how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do

Slovenia proved to be just as beautiful as everyone said it was with the added bonus of hardly any other tourists and affordability. After a few days in the country’s capital, Ljubljana, I thought venturing into some Slovenian nature would be the perfect way to spend my time. Located only 1.5 hours away by bus, Lake Bled seemed like the perfect option.

Lake Bled is quickly garnering attention from travelers thanks to its pristine lake water and dense forest greenery. Topped off with a castle on a hill and famous cream cake, and you have the making’s of what quickly became one of my favourite destinations I’ve visited in Europe ever— which says a lot coming from a girl who literally grew up traveling the continent.

Yep, I fell in love, which is something I tend to do quite hard and began scheming ways to return to Lake Bled before I had even left.


here’s how to spend a day in lake bled


how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat

how to get there

bus

The cheapest way to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana is via bus. Bus tickets can be easily purchased from the main bus depot. My ticket cost €12.84 {USD $14.34} for a roundtrip journey and I could hop on any returning bus at the time of my choosing. You can also find tickets on sale at many hostels and travel agencies in the city, but there is risk you’ll pay more for them this way {commission fee}. Buses start running from the main depot at 5 AM. If you are traveling during the peak season , it is best to get an earlier bus to avoid crowds. I traveled to Lake Bled in July and felt there were almost no crowds until 1-2PM when it seemed tour group buses started to arrive.

how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat
how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat

what to see + do

hire a row boat

Call me basic, I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT. Because hiring a rowboat to take across Lake Bled was the absolute highlight of my day there. It was an Allie and Noah Notebook kind of moment but better because there weren’t any mosquitos or swans ruining it all. The water was cool and clear all the way through. I kept singing and laughing like a giddy school girl— I’m not exaggerating. I may have loved it so much be because I had been traveling through capital cities and the heat of Morocco, but I really think being on a lake, surrounded by mountains and forest views is just my happy place in this world. Rowboat rental prices vary, but get significantly cheaper the farther around the lake you are willing to wander. I paid €15 {USD $16.77} for an hour. This was exactly enough time to row the boat to the island, walk around the island, take photos in the rowboat, and get back to the dock. The rowboat owner took a photo ID as collateral and I paid after my journey. Split between two people, €15 is actually quite reasonable. If you have a group of people, it’s cheap as.

how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do
how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do

ring the “wishing bell”

The “wishing bell” is housed inside the church on Bled Island. Ringing the bell while wishing for something is said to make your wish come true, thus the very obvious name. It costs €9 {USD $10.04} for entrance into the church and bell tower, but if you have a big dream you’re probably willing to pay the money, am I right? Get here early or there is likely to be a line of people waiting to ring the wishing bell. There’s a café on the island that sells gelato and coffee, but everything is highly over-priced compared to the eateries around Bled.

how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat

hike up to Ojstrica viewpoint

There are multiple viewpoints around Lake Bled that will give you a beautiful aerial view of Bled Island and the surrounding area. Ojstrica viewpoint is about a 20-minute hike from start to finish. Towards the summit of the viewpoint, the rocks get sharp and a bit slick, but I managed to hiked it in my Saltwater Sandals. Despite my climbing capabilities, I would suggest wearing hiking shoes or good tennis shoes. Some of the other viewpoints take 35+ minutes to climb and are more strenuous. If you have more than a day in Bled, I would definitely suggest taking full advantage of all the hikes in the area.

how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat

try famous bled cream cake

Cream cakes are considered a symbol of Bled. Ištvan Lukačevič, the former manager of the Hotel Park’s bakery, played with recipes for years until he reached what he claimed to be cake perfection. To this day, his cream cakes are made by his original recipe and sold in the café opposite of Hotel Park. This isn’t the only place to get yourself one though and, as you might imagine, it’s the most expensive. You can find Bled Cream Cake all over the town and around the lake perimeter. The farther from the main town you venture, the cheaper it will be, but you can expect to pay around €4 {USD $4.47} for a thick slice. I got mine from the far side of the lake from a little no-name café {unhelpful, I know}.

how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there, what to do, + where to eat

head up to bled castle

The medieval castle of the town overlooks the lake. Many historians think it’s the oldest Slovenian castle and one of the most visited attractions in the country. Built in 1011, you can visit the castle for €9 {USD $10.04}. You can reach the castle easily on foot, but in the afternoon the place fills up with tour groups. During my visit the castle was overshadowed by construction to the parking lot, so photos at the top were less than picturesque.


map

NEED HELP NAVIGATING? Use this handy map I made to help you find your way!


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how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do
how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do
how to spend the perfect day in Lake Bled, Slovenia: how to get there + 5 fun things to do