RIJEKA FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Visitors arriving in the region via air will land at Pula Airport (IATA code PUY), 58 miles southwest of Rijeka. Most airline traffic is limited to the spring, summer, and fall, but low season flights are also offered to Zagreb and Zadar via Croatian Airlines. In addition to serving Kvarner Gulf and Croatian Istria, Pula Airport is also the main airport for the Slovenian Riviera.

Driving directions to Rijeka: Drive one mile on D401/Valtursko polje to take the first right in the roundabout, putting you on the D66 motorway, going north. Drive on this road for 58 miles, which will end at the Riva in the Rijeka city center.

How do I get from the bus and train stations to my hotel?

The city train and bus stations are centrally located, with the train station on King Tomislav Square which sits off Kresimirova ulica, and the bus station located on Zabica Square where it meets the Riva. Both the train and bus stations have taxi stands in front of them, from which you can line up for a taxi. Taxi fares are 30 kunas within a three-mile radius (covering all the main sights as outlined by TripMasters).

How do I get around Rijeka using public transport?

Autotrolej (www.autotrolej.hr, website in Croatian) operates the commuter bus lines in and around Rijeka, of which there are 19 daytime lines and 3 nighttime lines. There are five stops in the city center served by three different bus lines: Brajda, near the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; the Rijeka Skyscraper; Croatian Republic Square (Trg Republike Hrvatske); the Palazzo Modello (the Rijeka Public Library); and Ban Josip Jelacic Square. Of those three lines, Route 7 will take you in the direction of Trsat Castle as well (transfer to Route 1B at the KBC Susak Medical Center stop). For a full route list, visit www.autotrolej.hr/linije; click on "Shema Linija" for a map.

Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver (10 kunas for one zone or 21 kunas for travel to the fourth and farthest zone). Weekly tickets are also available for 80 kunas (160 kunas for all four zones, most useful if you want to spend a lot of time away from the city), which can be purchased at Tisak and iNews newsstands all over town. It is also possible to pay for fares by purchasing a Rijeka City Card, which you can do at the Autotrolej station at Ban Josip Jelacic Square 3 (6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. M-F, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat).

It is worth noting that there is also a hop-on hop-off tourist bus which runs through the city center and up to Trsat Castle. It runs daily from early July to late September and makes a loop four times a day (approximately every two and a half hours). For more information, visit the Autotrolej station in Jelacic Square or visit www.autotrolej.hr/turisticki-autobus (website in Croatian). Fares can be paid using the Rijeka City Card which you can also buy at the station.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

You can call for taxis in advance or hail them on the street, but for the best service while out and about you are better off waiting in line at one of the three taxi stands in the city center. One is located at Rijeka train station (Kresimirova ulica 5), another is located at the city bus station (Zabica Square), and the other is located in front of the Autotrolej commuter bus station (Ban Josip Jelacic Square). Taxis are quite affordable in Rijeka compared to other Croatian cities. A journey of 5 km (3 miles) or less costs 30 kunas, with each additional kilometer (0.6 miles) priced at 7 kunas.

There are 13 taxi companies serving Rijeka, with the most-recommended companies being Cammeo (+385 51 313 313, www.taxi-cammeo.hr), Radio Taxi Rijeka (+385 51 585 585, www.radiotaxirijeka.com.hr), Taxi Fiume (+385 51 515 515, www.taxifiume.com), and Taxi Rijeka (+385 51 335 138, www.taxirijeka.com).

Is Rijeka a dangerous area? Are there any places I should avoid?

Rijeka is perhaps the safest major city in Croatia, with visitors noting high levels of safety and security while walking around the city even at night. Out of all the areas we recommend to travelers, none of them merit any sort of warning before visiting.

With that in mind, you should note that the summer high season does come with a small spike in petty crimes, because the pickpockets and petty thieves know there are more chances to get away with ill-gotten loot. Here are some safety tips to avoid being the victim of a crime: 1) Carry small amounts of cash with you. Do not pull out all the money you will be spending on your trip. 2) Even though you are carrying small amounts, break up the amounts and store them in different areas on your person. 3) Keep your documents in a separate place on your person. Don`t take your passport out sightseeing with you, unless you absolutely need it. 4) Use common sense, like you would in the U.S., when visiting an ATM. `Skimmers` are also an issue in Croatia, so study the ATM before using it, and if you feel like it looks suspect, find another ATM to use. Be mindful of your surroundings while withdrawing money. 5) Be mindful of your surroundings when drinking at bars or nightclubs, as possible petty thieves will wait until your inhibitions are diminished to steal from you. Just practice the same safety routines you would in your city.

Can I pay/tip in U.S. dollars?

The currency of Croatia is the kuna (divided into 100 lipa) and U.S. dollars are not an acceptable form of payment. Croatia is part of the European Union, but as of 2019 it is not part of the Eurozone, meaning that Euros (legal tender in neighboring Slovenia and Italy) are not universally accepted in Croatia. You will find a few shops that will accept Euros, but the exchange rate will be determined by the shop owner and it most likely will not be in your favor. You will be better off paying in Croatian kunas.

Credit and debit cards are widely used in Croatia and you will find most businesses accept them. Bank and currency bureau hours are usually 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with an hour break for lunch typically taken at noon or 1 p.m. ATMs are widely available in Croatia; many of them do not charge fees themselves, but note that your home banking institution may charge a fee for withdrawing money abroad.

I don't speak Croatian. Will many people speak English?

Croatians are some of the most multilingual people in Europe. It is estimated that 81% of adults can speak English at least conversationally, by far the most popular foreign language. Rijeka is a popular tourist destination, so you should be able to get by with English in the city center. If you cannot communicate with someone, show them this sentence and they will most likely happily assist you: Da li itko ovdje govori Engelski? (Does anyone here speak English?)

Are there any basic Croatian customs or etiquette tips I should be aware of before arriving?

If you are going into an area that isn`t primarily geared toward tourists, try not to dress too skimpy or revealing. Croatians will consider this inappropriate. Casual dress is fine, but not too casual. If you pass someone on the street, nod, smile, or say a quick hello. Croatians respond very favorably to greetings, even from strangers. Croatians love coffee (kava), so if you make friends here, you will most likely be called to someone`s house or a cafe for a coffee date. Please be on time, though; Croatians value promptness!

If visiting a home, bring a bottle of wine or spirits, or possibly a bouquet of flowers. (Note: A bouquet with an even number of flowers is considered taboo, as even-numbered flower bouquets are reserved for presenting to the dead at the cemetery. Make sure the bouquet has an odd number of flowers.) Even if you are not feeling hungry or thirsty, happily accept any refreshments offered by the host; it is rude not to. Croatians will fill plates and glasses once they are emptied, so if you are full, tell your host `nema vise`. It means `no more`.

With Croatia being a very Catholic country, you will find that many people say grace before beginning a meal. As a foreigner, you aren`t expected to know how to say prayers in Croatian, but a nice bow of the head is respectful, even if you are not personally Catholic or Christian yourself. Finally, keep your hands on the dinner table; it is considered indecent to keep them folded in your lap. (This rule is not as stringent when seated around a coffee table.)

Note: Do not refer to the Croatian language as `Serbo-Croatian`, don`t refer to Croatians as `Yugoslavians`, and don`t call Croatia `Yugoslavia`. Many reminders of the former Yugoslavia are evident all over Croatia, which is not surprising considering Marshal Josip Broz Tito was a Croat. However, the Croatian culture and identity have undergone their latest resurgences in the years since independence in 1991, and reminders about `the time before` could sit quite awkwardly with people to whom you have just become acquainted (especially older people). Unlike in Slovenia, where their war of independence lasted a handful of days, Croatia`s was protracted and lasted four-and-a-half years. If a newly-acquainted person brings the topic of Yugoslavia first, be respectful, listen, and ask questions but not rude or prying questions. Some people miss the life in Yugoslavia, some do not, and many are now not even old enough to remember it. It is a sensitive topic.

What is nightlife like in Rijeka?

There are dozens of bars and nightclubs in Rijeka, most of which are clustered in the city center. You will find half a dozen bars within a stone`s throw (no pun intended) of the Old Gateway Roman Arch. Walk up Ulica stara vrata and you will find them. There are also a number of bars and nightclubs along the Rjecina River as you make your way up toward Trsat Castle. Other places to find bars include the Korzo, where there are at least half a dozen more options ranging from caf├ęs to champagne bars, and the area around the Ivan Zajc Croatian National Theatre, home to three bars.

Note: Smoking is forbidden in restaurants in Croatia, but in bars and cafes, smoking is permitted as long as the establishment has met ventilation guidelines with regard to cigarette and cigar smoke. In Rijeka, like the rest of Croatia, cafe windows will have a green sign if you can smoke inside; red signs mean that smoking is not allowed.

Where are the best areas for shopping?

Rijeka has multiple shopping options for the traveler who has everything but still wants more. As far as large shopping malls are concerned, there are two in the vicinity: the Western Trade Center (ZTC Rijeka), located 2.2 miles to the west of the city center along Zvonimirova ulica, and Tower Center Rijeka, just northeast of Sablicevo Beach. The Korzo has lots of boutique shops as well as the Korzo Department Store on Ivan Kobler Square. As far as unique souvenirs local to the area, you can find some at the gift shops located inside the RI and Korzo Department Stores in the city center, as well as at the store called Croatia in a Box, located at Grivica 6a. (www.croatiainabox.com)