What looks, sounds and tastes like Monaco but is a city in Croatia? Why Rijeka of course! Known for its quays, port and Monaco-like landscape, this oceanside town is located in Western Croatia, South-West of the capital, Zagreb.
The contrast between land, greenery and startling blue waters is a symphony for the eyes. But Rijeka is so much more than a pretty face, so let’s get into this guide showcasing all the city’s options and where to stay in Rijeka based on your preferences.
Below are 7 of the best neighbourhoods in Rijeka to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best areas to stay in Rijeka for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible to help you find accommodation in Rijeka Croatia.
We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Rijeka so you can use this as a go to guide.
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Rijeka City Centre – where to stay in Rijeka for tourists
Rijeka City Centre is situated on the Northern Adriatic coast of Croatia. It serves as the administrative, cultural, and economic hub of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. Rijeka is the third-largest city in Croatia and has a rich history dating back to ancient times.
The city has been influenced by various cultures and powers throughout the centuries, including the Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, Habsburgs, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Rijeka has a long maritime tradition, and the city center also includes the Port of Rijeka, which is one of the largest ports in the Adriatic Sea.
The port plays a significant role in the city’s economy and has contributed to Rijeka’s development as an important industrial and commercial center.
Why Stay in Rijeka City Centre?
Rijeka City Centre is home to many of the city’s major attractions, historical sites, and cultural landmarks. Making the city centre the best area to stay in Rijeka for tourists.
By staying in the city center, you’ll have easy access to popular sites such as the Rijeka City Tower, Rijeka Cathedral, and Korzo promenade. You can explore these attractions on foot, saving time and transportation costs.
Staying in the city center allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the lively atmosphere of Rijeka. You can participate in cultural events, exhibitions, and performances that take place in the city center throughout the year.
As the European Capital of Culture 2020, Rijeka has a vibrant arts scene, and staying in the city center puts you in close proximity to these cultural offerings.
Things to do in Rijeka City Centre
- Korzo is the main pedestrian promenade in Rijeka City Centre. Take a leisurely stroll along this lively street lined with shops, cafes, and historic buildings. Enjoy the atmosphere, people-watching, and stop by local stores to shop for souvenirs or try some delicious Croatian cuisine.
- Rijeka City Tower, is a must-visit attraction. Located on a hilltop overlooking the city, this medieval fortress offers breathtaking views of Rijeka and the Adriatic Sea. Explore the castle’s rich history, admire its architecture, and visit the museum inside to learn more about the city’s past.
- Make sure to visit the Rijeka Cathedral, dedicated to St. Vitus. This impressive religious site features a beautiful blend of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Step inside to appreciate its ornate interior, including stunning frescoes and intricate details. Don’t miss climbing the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.
- Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the Rijeka City Market (Placa). Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market offers a wide array of fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional crafts. It’s a great place to experience the vibrant atmosphere, interact with locals, and sample authentic Croatian flavors.
- Rijeka City Centre is known for its cultural scene. Check the local events calendar to see if there are any exhibitions, performances, or festivals taking place during your visit. The city hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, including music concerts, art exhibitions, theater performances, and more. Attending one of these events will give you a deeper insight into Rijeka’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Best places to stay in Rijeka City Centre
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Rijeka City Centre
Budget accommodation in Rijeka City Centre
Mid range accommodation in Rijeka City Centre
Family Friendly accommodation in Rijeka City Centre
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Rijeka City Centre
Sušak – where to stay in Rijeka on a budget
Sušak is a district located on the Eastern bank of the Rječina River, across from the city center of Rijeka in Croatia. It is known for its distinctive urban character, with narrow streets, historical buildings, and a local-driven atmosphere.
Sušak is predominantly a residential area, with a mix of apartments, houses, and commercial establishments. In the Middle Ages, it was a fortified town and an important port and trade center under various ruling powers, including the Venetians and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Sušak experienced significant development during the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily due to its strategic location as a port and its proximity to the city of Rijeka.
Rijeka has something that the likes of Monaco and other cities will never have – A historical timeline that leaves you reeling after each place you visit.
Why Stay in Sušak?
Sušak is located just across the Rječina River from Rijeka’s city center. It is well-connected by public transportation, including buses, trams, and taxis, making it convenient to reach the city center without incurring high transportation costs.
You can explore Rijeka’s main attractions, such as Korzo promenade, Rijeka Cathedral, and the City Tower, while enjoying the affordability of staying in Sušak.
Sušak has its own local market where you can find fresh produce, local products, and affordable food items. Shopping at local markets can be a cost-effective way to prepare meals or pack a picnic for your day’s activities.
Additionally, the district offers a variety of budget-friendly restaurants, cafes, and bakeries where you can enjoy affordable meals and local cuisine without burning through cash.
