Rijeka, located on the coast of the northern Adriatic Sea, is Croatia's third-largest city and biggest port. The city is a hub of local industry, though its lack of beaches means most visitors pass in and out on their way to nearby islands. If you stick around, however, you'll find Austro-Hungarian architecture, unique cathedrals and charm to spare.
Some of Rijeka's most popular attractions are also its oldest. Trsat Castle sits on 13th-century medieval ruins, though much of the current structure was built during the 1800s. Pay a visit to take in views of the Kvarner Gulf from its open-air café or attend a summer concert. The City Tower, formerly a gate to the Old Town, is another notable landmark, with its bright yellow facade and clock, as is the Stara Vrata or Roman arch.
Architecture enthusiasts should check out Rijeka's St Vitus Cathedral for its unique rotunda and separate bell tower, as well as Our Lady of Trsat Church – a pilgrimage site whose baroque chapel is filled with gold, jewels and other votive gifts. Alternatively, catch a show at the neoclassical Croatian National Theatre, which features an auditorium home to ceiling paintings by Austrian master Gustav Klimt.
Strolls through the older parts of Rijeka will help you adjust to the local lifestyle, especially along Korzo – a pedestrian-only street lined with shops and restaurants. While exploring, don't miss the main city market, where vendors sell fresh meats, cheeses and fish inside a trio of turn-of-the-century pavilions.