The best bars in Rijeka

Discover the very best bars in Time Out’s guide to drinking in Rijeka

King's Caffe
© Vedran Karuža /Time Out Croatia
By Time Out contributors
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There's seemingly a bar on every corner in Rijeka. Proud of its Mediterranean café culture, the city's streets are lined with bars of all stripes. From classic downtown bars to grungy pubs and trendy nightspots, here's our pick of the best bars in Rijeka.

RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to Rijeka.

Recommended Rijeka bars

Three Monkeys
© Three Monkeys
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Three Monkeys Bar

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Opened in November 2018, Three Monkeys Bar has been an immediate hit among Rijeka's mid 20's to early 40's crowd thanks to its swish décor, the theatre of its exemplary service and its refined cocktails. A long, thin venue with funky, exposed lighting hanging from above and a DJ sometimes perched at the end of the bar on weekends, it is frequently busy in the evenings with parties or groups of friends savouring cocktails dressed with slices of cucumber or orange zest and served in deliciously chunky glasses. By day, it serves one of the best coffees to be found in the city, although its vast array of high-quality spirits is also available if you're in the mood. All drinks are prepared by knowledgeable, friendly and extremely well-presented staff.

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King's Caffe
© Vedran Karuža /Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Pubs

King's Caffe

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The first of Rijeka’s café-bars to get really serious about craft beer, this is still one of the best places to enjoy a pint or two. Not only is there a long menu of choices on draft or by the bottle, there’s also a neat-but-cosy auntie’s living-room ambience to the whole place, with framed pictures and old-school wallpaper overlooking a solid collection of dark wood tables.

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Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak
© Vedran Karuža /Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak

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Living-room-style hangout that will appeal to those who like a bit of culture with their coffee – the floor-to-ceiling shelves are absolutely stacked with books, CDs and vinyl LPs, while a small annexe serves as a cute art gallery. Literary readings and live music feature several times a month; on other days it serves as a mellow social hub for the city’s reading, writing and chatting community.

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CukariKafe
© Antonija Butkovic/Time Out
Bars and pubs, Café bars

CukariKafè

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CukariKafè  is  a  cross  between  a  modern  art  gallery,  a  film  set  for  a  children’s  fairy-tale  adventure  and  a  passenger  steamer  cruising  up  the  River  Nile.  Everything  about  the  place  exudes  character:  the  list  of  speciality  beers  includes  not  just  Duvel  and  Chimay  but  several  lesser-known  Belgian  brands  as  well.  And  unless  you  specify  otherwise,  tea  will  be  served  with  a  dandy  slice  of  fresh  orange.

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Karolina
Vedran Karuža /©Time Out Croatia
Nightlife, Clubs

Karolina

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A slick, modern glass-enclosed structure, sitting all by itself on a pier in the main harbour, houses an upmarket bar that draws a mix of yuppies, tourists, hipsters and hard-drinking barflies. The bar’s terrace is on the sea; inside is a carefully designed, dimly lit space, with high tables and tall stools in the middle of the bar area, and lower chairs with zebra-striped cushions at the two ends. The darkness releases inhibitions, and the techno and trance music inspire a good time. DJs and dancing at weekends.

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Celtic Caffe Bard
© Antonija Butkovic/Time Out
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Celtic Caffè Bard

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On a small square on a hill in Rijeka’s Old Town, a Guinness sign announces this quaint old-style wood-and-brass pub with exposed brick. There’s Kilkenny beer too, but thankfully it’s more than just another faux-Irish joint: The walls are cluttered with interesting local art, and the windy bar and upstairs gallery are packed with interesting local people, mostly in their twenties and thirties. Music ranges from electronica played by the staff to occasional Irish folk bands. Australian barmaid Anita is friendly and welcoming.

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The Beertija
© The Beertija
Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

The Beertija

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Uphill from the centre in Trsat but well worth seeking out, this Rijeka branch of Zagreb’s Beertija bar sticks to the same formula – a superb range of bottled beers from all over the world, and well-chosen weekend DJs. Look out, too, for indie nights, Doors tribute bands and all kinds of excuses for a party.

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Cont
© Dario Dalmacija /Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Cont

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It’s rare for a hotel café to function as a happening bar that’s good enough to pull in outside custom. It’s a trick that Cont (as in Continental, the name of the hotel to which is attached) has pulled off rather well by turning itself into lunch bar and craft-beer pub, with a selection of draft ales from the St Vid (Rijeka) and Medvedgrad (Zagreb) stables, and a lot more in bottles. There’s a week-day offering of marenda (‘elevenses’) chalked up on a board outside (available from 10am to 1pm Mon-Fri, they’re great value if you’re ready for an early lunch), and an all-day menu of burgers, pastas and goulashy stews. With a wedge of outdoor seating under lime trees, it’s a great place to kick back.

