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Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,624 inhabitants (2011). The metropolitan area, which includes adjacent towns and municipalities, has a population of more than 240,000.
In March 2016, Rijeka was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2020.
Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary (serving as the Kingdom of Hungary's largest and most important port), and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries. According to the 2011 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens (82.52%) are presently Croats, along with small numbers of Bosniaks,Italians and Serbs.
Rijeka is the main city of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac Shipyard") and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632 School of Theology.
Linguistically, apart from Croatian, the population also uses its own unique version of the Venetian language, (Fiumano), with an estimated 20,000 speakers among the autochtone Croats and various minorities. Historically Fiumano served as a lingua franca for the many ethnicities inhabiting the multicultural port-town.
|POPULATION :||• City 128,624|
• Urban 213,666
• Metro 245,054
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|ELEVATION :||0–499 m (0 – 1,561 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||45°19′N 14°25′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.25%|
• Female: 51.75%
|ETHNIC :||Croats: 106,136 (82.52%)|
Serbs: 8,446 (6.57%)
Bosniaks: 2,650 (2.06%)
Italians: 2,445 (1.90%)
|AREA CODE :||051|
|POSTAL CODE :||51000|
|DIALING CODE :||+385 51|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
The city of Rijeka is a unique cosmopolitan city with a very turbulent history, especially during the 20th century. For instance, Rijeka was ruled by eight different countries between 1918 and 1991, so theoretically, a citizen of Rijeka born in 1917 could have had eight different passports without ever leaving the city limits. Such rapid changes of events led to a strong local identity for the city.
Rijeka is a major Croatian port, in the very heart of Kvarner Gulf. Because of its location, Rijeka is a crossroads of land and sea routes, connected with the rest of the world by air, bus, train and ship lines. Despite often being described as a predominantly industrial and port city, Rijeka is an interesting city with beautiful architecture of mostly secession style, a good choice of museums and quality night-life.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Rijeka was one of the main European ports and had weekly passenger service to and from New York. The famous shipCarpathia, which saved most of the survivors from the Titanic, was heading from New York to Rijeka, and most of the crew on the ship was Croatian. Thanks to that, one of life-belts from the Titanic is preserved in the Rijeka Naval Museum.
Unfortunately, Rijeka was also the first fascist state in the world, before Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Reich. A mixture of fascism, anarchism and elements or dadaism was the basis for the constitution of Reggenza Italiana del Carnaro (Italian Regency of Kvarner), short lived state created in 1919, after a coup d'etat of Italian war veterans led by Gabriele D'Annunzio, often called the pioneer of fascism. To make it more awkward, this unusual state was the first international state that recognized Lenin's USSR.
On the bright side, from 1920 to 1924, Rijeka was an independent neutral state. A status very similar to the later status of Gdansk provided Rijeka with independence and neutrality. The official language in the Free State of Rijeka were Croatian, Italian and Hungarian, in order to provide maximum care for all minorities in the city.
Woodrow Wilson, President of United States, recommended Rijeka in 1919 as a head of the League of Nations. After Second World War, Rijeka was one of candidates for hosting the headquarters of the United Nations. The idea was to reintroduce Independent State of Rijeka as a special United Nations neutral state.
Modern Rijeka is actually made from two original cities that were separated by river Rječina. On the west was Fiume or Rijeka and on the east Sušak, the rival counterpart of Rijeka mostly inhabited by Croatians and most of the 19th and early 20th century under Yugoslavian or Croatian administrative rule. Those two cities were merged in 1945. To symbolically connect the city, a wide pedestrian bridge was built in front of Hotel Kontinental which was turned into a square. Most of the people are not aware that there is actually a river under this wide square. It is popular place for meeting and socializing, especially for the younger generations.
With coming to Rijeka, you are joining to the list of people together with Che Guevara, James Joyce, Franz Liszt, Dora Maar, Enrico Caruso, Benito Mussolini, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Josip Jelačić, Bobby Fischer, Saddam Husein, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Johnny Weissmueller, Pope John Paul II and many others that have been in Rijeka before.
Ancient and Medieval times
Though traces of Neolithic settlements can be found in the region, the earliest modern settlements on the site were Celtic Tharsatica(modern Trsat, now part of Rijeka) on the hill, and the tribe of mariners, the Liburni, in the natural harbour below. The city long retained its dual character. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica in hisNatural History (iii.140).
In the time of Augustus, the Romans rebuilt Tharsatica as a municipium Flumen (MacMullen 2000), situated on the right bank of small river Rječina (whose name means "the big river"). It became a city within the Roman Province of Dalmatia until the 6th century.
After the 4th century Rijeka was rededicated to St. Vitus, the city's patron saint, as Terra Fluminis sancti Sancti Vitior in German Sankt Veit am Pflaum. From the 5th century onwards, the town was ruled successively by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, and the Avars. Croats settled the city starting in the 7th century giving it the Croatian name, Rika svetoga Vida("the river of St. Vitus"). At the time, Rijeka was a feudal stronghold surrounded by a wall. At the center of the city, its highest point, was a fortress.
In 799 Rijeka was attacked by the Frankish troops of Charlemagne. Their Siege of Trsat was at first repulsed, during which the Frankish commander Duke Eric of Friuli was killed. However, the Frankish forces finally occupied and devastated the castle, while the Duchy of Croatia passed under the overlordship of the Carolingian Empire. From about 925, the town was part of the Kingdom of Croatia, from 1102 in personal union with Hungary. Trsat Castle and the town was rebuilt under the rule of the House of Frankopan. In 1288 the Rijeka citizens signed the Law codex of Vinodol, one of the oldest codes of law in Europe.
Rijeka even rivalled with Venice when it was purchased by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III, Archduke of Austria in 1466. It would remain under Habsburg overlordship for over 450 years, except for French rule between 1805 and 1813, until its occupation by Croatian and subsequently Italian irregulars at the end of World War I.
Under Habsburg sovereignty
After coming under Habsburg rule in 1466, the town was attacked and plundered by Venetian forces in 1509. While Ottoman forces attacked the town several times, they never occupied it. From the 16th century onwards, Rijeka was largely rebuilt in its present Renaissance and Baroque style. Emperor Charles VI declared the Port of Rijeka a free port (together with the Port of Trieste) in 1719 and had the trade route to Vienna expanded in 1725.
By order of Empress Maria Theresa in 1779, the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Hungary and governed as corpus separatum directly from Budapest by an appointed governor, as Hungary's only international port. From 1804, Rijeka was part of the Austrian Empire (Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the Compromise of 1867), in the Croatia-Slavonia province.
In the early 19th century, the prominent economical and cultural leader of the city was Andrija Ljudevit Adamić. Fiume also had a significant naval base, and in the mid-19th century it became the site of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy (K.u.K. Marine-Akademie), where the Austro-Hungarian Navy trained its officers.
Giovanni de Ciotta (mayor from 1872 to 1896) proved to be an authoritative local political leader. Under his leadership, an impressive phase of expansion of the city started, marked by major port development, fuelled by the general expansion of international trade and the city's connection (1873) to the Austro-Hungarian railway network. Modern industrial and commercial enterprises such as the Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Company "Adria", and the paper mill, situated in the Rječina canyon, producing cigarette paper sold around the world, became trademarks of the city.
The second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century (up to World War I) was a period of rapid economic growth and technological dynamism for Rijeka. The industrial development of the city included the first industrial scale oil refinery in Europe in 1882 and the first torpedo factory in the world in 1866, after Robert Whitehead, manager of the "Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano" (an Austrian engineering company engaged in providing engines for the Austro-Hungarian Navy), designed and successfully tested the world's first torpedo.
Rijeka also became a pioneering centre for high-speed photography. The Austrian physicist Peter Salcher working in Rijeka's Austro-Hungarian Marine Academy took the first photograph of a bullet flying at supersonic speed in 1886, devising a technique that was later used by Ernst Mach in his studies of supersonic motion.
Rijeka's port underwent tremendous development fuelled by generous Hungarian investments, becoming the main maritime outlet for Hungary and the eastern part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the fifth port in the Mediterranean, after Marseilles, Genoa, Naples and Trieste. The population grew rapidly from only 21,000 in 1880 to 50,000 in 1910. Major civic buildings constructed at this time include the Governor's Palace, designed by the Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann. There was an ongoing competition between Rijek and Trieste, the main maritime outlet for Austria - reflecting the rivalry between the two components of the Dual Monarchy. The Austro-Hungarian Navy sought to keep the balance by ordering new warships from the shipyards of both cities.
Apart from the rapid economic growth, the period encompassing the second half of the 19th century and up to World War I also saw a shift in the ethnic composition of the city. The Kingdom of Hungary, which administered the city during that period, favoured the Hungarian element in the city and encouraged immigration from all lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1910, there were 24,000 Italian-speaking, and 13,000 Croat-speaking inhabitants of Rijeka (in addition to the 6,500 Hungarians and several thousands of other nationalities, like Slovenians, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks).
The Italo-Yugoslav dispute and the Free State of Fiume
Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary's disintegration in the closing weeks of World War I in the fall of 1918 led to the establishment of rival Croatian-Serbian and Italian administrations in the city; both Italy and the founders of the newKingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) claimed sovereignty based on their "irredentist" ("unredeemed") ethnic populations.
After a brief military occupation by the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, followed by the unilateral annexation of the former Corpus Separatum by the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, an international force of British, Italian, French and American troops entered the city (November 1918), while its future was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference during the course of 1919.
Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city (65% of the total population). Croats made up most of the remainder and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak. Andrea Ossoinack, who had been the last delegate from Fiume to the Hungarian Parliament, was admitted to the conference as a representative of Fiume, and essentially supported the Italian claims. Despite these claims, in the city there was a strong and very active Autonomist Party, which also had its delegates at the Paris conference and was represented by Ruggero Gotthardi.
On 10 September 1919, the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed declaring the Austro-Hungarian monarchy dissolved. Negotiations over the future of the city were interrupted two days later when a force of Italian nationalist irregulars led by the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio seized control of the city without casualties and acclaimed by a part of the population. Because the Italian government didn't want to annex Fiume in order to respect the international agreement, d'Annunzio and the intellectuals at his side eventually established a state, the Italian Regency of Carnaro, a unique social experiment for the age and a revolutionary cultural experience to which various international intellectuals of diverse walks of life took part (like Osbert Sitwell, Arturo Toscanini, Henry Furst, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Harukichi Shimoi, Guglielmo Marconi, Alceste De Ambris, Léon Kochnitzky). Among the many political experiments that took place during this period, d'Annunzio and his men undertook a first attempt to establish a movement of non-aligned nations in the so-called League of Fiume, an organization in antithesis to the wilsonian League of Nations seen as a mean to perpetuate a corrupt and imperialist status quo.
The organization was meant to help all oppressed nationalities in their struggle for political dignity and recognition, establishing links to many movements on various continents, but it never found the necessary external support and its main legacy remains today the Regency Of Carnaro's recognition of the Soviet Union, first state entity in the world to have done so.
The resumption of Italy's premiership by the liberal Giovanni Giolitti in June 1920 signalled a hardening of official attitudes to d'Annunzio's coup. On 12 November, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, under which Rijeka was to be an independent state, the Free State of Fiume, under a government acceptable to both. d'Annunzio's response was characteristically flamboyant and of doubtful judgment: his declaration of war against Italy invited the bombardment by Italian royal forces which led to his surrender of the city at the end of the year, after five days' resistance (known as Bloody Christmas). Italian troops freed the city from d'Annunzio's militias in January 1921.
The subsequent democratic election brought the overwhelming victory of the Autonomist Party and Fiume became a member of the League of Nations. The ensuing election of Rijeka's first president Riccardo Zanella met the official recognition and greeting of all major powers. The creation of a constituent assembly for the new country did not put an end to strife within the city: a brief Italian nationalist seizure of power was ended by the intervention of an Italian royal commissioner, and a short-lived local Fascist takeover in March 1922 ended in a third Italian intervention. Seven months later Italy herself fell under Fascist rule and the fate of Rijeka was set, the fascist party being among the strongest proponents of the annexation of Rijeka to Italy.
A period of diplomatic acrimony closed with the Treaty of Rome (27 January 1924), signed by Italy and Yugoslavia but unrecognized by all other powers, which assigned Rijeka to Italy and Sušak (Porto Barros) to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration. Formal Italian annexation (16 March 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Italian government.
Rijeka in World War II
At the beginning of World War II Rijeka immediately found itself in an awkward position. The city was overwhelmingly Italian, but its immediate surroundings and the city of Sušak, just across the Rječina river (today a part of Rijeka proper) were inhabited almost exclusively by Croatians and part of a potentially hostile power – Yugoslavia. Once the Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Croatian areas surrounding the city were occupied by the Italian military, setting the stage for an intense and bloody insurgency which would last until the end of the war. Partisan activity included guerrilla-style attacks on isolated positions or supply columns, sabotage and killings of civilians believed to be connected to the Italian and (later) German authorities. This, in turn, was met by stiff reprisals from the Italian and German military. On 14 July 1942, in reprisal for the killing of 4 civilians of Italian origin by the Partisans, the Italian military killed 100 men from the suburban village of Podhum, resettling the remaining 800 people to concentration camps.
