The Perfect Lake Bled Day Trip from Ljubljana

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by Maggie Turansky

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Are you planning a Lake Bled day trip from Ljubljana? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

There are few places in Slovenia as iconic as Lake Bled. Known for its picturesque alpine setting, charming island church and imposing cliffside castle, Lake Bled is just as beautiful as the pictures would have you believe. And because of this, countless visitors to the small nation of Slovenia flock to the banks of this gorgeous lake and town.

And while you could easily spend days exploring Lake Bled and its surroundings in Triglav National Park, many really only have time to see this site as a day trip. So if you only have time to spend one day in Bled, what should you do?

Well, luckily for you, this article is here to help you plan the perfect day trip to Bled from Ljubljana and includes all of the information that you need to get there along with what to do once you’re at the lake.

How to Get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana

There are countless options to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, whether you opt to go by organised tour, public transit, or want to drive yourself. Here’s how to get to Bled from Ljubljana:

By Tour

If you want to take the guesswork out of bus timetables or car rental prices and simply want to enjoy Lake Bled with no stressors at all, then a day tour to Lake Bled from Ljubljana may be the best option for you.

There are lots of different options available, some of which only include a visit to Bled and some that include many other stops in the Julian Alps of Slovenia.

For instance, this full-day tour from Ljubljana includes an optional stop at the beautiful Vintgar Gorge before taking you to explore charming Lake Bled. It also will take you to the stunning Lake Bohinj which will help if you can’t decide between visiting Bled or Bohinj during your trip to Slovenia.

Another great option is this full-day tour which also includes stops in Lakes Bled and Bohinj along with a visit to Vintgar Gorge. It’s a great way to see a lot of the natural beauty that Slovenia has to offer without taking too much time out of your itinerary.

Beautiful Lake Bled
Beautiful Lake Bled

If you’re not too interested in visiting other places in the Alpine region of Slovenia, then this half-day tour to Lake Bled could be a great option for you. This one includes transport to and from Ljubljana but gives you a bit more independence to enjoy Bled at your own pace.

And if you are looking for a tour that simply includes Lake Bled and no other stops, then this full-day tour from Ljubljana is a great choice for you.

It gives you time in Lake Bled, including a boat ride on the lake and a visit to the island and church in the middle of it.

By Bus

If you want to get from Ljubljana to Bled via public transit, then the bus is the most logical and easiest option. There are a myriad of bus connections across a number of different companies that leave frequently each day.

The journey will take about 1.5 hours and tickets can be bought directly from the main bus station in Ljubljana.

By Train

There are trains from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, however, they are not as frequent as the bus and there aren’t any direct connections. Trains leave from Ljubljana to the town of Jesenice, which is located about 15km from the village of Bled. You then have to connect to another train into Bled proper.

By Car

If you want a bit more freedom on your Lake Bled day trip from Ljubljana, then renting a car and driving yourself is an excellent option. This will allow you to leave as early as possible and make it easier to get everywhere you might like to go.

If you want to rent a car in Slovenia, then we suggest browsing in order to find a great deal from many major car hire companies.

Paddleboarding on Lake Bled
Paddleboarding on Lake Bled

Lake Bled Day Trip Itinerary

Now that we’ve discussed how to get to Bled, it’s time to talk about what to do on your Lake Bled day trip. Spending one way in Lake Bled is definitely enough to see the area and do it justice and you can really enjoy yourself within the confines of this time period.

Vintgar Gorge

The most logical first stop on a Bled day trip, the Vintgar Gorge is one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia. Because of this, it is best to get to the Gorge as early as possible to avoid the inevitable crowds.

Crowds or not, however, there is no denying the beauty of this place. This area of Slovenia is chock-full of gorges (like the Mostnica Gorge or the Soca Gorge) but the Vintgar Gorge is definitely the most dramatic.

If you’ve taken public transport to Bled, then you have a couple of options in order to reach Vintgar Gorge. The first and simplest is to get the shuttle bus from Bled to the gorge. This bus, run by the company Mamut, runs every hour and will shuttle you between the gorge entrance and their office in Bled.

Unfortunately, however, they are only open from April-October so you don’t have any other option in the winter months. You can book your transfer online in advance with Mamut.

If you’re feeling more active, Vintgar Gorge is only about 5-6 kilometres from Bled (depending on your starting point) and it is completely possible to walk there easily. It is well signposted and you can make it to the gorge in under an hour — the hike is also relatively easy. You can also very easily walk back to Lake Bled after!

You can view the gorge by taking a boardwalk footpath that zig-zags across the area so you can really get to take in its beauty. In total, it takes about thirty minutes to walk along the whole gorge and the walk is incredibly easy.

Since 2020, the Vintgar Gorge has become a one-way path so there are two ways that you can get back to the entrance, both of which are outlined, mapped and signposted in detail.

The first way is the quickest, but it is also very steep and only a good option for travellers who have a higher fitness level.

The second hike takes about an hour, but it is mostly flat and commands beautiful views of the surrounding area — even of Bled Castle in the distance! There is also the option to hike all the way back to Lake Bled and paths are well marked throughout.

Entry into the Vintgar Gorge costs €10 per person. If you have your own car, there is also a parking fee per vehicle. If you want to see Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge in one day, it’s recommended that you try to get a very early start so you can get to the gorge as soon as it opens.

