IS RIJEKA WORTH VISITING?
Rijeka, city of culture, rich history, crystal clear sea, nice people and fantastic food. I would say that Rijeka is a place where you start or end your journey along the Croatian coast. Rijeka has the perfect geographical position, it is only 1.5 hour driving from Zagreb, 2 hours from Venice, 30 minutes from Postojna Cave in Slovenia and 2 hours from Plitvice Lakes, the most visited national park in Croatia.
If you’re coming by flight, I recommend to rent-a-car here and start your adventure by driving along the coast from Rijeka to Dubrovnik and enjoy one of the most beautiful coastal driving in the world.
Recommended duration of visit is 5-6 days and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed, instead, you might be surprised what Rijeka has to offer. Because of it’s local vibe, not overcrowded with tourists, many great and affordable restaurants, nightclubs and coffee bars, nice beaches, crystal clear sea, interesting museums and rich history it won’t leave you cold. Be careful, cause you might be fall in love with this Croatian beauty.
There are many people saying that Rijeka surprised them either because of great domestic food, crazy nightlife or just because of the positive energy of the city.
So let’s see how you can explore Rijeka and take a best of it.
FIRST DAY, start with your morning coffee on Korzo street. If you like to drink a coffee and feel the city vibe it’s best to sit in one of the terraces on Korzo street, in the Pommery bar, Kraš bar, Gelateria Corso or Filodramatica or in coffee bars near the market place, for example King’s cafe (great cafe, breakfast and burgers). Try to come before 10 am because after 10 it won’t be possible to find a free table. If you don’t like crowded places in the morning but better to find some peace, go to the Cukaricafe bar, Terminal 7 bar (amazing view from the first floor) or Boonker bar
After coffee go to Rijeka’s colorful marketplace for daily fresh fruits and veggies from local farmers and don’t forget to get inside of fishery and buy fresh fish from local fishermen. I recommend orada (bream), brancin (sea bass), oslic (hake), kvarner’s prawns or sardines. Then go to Mlinar bakery for some delicious bread and you’re ready to go home for cooking your own lunch. Near the market place, there is a beautiful historical building of Rijeka’s theater Ivan Zajc. Continue to Titov Trg and take a photo of Kamov – Rijeka’s famous poet.
Rijeka’s wealthy fish market
For brunch or lunch outside choose from a several very good and affordable restaurants. Almost every restaurant has a lunch menu for the unbeatable price. For example, in restaurant Gardens you can have soup, main course, salad and dessert for only 35 Kuna (5 euro!). And the food is great! For seafood lovers, we recommend restaurant Na kantunu (for the desert must try apple pie!), Feral or Mornar. If you want to try something different go to House of Istrian prosciutto (Kuća istarskog pršuta), where you can also buy prosciutto and some delicious local products to take home. For a great restaurant with a view try Molo Longo restaurant.
After lunch relax on beach. There are couple of nice beaches in Rijeka like Kantrida, Kostrena and Pecine. In the evening visit romantic Trsat Castle from where you can take amazing photos of city and sunset. Enter the church of Our Lady of Assumption, take a walk in front of church where you can see monument of pope Ivan Pavao II. In the summertime, you can enjoy various shows inside of the Trsat Castle. For the dinner sit at Gvardijan and try to choose from 100 hundred different pizza styles. Really tasteful!
If you’re interested in castles, you’ll also find one in Grobnik. It stands 466 m above sea level between river Rjecina with one side and Grobnik field at the other.
