Situated near the Slovenian city of Ljubljana is the stunning Lake Bled. Nestled in the midst of the Julian Alps, this area is one of the top places in the country to visit due to its amazing history and scenery. Because there’s so much to do, it can be a little difficult to make an itinerary of some of the top places to visit while here. However, this article will help you out and list some of the top things you can do while in Lake Bled.
Things to do in Lake Bled
Visit Bled Castle
Bled Castle is a towering structure that looks over the lake. It’s considered to be one of the oldest castles in Slovenia with records showing its existence since 1011. Throughout time, new additions were added, like towers, to help aid its growing residents. It has a rich history, especially with politics, which you can learn more about with the various exhibits inside the castle. There are plenty of places to see while at Bled Castle, like the Castle Chapel which features amazing Gothic and Baroque architecture, as well as attaching courtyards where you’ll find a former servants’ building and wine cellar. The castle also hosts numerous events throughout the year, like Medieval Days, where actors dress up as knights to help display and teach this time period better to the current generation. When you’re done touring the castle, you can climb up to the top of it to get stunning views of Lake Bled situated below you. There’s also a castle restaurant you can grab a bite to eat at when you’re done exploring it.
Keep in mind the hike up to Bled Castle is somewhat daunting. It’s a steep 15-minute walk, so if you’re planning to travel that distance by foot be prepared. You can drive up to the castle if you have a car or go on a guided tour if you so desire.
Walk Around the Lake
There is a 6km trail around Lake Bled which is very easy to walk. You’ll also find plenty of viewpoints you can hike up on to get stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It’s important to remember though that some pathways around the lake can be a little strenuous, especially if you plan to walk up to some high viewpoints, but for the most part walking around the lake isn’t that difficult.
Swim in the Lake During the Summer
If you happen to visit Lake Bled during the warm summer months, you can take a quick swim in the lake’s cool waters warmed slightly by the sun. When you’re done, you can relax on the nearby beach which has umbrellas and chairs you can use. Keep in mind though that this is a popular place to swim, so if you want to have some privacy while here you’ll need to arrive early.
Explore Bled Island and Ring the Wishing Bell
One interesting thing you can do while in the area is explore Bled Island. Situated in the middle of Lake Bled, this island is a secluded spot that has a massive church built on it called the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake. Inside this church, you’ll be able to gaze at some colorful frescos that tell the life of the Virgin Mary. You’ll also find some interesting archeological artifacts inside it as well. The church also is home to a “wishing bell.” This bell hangs inside the church and it is believed that whoever rings it will honor the Virgin Mary and be granted a wish. Besides this, you’ll also find some other secretive places that you can’t see from far away on the island, like a bell tower and chaplain house.
If you’d like to visit the island you can do so in three ways. You can use a traditional pletna which looks like a gondola and costs about 14 euros per person. You can also use an electric boat which costs about 11 euros per person or rent your own canoe, which typically costs about 10-18 euros per hour, and row yourself to the island’s entrance.
Hike to One of the Viewpoints
Lake Bled is packed with various viewpoints which give incredible panoramic views. You can hike up to one of the many the lake offers, like Straža which is considered to be one of the best viewpoints in Lake Bled thanks to its view of not only the lake but of the nearby mountains and Bled Castle. In addition to this, you’ll also find a few other hikes you can take, like the Ojstrica Bled Trail which has a great view of the lake. While the path for this hike can be a little difficult to find, it’s worthwhile. It will take you by rolling hills with curving trees that are sure to take anyone’s breath away.
The other major viewpoint you can hike up to is with the Mala Osojnica Viewpoint Trail. This trail will take you directly to the edge of a cliff where you’ll be able to see Bled Island below you in the middle of the lake as well as the mountains surrounding the landscape.
Travel Around the Lake with a Bicycle
If you want to stay active while at Lake Bled, you can rent a bike and take a quick tour of the lake with it. There are plenty of pathways you can take, all of which will give you close-up views of the lake. There are even peaceful cycling pathways in the forest which will take you by native flowers and plants. The pathways are made for various skill levels, so if you’re not comfortable with long bike rides, you’ll find a few short paths you can take. On the other hand, if you’d like some adventure and extreme exercise, there are plenty of paths that will fit your needs. These pathways are all connected to the area so you don’t have to worry about getting lost while on them.
Visit Straža Bled
Straža Bled is a wonderful place to not only sightsee, but to go on some exciting toboggan rides. While in Straža Bled, you can head up to the top of a mountain to the ski center where you can then hop on board a toboggan and zip down a 1,706-foot track down the mountainside at an exhilarating speed of 25 miles per hour. This activity is surely one you won’t want to miss. If you plan to visit during the winter, the center is transformed into a ski center where you can ski down the slope and even sign up for some ski lessons.
For more information you can click here.
