Panoramic view along the Rijeka coast © EKH-Pictures/
Panoramic view along the Rijeka coast © EKH-Pictures/


Gateway to the Islands of Croatia

Published: 14 July 2023, 14:00

It would be a shame to fly to Rijeka just because of its proximity to the beaches of the Adriatic Sea and the beautiful islands of Kvarner Bay. As the “European Capital of Culture 2020”, the third largest city in Croatia has a lot to offer: a pretty old town with a market square, a diverse cultural scene and a spectacular carnival. The heart of Rijeka is the Korzo promenade, which with its cafés and shops is a popular meeting place for locals and guests alike.

The best way to explore the city is on foot and let yourself be enchanted by the special flair of the port city with its colourful houses. During a city tour, you will always discover magnificent squares with old buildings, beautiful churches and castles. Since Rijeka has beautiful beaches to offer, why not combine a beach holiday with a city trip? The city lies between Istria and Dalmatia on the Kvarner Bay, which is one of the most beautiful regions in Croatia.

Numbers, data, facts

  • Time difference: none
  • Population: 129,000
  • Official language: Croatian
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

Highlights in and around Rijeka

The Islands of Kvarner Bay

Rijeka is considered the gateway to the islands of Kvarner Bay. Things are much quieter on the ten inhabited islands than on the mainland. Each island is different and a paradise in itself. Bright sunshine, deep blue waters, quaint fishing villages and authentic restaurants all have in common. The beaches are fantastically beautiful for swimming and snorkelling. In the narrow old town streets of the island towns, one often feels transported back to the Middle Ages. Krk is the largest and most famous island in Kvarner Bay. The islands of Losinj and Cres are not far from the coastal town of Rijeka. If you decide to go island hopping with your own boat or with the local ferries, you should definitely head for the islands of Unije and Rab.

Island Hopping in Kvarner Bay

Rijeka from BER

Five travel tips for …

1. Plaza Ploce: a beautiful bathing bay in the north of Rijeka

2. Beach Sablicevo: one of the most beautiful city beaches

3. Kostrena Beach: Perfect for snorkelling

4. Glavanova Beach: wild, romantic and without beach bars

5. The great bathing bays in Opatija, 15 kilometres away

1. Visit the medieval town of Kastav with the stone churches

2. Hiking through the green mountains of Risnjak National Park

3. Discover interesting plants on the Leska nature trail

4. Watch the paragliders in the picturesque Vinodol Valley

5. Marvel at the waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes, Croatia's largest national park

1. Carnival in Rijeka: Colourful carnival with a big parade

2. Enjoy theatre: In the pretty National Theatre, of course

3. Find inspiration: At the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

4. First point of contact for cinema lovers: The art cinema shows programme films

5. Peek & Poke: A special museum for computer freaks and game fans

Picture source title: © EKH-Pictures/ 

The information published on this page is current as of the date of publication or update.