Lake Bled is definitely one of the most famous places in Slovenia, and it’s not surprising! Lake Bled has the opportunity for every kind of activity, from just walking around the lake, through taking a boat trip to cycling or swimming.
It’s home to a charming Medieval castle, a picture-postcard church on the Bled island, lots of legends, hiking trails and adventures in nature for adrenalin junkies as well! Lake Bled has things to do for couples, families, kids, solo-travelers, those who seek luxury experiences, but for backpackers on a low-budget as well.
Is Lake Blad worth visiting?
Absolutely yes! Here we collected some pros and cons of visiting Lake Bled.
– Overpriced: entrance fees, boat trips, cakes, coffee – all overpriced. If you compare everything to normal Slovenian prices, then Lake Bled isn’t cheap.
– Overcrowded: Lake Bled is overcrowded in the main season, from July until August. We visited Bled in June, and it wasn’t that crowded, although there were some tourist groups in the afternoon. Bled is a beautiful place, so obviously, a lot of people want to visit it. If you want to avoid the crowds, then travel in the off-season, spring and autumn are also wonderful at Lake Bled! And come before 12 AM, most of the tourists will make it to Bled in the early afternoon.
– Good transport options – it’s close to Ljubljana and other Austrian cities as well. By bus and by car Bled is easily reachable.
– Good hiking experiences and close to nature
– Family-friendly and couple-friendly, but solo travelers don’t have to worry either
– Heaven for photographers, the views around the lake and from the castle are every photographer’s dreams!
– Environment and eco-friendly destination – the government and the people take care of the environment a lot!
How to get here?
● From Ljubljana to Lake Bled
- By bus
Lake Bled is a perfect day trip from Ljubljana, it takes about 1,5 hour by bus to get there. The return ticket is 12.60 euros per person. There are 2 bus stops, one near the tourist information office Union station and the main bus station is near the Bled castle. From the Union bus station, you can easily walk down to the lake, it takes about 10 minutes. The bus station in Ljubljana is very close to the city center.
- By car
It’s even easier to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana by car! There is a big parking lot right next to the Bled Castle.
● From Austria, Vienna to Lake Bled
Bled is very close to the Austrian border. You can also visit Bled for a weekend trip from Graz or Salzburg.
From Vienna, it takes about 4,5 hours to get to Bled by car. You can also travel by train, as the Austrian ÖBB train company has good connections to Lake Bled. By train, it would take about 6,5 hours and you would need to change the train 2 times. So it’s definitely not a one day trip, but it’s manageable if you want to spend more time in Bled.
Best time to visit Lake Bled
From June until August is the perfect time to visit Lake Bled, that is the main season. However, it can get pretty crowded, so we suggest you go a bit earlier or a bit later than the high season. For example, September and October are still very nice in Europe, it’s not too hot, but it’s still sunny!
The highest average temperature in Lake Bled is 23°C in July and the lowest is 1°C in January.
Both summer and winter months offer things to do at Lake Bled, but the warmer months are definitely better for a visit.
Lake Bled - Temperature
Can you swim in Lake Bled?
Yes! In the summer months, the water gets enough warm and it’s possible to swim in the lake. There’re always signs next to the swimming areas.
Click down here to book your day trip now!
Things to do at Lake Bled
1. Take a walk
Even if you’re super tight on your budget, walking doesn’t cost anything, so just take a big walk around the lake! The view of the lake, the castle, and the small island are amazing from every single point of view, so you definitely won’t regret taking a walk.
It takes approximately 1,5 hours to surround the whole lake (if you don’t stop on the way), but if you take your time, walk slowly, enjoy the view, take lots of pictures, then it can take up to 3 hours. There’re little cafeterias and stores where you can get a cup of coffee, tea or magnets on the way.
