Sometimes dubbed “the city of music” for its avant-garde rock and punk scenes, Rijeka was recently announced as a European City of Culture for 2020. Its major port and large university give it a young, urban feel, where the people love to celebrate their traditional culture with an array of museums and the largest carnival in Croatia.
Things to do in Rijeka
Rijeka’s compact city centre is filled with ornate Austro-Hungarian architecture, including the Baroque City Tower adorned with the city’s coat of arms and the distinctive Palace Modello, originally built to house the Rijeka bank. Trsat Castle is another significant landmark, situated on a steep hill overlooking the city, where you can visit dungeons and mausoleums, before having lunch in its courtyard restaurant.
Are you a passionate star-gazer? Rijeka Astronomy Centre is based in an old military fortress and has both an observatory and digital planetarium. Travel around the universe in one of the center's lectures, then go up to the rooftop terrace for panoramic views of the night sky. Science and tech enthusiasts can explore Peek & Poke, a computer museum with a huge collection of game consoles dating back to the 1960s, some of which can be played.
A few minutes’ drive along the coast takes you to dozens of beaches surrounding Rijeka. Ploce and Kostanj have both been awarded Blue Flags for their cleanliness, and each is equipped with showers, changing rooms and facilities to play volleyball or water basketball.
Getting around Rijeka
Rijeka Airport, on the nearby island of Krk, has direct flights to many major European cities, and the city centre is a little under two hours away from Zagreb by car. Frequent buses run to the town centre, beaches and Trsat Castle, saving you a steep walk up the hill.