11 Reasons to Visit Rijeka, Croatia

Rijeka waterfront
Rijeka waterfront | © Bernhard Wintersperger/Flickr | Bernhard Wintersperger/Flickr
Peterjon Cresswell

Many use Rijeka as a jumping-off point, its regular ferries to Dalmatia allowing holidaymakers to roll in and roll out again. Yet there is plenty here to detain the curious visitor. Stately edifices reflect Rijeka’s Habsburg heritage, complemented by a thriving cultural scene, busy main street and Croatia’s most raucous carnival.

1. Capuchin Church


Capuchin Church | © stefano Merli/Flickr
© stefano Merli/Flickr | stefano Merli/Flickr
Arriving into Rijeka by bus, the striking Capuchin Church is pretty much the first thing you’ll see, towering over the station concourse with its twin staircases and striped, neo-Gothic façade. Constructed over 20 years beginning in 1904, it’s perfectly located for first-time visitors. Scale the steps and gain a first-class view of the city centre to the left and harbour area straight ahead. The small statue just below the roof is of Our Lady of Lourdes, the alternate name for this landmark.

Rijeka Carnival

If you’re going to visit Rijeka, the prime time would be for February’s Carnival. The biggest of its kind in Croatia, Rijeka Carnival has ballooned into a major international happening attracting 100,000 visitors. Many think of Rijeka Carnival as being one event, but several smaller parades precede the celebration, aka, Croatia’s Mardi Gras, most notably one parade for children. The main act, though, is always the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, when everyone turns out to watch or participate, and the Korzo becomes an all-day party zone. The most striking costumes belong to the Bellringers, Zvončari, whose terrifying masks point to the Carnival’s pagan roots.

Rijeka Carnival

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