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215 215 9814

Opatija Travel Guide: Notes for Exploring Opatija

May 16, 202312 min read.

Opatija is a wonderful tourist destination thanks to its natural beauty and fascinating culture. In this Opatija travel guide you will find the necessary information to plan your vacation in this beautiful city.

General Information about Opatija

If you are thinking of taking a trip to Opatija, keep reading, because you will find everything you need to organize your vacation.

Opatija is a town and seaside resort located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, in northern Croatia. It is located in the Istria region, near the city of Rijeka. Opatija has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century, known for its mild climate, beautiful scenery, and elegant villas.

The city has a rich history as a summer destination for European nobility and high society. During the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Opatija became an important tourist and health center. Many of the old villas and hotels that were built in that period have remained until today and give the city a special charm.

Opatija's waterfront, known as the Lungomare, is one of the city's most prominent attractions. It stretches for several kilometers and offers beautiful views of the sea and the mountains. In addition, Opatija has many well-kept parks and gardens that invite you to take relaxing walks.

In and around Opatija, visitors can explore the Učka Nature Park, a stunning mountainous area with hiking trails and panoramic views. It is also possible to take boat trips to nearby islands, such as the island of Krk.

In short, Opatija is a charming seaside town in Croatia, known for its history, natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere. It is a popular destination for lovers of the sea, culture and good food.

Rocks, mirror of water and buildings

Rocks, mirror of water and buildings

Picture of Ozren Cuculic on Unsplash

Location of Opatija

Below, we show you where is Opatija located:

Map of Opatija on Google Maps

Sites of Interest in Opatija

Opatija is a beautiful coastal city that offers a variety of interesting places that you cannot miss if you want to travel to Croatia in the best way. Here we tell you about some of the most outstanding places.

Opatija Promenade (Lungomare)

This beautiful promenade stretches along the Opatija coastline, offering panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. It is perfect for taking a relaxing walk and enjoying the scenery.

Angiolina Park

Located near the city center, this charming park is known for its beautiful botanical garden and elegant villa. The park has a variety of exotic plant species and ancient trees.

Villa Angiolina

This historical villa, built in the 19th century, is one of the symbols of Opatija. Currently, it houses the Croatian Museum of Tourism, where the history of tourism in Croatia is exhibited.

St. James Church

Located in the center of Opatija, this Catholic church is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. Its bell tower offers a panoramic view of the city.

Old construction on a sunny day

Old construction on a sunny day

Picture of koby ツ on Unsplash

Opatija Museum

This museum located in the center of the city showcases the history and culture of Opatija through a variety of artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits.

Risnjak National Park

A few kilometers from Opatija is this beautiful national park, ideal for nature lovers. It offers plenty of hiking trails and stunning views of the region's forests and mountains.

Krk Island

Just a short boat ride from Opatija is the island of Krk, the largest island in the Adriatic Sea. With beautiful beaches, charming towns and historical sites, it is a destination worth exploring.

Beaches of Opatija 

Although Opatija does not have sandy beaches, it offers several coastal areas where visitors can enjoy the sun and the sea. Read on for some beach options in Opatija.

Slatina Beach

It is the main beach of Opatija and is located in the center of the city, next to the promenade. The beach is pebble and has clear and clean waters. There are facilities such as sun loungers, umbrellas, showers and changing rooms, as well as bars and restaurants nearby.

Tomasevac Beach

This beach is also located in the center of Opatija, next to the Slatina beach. It is a small pebble beach with calm waters and shady areas. It offers similar amenities to Slatina beach.

Lido Beach

Located in the Volosko area near Opatija, Lido Beach is a popular choice. It is a concrete beach with sunbathing areas and steps that allow easy access to the water. It also has a bar and a restaurant on the beach.

Preluk Beach

Located approximately 4 kilometers south of Opatija, this pebble beach lies in a beautiful bay surrounded by greenery. It is quieter and less crowded than the beaches in the center of Opatija, ideal for those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Ika Beach

It is located in the picturesque fishing village of Ika, a short distance from Opatija. It is a pebble beach with crystal clear water and panoramic sea views. In addition, there are facilities such as sun loungers, umbrellas and restaurants nearby.

Eating in Opatija

Opatija's gastronomy reflects the influence of the coastal region of Istria and the Adriatic Sea. The city's restaurants offer a variety of delicious dishes based on fresh seafood.

Seafood is an essential part of Opatija's cuisine. You can enjoy a wide selection of fresh seafood, such as sea bass, sea bream, shrimp and mussels, prepared in a variety of ways, either grilled, baked or in delicious Mediterranean sauces.

Pasta dishes are also very popular in Opatija. You can try traditional recipes like “fuži” (noodle-like pasta) with truffle sauce, or “pljukanci” (gnocchi-like pasta) with seafood.

The Istrian region is known for its high-quality olive oil, and Opatija is no exception. You can taste local extra virgin olive oil in many of the dishes and salads.

In addition to the main dishes, you cannot miss trying the typical appetizers of the region. Istrian “pršut” (cured ham) and “sir” (cheese) are famous and are often served together with homemade bread and olives.

For lovers of sweets, Opatija offers a variety of delicious desserts. The “kroštule” are a traditional sweet similar to fritters, while the “fritule”; They are fried balls covered in powdered sugar. Another famous dessert is “krempita”, a cream cake.

As for drinks, you cannot miss trying the local Istrian wines. The region is known for its high-quality red and white wines, as well as the famous “malvazija”, an aromatic white wine.

In short, Opatija's gastronomy is a delicious combination of fresh seafood, pasta, olive oil, traditional appetizers and savory desserts. It's a culinary experience you won't want to miss while visiting this charming seaside town.

Seafood dish

Seafood dish

Picture of Adrien Sala on Unsplash

The Cultural Identity of Opatija

Opatija's culture is characterized by its rich history as a tourist destination and its aristocratic influence. The city has been a center for summer and rest since the 19th century, attracting European high society and the nobility.

Opatija's architecture reflects its aristocratic past. You'll find elegant, historic-style villas and hotels that were built during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. These magnificent constructions add a special charm to the city and are a testimony of its historical prestige.

Also, Opatija is known for its lively cultural scene. Throughout the year, many festivals and events take place, from classical music concerts and summer festivals to art exhibitions and theater performances.

The city attracts both local and international artists, musicians and actors, contributing to its vibrant cultural scene.

The Opatija promenade, known as the Lungomare, is a meeting point and a symbol of the city's social life. Residents and visitors enjoy leisurely walks by the sea, admiring the scenery and taking advantage of the rest areas and cafeterias overlooking the sea.

Opatija is also home to several museums and art galleries displaying works by local and international artists. These cultural spaces offer a vision of the history, art and identity of the region.

In addition, the city promotes active outdoor living. Residents and visitors have access to beautiful, well-kept parks and gardens, where they can enjoy outdoor activities, exercise, or simply relax surrounded by nature.

How to Get to Opatija

To get to Opatija, several options are available:

  1. Plane: The closest airport to Opatija is Rijeka Airport, also known as Krk Airport (RJK). From there, you can take a taxi or shuttle service to Opatija, which is approximately a 45-minute drive away.
  2. Train: Opatija does not have its own train station, but you can get to the nearby Rijeka train station, which is well connected to other Croatian and European cities. From Rijeka, you can take a bus or a taxi to Opatija, which is about a 15-minute drive away.
  3. Bus: Opatija has a bus station that offers connections to several cities in Croatia and neighboring countries. You can take a bus from Zagreb, Rijeka or other nearby cities. The duration of the trip will depend on the point of departure, but in general, the bus journeys are usually comfortable and offer beautiful views of the landscape.
  4. Car: If you prefer to drive, you can reach Opatija by car. The city is well connected by road and can be easily accessed from different parts of Croatia and Europe. Travel time will depend on your location, but there are several highways and main roads that will take you there.

How to Get Around in Opatija?

Getting around Opatija is fairly easy, as the city is compact and most sights are within walking distance. Here are some options for getting around Opatija:

  1. On foot: Opatija is a very accessible city, so the most comfortable way to get around the city center and along the waterfront is simply by walking. You can enjoy pleasant walks while exploring the streets, parks and sights.
  2. Public Transportation: Opatija has a public transportation system that includes local buses. Buses are a convenient option for reaching places outside of the city center or for excursions to the surrounding area. You can get information about routes and timetables at the Opatija bus station.
  3. Taxi: Taxi services are available in Opatija. You can find taxi ranks at strategic points in the city, such as the bus station and the main tourist areas. You can also call a taxi company to pick you up at a specific location.
  4. Bike Rental: Opatija offers bike rental options, allowing you to actively explore the city and its surroundings. There are footpaths and cycling routes that will allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of the region while cycling.
  5. Private car: If you have a private car, you can easily move around Opatija and its surroundings. However, you should be aware that parking may be limited in some areas, especially during the summer months.

Private Transfer in Opatija

If you are looking for the most comfortable and safest option to get to Opatija and move carelessly around the city, here you will find the information you need to book your private transfer with Greca, with experienced drivers and no surprise charges.

When to Visit Opatija

The best time to visit Opatija depends on your personal preferences and what activities you want to do.

Summer (June to August) is the peak season in Opatija, as the weather is hot and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C.

During this time, you can enjoy the beaches, the Adriatic Sea and outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that tourist spots can be more crowded and prices can be higher.

Spring (April to May) and Autumn (September to October) are seasons considered as the shoulder season in Opatija.

At this time the weather is pleasant, with milder temperatures and fewer tourists than in summer. It's a great time to explore the city and its surroundings, enjoy walks along the waterfront, and see the sights without the crowds.

In winter (November to March), Opatija has a mild climate, with temperatures rarely falling below 0°C.

This time can be calm and relaxing, ideal if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a quieter environment. Some hotels and restaurants may close during this season, but you will still find options open.

In addition to the weather, you can also consider specific events and festivals that take place in Opatija during different times of the year, such as open-air concerts, music festivals, and cultural events.

Destinations Near Opatija

Opatija is an excellent destination to recharge your batteries thanks to its incredible natural beauty and fabulous cultural heritage.

In turn, due to its proximity to Dubrovnik and Split, many travelers combine their visit to Opatija with these destinations, so you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking for a coastal destination to relax? Do you want to know a fascinating culture? Do you want to enjoy a great gastronomic offer?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Opatija, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our Opatija travel guide and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

What is the currency used in Opatija?

The currency used in Opatija and throughout Croatia is the Croatian kuna (HRK). It is recommended to change currency in banks or authorized exchange houses to obtain the best exchange rate.

Is it necessary to obtain a visa to visit Opatija?

Citizens of most European Union countries and several non-EU countries do not need a visa to visit Croatia, including Opatija, for a period of up to 90 days. However, it is recommended to check the specific visa requirements according to your country of origin before traveling.

What is the best way to get from Rijeka airport to Opatija?

From Rijeka airport, you can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to Opatija. You can also rent a car at the airport if you prefer to have more flexibility in getting around.

Is it necessary to know Croatian to visit Opatija?

It is not necessary to know Croatian to visit Opatija. Many Opatija residents speak English, and some also speak other languages, such as German and Italian. English is widely used in the tourism industry and most signs and signs are written in Croatian and English.

What kind of outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Opatija?

Opatija offers various outdoor activities such as walks along the promenade, hiking in the Učka Nature Park, cycling, boating and water sports.

Where can you find traditional restaurants in Opatija?

Traditional restaurants are found in different parts of the city, especially in the center and near the seafront. Some recommended places are Volosko, a picturesque fishing area, and the old town of Opatija.

What is the best time to enjoy the Opatija Festival?

The Opatija Festival, a popular musical event, is usually held during the summer months, especially July and August. It is a good opportunity to enjoy outdoor concerts and cultural presentations.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Opatija?

Yes, the tap water in Opatija is safe to drink. Drinking water in Croatia meets high quality standards and can be consumed directly from the tap.

Are there sandy beaches in Opatija?

Opatija has no sandy beaches, but offers coastal areas with pebble beaches where visitors can enjoy the sea and sunbathe.

What are the accommodation options in Opatija?

Opatija offers a wide range of accommodation options for all budgets. You can find luxury hotels, resorts, apartments, villas and guest houses in different areas of the city. There are also accommodation options near the seafront and in quieter, more secluded areas. Advance reservations are recommended, especially during high season.

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