Ambur Covarrubias

Ambur Covarrubias

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Welcome to Rijeka, a city filled with rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. Located on the beautiful Adriatic coast of Croatia, Rijeka is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its fascinating blend of architectural styles, picturesque landscapes, and welcoming locals, this city offers a unique and memorable experience for every visitor.

In this article, we will uncover 36 fascinating facts about Rijeka that will give you a deeper understanding of its heritage, traditions, and significance. From its historical landmarks and cultural festivals to its thriving culinary scene and bustling nightlife, Rijeka has something to offer for everyone.

Whether you are planning a trip to this captivating city or simply interested in learning more about it, join us as we take a journey through the enchanting streets of Rijeka and discover what makes it such a special place.

Table of Contents

Rijeka is Croatia’s third-largest city.

Situated in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Rijeka boasts a population of around 128,000 residents, making it the country’s third most populous city.

It is often referred to as the “Gateway to Kvarner Bay”.

Rijeka holds a strategic position as the largest port in Croatia and serves as the entrance to the picturesque Kvarner Bay, encompassing a stunning coast dotted with charming islands.

The city has a rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Rijeka has been greatly influenced by various cultures throughout history, including those of the Romans, Venetians, Austro-Hungarians, and the Yugoslavs, resulting in a fascinating blend of architectural styles and traditions.

Rijeka was European Capital of Culture in 2020.

In recognition of its vibrant arts and cultural scene, Rijeka was designated as the European Capital of Culture for the year 2020, bringing a plethora of events, exhibitions, and artistic performances to the city.

The city’s symbol is the Trsat Castle.

Perched on a hill overlooking Rijeka, the Trsat Castle is an iconic landmark and a symbol of the city’s rich history. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

Rijeka is home to the oldest operating theater in Croatia.

The Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc, established in 1765, is the oldest theater in the country that is still in operation and is renowned for its diverse repertoire of theatrical performances.

The city hosts the famous Rijeka Carnival.

The Rijeka Carnival is one of the largest and most colorful carnivals in Europe, attracting thousands of visitors each year. It is a spectacular celebration filled with vibrant parades, elaborate costumes, and lively music.

Rijeka’s historic center is filled with elegant Austro-Hungarian architecture.

Strolling through the charming streets of Rijeka’s old town, you’ll be surrounded by stunning examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture, with beautifully ornate buildings lining the waterfront and the main squares.

The city is a hub for sports enthusiasts.

Rijeka is a haven for sports lovers, offering numerous facilities for various sports activities. It is particularly well-known for its passion for football, with the local team, HNK Rijeka, gaining a strong following.

Rijeka has an impressive underground tunnel system.

Beneath the city lies an intricate network of tunnels and underground passages that once served as bomb shelters during World War II. Today, these tunnels provide an intriguing glimpse into Rijeka’s wartime history.

The Rijeka International Airport connects the city to major European destinations.

Rijeka’s well-connected airport offers convenient access to travelers from across Europe, making it an increasingly popular tourist destination.

Rijeka is known for its lively music scene.

The city has a vibrant music culture, with numerous festivals, concerts, and events taking place throughout the year. It is especially renowned for its rock and alternative music scene.

The city is a melting pot of different cuisines.

Rijeka’s diverse cultural influences have contributed to a wide range of culinary delights. From traditional Croatian dishes to international cuisines, food enthusiasts can indulge in a gastronomic adventure.

Rijeka is a gateway to the nearby islands of Krk and Cres.

With its strategic location, Rijeka provides easy access to the beautiful islands of Krk and Cres, known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque landscapes.

The city is famous for its Fiume sardines.

Rijeka’s proximity to the sea has made it a hub for fishing, and the Fiume sardines (also known as Adriatic sardines) are a local delicacy that seafood lovers must try.

Rijeka hosts numerous international film festivals.

Film enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Rijeka hosts several acclaimed international film festivals, including the Croatian Film Festival and the Rijeka Film Festival.

The Astronomical Centre Rijeka offers a journey through the cosmos.

The Astronomical Centre Rijeka is a state-of-the-art planetarium and observatory that allows visitors to explore the wonders of the universe through captivating shows and interactive exhibits.

Rijeka is a city of stunning viewpoints.

From the hilltops of Trsat Castle to the neighboring mountain of Ugljan, Rijeka offers awe-inspiring viewpoints that showcase the beauty of the city and its surrounding natural landscapes.

The city has a thriving maritime industry.

Rijeka’s strategic location and well-established port have made it a significant center for maritime commerce and industry in the region.

Rijeka is home to a vibrant street art scene.

Wandering through Rijeka’s streets, you’ll come across colorful murals and graffiti art that add a unique and vibrant touch to the city’s urban landscape.

The city is a hub for contemporary art.

