Have you ever dreamed of taking a cruise to Rijeka, Croatia? After booking your European cruise with Carnival, you’ll be glad you did. Although Rijeka is Croatia’s third-largest city, it is the perfect blend of modest yet thrilling. It is a great non-touristy city with an endless list of fun adventures to offer.
Between visits to castles and the beach’s cobalt-blue waters, there’s plenty of time for shopping, especially at one of the town’s markets and on its main street, Korzo. If you’d like to know what to buy in Rijeka, here’s a list to bring along on your explorations.
For wine enthusiasts, or those interested in trying something new, enjoy an adventurous shore excursion to Rijeka’s Island of Krk. There, you’ll find lush vineyards and wineries offering a taste of žlahtina white wine. You’ll visit the Konoba Nada Wine Cellar, and have the opportunity to bring home a bottle of its signature wine, as a memento of this charming village.
Carnival allows you to bring back one 750-ml bottle per adult if you’re over 21 years of age. Check out our liquor and beverage policy to learn more!
2. A Šibenik Button
One of the simplest, yet most beautiful souvenirs from Rijeka is the silver filigree button, that’s actually more of a piece of jewelry. The button is hollow and ornamental on the outside with beaded designs. Wear them as buttons or as a necklace to add the perfect touch to your dinner outfit.
3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Head to the southernmost part of the Istrian Peninsula to visit the historic town of Pula for its ancient streets and buildings. Also you don’t want to miss the Chiavalon family estate with its thousands of olive trees used to produce extra-virgin olive oil. Sample and savor it, then bring home a bottle of this fine EVOO.
Just make sure your oil is well packaged, unopened and kept in a cool, dark spot for a safe trip back home.
4. Anything Šta da?
Šta da?, the famous Rijeka catchphrase, means “Really?” or “You Don’t Say?” Bring home a T-shirt, shoulder bag or any other item with this saying to have something unique to Croatian pop culture and that you can only get in Rijeka.
5. Ties and Neckwear
Neckties are believed to have originated in the 17th century, seen on Croatian soldiers who wore cloth around their neck as part of a uniform. These neckties became a popular look and soon became a fashion statement that spread across the world. Buy a Croatian-designed tie to spice up your haberdashery back home.
One of the things to do in Rijeka is to visit the crystal factories. If you are unable to, then you’ll certainly find the Croatian-made glass in town. Glasses, dishes and bowls are handmade into beautiful and delicate works of art in factories that manually grind the crystal. Make sure to pick one of these beautifully designed pieces to bring back home to your friends and family!
7. Licitar Heart of Croatia
One of the most beautiful and original gifts you can bring home from Rijeka is a Licitar heart. They are a traditional symbol of the Croatian capital Zagreb. Licitar hearts can be edible or purely for decor. These intricately designed hearts are typically red and white and emblazoned with phrases or images. Authentic Licitar hearts are made from gingerbread, but you can also get them in the form of jewelry or holiday ornaments.
8. Morčić Good Luck Charm
Of all the things to buy in Rijeka, you’ll want to head home with the country’s good luck charm. Morčić good luck amulets are inspired by Venetian blackamoor morettos, figurine depictions of Italian Moors, who were Muslims from North Africa. The Moors were considered lucky in their battle wins.
9. A Croatian Wattle
A Croatian wattle is a traditional symbol seen on many of the country’s churches. It almost looks like a woven cross. You’ll find them in souvenir shops in town. You can find crosses engraved with the symbol and also as jewelry and as ornaments.
10. Croatian Lace
Croatian lace is fine and lovely and used to adorn folk costumes and homes alike. Since the lace is so delicate, many travelers take it home and frame it as a commemorative piece of artwork. You can find these beautiful lace pieces from local needlewomen who are practicing their craft in the market or in shops around the city.
These bright and colorful woven bags are handmade and used to be part of folk costumes across Croatia. Zovnica bags are usually worn by both trendsetters, as an iconic fashion statement, and by locals, who love the functionality of these bags.
The country of Croatia is also known for its handmade and hand-painted wooden toys. These sweet, colorful toys are carved from willow, beech and lime trees, and then painted by local artisans in bright hues to attract a child’s attention. Your little ones back home will love these as souvenirs!
13. Croatian Alphabet
Croatia has its own alphabet called Glagolitic, which was developed in the ninth century. Glagolitic has a rich history, and you’ll find all types of mementos with this alphabet. From paintings to T-shirts and home goods, an item with Glagolitic writing on it is definitely a souvenir you can only buy in Croatia.
14. A Set of Čokanjčić
Stock your home bar with these little corked, glass bottles meant to hold small amounts of alcoholic beverages. Čokanjčić are traditionally used during Croatian wedding receptions, yet they’re also found in taverns. Look for various hand-painted designs or flourishes on the bottles.
15. Zlatovez Embroidery
Zlatovez, also called gold embroidery, is another piece of artistry to bring home from Rijeka. This Slavonian tradition uses golden thread to embroider scenes and symbols in all types of materials. It was also used in clothing for wealthy families in Croatia in the 19th century. You’ll find it threaded fashionably on hats, shoes, jewelry, bags, key chains and on bottles. It’s also another piece of art you could take home and frame for your wall.
So many of the beautiful mementos you’ll find while touring Rijeka, and throughout Croatia, will be conversation starters for years to come. When on a European cruise with Carnival, you’ll also have the chance to stop in the port of Dubrovnik located on the Adriatic Sea.
Whichever Croatian port you find yourself in, you’ll have found a coastal haven. Just remember, you can’t leave Croatia before you sit down to enjoy the views of Rijeka, where the mountains meet the sea.