Vintgar Gorge
Vintgar Gorge

Circumnavigate Bled

If the Vintgar Gorge doesn’t interest you or if you would rather get a later start, then Lake Bled should be your first stop on your day trip. Located just a few kilometres from the gorge, the best first thing to do when visiting Bled is to take a leisurely stroll around the lake.

There is a paved footpath that surrounds the lake and it is a very easy, 6km walk to get completely around the lake. Along the way, you’re sure to encounter many incredible views and vantage points of this picturesque lake and it makes for an excellent place for snapping photos.

There are lots of places on this walk where you can detour and hike to a viewpoint or even visit the castle (more on both of those later).

Bled Island
Bled Island

Visit Bled Castle

After you’ve walked around some or all of Lake Bled (or just as a detour from your circumnavigation), take the time to visit one of Bled’s most famous landmarks – the Bled Castle.

This medieval castle situated on a dramatic precipice overlooking the beautiful lake is well worth a visit on any day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana.

Entry into the castle is €15 for adult tickets, though students with a valid ID need only pay €9.50. Children’s entry is €6. There are also discounts available for seniors and disabled visitors.

Once in the castle, take the time to explore the fortification and take in the views from the ramparts. The castle sits 130 metres above the lake and provides excellent views not only of the island church but of the Julian Alps in the surrounding area.

Bled Castle
Bled Castle

Get on the Water

After you’ve visited the castle and continued your walk around the lake, it’s time to get out on the water! Depending on the weather, you may want to go to one of the many swimming areas along the banks for the lake and go for a quick dip in the water.

Alternatively, you could hire a rowboat or even a stand-up paddleboard and make your way out onto the lake. In fact, you could even take a stand-up paddleboarding lesson if this is something that interests you!

If the weather is a bit too chilly for watersports or you simply don’t feel like being too active, then you can take a quick boat ride to the island and visit the Assumption of Maria Church.

There are lots of places where boats leave from to ferry you to the island and you will certainly find a place to do this during your stroll around the lake. Entry into the church is free of charge.

After your time out on the lake, it’s likely that you’ve worked up quite an appetite. Thankfully, there are a lot of restaurants and eateries in the main town along the lake so you won’t go hungry.

If you want something quick, tasty and affordable, we really recommend grabbing a bit to eat at Mega Burger which has a range of burgers and other food items available (including vegetarian options).

Row boats on Lake Bled
Rowboats on Lake Bled

Take in the View

If you’re not too exhausted by all of these things you’ve already done on your one day in Bled, then end your time by hiking up to one of the many incredible viewpoints around the lake.

There are countless great places to hike up and take in the beautiful scenery, but I can personally recommend heading up to the Ojstrica viewpoint.

This hike takes about 20-25 minutes from the main pathway around the lake. Keep in mind that it does get very steep toward the top and there are railings to hold onto to stabilise yourself. The view is definitely worth the hike, though!

If you want to hike a bit further and higher up, you can continue onto the Veliko Osojnica viewpoint, which is another 20 minutes or so from the Ojtrica viewpoint. Alternatively, you can opt to hike up an adjacent hill to the Mala Osojnica area for a different vantage point.

If you’re feeling like a bit of a daredevil and want to get an incomparable view of Lake Bled, then consider going paragliding! You can book a paragliding experience online and you’re sure to have an unforgettable time if you do!

View from the Ojstrica viewpoint - a highlight of our Lake Bled day trip
View from the Ojstrica viewpoint

Have More Time?

If you have more than one day in Bled to spend, then your options are endless with all of the things to do in this beautiful area of Slovenia. Whether you have 2, 3 or even 4 days to spend in this area, you’re sure to find a number of things to occupy your time.

If you want to see another alpine lake, consider heading to Lake Bohinj — this is Slovenia’s largest lake but it has a much quieter and not as developed vibe compared to Lake Bled. Nearby, you can also explore the Mostnica Gorge and Savica Waterfall.

If you want to see more of the Julian Alps and have your own vehicle, take the time to drive the inimitable Vrsic Pass, a winding mountain road with 50 hairpin turns that zig-zags over the highest point in Slovenia.

If you have even more time, make sure to spend some time in the beautiful Soca Valley where there are ample outdoor activities to occupy your time.

Viewpoint from the top of the Vrsic Pass
Viewpoint from the top of the Vrsic Pass

Where to Stay in Bled

If you’ve decided that you would rather spend more than one day in Bled, then you are likely going to need to find a great place to stay the night.

There are countless amazing accommodation options in and around Lake Bled that can suit all kinds of travellers. If you’re wondering where to stay, have a look at these suggestions:

Hotel Triglav – This historic, luxury hotel on the banks of beautiful Lake Bled, is newly restored and located just above the Lake Bled rowing centre. They have a range of rooms available, some with lake views, and a great restaurant and bar on site.

Jazz Bled B&B – This quaint and centrally-located bed and breakfast is a good mid-range option. They have a number of cosy rooms available, an excellent breakfast, a shared kitchen and a location within a stone’s throw from Lake Bled.

Private Rental – Another popular option near Bled is a private apartment rental. There are lots of options available in Bled, like this cosy apartment in the centre of Bled to larger holiday homes, as well.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Bled hotels!

Assumption of Maria Church on Bled Island
Assumption of Maria Church on Bled Island

Planning a Lake Bled day trip can be a bit overwhelming when you consider how much there is to do in and around this iconic Alpine location in Slovenia. However, with proper planning, you can really get the most out of Lake Bled in a short period of time.

Are you planning a day trip to Lake Bled? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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