Rijeka is a bustling, trendy port city with a history ravaged by disasters and wars. It is full of fascinating museums, has great nightlife, and is host to Croatia’s largest carnival - the colourful Rijeka Carnival. The city has been fought over for hundreds of years because of its natural port formation and strategic position. Walk up more than 500 steps to see one of the oldest buildings — Trsat Castle, a 13th century castle built high on a hill overlooking the city. From 1466 to 1918, Rijeka was under Austrian rule, and you’ll see that many of the old buildings and churches have a very Austrian flavour to them. For some war history, visit the Maritime and Historical Museum of Croatia in the gorgeous Governor’s Palace and the 1930s torpedo ramp — self-propelled torpedoes were invented in Rijeka. Or check out the National History Museum, the Art Museum or the Computer Museum. With hundreds of bars and nightclubs across the city, some say Rijeka is one of the best cities for nightlife in northern Croatia. There is a great selection including floating bars, relaxing bars, live music bars and dance clubs. There are also annual multi-day music festivals such as rock event Ri Rock and dance music festival Hartera. There are a couple of beaches to the east and west of Rijeka, or you can take a boat to the nearby islands for a bigger range of places to swim. The area offers great diving, with numerous shipwrecks, unusual coral and sea life to see. For hiking, biking and adventure sports, head inland to Gorski Kotar, a forest park with lakes, rivers, caves and mountains. If you’re visiting Rijeka in winter, there is a small ski resort 10km away, which usually gets lots of snow.