Essential tips for visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park
So many have the Plitvice Lakes National Park in their travel bucket list, and at the same time, still so many who never heard of this magical place before. I recently had the chance to see it with my own eyes, and it was one of the few places I’ve been so far that can’t be fully expressed in a picture. You need to be there and see it for yourself to believe that such a fairy tale place really exists.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place to impress even the most skeptical. When entering the park, it’s difficult not to fall for its magic. There are waterfalls, wild animals, water so clear that you can observe the fish, caves, and amazing views from both above and by the water. Thinking of all of you who intend to see this place with your own eyes, here are the essential tips for visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park that you need to know:
Where in the world
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in Croatia, 130km away from the country’s capital, Zagreb, and 118 from the coastal town of Zadar. It’s official name in Croatian is Plitvička Jezera, but when typing its name on a GPS it’s possible to find it in both English and Croatian.
There are a few ways to get to the Plitvice Lakes National Park:
By car: using a GPS or simply taking the E65/E71 from Zagreb, then D1, following the signs to Plitvička Jezera
By bus: from Zagreb central station
On a day trip with a tour company (normally offered leaving from Zagreb, Zadar and Split)
Parking: the park has different entrances, but each one of them has a paid parking lot. We left ours at the Entrance 1. See here prices and opening times.
Tickets cannot be bought online, but can be reserved via their official website. It is only recommended to reserve if it’s for a group, otherwise you may buy your tickets in one of the entrances (there are lines, but they move pretty quickly).
Each ticket includes a boat ride and a panoramic train ride. A day and two-day tickets are available, and prices vary depending on the season.
The park is open daily, including Sundays and holidays, normally from 7am to 7pm.
For more details, check here.
How to best enjoy the Plitvice Lakes
Once you enter the park, you will see a big board with route options. Each route has a duration, varying from 2 up to 8 hours, all of them include the main areas of the park. Some are longer, others shorter, really depends on what you are looking for. Pick one and have fun. Another option is to hire a guide to take you around the park.
– Take water with you
– Depending on the season, take a jacket, hoodie or cardigan (even during summer it can get a bit chilly, though all the walking helps)
– Wear comfortable shoes
– Each entrance has a restaurant, bathrooms and souvenir shop
– One day is enough to visit the park, but if you like to explore it more without a hurry, it is possible to find accommodation around the park, from guest houses to apartments, as well as camping sites
– It is not allowed to swim or fish in the lakes
– YES, you can take your dog, and they are also allowed on the boat and train. However, they must be kept on the leash at all – times, and also are not allowed to swim in the water.
– Don’t feed the wild animals
– Other rules you find here
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is incredible and fascinating. The park is a must see and deserves to be included in every itinerary around Croatia.
Pin it up!
The Plitvice Lakes National Park kindly offered us a reduced rate for our tickets. As always, views and opinions are my own, and I only recommend what I like and believe my readers will like too.