Rijeka : Industrial City that’s a Perfect Gateway

Nestled along the Kvarner Bay, Rijeka is a vibrant gateway to the Kvarner islands, Istria, Gorski Kotar, and more! Offering a unique blend of historical charm, cultural richness, and maritime allure. As Croatia’s third-largest city, Rijeka is a bustling port and a treasure trove of experiences for those seeking coastal beauty and urban vibrancy.

In this article, we’ll embark on a journey through Rijeka, uncovering hotels, restaurants, shopping districts, and exciting events that make it a captivating destination. Before wrapping up, we’ll go one step further. Spoils go to the brave and those prepared to walk the extra mile to see what’s available outside of Rijeka.


City of Rijeka Delta and Trsat view. The building on the right is Hotel Continental.

You are browsing eHotel.hr, so let’s cover hotels first. Rijeka offers a diverse range of accommodations catering to various tastes:

  1. Grand Hotel Bonavia: Centrally located, this historic hotel combines elegance with modern amenities, providing a comfortable stay in the heart of Rijeka. Overlooking Rijeka’s main promenade, Korzo.
  2. Hotel Jadran: Overlooking the Adriatic, Hotel Jadran offers a seaside retreat with stunning views, a relaxing atmosphere, and easy access to Rijeka’s attractions.
  3. Hotel Continental: Situated in the city center, Hotel Continental (pictured above) is a contemporary choice with a sleek design, spacious rooms, and proximity to Rijeka’s cultural landmarks.
  4. Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa: The best was left for the end just before you leave Rijeka to the west. A five-star resort with a Michelin-star restaurant – Nebo.

List of hotels in Rijeka (three stars – * * * ) (updated 5th January 2024)

  • Continental (three stars – * * * )
  • Neboder (three stars – * * * )

List of hotels in Rijeka (four stars – * * * * ) (updated 5th January 2024)

List of hotels in Rijeka (five stars – * * * * * ) (updated 5th January 2024)

  • Hilton Costabella Beach Resort & Spa (five stars – * * * * * )


Croatian National Theater in Rijeka Square view, fountain, and park. On the right is Placa Rijeka (the city’s main bazaar – a marketplace with fresh produce).

Rijeka’s culinary scene reflects its diverse influences, offering a mix of traditional and modern flavors:

  1. Placa Rijeka: This food market is a gastronomic delight, where you can sample local delicacies, fresh seafood, and a variety of traditional snacks. Within 200 meters there are several outstanding fish restaurants such as: Konoba Fiume, Na Kantunu, Mornar or Feral.
  2. Konoba Tarsa: The menu features high-quality meat and fish specialties, emphasizing Mediterranean flavors and local produce. Committed to supporting local farmers, the restaurant prioritizes fresh ingredients. They blend traditional values with modern cooking techniques, offering a diverse selection of premium wines. The friendly staff ensures an enjoyable dining experience for every guest.
  3. Restaurant Lovorka: Offers outstanding barbecue and several Macedonian delicacies. It’s a bit remote – in Rujevica, but there’s free parking, cheerful atmosphere, and if you are a fan of čevapčići, it’s worth the trip.


Korzo, Rijeka
Rijeka, Croatia: People are strolling through Korzo Street in Rijeka, Croatia

Explore Rijeka’s shopping districts for a mix of local crafts, fashion, and international brands:

  1. Korzo: Rijeka’s main promenade, Korzo, is lined with shops, boutiques, and cafes, offering a perfect blend of retail therapy and people-watching. Zara, McDonald’s, Korzo Shopping Centre, Robna Kuća Rijeka and more.
  2. Tower Center Rijeka on the east or ZTC (Zapadni Trgovački Centar – Western Shopping Mall) on the west. These modern shopping centers feature a range of stores, from fashion to electronics, making them a convenient spot for all your shopping needs.


Rijeka hosts a variety of cultural events, festivals, and celebrations:

  1. Rijeka Carnival: Recognized as one of the largest carnivals in Europe, Rijeka Carnival transforms the city with colorful parades, masked balls, and vibrant street performances. You can read more about Rijeka Carnival on our website here.
  2. Rijeka Summer Nights Festival: Held in historic venues across the city, this festival features a diverse program of music, theater, and dance performances during the summer months.
  3. Rijeka International Air Show: For aviation enthusiasts, the air show over Kvarner Bay is a spectacular event featuring aerobatic displays and thrilling performances.


Rijeka was a European Capital of Culture in 2020. In the photo, you can also see Palača Jadran (Palace Adria), built in 1897. In the background is one of the oldest skyscrapers in Croatia. Riječki neboder (Rijeka Skyscraper) built in 1939.

Rijeka is, or at least was, foremost an industrial city. With its intricate railway system, the largest port in Croatia, two very large shipyards, and an old decommissioned oil refinery, most of the coastline is used up for industrial purposes. Compared to other locations in Croatia, beaches are scarce, with questionable sea water quality. However, staying in Rijeka might be your best idea for a vacation. Here’s why!

We’ve already mentioned several reasons why you might stay in Rijeka, but there’s an added bonus if you are up for some additional traveling once you are in Rijeka.

  • Katamaran (Kvarner islands Krk, Rab, Pag, Cres, Mali Losinj)
  • Train (Gorski Kotar)
  • Bus (Istria)
  • Car (all the above and more)

During winter, Rijeka is just a 30-minute drive away from fresh powder snow. We’ve mentioned this in our article on Fužine, which is also accessible by train (Rijeka – Zagreb train connection). National Park Risnjak is a hotspot. Perfect for a one-day excursion.

During summer, island hopping from Rijeka is a must. Like most of Croatian islands, it gets crowded, but that’s nothing some smart planning can’t fix. Islands Krk, Cres, Rab, Pag, Mali, Losinj, Silba, and so on.

So you have Gorski Kotar with milder temperatures during summer in the East. You have plenty of islands in the south, including Krk with its airport. And then, on the west, you have the beautiful peninsula of Istria. Pula and Brioni National Park are about an hour and a half drive away.

Things you won’t find within 100 kilometers, but you’ll find them in Rijeka

  • If you want to do any serious shopping within 100 kilometers, Rijeka is your best bet. The shopping centers we’ve mentioned offer the “must have shoes” or “perfect present” you have to get.
  • While there, CineStar Cinemas are also an added value compared to other locations in Croatia. You can find latest movies in CineStar in Tower Center Rijeka (movies are subtitled with original audio, no voice over / synchronized translation).
  • Rijeka’s Airport is on Krk, and it’s the closest one within 100 kilometers.
  • McDonald’s and Burger King. Don’t get me wrong, I was a vegan and vegeterian for a few years, and when I travel I always at least try the domestic cuisine. However, I know McDonald’s and Burger King have a fan base, and since you can’t get them in most locations it’s worth mentioning that Rijeka has them.


Rijeka, Croatia’s coastal gateway, invites travelers to experience a dynamic blend of history, culture, and maritime beauty. Whether strolling along Korzo, savoring local delights in Nebuloza, or immersing yourself in the vibrant energy of the Rijeka Carnival, the city offers a diverse range of experiences. Its position as a major port and cultural hub makes Rijeka a captivating destination for those seeking both urban excitement and coastal tranquility on the Adriatic.

About the author

Goran Duškić - Founder of eHotel.hr and Pametni upiti d.o.o.. Goran Duskic has been an internet entrepreneur since 2006. He co-founded and sold several online ventures.