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You will never be at a loss for what to do in Zagreb. However when planning your trip, make sure you plan an extra day in the Croatian capital. This way you will be able to take advantage of one of the best things to do in Zagreb, and Croatia: Take a day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes!
Plitivce Lakes National Park is an incredible national park—one of the best in the world—with 16 terraced lakes that cascade into each other with remarkable waterfalls. The clear, turquoise colored water is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and the natural beauty of the park is something you need to witness.
While there are no major cities right next to Plitvice Lakes, taking a day trip from Zagreb is very easy, and this post will tell you everything you need to know about taking a day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes.
How Far is Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb?
Zagreb is one of the closer major cities to Plitivce Lakes. The total trip is only about 130 kilometers (80 miles). There are multiple ways to from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes, and they’ll take you anywhere from 2 hours to 2.5 hours to get there.
How to Get to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb
There are a few different ways you can get to Plitvice from Zagreb, each with their own pros and cons.
Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes by Car
Renting a car is the fastest while giving you the most flexibility. It will only take 2 hours to drive from Zagreb to Plitvice. You’ll be able to leave Zagreb whenever you want and won’t have a strict time where you have to get back on the bus.
It also gives you the opportunity to stop and visit different areas or towns in Croatia between Zagreb and Plitvice if you want. If you rent a car, you could also go from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and then on to Zadar—Plitvice is equidistance from Zagreb and Zadar. This gives you more flexibility in planning your Croatia travel itinerary.
Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes by Bus
Another way to get from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes is by bus. This is the best option if you don’t feel comfortable driving in Croatia and are traveling on a budget as the bus is usually cheaper than renting a car.
While it is cheaper and you don’t have to navigate, you do have to stick to the bus schedule, so you have to leave when they do. One tip for a day trip to Plitivce Lakes is to get there early, so you’ll at least be able to sleep on an early bus there and on the bus back.
Your bus will depart from the Zagreb Bus Terminal and arrive at Plitivce Lakes Entrance 1. It will depart from Plitvice at the same entrance and arrive back at the Zagreb Bus Terminal. Make sure you get to both places on time. They will leave without you if you are late.
There are a few different bus companies that you can use to get from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes. Prices range from about 70 kn to 120kn ($10-$20). Check out Flixbus or Autobusni Kolodvor Zagreb.
Tips for Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes
Now that you have your transportation from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes for your day trip. You’ll want to make sure you are prepared to visit one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Read all about Tips for a Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb.
These tips for your day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes will help you have the best time possible and allow you to be able to get the most out of your day trip!
Since you will be visiting Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb on a day trip, check out our Day Hike Packing List to make sure you’re prepared for whatever mother nature has in store for you!
Returning to Zagreb
Once you get back it Zagreb from Plitvice Lakes, you will probably have time to get some dinner and explore the city a little bit, unless you’re just beat from your day at Plitvice.
Check out 10 Ideas of What to Do in Zagreb for what you can explore and where to eat. There is also our Zagreb Travel Guide with things to do, where to eat and drink, and where to stay.