Rijeka is the principal seaport of Croatia. The city itself is not a tourist attraction, but the beaches in the area are though. Most of the visitors go straight to the tourist resorts on the Istrian peninsula. Opatija (only twenty kilometers west of Rijeka) is the ‘grande dame’ of this ‘Kvarner Rivièra’. It used to be a resort for the wealthy and still Opatija attracts mostly rich tourists.
The city has a population of more than 200,000.
Rijeka is located in the northwest of Croatia on the Kvarner Bay, which is part of the Adriatic Sea. The most popular tourist resorts on the Istrian Peninsula are southwest of Rijeka.
The city's port is the most important factor for the local economy. Shipment of goods has increased much over recent years. It is also an important port for ferry services across the Adriatic Sea. Furthermore, there are large shipyards in Rijeka.
Rijeka's airport is located 24 km southeast of the city, on the island of Krk. This island is connected by a toll bridge to the mainland. Rijeka Airport is easily accessible by rental car. From Rijeka take the E65, and turn right, just before Šmrika (road 102) towards the toll bridge. Just after the bridge you will see the airport on your left. The way to the airport is clearly indicated.
The orange city buses run regularly and on time. These buses not only provide transport within the city itself, but also to locations in the area, such as the Istrian peninsula. It is cheaper to buy a ticket at a newsagent than to buy it on the bus. Moreover, a ticket that you buy from the driver is only valid for that trip; with a ticket that you purchased in advance you can make two trips.
Traffic and Parking
The city center should best be explored on foot. Partly this is even to only way possible, because on the Korzo, in the heart of the city, traffic is not allowed. Outside the center it is not difficult to find your way with a rental car. You can park in the street (payment at ticket machine or via sms), but it is usually easier to park your car at one of the parking facilities. There is a large car park near the passenger terminal at the port. Furthermore, there are several parking garages in and around the center.
In Rijeka there are only four hotels, which already indicates that the city doesn't attract large crowds of tourist. Opatija is more prepared for tourism. There you will find a wide range of accommodations. The Opatija coast is a popular summer holiday destination. If you want to go there during the summer months, we advise you to book your hotel room well in advance.
For more information about Rijeka we recommend Google and the following sources: