Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia. Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water Port of Rijeka, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries.
Rijeka was host to the 2008 European Short Course Swimming Championships.
Swimmers from 21 nations won medals and 40 of the 51 national member Federations of LEN were present in Rijeka.
HNK Rijeka is Rijeka's main football team, currently playing in the first Croatian division.