Spending some time in Rijeka this weekend and not sure of what to do beyond the regular round of sightseeing? We’ve got you covered
When it comes to Rijeka, the month of November is tricky: the city is known for its moody weather, and what looks like a heavenly day in the morning can turn into a nightmare in a blink of an eye. Take today for example, a regular Friday made even better by the perfect weather conditions… until 1 in the afternoon, when the city centre suddenly got flooded by torrential rain. Ten minutes later, the sun showed its face again. You never know, and even though the forecast calls for a lovely Saturday and a rainy Sunday, both just might be a combination of sun and showers in turns. Make sure to have both your sunglasses and an umbrella on you, and go:
1) Molo Longo
Start your Saturday with one of our favourite pastimes, taking a walk along the Molo Longo. Literally translating to long pier, the waterfront will provide you with a pleasant route that’s 1.7 kilometres long; you can walk the entire distance and back for an exercise in disguise, or just casually stroll along the promenade until a certain point when you start craving coffee. Fishing boats bobbing along the pier and an extraordinary view of the city you otherwise wouldn’t get to see make for a delightful morning activity. Even if you’re not the walking type, take a quick look at the intro above; Rijeka has its own weather gods, and boy are they moody, so it’s only right to use what might be the last remaining sunny hours of the month and get some vitamin D. If you get hungry along the way, the open market and several great bistros are literally two minutes away – get some brunch or sit down for a hearty meal.
2) Don’t ask where we’re going
The terrain in Rijeka does require taking some questionable routes in order to arrive at whatever destination you might be headed for, but in this case, we’re not suggesting a mystery trip. The phrase above is part of the title of an exhibition that’s currently on display in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMSU). It’s a massive Tomislav Gotovac retrospective; titled Crisis Anticipator – Don’t Ask Where We’re Going, the exhibition sheds some light on the long career of the famous Croatian artist. Known as a sort of enfant terrible since the dawn of contemporary art in these parts, Gotovac was acclaimed and notorious in equal measure, and there probably isn’t a single person who hasn’t seen some of his performances, video installations or any other medium he tried his hand at. Always the first to deal with social issues through a critical approach, but with a substantial dose of humour and wit, Gotovac was one of few artists who left a significant mark in our culture’s history.
Another reason to see the exhibition: since Rijeka won the tender for the European Capital of Culture 2020, certain key locations in the city have been going through renovation works in order to spruce up the cultural scene. MMSU is one of them, so the museum relocated from its previous venue to the former factory Rikard Benčić. A makeover of the factory complex is in full swing, and this particular exhibition provides an opportunity to see some great art and preserved industrial architecture that’s known as one of the prominent features of Rijeka’s heritage. More information can be found here.
3) Go see a movie
Art kino Croatia, Rijeka’s only arthouse cinema, has a couple of screenings this weekend all movie buffs should enjoy. Instead of the regular late-night blockbuster in a multiplex chain, go give the independent scene some love anytime between breakfast and… whatever your evening plans might be. On Saturday at 11, there’s a screening of Pat&Mat, everyone’s favourite pair of endearingly clumsy handymen; if you’ve been wondering what happens to those socks that go missing in the washing machine, check out the Czech animated film The Oddsockeaters at 4 in the afternoon. The Czech Film Week continues on Sunday with screenings of Angel of God 2 at 4 and I, Olga Hepnarova at 9. You’ll still have time to grab a drink afterwards.
4) Spend your evening in a tunnel
Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? No reason to worry, we’re not sending you into a Halloween-gone-wrong scenario, but a bar – and a very attractive one at that. It is an actual tunnel, as Tunel bar is located in a vaulted space under an elevated railway that passes through the city centre. Both cozy and elegant, the place is dimly lit by a soft red glow; waiters are friendly, the music programme eclectic. If you don’t make it to tonight’s Disco Juice, drop by on Saturday night for Cutering – a curated selection of funk, disco, nu jazz and house, and dance the night away. In case you have a slight case of claustrophobia going on and the sole mention of a tunnel makes you nauseous, here’s another suggestion: The Beertija, a spacious lively pub in Trsat neighbourhood. No special events have been announced for this weekend, but it should suffice to mention their name is a clever play on words: birtija is a local slang term for a bar, and as for the beer… they have 200+ selection of brews. You’re welcome.
5) Craft beer festival in Opatija
More beer! The craft scene in Croatia is booming, and there’s no shortage of attractive events where you can sample the best that our breweries have to offer. While you’re in Rijeka, it would be a shame not to pay Opatija a quick visit: the terrace of Hotel Continental is hosting the Craft Beer & Sausage Festival, an event all hedonists are advised to indulge in. The festival will see some of the better known Croatian craft breweries: Zmajska pivovara, Lepi Dečki brewery, Nova Runda, Prvo viško pivo and Kings Caffé. As it’s not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, get a sausage on the side and sample away. The festival is open to visitors from 9 to 21 on Saturday and 9 to 16 on Sunday. Follow up with a relaxing walk along the Lungo Mare promenade, and you have yourself a perfect end of the week.