Things to do in Sušak
- Visit the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral which is a museum that offers an opportunity to delve into the maritime history and cultural heritage of the region. The museum displays various exhibits and artifacts, providing insights into Rijeka’s maritime traditions, shipbuilding industry, and historical events. Admission fees are usually budget-friendly, and some days may offer discounted or free entry. Bonus!
- The Ivan Zajc Cultural Center, located in Sušak, is a hub for arts and culture in Rijeka. It hosts various performances, including concerts, theater plays, and dance shows. Keep an eye out for discounted or free events, especially during festivals or special occasions. Attending a cultural performance can be an affordable way to immerse yourself in the local arts scene and enjoy an evening of entertainment.
- Park Kont is a lovely green space located in Sušak, offering a tranquil retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a walk or find a cozy spot to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The park features pathways, benches, and beautiful foliage, making it an ideal place for a budget-friendly picnic or a moment of relaxation.
Best places to stay in Sušak
Budget accommodation in Sušak
Mid range accommodation in Sušak
Family Friendly accommodation in Sušak
- Sea Flower apartment Rijeka
- Apartment Arnold
- Classy and sunny apartment in Rijeka
- Dreamcatcher close to everything- pet friendly beach nearby
Trsat Hill – where to stay in Rijeka for relaxation
Trsat Hill is situated on the right bank of the Rječina River, North-East of Rijeka’s city center. It is easily recognizable due to its prominent position and the iconic Trsat Castle perched on its peak.
The area surrounding Trsat Hill boasts a mix of residential buildings, parks, and natural landscapes. The hill was first settled by the Liburnians, an ancient Illyrian tribe, and later became an important Roman stronghold known as Tarsatica.
In the medieval period, Trsat Hill gained prominence with the construction of Trsat Castle. The castle served as a strategic defensive structure, protecting the region and controlling the trade routes.
Over the centuries, Trsat Castle changed hands among various ruling powers, including the Frankopans, the Habsburgs, and the Republic of Venice.
Why Stay in Trsat Hill?
Trsat Hill is known for its peaceful and calm ambiance. Away from the city center, the area provides a tranquil setting surrounded by natural beauty and breathtaking views. It offers a respite from the noise and crowds, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate.
The hill is adorned with green spaces and parks, providing ample opportunities to connect with nature. Trsat Park, located near Trsat Castle, offers beautiful walking paths, benches, and lush vegetation, creating a serene environment for relaxation.
You can take walks, have a picnic, or simply find a quiet spot to enjoy the fresh air. You’re bound to find some of the most quiet and rejuvenating accommodation in Trsat Hill.
Things to do in Trsat Hill
- Explore the historic Trsat Castle, perched atop Trsat Hill. Take a walk through the castle’s grounds, admire its medieval architecture, and enjoy panoramic views of Rijeka and the Adriatic Sea. The castle often hosts exhibitions and cultural events, adding to the experience.
- Pay a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat, a significant religious site. Explore the Church of Our Lady of Trsat, which houses the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary. Take in the peaceful ambiance, attend a prayer service, or light a candle for personal reflection.
- Embark on a spiritual journey by walking the Path of the Cross. This pathway starts near the Church of Our Lady of Trsat and leads uphill, stopping at various stations depicting scenes from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The walk offers a peaceful and contemplative experience.
- Go on a hiking adventure from Trsat Hill to the Vojak Peak, the highest point of the Učka mountain range. Učka is located near Rijeka and offers stunning natural landscapes and breathtaking views. Once you reach the Vojak Peak, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, islands, and the surrounding landscapes. Walk or trail run, either way, it’s a wonderful experience.
Best places to stay in Trsat Hill
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Trsat Hill
Budget accommodation in Trsat Hill
Mid range accommodation in Trsat Hill
Family Friendly accommodation in Trsat Hill
- Modern apartment in the old part of town
- Trsat Central Apartments
- Apartment Vida – amazing place with garden and terrace
Pećine – where to stay in Rijeka like a local
Pećine is situated on a coastal slope, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It is known for its beauty and sea views. The neighborhood is predominantly residential, with a mix of houses and apartment buildings.
Over the centuries, Rijeka has experienced various influences and rulers, including the Venetian Republic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Yugoslavia.
In the past, Pećine was primarily a summer resort area for the wealthy inhabitants of Rijeka and can be regarded as one of the best areas to stay in Rijeka to gain a local experience.
The favorable climate and proximity to the coast attracted those seeking a retreat from the city’s heat and urban environment.
Over time, the neighborhood grew and evolved into a residential area catering to a broader range of residents, including families and locals.
Why Stay in Pećine?
Pećine is a residential area known for its lively local atmosphere. You’ll find a mix of residential buildings, local shops, cafes, and restaurants that cater to the local community. The neighborhood provides an opportunity to experience an authentic, local vibe.
The neighborhood features a scenic coastal promenade, perfect for leisurely walks or cycling. You can enjoy the fresh sea breeze, take in the views, and observe locals going about their daily routines.
Pećine is home to several small, less crowded beaches where locals often gather. These beaches provide a more intimate and relaxed coastal experience compared to the larger and more touristy beaches in the city center.
In Pećine, you’ll find traditional local eateries and family-run restaurants where you can savor authentic Croatian cuisine.
These establishments often serve homemade dishes, fresh seafood, and regional specialties, providing a true taste of local flavors. Is anyone else also quickly falling head over heels for Pećine?
Things to do in Pećine
- Visit the Vizualni Trg lookout, which offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding landscapes. From this viewpoint, you can admire the beauty of the coastline and capture stunning photos of Rijeka and the Kvarner Bay. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy the sunset or sunrise and appreciate the natural beauty of the area. On a clear day, you can even see the Italian coast.
- Located near Pećine, the Rijeka Astronomical Centre is a unique landmark that offers educational and entertaining experiences related to astronomy. It features a modern planetarium, an observatory, and interactive exhibitions.
Best places to stay in Pećine
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Pećine
Budget accommodation in Pećine
Mid range accommodation in Pećine
Family Friendly accommodation in Pećine
Kantrida – where to stay in Rijeka with family
Kantrida is situated on a peninsula that extends into the Adriatic Sea. The neighborhood is characterized by its picturesque coastline, rocky cliffs, and beautiful views of the sea. It offers a mix of residential areas, recreational spaces, and natural landscapes.
Historically, Kantrida was a small fishing village that developed into a tourist destination over time.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the area started to attract visitors seeking the therapeutic benefits of its mild Mediterranean climate and seaside location.
During the 20th century, Kantrida underwent urban development, transforming it into a residential neighborhood with recreational facilities.
The construction of the Kantrida Stadium in the 1920s further contributed to its popularity as a sports and entertainment hub.
Why Stay in Kantrida?
Kantrida is known for its peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere. The area is primarily residential, with quiet streets and a sense of community.
It offers a safe and welcoming environment for families with children. It’s similar to the backstreets of Monaco.
Kantrida provides convenient access to various amenities that families may need. There are schools, including international schools, in the vicinity.
Additionally, you’ll find grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and recreational areas such as parks and playgrounds.
Things to do in Kantrida
- Spend a day relaxing at Kantrida Beach, a pebble beach known for its beautiful Mediterranean waters. Sunbathe on the shore, take a refreshing swim in the Adriatic Sea, or simply enjoy the coastal views. The beach offers facilities like beach bars and restaurants, making it a great spot for a leisurely day by the sea, making it one of the best areas to stay in Rijeka.
- Visit the Kantrida Sports Complex, which is home to the iconic Kantrida Stadium. Explore the stadium and learn about its history as you take a walk around the facilities. Additionally, you can enjoy a range of sporting activities such as tennis, swimming, jogging, and football within the complex.
- Adjacent to the beach, you’ll find the Kantrida Pool Complex. It offers swimming pools, water slides, and children’s play areas. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing swim or fun-filled activities for the whole family, the pool complex is a fantastic option. Find out who can go down the water slides the fastest.
- Kantrida’s coastal promenade offers a scenic walking path with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. The promenade is perfect for jogging or cycling and taking a chance to feel how blessed you are to be traveling to this historic town.
Best places to stay in Kantrida
Budget accommodation in Kantrida
Mid range accommodation in Kantrida
Family Friendly accommodation in Kantrida
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kantrida
Costabella Beach – where to stay in Rijeka near the beach
Costabella Beach, also known as Kostabeli, emerged as a beach destination in the mid-20th century when the tourism industry in Rijeka began to flourish.
During this time, Rijeka became a popular vacation spot for locals and visitors from neighboring countries seeking relaxation and enjoyment along the Adriatic coast.
With its golden, sandy shores and sapphire waters that are embraced by lush greenery and backed by rolling hills, it’s made its way into the list of ‘best beaches around the world’.
Why Stay near Costabella beach?
By staying near Costabella Beach, you’ll have easy access to the beach just a short walk away. You can enjoy the convenience of being able to spend your days soaking up the sun, swimming in the clear waters, and relaxing on the pebbled shores without the need for long commutes or transportation.
