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Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

A visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park is highly recommended for anyone traveling to Croatia, as the park offers a spectacular natural display all year round.

Boat in Lake in National Park Plitvice
Plitvice, boat on Lake Kozjak

Zadar to Plitvice Lakes by Bus

Taking the bus from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly way of traveling on this route, with the journey lasting between 1.45 and 2.5 hours.

Price and ticket Zadar to Plitvice Bus

The price for a one-way adult ticket averages around 15 Euros. Occasionally, you can find early-bird tickets for 10 Euros or less. Some bus companies offer discounts for round-trip purchases. On most departures, it is also possible to buy discounted tickets for children under 12 years of age.

Frequency and Schedule Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

In the summer season there are up to 10 daily bus departures between Zadar and Plitvice Lakes, in the winter time there are only a few departures. Below, you can see some of the most popular departure times. Please use the search form above for a full schedule on any date.

__DATE__ | __DEPARTURE__TIME__ __DEP__STATION__ , __DEP__STOP__
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__PRICE__DISCOUNT__ __TICKET__PRICE__ __TICKET__CURRENCY__
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__M__PRICE__DISCOUNT__ __M__TICKET__PRICE__ __TICKET__CURRENCY__
__M__TRAVEL__TIME __M__BUS__CHANGES__
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Zadar (HR)
1h 55min
Plitvice Lakes (HR)
book a transfer
  • door to door service
  • no charge for flight delay
  • no luggage hassle
  • name sign
20 June | 08:30 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
01h 45m Direct
10:15 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Bus terminal
15 EUR
08:30 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
10:15 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Entrance 1 (ZG) > Slunj
15 EUR
01h 45m Direct

Prijevoz Knežević (PKN)
8.4
5294 reviews
route operational intervals
route map
Air-conWifi
20 June | 08:30 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
02h 00m Direct
10:30 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Bus terminal
15 EUR
08:30 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
10:30 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Entrance 1 (ZG) > Slunj
15 EUR
02h 00m Direct

Prijevoz Knežević (PKN)
8.4
5294 reviews
route operational intervals
route map
Air-conWifi
20 June | 13:00 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
01h 45m Direct
14:45 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Bus terminal
15 EUR
13:00 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
14:45 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Entrance 1 (ZG) > Slunj
15 EUR
01h 45m Direct

Prijevoz Knežević (PKN)
8.4
5294 reviews
route operational intervals
route map
Air-conWifi
20 June | 15:10 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
02h 40m Direct
17:50 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Bus terminal
14 EUR
15:10 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
17:50 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Entrance 1 (ZG) > Slunj
14 EUR
02h 40m Direct

Autobusni prijevoz Varaždin d.o.o. (APV)
7.6
1725 reviews
route operational intervals
route map
20 June | 18:00 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
01h 55m Direct
19:55 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Bus terminal
15 EUR
18:00 Zadar (HR) , Bus terminal
19:55 Plitvice Lakes (HR) , Entrance 1 (ZG) > Slunj
15 EUR
01h 55m Direct

Prijevoz Knežević (PKN)
8.4
5294 reviews
route operational intervals
route map
Air-conWifi
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Map travel route Zadar (HR) to Plitvice Lakes (HR)

This information is supplied without liability

Bus Station Zadar - Departure Location

All Intercity depart from the main bus station in Zadar located at the address, Ante Starcevica 1, 23000 Zadar, which is 15-20 minutes by foot from the old town.

Bus Station Plitvice Lakes - Arrival Station

At Plitvice Lakes, there isn't a bus station, just bus stops along the road. You can get off at either bus stop, whether it's Entrance 1 or Entrance 2.

Entrance 1 Plitvice Bus stop shelter

Day trip Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

If you are staying in Zadar, and wish to visit National Park Plitvice on a day trip, you have the following options.