After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943, Rijeka and the surrounding territories were annexed by Germany, becoming part of the Adriatic Littoral Zone. The partisan activity continued and intensified. On 30 April 1944, in the nearby village of Lipa, German troops killed 263 civilians in reprisal for the killing of several soldiers during a partisan attack.
Because of its industries (oil refinery, torpedo factory, shipyards) and its port facilities, the city was also a target of frequent (more than 30) Anglo-American air attacks, which caused widespread destruction and hundreds of civilian deaths. Some of the worst bombardments happened on 12 January 1944 (attack on the refinery, part of the Oil Campaign), on 3–6 November 1944, when a series of attacks resulted in at least 125 deaths and between 15 and 25 February 1945 (200 dead, 300 wounded).
The area of Rijeka was heavily fortified even before World War II (the remains of these fortifications can be seen today on the city outskirts). This was the fortified border between Italy and Yugoslavia which, at that time, cut across the city area and its surroundings. As Yugoslav troops approached the city in April 1945, one of the fiercest and largest battles in this area of Europe ensued. The 27,000 German and additional Italian troops fought tenaciously from behind these fortifications (renamed "Ingridstellung" – Ingrid Line – by the Germans). Under the command of the German general Ludwig Kübler they inflicted thousands of casualties on the attacking Yugoslav partisans, which were forced to charge uphill against well-fortified positions to the north and east of the city. Ultimately the Germans were forced to retreat. Before leaving the city, in an act of wanton destruction (World War II was almost over), the German troops destroyed the harbour area and other infrastructure with a number of big explosive charges. However, the German attempt to break out of the partisan encirclement north-west of the city was unsuccessful. Of the approximately 27,000 German and other troops retreating from the city, 11,000 were killed (many were executed after surrendering), while the remaining 16,000 were taken prisoner. Yugoslav troops entered Rijeka on 3 May 1945. The city had suffered extensive damage in the war. The economic infrastructure was almost completely destroyed, and of the 5400 buildings in the city at the time, 2890 (53%) were either completely destroyed or heavily damaged.
Aftermath of World War II
The city's fate was again resolved by a combination of force and diplomacy. This time the city of Rijeka became part of Yugoslavia (within the federal state of Croatia), a situation formalized by the Paris peace treaty between Italy and the wartime Allies on 10 February 1947. Once the change in sovereignty was formalized, 58,000 of the 66,000 Italian speakers were gradually constrained to emigrate (they became known in Italian as esuli or the exiles from Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia) or endure a harsh oppression by the new Yugoslav communist regime during the first decade of its existence, when the communist party adopted a Stalinist approach to solve the local ethnic question.
The discrimination and persecution many inhabitants experienced at the hands of the Yugoslav populace and officials in the last days of World War II and the first years of peace still remain painful memories for the exiled ones and somewhat of a taboo for Rijeka's political elites which still deny the events. Summary executions of alleged fascists (often well-known anti-fascists or openly apolitical), aimed at hitting the intellectual class, Italian public servants, military officials and even ordinary civilians (at least 650 executions of Italians took place after the end of the war ), and forced most ethnic Italians to leave Rijeka in order to avoid becoming a victim of harsher forms of ethnic cleansing. The removal was a meticulously-planned operation, aimed at convincing the hardly assimilable Italian part of the autochthonous population to leave the country, as testified decades later by representatives' of the Yugoslav leadership.
Only one third of the original population (mostly Croats) remained in the city. Subsequently the city was resettled by many immigrants from various parts of Yugoslavia, changing the city demographics once again. A period of reconstruction began. During the period of the Yugoslav communist administration in the 1950s–1980s the city grew once again both demographically and economically thanks to its traditional manufacturing industries, its maritime economy and its port, then the largest in Yugoslavia. However, many of these industries were mostly a product of a socialist planned economy and could not be sustained once the economy transitioned to a more market-oriented model in the early 1990s.
In 1991 Yugoslavia broke apart, and the federal state of Croatia became independent during the Croatian War of Independence. Since then, the city has somewhat stagnated economically and its demography has plunged, with some of its largest industries and employers either going out of business (the Jugolinija shipping company, the torpedo factory, the paper mill and many other medium or small manufacturing and commercial companies, often in the midst of big corruption scandals and a badly planned privatization) or struggling to stay economically viable (like the city's landmark 3. Maj shipyards). A difficult and uncertain transition of the city's economy away from manufacturing and towards the service industry and tourism is still in progress.
The terrain configuration, with mountains rising steeply just a few kilometres inland from the shores of the Adriatic, provides for some striking climatic and landscape contrasts within a small geographic area. Beaches can be enjoyed throughout summer in a typically Mediterranean setting along the coastal areas of the city to the east (Pećine, Kostrena) and west (Kantrida, Preluk). At the same time, the ski resort of Platak, located only about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) from the city, offers alpine skiing and abundant snow during winter months (at times until early May). The Kvarner Bay and its islands are visible from the ski slopes.
Rijeka has a Humid subtropical climate with warm summers and relatively mild and rainy winters. Snow is rare (usually 3 days per year, almost always occurring in patches). There are 20 days a year with a maximum of 30 °C (86 °F) or higher, while on one day a year the temperature does not exceed 0 °C (32 °F). Fog appears in about 4 days per year, mainly in winter. The climate is also characterized by frequent rainfall. Cold (bora) winds are common in wintertime.
Climate data for Rijeka
|Record high °C (°F)||20.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||−11.4|
|Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service|
Rijeka is located in western Croatia, 131 km southwest of the capital, Zagreb, on the northern coast of Rijeka Bay (14 ° 26 'east longitude 45 ° 21' north latitude), as part of a larger Kvarner Gulf of the Adriatic Sea, which is a large bayMediterranean Sea most deeply indented to the European mainland. The Bay of Rijeka, which is bordered by Vela Vrata (between Istria and the island of Cres), Srednja Vrata (between Cres and Krk Island) and Mala Vrata (between Krk and the mainland) is connected to the Bay of Kvarner. is deep enough (about 60 m) for the biggest sailing ships, the Rijeka to take over an important seaport. The City of Rijeka lies at the mouth of river Rječina and in the Vinodol micro-region of the Croatian coast. Two important land transport routes start in Rijeka due to its location. The first route is to the Pannonian Basin given that Rijeka is located alongside the narrowest point of the Dinaric Alps (about fifty kilometers). The other route, across Postojna Gate connects Rijeka with Slovenia, Italy and beyond.
Prices in Rijeka
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.97|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.35|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€16.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€26.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€32.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.70|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€2.15|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€2.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€1.15|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€6.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.11|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.35|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.20|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€82.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€81.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€1.30|
62 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
148 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Rijeka airport is situated on the nearby island of Krk, around 35 km from the Rijeka city center.
- Air Baltic connects Rijeka with Riga, Copenhagen, Moscow and Helsinki.
- Air Berlin connects Rijeka to Berlin.
- Arkia connects Rijeka to Tel Aviv.
- Croatia Airlines connects Rijeka to London and Munich.
- Czech Airlines connects Rijeka with Kosice.
- Germanwings connects Rijeka with Hamburg, Bonn/Cologne, Berlin,Stuttgart and Dusseldorf.
- Sky Work connects Rijeka with Bern.
- Nordic Aviation Group connects Rijeka to Tallinn.
- Norwegian connects Rijeka with Oslo.
- Ryanair connects Rijeka to Stockholm, London and Charleroi.
- Trade Air connects Rijeka to Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek and Zagreb.
There are regular bus services from Rijeka into Zagreb Airport for connections there. The Croatia Airlines website has more information.
From Airport Rijeka to city it is possible to come with official Rijeka Airport Taxi Transfer Service. All information you can take on the official website.
Rijeka has been an important railhead since its early days as one of the major ports of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and is connected with direct services to other major cities in Croatia (Zagreb, Osijek) as well as twice daily services to Ljubljana in Slovenia, and one train via Zagreb each day to Budapest (changing of the train in Zagreb). Services to Pula by train are possible, though as the two cities are not connected in Croatia by rail (the connection is now in Slovenia), a designated bus is timed to take you that part of the journey. It is possible to travel to Pula by train, with a bus connection from train station to Lupoglav, from where you take a train to Pula. Bus is provided by Croatian Railways and you need to buy just one ticket.
