Plitvice Lakes is a large national park found in central Croatia. The park is known for its dramatic landscape with an incredible amount of waterfalls. There is a wood walkway built right above the water to allow you to walk throughout the park without disturbing the beautiful nature around you.
How we got there
We flew into Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia. The airport is a 20 minute bus ride from the main bus station. Buses leave pretty regularly. You’ll want to change your currency into Croatian Kuna to have some on hand without having to pay a fee elsewhere. When we were there the exchange rate was quite good. You can catch the bus outside the terminal. Others will be waiting.
Once you arrive at the main bus station you’ll need to board a bus to take you down to the park. The bus will state that it is going to Plitvička Jezera. There are two entrances to the park so be aware of where you are staying so you get off at the correct stop. We used Bus Croatia extensively while there and it was nice to have tickets guaranteed. The bus driver can scan your phone for a QR code. You can also purchase tickets on the bus with Kuna.
The bus ride is pretty interesting as you wind through the Croatian countryside. You’ll see hints of the Croatian War of Independence still visible in some of the buildings and monuments you pass on your way. Once you get to the park, there are shuttles that can take you between the entrances. We were also approached by a taxi driver but opted to walk to our place.
What we did
Most of our time was spent walking throughout the park. There are extensive boardwalks and trails that will give you spectacular views. You can board a ferry to take you across the river. The water is teeming with fish and the dock will likely be teeming with tourists. Once you’re across the water you can begin exploring the boardwalks and waterfalls. Some of the main attractions are the large waterfall and cave.
We found that tour groups often blocked the boardwalks and it was difficult to move at our typically fast pace. It’s an exercise in patience moving through the narrow areas. It was well worth the wait though as the winding waterfalls zigzagged down and through the forest and over all the rock surrounding the rivers and lakes. Views from the top of the canyon walls offer a unique vantage point of the system of waterfalls.
Our first day, it was very rainy and we didn’t get a good view.
Our second day was much better.
Where we stayed.
We stayed in an AirBnB right outside the park. The small neighborhood was located a 15 minute walk from Entrance 2. The walk to the park was lovely and right through the woods. The apartment was huge and very reasonably priced, as are most things in Croatia. There is a small grocery store feet from the entrance.
Overall, the park was very well worth the long bus ride. Accommodations and park amenities were very good. The masses of people there were a bit trying at times but I would recommend a visit.