  • Public bus as mentioned above, is the most economical if you are only 1-2 persons, but less flexible. 
  • Rent a car in Zadar. If you drive following the fastest route, it should take you about 1.40 min to get to Plitvice National Park from Zadar Center. Additional cost: road toll which is about 6 Euro (return), plus the cost of the gas you spent.
  • Book a car with a driver for a day. (Private Transfer)
  • Organized day trip, from Zadar you have several travel agencies offering small group (2-8 persons) or larger group day trips.

Zadar to Plitvice Lakes by Car

Driving to Plitvice Lakes from Zadar is hassle-free, the fastest travel route is about 135 Km from Zadar Center, the route goes via Highway A6 to Gornja Ploca, and from here on you follow the country road.  As mentioned above, the trip takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Stops on the way

A favored lunch spot along the route is Restaurant Macola in Korenica, situated roughly 20 km before reaching the National Park. While Macola may not boast Michelin-star quality, it offers decent meals at fair prices, setting you up perfectly for a day of exploration in the park!

Video - National Park Plitvice Lakes

Take a look at the Video from my latest visit to Plitvice Lakes! (As my voice sounds like Joe Cocker with a bad cold, I had a friend of mine do the voice over 🙃).

FAQ - Zadar to Plitvice

How long time is the bus ride from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes?

The driving time of buses is from 1 hour 45 Minutes to about 2.5 hours, depending on the travel route. Most buses drive Non-Stop.

Is there a bus from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Yes, buses run between Zadar and Plitvice Lakes throughout the year. In the peak summer season, there are up to 10 daily departures, whereas in winter, there are only a few daily bus connections.

What is the cheapest way of traveling from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes?

Taking the public bus is the cheapest way, the price for a one-way adult ticket is about 15 Euro. (Round trip 25-30 Euros). If you are a group of 4 persons or more you could also consider booking a door-to-door private transfer from Zadar to National Park Plitvice.

Is there a train from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes?

No there is no train from Zadar to Plitvice, the only form of public transportation is buses which are available year-round.

Can you see Plitvice Lakes in one day?

Sure, the longest walking route at National Park Plitvice Lakes takes between 6 and 8 hours, this route includes a boat trip and a trip with the national park “Train”, there are also shorter routes (From 2 hours) focusing on either the lower or the upper part of the National Park. (See Video above for more information).

Which Plitvice entrance should I choose?

I can personally recommend both Entrance 1 and Entrance 2; however, Entrance 1 is the most popular, which often means tickets for the popular timeslots are sold out. Tip: If you are traveling back by bus from Plitvice Lakes to Zadar, you should wait at the Entrance 1 bus stop, as it is the first pickup point😉.

Where should I stay overnight at Plitvice Lakes?

If you arrive by bus, you should preferably find something within walking distance, as taxis can be expensive/hard to come by. The National Park has several hotels near the entrances as well as two camping sites Korana Camp and Borje Camp, both camping sites have free buses to and from the national park.

My personal favorite in terms of accommodation, having stayed at several hotels and apartments in the area is this place here, but you need a car to stay there.

Should I continue to Split or Zagreb from Plitvice Lakes?

Both cities are worth visiting for a couple of days. If you travel to Plitvice from Zadar in the morning, there are several buses in the afternoon from Plitvice to Split as well as from Plitvice to Zagreb, so the choice is really up to you!

Lakes at Plitvice
Cascaded Lakes at National Park Plitvice

Summary of transportation from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

Travel distance fastest route135 km / 84 Miles
Average ticket Price€15 / $17 / £13
Daily Bus departures in Summer8-10
Daily Bus departures in Winter1-4
Bus companiesPrijevoz Knezevic, AP Varazdin
Organic Day trips availableYes
Train No

Other popular bus travel routes from Zadar

Zadar to SplitZadar to ZagrebZadar to Tisno
Zadar to KrkaZadar to NovaljaZadar to Airport
Zadar to PulaZadar to RijekaZadar to Sibenik

Text, photos and travel tips by Morten Smalby