A day trip to the Plitvice waterfalls

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Croatia is a country that has only been gaining popularity as a holiday destination in recent years. Not surprising, because it's often nice and warm, there's a lot to see and it's very affordable. One of the sights that you shouldn't miss are the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Here you can find a lot of natural beauty which is more impressive than you can imagine. There's a lot to see and do for both young and old. In this article I'll tell you all about it. Do you have some extra tips or stories? Feel free to share them in the comment section!

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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plitvice lakes croatia

Incredibly beautiful, right? Personally, I found it one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen in Europe!


Like many natural lakes, the Plitvice lakes have also been created by the test of time. Due to deposition, dams were created in the area. They have in turn ensured that these gorgeous lakes have been formed. But that’s not all, even caves and waterfalls are among the attractions here. The rich natural landscape has also attracted many animal species over the centuries. Think of fish, bears, wolves and a lot of special birds.


The Plitvice lakes are especially known to tourists for their waterfalls. There are no less than ninety Plitvice waterfalls spread over the 16 lakes. So… There’s enough to see!

You can view the park in different ways; by foot, train, bicycle or with a boat trip. All experiences are special enough to consider them.


It’s important to know that the park has two entrances. From each entrance you can follow four walking routes with lengths of two to eight hours. Along the way it’s possible to combine routes, as long as you stay on the hiking trails. It might seem to explore the park a bit different than the paths, but let me warn you: just don’t. First of all, you harm nature and secondly you endanger your own safety.

Don’t forget to keep your waste with you and deposit it in the trash cans.

waterfalls plitvice view

Once you are completely at the top you get a beautiful view of the entire park and the famous Plitvice waterfalls!

The possibilities per entrance and the walking routes

The routes have a letter: A, B, C, E, F, H and K. From the first entrance you can hike path A, B, C and K, from the second entrance you can explore paths E, F, H and K. These have respectively a duration of 2, 3, 4 and 6 hours depending on your walking pace. Make sure you’re wearing good hiking shoes because you occasionally walk on some rough or slippery surfaces and sometimes you need to climb a little as well.

The park is divided into a high and low section. From the first entrance you mainly follow routes through the low part, whereas from the second entrance you choose the higher parts of the park. From both entrances you can take a boat trip over the Kozjak lake or arrange a train ride.

Accessibility and admission prices

The park is easily accessible by car. Each entrance has a cash register and staff to provide you with advice. Depending on the season you can also step on a boat or train.

Admission prices are divided into three categories: adults, children from 7 to 18 and children up to 7 years. The prices below are per season and converted to euros. Check for the exact entrance fees the official website of the national park: http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/

  • 1 November to 31 March: adult 7.50 euro, child 7-18 : 4.75 euro, child up to 7 years free
  • 1 April to 30 June and 1 September to 31 October: adult 15 euros, child 7-18: 7.50 euros, child up to 7 years free
  • 1 July to 31 August: adult 24.25 euros, child 7-18: 10.75 euros, child up to 7 years free

A special discount rate applies for groups of 15 people or more. In addition, you pay about one euro per hour to park.

You don’t necessarily need to book a hotel near the Plitvice Lakes during your holiday in Croatia. When I visited the Plitvice park, I did so from Split. You can also organize excursions from Zadar, Zagreb, Trogir and even from Dubrovnik.
You can choose to simply arrange transport to the Plitvice waterfalls, but there are also a couple of ‘all-in’ formulas. With these you get breakfast, lunch and a guided tour of the park.

From Split to the Plitvice lakes would cost you from €54 per person, from Zadar to the national park you pay at least €64. From Zagreb a transfer will cost you €130 per person.

Plitvice lakes view from above

If you hike all the way up in this national park, you get a beautiful view over the waterfalls and the lakes of Plitvice.

Eat and stay at the Plitvice lakes

It’s possible to book a hotel at the Plitvice lakes. You even have the choice between four different hotels with two or three stars. Do you prefer to wake up in the middle of nature? There are three campsites within a radius of 15 kilometers (9,3 miles).
Check the possibilities and availability on Agoda or Booking.

Did you get hungry while walking, cycling or sailing? Or did you get thirsty by staring at the Plitvice waterfalls? There are more than ten restaurants where you can go for a bite or a refreshing drink. The menu varies per establishment and offers different dishes, from snacks to complete meals.

When is the best time to visit the Plitvice Lakes?

The park is beautiful throughout the year. Enjoy wintery or summery scenes with a white layer of snow or warm sun rays. To avoid the worst crowds and still have good weather it’s best to visit just before or after the high season. Are you visiting in a busy period? Then keep in mind that the restaurants will be busy and that you may not get to explore the lake with the boat.
Perhaps it’s a good idea to take your own food and drinks and check out the weather forecasts before you head to this beautiful national park.

The park is easily accessible for people travelling in a wheelchair as well. If you would like to ask some questions or ask for help, there’s more than enough helpful staff to guide you in the right direction. And one last tip: make sure that your camera isn’t missing and is fully charged! You’ll want to make a lot of pictures from this beautiful park!

hiking plitvice lakes national park

The hiking trails that run across the water are almost as beautiful as the lakes themselves.

Planning a trip to the lakes

You probably don’t want to miss this beautiful national park any longer after reading this article. From the most visited cities of Croatia you can easily arrange a day trip to the beautiful waterfalls of Plitvice. For availability, prices and info look at these offers:


» All tours and day trips to the Plitvice waterfalls

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In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.

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