Guide to visiting Krka National Park in Croatia
Updated on January 24th, 2020
Visiting Krka National Park in Croatia is a little slice of waterfall heaven. Having previously travelled to Plitvice Lakes National Park we knew Croatia did waterfalls well and had high expectations for the day. We definitely weren’t disappointed with the pretty blue and green falls and kept cracking lame jokes all day like ‘Krka of a day mate’.
Ben and I visited Krka on a day trip from Split which is an easy way to visit this destination during your trip to Croatia. With more than just waterfalls, you’ll have the opportunity to see travertines, ruins, caves and get to enjoy a riverboat tour.
Did you know Krka NP entry fee varies depending on the time of year you visit? Make sure you have all the tips and information here before visiting the park for the best day possible.
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Where is Krka National Park
Krka National Park is located about halfway along the coast of Croatia. As you will see below you can reach Krka from almost anywhere in the country in under a few hours.
Zadar is the closest major city and is only 53 minutes north of the national park by car. If you are hitting Krka National Park on a day trip, Split is also just over an hour to the south and has many tours running. Dubrovnik is 3.5 hours south and Zagreb is 3 hours to the north.
How to get to Krka National Park
As the park is so centrally located in the country it is easy to visit Krka National Park from anywhere whether you have a car or not. As always having a car is the easiest and quickest option but may not be the cheapest – depending on where you are coming from and how many people in your group.
Other options include taking a local bus, direct tour buses or joining a guided tour of the park from the city you are staying in.
Getting to Krka by bus
If you would like to make your own way to Krka National Park from Split head to the Split Bus Station or the Split airport for buses which run regularly to Šibenik. The trip takes around 1 hour 40 minutes and you will then need to take another bus to the park entry points in Skradin.
Get By Bus has many trips heading to Krka NP. There are over 10 departure times during the summer months from Split to Skradin daily. The first bus leaves at 7:00 am, takes between 1.25 hours and 1.5 hours and costs €11 each way.
I would recommend booking tickets ahead of time to make sure you get your ideal departure time.
Organised tours to Krka National Park
A great way of getting to Krka without the hassle of swapping between local buses and finding the entrances is to go by tour bus. Also, if you’re someone who loves being in a tour and learning about your destination then there is a guided tour of the Krka Waterfalls you can join.
- This tour from Split to Krka National Park includes return transport, fast track entry and 4 hours to spend wandering the national park. The cost is €27.
- Discover Šibenik and Krka National Park on this tour which departs from Split or Trogir. €56 includes park entry, return transportation and a certified tour guide.
- Experience Croatian culture on this tour. Visit Krka National Park, enjoy a boat ride up the Krka River and experience a local family restaurant (Konoba) where you will sample homemade snacks and Croatian spirits. Cost is €60.
- Day tour from Zadar to Krka National Park. €60 includes a guide, a boat ride on the Krka River and a breakfast box. Entry tickets are not included.
Krka National Park by car
If you feel confident driving overseas I recommend hiring a car to visit Krka National Park. What most people don’t realise is Krka National Park covers a lot of area and having a car makes it possible to see it all. You can pay to do a river cruise which takes you further upriver but these take a lot longer.
We drove from Split to Krka national park by car which is a really easy drive. Follow the A1 highway out of Split until you reach the Skradin exit then follow the signs for Krka. First, explore the lower section of the park and then drive to the upper section where the travertines are located. This can be seen on the map above.
We found a car hire for less than €20 for the day from a local office in Split. Although you can find car hire prices online with Auto Europe.
krka National Park entrance fee
As mentioned earlier, Krka National Park has multiple entrance points. Due to an influx of visitors during the summer months, ticket queues can be long. It is best to buy your ticket online to avoid waiting times.
Park entry fees
|Date||1 day entrance fee for adults|
|January to March
November and December
|30 Kn (€4)|
|100 Kn (€13.50|
|June to September||200 Kn (€27)
or 150 Kn after 4 pm (€20)
Ticket prices include the riverboat from Skradin to Skradinski Buk which runs every half hour in summer.
Information and tips for entering Krka National Park
Parking at Krka National Park
Krka National Park has 5 entry points, each with free parking nearby. Ignore signs saying parking is full ahead and drive as close to the park as possible. You can always turn around and head to the lots further back if needed. The official parking in Skradin is 7 Kn per hour but you park for free further from the gates.
