As the largest city in the Kvarner region, Rijeka offers its visitors a variety of cultural events, concerts,and culinary experiences throughout the entire year, and though known for its natural beauty, there are various sports related activities and well-known services related to health and wellness on offer too.
FYI, Rijeka is also known as the city of rock in Croatia, whilst at the same time being a candidate for the ‘City of Culture, 2020’.
If you happen to be in Rijeka in December, then it’s the season to be jolly as you can enjoy a rich program related to Advent. City streets and squares will host many concerts; charming wooden houses will fill the air with various aromas and flavours of homemade delicacies too! You can find some interesting souvenirs and have fun with the sounds of singing choirs, rock and pop stars gracing stages, theatre plays and so on. Top on the list and a not to be missed is the traditional charity
breakfast on Christmas Eve where you can try cod stew, fried calamari, fritters and more...
The ‘Rijeka Karneval’ is the largest and most popular carnival in Croatia. The handing over of the city keys is the beginning of a little turmoil, a little mayhem, and lots of fun. ‘Be what you want to be’ is always the motto behind this amazing spectacle which city folk spend the whole year preparing for. It’s their version of Rio with over 100,000 people visiting each year. The parade is packed with allegorical floats, dancers, marching bands,cheer leaders, historical icons, fireworks and more. A spectacle of colour and fun!
The Children’s Carnival parade (18th February) has the cutie-pie factor, while the International Parade (26th February) is nothing short of spectacular with over one hundred thousand people attending. The traditional costumes from the local area are spectacular, so do head down to the coast and indulge in the chance to enjoy a cup of coffee in the winter sun. See the official carnival homepage www.rijecki-karneval.hr for further details.
The Bellringers (Zvončari) - These scary chaps are called Zvončari. Hailing from the Kvarner coast, by dancing, merrymaking, and the loud ringing of bells hung from their belts, they chase away the evil spirits of winter. Depending which village they’re from, they wear masks of animal heads, or hats with streamers and flowers. See them at the famous Rijeka and Opatija carnivals, and herald the spring!