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Samovar Bar
© Samovar Bar
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Samovar Bar

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A great little café with cushions, carpets and chandeliers setting an old-fashioned living-room tone, and with outdoor seating right in front of one of Rijeka’s most instagrammable street murals.  As well as being a popular coffee-and-cake stop, it’s also an outlet for locally based tea-blending outfit Samovar (whose shop is just across the way). Sporting energising names such as ‘Torpedo’ or ‘Rijeka Riser’, their blends mix strong black and green teas with floral flavours and aromatic spices.

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Bar Bar
© Ivan Vranjić
Bars and pubs, Tapas bars

Bar Bar

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Still feeling new after its 2015 opening and a fixture on the Old Town drinking circuit, Bar Bar describes itself as a wine and tapas bar – and, although it’s the drink that most people are here for, there’s always a more-than-tempting selection of nibbles ranging from pršut and cheese to marinated fish and steak tartare. Bar Bar has made sensitive use of the ancient building it’s housed in, with bare bricks and ancient stonework adding character to the snug interior; the action frequently spills out on to the street on warm weekend nights.

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Filodrammatica
© Vedran Karuža /Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Filodrammatica Bookshop Café

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This smart café with a busy terrace has been one of central Rijeka's most popular meeting points since the late nineteenth century, when the Filodrammatica functioned as a municipal cultural society. Nowadays the caryatid-encrusted Filodrammatica building is shared by the brightly lit VBZ bookshop and this plush cafe at the front, which boasts sumptuously upholstered benches and the odd chandelier. As well as coffee, cakes and alcoholic drinks, it serves a range of breakfasts and light-lunch sandwiches.

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Fiorello Pub
© Vedran Karuža /Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Fiorello Pub

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At the quieter end of the main Korzo thoroughfare, Fiorello honours the little-known fact that a famed New York mayor, Fiorello La Guardia (as in the airport) started his diplomatic career at the US consulate in Rijeka. Beyond the name, it doesn’t overdo the theme, rather provide a cosy spot for a few drinks, with seating outside. Lively when there are live football games on, it has a pleasant buzz by day, when regulars chat over cups of quality Filicori Zecchini coffee from Bologna.

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Kosi Toranj
© Antonija Butkovic/Time Out
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Kosi Toranj

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Kosi Toranj has a winning terrace on a small hidden square with an aged leaning tower that gives the establishment its name. The interior is an attractive needle-shaped room, with two long glass walls, big art and low, lounge seating. A popular place to watch the game, too.

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Nad Urom
© Nad Urom
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Nad Urom

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Accessed by scaling a flight of stairs through a Tito-era shopping centre, Nad Urom is one of those unique places you’re very happy to find. Its terrace not only overlooks the Korzo from its winning vantage point but faces the clock of the City Tower, giving you a bird’s eye view of Rijeka’s landmark sight. Standard drinks at standard prices, with TV football thrown in.

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Brasserie AS
Dario Dalmacija /©Time Out Croatia
Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Brasserie AS

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Formerly the Belgian Beer Brasserie and still bearing decorative traces of the Benelux, this prominent terrace bar with an atmospheric interior remains one of the key spots to drink in Rijeka. Located so close to the harbour you can see ships passing from the tables outside, it’s worth a longer linger for its hearty Belgian-style cuisine and, most notably, brews in draught and bottled form from the land of beer.

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River Pub
© Leszek Czerwonka
Bars and pubs, Pubs

River Pub

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Beautifully upholstered furniture sits on an old tiled floor, while a sturdy bar counter holds up taps of Bass, Caffrey’s, Guinness and Kilkenny. The framed photographs from around Istria are a nice touch, old regional maps too, with a few busts of Irish writers. Set behind a big, wooden door, halfway down from the museums.

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Sabrage Bar
© Sabrage Bar
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Sabrage

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Up in Trsat, this lovely spot is well stocked and well staffed. Along with classic cocktails and long drinks, there’s a long wine list, a Tinto Reserva hiding among the Zlatni Plavac and Dingač. Whiskies such as 14-year-old Oban and ten-year-old Talisker can be sipped in an elegantly carved wooden interior decorated with portraits of famous locals. Nice hot chocolates for winter too. Convenient for a visit to Trsat Castle.

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