Sep
30

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia – A Complete Guide

Okay. You, reading about Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia means you’ve already made up your mind to visit this Adriatic outback.

Great decision by the way!

I assume the drop-dead gorgeous pictures of Plitvice Lakes, Croatia on Instagram and all over the internet have lured you into adding it to your itinerary.

Innumerous images are shared and thousands of lovely words are written describing the verdant woods, turquoise and crystal-clear lakes, cascading waters, and out-of-this-world beauty of Plitvice. Do I need to tell more?

I wanted to write about its beauty and how I felt amidst all that natural beauty but found myself gasping for the words.

I mused on my thoughts but couldn’t write a single word. It seemed all the adjectives are already exhausted, words fell short and here I was speechless. Plitvice does that to you.

There’s something mysteriously beautiful about it. It’s absolutely poetry of God in motion.

As you walk the wooden walkways fringed by a lush carpet of shrubs and flanked by densely forested hills amidst the trees draped in hues of dark and light green crisscrossing the glassy lakes teeming with fishes into which strings of waterfalls cascade, too-good-to-be-true feel flares up, pinch yourself and know that it’s for real – A little piece of heaven in pure wilderness.

Plitvice Lakes is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Croatia. With 16 lakes divided into Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes, 90 waterfalls, many hiking programs, and three entrances, planning a trip to Plitvice can be overwhelming. Here's our travel guide to how to explore the best of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.#plitvice #plitvicelakes #croatia #unesco #traveltips
Plitvice Lakes is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Croatia. With 16 lakes divided into Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes, 90 waterfalls, many hiking programs, and three entrances, planning a trip to Plitvice can be overwhelming. Here's our travel guide to how to explore the best of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.#plitvice #plitvicelakes #croatia #unesco #traveltips

Where’s Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Plitvice Lakes is located in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia between the mountain ranges of Mala Kapela and Licka Plješivica. It’s positioned in the Like-Senj and Karlovac County area.

The road (A1) passing through Plitvice connects the Croatian inland with the Croatian Adriatic coastal region.

Getting to Plitvice Lakes

Getting to Plitvice for travelers with their own wheels is a breeze. It’s an easy drive along the tolled north-south A1 Zagreb-Split motorway.

Having your car gives you the freedom to take a quick detour to Rastoke in Slunj. It’s worth-a-stop!

The nearest cities are Zagreb, and Zadar though it’s at a convenient distance from Sibenik, Rijeka, and Split too.

Plitvice Lakes can easily be done as a day-trip from Zagreb and Zadar however, we’d urge you to stay overnight somewhere near the park. This way you can start early next day before crowds hit plus get a chance to stay amidst nature.

Here are the driving distances, time-taken, and driving directions from the significant tourist cities in Croatia:

  • Zagreb: 130 km, 1 hour 58 minutes via E65/E71 and D1
  • Zadar: 118 km, 1 hour 32 minutes via E71 and D1
  • Sibenik: 174 km, 1 hour 49 minutes via E71
  • Rijeka: 154 km, 2 hours 2 minutes via E65 and D42
  • Split: 242 km, 2 hours 40 minutes via E71
  • Rovinj: 240 km, 3 hours 14 minutes via E751 and E65
  • Pula: 257 km, 3 hours 24 minutes via E751 and E65
  • Dubrovnik: 431 km, 4 hours 50 minutes via E65

There are quite a number of buses from major Croatian cities to Plitvice.

You can buy the ticket in advance online or from the bus station or in some cases also on the bus given that seats are free.

Expect to pay 90 to 100 Kuna each way.

The major companies include Bus Prijevoz Knezevic, Bus Croatia, Bus Globtour, and Arriva.

You can use Get By Bus, and Flixbus to book the tickets online.

Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

The buses run from 5:45 am to 7:15 pm. It takes anywhere between 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes and costs 45 Kuna to 100 Kuna (one way per adult) depending upon the route and bus company.

Zadar to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

The earliest departure from Zadar to Plitvice is at 8 am and the last one is at 11 pm. The journey time ranges from 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes and the ticket price starts from 80 Kuna to 105 Kuna (one way per adult) depending upon the route and bus company.

Sibenik to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

The buses run from 7 am to 9:45 pm and takes 3 hours to 5 hours. A ticket costs 100 Kuna to 130 Kuna (one way per adult) depending upon the route and bus company.

Split to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

The buses ply from 7 am to 8:15 pm. The bus normally takes 4 hours to 6 hours to reach Plitvice from Split and charges 120 Kuna to 170 Kuna (one way per adult) as per the route and bus company.

Rijeka to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

Buses are limited and there’s no direct bus on this route. You need to make a change at Karlovac. The first bus is at 7 am and the last bus at 1 pm. Total journey time ranges from 4 hours to 5 hours and cost for one way per adult ticket is between 110 Kuna to 195 Kuna contingent upon the route and bus company.

Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

Currently, there’s only one direct bus on this route and that too takes more than 9 hours to reach Plitvice Lakes. A one-way ticket costs about 275 Kuna.

The route passes through Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina that means you should have a valid passport while traveling on this route.

Note: Plitvice doesn’t have a dedicated bus terminal so you are supposed to wait in the little wooden huts close to both the entrances of the park. It’s advisable to know the departure timings beforehand and be sharp-witted as bus drivers sometimes fail to notice the passengers waiting for the bus as they speed along the bends especially at late hours.

Plitvice Lakes Tours

Booking a day tour to Plitvice Lakes is also a great option. The group tours don’t cost much in comparison to public transport and turn out to be more comfortable and safer. In fact, sometimes they prove to be a great bargain.

We have used the services of GetYourGuide and Viator many times during our travels and thus, absolutely recommend them.

Here are some of the best Plitvice Lake Tours:

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Parking at Plitvice Lakes

Ample parking space is available at both the park entrances. The parking is free for bikes and motorcycles while it’s 8 Kuna per hour (April, May, and October) and 10 Kuna per hour (June, July, August, and September) for a personal car.

parking at plitvice lakes national park

Parking fee for a camper and a car with a trailer is 80 Kuna per hour (April, May, and October) and 100 Kuna per hour (June, July, August, and September).

We reached the park at 8 am and the parking was full near the park entrance so we had to park a bit away from the entrance and had to walk a bit. Plan to reach as early as possible to reserve a parking space near the entrance to save a walk as the park would need your energy.

Please Note: You aren’t allowed to park your vehicle on the green surfaces. Also, you can’t leave your vehicle along DC429 as it’s a main state road. Don’t wait for a parking spot to open up as this slows down the traffic.

About Plitvice Lakes National Park

The oldest (since 1949) and largest (73,350 acres) national park in Croatia, Plitvice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History

I was quite surprised to know about the park’s rough and intense history. Plitvice’s ethereal landscape turned into a war zone during the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991 when the Republic of Serbian Krajina, a self-proclaimed autonomous region of Serbs within Croatia sent local Serb rebels to capture the park and remove the Croats.

Known as the Plitvice Lakes Incident, it marked the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence.

The incident is also known as Plitvice Bloody Easter as Josip Jović, a Croatian park policeman was killed during the clash on Easter Sunday.

The park was recaptured by the Croatian Army in 1995 under Operation Storm.

Landscape

Inside the park, 16 lakes form an interconnected system, set apart by natural barriers of travertine or tufa, a limestone deposited from mineral springs. The lake network is split into two clusters – 12 Upper and 4 Lower Lakes.

The Plitvice has 16 crystal-clear Lakes and more than 90 breathtaking waterfalls.

waterfalls of plitvice

Upper Lakes, formed on watertight dolomite, a limestone rich in magnesium carbonate include Procan Lake, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Veliki jezero, Malo jezero, Vir, Galovac, Milino jezero, Gradinsko jezero, Burgeti, and Kozjak Lakes.

upper lakes plitvice national park

Lower Lakes, formed on porous limestone include Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaludjerovac, and Novakovica Brod Lakes.

duck in lower lakes plitvice national park

The lakes culminate with a dramatic waterfall, Sustav below which Korana River commences.

Plitvice Lake Entrances

To access the park, there are three entrances, entrance 1 on the north side above the Lower Lakes, entrance 2 on the south side next to Upper Lakes, and an auxiliary entrance 3, Flora, on Lake Kozjak.

Auxiliary third entrance, Flora is a bit away from the main route near a village Plitvica Selo thus minimal crowds. You can walk to this entrance if you are staying somewhere in the village.

Come winter (November-March), entrance 2 and 3 close and access to the park is limited to entrance 1.

beautiful message at entrance 1 plitvice lakes national park
plitvice lakes entrance 1 first look

Plitvice Lakes Map

Here’s a printed map of Plitvice Lakes National Park we got at the ticket window.

You can even buy a more comprehensive map at the info office that helps you better navigate and move around the park.

plitvice lakes map

Plitvice Lakes Programs

There are 8 different (4 circular routes for each entrance) well-marked self-guided lake zone routes or programs varying from 4 to 18 kilometers as per the starting point, and time-taken.

Programs A, B, and C start at the north entrance of the park (Entrance 1) while programs E, F, and H start at the south entrance of the park (Entrance 2) and run in the opposite direction to programs A, B, and C.

Program K, the longest one lets you hike through the entire park.

Also, there are four hiking trails through quieter areas for seasoned hikers.

Program A

This program begins at Entrance 1, descend to the Great Waterfall (Veliki Slap) and takes you through the Lower Lakes to the endpoint of the trail, Kozjak Bridge from where you turn around and take a shuttle or walk back to the starting point, Entrance 1.

Program A takes about 2 to 3 hours and is 3.5 km long.

Program B

This program is an extension of Program A. It follows the same trail as program A till Kozjak Bridge where you board an electric boat to cross the Kozjak Lake, disembark and then make your way back to Entrance 1 by shuttle or walking trail.

Program B takes around 3 to 4 hours and is 4 km long.

Program C

This program is a further extension of Program B. Here you follow the trail along the Upper Lakes and then take the shuttle back to Entrance 1.

Program C takes approximately 4 to 6 hours and is 8 km long.

plitvice lakes entrance 1 programs or routes
Program E

This program starts at Entrance 2 and includes a walk to Kojzak Lake (P1 pier) to board the electric boat ride across the lake from where you follow a trail through the Upper Lakes and return to Entrance 2.

Program E takes anywhere around 2 to 3 hours and is 5.1 km long.

Program F

Starting at Entrance 2, this program follows the same trail as program E but includes a walk through the Lower Lakes to the Great Waterfall, Veliki Slap from where you take a shuttle or walk back to Entrance 2.

Program F takes between 3 to 4 hours and is 4.6 km long.

Plitvice Lakes National Park’s Official Website says:Program F is unavailable until Fall 2019.

Program H

The trail begins at Entrance 2 from where you take a shuttle (panoramic train ride) to the Upper Lakes (St3) from where you walk through the Upper Lakes and take an electric boat ride across Lake Kozjak, walk through the Lower Lakes to the Big Waterfall. From Entrance 1 take a shuttle or walk back to Entrance 2.

This trail lasts 4 to 6 hours and is 8.9 km long.

plitvice lakes programs or routes
Program K

The most comprehensive one, this program has two versions – one starts at Entrance 1 (K1) and another at Entrance 2 (K2).

This trail allows you to hike through the entire lake area include a hike around Proscansko Jezero without using a shuttle or electric boat and ends at your starting point, Entrance 1 or Entrance 2.

This trail takes about 6 to 8 hours, 18.3 km long, and is pretty demanding.

Which Trail or Program Should You Take?

The choice of the program depends entirely upon the time on your hands, and your fitness levels.

You can choose between Upper or Lower Lakes if time is a constraint. Programs A and B takes you through the Lower Lakes while Programs E and F cover the Upper Lakes.

Both the Lower as well as Upper Lakes feature breathtaking views and stunning waterfalls though I found Upper Lakes section to be relatively quieter and serene.

upper lakes section plitvice lakes national park

Program C (from entrance 1) and Program H (from entrance 2) let you see both the upper and lower lakes and thus, are by far the best routes.

If hiking is what you love, K1 and K2 are the best bet for you.

Which Entrance Should You Start At?

Now, this is tricky. I guess the decision entirely depends upon your interests and of course the amount of time you have.

We walked both ways and didn’t find much difference. It’s a matter of perspective I guess.

The Route We Walked Through Plitvice Lakes

We walked the program C from Entrance 1, rode the electric boat, boarded the shuttle from Entrance 2 back to Entrance 1. In-between, we walked randomly and to check out different hiking trails and viewpoints.

walking the boardwalks over plitvice lakes
gravel steps plitvice lakes national park
The Lower Lakes

There are four programs that start at Lower Lakes, entrance 1 – A, B, C, and K1. We opted for program C that covers both the Lower and Upper Lakes sections.

We reached around 8 am but as we didn’t book tickets in advance we got the tickets for 11 am slot. Our Bad.

We thought of enjoying our morning cup of coffee and light breakfast at a restaurant outside Entrance 1 rather than cursing ourselves. No point. The damage was already done.

entrance 1 restaurant at plitvice national park

There were many people like us waiting for their time-slots.

Hope you guys learn from our mistake and book tickets in advance for the desired time. This way you can enjoy walking the boardwalks with no or minimal crowd.

Meanwhile, we shopped for Plitvice souvenirs from a souvenir shop at the entrance 1.

plitvice souvenirs

Luckily, the crowds were manageable by the time we entered the park and could enjoy the beauty of the park.

We were welcomed by the view of Veliki Slap and Sastavci waterfalls as soon as we entered the park.

 Veliki slap and sastavci  slap view plitvice lakes

Good to Know: There are two optional detours for photogenic views over the park from the first point at entrance 1. One leads down to Veliki Slap staircase and the other up to the Supljara Cave. You can choose the detour to Veliki Slap as the Supljara Cave viewpoint can be covered while coming back to Entrance 1 after completing the entire Program C. Board the shuttle from St2 and get down at St1. A walk from St1 to Entrance 1 passes through Supljara Cave viewpoint.

plitvice lakes trails
plitvice lakes hiking programs

A slight detour towards the right as we crossed the Kaluderovac Lake over the boardwalk took us close to Veliki Slap (Big Waterfall).

veliki slap plitvice lakes croatia

A staircase next to the Veliki Slap on the left side led us to various breathtaking viewpoints. The stairs are steep and a bit slippery, so walk with caution.

After climbing the stairs, follow the path to turn right at the road, and once you cross the wooden bridge take a right turn that takes you to the dirt path. Continue walking while following the signs to reach Veliki Slap Viewpoint or Vidikovac Sightseeing Point.

It takes some time to get to the upper cliff viewpoints, so manage your time accordingly.

You can even reach the Veliki Slap viewpoint by car after you finish the park lake zone tour. The Longitude and Latitude (GPS Coordinates) are 44°54’09.1″N 15°36’26.4″E. The viewpoint is a short walk from the road. Watch for the Vidikovac Sightseeing Point signpost.

veliki slap viewpoint plitvice lakes

Retrace your steps to the main trail once you have breathed in the views from the sightseeing point.

well-marked trails plitvice lakes croatia

It’s effortless to get around Plitvice with well-marked trails for all the programs or routes.

jezero milanovac lower lakes

As you walk along the Lower Lakes, the beautiful cascades – Milanovac Lake Waterfalls, Great Cascades (Velike Kaskade), Milka Trnina Waterfalls (Slapovi Milke Trnine), and Veliki Prstavac Waterfall compel you to stop, admire, and take out your camera.

lower lakes waterfalls plitvice lakes national park
The Upper Lakes

Now, you reach the Lake Kozjak Bridge. Many food stalls and washrooms located here call for a break.

food stalls kozjak lake plitvice lakes

Once you freshen up, you can take an electric boat across Lake Kozjak to P3 and enjoy the Upper Lakes and its waterfalls.

kozjak lake electric boat plitvice lakes

Walking the boardwalks across and along the lakes is impeccably beautiful and satisfying.

