The City of Rijeka with its surroundings (former municipality Rijeka – Kastav, Viškovo, Grobnik, Kostrena, Bakar, Kraljevica, Klana) has a population of 191,641. The Hungarian government in the 19th century developed Rijeka into one of the largest European ports and a powerful industrial centre due to its ideal geographical position and sea debt in Kvarner Bay. Rijeka was also significant as one of the most important financial centers in the former Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century there was an industrial breakdown followed by sudden decrease in port traffic, so in the new millennium Rijeka is starting to focus on the development of tourism and service sector.
Rijeka is located in western Croatia, 131 kilometres southwest of the capital, Zagreb, on the northern coast of Rijeka Bay (14° 26’ east longitude 45° 21’ north latitude), as part of the Kvarner Bay in the Adriatic Sea, which is a large bay of the Mediterranean Sea, most deeply indented to the European midland. The Rijeka Bay, which is bordered by Vela Vrata (between Istria and the island of Cres), Srednja Vrata (between Cres and Krk islands) and Mala vrata (between the island of Krk and the mainland) is connected to the Kvarner Bay and is deep enough (about 60 metres) for the biggest sailing ships, which enabled Rijeka to become one of important sea ports in this area. The City of Rijeka lies at the mouth of the river Rječina in the Vinodol micro-region of the Croatian coast. Two important land transport routes start in Rijeka. The first is determined by the fact that Rijeka lies in the area where Dinarides are at their narrowest point (about 50 kilometres), which makes it easier to connect the coast of the Adriatic Sea and Pannonian Basin, while the other route connects Rijeka, across the Postojna Gate, with Eastern Alps region.