The Railway station is in 5 Krešimirova Street, at the northern edge of the town area. Information on rail services is available on the information counter, or on the telephone +385 60 333-44-44. You can buy tickets or make reservations at the station ticket-office (+385 51 21-33-33). The railway station has a luggage lockers open from 9AM to 9PM, ans is charged 15 kn. There is also a tourism information office in the station building, but is open odd hours - although there is a large map at the front of the station building. There is also an ATM at the station.
Rijeka is connected by bus with bigger cities in Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. The busy bus terminal is in the city center at the foot of the imposing Capuchin church, on Trg Žabica. You can find good information on timetable and fares at the Autotrans website or in their office (which also sells tickets), at Žabica 1 or by telephone +385 (0)60 30-20-10. Tickets purchased through company's website are 5% cheaper. There is a left-luggage office next to the newspaper and cigarette stand, open from 5:30AM till 10:30PM (the latest of all the transport modes in Rijeka). Luggage safekeeping is charged 9 kn. Eurobusways operates a direct Budapest-Rijeka Bus line.
Travellers heading from Zagreb (185 km) should take the A1 to Bosiljevo and then take the A6 to Rijeka. The A6 is a 4-6 lane motorway over hilly terrain with many tunnels, bridges and viaducts.
Travellers from Trieste (76 km) should take A7 upon entering Croatia at Pasjak or Rupa border crossing.
Travellers from Split (380 km) can take A1 to Žuta Lokva and then proceed via Senj and Crikvenica to Rijeka, or A1 north to Bosiljevo and then A6 to Rijeka.
As one of the largest ports of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the largest port in Croatia, ships play an important role in the life of Rijeka.
Of best use to travellers from Rijeka is the Jadrolinija ferry service. The state-owned company operates small fast vessels to the nearby islands. Until 20133. there was as well large car-carrying ferries down the Adriatic Coast to Split and Dubrovnik, but they were canceled. Possible reintroduction of the line is for summer 2016. The passenger terminal is in the city center, and on the waterfront just near the Jadrolinija office building (where one buys tickets on the ground floor) is a left-luggage office.
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
For those that are further away from the city or tired, an efficient local bus network operates operating in a single-direction, circular movement around the central city area, and fanning out in all directions. Buses #2 and #8, to Trsat, are probably the most useful for tourists, and a good alternative to the 561 stair climb to the top of the hill.
Rijeka has a cheap and well organized Taxi service, they will get you anywhere in the city for approximately €10 or less. In the centre of the town there are three taxi terminals, at the Bus station, tel. +385 51 335 138; in the Matije Gupca Street, tel. +385 51 335 417, at the railway station, tel. +385 51 332 893 and there is also a taxi van available.
- Taxi Rijeka tel: +385 91 516 5236
- Taxi Cammeo tel: +385 51 313 313
- Taxi Adria tel. +385 51 301 301
- VIP car service tel. +385 91 11 555 60
- JAM Transfer. Taxi usually comes within 10 to 15 minutes from the call except in busy summer season where it depends on how much business they have. Online booking available.
Most of Rijeka is accessible on foot, and traffic is actually banned on Korzo in the heart of the city.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Rijeka’s main market – Placa No supermarket can replace the charm of the personal contact with the vendor or the excitement of the unpredictable purchase at the main Rijeka market – Placa. The harmonious compound of two pavilions and a Fish market building where, in the morning hours, the real Rijeka can be experienced.
- Shopping in the city centre – most shops are open from 8am until 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays usually until 1pm. There are several 24/7 stores, and if you need cigarettes or newspapers after 8pm they can be bought at the kiosk that works all night, at the main bus station, Žabica. You can purchase all that you need in one of the larger commercial centers in Rijeka, the biggest one is Tower Center Rijeka, while Zapadni Trgovački Centar is the newest.
- Souvenir shops – authentic souvenirs can be bought at the Tourist Information Centre, two Rijeka’s galleries that have received the “Authentic from Rijeka” and “Special quality” labels – Mala galerija Bruketa and Galerija Art, Zeleno i plavo (Green and Blue) – autochthonous products shop, La Mamma Delicije on Trsat, and Bazilisk Souvenir Shop located in the very centre of Trsat Castle. Rijeka also has an online souvenir web shop.