Make a Romantic Picnic to Have in a Canoe
One unique thing you can do while here is to create a romantic picnic you can take with you on a canoe ride. The Grand Hotel Toplice offers this package and you’ll receive a bountiful picnic basket filled with homemade goodies, champagne, and locally grown fruits and vegetables you can enjoy while on your romantic trip around the lake.
Try the original Bled Cream Cake at the Park Cafe
Besides enjoying the scenery of Lake Bled, you should also try out some of its culinary masterpieces. One, in particular, that is worth trying is the Bled Cream Cake at the Park Cafe. This 60-year-old cake recipe is a mouthwatering mixture of puff pastry, creamy custard, whipped cream, and icing sugar. This unique recipe often has some limitations, but you can easily tell the real Bled Cream Cake from a fake due to its crisp cracking sound when you dig a fork into it. A real Bled Cream Cake will also softly move from side to side when you tap the plate it’s on. This cake comes in various flavors, like chocolate and fruit, so everyone will be able to try something that fits their taste.
Try Standup Paddleboarding on the Lake
If you’re looking to do some fun outdoor activities, you can try paddleboarding on the lake. You can rent a paddleboard from one of the nearby shops and take a relaxing ride down the lake on it. There are many paddleboarding tours you can sign up for where you’ll be taken on a guided tour around the lake and learn more about the history of it in a unique way. There are many different tours you can take and which come with introductory courses for paddleboarding so you can enjoy this experience to the fullest.
Ride the Tourist Train
The tourist train, which operates like a car, at Lake Bled will take you on a 45-minute tour of the area. You can hop on one of the cabooses in the back and be driven around Lake Bled where the driver will point out and stop by interesting and historic spots. It’s a helpful way for tourists to get around the area without having to walk much or find things on their own.
Take a Selfie at the Bled Heart and Enjoy the Sunset
On a small dock leading out to Lake Bled, you’ll find the Bled Heart. This heart-shaped art piece is the perfect place to snap a quick selfie. The Bled Heart dock is also an ideal place to enjoy the sunset as the day winds down.
Lake Bled is packed with fish like Northern Pike, European Perch, and Carp. If you’re a fishing aficionado, you’ll definitely want to spend some time at the lake fishing for these distinctive fish. While fishing, you’ll be surrounded by a lush forest that’s filled with the relaxing sounds of birds singing.
You can also sign up to test your dry casting skills at a casting center in Ribno. If you’re interested in fishing at the lake, you’ll need to ensure you have a permit, which can be bought at the nearby Fauna shop.
Take a Day Trip to Lake Bohinj
If you’re looking to take a day trip to places outside of Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is perfect. This lake is one of the largest permanent ones in Slovenia and is about a 30-minute drive away from Lake Bled. If you don’t have a car you can take the bus to Lake Bohinj. There you’ll be able to view majestic mountains towering over the area and their reflections glimmering in the clear lake waters below. This picturesque place is perfect for nature and outdoor lovers to venture to.
Take a Day Trip to Vintgar Gorge
Another excellent place for a day trip is the Vintgar Gorge. While here, you’ll be able to travel down a pathway built into the side of towering rock formations that will have you wind around the gorge and its steamy waters. You’ll be able to see waterfalls, pools, and thick greenery unlike anywhere else in the world which will leave you truly amazed at its natural beauty.
How to Get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
There are a few different ways you can get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana. Two of the best transportation methods though is by train and bus. Below is a bit more information about them and how you can use them to get around.
If you’re looking to have a quick trip to Lake Bled, using a train is ideal to do. There are two train stations you can take, but ideally, you should hop on the Lesce Train which takes many trips to Lake Bled throughout the day and tends to go a little quicker. The other station you can take is Jezero Bled which doesn’t make as many trips as the Lesce Train but is a little closer to the lake and Bled Castle. No matter which station you take though, the trains stop a short distance from Lake Bled, so you’ll need to have a car rental ready or get on a bus to get to the lake.
You’ll find plenty of buses that will take you from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. The ride tends to last about an hour and a half and will stop at various places along the way. You can catch a bus at the main bus station in Ljubljana. The bus is the best way to get to Lake Bled as the bus station is centrally by the lake.
Where to Stay in Lake Bled
Grand Hotel Toplice
While in Lake Bled I stayed at the Grand Hotel Toplice. Located right next to Lake Bled, it offers stunning views out to the lake and you’ll even be able to see Bled Castle hiding in the background. The hotel rooms are created with classic yet modern designs and include many helpful amenities, like a desk and Wi-Fi. The hotel also offers other things like a gym, pool, restaurants, and even special packages you can order to help make your trip here even more memorable.
Read more about my experience here.
Lake Bled is a magnificent place that will surely take your breath away. If you’re looking for a unique and serene destination to visit, you’ll definitely want to consider venturing to this beautiful spot in Slovenia. With all the activities mentioned above, you’ll have plenty of things to do and see while enjoying everything Lake Bled has to offer.