Rijeka On a BudgetRijeka is the main seaport city of Croatia. It is located in Kvarner on the Kvarner Bay, which is an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. There are over 100,000 residents, making it Croatia's third largest city. The city's economy is heavily dependent on shipbuilding and maritime transport. There is also the University of Rijeka, which was founded in 1973 with roots dating back to 1632.
Rijeka's climate is humid subtropical with warm summers and mild, but damp, winters. It rarely snows, roughly three days a year, and there are, on average, 22 days a year where the temperature reaches 30 degrees Celsius.
SightsIt's possible to see most of Rijeka's sights on foot. There's a tourist path that connects the most important sights and many places are located in the city center. The Trsat Castle does require a vehicle, or you could take a bus. It's also possible to climb the 561 stairs that connect the city center to the castle. Regardless of how you get there, the castle is worth the effort.
Other sights around town include the City tower, the Our Lady of Trsat Sanctuary, the main City Market, the Governor's Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, Molo Longo, the Old Gateway and Capuchin church of Our Lady of Lourdes.
There are museums that help you understand the city's history. Make sure you go to the Rijeka City Museum, the Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral, the Natural History Museum, and the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
NeighborhoodsAs a tourist, you'll probably spend the majority of your time in the city center, which can be explored on foot. The Trsat Castle is connected to the city by about 561 steps and is also accessible by bus.
ActivitiesThere are a variety of activities that your can enjoy around town. There are several theatres you could go to. There's also the Kantrida pools, which are near the sea and offer great views. You can also dive off the coast of Rijeka. Finally, a visit to one of the city's parks or promenades is well worth it.
Food and DiningYou'll find many restaurants around town with options that range from Croatian to international cuisine. Prices are generally reasonable and there are a variety of regional specialties. The local fish dishes are particularly good, as are the meat and vegetarian options. If you're looking for a fine dining experience, then there are also some excellent, and expensive options including Zlatna skoljka, Kamov and Municipium. More moderately priced options include taverns, which have a relaxed atmosphere and serve local food. There are also pizzerias and fast food restaurants around. Many of these stay open 24 hours a day.
TransportationRijeka is an important transportation hub in Croatia and its train service is connected to most other major cities in Croatia. There are also two daily trains to Ljubljana and one to Budapest that passes through Zagreb. You'll find the train station at the northern edge of town.
Rijeka has the largest port in Croatia and ships are an important part of daily life. As a traveler, you'll likely find the Jadrolinija ferry service useful. It's a state owned company that runs small and fast ferries to the nearby islands. It also operates larger ferries that carry vehicles down the Adriatic Coast to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik, as well as Bari, Italy. Ferries run year around and you'll find the ferry terminal in the city center on the waterfront by the Jadrolinija office building.
You can walk most places in Rijeka and it is not recommended you take a car as vehicles are actually banned on Korzo in the heart of the city. If you end up staying farther outside of town then there is a decent local bus network which circles through the central city.The buses travel in one direction and make a circle around the central part of the city. You'll likely spend most of your time on either Bus 2 or Bus 8, which swing by most of the popular tourist destinations. They are particularly helpful if you don't want to climb the 561 stairs to the top of the hill. There is also a decent and affordable taxi system in Rijeka. There are three terminals in the middle of town; one at the bus station, one near the Matije Gupca Street, and one at the railway station.