By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Rijeka?

Do you need a car in Rijeka > Should you rent a car in Rijeka Croatia > Rijeka ( RJK )

There are lots of ways of looking at this question, so this is why we divide things up in terms of “need” – can you get around Rijeka without a car; value, ie compared to other options, is it worth hiring a car in Rijeka, and finally the ultimate question of weighing up the pros and cons to determine if we think you should rent a car in Rijeka. We don’t just give you a yes or no (although we always do that too) – we do ratings for different driving factors, non driving options, and we look at whether a rental car in Rijeka is a good idea for everyone from budget solo travellers to larger families.

Clinging tightly to steep hillside roads, the gritty port city of Rijeka is often overlooked in favour of more attractive rural locations nearby, but the pedestrian friendly centre is still just as impressive as any other Croatian city, other than perhaps the immaculate Dubrovnik.

Do you need a car in Rijeka? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Even if you just get to pass through briefly, Rijeka has one or two architectural gems which are well worth a look at, especially the Croatian National Theatre.

Why should you rent a car in Rijeka?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Rijeka?

Rijeka Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 99 - of which 19 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Due to the poor quality of public transport in most of Croatia (outside the capital Zagreb), we generally recommend that a hire car here makes a great deal of sense in Rijeka, as it does in most places on the eastern Adriatic coast.
  • A hire car will also offers a great deal of convenience when compared with local bus and coach services, which tend to be poorly advertised, and unreliable.
  • A rental car is a natural choice for visiting any of the Adriatic islands which can be explored around Rijeka.
  • The drive in from the airport alone is an impressive introduction to the area, as you need to go over two large arched bridges to transfer from the island of Krk to the mainland. The airport bus, timed to connect with each flight arrival / departure, will go this way too, but you cannot stop on the way (and for this journey you will want to!).
  • Train services from Rijeka are so limited to be of almost no use at all – two daily trains trundle along to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, one of which continues as a night service as far as Munich, whereas there are just two daily trains to the capital Zagreb – one fast and one slow.

Why not? Visiting Rijeka without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Rijeka public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score


Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)


We really don’t advise visiting Rijeak without a rental car!

  • Without your own transport, you will be fine if you are staying in or around the city, but otherwise you will find it difficult.
  • You will have some limited options to combine local buses and ferry trips, but don’t be too optimistic – there are only two routes direct from the port of Rijeka, and many other routes require multiple combinations of island + ferry + island. It’s just far easier to do this if you rent a car in Rijeka!

James says - a few trip notes:

I’ve made it as far along the Adriatic coast as Split and Zadar by bus (starting in Dubrovnik), but I really wouldn’t recommend visiting Rijeka or Pula without a car if you can possibly avoid it. In general, I rate Croatia as by far the worst country in mainland Europe for public transport. This was what I felt when I visited in 2012, and nothing has made me want to change my view since. The main point of Carornocar is to advise on getting around for people who have already made the choice to fly to a certain place. But if you haven’t yet booked your flights to Rijeka, and you just want to enjoy the Adriatic coast without needing a car, then you would be much better off staying in Split or Dubrovnik. Even these two places are far from marvellous when it comes to public transport, but you will at least have a few more options!

I’d love to be challenged on any of this, so if you’ve managed to visit Rijeka withjout a car, and you’ve got around without any problem, then let me know how you got on. In the meantime, this still gets my rating as the worst place in what I think is already the worst country in Europe or transport choice!

Do you need a car in Rijeka? Yes!


Car rental in - Rijeka Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Rijeka?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Rijeka?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Rijeka?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Rijeka if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Rijeka if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Rijeka if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Rijeka?

Have you driven in Rijeka? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Rijeka?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


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