While Plitvice is the more famous national park for waterfalls in Croatia, Krka, its smaller cousin is definitely worth a visit. These gushing waterfalls flow into emerald green pools, creating amazing sites and sounds. Unlike Plitvice, Krka is a lot more accessible as it’s only an hour away from a couple of popular cities. This makes Krka an easy destination for people who don’t have the luxury of time to go to Plitvice. This post covers how to visit Krka National Park and all you need to know!
The biggest callout when visiting Krka National Park is that the amount of time you spend here is really up to you. You can spend as little as time as possible (meaning only visiting the falls) or make a day trip out of it, visiting some of the other attractions Krka has to offer. Another factor in how much time you spend will also depend on which entrance you take to visit Krka National Park. More to come on both below.
One of the most important things to note when visiting Krka National Park are the different entrances. There are 5 official entrances to the park. However, you need to only decide between 2 if you are going to the falls.
- Lozovac – The quickest way to the falls. There is a huge and free parking spot here. You will need to take a shuttle bus down to the Ethno village (close to the falls)
- Skradin – You need to take a boat at this entrance to get to the falls. It departs hourly (in the summer) and lasts 20 minutes. After you get off the boat, you may have to hike to the Ethno village. This boat trip is covered by the entrance fee. See the boat schedule HERE.
You have 2 options to get to the the falls (Skradinski Buk)
You can do the short walk down from the Ethno village where you will come to the waterfall first. The other option is to first walk the boardwalk. If you are able to, I highly recommend this route! If you are going to walk the boardwalk then definitely do it first (without going to the falls first). It’s a relatively easy 1.5 mile circular path and it takes you through various other view points before you get to the main fall. It’s definitely a cherry on top moment when you see finally the main falls!
Once you are done seeing the main waterfall keep walking to visit the Ethno village. Here you will see traditional Croatian living including water mills from the 17th and 18th century.
The number one question I get from people about Krka is if I swam in front of the waterfall. While this was a thing a couple of years ago, as of 2021, the waterfalls are now closed for swimming. The decision was made to preserve the environment.
How to Get to Krka National Park
Krka is relatively close to the Dalmation coast and is only an hour south from Zadar and an hour north from Split. If you don’t have a vehicle then an organized tour group like viatour and getyourguide both offer day trips from Split coupled with another attraction. There are also several tour companies in Split who offer tours as well. Another option would be to bus it from Split or Zadar.
How Visit Krka National Park Using Public Transport
- Direct bus from Split to Skradin and then a boat to Lozovac
- Bus from Split to Sibenik, from there take another bus to either Lozovac or Skradin (and a boat to Lozovac)
- Bus from Zadar to Skradin and then a boat to Lozovac
If you are visiting Plitvice and driving down to Split, then Krka is on the way. Depending on how early you start at Plitivice and how much time you have left in the day, you can also visit Krka after Plitvice. I would recommend this only if you are visiting the waterfall (and no other attraction at Krka) and enter the park from Lozovac.
Other Things to Do Within the National Park
There are several other attractions that you can see at Krka National Park and make a day trip out of it. These are:
- Hiking – you can see all the trails HERE
- Visovac Island and Franciscan monastery (30 minute tour of the island) – 2 hour boat ride
- Visovac Island and Roski Slap (another waterfall but not as impressive as Skradinski Buk) – 3.5 hour boat ride
- Krka Monastery with ruins of 2 fortresses – 2.5 hour boat ride
One thing to note is that these are not covered by the waterfall entrance fees and are separate extras.
Activities Outside the Park but Nearby
If you are not interested in the other attractions at Krka and are wondering what else to couple the waterfall visit with, one of the most popular things is to add a winery tour. The three below are all close to each other. It is required if not wise to book ahead! They all have great reviews!
- Ante Sladić
- Bibich Winery
- Sladic Winery
Krka or Plitvice
This is probably the number one question people ask if they are pressed for time in Croatia. I had time to do both and they were both great in their own way. If I’m being completely honest, I had over hyped Plitvice in my mind and had zero expectations for Krka. Given this, I think I probably lean ever so slightly towards Krka as it was really beyond what I was expecting . I can’t make this decision for you because I think it’s up to personal preferences. However, here are the key differences between the two. Hopefully between this list below, the pictures I’ve included in this post and my separate post on Plitvice, you will be able to make a choice!
|Duration||2-3 hours (waterfall and trail only)||Minimum 4-5 hours (if not more)|
|Size (relative scale)||27k acres||73k acres|
|Physical demands||Some hiking (mostly on flat ground) but not strenuous||A lot of hiking and stairs (depending on what you see)|
|Accessibility||1 hour from Split or Zadar||In-land and a drive from most big cities|
|Ease of navigation||Easy to follow route||Lots of routes and trails. Need to plan ahead|
|Swimming||Used to be allow but now prohibited||Prohibited|
|Things to see and do||Waterfalls, hiking, nature, history||Waterfalls, hiking, nature|
Don’t want to visit Krka on your own? Check out these tours below.
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Check out my detailed post about Split HERE or below!
Interested in visiting Hvar or any of the other day trips from Split? Check these out below!
I visited Krka as a part of a 12 day road trip around the Balkans! Check out this trip HERE or below!
Click HERE for below to learn about driving in Croatia and the surrounding Balkan countries!
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I am amazed the park is so empty, beautiful pics, I saw that there is no swimming any more. What a shame, but totally understandable- it was incredibly crowded when I was there and that was in summer 2017.
Thank you so much! Yes, definitely was sad to hear about the no swimming part but glad they are doing it to take care of the environment! I went just as they opened and saw hoards of tourist buses as I was leaving! I think the trick is to go there at opening to beat the crowds 🙂
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