If you are looking for a less touristy destination, then Rijeka is the place to go. Being Croatia’s third-largest city and considered as the gateway to Croatia’s islands, the port city located in the Northern Adriatic Sea has many things to offer to the tourist. From beaches to neoclassical architecture and high-end contemporary art museums and galleries, you won’t be left out of things to do in Rijeka.
Read the tips below for the 10 best things to do in Rijeka, Croatia, to plan your visit.
Trast Castle was built in the 13th century located at the fortress of ancient Illyrian and Roman. In the 19th century, it became the residence and later mausoleum of an Irish commander of the Austrian forces, Field Marshall Nugent.
The castle can be accessed by climbing a 560 steps pathway from Titov Trg or hop on a city bus to reach the castle in 10 minutes.
To get more acquainted with the local life in Rijeka, go on a city tour at Korzo and admire the baroque city tower that is a gateway to the old town center. Gradski Toranj, or the City Clock Tower, is a famous landmark where people usually meet under the clock.
Korzo is a famous spot where the main street is filled with shops, cafés, and terraces that becomes livelier at night.
Kastav is a small town in Rijeka where Rijekans usually visit for concerts and festivals. It is popular for hosting an annual summer festival, the Kastav Cultural Summer Festival, where musical, theatrical performances, and visual arts exhibitions are displayed.
During winter, the town hosts the Kastav Winter Carnival to perform various entertainment, including parades and costumes with intricate masks. The town is also famous for many architectural structures that date back to the middle ages.
Located right next to the sea of the center of Rijeka, the Capuchin Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is an eye-catching neo-Gothic structure that is popular for tourists. The church was built in the early 1900s, marking the 50th anniversary of the miracle of Lourdes.
With its perfectly designed façade by Budinic, the church has been frequently put on postcards and promotional material. The interior frescoes of the church were painted by the famous Rijekan painter, Romolo Venucci.
The museum is a neoclassical palace that has been established in 1876, and in 1955 the museum became the Hungarian Governor’s Palace for Lajos Batthyány, the first prime minister of Hungary.
The structure was designed by an architect from Budapest, Alajos Hauszmann. Today, the museum highlights the display of old model ships ranging from nautical equipment. It also houses a selection of archaeological artifacts from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
Peek & Poke has a collection of around 2,000 game consoles, computers, and other technological inventions dating back to the 1960s.
The museum is one of the popular spots when visiting Rijeka for its rare technological collection that lets the visitors play on some of the old working machines.
If you are looking for a fantastic vantage point in the city of Rijeka, visit the Astronomical Centre of Rijeka. The facility is located at Sveti Križ hill, combining a planetarium and an observatory in one place, originally built as a Second World War II military fortress.
You can also dine in the rooftop café while enjoying the fantastic view.
Located at Gorski Kotar, Risnjak National Park is the most mountainous and heavily forested area in the country that is popular with hikers. Hike through the popular Leska Trail that can be completed in about two hours, or go on a three-hour trek up to the summit of Veliki Risnjak, which is a 1,528-meter tall peak named after the Croatian word for Lynx.
The area is the habitat of rare lynx and other large animals such as bears, dears, and exceeding 50 various species of bird.
Rijeka has 11 beaches along its coast, and two of the beaches have become a popular destination after it gained the Blue Flag award as Europe’s best beaches based on hygiene and services.
The two Blue Flag Beaches are Ploce and Kostanj, which have shingle bays and transparent waters, making them a popular destination for tourists.
Another great way to enjoy your visit to another country is to visit a local market. Rijeka Central Market has indoor and outdoor stalls selling various fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, and a fish hall designed with an art-nouveau architecture built in 1916.
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