If you are travelling to Croatia, make sure you add the coastal city of Rijeka to your itinerary. Located in northern Croatia, Rijeka is a fantastic place to visit with plenty to do and see. Despite being the 3rd largest city in the country, it is not as popular as many other Croatian cities such as Split or Dubrovnik. This means it does not tend to get overloaded with tourists throughout the year. It feels less discovered, more of a hidden gem. Rijeka is playfully known as the gateway to Croatia’s Islands. However, there is so much more to this city than its convenient location.
If you plan on wild camping in this area check out this great parking spot in Rijeka which is free.
Sitting on top of a hill, this medieval castle is the perfect place to visit for a stunning view overlooking the city. Trsat Castle is one of the oldest fortifications in the country and should be top of your Rijeka must-see list.
Unlike a lot of well preserved structures, this one has a very modern feel with an art gallery and bar inside. You can enjoy a drink on the bar terrace soaking in the best views in Rijeka.
The castle also doubles up as an event space where concerts are held in the summer months as well as theatre performances and fashion shows. If you wish to enter the permanent exhibition at Trsat Castle, tickets are super cheap at only 10 kuna (€1) for an adult. Entering the castle grounds and seeing the fantastic lookout point is free.
Stroll Along Korzo
Korzo is the main pedestrianised street in Rijeka. The streets are lined with all sorts of shops as well as cafes and restaurants. Be sure to look up at the gorgeous 19th-century buildings in different colours all the way along the street.
During the day this is the popular shopping and cafe-sitting district. However, in the evening this area is a hub for nightlife with many of the bars turning into nightclubs open until the early hours.
In the centre of Korzo, you will find one of the most popular landmarks, the beautiful city clock tower. This baroque structure is pretty symbolic of the city embellished with the Rijeka coat of arms as well as other intricate stonework.
Torpedo Factory / Launch Station
One of the many achievements of the city of Rijeka is that it is where the Torpedo was first invented. The torpedo was invented as a coastal defence mechanism for Rijeka and was originally called the ‘coast saviour’.
The Torpedo Factory is an imposing, derelict structure jutting out into the sea. It is a testament to the industrial heritage of Rijeka. It was indeed the first torpedo factory in the world. The launch station was used to simulate how missiles would be released from planes and ships. Visiting this landmark is something you must do when in Rijeka.
The torpedo Factory has a rich and interesting history, but if you’re not particularly bothered about its history, just know that it is a pretty interesting location to explore and take some impressive holiday pictures.
Running below the old town you will find the old military facility known as the ‘TunelRi’ in Croatian. It is the first military tunnel which has been opened solely for tourists to marvel at. You can find the main entrance next to the Cathedral of St. Vitus. The pedestrian tunnel is located right in the centre of Rijeka and spans 350m.
The tunnel was built before WWII to protect Rijeka residents from bombings during the war. Within the tunnel, you can see some original signs from the 1940s. The tunnel opened to the public in 2017 after being closed for 75 years and is a fantastic tourist attraction. The Rijeka tunnel is completely free to enter and is open daily between 9am and 5pm.
Peek And Poke Computer Museum
Take a trip into the past at the Peek And Poke Computer Museum. The museum has over 1000 exhibits including an assortment of retro games consoles and computers, some of which date back to the 60s. Reminisce and get nostalgic looking at the games consoles you grew up with playing classic games.
This museum is really hands-on and interactive, this makes it fun for people of any age to explore. Entry to the museum costs 40 kuna (€5).
It is possible to take a day trip to Krk from Rijeka. We 100% recommend visiting the beautiful Croatian island. If you are driving yourself be sure to give yourself a few days to truly soak in everything it has to offer. If not, a day trip will cram in all of the fantastic highlights.
Check out our guide on krk below:
For more information on the attractions in Rijeka, or to find out more about the city’s rich history, check out the Rijeka tourism website here.
Rijeka is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do; you will absolutely find something for everyone here. We recommend staying in Rijeka for a day or two to tick off all of the sights.
We hope this list helped inspire you to visit this wonderful city and Croatia in general. If you are planning a road trip be sure to check out our other croatian ‘must-see’ guides.
If you have any questions about Rijeka or Croatia travel in general don’t hesitate to ask.