Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must when you’re exploring Croatia. Here you’ll find countless waterfalls and beautiful blue-green lakes.
Why do you need to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park?
For many people, the Plitvice Lakes are high on their bucket list when visiting Croatia. In fact, this national park is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and home to the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. The park consists of sixteen lakes and countless waterfalls. The lakes have a beautiful blue-green color and the water is so clear that you can easily see fish swimming in the lakes. Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvička Jezera in Croatian) is an absolute must during a trip to Croatia.
Book your tickets for the Plitvice Lakes in advance
Since visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park is extremely popular, it is wise (especially in the summer months) to book your tickets in advance. They only allow a limited number of people per time slot. Once you’re inside, you can stay as long as you want. The park is open 365 days a year between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Please note the park has two different entrances: entrance 1 and entrance 2. Your ticket is valid for one of these entrances. It doesn’t really matter which entrance you start at, although it may be a little quieter at entrance 2. In any case, when you explore the park and visit all the highlights, you probably pass both entrances.
Are you taking the chance and want to buy a ticket on the spot? That is possible until 3 pm.
How much are tickets to the Plitvice Lakes?
The park has different entrance fees throughout the year. For example, it is a lot more expensive to visit the park in the summer than in the winter. These are the prices for adults in 2021:
- January 1 to May 31 and November 1 to December 31: 80 kn (approximately €10-€11)
- 1 to 30 June: 150 kn (€20)
- July 1 to 31: 200 kn (€26-€27)
- August 1 to September 30: 250 kn (€33-€34)
There are discounts for children, students, and groups. On this page, you will find the latest version of the price list.
How to get to the Plitvice Lakes?
You can visit Plitvice Lakes by car, bus, or an organized tour.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in central Croatia and is therefore easily accessible by car from various places. For example:
- From Zagreb: 134 kilometers, 2 hours
- From Rijeka: 171 kilometers, 2.5 hours
- From Zadar: 136 kilometers, 2 hours
- From Split: 261 kilometers, 3 hours
There is a very good chance that you will pass one or more toll roads when you’re driving to Plitvice Lakes.
Croatia has a pretty good network when it comes to long-distance buses. Several buses stop daily at Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you come from Zagreb, Zadar, or Split, it is very easy to visit the Plitvice Lakes by bus. Check Flixbus or Busbud for timetables and to buy a ticket.
Organized tours to Plitvice Lakes
Don’t feel like arranging it all yourself and would you like to learn more about the lakes with the help of a guide? Organized tours to the Plitvice Lakes are also offered from various places. You can book these via Get Your Guide. A few examples:
- From Split or Trogir: Plitvice Day Tour with Admission Included
- From Zagreb: Plitvice National Park & Rastoke
- From Zadar: Plitvice Lakes National Park Tour
What to see in Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Which places should you definitely see during your visit to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes? A few highlights:
Velikik Slap is the largest waterfall in the park. It is 78 meters tall, making it the tallest waterfall in all of Croatia.
The waterfalls at the upper lakes
The park consists of two parts, the upper lakes, and the lower lakes. The upper lakes have a more jungle-like vibe, lots of greenery, and lots of waterfalls. It feels very adventurous to walk around here.
Find the bluest lakes
The lower you go, the bluer the lakes seem to get. Especially at the lower lakes, you see bright blue lakes like in this picture. It is so beautiful!
Not far from the Veliki Slap you will find the Supljara cave. You can walk through this cave and even climb a bit (make sure you have sturdy footwear, it can be very slippery). From the cave, you have a beautiful view of the lower lakes.
Check out the views from the Cliffwalk
East of the lower lakes is the Cliffwalk, which runs from P3 in the middle of the park to Veliki Slap. Along this hiking trail, you will find several beautiful views. Not many people follow this trail, so this is also a perfect hike if you are looking for some peace and quiet.
Fixed routes in the park
To make it easy for the visitor, seven different routes have been set out in the park. From both entrances, you can choose four fixed routes. One of the routes is the same at both entrances, so there are seven in total.
The routes from entrance 1:
- Route A: 2 to 3 hours. This is a 3.5-kilometer hiking trail along the lower lakes.
- Route B: 3 to 4 hours. A nice combination of a 4-kilometer long hiking trail, a ride on the tram, and a boat trip.
