The Kvarner islands: Krk (connected with the mainland by a bridge), Cres, Losinj and Rab are in the immediate vicinity. Platak, a winter resort favoured by the people of Rijeka, is within reach. Rijeka, with its good sea connections, regular line to the islands by catamaran, bus and railway stations, as well as the airport on the island of Krk, is easily accessible. It is only half an hour drive away from the border pass to Slovenia; one hour from Trieste in Italy, and ninety minutes to the capital of Croatia, Zagreb.
There is a long tradition of city events in Rijeka, which generally take place in the open public spaces owing to the favourable weather. The best example is the Rijeka Carnival, which during its 24 years has grown into an international manifestation pronounced by the media from abroad as a unique manifestation, not to be missed. The 24th International Carnival held in 2007, brought together about 8,000 participants in the carnival parade and about 100,000 visitors. According to the estimates of tourist journalists, the Rijeka Carnival is the third biggest carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro and Venice.
Regarding the development of urban tourism and the intention of the city government to give back the sea to the city, great is the role of the Rijeka regatta Fiumanka, which, similarly to its model, the Trieste regatta Barcolana, gathers ever more participants each year. Their attractive sailing boats and the pier with many different events attract a great number of visitors. This is why the City of Rijeka, within the Rijeka Gateway project, strongly encourages the project of constructing a new marina in the location of Porto Baross, which will be able to provide a complete service to tourists – yachtsmen and position Rijeka as a centre of nautical tourism.
The nautical fair in Rijeka has gained status of one of the leading ones in Croatia, with a marked offer of national producers. December in Rijeka is traditionally marked with a whole range of attractive manifestations, the most significant ones being the celebration in the open of the New Year’s Eve, with a concert in Korzo, and the skating rink on the pier next to the sea.
The music and theatre festival Rijeka Summer Evenings, taking place during June and July, has shown that a great number of visitors can be attracted by good quality programmes, supreme performers and specific performance venues. A special attraction represent the former industrial locations in different parts of the city that are used as venues of cultural programmes. Thus, “Hamlet” was performed in the former paper-mill and Beethoven’s music was played in the halls of the former factory of Torpedo. Theatre plays are also performed on beaches and city squares, which contributes to the unique experience of the programme.
In the time of celebrations of Rijeka Patron Saint St. Vitus, on 15th June, there is a whole range of programmes for children and adults of all the ages.
Besides events such as the International Small Scenes Festival or Jazz Time, which have made part of calendars of European cultural events for quite a long time, it is the lively and varied quality of Rijeka public life, encouraging of new events end being opened to new initiatives that make Rijeka a special urban centre. Tourist are keen on visiting Rijeka as they like to feel the vivacity of the city, so that it stands to reason for Rijeka to develop urban tourism.