Often compared with the French Riviera, and for good reason. Opatija is a really wonderful resort for many reasons and receives visitors from all over the world.
With its exquisite cultural monuments, ideal Mediterranean climate, and lovely seaside views, it is hard not to be enchanted by Opatija. This seaside town, fondly called ‘Opatija Riviera’ by many visitors, has been a prominent travel destination in Croatia for more than 150 years and really is a tourism gem.
Lying on the banks of the Adriatic Sea, Opatija visitors splendour in the incredible view of the sea from its long promenade called Lungomare. Stretching to 12 kilometers, this walk has become a favourite among people throughout the days. On your walk along the promenade, we recommend you to view the Maiden with the Seagull sculpture, which has become a strong symbol of the city. Aside from being treated to a sweeping view of the lovely blue Adriatic Sea, Lungomare is also home to some of the best restaurants in the city. So it is the perfect spot to sample some of Opatija’s specialty dishes.
Opatija’s rich history and culture is very much evident in its buildings and monuments, which exude various architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism and Venetian. The impressive building of Villa Angiolina for instance, was one of the first tourist resorts in the city. Its heavily decorated hall with painted ceiling has been the chosen venue for several prominent concerts and social events. The building marks the beginning of tourism in Opatija. Thus, it is only fitting that it now serves as a museum of Croatian tourism.
Another structure not to be missed is the 15th century St. Jacob’s Church, which was once the home of a colony of Benedictine monks. And if you don’t mind seeing another religious building, make your way to the Church of the Annunciation of Mary, which was built in the early 20th century and is characterized by its green dome and neo-Romanesque style triple nave structure.
Should you decide to walk around the city’s major districts, look for its iconic fountains like the Fountain Slatina, which lies in a park of the city’s main street; and the Fountain of Helios and Selena, situated near the Church of St. Jacob. If you are an art lover, make your way to the Art pavilion “Juraj Matija Sporer”. Originally constructed to become the meeting place for the elite, the building is now a top art gallery that features a modern exhibition space.
Aside from the buildings, the lush and glorious parks can very well be the highlight of the visit to the city. Built between 1845 and 1860, Park Angionlina and Part St. Jakob are the most popular parks in Opatija, and are known all over Croatia due to the abundance of plant life that’s found here.
Since you are already on the coast, grab the opportunity to experience a relaxing day or two at Opatija’s beautiful beaches, which are known for their calm water ideal for swimming. Some of the top beaches to choose from include Tomasevac, Moscenicka Draga, Lido, Peharovo, Ika and Icici.