48 hours in Rijeka – A 2 day Itinerary

A lot of people are not sure what Rijeka in Croatia has to offer, so here’s my two-day itinerary of the best places to check out.

Rijeka in Croatia is a charming coastal city that seamlessly blends rich history with a lively modern vibe. This hidden gem on the Adriatic coast is the third largest city in Croatia and offers visitors an amazing experience with its beautiful architecture, stunning landscapes and vibrant culture.

RIJEKA, CROATIA - A panorama of Rijeka city and the bay, with Croatian National Theater in the center and the harbour in the distance at the sunset. a View from the upper town, in the summer

Whether you want to explore the city center, go for a hike, relax on the beach, visit iconic landmarks, enjoy cultural activities or savour mouthwatering food as you take in the sights, there’s something for everyone in Rijeka.

The best time to visit Rijeka is during spring (April to June) or autumn (September to October). The weather is mild and the city tends to be less crowded.

When looking for somewhere to stay in Rijeka, there are diverse accommodation options to suit all preferences. Consider staying in the city center/old town for easy access to all of Rijeka’s attractions, or alternatively, stay in Trsat if you appreciate peaceful surroundings and stunning views.

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Making last-minute plans for your Rijeka itinerary. We’ve got you covered. Our recommended hotels and tours for a getaway are listed below.

Recommended hotels:

Recommended tours:

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Overview Of 2 Days In Rijeka Itinerary

Here’s a brief overview of what to do for two days in Rijeka:

Day 1 in Rijeka

  • Coffee at Cafe Bar Primo
  • Sightsee the City Clock Tower
  • Explore the Peek & Poke Computer Museum
  • Enjoy lunch at The Rijeka Central Market and Fish Market
  • Go for a hike in Risnjak National Park
  • Wine and dine at Bistro Mornar
  • Enjoy an evening at the Croatian National Theatre

Day 2i n Rijeka

  • Breakfast at Trsat Castle
  • Discover The Natural History Museum
  • Take a lunch break at Aquila Food & Wine
  • Explore Učka Nature Park
  • Dine at Bodega Grill & Beer
Trsat and Rijeka aerial panoramic view, historic old town in Kvarner bay of Croatia

Day 1 in Rijeka

Coffee at Cafe Bar Primo

Grab your morning brew at Cafe Bar Primo which offers a delightful experience for coffee enthusiasts with its warm and stylish interior, friendly staff and expertly brewed coffee.

Sightsee the City Clock Tower

Around the corner from Cafe Bar Primo you’ll find Gradska Ura, the City Clock Tower. This historic landmark holds cultural significance and serves as a timekeeper for the city.

With its intricate details and commanding presence, it stands as a symbol of Rijeka’s rich heritage. The tower’s chimes and rhythmic ticking add charm to daily life, while its central location makes it a popular meeting point. Open 24 hours a day.

Tour Pick
Rijeka, Croatia - City Clock Tower and Korzo, the main promenade in Rijeka, Croatia. Shopping street in town center with shops, cafes and walking tourists on a sunny day.

Walking Cultural Tour

  • 2.5 – 4 hours 
  • Private tour
  • Local guide
City of Rijeka clock tower and central square panorama Kvarner bay Croatia

Explore The Peek & Poke Computer Museum

The Peek & Poke Computer Museum is a fascinating destination for technology enthusiasts and history buffs, and showcases a remarkable collection of vintage computers, explaining the evolution of computing technology over the years.

Be transported back in time to the early days of computing as you explore the diverse range of exhibits, featuring iconic computer models, gaming consoles, peripherals and other technological artefacts from different eras.

Enjoy lunch at The Rijeka Central Market and Fish Market

Grab yourself some lunch at The Rijeka Central Market before you discover the unique shopping opportunities it has to offer. Located in the heart of the city, this is a vibrant and bustling hub where you can experience a lively atmosphere and indulge in a wide array of fresh produce, local delicacies and unique goods.

The market is also a treasure trove of local crafts, artisanal products and unique souvenirs. From handmade jewellery and clothing to traditional ceramics and artwork, discover items that reflect the local culture and craftsmanship of the region. The Fish Market is located next to the Rijeka Central Market. Located near the waterfront, the market showcases a colourful array of fish and shellfish.

