Opatija is the largest town on the eastern coast of Istria. It is the most famous and elegant tourist destination on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As an ideal tourist place for all seasons, Opatija is also the center of congress tourism.
The past of Opatija is not long, despite the fact that its name is mentioned in 1453 as a Benedictine abbey on the remains of Roman buildings. The current settlement was named after the abbey of St. Jacob, which has existed in its present form since 1506. The oldest building in Opatija is the Villa Angiolina from 1844, surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park with subtropical vegetation. Before they started building houses, in 1838 they built a road connection from Rijeka to Opatija. The city slowly became a holiday destination for the Budapest, Vienna and even Berlin and Prague aristocracy. Around 1880, the Southern Railway Company of Vienna bought the Villa Angiolina and a larger land complex. During this time, the construction of tourist facilities, villas, hotels, baths, spas and parks began. During this first period, the Hotel Kvarner (1884), the Hotel Imperial and Opatija (1885) and the Villa Amalio (1890) were built. The arrangement of the Opatija park also originates from this period. In 1889, Opatija was declared a health resort for many diseases. The largest cultural and historical sights are the villa and park Angiolina, hotel Kvarner, Opatija sculptures, sculpture of a girl with a seagull, the church of St. Jakoba, the Church of the Annunciation, the Opatija market, the Croatian Museum of Tourism and much more.
Along the coast of Opatija from Volosko to Lovran by the sea runs about ten kilometers long promenade, the famous Opatija lungomare, which gives the city and its Riviera an additional charm. Opatija hosts a number of different entertainment, cultural and sports events, mostly of a traditional nature.