Opatija Old Town: Where history meets indulgence

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Opatija old town

Opatija's old town attracts numerous visitors year after year. A walk through the narrow streets will show you sights ranging from historic architecture to cozy cafes. The old town of Opatija Croatia is a must for any traveler who wants to experience the true heart of the city.

But the Old Town is not all Opatija has to offer. There are numerous other sights in the surrounding area of ​​Opatija that are worth visiting. From here you can easily explore other parts of the Opatija Riviera. Whether it's a trip to the nearby beaches or a hike in the Učka Nature Park, the options are diverse.

 

Church of St. Jacob in Opatija old town
Church of St. Jacob in the old town of Opatija in Croatia Photo: Marko Kelecevic

 

Discover the old town of Opatjia in Croatia

The old town of Opatija shows the development of the city. Opatija was originally a tranquil fishing village with a monastery that gave the place its name. “Opatija” means “abbey” in Croatian, and this monastery was the center of village life for a long time. During the Habsburg era it even bore its name: “Abbazia”.

But in the 19th century the tide began to turn. Opatija was discovered as a summer retreat for the nobility and European royal families. The old town experienced an upswing during this time. Magnificent villas and hotels were built that still shape the cityscape today. The old town was transformed into a meeting place for high society and a sophisticated health resort.

Over time, Opatija opened up to a wider audience. The city developed into a modern tourist metropolis on the Kvarner Bay. Especially in summer, crowds of visitors flock to the old town of Opatija.

 

Villa Angiolina in the old town of Opatija
Villa Angiolina in the old town of Opatija

 

Architectural sights in Opatija Old Town

The Old Town of Opatija is interesting for anyone interested in architecture. When you stroll through the streets, you immediately notice the variety of buildings. Everything from old fishermen's houses to magnificent villas is represented. The buildings from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire are particularly striking. They give the old town its characteristic flair.

But it's not just the large and well-known buildings that make the old town so interesting. Also pay attention to the details. Many houses have ornately decorated facades or colorful shutters that give them their very own character. These small special features make the old town an exciting place for discovery tours.

 

In the Angiolina Park in the old town of Opatija
In the Angiolina Park in the old town of Opatija

 

Museums and cultural institutions in the old town of Opatija Croatia

The Old Town of Opatija also has museums and cultural institutions that are worth visiting. A must for anyone who wants to understand the city's tourism development is the Tourism Museum. Here you will find out how Opatija grew from a fishing village to one of the most famous holiday destinations in Croatia.

The Juraj Sporer art pavilion is also worth seeing. This building houses changing exhibitions from painting to sculpture to photography.

Finally, don't forget the Opatija open-air theater, one of the city's most important event venues. In summer, for example, concerts, theater performances and other events take place here. The stage is located by the sea in the Angiolina city park.

 

Fuzi
Fuzi – try homemade noodles

 

Cafés and gastronomy: Opatija sights for connoisseurs

The old town of Opatija is also a paradise for connoisseurs and coffee lovers. As you stroll through the alleys, you will discover a variety of cafés offering everything from traditional to modern. One of the most famous, for example, is Caffé Wagner. Here you can enjoy a coffee in a historical atmosphere and feel like you are in another time.

But Opatija has even more to offer in terms of cuisine. The local cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean and Slavic influences. Be sure to try the “Fuzi,” handmade noodles served with seafood or meat. Or how about “fritule”, small fried dough balls that are often served as dessert?

A special highlight for those with a sweet tooth is the Milenji Choco World. This is not just a chocolate shop, but a world of experience around the cocoa bean. From handmade chocolates to chocolate workshops, everyone with a sweet passion will find what they are looking for here. In the shop in the hotel lobby of the Hotel Miramar you will find an extensive selection of olive oils and wines from the region, which also make a good souvenir from the Kvarner Bay.

 

Lungomare - the coastal promenade
Lungomare – the coastal promenade near the old town of Opatija

 

Opatija attractions in the area

Opatija's Old Town is undoubtedly a highlight, but the surrounding area also has a lot to offer. Just a stone's throw away you will find the famous one Lungomare, a coastal promenade that stretches for 12 kilometers. A stroll here not only offers great sea views, but also the opportunity to admire some of the city's historic villas and gardens.

