What to do in Opatija in 2024 (Full Guide)

Opatija, located on the stunning Adriatic coast of Croatia, is a charming and picturesque destination that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors.

From its breathtaking promenade to its historic villas and beautiful beaches, Opatija is a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and gastronomic delights.

Opatija is an excellent place for a vacation and a short stay, and it’s only 10 km from Rijeka.

If I had to give you only one reason to visit Opatija it would be the most beautiful coastal paths in the regionYet, there are many more!

In this article, we will explore the top things to do and see in Opatija, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

Getting to Opatija

To reach Opatija, there are several convenient modes of transportation available.

If you are arriving by air, the nearest international airports are Rijeka Airport, located just 45 minutes away at Krk.

Your next option is Pula Airport, approximately a 90-minute drive from Opatija. Additionally, you can also reach Opatija by train, with Rijeka being the nearest major train station.

Once you arrive, you can easily access the attractions in Opatija through local transportation options such as buses and taxis.


Exploring the Promenade

One of the must-visit attractions in Opatija is the famous Lungomare promenade. Stretching for 12 kilometers along the Adriatic coastline, this scenic walkway offers breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscapes. As you stroll along the promenade, you’ll be captivated by the fresh sea breeze and the sound of waves crashing against the shore.

The Lungomare promenade is lined with charming cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, where you can take a break and indulge in some local delicacies or shop for unique souvenirs.

Along the way, you’ll also come across various landmarks and points of interest, including the iconic statue of the Maiden with the Seagull and the impressive Croatian Walk of Fame.

The Croatian Walk of Fame is full of names such as Nikola Tesla, Mate Parlov, Slavoljub Penkala, and many more influential Croatians.

When I was little, I always imagined Opatija as a small Hollywood because Opatija always had a unique charm like nowhere else in the region.

Furthermore, for nature enthusiasts, the promenade provides access to hidden coves and secluded beaches, where you can unwind and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic. You can also find benches and sitting areas along the promenade, allowing you to relax and soak in the stunning views.

It’s not unusual to find live music above the beaches, so I have only the best memories of summer nights on Opatija’s beaches.

Visiting the Historic Villas

Opatija is renowned for its historic villas, which showcase the town’s rich architectural heritage. These elegant villas were once summer residences for noble families and aristocrats, and many of them have been beautifully preserved. Exploring these villas offers a glimpse into the grandeur and opulence of the past.

Among the notable villas in Opatija, Villa Angiolina stands out as a symbol of the town’s history. Built-in the 19th century, this neoclassical villa served as the summer residence of the wealthy merchant Iginio Scarpa and later became the gathering place for influential figures of that time.

Today, it houses the Croatian Museum of Tourism, where you can learn about the development of tourism in the region.

Another must-visit villa is Villa Amalia, known for its stunning art nouveau architecture. This villa showcases a harmonious blend of decorative elements, including intricate ironwork, colorful ceramics, and beautiful stained glass windows.

The villa is surrounded by a lush garden, providing a tranquil oasis in the heart of Opatija.

It’s not a coincidence that filmmakers from all over the world rent these villas, gardens, and streets for tv series and movies.

Enjoying the Beaches

No visit to Opatija is complete without experiencing its beautiful beaches. The town boasts a range of beaches, catering to different preferences and interests. Whether you’re looking for a lively beach with water sports activities or a secluded spot for relaxation, Opatija has it all.

One of the most popular beaches is Slatina Beach, located in the center of Opatija. This pebble beach offers clear turquoise waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. It is well-equipped with facilities such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and beachside cafes.

If you prefer a more tranquil setting, head to Lido Beach. Nestled in a picturesque bay, this sandy beach provides a serene environment for unwinding. You can rent a sunbed and enjoy a refreshing drink while taking in the panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea.

For those seeking adventure, Opatija offers opportunities for various water sports, including snorkeling, diving, and sailing. Explore the rich and colorful underwater world or embark on a thrilling boat excursion to nearby islands and hidden coves.

While there are more than a few nearby islands worth exploring, I’d recommend Cres, as one of the most beautiful and interesting islands in the region.

Indulging in Gastronomic Delights

Opatija is a paradise for food lovers, offering a diverse culinary scene that combines traditional Croatian flavors with international influences. From seafood delicacies to hearty meat dishes, the town’s restaurants and cafes cater to all tastes.

