Plitvice Lakes National Park Guide

Renowned for its stunning natural scenery, beautiful lakes, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park is an image of Paradise on Earth.

And millions of people from around the world come to see its glory each year.

And according to Statista, Plitvice national park recorded 805 thousand visitors in 2021 even during the second year of the coronavirus pandemic as compared to only 446 thousand visitors in 2020.

So if you are planning to visit this national park then in this article, we’ll see the best places to visit at Plitvice Lakes National Park, the best time to visit, its history, etc. so that you can plan an unforgettable trip. Let’s get started!



ParkPlitvice Lakes National Park
Things to doLake Visit, Waterfall Visit and many more
Hotels near Plitvice Lakes National ParkVilla Lika, Hotel Plitvice and many more
Entry Fee22-34 EUR
Camping LocationsMultiple Locations

Where Is Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Expanding over 295 square Kilometers, Plitvice Lakes National Park resides in the lush green forest reserve of Karlovac County, Croatia.

You can reach this park among a couple of options, including four hiking trails, two separate entrances, and seven scenic routes.

The closest cities to reach Plitvice Lakes National Park are Zadar and Zagreb. There are three more cities that are in close proximity to Plitvice National Park; these are Split, Pula and Dubrovnik. 1

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About Plitvice Lakes National Park  

This Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in southeast Europe, famous for its ensemble of 16 natural lakes laced together by waterfalls.

Located in Karlovac County, Croatia, this fantastic place is full of lush forests, meadows, a series of caves, and beautiful waterfalls.  

The park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 due to its picturesque beauty, beautiful turquoise waters, and incredible vistas.

More than 1.2 million people from all around the world to see this hidden natural gem of Croatia.

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History Of Plitvice Lakes National Park

The Plitvice Lake system was formed due to centuries of ongoing geological and biochemical processes, creating natural dams known as “tufa barriers.”

The Plitvice Lake System was first discovered in the late 19th century, and early conservation efforts began in 1949, and Plitvice became a national park.

 In 1979, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its striking landscape, well-preserved forests, and biodiversity.

In the 1980s, tourism in Yugoslavia had seen tremendous growth and this Park became one of the hottest tourist attractions in Croatia. 

In 1997, the park was enlarged to protect the groundwater system and the catchment area of lakes.

In 2000, the park was extended further to protect the underground tributary streams.

Today, the part extends over 73 350 acres and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. 

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Things To Do In the Park 

This Park offers many things to see and do. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve visited before,

Here are some of the top sights that are a must-see:

Explore The Plitvice Lakes

One of the best ways to explore the beauty of the Plitvice from a different perspective is to get into the waters.

As one of the major attractions in the park, Plitvice Lakes allows visitors to get away from the crowds and experience the enchanting beauty of turquoise waters in a most peaceful setting.

You can rent out a boat and head out into the lake. The area is famous for its diverse flora and fauna, populated by brown bears, wolves, deer, and rare birds. 

See Rastoke Waterfalls & Watermills

This small village located 30km from Plitvice is one of the major attractions in the park.

Being a small and quaint town, Rastoke offers some of the most charming natural scenery and allows you to slow down and expirence the undisturbed beauty of nature.

The village offers a variety of outdoor activities, including kayaking, rafting, horse riding, and fishing.

There’s a windmill in the village which is still active today and grinds the wheat to supply bread to the nearby restaurants, cafes, and towns. 

Explore The Caves of Barac

Uncover the underground world of treasures at Barac Caves, another park’s highlight.

Located just 20-min away from the lakes, Barac Caves is famous for its unique rock formations and geological features, including stalactites hanging from the cave’s ceiling.

Caves also contain the remains of the perished soldiers from World War I and World War II.

The cave features. To get inside the cave, all visitors need to be accompanied by a guide. The entire cave tour takes around 50 minutes to travel in and outside.

Visit The Veliki Slap

Veliki Slap is one of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in this National Park, standing 78 meters tall.

The waterfalls are located near entrance 1 of the national park, north of the big hotels.

The density of the cascading lower lake waterfalls and the breathtaking beauty of the blue-green lakes make the waterfalls look even more magical.

Veliki Slap overlook offers some of the most beautiful views of the park, but most people miss this stunning viewpoint due to a lack of knowledge. 

Take A Hike

Hiking is one of the best ways to expirence the stunning scenery and most exciting park areas.

The park has eight different hiking routes with varying lengths. The shortest hike in the park is up to 3 hours long, while the longest takes up to 8 hours.

You can explore the park on your own or take a guided tour to lead the way for you.

If you opt to go on your own, don’t forget to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.  2

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Best time To Visit

There’s no best time to visit this Park, as the weather is always pleasant and welcoming.

Every season has its charm, but spring and fall are ideal for visiting when the water levels are high from melting snow.

July and August are the peak months, so avoid visiting the park during these months if you want to beat the crowds. 3

Map Of Plitvice Lakes National Park

Make sure to download the map of Plitvice Lakes National Park in PDF, with locations of lakes, waterfalls, hiking trails, and other essential points of interest. A map will help you plan your trip and make the most of your time. 

Hotels Near Plitvice Lakes National Park

This Park has a variety of accommodation options both inside and outside the park, so you don’t need to be concerned about the park’s closing hours.

Here are some recommendations to help you find the best option for your stay: 

  • Hotel Plitvice
  • Hotel Jezero 
  • Hotel Bellevue 
  • Villa Lika 
  • Pension Breza
  • House Ilija Hodak 

Camping Locations At Plitvice Lakes National Park

There’s no campground inside the Park, but there are six campgrounds in the park’s vicinity that offer a wide range of camping options.

The nearest campground to the park is Korana Camping, located just a few kilometers north of the park’s entrance.

Other popular campsites near the park include Slapic Camping, Rodonja Camping, Mreznica River Canyon, and Camping Borje.  

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Weather Of Plitvice Lakes National Park

A continental climate influences the weather in this Park. The average temperature throughout the year stays lower than 22°C.

July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 29°C, while January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 3°C at night.

Regardless of the weather outside, the cave temperature remains cool at 9 degrees Celsius year-round.

Make sure to check out the latest weather forecast before planning a trip. 

Entry Fee & Passes

This Park offers various packages depending on your age, season, and how many days you want to stay.

The ticket price for an adult during the peak season is 34 EUR for one day.

Students are eligible for special discounts with an entrance fee of 22 EUR, so don’t forget to bring your student ID.

You can book your ticker online in the low season or a few days before the peak season. 

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Checklist Of things To Pack 

Here’s an essential list of items you must have while visiting the Park: 

  • A day bag pack 
  • Seasonal Clothes 
  • Swimsuit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Sunglasses & Sunblock 
  • Rain jacket
  • Binoculars
  • A dry bag
  • Water bottles and snacks
  • Flashlight/ headlamp 
  • Firestarter
  • Pocket knife 
  • Bear spray & Insect repellent
  • First-aid kit 
  • Map 


How many days do I need in Plitvice Lakes National Park?

We’d recommend spending at least two days to experience everything the park has to offer and spend a memorable night in the area. 

Is Swimming allowed in Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Swimming is forbidden in the park as the Plitvice lakes are also a reservoir for drinking water.

Why is Lakes of Plitvice National Park so blue?

The color of the lakes depends on the number of minerals or organisms and the angle of sunlight.

The blue color of the lakes at Plitvice is caused by calcium carbonate from the limestone rocks. 

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