From the Lozovac entry car park, there is a free shuttle in summer down to the waterfalls. During the winter you are able to drive right on in.
Depending on the time of the year you visit Krka, the opening times vary by a few hours. For an up to date list of opening hours and entrances, this webpage is updated by the park.
The park is closed on December 24th and 25th and on January 1st you must enter through Lozovac.
Overall, during summer Krka is open from 8 am to 8 pm and until 4 pm in the winter.
Restaurant and food information
There are plenty of places to grab a meal or snack in the Skradin and Lozovac areas of the park. There are restaurants where you can grab a full meal and many huts and vendors selling snacks like crepes, nuts and dried fruits. You will also find plenty of restaurants near the entry points to the NP.
It’s also fine to take a packed lunch and there are heaps of shaded areas scattered around to enjoy your picnic.
Best time to visit Krka National Park
While Krka NP is unique and has something special to offer visitors in every season, my favourite time to visit touristy places is during the shoulder season.
With hordes of tourists during the summer months, the park can get pretty busy. However, the benefit of visiting during this time is that you are allowed to go swimming and have lovely weather. If you are travelling this area in the summertime, make sure you head down to Montenegro. There are fewer tourists and the country’s wilderness is phenomenal. Durmitor National Park was one of the highlights and shouldn’t be missed.
I believe the best time to visit is in April, May and October. These months are quieter than summer, have cheaper ticket prices and the trees either still have pretty green leaves or haven’t yet lost them.
A Krka National Park winter would be a completely different experience and would be beautiful in a way many people don’t get to see it. Be aware the riverboats don’t run during this season.
How long to spend in Krka National Park
You should only need one day to explore the Krka waterfalls and park area. If you have the time I suggest allocating a full day here. As well as walking along the boardwalks, taking photos and swimming there is a museum near the Lozovac entry and a few cafes and restaurants where you can eat and grab drinks. The lower boardwalk track will take between 1-2 hours to complete the circuit.
Allow time to visit the northern travertine area whether by river cruise or by car. There are a few hiking trails in this section of the park and a small cave with relics which date back hundreds of years.
Things to do in Krka National Park
We left nice and early from Split so we had a full day for visiting Krka National Park. Once arriving and parking in Skradin we purchased our entry tickets. As we visited during April the boat departed every hour towards Skradinski Buk. We used this time to double back and visit the small supermarket nearby to buy items for a picnic and have a coffee.
Once we were all loaded on to the boat on the hour, we enjoyed a 25-minute cruise along the Krka River. The water was so glassy and the surrounds were greener than anywhere we had seen in a long time.
Once reaching the destination, we unloaded the boat and were free to wander the area. The first thing you will see is the famous Skradinski Buk which is the main waterfall in Krka NP. The pool in front here is where you can swim during the summer months.
From this waterfall, there is a track which heads in an anticlockwise direction and follows viewpoints and boardwalks past the lower waterfalls. You will wander past the museum and Ethno village which also doubles as the Lozovac entry. As previously mentioned it will take around 1-2 hours to complete the walking trail, leaving time for photos and snack breaks.
Once we were back at the boat dock a few hours later we took the time to enjoy our lunch and sit in the sun. After spending the winter skiing in Slovakia, we had been dying for these warm sunny days.
Next, we hopped back in our car and drove the 45 minutes to the Roški Slap parking area (see map above). I particularly loved this part of the park. We barely saw another tourist and seeing travertines was only something I had ever seen once before in Pamukkale in Turkey. You can also add a 3.5-hour boat trip from the lower falls if you do not have a car. The cost is 140 Kn for adults (€19).
Make sure you have your walking shoes and some water here as there are 517 steps which take you to the top for the best vantage point of the travertines. Near the top is a small cave you can see in about 5 minutes. There is an attendant in the entry to tell you about the history and wildlife of the cave.
Krka National Park accommodation
Although I didn’t stay overnight at Krka National Park, there are small guesthouses around the park entries. Some of these can be very expensive, so it pays to stay a bit further out in Šibenik.
When we visited in April the smaller guesthouses were all advertising vacancies. So I am sure you could visit them during the offseason in person and ask about their rates for cheaper prices than online.
Swimming in Krka National Park
There are conflicting pieces of information on the internet about swimming at Krka National Park. It is allowed but only during the summer season. Unlike Plitvice Lakes, you can swim at Skradinski Buk between June 1st and September 30. You cannot swim directly under the waterfalls.