.
Activities and must-see places in Rijeka
The Korzo is a must see during your walk through Rijeka. Locals love to meet in this pedestrian street. You can feel the real atmosphere of the city in this shopping street. Come here with your family, friends or just to enjoy the nice weather. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, a local drink that shouldn’t be missed.
Museum of Rijeka
We highly recommend visiting the Museum of Rijeka, which combines culture and discoveries. The museum has an exhibition about the city’s history, from its creation to the present day. This is a perfect activity for a rainy day in Rijeka.
Are you looking for the most beautiful viewpoint in Rijeka? The Trsat Castle is almost 140 meters above the city and has been occupied since ancient times. It used to be a strategic point of defense for the city and now it is home to exhibitions, art galleries and concerts.
The Modello Palace is a beautiful example of baroque architecture, complemented by elements of neo-renaissance style. The building reflects Trieste’s characteristic architecture. The building has many different ornaments, both inside and outside. The ones inside the party room and the library are the most impressive and are worth a visit to the Modello Palace.
St. Vitus Cathedral in Rijeka
The cathedral is the only religious building in the country built in the shape of a rotunda. It replaced a small church in 1638. The construction of the cathedral was stopped after about 100 years because of the cost. Money was short in the city’s coffers and the work took longer than expected. During your visit, you will notice that not everything is finished inside. This typically baroque urban cathedral is strongly inspired by the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.
Croatian National Theater Ivan pl. Zajc
Don’t miss the Ivan pl. Zajc National Theater during your stay in Rijeka. It was built in 1885 and is an architectural link between Rijeka and other major European cities. Different variants of this building can be found in many cities formerly dominated by the Austro-Hungarian Empire such as Vienna, Prague and Zagreb.
The most beautiful beach in Rijeka is Kostrena beach. It is located about five kilometers east of the city center. Kostrena has two bathing areas in pleasant little bays with rocky and pebble beaches. There is more sunshine during the day on Kostrena Long Beach than on Liburnie, a beach in Kvarner Bay, where the sun sets rather quickly. Towards the Opatija Riviera, the village of Ika does not have a beach, but the sea is perfect for swimming. There are several beautiful pebble beaches in Opatija.
Entertainment and nightlife
From the beginning of June until the end of July, the city lives to the rhythm of a festival called “Summer on Gradina”. Concerts and other cultural events are held here. There are also many concerts and performances in the theaters. Rijeka also has concert bars, literary evenings (in Croatian of course) and jazz clubs. To end the evening on a high note, there are several dance bars, discos and pubs in town where you can enjoy the nightlife until dawn.