If you are planning a visit to Slovenia you really can’t miss adding a visit to Lake Bled to your itinerary. Located only 55 km from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana the lake is famous for its beauty and a popular destination throughout the year.
Whilst it is possible to visit for a day from the Ljubljana trip we would recommend planning a longer visit if you can as there are plenty of things to keep you busy!
These are my top recommendations for things to do in Lake Bled.
- Things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia
- Planning your trip to Lake Bled
- More to read about travel in Europe
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.
No motorised boats are 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.
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 steps South Staircase which was built in 1655. Traditionally brides are carried up the steps by their groom to ensure a long and happy marriage.
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.
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 The oldest castle in Slovenia its first mention in historical documents was in 1011.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.
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
Eat a Bled Cream Cake
Layers of puffed pastry, whipped cream, and 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!
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.
Take a stroll around Lake Bled
The walk around Lake Bled is around 6 km long and provides you with stunning views as you stroll around. Give yourself a few hours to really enjoy the views!
Planning your trip to Lake Bled
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)
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.
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).
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.
Where to stay in Lake Bled
There are lots of great accommodation options around Lake Bled to suit all budgets and tastes.
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.
CLICK FOR AVAILABILITY AND PRICES AT VILA BLED
Grand Hotel Toplice
With beautiful views across Lake Bled enjoy your stay at this elegant and charming hotel.
Treat yourself to a treatment in the wellness centre with a thermal pool. Enjoy the many hiking and cycling trails around the lake.
CHECK FOR AVAILABILITY AND PRICES AT GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE
When is the best time to visit Lake Bled?
The peak time to visit Lake Bled is during the summer months. With temperatures in the late 20s and a lake warm enough for a dip this is a great time to enjoy the region.
The only downside 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.
More to read about travel in Europe
- Essential Venice – Complete Guide for first-time visitors
- Essential Paris – Complete guide for first-time visitors