Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

Krka vs. Plitvice: Which One Should You Visit?

Croatia Europe

I recently learned the most exciting fact that I’ve heard in awhile: Croatia has eight national parks to explore. I can’t wait to get to all of them in the next several years, but there is no doubt that two are more famous than the others in the eyes of international tourists: Plitvice Lake National Park and Krka National Park.

Plitvice is the most famous of the two, and holds a UNESCO World Heritage designation, but Krka is also immensely popular with tourists–there are day trips sold on every corner in Croatian tourism destinations to prove it.

Both Krka and Plitvice feature gorgeous waterfalls, amazing photo opportunities, and some incredible views of nature.

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

I’ll be honest: Jeremy and I both prefer Plitvice to Krka, and while we 100% plan to return there one day (with a stronger camera–sadly our photos of the Plitvice lakes are pre-DSLR and manual shooting), we’re not so sure that we’ll visit Krka again. That being said, Krka is beautiful, and each park has its benefits.

If you need to narrow it down between Krka vs. Plitvice, here’s some pointers to help with that decision.

Choose Krka If:

… You’re looking for a day trip.

While day trips to Plitvice are sold in Zadar, Split, and other areas on the upper half of Croatia’s coast, it is very far inland–about 3.5 hours from Split according to our guide. Krka is much closer to the coast, and therefore more accessible for day trips.

Krka is also a smaller park, so you won’t feel as though you’re missing much by staying for a day–with the Plitvice Lakes, a day (or really a half day by the time you drive there and back) is barely time for a taste of what it has to offer.

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

… You want to swim.

Krka allows you to swim in front of its largest waterfall, which is part of the reason for its popularity. In Plitvice, you cannot swim anywhere in the National Park.

… You’re looking for something beyond natural sites.

Krka is home to the world’s second oldest hydro-electric powerplant (second to Niagara Falls), which you can learn about while there. Krka also has a small “village”, complete with a working blacksmith and loom, demonstrating how the communities that were settled on the river lived before the Industrial Revolution.

The mill and washing machine are both working and powered by the water of the river–they are quite impressive!

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

Choose Plitvice If:

… You’re looking for a weekend trip.

Jeremy and I spend two full days in Plitvice Lakes National Park, plus one half day on the day that we arrived, and we never grew bored of it.

While plenty of people take day trips to Plitvice, I strongly believe that this is a park better enjoyed with more time to take it in.

Don’t visit Plitvice or Krka without travel insurance! We use and recommend World Nomads due to their affordability, ease of purchasing, and the clarity of their contract!

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

… You are looking for the most photo opportunities.

While Plitvice can get crowded, it’s also enormous–especially around the Upper Lakes, you can find isolated places to take photos (getting an early start or sticking around until after the tour groups leave can help with this, as well).

There are far more options as far as places to photograph here, and they are all worthy of the honor.

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

…. You want to explore a lot of area.

During our 2.5 days in Plitvice, Jeremy and I spent about 14 hours hiking around the lakes, and traveled the main path along all 16 interconnected lakes (we took a couple of detours, as well).

We never ran out of things to see or do–in fact, when we go back, we want to try our hand at some trails that lead away from the lakes.

Krka has only one trail that is directly near the waterfalls–we walked it (very slowly) in 45 minutes, and the views were nothing compared to those we found wandering around the Plitvice lakes.

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

Krka or Plitvice: The Final Decision

So, which one should you visit? Both! Really, if you have the time while in Croatia, don’t bother choosing between Krka vs. Plitvice–seeing both parks would not be a waste of your time. If you have to choose, though, keep in mind what you’re looking for, and try to avoid fretting about what you’re missing–both parks are unforgettable destinations.

Read Next: Guide to Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

Krka vs Plitvice, Krka or Plitvice

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10 Comments Write a comment

10 Comments

  • Grandma Harriet August 1, 2016

    Hi again,
    Received your email that you are now in Thailand and will be heading out. So glad to once again know that all is going well. Your blogs are impressive and so interesting. Even got GP involved in reading and enjoying them. Stay well. Sending lots of love.
    Grandma Harriet

    • Kate Storm August 1, 2016

      Thank you, Grandma Harriet! We are excited for the beach. Sending hugs and love to both you and Grandpa Frank!

  • Lauren August 1, 2016

    Nice comparison! I went to Plitvice but not Krka and I was pretty disappointed to miss Krka. Mostly I really wanted to swim in those amazing waterfalls! I’m happy to know I got to see the one you’d most recommend. 🙂

    • Kate Storm August 1, 2016

      You definitely chose the right one in my book! The swimming is a pretty great benefit to Krka, though–at Plitvice it took a lot of self-control not to touch the water! I’ve heard that there are great places to swim in the Plitvice area right outside the national park, so we plan to hunt them down on our next visit.

  • Dan April 20, 2017

    Have you heard of Rastok, it is part of the Plitvice river network but approximately 30 minutes north of the National Park and is a village built on a network of waterfalls. Went last year from Australia and is. Amazing. The Krka falls is also part of a beautiful river network and consist of of a waterfall called Roski fall. It has a beautiful little restaurant serving wine, prosciutto and cheese set amongst the trickling falls.

    • Kate Storm April 20, 2017

      I have not, but I’d love to check it out! Sounds like a beautiful (and tasty) place!

      • Dan October 27, 2017

        Sorry i mispelt the name. It is Rastoke. Google image it. It’s so cute and a great place to get a B&B and have dinner after a day in the park.

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