Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia: A Detailed Guide

Plitvice lakes national park is undoubtedly the most famous place to visit in Croatia. I spent a day exploring the lakes, and it was a wonderful trip.

In this travel guide, I share useful information to help you plan a trip to Plitvice Lakes. The article includes the following sections:

  • Information about the lake
  • Things to see
  • How to get to Plitvice lakes
  • Day tour information
  • Places to stay near Plitvice
  • Ticket prices & opening hours
  • Best time to visit

About Plitvice lakes national park

Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia, covering an area of almost 300 km2.

The park attracts its visitors with 16 lakes interconnected by many waterfalls and a vast green karst landscape with a mix of forests and meadows.

Its lake system covers less than 1% of the national park and is divided into upper and lower lakes.

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia.

While the upper lakes are formed on impermeable dolomites and have gentle shores, the lower lakes are in a limestone canyon with steep cliffs.

  • Upper lakes: Prošćansko jezero, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Vir, Galovac, Milino jezero, Gradinsko jezero, Burgeti and Kozjak.
  • Lower lakes: Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluđerovac and Novakovića Brod

There are also many waterfalls in the park, with the largest waterfall being Veliki Slap (70m tall).

Plitvice is also home to bears, wolves, lynx, and many rare bird species. However, you’ll probably just see fish on your trip.

Things to see at Plitvice lakes national park

Plitvice has plenty of things to see and do, whether you start at Entrance 1 (the lower lakes) or Entrance 2 (the upper lakes).

Explore the lakes and waterfalls

For photo opportunities, head to Entrance 1, where you can take an excellent view down on the lakes and waterfalls from up high.

Starting at the North entrance (Entrance 1), you can follow a gravel path and reach the wooden walkways to cross the lakes.

You’ll then get to see the Veliki Slap and several other waterfalls.

Great Waterfall Croatia.

Supljara Cave

Also, don’t forget to take a look at Supljara Cave on your trip.

Supljara Cave stairs Plitvice Croatia.

Take a boat ride and panoramic train

Some sightseeing programs such as Route C includes electric-boat rides and panoramic train. They’re truly amazing and offer spectacular views of the park.

Plitvice lakes boat Croatia.

Rowing

You can rent a boat at lake Kozjak at 70 kuna/ hour. Please note that the working hours are from 10 am – 6 p, and there are four people max each boat.

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia.

Hiking

You can take one of the four hiking trails for a closer look at the park’s ecological systems.

The trails will take you through forest complexes and mountain meadows with beautiful viewpoints. More information on hiking routes is here.

Plitvice lakes routes

You can choose amongst seven different routes to explore this beautiful national park. A sightseeing route combines walks, electric-boat rides, and panoramic trains.

Expect to spend about 2 to 3 hours choosing the shortest route and up to 8 hours for the longest trail.

walking path.

The routes begin at either Entrance 1 and 2. Below is the route length, map and an estimated time for each course.

RouteDuration (hours)Length(m)Entrance
A2 – 335001
B3 – 440001
C4 – 580001
E2 – 351002
F3 – 446002
H4 – 689002
K6 – 8183001 & 2

How to get to Plitvice lakes national park?

You can easily get to Plitvice Lakes National Park by bus from Zagreb, Zadar, Split and other places in Croatia.

Below is a table indicating the distance and travel time from some locations, and you can book your tickets accordingly.

FromDistance(km)Travel timeTickets
Zagreb1402h 30mBook tickets
Zadar1302hBook tickets
Split2408hBook tickets
Dubrovnik45011h 30mBook tickets
Karlovac761h 10mBook tickets
Varaždin2154h 20m

If you plan to drive to Plitvice, there are parking lots at both Entrance 1 and Entrance 2. The parking fee is 8 to 10 kuna/ hour per car.

I always use Rentalcars.com to book cars when we travel. You can select the best prices and models, and the site has an excellent cancelation policy.

=> Check your car options.

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia.

Plitvice lakes day tours

Taking a day tour is a convenient way to explore Plitvice lakes national park.

You won’t have to worry much about transportation, as it’s included in the program. You’ll also learn useful information from a tour guide and enjoy other peaks.

Places to stay near Plitvice lakes

There are plenty of places to stay near Plitvice and nearby towns and villages.

Located just 300 meters from lake Kozjak, Hotel Jezero is a perfect stay for those who want to be with nature.

The hotel includes on-site restaurants, a whirlpool, a Finnish sauna, a Turkish steam bath, and a beauty salon.

Plitvice lakes national park ticket prices

The entrance ticket to Plitvice lakes national park includes the entrance fee, accident insurance, and transport with the electric boat and panorama train. It’s also contributed to the park’s preservation and management.

The prices change throughout the year, with the most expensive period being from August to September.

You can buy a one-day ticket or a 2-day one to enjoy the most of the park.

Prices for adults

For adults, it’s 80 Kuna (£9/€10.50/$12) from January to May and in November and December.

Expect to pay 150 Kuna (£/€/$) in June, 200 Kuna (£/€/$) in July, 250 Kuna (£/€/$) for June to September, and 180 Kuna (£21/€24/$27) in October.

From July to September, you’ll get a discount if you visit the park after 3 pm.

Group price

Also, you can enjoy a discount if you travel in a group. The minimum number of people per group is ten people.

However, you’ll need to write an email to prodaja@np-plitvicka-jezera.hr at least one day before your visit.

Price list

You can buy Plitvice Lakes National Park tickets in advance online or at the ticket booths at both entrances.

I recommend buying tickets in advance if you travel in the summer (July to Sept) to avoid waiting in a long queue.

VISITORPRICE PER PERSON (kuna)
Jan–May
Nov–Dec
JuneJulyAug–SeptOct
ABAB
Adults80150200150250150180
Adults – group*75135180135220135160
Students5070125100125100110
Students – group*45601109011090100
Children 7-1835357050705050
Children 7-18 – group*30306045604545
Children under 7Free

**For the latest prices, you can check the official price list

Guided tour

You can also pre-book a guided tour if you travel in a group (min 10 people and max 50 people). Tours are available in Croatian, English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Marketing department if you have any questions or reservations.

TYPEPRICE (kuna)
HALF-DAY TOUR
(up to 4 hours)
900
FULL-DAY TOUR
(5 – 6 hours)
1.300

Parking fees

VehicleApr-MayJune-SeptOct
MotorbikeFree
Car8kn/hour10kn/hour8kn/hour
Camper80kn/day100kn/day80kn/day
Automobile with trailer80kn/day100kn/day80kn/day
Bus80kn/day100kn/day80kn/day

Plitvice lakes opening hours

Plitvice Lakes National Park opens daily from 7 am to 6 pm. However, the ticket booths at both entrances are open only until 3 pm.

The best time visit Plitvice lakes

Plitvice lakes national park is most beautiful during the summer months.

However, it’s also the most crowded time, with long lines of travelers, and you can only move very slowly along the pathways.

Therefore, the ideal time to visit Plitvice lakes is spring (May) or late summer (October), with fewer visitors. At this time, the weather is good, and the park is open for long hours.

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