Rijeka

Discover the city with our Rijeka travel guide, and find the best things to do, hotels, restaurants, bars and more...

Rijeka nightlife guide
Nightlife

Rijeka nightlife guide

If you're looking for somewhere to drink, dance or party in Rijeka, you're spoilt for choice. Ever rebellious Rijeka has a nightlife scene that matches its reputation as Croatia's most alternative city, with an intoxicating array of fun bars, pubs and clubs. Hit up these late-night bars and clubs in Rijeka to quench your thirst into the early hours.

How Rijeka became the world's first facist state
Things to do

How Rijeka became the world's first facist state

Rijeka’s most prominent anniversary of 2019 is also one of the most difficult to handle. September 12 will see the centenary of the entry into the city of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the Italian poet, aviator and nationalist ideologue whose 17-month reign over the city provided Italian Fascism with much of its inspiration. Present-day Rijeka’s reputation as the most open and tolerant of Croatia’s cities is a tradition sustained, to a certain extent, by memories of the human tragedies that have rent the city in the past. D’Annunzio’s escapade in particular tore the city’s cosmopolitan fabric apart, setting Italians and Croats against each other and laying the foundations for further ruptures in World War II. Given such a traumatic twentieth century, it’s not surprising that the anti-fascist spirit of today’s Rijeka is regarded a something to be celebrated. D’Annunzio himself was more famous as an aesthete and playboy until World War I turned him into a man of action. He campaigned vigorously for Italy’s entry into the conflict on the side of the Entente (France, great Britain and Russia), and found something of a new vocation as the tub-thumping nationalist orator who could hypnotize a willing crowd.  Having volunteered for the services at the age of 52 and taken part in several daring airborne and naval missions, D’Annunzio became a talismanic figure for nationalist Italians once the war ended. Even though the city of Rijeka, or Fiume in Italian, had never been promised to Italy

Reasons why Rijeka really is a 'port of diversity'
Things to do

Reasons why Rijeka really is a 'port of diversity'

It was back in 2013 that the City of Rijeka embarked on the project that would see it named European Capital of Culture for 2020. The project quickly assumed the title that currently serves as the motto for a whole year of cultural initiatives around the city and beyond: Port of Diversity. In its proposal, the strategic planning group made specific reference to the Rijeka of a century ago, when the then-named Fiume was a bustling port and a vital resource for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To underline this, the document describes Rijeka as ‘the gateway for hundreds of thousands of emigrés from Europe to North and South America’. This was given added dimension in 1903, when the Cunard sailing line, whose top-of-the-range superliners were sponsored by the British government of the day, introduced a direct Rijeka-New York route. Calling at ports in Italy and Gibraltar, the service would be carrying 50,000 people a year to the New World by 1906 – the equivalent of Rijeka’s expanding population of the time. Two years later, the route was renamed the ‘Hungary-America line’, served by a fleet of 11 ships, voyagers arriving directly from Budapest, using a direct train connection that exists to this day. A three-floor hotel, the ‘Emigranti’ was built to cater to those in need of rest before the long journey – or, perhaps, after it. © Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture The traffic was not entirely one way. 'Anyone visiting Rijeka in the early 1900s would have found a complet

Rijeka street art 2019: Francisco de Pájar 'art is trash'
News

Rijeka street art 2019: Francisco de Pájar 'art is trash'

Visitors to Rijeka can't fail to have noticed the explosion of street art adding colour and different perspectives to the urban environment of the Croatian city. In 2018, artists Lonac (Croatia), Isaac Cordal (Spain), Sebas Velasco (Spain) and Pejac (Spain) all contributed painted or sculpture works to the walls, windows and ledges around Rijeka at the invitation of Rijeka 2020 Capital of Culture organisers. Adding to this expression in 2019 has been another Spanish artist, Francisco de Pájaro, who was in residence there for a two-week period beginning on June 27. Francisco de Pájar makes sculptures from discarded items, the trash that businesses and individuals throw away, plus other detritus left on city streets. Using worn mattresses, empty boxes and food containers, old furniture and bin bags, he creates playful creations which find the beauty in the everyday items we throw away. His ongoing series of street art interventions is titled 'Art is Trash', a provocative title deliberately chosen by the artist. Francisco de Pájar's 'Art is Trash' series started life out of necessity. In 2009, de Pájar's hometown of Barcelona, like much of Europe, was in the grip of the economic crisis. Galleries were not interested in showing any of de Pájar's work and so, he took to the streets. Since that time, trash has become his sole medium of artistic expression. 'I think it's perfectly natural for my art to end up in landfills,' the artist told sections of his audience while in Ri

Four awesome projects in the making for Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture
Things to do

Four awesome projects in the making for Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture

A parade of rain-smeared buildings with splashes of Habsburgian glamour, Rijeka isn't your typical seaside town. It remains one of the Adriatic’s main transport hubs, it’s central port providing Croatia with a window to the world. ‘Port of diversity’ is the guiding theme of its stint as the European Capital of Culture, showing off the city’s multiculturalism and its maritime history. Fresh projects are renewing the city, turning its derelict docks into leisure venues and sprucing up its neglected seafront. Here are four major developments set to make the city an even more vibrant and exciting place in the next few years.