Costabella Beach and its surrounding area offers a range of recreational activities. Apart from swimming and sunbathing, you can engage in watersports such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
The beachfront promenade is perfect for leisurely walks, jogging, or cycling. Staying nearby allows you to conveniently partake in these activities and make the most of your beach-side vacay. Costabella Beach offers a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal place to unwind and recharge.
Things to do near Costabella beach
- Just a short distance from Costabella Beach is the charming town of Opatija. Explore the elegant promenade, known as Lungomare, which stretches along the coast and offers glorious views of the Adriatic Sea. Visit the beautiful parks and gardens, such as the Angiolina Park and the Park of St. Jakob, or explore the town’s historical and architectural landmarks, including Villa Angiolina and the Croatian Museum of Tourism.
- Costabella beach and its surrounding areas are known for their delicious traditional cuisine. Take the opportunity to try local dishes and seafood specialties in the nearby restaurants and taverns. Taste regional delicacies such as scampi, fresh fish, or homemade pasta. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or rakija, a traditional Croatian spirit.
- The Adriatic Sea offers excellent diving opportunities, and there are diving centers located near Rijeka where you can embark on diving adventures. Discover the underwater world, explore submerged caves and shipwrecks, and witness the diverse marine life of the Adriatic. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there are options available for all skill levels.
- Experience the magic of the Adriatic Sea by going on a sunset kayaking tour. Join a guided kayak excursion that takes you along the coastline, allowing you to witness the stunning colors of the sunset as it melts like honey across the coastline. Paddle along the tranquil waters, and create unforgettable memories as you navigate the coastline during the golden hour. It doesn’t get much more perfect than this!
Best places to stay in Costabella Beach
Budget accommodation in Costabella Beach
Mid range accommodation in Costabella Beach
Family Friendly accommodation in Costabella Beach
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Costabella Beach
Drenova – where to stay in Rijeka for nature lovers
Drenova is located in the Eastern part of Rijeka, northeast of the city center. It is surrounded by natural landscapes, including forests and hills, creating a peaceful and scenic environment.
The neighborhood consists of residential buildings, both apartment complexes and single-family homes, along with local shops, schools, and community facilities.
The area was initially settled by the Illyrians, an ancient Balkan tribe. Over time, it became part of various kingdoms and empires, including the Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Why Stay in Drenova?
Drenova is nestled near the Drenova Hill and surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. It offers easy access to hiking trails, walking paths, and green spaces.
Nature lovers can explore the hill’s trails, immerse themselves in the lush forests, and enjoy the serenity of the natural environment.
Drenova’s location on the slopes of the Drenova Hill provides breathtaking panoramic views of Rijeka and the Kvarner Bay.
From certain vantage points, you can witness stunning sunsets, observe the cityscape, and appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
Staying in Drenova allows you to engage in various outdoor activities. You can go hiking or take leisurely walks on the hill, discovering hidden paths and enjoying the fresh air.
The neighborhood’s proximity to nature provides opportunities for birdwatching, photography, and relaxation in tranquil settings. You’ll also find some of the most scenic hotels in Rijeka, Croatia here.
Things to do in Drenova
- Embrace the neighborhood’s proximity to the Drenova Hill and go for a hike or a leisurely walk. Discover the various trails that wind through the hill, offering scenic views and opportunities to connect with nature. The hill is adorned with lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers to explore and enjoy outdoor activities.
- Drenova Park, situated within the neighborhood, provides a serene and picturesque setting for a picnic. Pack a basket with local snacks, a chilled Sauv, and find a cozy spot in the park to enjoy a relaxing outdoor meal. The park offers green spaces, benches, and playgrounds, making it a family-friendly destination.
Best places to stay in Drenov
Budget accommodation in Drenova
Mid range accommodation in Drenova
Family Friendly accommodation in Drenova
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Rijeka
The neighborhood of Zamet, located on the outskirts of Rijeka, has been known to have a higher crime rate compared to other areas in the city.
While it’s generally safe during the day, it’s advisable to exercise caution, particularly during the evening and night hours. Avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas and keep an eye on your belongings.
Delnice is a small town located in the Gorski Kotar region of Croatia, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. While it has its own charm, it is advisable to exercise caution in certain areas.
The only Monaco-related thing Rijeka is missing is the exclusive Formula One Grand Prix and Monte Casino, so it’s a true winner in the ‘alternative Adriatic destinations ’ department. Let’s not forget that the city is also a budget version of the opulence found in Monaco.
So if you’re thinking of staying in a Monaco-tainted area, bolstered with its own draw cards, Romanesque history and port life, then Rijeka is where you’ll be heading for this year’s European summer.
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Rijeka
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Rijeka City Centre|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort And Spa|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Apartments tRIo|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||In Love With Rijeka|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||eco Studio|
|✨ Best Hostel||Botel Marina|
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