I left Zagreb very early (5am) to catch the first bus heading to Plitvice Lakes National Park. I took tram #6 from the city centre to the bus station (five stops away). When I got to the bus station, I was confused which bus to take but it was the one with all the tourists and the backpackers.
"Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register."*
The journey was quick (2hrs) I slept half of it. The bus stopped at entrance 1. I left my bag in the luggage room because my hotel was slightly further and if I knew there was a luggage room, I would have headed to Split mid day instead of staying the night in Plitvice area. There is just the park there.
When I got to the park at 8:30am it was empty and I got my ticket in a second with the student discount. I was reading about people having to stand in the queue for over two hours. I imagine the later you get there the busier the park gets.
I wasn't sure how long my trekking will take, so I took Trek C. I was told I will finish it in 4- 6 hours. I finished it in 5 including stopping and taking photos and eating. I wish I took the longer one.
The trek was a mix of walking, climbing and getting a boat to the other side. Getting the boat was the longest I waited (half an hour). Over all, the park was very organised. I was worried of doing it on my own at first, but the signage was marked clearly and came up frequently.
The park was like waterfall heaven. I really enjoyed it. It was absolutely stunning. It was slightly busy, but I was thankful I went on a Friday because I saw the crazy queue as I was leaving Saturday morning.
Half a day is plenty if you are staring at 8am. You can take a bus from entrance 1 and head to another town. I made the mistake of staying in one of the hotels, which were priced highly for the tourists and offered poor food.