Another interesting destination is the Učka Nature Park. Just a short drive from the Old Town, the park offers a variety of hiking trails and breathtaking panoramic views of the Kvarner Bay. For nature lovers, this park is an absolute must.

You can also take a trip to Rijeka. The port city is one of the largest cities in Croatia and is only 13 km from Opatija. There you can get a taste of big city air and be inspired by the multicultural and lively flair of the city.

 

The girl with the seagull
Do not miss! The girl with the seagull

 

Activities and events in Opatija Old Town

The Old Town of Opatija is also an event location. Depending on the season, you can experience different events and festivals here. In summer, the Opatija open-air theater is a hotspot for concerts and theater performances. The backdrop of the old town and the sound of the sea in the background make every event a special experience.

In winter the old town transforms into a festive paradise. The Christmas market is a highlight and offers everything from handmade gifts to local treats. It's the perfect opportunity to experience Croatian Christmas culture up close.

But there is also a lot to do in the old town apart from the big events. You can go on guided city tours that take you to the most important sights. Or how about a wine tasting, for example? Many of the local cafes and bars offer tastings where you can get to know the regional wines.

For the active ones among you, there is the opportunity to take part in a sailing trip. The harbor is just a short walk from the old town and from there you can explore Kvarner Bay.

Practical information

Parking in Opatija Old Town

Opatija Old Town is a popular travel destination, especially in the summer months. This has many advantages, but also brings with it some challenges, especially when it comes to parking. In high season it can be difficult to find parking near the old town. The streets are often full and public parking spaces quickly fill up.

A practical solution to this problem is to stay overnight in a hotel with private parking space*. Many hotels in and around the old town offer this service. This means you can park your car safely and explore the old town on foot without having to worry about parking. Not only does it make getting there and back easier, but it also gives you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace.

This tip is especially useful if you plan to spend several days in Opatija. A hotel with parking allows you to easily visit the surrounding attractions without having to look for a new parking space every time.

Opening hours

Before you go, it's good to know the opening times of the main attractions. The opening times of the Tourism Museum you can find it on their website. The Opatija Open Air Theater has different opening times depending on the event, so it's best to find out in advance.

A few tips for your visit

First, wear comfortable shoes. The Old Town isn't huge, but there's a lot to see and you'll probably do a lot of walking. Second, take time for a coffee or a glass of wine in one of the many charming cafes. It's the perfect opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the old town. Third, if you really want to experience the Old Town, plan your visit so that you can also take part in one of the many events that take place throughout the year.

Conclusion on visiting the old town of Opatija

Opatija's Old Town is the heart of the city and a reflection of its history and culture. From historic buildings and museums to modern cafes and event venues, the Old Town offers a wide range of experiences. It is not only a place to see, but also to touch, taste and discover. Its importance for Opatija is immense, because it is the center where everything comes together: history, culture and daily life.

I have a few personal recommendations for travelers. First, allow enough time for your visit. The old town may seem small, but it is rich in sights that you shouldn't rush to explore. Second, try the local cuisine. Many of the restaurants and cafés are family-run and offer authentic dishes. Third, if you come in the summer months, book a hotel with parking. This makes the journey and stay much easier.

Additional resources

The old town of Opatija in Croatia has so much to offer that it is sometimes difficult to keep track. Luckily, there are some useful resources that can help you get the most out of your stay. One of them is the official Opatija tourism website, which provides detailed information and an interactive map. This way you can plan which sights you want to visit before your trip. The map that we provide further up in the article will certainly be helpful.

If you're more of a digital type, there are also some apps designed specifically for travelers in Opatija. These apps often offer GPS-guided tours, restaurant recommendations, and even discount coupons for local stores.

For those who prefer to use paper, there are also traditional travel guides. They often provide background information that you wouldn't find in an app. A good guide can give you a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the Old Town.

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Source Opatija Old Town Croatia: own research on site. We visited the Hotel Miramar on a press trip. Our opinions definitely remain our own.

Text Old Town Opatija Croatia: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline, Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Opatija Old Town: Where history meets indulgence

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn