One of Europe’s natural wonders, Plitvice Lakes are a unique collection of breathtaking waterfalls, majestic cliffs and crystal-clear lakes.
Why should I go to Plitvice Lakes?
You shouldn’t even ask this question. If this places is anywhere within 1000km from you, grab your bag and camera. Also, make sure to take your sightseeing glasses or risk missing out spectacular details in this waterfall paradise from Croatia. Of course, if this post will not convince you, just take a virtual tour of the lakes on the national park’s official webpage and thank us later.
How do I get there?
There are regular buses to/from Zagreb and Split, you can check timetables and book tickets here. It takes 2-3h from Zagreb and 4-6h from Split, depending on bus company and price category. During peak times, however, make sure you book your tickets in advance, at least if you’re trying to get out of Plitvice – buses tend to be full and only accept passengers who already booked their tickets. Alternatively, you can hitch-hike: just clearly write your destination on a cardboard, choose a good place (bus station is good enough) and wait. We weren’t lucky with the bus but had to wait only half hour to get a ride to Zagreb with a very nice and helpful Croatian driver. And as a rule of thumb, most Croatians are great people.
Where do I sleep overnight?
It’s actually not that hard to find a place around Plitvice. Virtually every settlement on a 10-15km radius offers accommodation. A private room will cost you 30+ euros, depending on the season. If you’re more adventurous, camp. We went to Campsite Korana, some 6km from the main entrance to the waterfalls and paid half the price for a room. The campsite is huge with a capacity of some 2,500 people, its own supermarket, restaurant, bar, cash machine – well, you get it, it’s a genuine holiday village. Even more, the campsite provides its own free shuttles to the Park entrance and back, but make sure you don’t miss the departure time. If you have heavy backpacks, you’ll be able to leave those at the Park entrance; all you need to do is talk to the tourist information staff, they have a special locked storage room for tourists’ bags. Last but not least, if you need a real bed or there’s a bigger group you’re travelling with then there’s always airbnb and the like. Whatever you choose, make sure you book it in advance if you’re going to visit during the high season.
Where do I eat/drink?
Many guesthouses will offer to cook meals for you. There are also many supermarkets around, though you might have to walk some good 2-3km to get to them, so plan in advance! At the campsite we went, they had their own supermarket and restaurant, both with very reasonable prices, however, don’t expect every campsite to have those facilities.
What we liked/What we didn’t like
(+) The waterfall complex is just jaw-dropping
(+) You pay some 17-20 euros for entrance but you can use all the means of transportation inside the park
(+) The surrounding villages/campsites/general landscape is worth the visit as well
(+) People are nice and helpful
(+) It was easy to reach and easy to get a ride
(-) As expected, the Park is full of tourists so don’t be surprised that you need to queue to take your famous selfie in front of one of the epic waterfalls
(-) A trip to the Park might be a bit expensive, especially during peak time. But it’s definitely worth it!
Where do I go next
If you’re coming from Zagreb, then of course head to the coast, even if it’s already winter. You can go to Zadar, Sibenik or Split. If you have enough time on your hands, definitely go to Dubrovnik or try one of Croatia’s best island hideouts. If you’re coming from the coast then, well…go to Zagreb and try one of the city’s hidden courtyards!