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

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

Tucked away in the center of Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-visit for anyone exploring Croatia – and it absolutely lives up to the hype!

Having called Croatia my home since 2014, and with a lifetime Croatian adventures – we’re talking a solid 30 years of traveling to Croatia – I’ve experienced the magic of Plitvice Lakes countless times.

Over the years, I’ve nailed down every possible route to this iconic park, including the trek from Pula to Plitvice Lakes.

In this travel guide, I’ll share the top 4 ways you can get to Plitvice Lakes from Pula, plus all the details you need for a smooth and unforgettable trip. Let’s get started!

Drive From Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Getting from Pula to Plitvice National Park by car is the best option in my opinion. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to make stops along the way and stay at the park as long as you like. Nothing else compares to a Croatia road trip!

The drive from Pula to Plitvice is easy and takes just over 3 hours to complete. There are tolls along this route, so be prepared for that. The roads are well-maintained and wind through beautiful Croatian countryside, and it gets even prettier as you approach the park.

Once you arrive at the park, you can park your car at one of the designated parking areas near entrance 1 or 2 of Plitvice. From there, it’s a short walk to the ticket office where you can purchase your entrance tickets. If you’re visiting during the summer, make sure to purchase your tickets online as the number of visitors allowed in the park is limited.

To really make the most of your visit, I recommend spending the night in the park! You can do this at Fenomen Plitvice, one of my favorite places to stay for a cozy cottage experience. Plus, they are walking distance to entrance 3 of the park.

For car rental recommendations, I always go with Discover Cars no matter where I’m traveling. They check both local and international providers to ensure you get the best rate.

A woman smiling at the camera with a forested backdrop, standing on a wooden walkway at Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Visiting Plitvice Lakes in the fall – my favorite time of year at the park!

Plitvice Day Tours From Pula

If you’re not up for driving in a foreign country, or you just want a stress-free adventure, then booking a day trip from Pula to Plitvice Lakes with an organized tour is your best bet.

You’ll be conveniently picked up right from your accommodation in Pula, and then you can just relax and enjoy the journey ahead.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is huge and tends to draw large crowds, especially during the summer, which can be overwhelming. That’s where having an experienced guide comes in handy. They’ll expertly navigate through the park’s trails, lead you to the most incredible viewpoints, and manage the itinerary, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit.

To join a group tour to Plitvice Lakes from Pula, you’ll need to first transfer to Rovinj (or Porec).

Rovinj is only a 45 minute drive away, and you can easily catch a bus there. From Rovinj, you’ll be taken to the park where you’ll enjoy a guided tour and a boat ride. On the way back, you’ll stop for a lunch break at the fairytale village of Rastoke.

Private Transfer From Pula to Plitvice Lakes

If you want to visit the park and not have to worry about driving or navigating the roads in Croatia, then a private transfer to Plitvice from Pula is a solid choice.

This private transfer would be a great option to combine a visit to Plitvice Lakes on the way to Zagreb. You’ll be picked up at your hotel in Pula and driven by a professional driver and guide to the park in an air-conditioned minivan.

After exploring the park, your driver will take you to Zagreb where you’ll end the day. From there, you can either fly out from Croatia’s main international airport, or explore Zagreb for a few days!

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    Bus From Pula to Plitvice Lakes

    The Pula to Plitvice Lakes bus ride is a long one, taking roughly 8 hours depending on the route the bus takes. For this reason, you’ll definitely want to spend the night at Plitvice, otherwise you’ll be exhausted by the time you’re done exploring the park.

    But don’t worry, the journey is definitely worth it!

    Prijevoz Knezevic is the main bus company that provides transportation between Plitvice Lakes and Pula. You can book tickets with them on the Flixbus website.

    The bus will drop you off near Entrance 1 of the park, with just a short walk to the ticket booths. Nearby, you can book an overnight stay at Antemurale Apartments.


    How far is Pula from Plitvice Lakes National Park?

    The distance between Pula and Plitvice Lakes National Park is 234 kilometers (145 miles).

    How do I get from Pula to Plitvice?

    You can get to Plitvice from Pula by car, by joining a group tour, by private transfer, or by bus.

    How do I get to Plitvice Lakes without a car?

    The best way to get to Plitvice Lakes without a car is to join a group tour, private tour, take the bus, or book a private transfer.

    Is there a train from Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park?

    No, there is no train that goes to Plitvice Lakes.

    Final Thoughts

    Skipped all the way to the bottom? No worries!

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

    No matter which type of transportation you choose to get to Plitvice Lakes, the park will definitely be one of the best things you do in Croatia.

    Before you leave Pula, make sure to visit Hawaii Beach!

    Visiting Croatia’s islands? Download the Croatia Island Hopping Guidebook!

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