Waterfalls along the way are the real stunners!

upper lakes waterfalls plitvice national park

The fishes swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the lakes is another high point.

fishes swimming in cryastal-clear waters of plitvice lakes

We deviated from the main trail many times and backtracked to feel the essence of Plitvice.

plitvice lakes hiking trails

mini-me taking rest from the hike at plitvice lakes national park

You discover many quiet corners in the Upper Lakes section while walking randomly.

relaxing at a bench upper lakes section plitvice lakes national park

While coming back to Entrance 1 from the shuttle stop, we stopped by at lookout points over Plitvice Lakes.

supljara cave viewpoint plitvice lakes
view over plitvice lakes from a upper cliff lookout point
view over plitvice lakes from a lookout point near entrance 1

Plitvice Lakes National Park Essentials

Hours of Operation

The national park operates 365 days a year. Opening hours vary as per the time of year. Most of the restaurants and hotels inside the park are closed to visitors in the winter.

Season or MonthsWorking HoursLast Ticket Sale
Spring (from last Sunday of March until May 31st)8 am – 7 pm5 pm
Summer (from June 1st until August 2oth)7 am – 8 pm6 pm
Autumn (from August 21st until September 30th)7 am – 7 pm5 pm
Autumn (from October 1st until last Saturday of October)8 am – 6 pm4 pm
Winter (from last Sunday of October until last Saturday of March)8 am – 4 pm2 pm

Electric Boat on all three routes (P1-P2, P2-P3, and P3-P2) and Panorama Train or Shuttle on allfour routes (St2-St1, St1-St2, St2-St3, and St3-St2) run every 30 minutes.

Plitvice Lakes Entrance Fee

You can buy one-day or two-day tickets to Plitvice. Plitvice Lakes entrance ticket price includes transport (electric boat and panorama train), visitor insurance, and the value-added tax.

One-Day Tickets

January, February, March, November, and December: 60 Kuna per adult; 50 Kuna per student; 30 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years

April, May, and October: 100 Kuna per adult; 75 Kuna per student; 50 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years

June and September: 250 Kuna per adult (until 4 pm); 150 Kuna per adult (after 4 pm); 160 Kuna per student (until 4 pm); 100 Kuna per student (after 4 pm); 120 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years (until 4 pm); 70 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years (after 4 pm)

July and August: 250 Kuna per adult (until 3 pm); 150 Kuna per adult (after 3 pm); 160 Kuna per student (until 3 pm); 100 Kuna per student (after 3 pm); 120 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years (until 3 pm); 70 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years (after 3 pm)

Two-Day Tickets

January, February, March, November, and December: 90 Kuna per adult; 70 Kuna per student; 50 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years

April, May, and October: 160 Kuna per adult; 120 Kuna per student; 80 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years

June, July, August, and September: 350 Kuna per adult; 250 Kuna per student; 170 Kuna per child aged 7 to 18 years

Important Remarks* Please carry a student ID card to avail the student discount.* Children up to 7 years and disables get free entry to the park.* Group discounts are available. The minimum number for the group is 15 persons.* Please keep the tickets with you all the time until you leave the park.* Guided Tours are available for the groups. Half-Day Tour (up to 4 hours) costs 900 Krona whileFull-Day Tour (up to 6 hours) costs 1300 Krona.

Can you Explore the Caves in the Plitvice Lakes?

There are many caves discovered in the Plitvice National Park but three of them are declared as geomorphological natural monuments – Šupljara Cave, Lake Fairies’ or Black Cave, and Golubnjača cave.

Most of the caves are closed for the public as they are deemed risky.

Šupljara Cave plitvice lakes croatia

Is Swimming Allowed at Plitvice Lakes?

No. If swimming in crystal clear waters is on your mind, Krka National Park in Lozovac, Croatia is your best bet.

Should You Buy Entrance Tickets in Advance?

How early should you buy Plitvice Lakes tickets?

Buy tickets online in advance. At least 2 days prior to your arrival. Even though you can buy the tickets at the park but the number of tickets sold per hour is limited to avoid congestion.

The entry is regulated to a certain number of tickets per hour and per day to ensure the park isn’t affected by over-tourism.

A max. of 10,000 visitors per day are allowed inside the park. We reached the park at 8 am and got the tickets for 11 am as the limit of tickets for 9 am and 10 am was already exhausted.

You can enter the national park only during the hour for which you purchased tickets. We had to wait outside for a good 3 hours to enter the park.

So, please book your tickets online to save the hassle. For more details or to book tickets click here.

How to Avoid the Crowds at Plitvice Lakes?

Plitvice Lakes attract about 1.5 million tourists every year. For a good reason. It’s stunningly beautiful.

plitvice lakes national park plitvička jezera croatia

There are ways you can avoid the insane crowds and enhance your experience.

  • Stay overnight in or around Plitvice to get early access to the park.
  • Plan your route beforehand according to the time on your hands. This way you’ll have an idea about how to get around the park that’ll help you explore steadily before the crowds hit the park.
  • Get to the park before or as soon as it opens. The first couple of hours are generally quiet and you get the entire beauty to yourself as loads of tourist buses and day-trippers arrive around 10 am.
  • Buying a two-day entrance ticket can help. You can cover the Lower Lakes and Upper Lakes on two different days without any rush.
  • The Plitvice Lakes tickets allow multiple entries within your allocated timeframe (mentioned on the ticket). You can enter and exit and then again enter using the same ticket. Exiting and coming back when crowds thin a bit is also an option.

Plitvice Lakes Weather

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in the Dinaric Alps region that enjoys more of continental climate with intermittent rains because of its proximity to the coast.

The rains are plentiful all year round but summer months see a relative minimum. Winters are snowy and icy cold with the minimum temperature up to -4° C.

Spring is pleasantly cold. You might experience snowfall even in April.

Summers bring hot days with the maximum temperature reaching about 27° C though nights remain cool.

Note: It’s advisable to check the weather conditions in advance on Plitvice’s website as some trails, as well as transport services, are temporarily closed if weather conditions are unfavorable.

Best Time to Visit Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes is open all through the year. The lakes look stunning no matter what the season is. Though, summer months being the busiest and hottest months hamper the overall experience.

Spring and autumn are pleasant in terms of weather and witness lesser tourists that make them the best seasons to visit the national park. The park bathed in fall colors is a sight to behold.

Winter is an altogether other-worldly experience if you can bear the cold. The frozen lakes and waterfalls and the nature covered in the layers of snow – everything seems like a dream. Please check the park’s website before planning a trip to Plitvice in winter as Upper Lakes might be closed and also, the transport services are limited. Most of the restaurants inside the park are also not operational.

We recommend you to visit the park in the months of April, May, September, and October to feel the soul of Plitvice Lakes.

Plitvice Lakes Accommodation

Though Plitvice can be done as a day trip from nearby Croatian cities, the charm of staying in or near the national park is unbeatable.

I thought there wouldn’t be that many stay options near the park but was surprised to see a good number of hotels, lodges, bed&breakfast, apartments, and Airbnb in and around it.

Plitvice Hotels

There are three hotels on-site at Plitvice Lakes National Park – Hotel Jezero, Hotel Bellevue, and Hotel Plitvice. They are located near Entrance 2.

Where to stay near the Plitvice Lakes?

We stayed at B&B Lady of the Lake in Jezerce and totally liked it. The rooms are fairly large with all the basic requirements and the location is excellent. Plitvice Entrance 1 is just 5.3 km from it.

Other stay options with great reviews are – House Jezerke, Grand Lakes Rooms, Jankovi Dvori, Up27 Suites Plitvice, Rooms IVKA, Plitvicka Kuca M, Apartment Andrea, Mobile Homes Camping Plitvice, Studio Blue Ivy,

You can use the map below to find the accommodations in and around Plitvice Lakes.