2. Rent a bike or an electric bike at Lake Bled
You can rent a bike or an electric bike at the tourist information office (check the map! 🙂 ) right next to the lake: renting the bikes for 1 hour costs 3 euros, for 3 hours it costs 6 euros. The E-bikes are a bit more expensive, of course. We rented normal bicycles for 3 hours, but honestly, we think that we should rent it for the whole day.
In 1 hour you can’t finish a circle around the lake unless you just cycle without stopping – that is impossible because the view is so beautiful, you have to stop.
There are so many people walking around the lake in the afternoon, it was quite hard to decide if it was really a good idea to rent a bike for cycling around the lake.
But, it’s a good idea to rent bicycles for the whole day, if you also want to take a tour of other near places, and you love cycling. For example, a bike tour to Vintgar Gorge or Lake Bohinj sounds good too! 🙂
Summarising our experience with bicycle rental
We rented the bikes at about 9.00 AM when the tourist information office opened and brought it back at 12 AM. At 12 AM the roads around the lake were already super full of tourists and it as kind of hard to get through, not very suitable for cyclists. So even if it sounds more tiring to walk around the lake, we definitely suggest you do so, because it’s stressfree, and you can stop as many times as you want to.
Maybe you will want to hike up to somewhere or take a boat trip to the Lake Bled island, and you can’t do that if you have a bike with you, that you have to bring back until 12 AM…
But if you have more time at Lake Bled, you can rent a bike for the whole day, and cycle to near places, like Vintgar Gorge, some other lakes or hiking paths.
3. Lake Bled Viewpoint - Hike to the Ojstrica viewpoint
There are more than 15 hiking trails around the lake! You can go uphill and reward yourself with a viewpoint. Click here to find out more information about the hills.
The most rewarding one is hiking in the forest up to the Ojstrica viewpoint.
When we were cycling around the lake, basically in the mid-time we stopped next to the road, where we found the sign that said “Ojstrica”. We also followed Google maps so that we won’t miss the sign.
Then we stopped our bikes at the entrance to the forest next to the sign and started to walk up on the hill. We read people saying that the hike was pretty easy, and we saw other hikers in professional clothes walking so fast, but for us -honestly-it was very hard. It’s doable, but if you’re not hiking often than it will be challenging. It was also a bit harder for us because it was rainy that day, and the roads were full of mud and they were slippery.
But when we finally reached the viewpoint – the feeling was indescribable! So just look at the view yourself!
4. Visit the Lake Bled island with the church and ring the bell
One of the biggest attractions (and tourist traps?) is the Lake Bled island with the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria. Yes, it’s the little cute island in the middle of the lake. It looks like a painting. It’s actually the only island in Slovenia, with a little baroque church in the middle.
There are lots of stairs that lead to the church. So be careful, it’s not recommended to start climbing up on the stairs for people with heart problems or very bad condition. In the church you can find the bell of wishes, it was made by Francesco Patavino back in 1534. There is -of course- a legend as well, those who ring the bell and make a wish will see their wish come true. You can only make one wish!
Take into consideration that they also charge extra for entering the church and ringing the bell, the entrance fee to the church is €6.
There are two ways of visiting the island and the church:
5. Taking a traditional boat tour with a group
The traditional boats are called Pletna, and locals are traditionally renting those and taking groups of 20 people to the Bled island.
Pletna is a traditional, large gondola-like wooden rowboat with a canopy that takes visitors from the shores of Lake Bled to Bled Island. There are regular departures throughout the day and it takes about 20 minutes each way.
It costs €15 per person for a roundtrip to Bled Island and this includes waiting time of 30 minutes so you can explore the island and the church.
6. Renting a rowing boat and docking at the island
A boat for 3 persons costs around €15 per hour, a boat for 5 persons costs around €20 per hour. It’s possible to rent a boat at the Castle boathouse (address: Veslaska promenada 11, 4260 Bled), at Grand hotel Toplice (address: Cesta svobode 12, 4260 Bled) or at the Pension Pletna (address: Cesta svobode 37, 4260 Bled).
7. Visit Bled Castle
If you have time and you like to visit castles, you can hike up to the Bled castle.
The hike to the Bled Castle takes up to 20 minutes and it’s medium-difficult. You can also drive, there is a parking lot right next to the castle. The castle sits at 130 meters above the lake.
There are two contrasting structures – the walls of the castle are Romanesque whereas the buildings are Renaissance, representing two different periods of time.
However, the entrance fee is €11 for adults, €7 for students.
There are some exhibitions in the castle, but overall we are not sure if it’s worth it. The exhibitions aren’t so great, there’re rooms about printing, honey, wine, the history of the castle and so on. Compared to other castles in Slovenia, the exhibitions aren’t special, it feels like if they only wanted to fill those rooms with some random objects.
The view is amazing, you can look at the mountain ranges of the Karavanke and the Julian Alps. If you’re interested in the wonderful view, it’s worth it. There is also an overpriced restaurant and a small café.
8. Try the Bled lake cream cake
One of the best things to do in Lake Bled (or sweetest?) is eating the best Slovenian cream cake: Bled cake. This cream cake dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. The bled cake is characterized by the puff pastry and the layers of vanilla cream and custard.
9. Lake Bled paddle boating - Stand-up paddle boarding
Renting a “SUP” (Stand-up paddleboard) or taking a SUP tour is also very common at Lake Bled, and it was looking like a super fun activity! Although we didn’t have time to try this, we saw lots of people paddle boarding on the lake.
You can rent a paddle boat for 6 hours (29 euros) or for 1 day (49 euros). The renting includes a paddleboard, the paddle, the lifejacket, and a dry bag.
We’ve already written, that you can swim in Lake Bled in the summer months. So don’t forget your swimsuit at home!
11. Kayaking tour
If you have a full day at Lake Bled, you can consider taking a day tour with underground kayaking. This tour takes you to underground mines and you will be kayaking in the passages for long hours.
12. Wine tasting
Slovenia is actually famous for its wines! If you like wine and you want to immerse yourself in wine tasting, you can book a wine tasting tour in Bled.
If you prefer getting back to nature and escaping the crowds around lake Bled, you might want to try taking one of the canyoning tours! Rappels, jumps, and slides are waiting for you, and of course lots of adrenalin.
14. Rafting on the rivers
Rivers in the Gorenjska region are famous for being fast flowing and full of exciting currents, which makes them perfect for a good rafting adventure!
15. Toboggan Lake Bled
There is also an opportunity to try a very cool toboggan near the lake, it’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Lake Bled.
During the summer months, visitors can sled down Straža Bled hill on a toboggan with beautiful Bled in sight!
16. Ice climbing
In the winter months, there are also some fun things to do at Lake Bled. Ice-climbing tour is the perfect program for adrenaline junkies. You can learn techniques and how to climb a frozen waterfall with professional ice climbers. All the equipment and a professional licensed ice climbing guide are included in the price of this tour!
Best day trips from Bled
17. Visit Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is another fairy tale lake, you can reach it by car or by bus as well, the buses leave from the main bus station of Bled. It takes about 30 minutes to get there.
18. Vintgar Gorge
Beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and cliffs. You can easily reach it by local buses from the bus station, by car or even by bike. Vintgar Gorge is only open during the spring and summer months, in the winter it would be a bit dangerous.
You can rent a bike for the whole day and cycle to Vintgar Gorge from Lake Bled.
19. Triglav National Park
This is the only national park in Slovenia, and it’s perfect for nature lovers! It’s very close to Bled and to Ljubljana as well. If you like hiking, rafting and you like to immerse yourself in nature, visit Triglav National Park!
20. Lake Jasna
This other alpine lake is also very close to Bled. It’s never enough of wonderful Slovenian lakes! If you seek more lake views, this is definitely a good trip from Lake Bled. You can even try diving in the lake! 🙂
We didn’t stay overnight in Bled because we stayed in Ljubljana during our trip. Although, you can check down here our deals finder for Bled.