Rijeka is known for its thriving contemporary art scene, with numerous galleries and art spaces showcasing the works of both local and international artists.

The Rijeka Summer Nights Festival offers a cultural extravaganza.

This annual festival features a diverse range of performances, including theater, dance, music, and other artistic expressions, attracting both local and international talents.

Rijeka is a city of bridges.

Rijeka is crisscrossed by several bridges, connecting its various parts and providing picturesque viewpoints of the city’s scenic river, the Rje?ina.

The city boasts unique landmarks like the “Molo Longo”.

The Molo Longo is a prominent waterfront promenade that stretches out into the sea, offering stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding coastline.

Rijeka has a strong tradition of shipbuilding.

Shipbuilding has been a significant industry in Rijeka for centuries, contributing to its maritime heritage and economic development.

Rijeka has a vibrant nightlife.

When the sun sets, Rijeka comes alive with a bustling nightlife scene, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to cater to different tastes and preferences.

The city is a hotspot for sailing enthusiasts.

With its favorable position on the Adriatic coast, Rijeka attracts sailing enthusiasts from around the world who come to explore its azure waters and enjoy the thrill of sailing.

Rijeka is a city of literature.

Rijeka holds a special place in Croatian literature, with numerous acclaimed writers and poets hailing from the city or finding creative inspiration within its borders.

The city is a center for industrial heritage tourism.

Rijeka’s industrial past is celebrated through industrial heritage tourism, offering visitors a chance to explore former factory sites, such as the iconic Hartera complex.

Rijeka is a host city for UEFA Euro 2021.

Rijeka is one of the host cities for the UEFA Euro 2021 football tournament, showcasing its passion for the sport and welcoming football fans from all over Europe.

The Rijeka Summer Puppet Theater Festival delights young and old.

Every summer, Rijeka hosts a delightful puppet theater festival that captivates audiences with enchanting performances and brings joy to both children and adults.

Rijeka is a city of sport and wellness.

From hiking and biking trails to wellness centers and spas, Rijeka offers plenty of opportunities for sports and relaxation enthusiasts to indulge in their favorite activities.

The Rijeka Aquarium showcases marine biodiversity.

The Rijeka Aquarium, located in the picturesque setting of the historic fortress of Trsat, is home to a wide array of marine species, allowing visitors to explore the wonders of the underwater world.

The city has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

Rijeka is known for its inclusive and diverse community, providing a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community and hosting events such as the Rijeka Pride Parade.

The Rijeka Summer Nights Festival offers a cultural extravaganza.

This annual festival features a diverse range of performances, including theater, dance, music, and other artistic expressions, attracting both local and international talents.

Rijeka’s Opatija Riviera offers a luxurious resort escape.

Just a short distance from Rijeka, the Opatija Riviera awaits with its elegant seaside resorts, picturesque beaches, and lush greenery, offering a perfect retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

So there you have it – 36 fascinating facts about Rijeka that provide a glimpse into the beauty, cultural richness, and unique charm of this marvelous Croatian city. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or a foodie, Rijeka has something to offer for everyone. Plan a visit to Rijeka and immerse yourself in its captivating atmosphere – you won’t be disappointed!


In conclusion, Rijeka is a hidden gem that offers a rich history, stunning architecture, fascinating culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. From its charming old town to its vibrant cultural scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this Croatian city. Whether you’re interested in exploring museums, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in the local gastronomy, Rijeka has it all. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this vibrant and diverse city that captures the essence of Croatia’s Adriatic coast. Plan your trip to Rijeka now and prepare to be captivated by its unique charm.


1. What is the best time to visit Rijeka?

The best time to visit Rijeka is during the summer months of June, July, and August when the weather is warm and perfect for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions and enjoying the nearby beaches.

2. How do I get to Rijeka?

Rijeka is easily accessible by air, train, or bus. The city has an international airport, and there are regular train and bus connections from major cities in Croatia and neighboring countries.

3. What are some must-visit attractions in Rijeka?

Some must-visit attractions in Rijeka include the Trsat Castle, the City Tower, the Natural History Museum, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, and the beautiful beaches of Opatija.

4. Is English widely spoken in Rijeka?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Rijeka, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. It is easy to communicate with the locals even if you don’t speak Croatian.

5. What are some traditional Croatian dishes to try in Rijeka?

Some traditional Croatian dishes to try in Rijeka include ?evapi (grilled meat rolls), Istrian truffles, Octopus salad, and Palenta (cornmeal mush).

6. Are there any nearby day trips from Rijeka?

Yes, there are several nearby day trips from Rijeka that you can take, including a visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a trip to the picturesque town of Opatija, or exploring the stunning Kvarner islands like Krk and Cres.

7. Is Rijeka safe for tourists?

Yes, Rijeka is generally safe for tourists. Like any other city, it is advisable to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and at night.