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A tourism hotspot since the Austro-Hungarian empire, Opatija was and still is an architecturally gorgeous getaway. A quick bus ride away from Rijeka, Opatija is the well-groomed and manicured sibling.
Here I’ll go over my 6 favorite things to do in Opatija on any given day. This guide has something for everyone – be it an 20 years old hitchhiker or retiree couple!
Table of Contents
Going to the beach
Evidently as Opatija is on the coast you’re going to have a lot of beaches to choose from! While they’re typical Croatian rocky shores, there is one spot of sand beach at Plaža Črnikovica – though it usually is full of families and children playing.
To be honest, Opatija is usually quite packed with locals and tourists during summer seasons and the beaches aren’t quite private. The further you walk alongside the coast, the less the population density of course.
If you’re keen on complete relaxation and away from people, you may want to check out what’s on nearby Krk island or continue West along the coast – you’ll very quickly find a nice spot of solitude.
Do some sea-side rock climbing
If you’re a younger soul like myself, I implore you to hit up my favorite rock climbing spot over the sea. Bring swim shorts and maybe some goggles – if you fall in you take a dunk into the warm Adriatic water. Hardly a punishment for falling and it’s great fun even if you know nothing about rock climbing.
I’ve only really found one really nice spot to do this and I went with some lovely Austrian CouchSurfers that I hosted. Also there is a small water cave which is ripe for exploring and is safe (unless it’s very high tide).
Plug these GPS co-ordinates into Google Maps to find the deep sea rockclimbing near Opatija/Ičići: 45.319172, 14.295494
A stroll visiting the gardens and streets
Host to hundreds of stunning buildings and gardens, Opatija has no lack of ornate flair. You can pick any direction to walk in and find great stuff, though I’d certainly recommend the main park near Lido Beach or Opatija Park Margerita.
Whatever you do, just look up and admire the history and culture surrounding. Fit for royalty, Opatija was a favorite place for Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I to getaway to.
A chilled walk along the gorgeous coast
I’ve spent many days simply walking along the coastline, listening to music, and breathing in the fresh Adriatic air. The main coast walk follows very far west and you can continue for as long as your feet desire.
Spot a nice bench, perch up and read a book. In the afternoon and evening you’ll be guarded from the sun as hides behind the hills and mountains to the North. This is especially nice if you’re avert towards getting sunburn or light in your eyes.
Go climb a mountain
Vojak is a rewarding climb if you’re keen on a small adventure. You can even drive all the way up if you’ve got lazy legs, but there’s no better way to soak in the history and ecology than going by foot. There are dozens of starting points, but we chose Lovrenska Draga and engaged in an all-day inebriated hike up. To be fair, this isn’t exactly a thing to do in Opatija, but still, very worth mentioning!
You’ll find heaps of historical relics from hundreds of years in the past, wild animals, and sub-tropical vegetation all around. Topped off with an incredible view of the entire landscape, it’s a must-do for the adventure keen folk who want to stray off the beaten path. The less GPS, planning, and maps, the better!
A visit to amazing restaurants
Croatian cuisine is truly terrific what with their blend of Mediterranean and Balkan influences. Seafood thrown into the mix and you’ll find top notch meals at every corner. Wherever you go – you’ll be satisfied. While prices alongside the main strip of Opatija are quite high, a quick venture outside the hotspots will reveal very reasonable prices for top-notch meals.
Look for where the locals dine and you’ll soon find a full meal for less than what you could buy a cheeseburger combo with back at home.
I freaking love Croatia and the Adriatic – so calm, so clear, so pleasant. After spending a good chunk of time living in Rijeka and surrounding I fell in love with the Mediterranean lifestyle and warm sea.
Also hit up my list of the best things to do in Rijeka as I give you all the best local spots to know which even locals don’t know!
I hope this guide to the best things to do in Opatija helped inspire some ideas and thoughts. If you’ve got questions at all please hit me up down below or on social media – I’m really glad to help out and help you live life!