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    Car hire in Rijeka – Zagreb by the sea

    Home to scenic beaches, historical curiosities and stunning architecture from the heyday of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Rijeka might not have all of Zagreb's cultural cachet, but it more than makes up for it in sheer charm. Whether you're looking to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday in summer, head for the slopes in winter or simply take in the sights, this beautiful seaside town offers plenty to see and do all year round.

    Families and solo travellers alike can enjoy a relaxing stroll along the bustling Korzo or visit the city's many attractions, from the picturesque Trsat Castle to the fascinating Rijeka Tunnel, to the spell-binding Peek & Poke Museum, where kids and grownups will find themselves amused and entertained for hours on end.

    Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the perfect beach in which to enjoy the joys of the Croatian summer, and there's no short-supply of nature trails and hiking spots for nature enthusiasts.

    Hop on your car hire and explore the area surrounding the Kvarner Gulf, home to charming towns and seaside villages, to scenic islands and dramatic ocean views. And if you're travelling winter, you have only to head for Platak to enjoy some world-class skiing.

    And why stop there? With a car hire at your disposal, you're free to head south and discover as much of Croatia as you like, from a day trip to Zadar to a road trip along the Adriatic Highway all the way down to Dubrovnik, at the other end of the country.

    Auto Europe has been providing car hire services to travellers for over half a century. Thanks to our extensive experience and strong partnership with both international car hire companies and smaller local suppliers, we are able to offer our clients a vast range of vehicles and services, always at the most competitive prices. Whatever your needs in terms of a car for your trip, wherever you're going, we'll get you there! Read out car hire reviews in Rijeka section to see how we matched up to customers expectations.

    How is the traffic in Rijeka

    Driving your car rental in Rijeka does not pose any particular challenges. As is the case in other popular summer destinations, you should expect an increase in traffic in the summer months. It's also important to be aware that traffic in the Korzo area, in the city centre, is not allowed.

    If you're travelling off-season, know that dipped headlights should be used from the beginning of November until the end of March. Likewise, winter tyres are mandatory from mid-November to mid-April on all winter roads. That means that if you're planning just to drive around Rijeka and up and down the coast, you may not need winter tyres, but if you're planning to head to Platak for some skiing action, winter tyres will be necessary.

    Croatia boasts a modern and extensive motorway system that connects its main cities. If you're interested in driving to Zagreb, for instance, the A6 motorway will take you there in just a little over two hours. It's important to note, however, that Croatian motorways are toll roads. Tolls can be paid in cash or by credit card. Both Kunas and Euros are accepted.

    Still on the subject of tolls, while there are no tolls on the bridge that connects Krk (where Rijeka Airport is located) to the mainland when travelling to the mainland, there are tolls in the opposite direction (when travelling from the mainland to the island).

    For more information about driving in Croatia, take a look at our handy driving information guide.

    Where can I park my car in Rijeka

    When looking for parking for your car hire in Rijeka, you should be aware that the city is divided into four zones: 0, 0.A, 1 and 2, with 0 being the area closest to the city centre and 2 being the one farthest out. Generally speaking, the cost of parking is higher in the centre and cheaper on the two outer areas.

    Street parking can be challenging to find in summertime, during peak season, but drivers can also make use of several parking lots and garages available throughout the city. It's important to know, however, that many of the outdoor car parks impose a time limit of 2 to 4 hours. If you're looking to park for longer, you're better off looking for a garage, as these do not tend to have time limits.

    Rijeka airport

    Located on the island of Krk, Rijeka International Airport sees most of its inbound traffic during the summer months, when tourists flock to Croatia to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful scenery of the Adriatic coast. The island is connected to the Croatian mainland by a bridge, and the trip from the airport to Rijeka takes a little over 20 minutes by car, depending on traffic.

    And if you'd like to travel a little farther, Rijeka Airport is only 60 minutes away from Pula and Trieste by car, 90 minutes away from Zagreb and Ljubljana, 120 minutes away from Venice and Zadar and 180 away minutes from Graz and Split.

    Rijeka International Airport (RJK)
    Address: Hamec1, 51513, Omišalj, Croatia
    Official website:
    Phone number: +385 51 842 040

    What to do in Rijeka

    There's never a dull moment when exploring the gorgeous town of Rijeka. A bustling port city with a rich history and stunning landscapes, it has much to offer everyone, from solo travellers to groups, to parents and their children enjoying a nice family holiday. Here are some of our suggestions for things to do/see.

    • Beaches: Travellers looking for a dip in the sea or to enjoy a nice day lazing under the sun are in for a treat. Rijeka offers a wealth of possibilities when it comes to holidays by the sea. The beaches of Brajdica, Glavanovo, Sablićevo and Grčevo, located to the east, are all within walking distance of the city and make for great options if you want to go for a quick swim. If you'd prefer something a bit more robust in terms of facilities, you can hop on your rental and drive west. There you will find the beaches of Bivio, Igralište, Ploče, Kostanj Bay, Preluk and Skalete. Igralište, the ones closest to the city, boasts a beach volleyball court, as does Ploče, where visitors will also find a complex of swimming pools. For anyone looking to enjoy some windsurfing, they don't need to look any farther than Preluk, whose wind conditions make it perfect for it.

    • Korzo: Located at the heart of Rijeka, the Korzo (from the Italian "corso", meaning "path"), is a pedestrian area that runs parallel to the waterfront. This bustling promenade is home to countless little shops and popular cafés, where both visitors and locals can be found at all hours of the day – shopping, socialising or simply enjoying the nice weather. The Korzo is perfect for a nice afternoon stroll and to soak in the character of the city.

    • Trsat Castle: Perched atop a steep hill, Trsat Castle is one of Rijeka's most recognisable landmarks. While climbing the steps to the top is not for the faint of heart, travellers who brave the climb will be rewarded for their efforts with absolutely stunning views of the city and of the Bay of Kvarner (and with a well-earned treat in the panoramic café).

    • St. Vitus Cathedral: Founded in the 17th century, St. Vitus Cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Rijeka. While rotunda churches are rare in this part of Europe, the Jesuits who built the cathedral did not let that deter them and had the cathedral built in the same style as the Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. The church's very fine Baroque and Gothic elements make it well worth a visit, but visitors might also want to notice the cannonball wedged in the façade of the building, to the left of the entrance. It's a remnant from the Napoleonic Wars, and an accompanying plaque bears the humorous inscription: "The British sent us this fruit while chasing the French away."

    • The Rijeka Tunnel: Close to St. Vitus Cathedral, visitors will find the Rijeka Tunnel, a pedestrian tunnel originally built during the Second World War by the Italian army. The tunnel runs from the cathedral to the Dolac Primary School in the Old Town, which at the time the tunnel was built was the headquarters of the Italian Anti-aircraft Corps. The tunnel was used to protect civilians both during WWII and during the Croatian War of Independence. Nowadays it's a popular tourist attraction. It's open throughout the year, 9am to 5pm, and there's no entrance fee.

    • Peek & Poke Museum: Dedicated to the history of computers, Peek & Poke is one of the largest displays of vintage computers in Europe. Its collection includes more than a thousand exhibits, ranging from computers to early calculators, to game consoles, with examples of computing technology going as far back as the 1960s. It might not be as dramatic as a cannonball on the side of a church, but it's still an absolute must-see, and a lot of fun for the whole family.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Rijeka

    While there's plenty in and around the town to do and see, when you rent a car in Rijeka you're also perfectly positioned to discover the region at your leisure. Croatia is a fairly compact country, so with a car at your disposal, there's a lot to explore within driving distance. Here are some of our favourites:


    Rijeka is better known as a summer destination, but anyone looking for a reason to visit in winter need not look any further than Platak. Located just 6 miles from Rijeka and 21 miles from Rijeka Airport, Platak is a skier's dream. Snow sometimes lasts all the way to May, and with seven ski runs to choose from, visitors of all skill levels will find plenty to entertain them.

    If you're travelling in summer, Platak is still well worth a visit. The cable car, which runs all winter, runs in summer on weekends and bank holidays, and provides a stunning view of the Kvarner Bay.

    Učka Nature Park

    Located 25 miles from Rijeka (just about an hour by car), Učka Nature Park comprises 62 square miles of forested terrain stretching from Mount Učka to the neighbouring Ćićarija. The park is perfect for nature lovers of all stripes, offering ample opportunities for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding or simply spending the day enjoying the glorious sights. The Poklon mountain lodge makes for a good base camp from which to head out, as there are public toilets nearby, as well as a car park.


    If fresh air, stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery are exactly what you're looking for, but you want something perhaps a little more relaxing than Mount Učka, Crikvenica is just the ticket. Located just 21 miles from Rijeka (a little over half an hour if you take the A7 and the E65), this charming seaside town offers a myriad of outside activities, from hiking and cycling, to paragliding and water sports. You can even try your hand at fishing!

    Adriatic Highway

    Sometimes it's not about the destination, it's about the journey! The Adriatic Highway, known locally as Jadranska Magistrala, is a 404-mile long road that stretches all the way from Montenegro, through Bosnia and Herzegovina and along Croatia's Adriatic coast. Hopping on it at Rijeka, drivers heading south are in for a veritable cornucopia of beautiful sights and picturesque views.

    Geographic information & history

    Located at the mouth of the river Rječina, Rijeka takes its name from the river itself. The word means "river" in Croatian. In fact, most of the historical names for the city have been words for river: Flumen (in Latin), Reka (in Slovene), Reka or Rika (in the local Chakavian dialects) and Fiume (in Italian).

    Thanks to its privileged geographical position and deep-water port, Rijeka has historically been an important and often contested city, changing hands frequently. In the twentieth century alone, it was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, part of Italy, part of Yugoslavia and even briefly independent at one point, before becoming part of modern-day Croatia.

    Nowadays, Rijeka remains an incredibly and increasingly popular destination for holidaymakers, both in summer and in winter. Largely due to its enviable position on the Adriatic coast, the city benefits both from its proximity to the sea, which gives it a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate, and from its proximity to the mountains that rise north of Rijeka, and which provide the perfect setting for a spot of skiing in the winter months. While snow in the city itself is rare, the ski resort of Platak, located 6 miles from the city, boasts copious amounts of snow, sometimes lasting until as late in the season as May.

    Fans of summer holidays spent by the seaside will be happy to know that the average temperatures in summer rise to a balmy 30 °C, and the average sea temperature in August is just below 25 °C.

    How to get around Rijeka

    With your car hire in Rijeka, you're all set to go anywhere you need to go with all the comfort and at your own pace. However, if you'd like to take a break from driving, you can also rely on Rijeka's public transportation system.


    Rijeka's recognisable orange buses are operated by KD Autotrolej. The company offers 18 bus lines which cover the entire urban area. The two main bus stations are in Jelačić Square and Delta terminal, both of them fairly central. Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver, in which case they must be paid in cash, and from kiosks. One-way tickets are valid for a period of 60 minutes, 70 minutes, 90 minutes or 130 minutes depending on the number of zones they cover (the city is split into 4 zones), and are valid across different buses during the time limit.

    There are free night bus lines on Friday and Saturday night.


    Rijeka's main train station can be found on King Tomislav Square (Trg kralja Tomislava, in Croatian). There are rail connections both to other Croatian cities and to international destinations. There are daily direct trains to Vienna, Munich and Salzburg. The ticket office is in the main lobby.


    If you'd like to enjoy the weather and don't mind a little exercise, several companies in the city offer bike rental services. While some of them allow clients to hire a bike just for the day, others allow rentals for longer periods.


    There are several taxi companies in Rijeka, and potential clients can either call for a taxi or head to one of the three taxi stands. These can be found near the bus station (Trg Žabica 1), near the train station (Krešimirova 5) or in the city centre (Jelačić Square).

    Useful links

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