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Things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia (Complete Guide)

One of the most popular destinations in Slovenia is Lake Bled. Situated only 55 kms north west of the capital Ljubljana the lake and adjoining town of Bled can be found on the edge of Triglav National park.

Surrounded by the Julian Alps (named after Julius Caesar) which stretch from Italy to Slovenia this is an area famed for its natural beauty.

Lake Bled is becoming a very popular destination for tourists and can be extremely busy particularly in July and August. 

However don’t avoid visiting Lake Bled if this is the only time you can go. It really is like something out of a fairy tale – a stunning lake, a tiny island with a church and a castle perched on a cliff top overlooking it all.

Whilst it is possible to visit for a day trip I would recommend a longer visit if you can as there are lots of things to do around Lake Bled.

These are my top recommendations of things to do in Lake Bled –

  • Take a pletna to Bled Island
  • Visit Bled Castle
  • Try the famous Bled cake
  • Take a swim in Lake Bled (summer only!)
  • Go for a stroll (or a bike ride) around Lake Bled

Things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia

Take a pletna across the lake to Bled Island

If you want to visit the tiny island in the middle of Lake Bled you will need to take a pletna. A pletna is a flat bottomed boat with a roof.

Pletna at lake Bled

No motorised boats area allowed on Lake Bled so you are actually rowed to the island. It is a great experience and the views are spectacular of the castle and the island.

If you are feeling energetic you could hire a boat and row yourselves but my view is that this is a great way to support the local people who own the pletna.

Crossing Lake Bled by Pletna

It cost us 14 Euros (return) each for the trip and once we arrived at the island we had half an hour to look around.

When you arrive at the island you alight at the 99 step South Staircase which was built in 1655. Traditionally brides are carried up the steps by their groom to ensure a long and happy marriage.

The steps up Bled Island

Take a stroll around the island and admire the views. Don’t forget to visit the 17th century Church of the Assumption and ring the wishing bell for good luck (€6 entry)

The Church on Bled Island

Visit Lake Bled Castle

Sitting atop a cliff looking over Lake Bled is Bled Castle. The oldest castle in Slovenia its first mention in historical documents was in 1011. While the castle walls are Romanesque all the other castle buildings are Renaissance in origin.

The castle became very famous during the 19th century when it was used as a sanatorium founded by Arnold Rikli.  The rich and famous of that day flocked there to try his therapies.

Bled Castle 1

As well as looking at the various historical artefacts in the castle you can see the castle printing works or try some of the local wines in the castle wine cellar.

The views of Lake Bled from the castle courtyard are superb too.

Tip – The walk up to the castle is very steep and can be slippery so wear suitable footwear.

Cost: Adults €11 Children aged 14 and under €5

View of the island in Lake Bled from Castle Bled

Eat a Bled Cream Cake

Layers of puffed pastry, whipped cream, custard combine to produce the famous Bled cream cake. You can buy them everywhere in Bled and I highly recommend trying one.

We tried one when we were at Bled castle. It certainly was a cake with a view!

Bled Cream Cake

Take a swim in Lake Bled

Can you swim in Lake Bled? This is one of the commonly asked questions about Lake Bled!

The answer is yes it is possible to swim in the lake (I would only do this in high summer) and the clear turquoise water was very inviting. There were plenty of people taking a dip in the lake when we visited in the designated swimming areas.

If you prefer there are kayaks or rowing boats for hire around the lake.

Lake Bled Castle and rowing boat

Take a stroll around Lake Bled

The walk around Lake Bled is 6 kms and will provide you with stunning views at every angle.

The walk will take an hour (or two if you take lots of photographs. I have read that the path is not suitable for bicycles as there is no room for them and pedestrians.

Views of Lake Bled as you walk around the Lake

Planning your trip to Lake Bled

Best day tours from Ljubljana

If you would prefer to take a tour from Ljubljana (we chose this option) there are lots to choose from. These are my pick of the best from Get Your Guide.

Lake Bled in Slovenia at sunset

How to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana

Lake Bled is easily accessible from Ljubljana by bus. The trip takes an hour and 15 minutes and costs under €13 for a return ticket (valid for 30 days).

Click here to check the timetable and purchase a ticket.

If you (like us) prefer to take the train it is possible. Catch the train from Ljubljana to Lesce Bled which is 4 kms from the lake. From Lesce Bled take a bus to the lake.

Alternatively take a tour or hire a car and drive to Lake Bled. There are lots of great places to visit on day trips from Ljubljana.

Bled Castle with the Jura Mountains in the background

Where to stay in Lake Bled

There are lots of great accommodation options around Lake Bled to suit all budgets and tastes.

Vila Bled 

Enjoy your stay in Emperor Tito’s former residence set in the grounds of a beautiful park.

In summer enjoy the private swimming deck. If you enjoy a luxurious experience this hotel will meet all your expectations. 


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Grand Hotel Toplice

With beautiful views across Lake Bled enjoy your stay at the this elegant and charming hotel.

Treat yourself to a treatment in the wellness centre with thermal pool. Enjoy the many hiking and cycling trails around the lake.



When is the best time to visit?

The peak time to visit Lake Bled is during the summer months. With temperatures in the late 20’s and a lake warm enough for a dip this is a great time to enjoy the region.

The only down side is the popularity of Lake Bled – it is guaranteed to be busy and crowded in summer.

In the winter Lake Bled becomes a winter wonderland. Read here for more information about visiting Lake Bled during the winter months.

Lake Bled in winter 1

Essential facts about Slovenia

Capital – Ljubjlana

Population – 2 millions

Official language – Slovenian

Currency – Euro

Time Zone – Central European Time (GMT + 1 or +2 in summer) 

Views of Bled Castle one of the best Things to do in Lake Bled

Bled Slovenia – Your bucket list of things to do and see

So in conclusion these are the things you should add into your itinerary if you are planning a visit to Lake Bled –

  • Take a pletna to Bled Island
  • Visit Bled Castle
  • Try the famous Bled cake
  • Take a swim in Lake Bled
  • Go for a stroll (or bike ride) around Lake Bled

These are my essential 5 things to do in Lake Bled Julian Alps Slovenia

Have a great trip!