Rijeka Travel Guide, Croatia
Rijeca is Croatia's biggest port, a large centre of commerce and maritime affairs located 142 km away from Zagreb on the northern coast of Kvarner Golf. The Mediterranean climate is mild with temperatures ranging from 5 degrees C in winter to 23 in summer. It lies in the Primorsko-Goransk County that has beautiful rocky formations. Its location at the intersection of many important roads makes it perfect for commerce and traffic. Every tourist who wants to visit the central and southern part of the country enters the city. It is also very close to the airport that lies on Krk Island.
You can come to Rijeca by boat and you'll get a beautiful view of the city. Its port has a long naval tradition and it has been for a long time an important European transit port. So there is no problem in getting here, by road, by plane, by train, by boat, you are sure to get here easily. If you want to get here from Zagreb you should take the Zagreb- Rijeca autocesta (highway) and get off at the southern end. Entering the city from the highway you will have a kind of bird's eye view of the city and you'll soon get an idea of what the city is like. You'll see a lot of plants and cranes that will scare any visitor away but the centre is nice even if the old 19th century buildings need a bit of shaping up, they are not really restored.
The history of the city goes back as far as the 13th century when it was recorded as a feudal holding under German rule. Between 14th and mid 19th century the city was under Austrian rule. Hungarians had their presence stamped on the city's walls as being part of the Austrian empire they wanted to mark their presence in the city. So you'll see some buildings bearing the architectural mark of Hungarian architects.
It is true that a lot of tourists pass by but not many consider this big industrial city a favorable stop although it can be a great base camp for visiting the area that is full of resorts. But once you go through it is worth to stop for at least a few hours.
Looking at the location of the city on the map you might get the idea that there must be some beaches, well you are wrong as there are no beaches on Rijeca's shores and this is not a resort. The resorts are to be found in the surrounding area that is one of the most developed tourist region in Croatia. Those who come to stay in Rijeca are mostly tourists that come for business purposes to attend some business events like the Automobile Fair, Spring and Christmas Fair or the ones that come for religious purposes and want to attend some ceremonies. And there are those who come for artistic purposes to attend some exhibitions or cultural events like the international exhibition of young artists or the Carnival.
The main thoroughfare is Korzo, a pedestrian street that sums up all the best shops and restaurants. During the week you will always find it full of people who come to shop or just meet but after Saturday 1 pm till Monday the sops are closed and the street remains pretty quiet.
Another must see spot in the city is the Stara Vrata (Roman Gate) a fragment of what once was the Roman Praetorium. The Gradski Toranj (City Tower) is located above the city gate. It has a clock and a nice dome at the top.
Even if Rijeca is not a highly touristy place, it is one of the biggest cities in the country at the intersection of many important roads with a major port and great events that present at attraction to many.