Start your gastronomic journey with a taste of local specialties such as “Istarski pršut” (Istrian prosciutto), “škampi na buzaru” (shrimp in tomato and garlic sauce), or “fuži” (homemade pasta)

Pair your meal with a glass of the finest local Croatian wine or indulge in a traditional herbal liqueur called “biska” for a truly authentic experience.

When it comes to dining, Opatija offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From fine dining restaurants with panoramic sea views to cozy family-run taverns serving homemade dishes, there is something for everyone.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert, as Opatija is famous for its delectable cakes and pastries. As a matter of fact, Opatija was always a go-to place for those with a sweet tooth, as only the best restaurants and sweet shops nested the city.

Exploring Nature

Opatija is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Take a break from the bustling town and venture into the nearby parks, mountains, and hiking trails to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

One of the must-visit locations is Učka Nature Park, located just a short drive from Opatija. This mountainous park offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding islands. Explore the park’s hiking trails that lead you through diverse landscapes, lush forests, and rocky peaks.

If you’re up for a challenge, hike to the top of Mount Učka for a truly rewarding experience (in my experience it’s not easy to get to the top, but the adventure is always worth it).

Another natural gem near Opatija is the beautiful Kvarner Islands such as Cres, Krk, and Lošinj. Embark on a boat excursion and discover the hidden bays, crystal-clear waters, and untouched nature of these islands. Whether you choose to relax on the secluded beaches, snorkel in vibrant underwater ecosystems, or explore charming fishing villages, the Kvarner Islands will leave you enchanted.

Discovering Cultural Heritage

Opatija is not only blessed with natural beauty but also boasts a rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the town’s history and art scene by visiting its museums, and art galleries, and attending cultural events.

The Croatian Museum of Tourism, located in Villa Angiolina, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Learn about the evolution of tourism in Croatia through interactive exhibits and displays showcasing vintage photographs, postcards, and travel memorabilia.

Art lovers should explore the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, a prestigious gallery that hosts contemporary art exhibitions by both Croatian and international artists. The gallery is housed in a magnificent building dating back to the 19th century and is a true architectural gem.

Throughout the year, Opatija hosts various cultural events and festivals, ranging from music concerts to art exhibitions and traditional folklore performances.

So, check the local event calendar and get ready for a great time.

Enjoying Wellness and Spa

If relaxation and rejuvenation are on your agenda, Opatija offers a wide range of wellness and spa options to pamper your senses. The town is renowned for its healing climate, which attracted many visitors seeking therapeutic treatments in the past.

Indulge in luxurious spa experiences in Opatija’s prestigious wellness centers and hotels, offering a range of treatments including massages, facials, and body wraps. Immerse yourself in soothing saunas, Jacuzzis, and thermal pools to unwind and revitalize.

Opatija’s wellness centers also offer specialized medical spa programs that focus on improving health and well-being. From stress management to weight loss and anti-aging therapies, these programs provide personalized care in a serene and rejuvenating environment.


Opatija is full of surrounding attractions and one popular day trip option is a visit to the nearby town of Rijeka, the largest port city in Croatia. Explore its historic Old Town, stroll along the bustling Korzo promenade, and visit cultural landmarks such as the Roman ruins in the old town and Trsat Castle.

Rijeka also hosts vibrant festivals and events throughout the year, providing a lively atmosphere!

For nature lovers, a visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must. Located a few hours drive from Opatija, this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its cascading waterfalls, turquoise lakes, and lush forests straight out of those fantasy movies.

Another recommended excursion is a boat trip to the nearby islands of Cres and Krk. These islands boast pristine beaches, charming coastal villages, and a relaxed atmosphere. Discover hidden coves, enjoy water sports activities, or simply bask in the sun while taking in the stunning coastal landscapes.

If you’re interested in history and culture, a day trip to the Istrian Peninsula is highly recommended.

Explore the picturesque town of Pula, famous for its well-preserved Roman amphitheater (among the best preserved in the world) and charming old town.

Visit the hilltop village of Motovun, hear local myths and legends, enjoy local film festivals, and indulge in the local truffle delicacies and wines for a true gastronomic experience.

Or perhaps, visit the smallest town in the world. Hum, is the smallest town in the world recognized by the Guinness World Records!

