Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most popular tourist sight in Croatia. It's located only 80 miles away from the capital Zagreb, making the trip an easy two-hour drive with a rental car.
Hiring a private transfer is another option, offering convenience and flexibility. There are no train connections between Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes National Park, but several bus companies serve direct routes from Zagreb's main station.
This 8-day highlights of Croatia tour starts in the capital city of Zagreb and heads to Plitvice Lakes National Park before moving on to the Dalmatian coast and the cities of Zadar and Split, the island of Hvar, and ending in Dubrovnik.
By Rental Car
Duration: 2 hours
Driving to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Zagreb is the most convenient travel option, considering it's only a two-hour drive. From Zagreb, head south-west on the E65 toll highway and exit at Karlovac from where you can take the D1 Road to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Along the way, you'll pass through the town of Rastoke, worth a stop for its scenic waterfalls.
A few minutes south of Karlovac along the D1 just after crossing the Korona River, is a bakery called Monika. If you are looking for grab-and-go options to take on your drive they have a selection of coffees, baked goods, and fresh bread.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hours
A private transfer from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park is another possibility for travelers who prefer not to drive, don't want to bother with traffic or parking, or enjoying having the possibility of making stops along the way. For details of companies offering transfer services, inquire with your local specialist.
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
There are frequent buses leaving Zagreb's main bus station with direct connections to Plitvice Lakes. Journey times vary depending on how many scheduled stops there are on the way, with the fastest making the journey in about two hours. Buses in Croatia are generally comfortable and a good value.
If you're planning on making this trip during the summer, it's always a good idea to book ahead of your journey date as Plitvice Lakes National Park is a popular destination. Note that Arriva and FlixBus have free wifi onboard, and the latter also has extras like plug sockets and toilets.