Where to stay in Rijeka

Where to stay in Rijeka
Things to do

Where to stay in Rijeka

Despite two four-star venues, the Hotel Bonavia Plava Laguna and the Hotel Jadran, the range of accommodation in Croatia’s third-biggest town is disappointing. A short drive down the coast, the new complex of Novi Spa Hotels & Resort should give the various downtown hotels a run for their money. Also, about 20 minutes outside of Rijeka, in the preserved old town of Kastav, the Kukiriku has lodging above its excellent restaurant.

Hotel Bonavia Plava Laguna
Hotels

Hotel Bonavia Plava Laguna

Rijeka’s classiest option is a modern business hotel with a spa and gym. Sauna cabins and massage and beauty treatments have also been introduced. The 120 rooms are tastefully done out, the in-house Kamov restaurant is one of the best in town, and the terrace café overlooks the city.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Hotel Continental
Hotels

Hotel Continental

The central Continental is in a bulky 100-year-old structure overlooking the canal. Reasonably priced, comfortable and convenient, it’s an excellent choice for those who need an affordable stay in the city centre. The in-house Cont bar has garnered its own crowd thanks to its decent range of craft beers.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Hotel Jadran
Hotels

Hotel Jadran

Jadran contains 66 nicely fitted rooms in an enviable shoreside location. Set by Rijeka’s first stretch of swimmable sea with its own stop on the No.1 bus route east of town in Pećine, the Jadran (‘Adriatic’) has been a spot for bathing since it opened in 1914. There’s a supplement charged for sea-facing rooms. Half and full-board deals are available.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Neboder
Hotels

Neboder

If you’re looking for a cheapie in town and the Continental is full, come to the aptly named 14-floor ‘Skyscraper’ by the flyover. Following renovations a few years ago it now has an underground car park and café. The wonderful Socialist-era lobby has, sadly, been replaced by something more modern - while the rooms remain adequate.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars

Recommended restaurants in Rijeka

The best Rijeka restaurants
Restaurants

The best Rijeka restaurants

Rijeka majors in fish, seafood and simple Venetian-inspired dishes, thanks to its seaport location and cultural mixing with nearby Italy. Rijeka has a handful of upscale restaurants that provide international culinary quality, but you can also experience some local specialities at more affordable restaurants. Read on for our critic's guide to the best restaurants in Rijeka. RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Rijeka.  

Conca d'Oro
Restaurants

Conca d'Oro

With a good location and a reputation as one of the best places in town, this busy cellar restaurant can charge higher prices than most. Along with the usual seafood offerings, appetisers include fish carpaccio with capers, and marinated salmon. The day fish is displayed on ice, and includes a wide selection of molluscs. The hefty salads can work as a small meal, followed by a number of cheeses. Snappy service adds to a pleasant atmosphere.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Tarsa
Restaurants

Tarsa

Hidden away among quiet suburban lanes behind Trsat’s sports hall, Tarsa could almost be a village inn, and it’s not surprising that it has become one of Rijeka’s prime venues for a slap-up traditional meal. Despite being a modern building the décor is decidedly trad, with plenty of exposed brick and wooden beams. The menu revolves around lavish platters of local meat and fish, grilled or baked; home-made pastas with tangy goulash accompaniment; and some of the Kvarner Gulf’s best pancakes to round things off. Pay particular attention to the platters for two; specialities such as the Franjo Glavinić pork chop stuffed with pršut and mozzarella or the Maksimilijan squid with baked potatoes and vegetables are well worth the extra outlay.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Konoba Na Kantunu
Restaurants

Konoba Na Kantunu

This once-tiny seafood bistro has expanded into the neighbouring room and kitted itself out with new furniture – its reputation for serving some of Rijeka’s best seafood in a simple setting remains unchanged. Settle at one of the rustic wooden tables in the bright, modern interior and admire the trays of just-caught fish and crustaceans chilling behind the glass. Point at your choice and wait for it to be expertly grilled, perhaps dressed lightly with olive oil and big chunks of sea salt, and then served up as a minimalist masterpiece. The car park terrace gets the sun and gives a view of the docks. You can find fancier, but not much better.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Municipium
Restaurants

Municipium

Municipium is set in a grand Habsburg-era building, tucked away in a quiet courtyard right in the centre of town. Door staff greet you at the entrance – decorum is all. The menu is vast and fish-oriented, most of it priced in the 300kn/kg range, which is very reasonable considering the quality of service, presentation and the fare itself. Courgettes, wild asparagus and other greens get a look-in and the wine list runs to 150 (mainly Croatian) varieties.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars

The best bars in Rijeka

The best bars in Rijeka
Bars and pubs

The best bars in Rijeka

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.

