Thanks to its excellent location in the Kvarner Gulf, the nice climate and good traffic connections, Rijeka has always attracted travellers. As early as the middle of the 19th century, smaller hotels were present in the city: Ugarskom kralju, Pošti and Kazalištu, and later the first Europa on the coastline, with hundreds of beds. The strong industrial development brought the new harbour and railways that connected Rijeka with Vienna and Budapest in 1873, as well as the construction of great hotels: the new Europa on the harbour coast and the Hotel de la Ville near the railway station.
Before the First World War, Rijeka was as large as Zagreb, but much richer. Rijeka’s electric tramway started in 1899, 11 years before Zagreb, and the city also had an impressive Fellner & Helmer theatre in 1885, ten years before Zagreb. It is not surprising that in 1914, the city had 20 hotels, some of which were very large. Opatija was the second tourist spot for the entire Austria-Hungary at the time, with only 13 hotels (but 133 villas!). The Albergo popolare was located in the Old Town under the St. Vitus’ Cathedral, Quarnero and Alla città di Milano have been completely forgotten, the Royal dominated in the Korzo, the Bonavia was in a more modest building than today, the Deak, Bristol, Hungaria and Hotel de la Ville were right beside each other near the railway station, and the centre held both the Lloyd and the monumental Europa.
The largest one was the Hotel emigranata on Mlaka, where numerous emigrants resided, awaiting the Cunard Line ships to transport them directly to New York. Situated in the old Industrial street, right by the sea, it measured 160 metres and had 1500 beds. Rijeka also had the Adria and Alla Marina Mercantile hotels. On the east side of the river Rječina, on Sušak, one could find the Kontinental, owned by A. Žagar and one of the best hotels in Europe at the time, the completely forgotten Sušak on the Rječina coast, the Klotilda on Pećine, and the hotel Jadran was about to be hastily completed above a small beach. The hotel was opened on 28 June 1914, the same day the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, which became the start of World War I.
In between the two world wars, Sušak was chosen as the most beautifully decorated tourist location on the coast, due to the efforts of the hotels Kontinental, Jadran, Park, Vila Dragica and Resch. In the once-Italian part of the city, business hotels abounded: Bonavia, Imperial, Reale, Quarnero, Adria and Excelsior. As the times saw drastic changes, the city adapted its offer. So, today, as well as 4 hotels (the Bonavia, Kontinental, Neboder and Jadran), there are a lot of hostels: Kvarner, Happy, Korzo, Kosy, Češka beseda, Carnevale, Morčić, Kod Duje, the Marina boat-hotel, Rijeka, Lavanda, Kantrida, Dharma, 1W, Fun, Das Hostel.