Sports and Outdoor Activities

Opatija offers a wide range of sports and outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. From hiking and cycling to water sports and adrenaline-pumping experiences, there is something for every thrill-seeker.

Discover the natural beauty surrounding Opatija by embarking on hiking trails that lead you through lush forests and to breathtaking viewpoints. The Učka Nature Park offers numerous well-marked trails suitable for all fitness levels. Enjoy panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline as you conquer the peaks.

Cycling enthusiasts will find joy in exploring the scenic routes and bike paths that wind through Opatija and its surrounding areas. Rent a bike and pedal along the Lungomare promenade, or venture further into the countryside to discover charming villages and picturesque landscapes.

Water sports lovers can indulge in activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. Explore the coastline from a different perspective and experience the thrill of gliding across the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

For an adrenaline rush, consider paragliding or bungee jumping. Take to the skies and admire the stunning aerial views of Opatija and its surroundings. Feel the thrill of free-falling and experience an unforgettable adventure.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Opatija offers a delightful shopping experience, with a variety of shops and markets to explore. Stroll along the charming streets and browse through boutique stores, fashion boutiques, and art galleries.

Visit the bustling Central Market to discover a wide range of fresh local produce, including fruits, vegetables, cheese, and honey. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and interact with the friendly local vendors.

If you’re looking for unique souvenirs, head to the Craft Market, where you’ll find handmade crafts, jewelry, ceramics, and traditional Croatian products. Support local artisans and take home a piece of Opatija’s culture and heritage.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Opatija comes alive after dark, offering a vibrant nightlife scene for visitors to enjoy. The town boasts a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, ensuring there is something for every taste.

After all, Opatija was once the musical hotspot with the best disco clubs. While it’s true that the golden days of Opatija belong to the last century, it’s still home to many good clubs and parties.

Start your evening with a relaxing drink at one of the many waterfront bars, where you can unwind while enjoying panoramic views of the sea.

Sip on a refreshing cocktail from a beach bar or indulge in a glass of local wine as you soak up the lively atmosphere.

If you are looking for parties, you’ll find various events during summer with after-parties that last until the early morning hours.


In conclusion, Opatija is a charming coastal town in Croatia that offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the scenic Lungomare promenade and historic villas to indulging in gastronomic delights and relaxing on beautiful beaches, there is something for everyone in Opatija.

The town’s natural beauty, with its surrounding parks, mountains, and islands, provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and exploration. Whether you prefer hiking, cycling, water sports, or simply immersing yourself in nature, Opatija has it all.

Opatija also embraces its rich cultural heritage, with museums, art galleries, and cultural events that allow visitors to delve into the town’s history and art scene. Additionally, the wellness and spa offerings provide the perfect opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation.

With its proximity to other notable destinations like Rijeka, the Plitvice Lakes, and the Istrian Peninsula, Opatija serves as an excellent base for day trips and excursions, allowing visitors to further explore the wonders of Croatia.

As night falls, Opatija’s vibrant nightlife comes alive, offering a variety of entertainment options and venues to suit every preference. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back evening by the waterfront or a lively night out on the town, Opatija has you covered.

So, if you’re planning a visit to Croatia, be sure to include Opatija in your itinerary. With its picturesque landscapes, rich history, delightful cuisine, and warm hospitality, it promises a truly memorable experience.


Is Opatija a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely! Opatija offers a range of activities suitable for families, including beaches with shallow waters, parks for picnics, and cultural attractions that cater to all age groups.

Can I visit Opatija during the winter months?

Yes, Opatija has a mild Mediterranean climate, making it an ideal destination year-round. While the summer months are popular for beach activities, winter offers a different charm with festive decorations, cultural events, and pleasant weather for exploring.

Are there any local festivals or events in Opatija?

Yes, Opatija hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional folklore performances. Check the local event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Can I find vegetarian or vegan options in Opatija’s restaurants?

Yes, Opatija’s restaurants are accommodating when it comes to dietary preferences. Many establishments offer vegetarian and vegan options, and some even specialize in plant-based cuisine.

Is it possible to take day trips to nearby islands from Opatija?

Yes, Opatija is well-connected to nearby islands like Cres and Krk, offering easy access for day trips. Explore the islands’ natural beauty, beaches, and charming villages for a memorable adventure.



Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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