Getting from Pula to Plitvice Lakes

When planning your journey from Pula to Plitvice Lakes there are just a few options to consider depending on your preferences and period of the year.

The shortest road distance between Pula and Plitvice Lakes National Park is 230 km.

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The cheapest way to travel between these two places is by bus which in total would cost about 28 Euro.

The quickest way is to drive, which will take about 3 hours and 20 min if the traffic is fine.

The most comfortable way is to fly from Pula to Zagreb Airport (a 50-minute flight) and get to Plitvice from there.

Detailed travel options for this travel route are as follows:

Popular Routes: Zagreb to Plitvice, Zadar to Plitvice, Split to Plitvice

Driving in Pula passing by amphitheatre

Driving in Pula passing by the amphitheatre

Bus from Pula to Plitvice:

There is no direct bus line from Pula to Plitvice. However, there are some indirectly connected routes you can consider taking:

  • Bus from Pula to Karlovac or Zagreb to Plitvice;  duration 6 to 8 hours, including waiting time between bus rides of about 2 hours.

The total cost (ticket price/fare) is between 35 and 40 euros depending on the route.

You can book this bus journey in advance here.

Driving from Pula to Plitvice:

It takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes to drive from Pula to Plitvice depending on the route and season – in the summertime, it is very pleasant to drive while in the winter is longer as conditions of the roads can be difficult.

There are at least 3 driving routes, some involving motorways and tolls (see the map below).

The most scenic route is to drive along the coast via Senj and turn there to Plitvice. This route can be pretty busy in the high season (summers) so you should check the road conditions before choosing your route.

The other two routes involve getting off the coast in Rijeka and driving on the highway towards Karlovac. This is a less scenic and longer route but can be good in the summer months as it tends to be less busy than the coastal route. See the detailed map below:

Map of the drive:

Check current traffic conditions on a large map

Driving from Pula centre toward motorway

Driving from Pula centre toward the motorway

Video of Driving from Pula to Plitvice:

Travel Tip: If you are driving via Senj, try to give yourself some time to stop and see this lovely coastal town if you can.

Flights Pula – Plitvice:

You can choose to fly from Pula to Zagreb airport and get to Plitvice from there. This is the shortest and the most pleasant way of travelling between these two places. It is also the most expensive one.

timetable pula to zagreb flights

Above: Flights timetable

There are no direct flights from Pula to PlitviceThe nearest airport is Zagreb Airport which is about 140 km away. The driving time is about 2 hours.

As you can see on the above timetable screenshot, there are up to two flights per day available depending on the season.  The duration of the flight is about 50 minutes or if it flies via Zadar or via Split it takes 1,5 hours.  The fare/ tickets are from about 50 euros. You can check what is available and book your flight on the website.

Upon arrival at Zagreb airport check the page about travel from Zagreb to Plitvice

Pula to Plitvice train: There are no direct trains between these places, and using connecting trains would involve very long travel so this is not the recommended option. If you still insist on trains, check with the official train site

Excursions, day trips and tours:

There is also an option to book a private tour or excursion (day trip) to Plitvice from Pula. As it involves at least 7 hours of driving to and from and if traffic is not fine it can be a pretty exhausting trip leaving you just a few hours to explore the Park.

Still, if you are tight with time and would at least to see a glimpse of these lovely Lakes, you can check current offers here.