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On cruises to Rijeka, Croatia, you’ll quickly discover the charm of the country’s third-largest city, which is known as an industrial hub and a port town. While not as glamorous as the polished destinations you’ll visit on European cruises, Rijeka is full of surprises and delights nonetheless. Don’t miss an afternoon spent visiting historic sites, like the National History Museum or St. Vitus Cathedral, where you’ll get a new understanding of Croatian life and culture.
Gaze up at the banana-yellow City Clock Tower in Old Town, which has been in working condition since 1873. Live like a local and check out the fish market, where fresh catches from the Adriatic could very well be your next meal. If you’re looking for something a little more active to do in Rijeka, there’s an abundance of watering holes for swimming, and the Adriatic is a cool, ideal playground for windsurfing. Lose yourself along the promenade in Korzo, walking toward the sunset, or find a relaxing cafe to sit and reflect on your travels. Whatever your mood, Rijeka welcomes all.
Not to be confused with the cathedral of the same name in Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral in Rijeka is a Jesuit church that has been standing since the 17th century. This classically Croatian structure was built in a baroque style with an evident Mediterranean influence. Architecture and history lovers shouldn’t miss out on a quick tour.
The bright yellow City Clock Tower is a lasting monument of Rijeka and one of the town’s most memorable sights. It’s close to the water, so you can stroll the promenade after you admire it while you wait to hear the bell tower ring.
You might not think of natural history as particularly exciting, but you haven’t been to the Natural History Museum at Rijeka yet. Devoted to the marine species of the Adriatic, there’s a special focus on sea life here, and even an aquarium. Stop in the top-notch botanical garden before you go.
On Rijeka cruises, a stop at the Astronomical Center will remind you to always look up toward the stars. This observatory and planetarium, housed in an old World War II military fort, now screens nature films and offers ample opportunities to stargaze. There’s even a stargazing session in English catered just for travelers passing through town.
If you’re searching for more adventurous activities while you’re on Rijeka cruises, an afternoon of windsurfing along the Adriatic just might do the trick. It’s the perfect combination of adventure sports and sightseeing along the beautiful blue sea.
Local markets have been in operation for over 100 years, and many of the vendors are particularly happy to share their stories with you when you come to the area on Rijeka cruises. The market is open daily and offers an abundance of fish for sale, as well as fruits, vegetables, fresh bread, and other goods.
Address: Ul. Vatroslava Lisinskog 4B, 51000, Rijeka
Every morning at 6am, Milman Cafe opens to serve Croatian coffee and sweet snacks. Grab a treat along the narrow bar where local patrons stand and drink their coffee. It’s a staple of life in Croatia and a must-experience while you’re in Rijeka.
Address: Setaliste Andrije Kacica Miosica 1, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
As one of the top-rated restaurants in the Rijeka area, Pivnica has a reputation to live up to, and that’s why it specializes in both comforting Croatian foods and pastas in a laid-back pub environment. The highlights here are the local wine list and the goulash.
Address: Chitalishte Joakima Rakovca 2A, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
Enjoy an ocean view while filling up on some excellent pizza before you go on to the next tour or head out windsurfing. Kalorija is near Trsat Castle, making it an ideal pit stop on a walking tour of the city sights.
Rijeka has been, in some shape or form, a port town since the Romans established one in the 17th century. Rijeka means river, which was an essential reason why the Romans found the landscape so valuable. Over time, Rijeka changed hands several times, and Austrian settlement brought about the boom of the shipbuilding industry here. It’s a working town to this day. Though it may not be as shiny and put together as Split or Dubrovnik, Rijeka feels real. Today, the downtown area of Korzo is most popular for its cafes, bars, and nightlife, while the majority of residents live a sleepier life in the suburbs beyond that.
Rijeka cruises dock in a minimally equipped port off an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, and most of the major attractions are just a short walk away. If you want to go beyond the city center, there are buses that take tourists to towns farther away for day trips.
Taxis aren’t too expensive in Rijeka, and they’re a popular way to get to the city sights in a pinch. Otherwise, the local bus system is reliable, and there’s a hop-on/hop-off bus especially designed for travelers to get the most out of seeing the city. The port area itself is fairly walkable, and so is the city center.
Standard souvenir shacks, cafes, and other restaurants are a short walk from the cruise port. Otherwise, most shopping in the area is accessible via bus.
The currency used in Croatia is the kuna, though sometimes euros are accepted, depending on where you go. There are ATMs throughout the city. On cruises to Rijeka, you’ll find that credit and debit cards are accepted most places except for smaller, locally run restaurants and shops. If you go to a local market, haggling is pretty common, but not at higher end stores. Tipping in Croatia is only reserved for restaurants and cafes, where you should leave behind up to 10% of your bill for excellent service.