In 1979, UNESCO designated the Plitvice Lakes National Park as a World Heritage Site, making it Croatia’s most popular tourist destination. The lakes are a must-see in Croatia, located roughly midway between the capital city of Zagreb and the coastal city of Zadar.
The National Park’s attractiveness resides in its sixteen lakes, which are connected by a chain of waterfalls and located in dense woodland with deer, bears, wolves, wild boars, and uncommon bird species. The National Park has a total size of 300 square kilometers, with the lakes connecting over an eight-kilometer distance.
Although the total height difference between the lakes is only 135 meters, there is a significant altitude variation – the highest point is 1,280 meters, and the lowest is 380 meters. (The tallest waterfall, Veliki Slap, is 70 meters tall.)
Visiting the National Park of Plitvice Lakes
The Park is open every day of the year, with extended hours in the summer (usually 7 am to 8 pm). There is an entry fee that goes towards the Park’s upkeep and security. Adults pay 80 Kuna from January to March, as well as November and December; 180 Kuna from April to May, and 300 Kuna from June to September.
In June, July, and August, tickets are discounted if purchased after 4 p.m.; after this time, tickets cost 200 Kuna. In September, this is also the ticket price if you visit after 3 p.m.
Children aged 7 to 18 receive discounted admission, while children under the age of seven are admitted free of charge. Students, as well as groups of 15 or more people (adults, students, or children), are eligible for discounts.
Tickets for the Park can also be purchased for two days, which saves you money.
For an extra fee, 4-hour guided tours in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Croatian can be pre-booked for a minimum of 15 people.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
Plitvice Lakes isn’t just a summer destination. It’s a beautiful site to come to at any time of year because the Park changes color with the seasons. Whether it’s lush vegetation in the spring/summer, rich colors in the fall, or spectacular landscapes in the snow and ice in the winter. Even if it’s raining, the park is still worth visiting because the water creates a dramatic appearance — occasionally bubbling up beneath your feet on the wooden walks!
Accommodation in the Plitvice Lakes
Staying immediately next to the Park is feasible at one of its three hotels (which are all located quite close together by Entry 2). Or you can go at Camp Korana (which has bungalows or space for 500 camping units) around 7km from entrance 1. Entrance 2 is 15 kilometers away from another campsite, Camp Borje. The Hotel Grabovac, which is also 12 kilometers north of the Park, is another option.