Can you Swim in Plitvice Lakes in 2024?

Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?” is one of the questions nearly every single person planning a trip to the National Park Googles.

And for good reason, the waterfalls and lakes of Plitvice Lakes look incredible in pictures, and picturing yourself swimming in the gorgeous turquoise water is a natural reaction.

Visiting Plitvice Lakes has been on my bucket list for years, and after visiting in September 2023, I’m here to provide a complete guide to whether or not you can swim in Plitvice Lakes.

So without further ado, let’s dive into it. No pun intended, I promise 😉.

Can you Swim in Plitvice Lakes?

Unfortunately, it’s not the answer you were hoping for. The answer to “Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?” is no. Swimming in Plitvice Lakes is forbidden.

It’s sad news, I know. I was disappointed too after Googling this exact question myself before visiting.

But don’t let this impact your trip to Plitvice Lakes. I promise you, it’s still absolutely worth visiting. It was one of the best things I did in all of Croatia and it’s genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

The whole park is stunning. Around every corner there is a new lake, a new waterfall, a new walkway, a new opening, there is always something. And it’s always beautiful.

I visited the national park from Split – as Plitvice Lakes has some of the best waterfalls near Split and I’m so glad I did.

A picture of me in front of one of the waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes. Is swimming allowed in Plitvice Lakes? No, unfortunately not.

Even though swimming is not allowed in the park, you still get to go out onto the water. Most of the routes throughout Plitvice Lakes include a free boat ride. For example, I took route H from entrance 2 which consisted of 9km of walking, 2 bus rides and a boat ride.

It was good to be able to be immersed in the park and get a different perspective than seeing the lakes from a walkway, by actually being on one of the lakes. It’s one of my favourite memories from the National Park without a doubt.

By the way, boat rides are included in both Krka and Plitvice, so if you are choosing between the two, make sure to give them a fair evaluation.

You can also horse ride through some parts of the park, which is a pretty unique experience. Few people can say they have ridden a horse through one of the most picturesque places in the whole world!

So don’t be let down by the fact that you can’t swim in Plitvice Lakes, it’s still worth visiting for sure. And if you are interested, swimming in Krka National Park is also not allowed.

A picture of a green lake in Plitvice Lakes.

Swimming has been forbidden since 2006. Before that, you were able to swim in Jezero Kozjak, but not for nearly 20 years.

As to the “why?”, swimming was banned in Plitvice Lakes to protect the lakes and waterfalls. As a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first priority is always the conservation of the area.

Unfortunately, swimming was damaging the environment and having a negative impact on the ecosystems in and around the Lakes.

I think not swimming in the park is a small price to pay to protect the phenomenal beauty that is Plitvice Lakes and to save it for future generations.

So to summarise, the answer to “Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?” is no.

A group of waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes.

Places to Swim Near Plitvice Lakes

Since swimming in Plitvice Lakes is not allowed, you might be interested in some spots near Plitvice Lakes where you can swim. After all, if you visit on a hot day, there’s nothing better than a refreshing dip in some turquoise-coloured water.

The three spots which I recommend are Mreznica, Korana, and Rastoke. They are three villages near Plitvice Lakes which all have waterfalls and spots you can swim in.

My favourite is Mreznica, which has lots of small waterfalls which are used for kayaking and river rafting. It’s a really nice swim spot and the greenery is pretty much the same as in Plitvice Lakes.

The River Korana actually goes into Plitvice Lakes, and you can swim in the river in the village of Korana. There are lots of rope swings along the river which locals use to have fun in the water.

Rastoke is the closest option for swimming close to Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s a watermill village so you can imagine how beautiful it is. Swimming in Rastoke is as close as you can get to swimming in Plitvice Lakes- it’s the “next best thing“.

A picture of Rastoke. Since the answer to "Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?" is no, it's a great alternative.

But to be honest, rather than trying to “replace” Plitvice Lakes, I think it’s better to take a day trip somewhere with the intention of swimming and snorkelling such as to the Blue Lagoon, which is one of the most beautiful parts of Croatia in my opinion.

Plitvice Lakes Swimming: FAQ

Below are some questions related to “Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?” along with my answers.

Can you swim anywhere in Plitvice National Park?

No, unfortunately, you cannot swim anywhere in Plitvice National Park. Swimming is banned throughout the National Park to protect the environment and ecosystems in and around the lakes and waterfalls.

Do people swim in Plitvice Lakes?

No, people do not swim in Plitvice Lakes. Swimming has been forbidden in Plitvice Lakes since 2006. If you attempt to swim in Plitvice Lakes you will be removed from the park and banned from Croatia’s National Parks.

When was swimming banned in Plitvice Lakes?

Swimming was banned in Plitvice Lakes in 2006 to protect the local environment and ecosystems. Having tens of thousands of people swimming each day was having a negative effect on the park, so, swimming was banned.

Is it safe to drink water from Plitvice?

There are lots of drinking water fountains throughout Plitvice Lakes where you can fill your water bottle up for free.

What is the dress code for Plitvice Lakes?

There is no dress code for Plitvice Lakes. You can wear whatever you want within reason. I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved. Just don’t bring swimming stuff, as swimming is forbidden in Plitvice Lakes.

Can you Swim in Plitvice Lakes: Conclusion

And there you have it, a complete guide to “Can you swim in Plitvice Lakes?

Remember, the answer is no. You are not allowed to swim in Plitvice Lakes.

I know it’s not the answer you were hoping for, I also wish swimming in Plitvice Lakes was allowed, but it’s important to respect the rule and accept swimming is not on the cards.

But make sure to enjoy your trip to the National Park. It’s still incredible to see the waterfalls in real life.