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How to Get From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes (Local’s Guide)

Trying to figure out the best way to get from Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes? I’ve got you covered!

Nestled in the heart of Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a staple on every traveler’s Croatian bucket list – and for good reason! Since making Croatia my home in 2014, and with a lifetime of Croatian adventures under my belt (we’re talking 30+ years of travel here), I can confidently say it’s a must-see.

I’ve been to Plitvice Lakes more times than I can count, and no matter how many times I visit, its cascading waterfalls and turquoise lakes never fail to amaze me. During my many years of exploring, I’ve come to know all of the ways to reach the park, including how to get from Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it – getting from Dubrovnik to Plitvice is a bit of a trek. Dubrovnik sits at the southernmost tip of Croatia, making it the furthest tourist destination from Plitvice.

But, where there’s a will to explore, there’s a way to get there!

In this post, I’ll break down all the ways you can get to Plitvice from Dubrovnik so that you have everything you need to plan your trip. Let’s get started!

A gorgeous view of the waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia with a turquoise blue lake surrounded by lush green trees just above the waterfalls.

Drive From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes National Park

The best way to get to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik is to drive. Whether you’re on a Croatia road trip, or renting a car just to visit Plitvice, this is the most convenient and straightforward way to reach the park. The fastest route takes about 4.5 hours to drive from Dubrovnik to Plitvice.

Driving yourself offers unmatched freedom and flexibility, allowing you to kick off your adventure from either Entrance 1 or 2 of Plitvice, linger in the park to your heart’s content, and even overnight nearby for a full day of exploring. Plus, you can make as many spontaneous stops along the way as you want!

If you do spend the night (which you’ll definitely want to after the long drive), book Fenomen Plitvice for a cozy cottage stay just footsteps away from the park!

Discover Cars is my favorite car rental service because they check both local and international providers to ensure you get the best rate.

Private Transfer From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes

Due to the amount of time it takes to get to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik, there are limited options when it comes to day tours. If you want to avoid the hassle of driving abroad and navigating unfamiliar roads, your best bet is to book a private transfer to Plitvice from Dubrovnik.

This full-day tour includes round-trip transportation from your hotel in Dubrovnik, allowing you to sit back and relax while admiring the scenic views of the Mediterranean landscape.

Once you arrive at Plitvice Lakes National Park, you’ll have time to explore the lakes and also enjoy lunch before heading back to Dubrovnik.

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    Bus From Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes

    This is the cheapest option for getting to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik, but also takes the longest. If you have the time, it could be a great way to save you some money while visiting expensive Dubrovnik.

    The bus ride from Old Town Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes can take anywhere from 11 hours to 15 hours, depending on the route the bus takes. There is no direct bus route, so you will have to transfer in Split while making other stops along the way.

    The Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes bus will drop you off near Entrance 1 of the park, leaving you with just a short walk to the ticket booth.

    There are several bus companies that run from Dubrovnik to Plitvice, but FlixBus is always my go-to. Their buses are usually newer, clean, air-conditioned, and have free wifi onboard. I recommend purchasing tickets in advance as buses can fill up quickly during peak tourist months.


    How far is Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik?

    The distance between Plitvice Lakes and Dubrovnik is 437 kilometers (271 miles).

    How do I get from Dubrovnik to Plitvice?

    You can get from to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik by car, by private transfer, or by bus.

    Is Plitvice Lakes close to Split or Dubrovnik?

    Due to its location at the most southern tip of Croatia, Dubrovnik is the furthest major city from Plitvice Lakes. Split is further north on the Dalmatian Coast, making it closer to Plitvice Lakes than Dubrovnik.

    Is there a train to Plitvice Lakes National Park?

    No, there are no trains that go to Plitvice Lakes. The best way to reach the park is to drive, take a bus, take a private transfer, or join a guided tour.

    Final Thoughts

    If you skipped to the bottom, no worries!

    Here are the best ways to get to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Dubrovnik:

    No matter which transportation option you choose, your visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park will definitely be one of the highlights of your Croatia trip!

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