things to do in Plitvice Lakes National Park

Top 10 Best Things to Do in Plitvice Lakes National Park

If you’re heading to Plitvice Lakes National Park, you’ve chosen a gem. The park is known for its stunning lakes and waterfalls. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means it’s special and protected. I’ve walked the trails here and know the best spots.

There are 16 lakes, each with its unique beauty. They’re connected by waterfalls that you can see up close. The park is open all year, and each season offers a new view. In spring, the waterfalls are strong. In summer, the trees are lush. Fall brings amazing colors, and winter covers it all in snow.

I will share and guide you through the 10 best activities in the park. These tips will help you see the best parts and make great memories. Let’s get started.

10 Best Things To Do in Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is famous for its clear blue lakes and amazing waterfalls. It’s a place where you can enjoy nature at its best. With 16 lakes and many waterfalls, there’s a lot to see. You can take a boat ride, go on guided tours, or just walk and enjoy the views.

The park is home to many animals and plants, and it’s beautiful all year round. You can learn a lot here, too, about the animals, the trees, and how the park keeps them safe.

I’ve picked out 10 great activities to do in the park. These will show you the top sights and give you a fun time. Let’s take a look at what you can do here.

#1. Visit The Plitvice Upper Lakes (Gornja Jezera)

Upper Lakes (Gornja Jezera)

Start your adventure at the Upper Lakes (Gornja Jezera), where the water seems to dance from one lake to another. These 12 lakes are set in deep woodland, and the trails here lead you through some of the most peaceful parts of the park. The wooden walkways guide you right over the calm, clear waters.

What’s special here? Well, each lake is framed by greenery and the constant, soothing sound of water. You can find spots where waterfalls create natural pools — perfect for photo ops. Look out for fish darting below the surface, and keep an eye overhead for birds.

If you’re up for it, try the hiking trails that climb up the hills. They offer amazing views from above the lakes. It’s a walk, but the sights are worth it. And don’t rush; the Upper Lakes are a place to take your time and soak in the beauty.

#2. Explore the Lower Lakes (Donja Jezera)

Lower Lakes (Donja Jezera)

After the Upper Lakes, head down to the Lower Lakes (Donja Jezera). This area is known for its dramatic waterfalls, including the park’s largest, Veliki Slap. The walkways here take you close to the action, where you can feel the spray of the falls on your face.

The Lower Lakes sit in a canyon, and the paths and viewpoints let you see the waterfalls from different angles. For those who love a good view, there’s a spot where you can see the big waterfall and the lower lakes together – it’s stunning.

Boats also leave from here, taking you across the lake in silence. It’s a nice break from walking and a chance to see the park from the water.

And if you’ve got the energy, there are more hiking trails. They go up the sides of the canyon, where you can get great photos and see the lakes stretched out below.

Remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring water – there’s much to explore in this part of the park.

#3. Take a Walk Along the Veliki Slap Waterfall

Veliki Slap Waterfall

Veliki Slap, the ‘Big Waterfall’ is the tallest in the park and creates a sound you can hear before seeing it. The trail to Veliki Slap is easy to walk and well worth the trip.

When you reach the waterfall, take a moment to watch the water as it falls down the cliff. If you come in the morning, you might see rainbows in the mist. There are also benches where you can sit and enjoy the view.

For a bit of adventure, you can climb the stairs beside the waterfall. It’s a climb, but at the top, you get a view of the whole park. It’s a good idea to go early to beat the crowds and take your time going up.

#4. Enjoy The Boat Rides on Lake Kozjak

Boat Rides on Lake Kozjak

Lake Kozjak is the largest lake in Plitvice and a peaceful place to take a break from walking. You can hop on an electric boat that glides quietly across the water. It’s a relaxing way to see the park from a different perspective.

The boat ride connects the upper and lower sections of the park, so you can use it to travel between the different areas you want to explore. As you’re on the boat, watch for the changing colors of the water – they’re beautiful and vary from deep blue to bright turquoise, depending on the sunlight.

This is also a chance to rest your feet and enjoy the natural scenery. The ride is short, but it’s a memorable part of the Plitvice experience. Just check the boat schedule when you arrive so you can plan your day around it.

#5. Pay A Visit to The Barać Caves

Barać Caves

The Barać Caves offer a quieter but equally thrilling experience. These caves are a journey into the earth, where you can see stalactites and stalagmites up close. They’ve been forming for thousands of years and make for an otherworldly sight.