- Restaurants. There are numerous restaurants offering domestic and international food. Try some of their local fish specialties and also meat and vegetarian dishes as well as exotic specialties. If you didn’t walk into one of the more exclusive restraints in Rijeka, such as Zlatna školjka, Kamov or Municipium, you will find the prices to be mostly moderate.
- Taverns. Experience the relaxed atmosphere of Rijeka’s taverns which in a typical local environment will offer you their specialties at moderate prices.
- Pizzerias and fast food - there are also many fast-food restaurants, some of them open 24 hours, such as Žabica on the main bus station Žabica and Food City on the Korzo promenade.
Sights & Landmarks
The best way to see Rijeka’s Cultural and historical monuments is to follow the tourist path that gathers all of the most important sights for this town and its history. Most of them are accessible by foot, as they are mostly located in or near the city centre, but to see Trsat Castle you will need to take a short car/bus ride. Other option, the more adventurous one, is to climb 561 Trsat stairs that lead from city centre to Trsat. The Trsat Castle is worth the effort. Also, a helpful travel companion is free AdriaGuide Rijeka mobile application, for smart phones and GPS navigation.
- Trsat Castle represents a strategically embossed gazebo on a hill 138 meters above sea level that dominates Rijeka. As a parochial centre it was mentioned for the first time in 1288. Trsat Castle is one of the oldest fortifications on the Croatian Coast, where the characteristics of the early medieval town construction have been preserved. Today Trsat Castle, beside the souvenir shop and the coffee shop, is enriched with new facilities – gallery space where art exhibitions are held as well as open-air summer concerts and theatre performances, fashion shows and literary evenings.
- City Tower, a symbol of Rijeka and a good example of a typical round tower access-point, which leads into the fortified town. Today it dominates the central part of Korzo and is often used as a meeting place for local people.
- The Our Lady of Trsat Sanctuary is the largest centre of pilgrimage in western Croatia. It is famous for its numerous concessions and for the pilgrimages by numerous believers throughout the year, and especially on the Assumption of Mary holiday.
- No supermarket can replace the charm of the personal contact with the vendor or the excitement of the unpredictable purchase at the main City market – Placa. The harmonious compound of two pavilions and a Fish market building where, in the morning hours, the real Rijeka can be experienced.
- Torpedo – launching ramp The launching ramp from 1930s is an item belonging to the closed torpedo production factory. It is proof of the technical inventive of Rijeka during this period and at the same time is an important world landmark of industrial heritage.
- For other cultural and historical monuments of Rijeka such as The Governor's Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, Molo Longo, The Old Gateway or Roman Arch, Capuchin church of Our Lady of Lourdes and many other interesting places visit the pages of Rijeka Tourist Board.
Museums & Galleries
Rijeka is a city with an unusual, turbulent past. The best places to discover the whole story on Rijeka are its museums, among its rich collections and exhibitions.
- Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral Located in the beautiful Governor’s Palace building, it preserves a large part of Rijeka's history and maritime tradition. Besides its continuous ethnographic exhibition, visit our collection of furniture and portraits of people from Rijeka’s public life.
- Natural History Museum. Besides the botanical garden, the museum is a multimedia centre with an aquarium containing species from the Adriatic Sea. Besides fish, sharks and sea rays, the museum also conserves species of insects, reptiles, birds and amphibians. Ideal entertainment for both children and adults.
- Rijeka City Museum The museum includes eleven collections: fine arts, arts & crafts, numismatics, valuable objects, medals, arms from the Second World War and from the Croatian War of Independence, a collection of theatre and film material, philately, photography, press and technical collections.
- Modern and Contemporary Art Museum. The museum collects works of art by Rijeka artists from 19th century and both Croatian and foreign artists from 20th and 21st centuries.
- Peek & Poke - "Museum" of old computers. In this continuous exhibition over 1000 expositions are exhibited from around the world and from Croatian computer history. Located in an area of three hundred square meters, in the centre of Rijeka it is the largest exhibition of its kind in this part of Europe.
- The St. Vitus Cathedral Sacral Collection The collection is located in an attractive location, in a gallery above the internal part and above the church's altar, whilst the thesaurus is located in the atrium of the Cathedral’s locale. The sacral “Jesuits' heritage” collection includes some very rare exponents.