SECOND DAY visit museum of informatics and technology-Peek and Poke, Museum of Modern Art or Maritime and History museum which is placed in former Governor’s Palace, beautiful historical building. Walk through the streets of old town, buy some souvenir, visit St. Vitus cathedral and/or the leaning tower. Visit Kastav, lunch at restaurant Loža, than go to photographers paradise Volosko, sit down in Kon-Tiki bar and enjoy the cute village Volosko. Take a walk along the sea using the seaside promenade “Lungo Mare” from Volosko to Opatija, check our walk of fame, relax in beautiful park Angiolina, drink a cocktail in Colosseum beach bar or Lido beach bar. Drive to picturesque towns along the coast – Ičići, Ika and Lovran, Medveja, continue all the way to Mošćenička Draga and enjoy the lovely pebble beach and turquoise colored water.
After chilling at the beach go back to Rijeka Molo Longo and catch the sunset. If it’s weekend you must go out. Rijeka has the great nightlife because almost all popular night bars and clubs are located in the center, just a minutes away so you can easily walk from one to another. Start the evening with a glass of wine in Boonker bar, than try delicious liqueurs in Tapas Bar Pet Jedan, continue to Bar Bar, and finish the evening in Phanas pub.
THIRD DAY start with morning swimming, it’s great if you have a hangover from the last night.
Only 7 km from Rijeka center you can find beautiful Kostrena. There are several beaches along the Kostrena lungo mare with bars and restaurants and if you like diving you can check in to Diving Center Kostrena.
3 km from Rijeka center there is a biggest and nicest beach in Rijeka, beach Ploče, Kantrida. With a pool complex, restaurant and bars this is one of my favorite beaches. Never too crowded and the sea, just like the beach is very clean.
If you like sandy beaches you’ll find one in Crikvenica. It is cute tourist place, only 30 km from Rijeka, long sandy beach, shallow and warm water, several beach bars. Ok I will not exaggerate, don’t expect Miami, however it’s the only sandy beach in this part. The beach is also child-friendly because of shallow water and various things to do from renting a banana, parasailing, rent a scooter, etc. Crikvenica can also be easily reached by bus. It runs several times a day from bus terminal Zabica.
If it’s too hot and you feel like you just want to stay in hotel room or apartment with an A/C, please don’t. There is much better place to cool down and enjoy the fresh air and at least 10 degrees lower temperature. Replace the beach with forest. Zeleni Vir – green paradise and a great place to restart your body and mind. Located in Gorski Kotar – Skrad, http://www.tz-skrad.hr/en/zeleni_vir.php, just 40 minutes driving from Rijeka, surrounded by trees, green rills and waterfalls this is also one of the best kept secrets near Rijeka. This place is something you really shouldn’t miss. It will give you the oxygen and you’ll breathe again. So peaceful, so calming…But please, don’t go there when it’s dark, be careful when driving as the road is very tight and steep, wear your sneakers because some parts can be slippery if you climb up to the cave, and don’t go away without finding the waterfall. On your way back stop at Fužine, stroll around the lake and try homemade berries pie in restaurant Bitoraj.
Refreshing Zeleni Vir
FIFTH DAY wake up early in the morning and visit island Krk. In Krk you’ll find surprisingly beautiful beach Baška, walk through the narrow streets of old town Krk and go to Vrbnik for wine tasting of delicious Vrbnicka Zlahtina.
For daily trips to Krk visit website: https://www.apartments-rijeka.com/excursions/
If you have enough time, and I bet you don’t, Cres is also one amazing island worth visiting for several reasons. If you still didn’t try Croatian lamb, Cres is a perfect place for that, especially the little town of Lubenice where you can find taverns with delicious lamb and where is located one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world! The small village of Lubenice stands 378 m above sea level and the view to beach from there is just stunning.
Timetable for ferries to Cres: http://www.putovnica.net/en/transport/fast-ferry-catamaran-rijeka-cres-martinscica-cres-unije-susak-ilovik-mali-losinj-kapetan-luka
On your way back from Krk drive to mountain Učka for amazing views of entire Kvarner bay.
View from Učka
For more info about accommodation and excursions from Rijeka check the website: https://www.apartments-rijeka.com/apartments-rijeka/
I wish you unforgettable stay in in Rijeka and Kvarner Bay!