Rijeka is a city where you can soak up Croatian daily life: You can mingle with locals over a cup of coffee, meal or night out on Korzo, Rijeka’s busy promenade, or shop like a true Rijekan at the lively central market.
Although it’s next to the Adriatic, Rijeka is more reminiscent of a Central European city like Budapest or Prague, with its striking neoclassical palaces and theatre. And of course, if you need to unwind then Blue Flag beaches and their cobalt waters are minutes away.
Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Rijeka:
1. Trsat Castle
You need only stand at the crest of this steep hill next to the Rjecina Gorge to appreciate that this must have been a useful lookout point in ancient times.
There’s been a watchtower or stronghold at this elevated location since the time of the Ilyrians, who ruled much of the Balkans before the Romans arrived.
The castle changed hands between the Venetians and Habsburg Empire in the 1500s, but was forgotten until the 19th century when it became the residence of Field Marshall Nugent, an Irish commander of Austrian forces (it was a complicated time!).
What you see at the summit today are the romantic additions made by Nugent in the late-1800s.