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Plitvice Lakes: Day Trips and Tours from Dubrovnik

A day trip to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik is long but rewarding. Croatia’s most famous national park is known for its turquoise pools, picturesque waterfalls, and limestone canyons. There are forest trails to discover, and wooden boardwalks that allow you to get up close to the water.

You could happily spend a couple of days exploring the Upper and Lower Lakes areas, and there are boat trips and train rides available too.

How to get to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik?

You can easily take a day tour to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik although prepare for a long trip as the route is 268 miles one way.

From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes by car

The quickest way to reach Plitvice Lakes is by car, via Zadar and Gornja Ploča. The trip takes around 5-6 hours depending on how often you stop. It crosses the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina – you will need to show your passport.

From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes by bus

The bus journey to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik takes about 10 hours on the direct route. Buses depart once daily so you will need to stay overnight in the Plitvice Lakes area.

Guided tour to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik

A Plitvice Lakes day trip from Dubrovnik is the easiest way to travel. All the hassle is taken out of planning your visit – you can just sit back and enjoy the ride while your driver-guide tells you about the sights. Hotel pick-ups are included.

How much does the entrance ticket to Plitvice Lakes cost?

You will need to buy tickets for Plitvice Lakes National Park online, at least a day before your visit. Entry can sometimes be purchased at the main gate on arrival, but this is not guaranteed. We recommend booking ahead if you are traveling in the summer.

These are the prices for adult tickets:

  • January, February, March, November, December: 80 HRK (€10)
  • April, May, October: 180 HRK (€24)
  • June – September: 300 HRK (€40)

Summer tickets are discounted to 200 HRK (€27) if you arrive after 4 PM.

Children under 7 are free, and discounts are available for anyone under 18 as well as students.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik?

You will begin your Plitvice Lakes day trip with an early morning pick-up from your Dubrovnik hotel. The 268-mile journey is long, but you’ll have a comfort break along the way.

The first part of the route is coastal, with beautiful scenery to admire from the window. You’ll cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and travel a short distance through this new country before continuing into Croatia.

On arrival at Plitvice Lakes, you’ll have free time to explore, with hiking and boating both on the agenda. You will return to Dubrovnik at the end of your Plitvice Lakes excursion.

What kind of tours are available to go to Plitvice Lakes?

Private tour to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik

These exclusive Plitvice Lakes day trips from Dubrovnik begin with a hotel pick-up in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. You will be accompanied by a driver-guide who will be happy to tell you more about Croatia and the famous lakes during the journey. There is usually a comfort break along the way.

On arrival at Plitvice Lakes, you’ll have free time to explore the trails and waterfalls at your own pace. You can enjoy a boat trip or a train ride in the park for an additional cost. There are restaurants and food stalls near the entrance gates if you wish to purchase lunch.

You will be returned to your Dubrovnik hotel after your Plitvice Lakes jaunt.

3-day tour to Plitvice Lakes plus Mostar, Split and Zagreb from Dubrovnik

See the best of Croatia and bag another country on this multi-day adventure. You’ll start in Dubrovnik, before heading over the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina for some sightseeing in Mostar. Here you’ll visit the Stari Most (Old Bridge) and learn about the city’s turbulent history.

Then it’s on to Split where you will stay for two nights. Enjoy a walking tour and see the famous Diocletian’s Palace. There will be plenty of free time to explore on your own too.

The last day takes in the waterfall village of Rastoke before heading to Plitvice Lakes. You will hike along the trails and boardwalks and take a boat and train ride to get up close to the best beauty spots.

Your driver will drop you at your accommodation in Zagreb where the tour ends.

How much does a tour to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik cost?

The price for private day trips to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik ranges from €395 to €942, depending on group size, vehicle type, and whether park fees are included. Some excursions offer free wi-fi on the tour bus.

These trips usually include just the transfers, although some give you the option to add on a guide as an additional expense.

For the private 3-day tour to Plitvice Lakes that also includes Mostar, Split and Zagreb, expect to pay €650 for two passengers. This includes transfers in an air-conditioned minivan, and a tour guide. Accommodation, meals, and park fees are at your own expense.

What will you see and do in Plitvice Lakes?

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with plenty to keep you occupied for a couple of days. If you only have a short time to explore, here are the highlights you’ll enjoy during a day trip to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik.

Lower Lakes

The four lakes in this part of the park are all brilliant shades of turquoise, making for enviable vacation snaps. Sitting in dramatic limestone canyons and surrounded by forests and waterfalls, the lakes are a popular place to start your adventure.

Check out the stunning travertine cascade and the famous Sastavci waterfall as you hike along the trails. There are wooden boardwalks to give you the best vantage points for photos.

Veliki Slap

Veliki Slap is the highest waterfall in the country, tumbling 78 meters down the rocky cliffs. To reach it, take Trail A and enjoy the easy 3.5-kilometer hike from the park entrance.

The scenery is breathtaking and there are lots of other cascades to spot on the way too. Keep your camera handy!

Upper Lakes

Some of the most iconic vistas can be found in the Upper Lakes area. Discovering the forest paths and wooden walkways might just be the best part of your entire day tour to Plitvice Lakes. There are glittering emerald pools everywhere you turn, and a boat ride on Lake Kozjaka is a must!

Some tours include a panoramic train journey so you can easily get around the Upper Lakes without walking.

When is Plitvice Lakes open over the year?

You can visit Plitvice Lakes National Park all year-round. The entrance gate at the Upper Lakes area is shut over winter between November and April, but the Lower Lakes remain accessible at all times.

What are the opening times?

Plitvice Lakes National Park is open seven days a week during the following hours:

  • Spring: 8 AM – 7 PM
  • Summer: 7 AM – 8 PM
  • Fall: 7 AM – 7 PM
  • Winter: 8 AM – 4 PM

The final entry into the park is two hours before closing time.

When is the best time to visit Plitvice Lakes?

A day trip to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik is possible, and indeed enjoyable, at all times of the year. Summer sees warm temperatures and verdant foliage, but this is also when the park is at its busiest.

Avoid the crowds by visiting in spring, when the wildflowers are also in bloom, or fall, when the forest colors are magical.

Are there any tours to Plitvice Lakes from other cities in Croatia?

Yes, there are other day trips departing from several other cities in Croatia:

Aidditionally, there are tours inside Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Travel tips

  • Purchase online tickets for your Plitvice Lakes day tour before your visit, so you can bag the best deals. Places fill up fast, particularly during summer, so don’t miss out by leaving it until the last minute.
  • Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged so you can capture all angles of the spectacular scenery.
  • Wear sturdy footwear for the hiking trails – sandals or flip-flops are not suitable.
  • Swimming is prohibited so there’s no need to bring swimming gear.
  • Lunch can be purchased from the food stalls at the park entrance gates so take some cash with you.