One of the largest cities in Croatia, Rijeka is situated between the forested hills of the continent and the beautiful Adriatic sea. Hence, it’s a perfect spot if you want to explore the best of both worlds, while also offering many interesting locations itself. Here, we cover some of the best places to visit in and around Rijeka, that will transform your next Interrail journey to Croatia a truly memorable experience.
Explore the Korzo
There’s no better way to observe the daily life of the locals than strolling through the main street, and the one in Rijeka is known as Korzo. This promenade sits near the coastline, and is packed with shops, restaurants and cafes. The buildings along Korzo are also worth taking look at, as they showcase the various architectural influences in this popular port city.
Some of the bars turn into nightclubs as the sun sets, so this part of the city is also perfect for those looking to explore the local nightlife.
Maritime and Historical Museum
One of the most beautiful and historically significant landmarks in Rijeka is certainly the Maritime and Historical Museum. It is located in a gorgeous building built in 19th century, and was originally designed for the King’s governors and emissaries. Today, it presents a huge number of artefacts related to the entire county, first of which date in prehistoric times. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore how Rijeka and its surroundings developed throughout history, and includes reconstructions of old ships, as well as numismatic and ethnographic collections.
Just between Rijeka and the deep forests of the continent towers the Trsat Castle, the most prominent site in the city. This gorgeous building was built as an observational site back in the Roman times. It was then reconstructed in the 19th century and today hosts a number of festivals, concerts and events. If you visit it during the daytime, you should check out it’s visual arts gallery as well drink a cup of coffee in the inhouse coffee bar. The Trsat area is also a popular Christian sanctuary, so expect big crowds on Sundays and during big Christian holidays.
Astronomical Centre Rijeka
Astronomical Centre Rijeka is the only centre of this kind in Croatia that combines both the planetarium and observatory. It’s located in the oldest archaeological site in Rijeka at the top of the Holy Cross Hill, which is a worthy destination in its own right.
The Astronomical Centre is known for discovering two variable stars and has won a number of awards for its tours and sightseeing offers. If you want to take a look at this observation, and combine the exploration of the city with the one of the stars, you can easily book a tour through some of the local tourist agencies that are dotted all around the city.
Opatija is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia since the early 19th century, and is only a 15 minute ride with Uber or city transport from the centre of Rijeka. It’s known for its Habsburg-era villas, which are scattered around the entire town, some of which are turned into high end hotels and restaurants. The coastline is marked with Lungomare, a long promenade that offers romantic walks with the view on the neighbouring islands. We also recommend a visit to the Croatian Museum of Tourism, which will give you an in depth tour of the number one Croatian industry.
The largest Croatian island, Krk is about a 30 minute ride from Rijeka and connected with mainland through a bridge. There are many buses organised from Rijeka to different areas of Krk, and they are a perfect opportunity to see many picturesque villages that this island is known for. It’s especially good to visit during the summer, when there are many festivals and events organised, and when you can enjoy taking a swim in the beautiful Adriatic sea. The major town is also named Krk, and it’s an especially worthy visit as it offers dozens of cultural heritage sites as well as authentic local restaurants.