Finally! After many trips to Croatia, jaunts along the coast, months spent exploring Zagreb…I made it to the waterfall-laden Plitvice Lakes National Park! Hands down, the best thing I’ve done in Croatia on this trip so far.
So, if you’re planning a trip of your own, what should you expect to spend?
Here’s my own breakdown for a two-night stay in early May 2021:
|Entertainment & activities
Notes on my spending:
(Psst, this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through one of my links, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.)
For accommodations, I found this fantastic little B&B less than a ten-minute walk from Entrance 1 to Plitvice Lakes. If you’re driving, this would mean no parking fees (hoorah). If you’re walking, definitely stay this close because the main road to the entrances does not appear to have sidewalks, so a longer walk from elsewhere may not be safe.
I got lucky and arrived during a quiet period (shoulder season during covid) and the host upgraded me to a suite instead of a small room, so I lived rather fancy for a very reasonable rate.
If you have a larger group and a car, this huge house on the other end of the park is newly renovated and has the nicest owners. When I decided to hike all the way across the park (outside the normal waterfall area) and my hiking trail ended in the wrong place, they happened to be doing renovations in their yard and were kind enough to give Luna and I a ride to the train station a couple towns over. I expect the drive from here to the park entrance is probably 30 – 40 minutes and you’re also a short drive or mid-length (2 hour) walk away from the much quieter/less crowded Prošćansko Jezero (lake). (Bonus for those who love abandoned places as much as I do: there are a good half dozen abandoned buildings on the way to this lesser-touristed lake.)
Transportation is the cost of bus tickets to and from Zagreb. In the park itself, ferries and tourist trains are included (though I only took one ferry, myself, there are quite a few transit options). And from my B&B to the park was an easy walk down a quiet residential street, through a small stretch of forest, and across the main parking lot to the park.
Eating out was the cost of two fast food meals and one dessert (there are two restaurants just outside Entrance 1, but only one was open during my visit – so fast food burgers were the only option). The first was large enough to cover two meals for me and the second (after my big hiking day) was a single meal. My other meals were either snacks on the trail (which I brought with me) or food provided by my B&B (due to covid, instead of the normal breakfast buffet, they provided a variety of breakfast-type things in my suite).
Groceries was one quick stop for water, tea, and some cookies after my second big hiking day while I waited for my bus back to Zagreb.
Entertainment was the cost my 2-day park entrance ticket. Costs for these vary by season (with winter being the cheapest and summer being astronomically more). My ticket was shoulder-season pricing, so expect to pay more in summer, less in winter. (But whatever you pay, the ticket costs are used to maintain this incredible nature spot, so win-win.)
Looking for more European budgets? Here they all are.