Rijeka has a rich history, it was once an important sea port for the Austro-Hungarian empire but is now the third largest city in Croatia and so much of its heritage has been renovated. The city undertook a huge task of transforming much of old Rijeka into a fascinating, vibrant, safe and well-connected place for visitors; in fact it was so successful that Rijeka was the 2020 European Capital of Culture.
Take a walk along the Korzo (main promenade) and look out for the city clock tower; from here you can visit many of Rijeka's main sights. These include the Roman Arch, the Cathedral of St Vitus as well as many museums, galleries and churches. Rijeka is a bustling city, there is always something going on and from one of the cafe or restaurant tables along the Korzo you can indulge in a spot of people watching! Along this street and the small intersecting lanes there is an excellent range of shops - books, jewellers, souvenirs and galleries. Alongside great sea food (including the famous Kvarner king prawns) there is fabulous local wine.
If you visit Rijeka in the winter try to catch the carnival festivities, in the early summer (12th-15th June) is the Festival of St Vitus and throughout the summer many cultural events take place in the city.
On the hill overlooking Rijeka is the castle of Trsat (the name of the hill) and the sanctuary of the "Mother of God" (13th Century) offer an unforgettable view over the Gulf of Kvarner. The castle was home to a branch of the Hapsburg family and in the summer it hosts many cultural events.
Rijeka is a perfect base for visiting nearby places, both urban and rural - the Risnjak and Velebit National Parks are within easy reach for a day's activities; Opatija and much of Istria's historic coastal towns and mountain villages are also ideal day trips. Other places of interest include Kastav with its well-preserved mediaeval centre, Kraljevica which has two castles, the unspoilt natural beauty of Gorski Kotar and Kostrena with its rich maritime heritage. There are good connections to some of the islands in the Adriatic, Krk via a road bridge, Cres and Losinj by catamaran ferry services.
* staying for 2 days or more then consider getting a "RIJEKA CARD".
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