Croatia, Europe, Featured

How To Plan Your Trip to Plitvice Lakes Croatia

September 27, 2016
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Around the World with Justin
The first time I saw photos of Plitvice Lakes National Park – gorgeous turquoise lakes and waterfalls tucked away in fairytale-esque forests – Croatia jumped to the top of my European travel bucket list. Stunned by its natural and majestic beauty, it became the first stop during my week-long adventure throughout Croatia. As an extremely popular tourist destination – photos will reveal why that’s a no brainer – it is actually extremely easy to plan your trip to Plitvice Lakes Croatia.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
Plitvice Lakes National Park can easily be accessed by Zadar or Zagreb. From both cities travelers can drive or book a bus for a half- or full-day trip. I highly recommend a full-day trip to Plitvice Lakes Croatia since there’s a lot of ground to cover and it’s too beautiful to rush getting through! I booked my transportation through Bus Croatia. Ticket prices and operating hours for the park vary depending on the time of year so check here for the most up to date info.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
From Zadar I booked an 8:30 a.m. bus that arrived at Plitvice Lakes National Park around 10:15 a.m. The bus first drops passengers off at Entrance 1 and then proceeds to Entrance 2. The national park is divided into the upper and lower lake and in total there are 16 lakes that can be explored by walking along the park’s 18km wooden pathway. When planning your trip to Plitvice Lakes Croatia, keep in mind it takes roughly 6 hours or so to explore the majority of the grounds by foot.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.com

Fun FactPlitvice Lakes National Park was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1979.

The best advice I got for my trip to Plitvice Lakes Croatia was to start my tour at Entrance 2. Here I purchased my entrance ticket and then took a shuttle bus to the northern part of the upper lakes. From there I made my way south to the bottom of the upper lakes and boarded a boat to the lower lakes. I then walked back to Entrance 1 where I picked up my return bus to Zadar. The advantage of exploring north to south is our path was on a steady decline instead of an incline for a majority of the time. It also allows you to front-load the transportation all at the beginning instead of at the end. It’s really unnecessary to book or take an organized tour. The grounds are easy to navigate so save some money and just do it yourself.  And now, join me on my Plitvice Lakes Croatia adventure.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.com

Upper Lakes

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Lower Lakes

Plitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.comPlitvice Lakes Croatia National Park tour Zadar Zagreb atwjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
I’m a sucker for “old towns” when I travel. For my entire stay in Croatia I stayed in or as close as possible to the old towns of each city. In Zadar I called the Boutique Hostel Forum home and loved it. It is by far the most trendy, hip and modern hostel I’ve ever stayed in. It is located in the heart of Zadar’s old town, extremely clean and the staff was very helpful in offering travel tips.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Visiting Krka Waterfalls in the Pouring Rain - Croatia Travel GuideAround the World with Justin September 29, 2016 at 6:09 am

    […] my trip or going, I chose to go! Sure, I wouldn’t get my pristine, turquoise colored photos like Plitvice Lakes, but I shifted my perspective to make the most of experiencing the park in a completely different […]

  • Reply Top 10 #OMGB Moments in Pembrokeshire Wales - Visit BritainAround the World with Justin November 2, 2016 at 11:06 am

    […] I was traveling around Croatia I met two girls from England who told me I must go to a Sunday carvery during my Pembrokeshire […]

  • Reply Andrew Scott November 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Great post, Justin! I was there this past September and you’re right about it taking a lot of time to get around. Were you able to try any of the cheese that they sell on the roadside in the area, or did being on the bus make that a no-go?

    • Reply Justin Walter November 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      We must have just missed each other! September was a great time to check out Croatia. Sadly I didn’t see cheese on the roadside! Good to know in case I can get back there. Where else in Croatia did you explore? I still need to work on my posts for Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik.

  • Reply 12 Reasons to Travel To (and Not Through) Sioux Falls, South DakotaAround the World with Justin December 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    […] after a recent string of trips to Croatia, Wales, the Dominican Republic and Cuba when Travel Mindset asked if I was interested in visiting […]

  • Reply A Traveler's Game of Thrones Walk of Atonement in Dubrovnik CroatiaAround the World with Justin July 16, 2017 at 5:30 am

    […] up I’ll be sharing my adventures in Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. Until then, soak up Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes and Kryka Waterfalls. If you don’t – it’s a SHAME! SHAME! […]

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