The valuation of ecosystem services by the examples of Tatra national park (Poland) and Slovensky Rajnational park (Slovakia) shows that ecosystem services are of eminent importance to the local, regionaland national economies. In total, Tatra national park (PL) provides ecosystem services annually worth EUR 742m (potential range from EUR 593m to 888m), while Slovensky Rajnational park (PL) provides around EUR 232m of ecosystem benefits (range from EUR 155m to 342m per year). The differences are due to the different ecosystem services provided, but also to the different size of the relevant economies and stakeholder groups. For both national parks, recreation benefits are most significant. The national parks considered in this study can be labeled “national natural heritage” in terms of the perception of the national societies, and are therefore visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. About two thirds of benefits stem from recreation benefits. Biodiversity conservation is the second most important ecosystem service. The non-use values in terms of existence, option and bequest values account for about one third of benefits. Other ecosystem services are especially significant to the local communities. The national parks provide water, erosion control, and a number of other forest ecosystem benefits.Taking the values together, the establishment of the national parks is clearly efficient from an economic point of view. The costs of establishing and managing the parks are insignificant compared to the benefits provided, especially regarding those benefits that are specific to national parks. Further improvements, for instance, according to international IUCN and EU standards, and visitor management, are advisable to conserve biodiversity while still securing the societal benefits in the long term.