The first time we saw a photo of Lake Bled we knew we had to visit sooner rather than later. It looks like such a magical place in the pictures but is even more astounding in person. Lake Bled has such a strong positive energy and makes you feel at peace. It is no wonder why one of the most photographed places in Slovenia. Slovenia is such a small country that it only takes an hour and twenty minutes from Ljubljana to visit Lake Bled making it the perfect day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana. The distance from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is 54.4km (33.8 miles).
In this guide we will tell you how to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled safely and affordably.
Lake Bled is situated at the foot of the Julian Alps and it is surrounded by lush green forest. The water on the lake is turquoise crystal clear. It is by far one of the best destinations for any nature lover!
Plan the perfect day trip from Ljubljana to Lake Bled:
How to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana?
It is relatively simple, there are five ways to travel from Ljubljana to Lake Bled and they are by bus, train, car, tour or taxi. Any of those options will take you on highway E61, which leads north from Ljubljana in the direction of the Austrian border.
Public Transportation (cheapest option)
If you choose to go by bus, which it is how I did it. You will need to go to the main bus station in Ljubljana and buy a ticket to Lake Bled. The bus runs at the start of every hour starting from 6AM. There is also a train you can take but the bus is a better option as it drops you off right in Bled. Arriva is the most popular company in Slovenia and they have several busses leaving from Ljubljana to Bled throughout the day. Check the latest bus schedule here by selecting ‘Ljubljana AP’ as your point of departure and ‘Bled’ as your destination.
➳ Read More: Complete travel guide of Ljubljana in one day
At the bus station in Ljubljana you can get complete package that includes the round trip bus, entrance to Bled Castle, a round trip boat ride to Bled island, the entrance to the island’s church and bell tower, and a desert and drink at the island’s cafe. The package saves you only a few euros, so is worth it if you plan on doing everything. If you are just planning a day trip to Lake Bled then consider skipping the island and using that time to hike to more viewpoints around the lake.
You can by your tickets ahead of time online or by going a couple of days earlier to the station but keep in mind that if you buy your tickets online you will be paying a little bit more. Tickets are slightly more expensive if you buy them online. You can pay online using Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. Once you finish your purchase you will receive a ticket invoice that you must exchange for a paper ticket at the bus station in Ljubljana.
Both the Ljubljana to Bled train and the bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled cost around the same, 6.30 Euro for a one-way ticket from Ljubljana to Bled.
On a Guided Tour (most convenient)
Another great option is to take a tour that takes you from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. Make your reservation ahead of time here. The tour lasts 5 hours and a half and includes transportation and a guide. This is definitely the most convenient and stress-free way of getting from Ljubljana to Lake Bled.
What to do in Lake Bled?
Exploring Lake Bled can easily be done on foot, which is pretty nice! The Lake Bled has four main attractions that evolve around the lake itself. The first one is to visit the Bled castle, which is located on a cliff overlooking the lake and the island. Yes, hiking up to it is tough but the view is worth it! Keep in mind that you do not get a good view until you enter the castle, so if you are not willing to pay the fee the best option is to visit a different viewpoint. Based on our experience it is best to leave the last stop in your one day trip to Lake Bled be the Bled Castle, not only you will avoid the fog but it is also one of the best spots to enjoy sunset in Lake Bled.
The Castle has some exhibitions and a cafeteria but the main reason to visit the Castle is for its view. It is the perfect place to take photos but there are also other viewpoints with beautiful views that are free. For us it was not totally worth it because when we went early in the morning it was still a little bit too cloudy.
The second highlight is the loop path at the edge of the lake for some of the best views. The loop itself can easily take between one to two hours to walk depending on how many photo stops you make. It honestly took us three hours to complete.
The third highlight is the viewpoints, which are not well marked or well advertised without talking to locals. The two most recommended viewpoints are the Osojnica View Point and near the Hotel Park. We got lost trying to find the Osojnica Viewpoint and took twice the normal 45 to 60 minute uphill hike. This is probably the spot where a majority of the Instagram photos you see are taken from. While we prefer finding own unique photo spots, why not take advantage of this picturesque point. Hiking to the viewpoints is one of the most essential things to do in Lake Bled.
Lastly, you have to take the boat to visit Bled Island, in the middle of the lake, where the church and bell tower are located. You can walk around the island freely but to enter to the Church of the Assumption and the bell tower you will have to pay a small fee. From the tower we could not see much, but they have a tradition to ring the church bell three times and make a wish!
Boats to Bled island run on a regular basis but make sure to check the schedule as there are different options with prices but ranging from 10 to 12 euros. The boats wait for you allowing about 45 minutes to wander around this tiny island. Taking a boat ride to Bled Island is one of the things you must add to your itinerary when planning a Lake Bled day trip.
The most important thing you need to do in Bled is try the famous Bled Cream Cake. We tried it in the cafe on Bled island as it is included in the complete package ticket, but we have heard that the best cake is served at the Park Hotel, across from where you catch the boat.
Over summer you can swim in Lake Bled, where it is allowed. We visited Bled during the fall, which makes for fantastic golden colors, but no way we were dipping our feet in the cool waters.
How long should I stay at Lake Bled?
The right amount of time to spend at Lake Bled all depends on what you want to do and in what pace. If you only want to see the lake and take some photos a day is more than enough. Get there early in the morning and leave after sunset to get the best photo opportunities. However, if you want to visit other surrounding areas and enjoy other actives in Bled such as kayaking or biking plan to stay from two to four days.
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