- Thesaurus and Gallery of Our Lady of Trsat’s Sanctuary. The monastery treasury holds works of extraordinary esthetic and material value, paintings, reliquaries, lamps, chalices, ecclesiastical robes, while the Chapel of Votive Gifts houses gifts dating from the 19th century up to date.
- Memorial Library and the Mažuranić-Brlić-Ružić Collection. The library and Mažuranić-Brlić-Ružić collection are located at Pećine, in Rijeka inside the villa of the famous Rijeka's family, Ružić.
- Permanent Glagolitic Alphabet Exhibition. A permanent exhibition has been collocated in the Rijeka University Library known as “Glagoljica” in which the Glagolitic written and printed heritage has been presented, especially that of the north Adriatic area where the first Croatian (Glagolitic) books were printed.
Things to do
- Theatres Should you wish to go to the theatre, you can choose from those suitable for adults or for children, go either at the Croatian National theatre or at one of Rijeka’s smaller independent theatres. When it comes to cinema], no-one can dispute taste – in Rijeka you can find art cinema and multiplex.
- For those who like to be active while they travel and maybe want to shed a bit of sweat here are a few recommendations:
- Kantrida pools. Complex of five newly furnished pools, located by the sea with an amazing view over the nearby islands and Istria.
- If you miss the adrenaline, some ten kilometers from Rijeka is an auto-moto track Grobnik where you can try your riding skills or watch how the professionals do it.
- Diving around the coast of Rijeka. The Adriatic has one of the most indented coasts in Europe and its northern part is especially attractive for divers who like to dive on the underwater cliffs. The area offers various diving conditions both for beginners and for advanced divers. Besides the extremely clear sea and wealth of underwater life, underwater cliffs with gorgonian corals and caves can be found here as well as ship wrecks.
- For nature lovers, the ones that like to walk, watch the stars or just lie on the beach, there are many places to indulge in such activities:
- Astronomical Centre Rijeka. Learn about the stars in this unique astronomy centre both in Croatia and abroad. Besides sky objects, from Sveti Križ hill, where it is located, a beautiful view extends over the Rijeka Bay and mountain hinterland.
- Rijeka’s beaches. Rijeka has the beach for everyone’s taste and thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the bathing season begins in spring and lasts until late autumn. With regard to the city location, Rijeka’s beaches are located to the far east and to the far western parts of the city, and you can choose your favorite – large and noisy or small and secluded, pebbly, concrete, rocky, hidden… City buses drive to all beaches and there is free car parking close to all of them.
- Parks and promenades. Nature lovers and more active visitors can discover the city in a different way – by researching Rijeka’s promenades by the sea, urban or forest areas, and for those less active, parks are the best option for taking a break during a walk around Rijeka.
Wherever you go in Rijeka, you will find a place to drink and relax. There are hundreds of bars and cafes across the city. There are three ships docked in the harbor (city center) with bars, casino, and a night club – Arca Fiumana, Marina club and Club Nina2.
- Club Palach One of the oldest clubs in Rijeka, with 3 bars, 4 floors, one small free cinema room, gallery for young artists and comic book store, it's also one of the most interesting cafés/clubs in Rijeka.
- Stereo dvorana The centre of Rijeka’s urban culture. The program includes and bonds urban life and multiculturalism with maybe the best conditions in Croatia for concerts and events.
- Café bar Karolina – a coffee bar located by the sea with a large terrace and a view of the boats in the Port of Rijeka. In the evening hours coffee drinking is replaced by music and dancing.
- Cukarikafe bar – works with the same intensity during the day and during the evening. It is special for its creative furnishings, relaxing music and atmosphere which also moves on two terraces during the warmer weather.
- Pepe Rosso Bar is a tavern, but not a totally conventional one with tango and salsa nights, a variety of promotions – from wine to books, exhibitions and performances, entertainment with DJs or live music.
- Café bar Nad urom is located on the last floor of the Korzo shopping centre, with a view over Rijeka’s rooftops and the Korzo, during the day offers refreshments and relaxation after shopping and during the weekend there is live music.
- complete list of coffee shops and clubs. The in Rijeka can be found on Rijeka Tourist Board web page.
Things to know
Besides Croatian, Italian is de facto semi-official and featured on many signs in the city. Most natives of Rijeka understand it well and some speak it fluently. Older native citizens speak their own dialect of Italian language - Fiumani, named after the Italian name for the city - Fiume. English is widely understood and spoken by younger people and hotel/restaurant staff. Some people also know some German.