Waterfalls and lakes amidst the greenery of Plitvice Lakes National Park

Split to Plitvice: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most stunning and popular attractions in Croatia, and if you’re visiting the coastal city of Split, it’s a great option for a day trip. Keep reading for everything you need to know about travelling from Split to Plitvice, including how to get there and some useful tips.

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How to get to Plitvice from Split

There are three main ways to travel from Split to Plitvice: by bus, by car, or by guided tour. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your budget, time, and preferences.

Travelling from Split to Plitvice by bus

Taking a bus is the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Plitvice from Split, as you don’t have to worry about driving, parking, or tolls. There are several buses that run daily from Split bus station to Plitvice, with journey times ranging from 3.5 to 6 hours, depending on the route and traffic.

The bus ticket price is between 16 and 23 euros one way. The buses stop at both Entrance 1 and Entrance 2 of the park, where you can buy your admission ticket if you haven’t already booked online.

The downside of taking a bus is that you have to follow the bus schedule, which might not give you enough time to explore the park fully, especially in the peak season. If you do decide to travel by bus, you should consider staying overnight and returning the following morning or evening. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of your time there.

Travelling from Split to Plitvice by car

Driving to Plitvice from Split gives you more flexibility and freedom, as you can choose your departure and arrival time, and stop along the way to enjoy the scenery or visit other attractions. You can use Discover Cars and Qeeq to find car rental options in Split, either for the full length of your stay or just for your visit to Plitvice.

The drive takes about 2.5 hours, and you can choose between two main routes: the shorter one via Sinj, Vrlika, Knin, and Korenica, or the longer one via the E65 and E75 highways. The tolls and gas will cost you around 25 euros each way, and you’ll also have to pay for parking at the park.

The advantage of driving is that you can also visit other places nearby, such as Rastoke, a picturesque village with watermills and waterfalls, or Zadar, another coastal city with a rich history and culture.

Split to Plitvice guided tours

Booking a guided tour to Plitvice from Split is the easiest and most hassle-free way to visit the park, as everything is taken care of for you, from transportation to admission tickets to guided walks. Get Your Guide is a popular booking platform for day trips; follow this link for some of their Split to Plitvice trips.

You can choose from different tour options depending on your budget and preferences. One of the most popular and budget friendly options is a large group tour, but small-group tours, private tours, and even self-guided tours are also available from Split to Plitvice Lakes.

Prices range from 65 to 250 euros per person, and usually include hotel pick-up and drop-off, a comfortable minivan or bus ride, park admission, a professional guide, and a boat ride on the lake.

Pros and cons of guided tours to Plitvice

Guided tours to Plitvice have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you are looking for. Here are some of the main pros and cons to consider before booking a tour.


  • You don’t have to worry about transportation, tickets, or navigation, as everything is arranged for you.
  • You can enjoy the scenic drive and relax on the way to and from the park.
  • You can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a professional guide, who can show you the best routes, spots, and facts about the park.
  • You can skip the lines and crowds at the entrance and the boat dock, as tour groups have priority access.
  • You can experience the park from different perspectives, such as walking, boating, and panoramic train.
  • You can meet other travellers and share the experience with them.


  • You have to follow the tour schedule and pace, which might not suit your preferences or needs.
  • You have less flexibility and freedom to explore the park on your own, or to visit other places nearby.
  • You have less time to enjoy the park, as you have to return to Split by a certain time.
  • You have to pay more than if you travel by bus or car, especially if you book a private tour.
  • You might not have a personal connection with your guide or group, especially if you book a large tour.

Planning tips for visiting Plitvice

To make the most of your visit to Plitvice, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan your visit in advance, and book your transportation and accommodation as soon as possible, especially in the peak season (June to September), when the park is very busy.
  • Check the weather forecast before you go, and dress accordingly. The weather can change quickly in the park, and it can be colder and wetter than in Split. Bring layers, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable shoes. You should avoid open toe shoes due to loose stones and dirt on the trails.
  • Pack a backpack with essentials, such as water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a camera, and a power bank. You should also bring some cash for things like souvenirs, and a picnic if you’d prefer to save money on food. There are restaurants at the park, but they can be expensive.
  • Choose your entrance and route wisely, depending on your time, fitness, and interests. There are two entrances to the park, Entrance 1 and Entrance 2, and eight routes to explore. The routes vary in length, difficulty, and scenery, and cover different parts of the park, such as the lower lakes, the upper lakes, or both.
  • If you aren’t visiting Plitvice on a guided tour, you should buy your admission ticket online in advance, and avoid the long queues at the ticket office.
  • Respect park rules and help preserve its natural beauty and biodiversity. Do not litter, feed or disturb the animals, swim, fish, or camp in the park, or stray from the marked paths and boardwalks.

There is much more detail about each of these tips in our article The Complete Guide to Plitvice Lakes National Park: Tips and Tricks.

Final thoughts on travelling from Split to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-see destination in Croatia, and a visit from Split is definitely worth it. Whether you choose to travel by bus, car, or guided tour, you will be amazed by the beauty and diversity of the park. Just remember to plan ahead, pack smart, and enjoy the experience.

CTA: If you’re interested in Plitvice, you might be interested in Croatia’s other national parks. Check out our article From Plitvice to Krka: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Croatia’s Breathtaking National Parks for more inspiration if you’re planning a trip!

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