It takes just under 3 hours by bus from Zagreb to Plitvice. There are about ten buses that are running daily from Zagreb to this popular visitors destination. The ticket prices are about 100 HRK one way which is about 12 Euro.
All buses leave from Zagreb’s main bus station which is located in Avenija Marina Drzica street in city’s downtown (GPS 45.803849, 15.993311) – see on below map.
The journey itself is pleasant especially in the warmer periods of the year when roads are clean and dry. If you can choose your place, try to sit on the left side of the bus as that side, in my opinion, offers better views over countryside and rivers that you will pass by.
As far as comfort is concerned, buses in Croatia are fairly comfortable, most of them are air-conditioned, some of them have free wi-fi, so the journey was, at least for me, always fun and enjoyable.
However, in winter months, when temperatures are low and can reach -10 C, roads can be slippery and/or frozen, in combination with foggy weather conditions it can be hazardous so under these conditions journey time takes much longer.
Book bus from Zagreb to Plitvice (in the search box, choose ‘PLITVIČKA JEZERA NP‘ as your destination):
If you are arriving in Zagreb by plane and would like to travel directly from the airport to Plitvice just take the airport bus to the town. It will take you to the main Zagreb bus station, the same one from where you can change and take a bus to Plitvice lakes. This is a pretty straightforward and very popular journey so buses tent to get filled up pretty quickly especially in the hight, summer season. Therefore, if you know your arrival date, I would recommend buying your bus ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. Buy it here.
It takes 2 1/2 hours to drive from Zagreb to Plitvice. In summer time it is very pleasant to drive while on winter roads can be slippery and/or frozen so under these conditions the driving time takes longer.
The shortest driving route between these two places is mapped below. It shows the driving route from Zagreb via Karlovac to Plitvice Lakes National Park Entrance 1 and 2. It is a fairly straight forward route, just follow directions to Karlovac and once you arrive at the outskirts of the town, make sure you take the right turn towards Plitvice – have a look: