Located next to famous tourist destinations such as Italy, Switzerland or Hungary… but Slovenia is still crowded with tourists. Because Slovenia owns many attractive tourist attractions. One of them is Lake Bled — the blue pearl of Slovenia and Alps as well as the national symbol of Slovenia, also is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. This lake is the motivation and main reason why I chose to visit Slovenia. So, how to visit Lake Bled, what to do in Lake Bled and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Lake Bled, Slovenia for the first-time? Let’s check out our Lake Bled blog with the fullest Lake Bled travel guide from how to go to Lake Bled from Ljubljana, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and things to do in Lake Bled to find out the answer!
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Lake Bled used to host the World Rowing Championships. Currently, visitors can also rent boats to rowing on the lake. Around the lake, the Slovenian government restricts the construction of high-rise buildings to preserve and enhance this beautiful landscape. In Slovenian, Bled means a white face.
Lake Bled blog: Overview of Lake Bled
Lake Bled is a mountain lake in the Julian Alps of Upper Carniola region in northwestern Slovenia, where it borders the town of Bled. This area is a tourist destination. The lake is located 35 km from Ljubljana International Airport and 55 km from the capital Ljubljana.
Lake Bled is the most famous lake in Slovenia. It was formed by the glacial movement of the Alps about 14,000 years ago. It is called “glacial lake” and its enchanting setting and landscape is like a fairyland. The buildings built on a small island of the lake look like an illusion from a distance.
The lake has an area of 145 hectares, a length of 2.12 km, a width of 1.38 km, which is definitely a must-visit destination. The lake freezes completely from February to March every year, at that time visitors can walk on the lake. But like that, visitors will not have the opportunity to admire its alluring beauty with clear jade-green water, flocks of swimming swans and the shadow of castles and churches reflecting on the lake.
Surrounding Lake Bled with green trees, the road leading to Bled Castle winding on the mountainside, has long been a favorite picnic, walking and cycling area of local residents and visitors.
Lake Bled blog: When to visit?
You can travel to Lake Bled all year round. But the time to visit depends on your travel style and activities you want to do. The peak season is summer, but it’s so crowded, especially on weekends and prices of services are high. But it’s good time for hiking in the Alps and suitable for water sports but the best time to come to Lake Bled is probably in late spring and early fall when the weather is mild, pleasant, the scenery is green or the trees start to change their leaves colors. Winter is so cold, snowy but it has own beauty.
Lake Bled travel guide: How to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana?
Lake Bled belongs to the Julian Alps that embraces the “little” Slovenia. That means, the lake belongs to the mountains and forests. But getting there is not difficult because it is a famous destination. However, you should not think that just pick your backpack and go. You should still carefully plan a trip to avoid mistakes.
There are two ways to get to Lake Bled (Bled Jezero), not including car rental. The first way is by train, the second way is by bus.
Taking the train is also easy, from Ljubljana central station (Ljubljana railway station), there is a daily train to Lesce Bled Railway Station. This station is a bit far from Lake Bled, about 4 kilometers. From here, it takes at least 1 hour to walk to Lake Bled. If you choose to go to this station, you must take a bus or taxi when you arrive. However, it’s not too complicated, because buses and taxis at that station are always available.
From Ljubljana Central Station there is another train to a smaller station, Jezero Bled. There are only five trains a day. But this station is closer to Lake Bled, about half an hour’s walk, about two and a half kilometers from Bled Castle.
The fare for both ways as above is about 13-14 euros/2 ways.
Usually, I prefer to choose the train than the bus because the train station is easier to find than the bus stop. But going to Bled is much more convenient by bus. Basically, you go to Ljubljana bus station, opposite Trg Osvobodilne station. You can go there to find a ticket counter, or like me, access here to book in advance. Remember to choose to go to Bled Union station. The two-way fare is about 12-13 euros, there is one trip every hour. Each trip is about 70, 80 minutes long due to many stops along the way.
You should check the Lake Bled or Bled Union stop in advance on Google map (can be tracked offline) to be rest assured. Or when get on the bus and remind the driver when to come. Most of the buses here are full of locals, they know where to get off, but without any notification, it’s easy to miss or go too far (there are many bus stops in Bled). But Union stop is located right next to Bled castle, you can’t get lost if you get off at this stop! And if you want to get closer to the lake, it’s not a problem to go 1 more stop.
This bus runs from 6am to 10pm. You don’t have to worry about going out in a hurry. Though I always suggest not to take the last trip, just for peace in mind.
Besides, all buses from the far stations outside Lake Bled run to Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko Jezero), which is also very beautiful. However, go to explore a place in a day to let it relax comfortably. Lake Bled is large, charming, poetic, beautiful — an ideal place to rest for a day. Moreover, going to two places a day is too greedy. Should not!! This is a bad thing what I did when right after leave Lake Bled, I rushed straight to Vintgar Gorge that I will tell in the next post.
In addition, there are a few places that can also reach Lake Bled during the day, such as from Zagreb (Croatia), or from Venice (Italy). I have not taken these trips but if anyone is interested, I can provide information.
Lake Bled blog: What to do in Lake Bled and things to do in Lake Bled
Take a walk around the lake, of course!
Lake Bled is so beautiful, enchanting without filters is still beautiful, calm, poetic. The water is clear and jade-green, the air is dry and cool, walking around the lake is just chilling, relaxing, comfortable. The lake is quite large, going around the lake takes about two to two and a half hours (not mention the time to sit down and gossip).
You should prepare food and drinks for picnics too (I think I recommend this a bit too much. Sorry for the picnic addict). Having a bottle of wine is even better. If anyone ask me to sit there for a whole day, I could handle it, even I will feel so pleasure, LOL. My record of sitting at a picnic at Vondelpark was from 3pm to 11pm :))
Before coming, we didn’t know we could swim, but when we got there, we knew that although not everywhere could swim, there were many spots designed just for swimming, the locals came to relax a lot. The lake water was so clear and cool. At that time, when I just put my feet down and saw the whole summer disappear. If you have the conditions, please bring your swimsuits, towels and essential items in advance, when you get there, choose a quiet corner and then jump into water, so relaxing!
Get the epic view from Bled castle (or any high point of view)
Lake Bled is not only beautiful when viewed from the ground, but also spectacular when viewed from above – in the middle of the lake is an island with a small church in the midst of picturesque turquoise water.
I don’t remember if I had to pay a ticket to visit Bled Castle, maybe 10 euros, but there is a restaurant up there to eating and relaxing. However, around the lake there are many trails up to different viewpoints. I chose another route to go up the mountain, through the forest, very beautiful. I like this trail more because it’s more “natural” and feels better. Halfway there, there was a large hotel with a ravishing balcony overlooking the lake and the church on an island in the middle of the lake. We had tea here. The price is mainly for the seat and the view.
Take a boat tour (sailing around the lake) or go to the island in the middle of the lake
Around the lake, there are many sightseeing boat services, about 10 or 15 euros an hour, not expensive. In addition, there are also boats to the island of the lake, both ways, with the same price. I remember having to buy a ticket to the church, about 5, 7 euros. Legend has it that if a newlywed couple gets married here and the groom carries his bride and climb up hundreds of stone steps to get to the church, they will be a hundred years of happiness. A good idea for those who want to have a wedding! There are many resorts, hotels around the lake. It’s a perfect destination for honeymooners.
Not only boating, kayaking or other water activities, sports are also possible. But no canoeing or water skiing. Generally not noisy. When you come, you will always feel the peaceful and quiet atmosphere, without the noise of life.
Lake Bled was once the site of the world rowing race. And now, the lake also has a boat rental service of the town of Bled. Therefore, Lake Bled is very attractive to tourists, especially those who are passionate about rowing sports. Visitors can rent a boat and then indulge in paddle surfing on the surface of Lake Bled. From the lakeside, you can gradually paddle into the middle of the lake and set foot on its island. When rowing, you will feel the very quiet and gentleness of Lake Bled.
Bled Castle was built 13 centuries ago. The castle is perched on a cliff, and is 139 meters above the lake. The castle was built in Roman and Renaissance architecture. The oldest part of the castle — the tower was built in Roman architecture. Through many times of restoration and repair, from the 16th century until now, the castle’s architecture is almost keep intact. Inside the castle there are restaurant, two large courtyards, many rooms, museum, chapel…
The entrance fee is 10 euros. The entrance gate is also the exit gate, so it is quite cramped when there are groups of guests coming at the same time. But don’t worry, because the space inside the castle will give visitors a chance to unleash their photography skills. From the courtyard of the castle, visitors can zoom out into the distance, looking at the city of Bled and the small island in the middle of the lake to be able to take the best pictures.
Many visitors are so busy standing in one spot to take selfies that they forget that everywhere in the castle, every corner is valuable for their commemorative photos. Bled Castle has been ranked among the most beautiful castles in the world many times.
Church of Bled
The Church of Mary the Queen (aka the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary) was built on a island in the middle of the lake in the 15th century with a 52-meter-high bell tower that is the highlight of the landscape here. The floating island is also the destination of not only tourists but also Slovenians, when it becomes the setting of many romantic wedding ceremonies.
This floating island is visited and photographed by many tourists. In addition, the church on the island is also known as the proof of love for many couples in Slovenia.
Bustling markets in the area around Lake Bled
Besides boating, visitors can also wander around the markets in Bled. You will be spoiled for walking around and watching the bustling business scene. Besides, you can also buy fresh and juicy fruits in Bled. The fruits here are all delicious and cheap. These are grapes, apples, peaches, pears. Especially the fruit in Bled is still very clean, so you can eat it right away without washing it.
In addition, there are many souvenir shops around Lake Bled. These shops are all housed in old houses. You can buy beautiful souvenirs to bring back. Not only that, you can also take pictures with unique items here.
Finish with Slovenia’s famous Kremnista (Bled Cream Cake)
Kremnista is translated as apple pie. But I didn’t find any apple taste. This Slovenian specialty originates from Lake Bled, so there is no place in Slovenia to eat Kremnista as good as here. Most of the cafes around Bled are quite good. You can ask the locals, or choose a restaurant that you think is good. In general, this cake is the highest of 5 euros. If you see a menu with a higher price, it’s a tourist trap. I recommend you look up on Tripadvisor to choose. We were hungry at that time, we chose a kebab shop with sweets, but it wasn’t great so I didn’t mention it here. In general, avoid expensive and deserted shops is okay.
From Bled, you can reach many other places. In my opinion, Bled itself is a suitable place to go during the day, should not go any further, very tired. But if you have the strength and desire, you can take the next route like me, go straight forward to Vintgar Gorge!
Lake Bled blog: Where to stay?
If you want spend a night in Bled, you can refer some good hotels below
- Vila Cvetka Apartments (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Vila Bled (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Penzion Berc (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Hotel Triglav Bled (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Garden Village Bled (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Lake Bled you can refer to
- Lake Bled Half Day Tour from Ljubljana
- Ljubljana and Lake Bled Whole Day Tour from Zagreb
- Lake Bled and Radovljica Day Tour with Lunch from Ljubljana
- Lake Bled and Postojna Cave Day Tour from Ljubljana
- Alpine Lakes of Bled and Bohinj, and Triglav National Park Day Tour from Ljubljana
Read more Slovenia guide here.