RIJEKA, CROATIA -  Market seller, old senior merchant woman  selling flowers in front of ribarnica rijeka, the covered indoor fish market, a monument of the city, in Rijecka trznica.

Go for a hike in Risnjak National Park

About an hour’s drive from Rijeka is Risnjak National Park. It takes its name from Mount Risnjak, the park’s highest peak, which stands at an impressive elevation of 1,528 meters. The park’s rugged terrain is characterised by dense forests, rushing rivers and stunning mountain views.

For avid hikers and nature enthusiasts, Risnjak National Park offers a network of well-marked trails catering to different skill levels – from a leisurely stroll to a challenging ascent to the mountaintops. The park’s peaks provide panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see, rewarding hikers with unforgettable memories.

During winter, Risnjak National Park becomes a beautiful snowy wonderland, attracting skiers and winter sports lovers. Cross country skiers and winter enthusiasts flock to the park to enjoy its scenic trails and slopes, embracing the thrilling adventures the snowy season brings.

Panorama from Risnjak National Park in the Republic of Croatia

Wine and Dine at Bistro Mornar

Before the theatre, enjoy an evening meal at Bistro Mornar – a charming and cosy restaurant offering a delightful dining experience with its delicious cuisine and welcoming ambience.

From freshly prepared seafood specialities to hearty meat dishes and vegetarian options, the menu provides a fusion of traditional Croatian flavours with a modern twist.

RIJEKA, CROATIA -Croatian supporters in crowd at the terrace of a bar watching a football match of the Euro 2020 2021 with the Croatian Football team playing.

Enjoy an evening at The Croatian National Theatre

To end the first day of your 48 hours in Rijeka, enjoy an evening at the Croatian National Theatre. Established in 1860, the theatre has played a significant role in the city’s artistic and theatrical scene.  

This theatre showcases a diverse range of performances, including opera, ballet, drama and musical productions. With its grand architecture and rich history, attending a performance at the Croatian National Theatre is a cultural experience not to be missed. Opera, ballet, or theatrical masterpieces – the theatre’s repertoire offers something for everyone.

Croatian national theater in Rijeka square aerial view, fountain and architecture, Kvarner bay in Croatia

Day 2 in Rijeka

Breakfast at Trsat Castle

Begin day two of your weekend in Rijeka by heading up to Trsat Castle. Perched atop a hill overlooking Rijeka, Trsat Castle is a 13th-century medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

With its rich history and diverse architectural styles, the castle is a great destination for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers. Open from 9am, entry is free.

Inside Trsat Castle you’ll find Vintage Cafe, a fantastic spot to enjoy breakfast. This cafe offers a unique dining experience in a charming and historic setting, with breathtaking views of the city.

With its vintage-inspired decor, delicious food and beverages, this is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a moment of peace, and take in the views before beginning a busy day.

Rijeka, Croatia - The courtyard of Trsat castle in Rijeka. Visitors enjoying the view over the city and having food at the restaurant.

Discover The Natural History Museum

At The Natural History Museum, take a fun journey through the geological, zoological and botanical realms of the Croatian region. From dinosaur fossils to insights into local wildlife and the importance of conservation, the museum provides an educational and immersive experience for all ages. Great if you’re on a budget as entry fee is only about £2.

Take a lunch break at Aquila Food & Wine

Aquila Food & Wine in Rijeka is a great spot to have lunch. With a cosy and friendly atmosphere, exceptional service and carefully crafted menu, the restaurant is a haven for food and wine enthusiasts. Locally sourced ingredients are used to create traditional and contemporary flavours that celebrate the region.

Rijeka, Croatia - City Clock Tower and Korzo, the main promenade in Rijeka, Croatia. Shopping street in town center with shops, cafes and walking tourists on a sunny day.

Explore Učka Nature Park

Spend the afternoon at Učka Nature Park, a 45-minute drive from Rijeka. Situated in the beautiful Istria region,  it is a pristine natural oasis that showcases the stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity of Croatia. This protected park covers an expansive area, encompassing the majestic Učka mountain range, forests, streams and diverse flora and fauna. At the heart of the Učka Nature Park is Mount Učka, the highest peak in the region, reaching an elevation of 1,396 meters.

The mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Adriatic Sea, picturesque Istrian towns and the lush greenery of the park itself. Hiking enthusiasts will find a network of well-marked trails that lead to the summit, providing a rewarding and invigorating outdoor experience.

The park is also ideal for mountain biking, rock climbing and paragliding, providing adrenaline pumping adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. There are several picnic areas and rest spots, allowing you to relax and soak in the surroundings.

Hiking trails, forest paths and bicycle roads in the Ucka Nature Park, Croatia

Dine at Bodega Grill & Beer

Enjoy your final evening of your 48 hours in Rijeka by dining at Bodega Grill. Offering delicious grilled specialities, a wide selection of beers, and a lively atmosphere, this is the perfect spot for food and beer enthusiasts.

The menu features steaks, burgers, ribs and seafood, all prepared using top quality ingredients. The restaurant’s extensive beer selection includes both local and international options, catering to various tastes.

Rijeka itinerary tour ideas:

Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle from Rijeka

Just a short drive from Rijeka lies a remarkable destination that will take you on a journey into the depths of natural wonders and ancient fortresses. Combine your visit to Rijeka with a day trip to explore the world-famous Postojna Cave and the intriguing Predjama Castle, both located in Slovenia.

Prepare to be amazed as you step into the mystical underworld of the Postojna Cave. With its intricate web of tunnels and breathtaking formations, this subterranean wonderland will leave you in awe.

A short distance away you’ll find the captivating Predjama Castle, a unique architectural marvel built within the mouth of a cave. As the only preserved cave castle in Europe, this medieval fortress stands as a testament to centuries of history and intrigue.

PREDJAMA, SLOVENIA - Predjama Castle in Predjama, Slovenia. It is a landmark Renassiance castle in Slovenia.

Golden Island of Krk from Rijeka

Discover the Golden Island, that is Krk Island, nestled in the scenic Kvarner Bay just off the coast of Rijeka. Embark on a memorable tour as you travel across to this island, where picturesque villages and stunning beaches await you.

Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history as you admire iconic landmarks like the Krk Cathedral and Frankopan Castle.

Take leisurely walks along the scenic seafront promenades, soaking up the breathtaking views and capturing memorable photos along the way. Indulge your taste buds with a delicious lunch (at your own expense) featuring the flavours of Krk cuisine and wine.

Aerial view with Vrbnik village, Krk island, Croatia

Lipica Stud Farm & Skocjan Caves from Rijeka

For an extraordinary day trip from Rijeka, visit two of Slovenia’s most known attractions. Cross the border and delve into history and natural wonders as you embark on a guided tour of the iconic Lipica Stud Farm and the breathtaking Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Begin with a guided walking tour of the historic Lipica Stud Farm, the oldest of its kind in the world and the birthplace of the prestigious Lipizzaner white horses. Learn about the farm’s rich equestrian heritage, witness the graceful horses up close, and marvel at their exceptional beauty.

Next, prepare to be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring Škocjan Caves, a natural wonderland. Embark on a guided tour through the cave system, as you navigate the underground river and marvel at the dramatic stalactites that adorn the chambers. Experience the power and beauty of nature as you walk across suspended bridges of this UNESCO-listed site.

Beautiful Skocjan Caves Natural Heritage Site in Slovenia

Final Thoughts: 2 day intinerary for Rijeka Croatia

Rijeka in Croatia offers an incredible blend of history, culture and natural beauty. From its charming coastal cityscape to its iconic landmarks, Rijeka boasts a rich heritage that is waiting to be explored.

The city’s vibrant markets offer a sensory experience that showcases the region’s culinary traditions and local flavours, while nature lovers can venture to various national parks to immerse themselves in breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures.

With its welcoming atmosphere, fascinating landmarks and a blend of tradition and modernity, Rijeka invites you to uncover its hidden treasures and create lifelong memories.

Recommended tours in Rijeka

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Author

  • Alice

    Meet Alice, a seasoned traveler and marketing consultant from Derbyshire. Her adventures stretch from Singapore to Bulgaria, uncovering unique destinations. Despite her busy marketing career, she indulges in luxurious trips with her partner, offering insightful and engaging travel perspectives through her writing | | Specializing in luxury travel, couples' retreats, crafting detailed itineraries, and offering expert advice on select tour experiences and beach destinations, Alice brings a wealth of expertise to the table.

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