We Used Pokemon GO To Explore Rijeka (Yes, Really.)

Rijeka was only briefly mentioned in our Croatia guidebook.

And since we didn’t have detailed Rick Steves commentary to guide us through the city, we relied on the next best thing: Pokémon GO.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

(No, this is not a joke.)

Because the game is based on real world surroundings, you have to physically walk around in order to locate, capture, train, and battle Pokémon.

So that’s exactly what we did. We walked around, and whenever Michael’s phone would vibrate (to alert us that a PokéThing was near), we stopped to check it out.

We saw a WWII statue (and collected 3 pokéballs).

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

We checked out the Zajc Croatian National Theatre (and caught a Zubat).

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

And we found this cool park. (Plus, 2 pokeballs and a revive.)

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

Keep in mind that this was July 2016, so Pokemon GO had just come out.

We didn’t see many other tourists (because we were in Rijeka, a place nobody has heard of) – but plenty of the locals were playing too.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

Can you tell that Kazališni Park is a PokéStop? There was a statue, a view of Modello Palace (the fancy yellow building), and yes – lots of people catching Pokémon.

I’ll admit that, at first, I was a little skeptical. But we actually got a lot of pretty views exploring Rijeka like this! And we stopped at statues, parks, and public art that we might have otherwise missed.

For example, at one point, Pokémon GO told us that we should wander down (what appeared to be) a completely deserted, dead-end alley. Ummmm kay.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

It turned out to be a street completely filled with art!

And cute art, at that.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

(As an added bonus, Michael got experience points, gained a level, and caught some Pokés.)

We also meandered along the Korzo pedestrian promenade.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

And saw the Mrtvi Kanal.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

Our Pokéventures even led us up 571 steps(!) to Trsat Castle.

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

At the top, there were amazing aerial views of the city.

(And also a PokéGym.)

Pokemon GO in Rijeka | Croatia | The Travel Medley

Was this a silly way to see the Rijeka? Absolutely. (Come on. We’re silly people. This shouldn’t be surprising.)

But it’s also proof that there’s no “one right way” to travel! If you’re off the beaten path and need a good way to explore, Pokémon GO is an incredibly cheap, moderately knowledgeable, and super entertaining tour guide. (I was giggling the whole time.)

And this works all over the world, y’all. So get nerdy!

 

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