Booking.com

Airbnb has some great choices too. You can also get a discount on your first Airbnb booking using our code. Here’s the Airbnb discount code.

Restaurants in Plitvice Lakes

There are few restaurants and stalls inside the park and just outside the entrance 1 in case you feel hungry. We had a cup of tea and fries while waiting for our entry to the park.

Plitvice Lakes area is sprinkled with a few family-friendly eateries that serve regional delicacies.

Bistro Vila Velebita

Our B&B host highly recommended this restaurant as we wanted a place to eat which has vegan options too.

We loved it! Not only for food but the way staff caters thoughtfully to its customers with a smile and kind words.

It’s located 14 km south of Plitvice Lakes along the highway and is well worth a visit provided you have your own car.

restaurants in plitvice lakes bistro vilavelebita korenica
Lička Kuća

It’s one of the most famous eateries in the region. Just outside of the park, Lička Kuća is rebuilt to its traditional style in 2015 after destroying to ashes by fire in 2012.

It majorly serves meat-based traditional meals.

Restaurant Degenija

Pizza lovers can head to Degenija for its amazing selection of freshly baked pizzas. The ambiance is lovely here and the meals are reasonably priced.

Bistro & Cafe Plum

With its vast and delectable menu from Croatian to Italian, Mexican, and the incredible choice of cocktails, this cafe is cozy and family-friendly.

Restoran Plitvicka Vrela

Prompt Service. Awesome Food. Beautiful Outdoor Patio Sitting. Good Portion Size. All in all, it’s a value for money.

Top Tips for Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Get to the park as early as you can. That’s the mantra to ace the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  • Stay overnight in and around Plitvice to enhance your experience. This would allow you to reach the park early and give you more time to explore the beauty at your own pace.
  • Buy entry tickets in advance.
  • Be flexible and patient. Roll with the bumps. Though the duration of trails given by the park is almost accurate; it can extend due to huge crowds. The boardwalks are clogged making you slow down or wait in a line as and when people stop to admire the views and take photos or selfies.
  • Drones aren’t permitted at Plitvice Lakes. It’s illegal to use one.
  • Be prepared for Brobdingnagian crowds if you are visiting in peak summer.
  • The best way to take a break from the hordes of people is by exploring non-touristy and deserted trails along Plitvice. The offbeat trails are quiet and beautiful and have some of the hidden lookout points with the expansive views of the park. Wear the explorer’s hat and unclothe the hidden paths.
  • Always keep the map of the national park handy.
  • Wandering off the marked walking trails isn’t allowed.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk against the flow. It’ll offer an absolutely different perspective.
  • The trails and terrain aren’t fit for strollers so better bring baby or toddler carriers.
  • Dogs are permitted in Plitvice but must remain on a leash all the time.

Don’t Forget

  • Comfortable and super light walking shoes preferably mid-cut hiking shoes.
  • Rain gear
  • Sun protection
  • Garbage bags
  • Dress in layers
  • Eco-friendly water bottle
  • Plenty of snacks especially if you’re traveling with kids
  • Check the weather forecast

Have you ever been to Plitvice Lakes? How did you like it? We’d love to hear from you.

We sincerely hope our guide to Plitvice Lakes National Park helps you plan a perfect visit. If you have any queries, let us know in the comments section below. We’ll be happy to help.

Also, if you have your own tips you’d like to share with other travelers, please share them in the comments section down below.

We’d be obliged if you could take five minutes of your time to share this post with the world if it helped you in any way.

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Plitvice Lakes is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Croatia. With 16 lakes divided into Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes, 90 waterfalls, many hiking programs, and three entrances, planning a trip to Plitvice can be overwhelming. Here's our travel guide to how to explore the best of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.#plitvice #plitvicelakes #croatia #unesco #traveltips
Plitvice Lakes is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Croatia. With 16 lakes divided into Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes, 90 waterfalls, many hiking programs, and three entrances, planning a trip to Plitvice can be overwhelming. Here's our travel guide to how to explore the best of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.#plitvice #plitvicelakes #croatia #unesco #traveltips

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