Getting from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes National Park includes a couple of options only – you can get there by bus, taxi, Uber, or private transfer. There are no direct flights or train connections between these two places. Zadar airport is the nearest airport to this lovely national park.
How far is Zadar from Plitvice Lakes National Park? The distance between Zadar city center and the entrance to Plitvice Lakes is 119 km. From Zadar Airport, the shortest distance is 117 km.
Ways to get from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes
|Transport option||Duration of travel||Cost (Ticket Price)|
|Bus||1 hr 45 min||14 Euro (per person)|
|Driving||1 hr 30 min|
|Private Transfer (Taxi) or UBER||1 hr 30 min||205 Euro (up to 4 persons)|
|Private Transfer (Taxi) or UBER from the airport||1 hr 20 minutes||190 Euro (up to 4 persons)|
Bus from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes
If you are traveling solo, getting there by bus is the cheapest option. Driving, taxi, Uber, or private transfer are the faster and more comfortable, but also the more expensive options, and they work fine if your party is of at least several people.
Buses from Zadar main bus terminal to Plitvice Lakes (Entrance 1) frequency depend on the season. Currently, there are at least 4 bus rides a day off-season – 2 in the morning, one midday, and one in the early afternoon. The latest bus departs at 18:15. A one-way bus ticket costs 14 Euros and you can book it in advance here. Note that an additional charge applies for each bag stored in bus storage which is about 1.5 euros per bag. GPS Location of the main bus terminal in Zadar: 44.1066, 15.2407. Its local name is Autobusni Kolodvor Zadar.
Zadar to Plitvice Lakes by Car
Driving from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes: With the shortest and fastest driving route, you can reach Plitvice Lakes from Zadar in 1.5 hours. The driving distance is 118 km (73 miles) via E71, and D1 roads (check details on the map below).
- Summer: If you are driving from Zadar to Plitvice in the warmer parts of the year, as you are driving towards the North, you can choose either a morning or an afternoon drive. To avoid sunshine from getting straight into your eyes, on your way back (Plitvice to Zadar drive), as you will be heading towards the South, choose the afternoon to drive.
- Winter: If you are driving in autumn/fall/winter the temperatures may get very low (below zero), and the roads can get slippery and often foggy, so under these weather conditions count that your journey will be much slower.
Private Transfer, Taxi, or Uber
A taxi or Uber ride between Zadar and Plitvice will take you to your destination in about 1.5 hours. The current price quoted by Uber is about 160 euros. This is a good option if 3 or more people travel together, but for a single traveler, the cheapest option is a bus.
Pre-boked private transfers between Zadar and Plitvice are also available. See here for current offers.
Zadar Airport to Plitvice Lakes
If you are arriving at Zadar Airport and would like to proceed to Plitvice, here is what to do:
Step 1: Zadar Airport to Zadar Bus Station
Upon arrival, get a shuttle bus from the airport to Zadar city center (a distance of 11 km, about 15 minutes bus ride) where the main Zadar bus terminal is located. The bus ticket from the airport to the city center one-way costs 4.5 Euro. The alternative is Uber or a taxi which cost about 11 Euro.
- Note: Bear in mind that the earliest morning bus departs the airport at 06:50, the latest at 23:50. See the current airport bus schedules here.
- Shuttle Bus route: The shuttle bus gets from the airport via the main ferry port (Gaženica) to the bus stop in Zadar city center (Liburnska Obala)
Step 2: Zadar Bus Station to Plitvice
Once you arrive in the city center, get to the main bus terminal and catch a bus from there. The total cost is 4.5 Euro + 14 Euro = 18.5 Euro
If you take Uber from the airport directly to the park, it will cost you about 190 Euro for a 1 hour 20 minutes drive to Plitvice.
Driving from Zadar Airport (ZAD) to Plitvice
If you are renting a car and driving from Zadar airport, just get out of the airport parking (via D422 & D5-2) towards the E71 road and from there A1, E65 to D522. Follow the signs to Plitvice Lakes. The road directions are well-marked and you should have no difficulty reaching the main entrance to Park (see where to park your car once you arrive).
Train from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes
It used to be a train that connects Zadar via Knin to Zagreb which was stopping on its way to Plitvice train station. However, it was discontinued, so at the present, the only option for train travel is to get to Split and from there by train to Zagreb and then to Plitvice.
The above map shows Zadar’s main bus terminal and entrance to the National Park.