Feel the charm of vibrant mix of Austro-Hungarian Habsburg brilliance and industrial grit in the third largest Croatian city – Rijeka. Its special Mediterannean charisma and joyful atmosphere is missed by many tourists and it’s a great loss for the ones who passed it by on their way to the more famous Dalmatian islands. First established by Romans as Tarsaticae as a port at the Kvarner gulf, it was later inhabited by Slavic tribes in the 7th century, became a part of the Austrian empire in the 15th century. The history of Rijeka is very tangled and sometimes marked by very unfortunate events like the earthquake in 1750 that destroyed the fortifications and many old buildings. But still this lively dynamic city thrived through the centuries and blossomed.
Walk along the pretty pedestrian Korzo district and gaze at the pretty Austrian imperial style buildings.
Take a look at the Clock Tower built before the earthquake of 1750 and decorated with the paintings of Leopold I and Charles VI, the Emperors of Austria. Its clock was made in the 17th century and works perfectly. You can also take a look at the Roman gate which was the part of the entrance to the now nonexistent Roman port.
Go up one of the highest hills around and marvel at the Gothic style Trsat Castle built in the 13th century. Get up to the observation point and admire the picturesque panorama view over the city. The dungeon of the fortress is now used as an art gallery.
Get inside the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of Trsat Mother of God, which are the main religious sites here.
Visit the ornately decorated neo-Gothic Capuchin Church of of Our Lady of Lourdes built in the beginning of the 20th century. Its altar and interiors were decorated by famous Croatian and Italian artists.
Visit the marvelous and richly decorated St. Vitus Cathedral with its magnificent altar, sculptures and early medieval crucifix. The Cathedral has not changed its appearance since the 18th century.
Wonder at the spectacular collection of artifacts of the Rijeka City Museum. The collection of jewelry that once belonged to the rich inhabitants of the city and the old theatrical costumes deserve your special attention.
Visit the Natural History Museum situated in an old beautiful 19th century mansion and take a look at paleontological artifacts and other interesting geological, botanical and sea life objects. Don’t miss the lovely botanical garden too.
Take a look at the modern art by local artist in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary art.
Take bus 7A from the central area and head to the Observatory and Astronomical Centre.
Go to a rock concert and feel the indie vibe at the famous Palach club and culture center.
Go hiking or just walk around in the Risnjak National Park full of old oak trees, rare plants and flowers and marvel at the wildlife.
Rijeka region has many beautiful beaches to offer to the visitors that love sunbathing and swimming in the sea:
- Plaza Ploce beach is one of the largest and the most popular. It’s a very well maintained pebble beach where you can also visit pool center Bazeni Kantrida and a diving school.
- Spectacular old Sablicaevo beach offers fresh water and beautiful views.
- Quiet and cozy Preluk beach has very clear water and is ideal for snorkeling.
- Picturesque Kostrena beach with crystal clear waters and pebble seaside and a lovely promenade area.
- Beautiful Uvala Svezanj Bay offers clearest waters and is perfect for snorkeling.
Food and drinks
Try local specialties – brudet seafood stew with herbs, wine and tomatoes and Kvarner scampi – local shrimps, that are considered the best in this region of Europe.
Savor traditional cuisine at Konoba Tarsa tavern while listening to live tambura bands. Their specialties are freshest fish and seafood, veal winer schnitzels and fritaja – omlette with fillings.
Enjoy the rustic charm of Bistro Mornar nearby the fish market and try the best local soups and freshest seafood.
Appreciate the lovely riverside view and savor more modern dishes at Konoba Nebuloza.
Relax and the enjoy good music at Club Boa or have fun and socialize at the Garcon Bar.
Have a shot of traditional rakija liquor in the easygoing Rakhia Bar.