If you ever made a bucket list for Croatia, I’m absolutely sure Plitvice Lakes National Park was on that list!

Croatia is very proud of its most wonderful national park, to the point where we talk about it constantly.

Plitvice lakes is the first-ever national park in Croatia, which means that it’s our oldest park, and also one of the largest ones.

plitvice lakes

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In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it is not really hard to see why. The Park is full of different lakes, waterfalls, caves, and incredible greenery. All that combined makes the park look like it’s something out of a picture book.

In this blog post, we are going to go step by step throughout EVERYTHING you should know before visiting Croatia’s most scenic national park.

plitvice lakes


Plitvice Lakes National Park is quite literally in the middle of Croatia. Wherever you decide to visit Croatia, somehow the Lakes will be within your reach.

The Park is in the mountainous area of central Croatia and it is very well connected with the rest of the country.

plitvice lakes


The closest cities to the national park are Zagreb and Zadar. You can also visit the park if you’re coming from Split or Dubrovnik, but maybe then make it a 2-day trip as you will have a longer journey to get to the park.

The easiest and most comfortable way of getting to Plitvice is by car. The roads are great, and the tolls are cheap from whichever city you’re coming from. We went there from Zagreb and the tolls were 8 euros there and back.

If you don’t have a car, you can easily rent it. The rent for a day trip will not be expensive, and if you are visiting with someone else, the price of sharing a car won’t be that much different than buying multiple bus tickets.

From Zagreb, it will take you around 1 hour and 50 minutes to get to Plitvice, and from Zadar an hour and a half. Split is 2 and a half hours away, and Dubrovnik is over 5 hours of driving.


If you are not able to rent a car, there is always a bus. From Zagreb, the trip to Plitvice is around 2 and a half hours, and it’s around 13 euros one way. I’m leaving you a link for more details here. From Zadar, it’s almost the same – around 2 to 2 and a half hours, 10-13 euros, and you can see more information here.

You can also choose an organised day trip from Get Your Guide below:


Depending on when you decide to go, you must prepare for your trip to Plitvice.

If you decide to go during summer, which I wouldn’t really recommend, dress lightly and bring a lot of sunscreen with you. Also, swimming is strictly forbidden so you will not need a bathing suit. Make sure whatever you wear on your feet is made for walking because the trails are very long and might be a little uneven, you don’t want to slip and fall.

plitvice lakes
plitvice lakes

If you’re going during winter, dress in LAYERS. If you come in the morning, it’s probably going to be really cold, but the more you walk the more you will feel hot. For your feet – sturdy shoes, preferably boots (or these). If there’s snow or rain it’s obvious why, but even if it’s sunny, in fall and winter the water rises so there is a chance you will walk through the water at some point!


Both the prices and working hours depend on the season.

During summer, the park is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the ticket for adults is 35 Euros. During winter, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the ticket is 10 Euros. I’m leaving you the link to their official working hours page and ticket prices page.

plitvice lakes

My honest advice is – don’t go in the summer. The summer season from June to September is the most expensive and also the most crowded. You pay 35 euros to walk behind a bunch of tourists, you can’t take amazing pictures because there is always someone in the way, and sometimes even the water levels are lower because it’s usually over 35 degrees Celsius in Croatia during summer.

I’ve been to Plitvice during every season and my favorite one was fall – I went in October and the weather was wonderful, the crowds were minimal, and the nature looked incredibly beautiful.

plitvice lakes
plitvice lakes


There are many various trails and paths to choose from once you’re there.

Firstly, you have to choose from which entrance you want to start your Plitvice tour. I always start at Entrance 1. It’s the main entrance and usually, a more crowded one but the first views of the Lakes from Entrance 1 will leave you in awe immediately.

plitvice lakes

From Entrance 1 you can choose between 4 different paths:

Path A is the shortest one. It’s around 3.5 km and it will take you around 2-3 hours to finish it. The path includes the Great Waterfall (Veliki Slap) and Lower Lakes. Please take this route only if you cannot walk longer routes because with this route you will see almost nothing of the national park.

Path B is around 4 km and lasts 3-4 hours. This route includes the Great Waterfall, Kozjak Lake, boat ride and panorama train, as well as Lower Lakes. Out of all the shorter routes, this one gives you the best sights to see in the shortest amount of time.

Path C is exactly what you need if you want to experience Plitvice to the fullest. It’s 8 km, 4-6 hours and you see EVERYTHING important. You see the Great Waterfall, both Lower and Upper Lakes, you experience the boat and the train ride. This is the path I recommend the most.

I’m leaving you the link to all the “programs” (paths) you can take, so do some reasearching on your own if you want extra information. Click here!

plitvice lakes


Wherever you stand, trust me, it’s going to make an amazing photo. Yet, we all want those special shots where the picture is going to be just wonderful, and everyone is going to envy you for experiencing a place like Plitvice.

The first photo location which you cannot miss is the viewpoint immediately after entering through Entrance 1. The viewpoint puts you in the middle of multiple waterfalls and it’s one of the most recognizable Plitvice locations.

plitvice lakes

The second one is the Great Waterfall (Veliki Slap). You are going to have to work for a nice photo of you AND the top of the waterfall as it’s 87 meters high, but once you manage it, you are going to have an incredible photo.

plitvice lakes
Photo from October 2020.

The third one is on the path to Veliki Slap, a small bridge a few meters before you get there. On the right side of you, there will be waterfalls which are quite often in the company of an incredible rainbow. If you witness it, you will be scrambling to take a photo!

The fourth one is on ANY of the small winding wooden trails. You can see a few photos of the trails below.


*Get there early (start before all the crowds come)

*be prepared for the crowds if you are going in the summer season

*bring snacks and water (the restaurants there are pricey and not the best)

*go by car if you are able

*choose a longer path to see more of the park

*if you’re a student bring your student ID for student discounts on the ticket!

Take a look at how we spent our time at Plitvice on Youtube!

Hopefully, this information from your local Croatian girl is going to be useful! If you have already visited Plitvice, please share your experience with me 🙂

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  1. Thanks for this guide. I want to visit here and your tips are helpful. What do you think about September as a time to visit?

    1. September is much better than July or October but the tickets are still going to be 34 Euros (they count September as a summer month), and also there are still going to be people!

  2. Hi
    I am looking for a local guide in Plitvice national park ; no transfer etc required . Will you know of anyone whom I can reach out ?

  3. This is definitely on my Croatia bucket list. Looks so beautiful! Like rs of great tips in here. I might need to plan an October trip some year.

  4. I have seen photos of the Plitvice area before and have wanted to visit for come time. Your guide would be very helpful should I get to Croatia.

  5. Gorgeous photos! I’ve never heard of Plitvice before reading this article! It looks like a gorgeous place to visit. Thanks for sharing all your recommendations!

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