You’ll need to join a guided tour to enter the caves, which is a chance to learn about the geology and history of this underground world. The guides are knowledgeable and will tell you about the caves’ formation and the creatures that live in this dark, cool environment.

The temperature inside the caves is much cooler than outside, so bring a jacket. Tours usually last about an hour and are a great way to add some variety to your day after exploring the lakes and waterfalls. Remember to wear sturdy shoes — the ground can be slippery.

#6. Electric Train Rides Around the Park

Electric Train Rides Around the Park

If you need a break from walking, the electric train in Plitvice Lakes National Park is a perfect choice. It’s a convenient way to move between different parts of the park and gives your legs a well-deserved rest.

The train has several stops, so you can hop on and off at various points of interest. It’s especially helpful for those who want to see as much as possible without the fatigue of hiking all day. Plus, it’s a fun ride that offers a panoramic view of the park’s landscapes.

Riding the train can also give you a different perspective of the park’s vastness and beauty. As it winds through the hills and forests, keep your camera ready for those sweeping views. And the best part? It’s included in your entrance ticket, so you can use it as much as you like during your visit.

Read Next: Can You Swim in Plitvice Lakes?

#7. Zipline in Rudopolje

Zipline in Rudopolje

A little way from Plitvice Lakes, you can find a zipline adventure in Rudopolje that lets you fly across the landscape. It’s a great way to take a break from hiking and get your heart racing. The zipline stretches over a beautiful part of the countryside, with views of the mountains and forests.

You’ll be secured in a harness and given a quick lesson before you start. The staff are friendly and make sure you’re safe and ready to go. There are different lengths of zipline runs, so you can choose how far and fast you want to go.

It’s a popular activity, so it’s smart to book your zipline ride in advance. They usually run these rides in various weather, but it’s best on a clear day for the views. And don’t worry, they provide all the safety gear you need.

This zipline is a chance to do something exciting and see the area around Plitvice Lakes from a new angle. Plus, it’s fun for families, couples, or solo travelers.

#8. Memorial Center Nikola Tesla

Memorial Center Nikola Tesla

Did you know that the great inventor Nikola Tesla was born and grew up near Plitvice Lakes? It’s true, and there’s a memorial center in Smiljan near Plitvice dedicated to “Nikola Tesla.” This place celebrates Tesla’s life and the amazing things he invented.

At the memorial center, you can learn about how Tesla grew up and what he did to change the world. They have models of his inventions and stories about his life. It’s interesting for everyone, especially if you like science and history.

The center is small, but it’s full of information. It’s also a good place to sit and think about how someone from a small village in Croatia could become a world-famous inventor.

They’re usually open every day, but it’s a good idea to check the times before you visit. Sometimes they have special things going on, like workshops or talks.

#9. Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac

Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac

Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium is in Karlovac, just an hour away from Plitvice Lakes. It’s 70 kilometers to be exact. This place lets you see the freshwater creatures from Croatia’s rivers and lakes up close.

Once you step inside, you’ll see lots of tanks filled with local fish. Each tank has easy-to-understand info about the fish, where they live, and how they act. It’s fun to learn here, no matter how old you are.

It’s a good spot for families to visit. If you like learning about sea life and nature, you’ll enjoy it too. Also, when it rains and you can’t explore outside, Aquatika is a nice indoor place to go.

#10. Resting and Dining at the Park’s Restaurants and Cafés

plitvice Park's Restaurants and Cafés

You’ve explored a lot, and now it’s time to sit back and recharge. There are lots of places to eat and drink in Plitvice Lakes National Park. You’re always close to something delicious or a cool drink.

You can try local Croatian dishes at these places. They serve everything from filling stews and fresh fish to vegetarian dishes. Many have outdoor tables so you can eat surrounded by natural beauty.

Relax and take your time over a meal. It’s your chance to rest, get your energy back, and think about the amazing things you’ve seen in the park. Make sure to taste traditional Croatian sweets and strong coffee to finish off your meal.

These eateries are also good spots to meet up with friends. Some have amazing views of the lakes and waterfalls. This makes eating here a beautiful part of your trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park.


How long does it take to explore the park?

A full day is usually enough to explore the main attractions, but you can extend your visit if you want to take your time and explore the hiking trails.

Are there guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available and can enhance your experience by providing insights into the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. You can join group tours or arrange private tours.

Can I swim in the Plitvice Lakes?

No, swimming is not allowed in the lakes to preserve their natural beauty and protect the ecosystem.

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