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Krka National Park or Plitvice

Updated: Apr 1

Plitvice National park

Croatia has some absolutely spectacular scenery, and both Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park are at the top of the list. Ideally, you would have time to visit both parks. They are both stunning and well worth your time, but I understand sometimes you can't fit in everything. If you're torn between these natural wonders of Croatia do not worry. I'm here to guide you through the lush landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant scenery of these two unforgettable destinations. We will compare the 2 parks using different categories so you will have all the information needed to choose the right one for you.

Getting There:

Krka national park

Getting to both Krka and Plitvice is relatively straightforward, but the ease of access can be a determining factor for some travelers. Krka National Park, located near the town of Skradin, is conveniently accessible by car or bus. Buses regularly leave from Split and Zadar to Skradin. The journey is approximately one hour from either city, making it an easy day trip. Be sure to check the latest bus schedules and book your tickets in advance. From the town of Skradin, you will take a boat into the park. The entrance from Skradin is the most popular and simplest entrance to the park but there are 4 others.

entrance to Plitvice National park

On the other hand, Plitvice Lakes, situated near the town of Plitvička Jezera, might require a bit more planning as it is further from main cities. Several bus companies offer reliable services from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes. The journey takes around 2 - 2.5h, providing scenic views of the Croatian countryside. Be sure to check the latest schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. For those seeking flexibility and the opportunity to explore at their own pace, renting a car is a fantastic option. The drive from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes is approximately 2h and from Split is is 2.5h. The drive is beautiful, taking you through charming villages and rolling hills. We rent a car when in Croatia and enjoy the flexibility and freedom it provides.

Advantage: Krka (Easy day trip)

Things to Do:

Both parks promise an abundance of outdoor activities, but their unique features set them apart. Krka boasts a series of stunning waterfalls, including the iconic Skradinski Buk, with its 17 terraced waterfalls and the Roski slap. The park also offers boat trips to the tiny Visovac Island, where you can explore a beautiful working monastery and grounds. Until a few years ago, swimming at the waterfalls was permitted. This, however has changed and swimming is no longer allowed. Hiking trails provide opportunities to explore the park further as well.

Visovac island Croatia

Plitvice Lakes, renowned for its 16 terraced lakes and waterfalls, offers an enchanting network of wooden boardwalks that wind through lush forests, lakes and waterfalls. This UNESCO world heritage site is truly one of the most spectacular places I have seen. The waterfalls, dripping through the tufa rock into bright turquoise lakes are incredible. There are a number of well-maintained trails and routes to explore, depending on what you want to see, your fitness level, and how long you want to stay. Some of the routes include electric boat rides and sightseeing trains.

Advantage: Plitvice (barely)


Entrance Fees:

Both parks require a similar entrance fee, so this should not really factor in your decision. As of this post, Plitvice is 40 EUR in Summer for a day pass. Two-day passes are also available. These passes include entrance to the park and transportation on the boats and trains.

Expert tip: They can sell out, so I would suggest booking online beforehand. Some of the trails are closed at times, so check on the website to know what is open.

waterfall in Plitvice

A ticket that covers the whole Krka National park is 40 EUR. There are cheaper ones available if you are only visiting parts of the park. This ticket will cover the boat rides to the different falls and Visovac island.

Both parks offer reduced price tickets for off-season passes, as well as for seniors, students and children.

Advantage: Tie (same price)

waterfall in Krka national park, Croatia


As with many popular destinations, both Krka and Plitvice can attract crowds, especially during the summer months. Krka, being slightly less known, tends to have fewer visitors, providing a more serene experience. Plitvice, being a UNESCO World Heritage site, can be busier, but its vast expanse often disperses the crowds, helping with the congestion.

Advantage: Krka (Quieter Atmosphere)

Plitvice, Croatia


Both parks offer food options for the hungry traveler. There are cafes and food stands throughout the parks to purchase food. There are also tables available for picnics.

Advantage: Tie

lake in Plitvice national park

Krka or Plitvice

In the end, both of these Croatian national parks are breathtaking. Whether you choose Krka National Park or Plitvice Lakes, you're in for a treat. Krka wins in terms of ease of access, and a quieter atmosphere, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a more relaxed experience. However, if you are willing to travel a bit further, the grandeur of Plitvice Lakes is truly unsurpassed. Whichever path you choose, an unforgettable day is in store.


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