Getting to Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik

Plitvice lakes national parkThe most comfortable (and the most expensive way) to reach Plitvice National Park from Dubrovnik is to fly to Zagreb and take a bus to Plitvice. For this option, the total journey time, including airport transfers and check in procedure is at least 7 hrs.

Taking a direct bus from Dubrovnik to Plitvice is another option – there is a direct bus from Dubrovnik to Plitvice that leaves every day at 18:00 arriving there at 3:35 am (total journey time 9.35 hrs). However, I would not recommend you to take this bus as arriving at Plitvice in the middle of the night is not convenient at all. There is another bus that leaves 07:15 and arrives in Plitvice at 16:45.

If you choose this option, I would advise you to take the first, early morning bus from Dubrovnik to Split, Sibenik or Zadar to be able to arrive at Plitvice at a reasonable time, before dusk. According to current timetables, if you take the 6 am bus from Dubrovnik, change in Zadar you will be at Plitvice around 4.30 pm. If you take the 7 am bus from Dubrovnik, change in Split you will be at Plitvice around 6 pm.

My recommendation is a bus ride from Dubrovnik to either Split, Šibenik or Zadar and change there for another bus to Plitvička Jezera (Plitvice). This journey can take up to 12 hrs, depending on bus timetables. From Zadar, it takes about 2 hours, and from Split just less than 6 hrs to reach Plitvice.

The most comfortable option is probably to travel to Split, Šibenik or Zadar and stay the night there (include some sightseeing) and then head to Plitvice following morning. If you choose this option, I would also suggest you to consider visiting Krka National Park, in close vicinity of Šibenik, which has a beautiful lake, island, monastery and waterfalls.

If your time is scarce and you don’t want to spend most of the day travelling, you can also consider taking an evening bus to Zadar (let’s say 5 pm one), overnight in Zadar and take the morning bus to Plitvice where you can arrive well before midday. (see info here)

While choosing your buses bear in mind that all buses travelling from Split to Zagreb via Lika stop at the Plitvice national park entrance. Buses that travel via new highway do not stop at Plitvice. It is a good idea to check timetables carefully as some buses take much longer routes than others which may be frustrating if you discover that while already on the bus.

Map of Driving from Dubrovnik to Plitvice:

Plitvice bus terminal GPS: 44.882401, 15.623363
Dubrovnik bus/ferry terminal GPS: 42°39’47.0″N 18°04’59.5″E

Note: There is no train connection between Plitvice and Dubrovnik

Plitvice to Dubrovnik Forum conversation:

See here bus schedules for Plitvice Lakes national park

More relevant reading, maps, directions and info: