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7-8 days flights to Zagreb

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7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Hey everyone,

We are a couple with a 1.5 year old baby, thinking of traveling to Croatia for 7-8 days in late September. We can fly in and out of Zagreb or fly to Zagreb and return from Rijeka.

1. Is there anything to do in Rijeka or the area or we better fly back from Zagreb and stay in that area?

2. Would 7-8 days be worthwhile given that we are travelling with a baby so don't want to drive too much but also don't want to just stay in Zagreb the whole time.

3. What would be a recommended itinerary for this time?

Thank you so much!

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1. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Sorry, but your query is too vague to be able to offer good advise.

What are your interests? Why have you chosen Zagreb and Rijeka?

I like Rijeka, but it is a largish industrial city and not the place I would choose for my first time in Croatia.

I suggest you read the pinned post at the top of this forum to give you some idea of attractions in Croatia.

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2. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Rijeka is a large industrial town and harbor, with very little for an average tourist. If you are an architecture lover, you can find a few interesting buildings such as the National Theatre (HNK) or from the td to theime it belonged fascist Italy, but not much more

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3. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

If you want to do Zagreb - Istria route so you can easily depart from Rijeka, then I'd definitely suggest that. But I'd also suggest renting out a car if you're traveling with an infant. BTW, Rijeka airport is located on the island of Krk, so maybe the last couple of days you could stay and relax there.

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4. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Well you are strangest tourists in croatia ever..! To choose Zagreb and Rijeka for your destination in croatia? Dont get me wrong but maybe most boring places to choose. Zagreb is big city, economical center, some industry also, green with nice parks and that is it. One day max in zagreb is enough. Rijeka industrial place, there is no any croatian wich would go to rijeka as tourist, nothing to see there except harbour... if you can then change your plans becouse this may be disaster... worst plan ever for croatia

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5. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

I'm sorry, but who are you to comment on someone's choice where to go and what to see? There's absolutely nothing wrong with both Zagreb and Rijeka.

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6. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Both locations are good and you can do many day trips from each if you like it.

Personally, I would like to recommend Zagreb with first day trip to Plitvice Lakes, and second to Varaždin and Trakošćan.

Also, you can always combine both cities, Rijeka and Zagreb.

Everything actually depends what kind of vacation do you want/like.

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7. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

haha. I think my post wasn't very clear. The only airports in Croatia we can fly to from our country are Zagreb and Rijeka so what I meant is if it would make sense to fly to Zagreb and fly out of Rijeka so that we get to see some places on the way instead of flying in and out of Zagreb. Ideally we would want to go to:

Plitvice Lakes, Hvar, Pakleni Islands but we can't fly to or from Dubrovnik so will have to make our way to Zagreb. What would be a good itinerary or recommended places to visit in a 7-8 day visit without rushing too much and given we arrive Zagreb and have to fly out of Zagreb as well?

Edited: June 13, 2018, 5:02 am
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8. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Istria would be the most obvious choice as it's close (enough) to both Zagreb and Rijeka and it also offers incredible diversity in very short distances (usually 60-90 min of driving). In late September it should be very much not crowded anywhere.

If you do choose to see Varaždin, it would make sense to go there first so you can then proceed perhaps to Plitvice Lakes NP before actually going to Istria. And that's the problem - you haven't told us anything about your interests so it's impossible to make recommendations. Having a baby perhaps only limits your mobility to some extent but doesn't really limit your choice of places to see and explore.

Anyway, in Rijeka itself you can visit ruins of an old castle (Trsat). You can catch glimpses of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYbdH6GT-DQ And then barely outside the city there's another one - Grobnik which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOhUKmWe4mk If you decide Plitvice Lakes is too much for you then perhaps Fužine can be a good stop on the way from Zagreb to Rijeka. You literally have to drive by and it's just off the highway. It's a beautiful lake which you can also see from a noddy train if you don't wish to walk with the baby (for whatever reason). You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxfpFZG5JZM

As mentioned, Rijeka does have some architecturally interesting buildings, there's also the bustling pedestrian zone called Korzo (with some more history there) and also a great fish market (if you can be there earrly and especially after a moonless night). You can see various kinds of fish from the region but it can be a bit challenging with a baby. There's also this incredible tiny beach about 3 km away from the centre if you want some nice quiet place (at least on work days): https://photos.app.goo.gl/KGGBMrTSDz1FQJdXA

However, most visitors to the area would choose to actually stay somewhere in the Opatija area which is actually the east coast of the Istria peninsula. It starts with a beautiful and charming fishing village of Volosko, continuing right on with Opatija itself, then Ičići (the most popular beach), Ika and Lovran. They are all separate places but they feel very connected, like one big place but with different vibes. You can see much of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JQ8EIZqBok This actually starts even before Volosko but perhaps you'd like that first area as well (officially, part of Rijeka). If not, skip to about 10 minutes for Volosko and then Opatija.

Btw, Opatija has mostly been designed and built by Austrians so has that brilliant architecture but also incredible parks, a very nice promenade and, unlike popular places on the west coast, it does have a large beach right in the centre. With areas for kids as well. Also, there's a 12-km long coastal path called Lungomare connecting all the places of the Opatija area and also all the beaches, some of which are for kids (pebble is the norm) so you can go on nice short ot long walks and even enjoy some beach time with the baby. It may also interest you that the entire area and indeed the entire east coast is towered by Mt. Učka, the highest in Istria (Vojak peak, 1400 m) which is covered by a vast forest. Looking at the area you literally only see green and it creates a great feel. But it also means that the sun disappears much earlier than in other locations (in September, probably around 18 h) which might be important to you. Then, you also get magnificent and early sun rises.

Another reason for recommending Opatija as a base and not Rovinj or another popular place on the west coast is that those places are mostly touristy and tend to feel... empty in September. While Opatija is also a very touristy place and actually considered as the birthplace of tourism in Croatia, the area is far more... urbanized, probably beacuse of how close it is to Rijeka (the third biggest city and the largest port in Croatia) so in September it may have a better feel. But again, this is just an assumption as I don't know anything about your interests.

Anyway, with a car, it's easy to do daytrips all over Istria from Opatija (up to 90 minutes to Rovinj and Poreč, less to Pula).

The only problem I see with all this is that in late September you could see many rainy days and the temperature could even drop rather low. But I can't predict the weather. Anyway, if you tell us about your interests I might be able to give you better recommendations.

Finally, as for the airport, Rijeka's is indeed on the island of Krk (which looked totally deserted even in mid September) and it's not the closest, really. I would say it's at least 30 minutes to Rijeka's centre (so, more to western parts and to Opatija). Of course, Zagreb's is still much farther, about 2 hours of driving (on highway) but that's not a huge difference. And there's also the Pula airport which is only about 70 min from Opatija (~40 from Rovinj, by car). However, the shortest may not be the best. Because, if you were to take the scenic route from Krk to Rijeka, you'd be able to fully enjoy the incredible Bakar bay. And this is why that would be a great idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycKRjH3fQr8

On the other hand, if driving between Opatija (or Rijeka) and Pula, there's also the scenic option, along the coast. Seemingly taking just 20 minutes longer but surely more as you'll be stopping along the way. Because it looks something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9J2bIO9gUI (this is the opposite way so a bit more impressive). And there are some really nice places along the way, like Plomin and Labin (old town).

Anyway, this is already more than I feel comfortable mentioning without knowing your interests.

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9. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

If you want to see the places you've numbered, then Rijeka airport makes no sense whatsoever. Split airport would be your best choice if you don't want to depart from Zagreb.

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10. Re: 7-8 days flights to Zagreb

Who I am...? Well just tourist guide in croatia last 6 years, for croatia and slovenia, bosnia, montenegro... when I speak with people wich I pick from zagreb not many of them are so thrilled with that city. We can lie to eachother and say that Zagreb is interesting and Rijeka also but it is not when you compare them with istria, plitvice, dalmatia, islands... also between zagreb and ljubljana wich is close, ljubljana is much better choice. City with soul, Zagreb does not have it.

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