- Route C: 4 to 5 hours. Combination of two hikes along the lower and upper lakes (8 kilometers in total), a tram ride, and a boat trip.
- Route K: 6 to 8 hours. During this route, you hike along all of the lakes, 18.3 kilometers in total. Route K starts at both entrance 1 and entrance 2.
The routes from entrance 2:
- Route E: 2 to 3 hours. A 5.1-kilometer hike along the upper lakes and you take the tram back to the entrance.
- Route F: 3 to 4 hours. A 4.6-kilometer hike along the Lower Lakes, a boat trip, and a tram ride.
- Route H: 4 to 6 hours. A combination of two walking routes along both the upper and lower lakes, a boat trip, and two tram rides.
The routes are very easy to follow by following the colored letters. Of course, you are free to deviate from the routes, but it is a great start when you’re visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park for the first time. Check this page to see maps of the different routes.
How to avoid the crowds?
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Croatia and it can get very crowded. Avoiding the crowds completely is almost impossible, but these tips definitely help to have a more relaxed experience:
- The park opens at 7 am, so make sure you’re there at that time. Most groups don’t come until after 10 am, so you have most of the places to yourself.
- Don’t want to get up so early? It also gets a little less crowded after 3 pm.
- At peak times (between 10 and 2), don’t go to the popular spots like the wooden boardwalks in the central area of the park or Veliki Slap. This is the best time to explore the hiking trails just outside the lakes such as the Cliff Walk.
Where to stay?
Do you want to get the most out of your visit? Then it is highly recommended to stay one or more nights near the Plitvice Lakes.
Guesthouse or hotel
There are many guesthouses and hotels in the vicinity of Plitvice Lakes National Park. There are several villages that are within walking distance of one of the entrances and therefore it is useful to look for accommodation there. These are Rastovača (entrance 1), Plitvička Jezera (entrance 2), and Jezerce (entrance 2, from here it is a little further walk than Plitvička Jezera, but the accommodations are also a lot cheaper here).
These are a few nice accommodations:
- € Guest House Wolf in Jezerce – basic, but clean and large rooms. About a 20 to 25 minute walk to entrance 2.
- €€ House Flora in Rastovača – great guest house and only a 10-minute walk to entrance 1.
- €€€ Villa Lika in Plitvička Jezera – modern furnished rooms with a great view. About a 15 to 20 minute walk to entrance 2.
Prefer to see all the options yourself? Check Booking.com.
Campgrounds near the Plitvice Lakes
There are no campsites in Plitvice National Park, but there are a few in the area. Three campgrounds are north of the park (on the side of entrance 1). These are:
- Camping Plitvice: small campground with wifi and an outdoor swimming pool. Dogs are allowed.
- Camping Korana: a very large campground in the hills with some beautiful views. Dogs are allowed.
- Plitvice Holiday Resort: medium-sized campground.
In addition, there is a campsite south of the park, on the side of entrance 2:
- Camping Borje: large campground in a pine forest. Dogs are allowed.
Please note that the campsites are at least 5 kilometers from the nearest entrance, so it is wise to travel to the park by car.
Frequently Asked Questions about Plitvice Lakes
Do you have any other questions about visiting Plitvice Lakes? These are the most frequently asked questions about Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Do you have another question? Leave a message underneath this article and I’ll look it up for you.
More tips for a fun vacation in Croatia
Would you like to visit the Plitvice Lakes during a vacation in Croatia? These websites are useful when booking your trip:
- You can find the cheapest airline tickets via Skyscanner.
- Check Booking.com for the best hotels, hostels and apartments. Are you looking for a place to stay away from the crowd? Then you can find awesome accommodation on the Nature house website.
- Check Rental Cars or Discover Cars for the best deals on rental cars in Croatia.
- Prefer to travel by bus? From my own experience, I know that Flixbus is good and cheap when you’re traveling in Croatia.
- You can find great tours and tickets for attractions at Get Your Guide.
In addition, these travel guides are packed with tips for a great trip:
Fodor’s Essential Croatia: with Montenegro & Slovenia (Full-color Travel Guide)
You can also find more information about various beautiful places in Croatia on this website. Check out:
- 14 fun things to do in Zagreb
- Awesome 3-week Croatia itinerary
- The most beautiful places in Croatia | Bucket List
More articles about amazing places in Croatia will appear on this website in the coming months. Don’t want to miss any updates? Subscribe to the newsletter.
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