How to Get From Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park

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Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is easily Croatia’s most famous national park, and for a good reason as well. If you’re visiting Croatia on a trip through Eastern Europe, a day trip to the Plitvice Lakes is a must. Plitvice has some of the clearest, bluest waters that I have ever seen. It was extremely difficult to resist jumping in for a swim! Read on to to find out everything you need to know about visiting Plitvice Lakes, including how to get from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes.

wooden bridge and falls in croatia national park

The Plitvice Lakes aren’t located too close to any of the major cities in Croatia, so it may seem a bit complicated to get to. Luckily it is super easy to get from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes! The guide will go into detail on how exactly to get from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes by bus, private car, or tour.

The park is open all year round, but the best times to visit are ______. I visited in May, which was the perfect time to visit in my opinion. I loved the mild weather when I visited, and the trails weren’t overly crowded.

bridge over water at lakes in croatia

How to Get to Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Getting from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes is extremely easy! It is approximately 130 km (81 miles) from Zagreb to the park.

By Bus

There are about ten daily buses leaving from the main bus terminal station in Zagreb, located on Avenija Marina Drzica street, that go directly to Plitvice Lakes. The bus journey time is approximately  two and a half hours and costs $11 each way. Tickets can be purchased directly from the main station, or ahead of time through one of the online booking sites. Please note that the online schedules are not always accurate, so it is always best to purchase the tickets in-person.

Regardless of your means for purchasing, I recommend buying your ticket before traveling. Many of the buses that go to Plitvice Lakes continue to Dubrovnik, so they often fill up. We took the 7:30 AM bus, however I would recommend taking the 5:45 AM bus if you can get yourself out of bed on time, because you will get a chance to see the park without hordes of tourists.

The cost of the bus ticket depends on the bus company but it typically costs between 75-90 kunas $12-14 USD each way.

If you are arriving into Zagreb airport, you will want to first make your way to the Zagreb city center. There are buses that run from the Zagreb airport to the main bus station in the city center every 30 minutes.

Croatia's most beautiful park

By Car

Getting to Plitvice Lakes by car is a great option for anyone who feels comfortable driving. Driving to Plitvice Lakes offers a lot of flexibility, and the ability to visit the park before any of the tour buses arrive. If you want to avoid visiting the park with tons of tourists, this is a great option. There are some nearby accommodation options if you interested in spending the night.

If you’d like the flexibility, but don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, you can hire a private driver or Uber. I have seen cars for about $120 USD each way, making it an okay option if you’re traveling in a small group.

Getting from zagreb to plitvice lakes national park in Croatia


How much is the Entrance Ticket for Plitvice Lakes?

Entrance tickets for Plitvice Lakes costs between $8 and $28 USD, depending on the season during which you visit. If you’re a student, don’t forget to bring a valid student ID, as the park offers a great discount. You can find a full price list here.

The cost of the entrance ticket goes directly to the protection and management of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The ticket includes a boat ride, a ride in a sightseeing bus, both can be used only once, accident insurance, and access to one of the most beautiful parks in Croatia.

Getting from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes by bus, car, or tour.

How Long Do You Need to See Plitvice Lakes?

You can spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days explore the park. All of the trails are marked with the letters A-K. You’ll find plenty of signage throughout to help you follow each of these paths. I recommend spending a minimum of 4-5 hours exploring the park. You’ll find tons of information on Plitvice Lakes here.

map of plitvice lakes

There are a few restaurants within the park, however the food options are limited to burgers and fries. I recommend packing some of your own food to have a picnic in the park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park in May

Traveling through Europe? Here are some other helpful guides:


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