Three Monkeys Bar
Bars and pubs

Three Monkeys Bar

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.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak
Bars and pubs

Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak

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.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Samovar Bar
Bars and pubs

Samovar Bar

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.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
The Beertija
Bars and pubs

The Beertija

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.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars

The best attractions in Rijeka

The best attractions in Rijeka
Things to do

The best attractions in Rijeka

Rijeka remains the northern Adriatic’s main hub of transport and commerce, and as the centre of social and cultural life, it also possesses a palpable year-round buzz. Start at the Korzo, which runs parallel to the harbourfront Riva. St Vitus’ Church, Peek&Poke and Trsat Castle are all standout attractions. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Rijeka.

Ivan pl. Zajc Croatian National Theatre
Theatre

Ivan pl. Zajc Croatian National Theatre

Both an architectural and cultural landmark, Rijeka’s Croatian National Theatre was designed by the same team of architects as its namesakes in Split and Zagreb: Austrian Ferdinand Fellner and his German partner Hermann Helmer. In fact, the pair created dozens of theatres across Europe, from Odessa to Zürich, this one opened in 1885. Though Croatian-language performances here may be of limited interest, there’s also ballet and opera on the agenda, and the interior is worth a look around – Gustav Klimt and brother Ernst helped paint the ceiling before its grand unveiling, a performance of Verdi’s Aida.

Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
Art

Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art

Founded in 1948, Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Muzej moderne i suvremene umjetnosti or MMSU) has long enjoyed a reputation for holding some of the most exciting contemporary art exhibitions in the country. It is also the host of the Biennial of the Quadrilateral, a contemporary art show featuring artists from Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary – a quartet of countries that has had a profound effect on the history of Rijeka. Works from the museum’s large permanent collection are rarely seen save during occasional themed exhibitions – the museum’s current home, in the same building as the Rijeka municipal library, is too limited to host more than the (albeit excellent) temporary exhibitions. The MMSU has been promised a new home in the Rikard Benčić palace, built to serve as the HQ of a sugar refinery in 1752 and currently awaiting long-discussed restoration. The completion date lies some way in the future, although the project will help to confirm the MMSU’s status as an increasingly major player in the Central-European art scene. Over the past few years the MMSU has been run by a string of directors who have also been big-hitting curators – a trend that seems set to continue with the arrival of new chief Slaven Tolj (former head of the Lazareti Art Workshop in Dubrovnik).

Trsat Castle
Attractions

Trsat Castle

Visit this fort for the panoramic view alone, best enjoyed from the terrace café beneath the Nugent mausoleum – the Kvarner Bay spreads out before you. Irish-born Austro-Hungarian naval commander Laval Nugent-Westmeath fought Napoleon and rebuilt the medieval Frankopan fortress to house his family and his art collection – his hoard of Greek vases can now be seen in Zagreb’s Museum of Archaeology. The mausoleum is worth a look, partly if you like your Central-European history, partly to see how the dynasty looked back then

Natural History Museum
Museums

Natural History Museum

Behind the Governor’s Palace it overlooks, Rijeka‘s Natural History Museum established its large collection of specimens from the Kvarner Bay, Gorski Kotar and Istria, thanks to private collectors from the mid 19th century onwards. Key displays include one of sharks and rays, and a geological history of the Adriatic Sea.

Rijeka nightlife guide

Rijeka nightlife guide
Nightlife

Rijeka nightlife guide

If you're looking for somewhere to drink, dance or party in Rijeka, you're spoilt for choice. Ever rebellious Rijeka has a nightlife scene that matches its reputation as Croatia's most alternative city, with an intoxicating array of fun bars, pubs and clubs. Hit up these late-night bars and clubs in Rijeka to quench your thirst into the early hours.

Crkva
Clubs

Crkva

One of Rijeka's greatest nightclubs offering the best in house and techno. Spectacular lights and lasers criss-cross this intimate venue, its DJ booth raised centrally in the room to appear like an altar in a church, from where the DJ delivers their sermon. They host old school techno nights, hip-hop concerts, house music events and just about every Croatian DJ worth their salt, alongside international guests who appear once or twice a month.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Život
Clubs

Život

Every city needs a place like Život. A live music venue where you can really let your hair down, Život offers a stage to visiting indie bands and DJs who play everything from grime to Yugoslavian disco. Decorated like your gran's house on drugs-expect to see UV-blasted dollies and dodgy watercolours-it's an essential part of a night out in Rijeka, and its reasonable price-list draws in a loyal crowd.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Tunel
Clubs

Tunel

This tunnel dug into a railway embankment is heaving most nights, especially at weekends when there’s usually a band and DJs playing techno and/ or electronica. A vaulted stone ceiling, lasers and a good-looking crowd in their twenties and thirties comprise the decor. Getting to the bar, or just finding a place to stand, can be a challenge. The few tables out front fill up in warmer weather.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Rakhia Bar
Nightlife

Rakhia Bar

Specialising in rakija, the local form of grappa that comes in all kinds of flavours, Rakhia is essential a lively urban nightspot which programmes live music on Tuesdays, and DJs and parties Thursdays through Saturdays. Scattered in between are rakija tastings for extensive sampling.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars