Should you rent a car in RijekaCroatia>Rijeka

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.

[top num=”235″]

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.

[why2 num=”235″]

  • 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.

[whynot2 num=”235″]

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!

[ratings2 num=”235″]

[footer2 num=”235″]


Author: Carometer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *