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The Seaside Town of Rijeka Offers all the Beaches and Sunshine of Common Known Dalmatian Towns, but with a Continental Twist

Posted by Alex Dragas on 20/03/2016

When thinking of Croatia images of beautiful islands, lush beaches and the crystal clear sea come to mind. Towns such as Dubrovnik, Split and Makarska have become well known tourist destinations. But, going further north, in the region of Croatia known as Kvarner, we find a town rarely mentioned in travel web sites. The seaside town of Rijeka offers all the beaches and sunshine of Dalmatian towns, but with a continental twist.

When you first arrive in Rijeka, the first thing you notice is the architecture. Rijeka has been around since ancient times, and is home to some amazing pieces of preserved architecture, especially from the Austro-Hungarian era. The old buildings in Rijeka’s core make a stark contrast with the newer, modern skyscrapers and various dock equipment. 

Rijeka Croatia
rijeka overhead, photo credit:

So what exactly is there to do in Rijeka? You’ll be delighted to hear that Rijeka has some of the best food Croatia has to offer. Mixing traditional continental with Dalmatian food, your palette will enjoy Rijeka. From the continental delicacies such kulen and peka to traditional Dalmatian dishes such as black risotto, fresh grilled fish and many more, Rijeka will have your mouth water. Coupled with some of Dalmatia’s finest wines, you’re in for a real feast!

kulen, photo credit:

Rijeka is no stranger to culture; in fact, Rijeka is often called the cultural capital of Croatia. Theaters, museums, art performances and music shows are found in every corner of Rijeka. The city’s main attraction is its carnival. Rijeka’s carnival is one of Croatia’s biggest cultural events during the year, and is truly a magical time to be in Rijeka. During the carnival the whole city comes alive with masks, dancing and singing all around. At the end of the carnival a puppet with a satiric name, like a politician’s, is burned in Rijeka’s harbor. The puppet is „blamed” for all the bad things that happened during the year and its burning symbolizes a new, fresh beginning. The carnival party lasts long into the night, with music being played by some of the best bands and DJs in the region.

Carnival 2016
carnival 2016, photo credit:

The area around Rijeka is also spectacular in itself. With the pale blue Adriatic Sea on one side, and the hinterlands of Gorski Kotar on the other, Rijeka is in a top geographical spot. It is exactly this what makes Rijeka so special. Rijeka is a great base for exploring the Kvarner and Gorski Kotar regions of Croatia. Visitors often rent out a car, and dive headfirst into adventure themselves. The varied landscape will make sure you experience both sides of Croatia, it’s cool, relaxed maritime side, and it’s more busy and charming continental side. One place you should check out is the Trsat sanctuary. The Trsat sanctuary is a 700 year monastery located on a hill close to Rijeka. This sanctuary has a ton of history and important events behind it, and is an ideal hiking opportunity. Besides the sanctuary, ferries to many Dalmatian cities and islands leave from Rijeka, and taking a daytrip to one of Croatia’s numerous islands is always recommended.

Gorski Kotar
gorski kotar, photo credit:

In short, Rijeka is a city of diversity. The reputation of it being a diverse, multicultural city is rooted in the fact that Rijeka offers something to everybody. Whether you’re into partying, music, painting, exploring or just simply relaxing somewhere on the beach, Rijeka will give you all that and much more.