Lake Bled: How to get there & What to do

 In Blog, Europe, Go exploring, Slovenia
Lake Bled: How to get there & What to do
Straight out of a fairytale

The stuff fairy tales are made of – sunshine reflecting off the crystal clear water, a bevy of swans swimming in front of paddle boats filled with couples, under the watchful eye of one of the most beautiful churches on the planet which on top of that is said to contain “wish-granting properties”. Not convinced yet? Have a little read about this amazing spot, how to get there and what to do besides be in utter awe of it’s natural beauty.

Information about Lake Bled

Lake Bled is a glacial lake that is surrounded by a beautiful forest. The island in the middle of the lake is called Bled Island, it contains a church and a few small buildings. Bled Castle is nestled on a cliff, overlooking the lake.

How do I get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana?

There are a variety of options to get to Lake Bled, however to easiest (by far) is to take the bus.

Busses run from 06:00 to 22:00 (during the summer) and will cost you around 7€ one way. The bus leaves from the main bus statin of Ljubljana and goes direct to the main bus station of Lake Bled. The ride will take around 70 minutes.

The clerks at the bus station speak English and are more than happy to help you out to buy a ticket and show you were the busses leave from. The centra bus station in Bled is located 3 minutes walking distance from the lake (at the cross section of the roads Cesta Svobode and Grajska Cesta).

Tip: Tourists start coming it at around 09.00, so try and grab and early bus if you want to have the beautiful lake all to yourself.

What can I do at Lake Bled?

1. Start your day of with a delicious slice of Kremšnita – The Local Bled Cake.

I do not have a sweet tooth and usually keep away from anything that vaguely looks like cake, especially if it contains cream. That being said, I am happy to make an exception for this delicious treat: a crispy crust of puff pastry, filled with mouth-watering vanilla cream, topped with light and fluffy whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar. Convinced? I think so!

The treat dates back to the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th and 19th century. A variety of this dish can be found in all the countries that were under the Habsburg reign. This specific recipe was coined around 60 years ago and stems from the Park Hotel in Lake Bled. You are going to try the cake, go to the source: The Park Hotel.

Kremšnita, Slovenian typical food, photo: Mankica Kranjec
A slice of heaven

2. Filled up on cake – Time to walk around the lake.

The lake is about 6km long and it will take you 1.5 hours to walk around. The walkway is car-free, aside from the occasional carriage coming by. Walking around the lake offers you stunning views of the castle & the island. In addition it gives you the opportunity to move away from the hordes of tourists.

3. Visit the castle and enjoy the stunning views.

Did you know this is actually the oldest castle in Slovenia, dating back to 1011? Who knows how many royals have sat at the windows, enjoy the stunning views that the castle has to offer. If visiting castles is nto your thing, walk up anyway and enjoy the view.

Cost: Adults €11, Children 14 and under €5, Students €7

4. Rent a rowboat and row yourself to the island.

There are plenty of rowboats available for rent. The price is about 20€ an hour and it’s a short row to the island. Many a marriage proposal has been done in these rowboats and for good reason. There is just something utterly romantic about rowing to the island. Get there bright and early and be one of the first out on the lake.

5. Ring the bell of the Assumption of Mary Church on the island

Once you get to the island, walk up the 99 steps that lead up to the church. There are two legends that are widely spread about this little island and its church. The first one says it is good luck for a groom to carry his bride up the 99 steps and ring the church bell three times. The bride has to stay totally silent.

The second one is a story about a widow who had the bell made in memory of her late-husband 500 years ago. During transport across the lake, the boat was struck by a storm resulting in the boat, the crew and the bell sinking to the bottom of the lake. A new bell was made and consecrated by the pope, and this time was successfully transported and installed in the church. When you ring the bell three times nowadays, you are showing honour to the Virgin Mary and your wish will come true.

6. Grab a Pletna to the island                                                                     

A pletna or a traditional “communal” rowboat is an excellent alternative for those who do not feel like rowing themselves. It takes about 15 minutes one way; the boat will dock at the steps leading to the church. It costs about 14€ per person there and back.

If you purchase a two-way ticket, the boat will drop you back off at the starting point. You can choose to take a one-way ticket and purchase a return ticket for a different pletna on your way back, ensuring you get dropped off at a different spot on the lake.

Lake Bled: How to get there & What to do
Your pletna awaits to take you on an adventure

Things to do if you have additional time:    

If you have time, make sure to check out Lake Bohinj. You can get there by bus, it’s about 40 minutes away from Lake Bled. Tickets can be bought at the local busstation.

 

                                   

Go nuts and share it!
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Showing 53 comments
  • Avatar
    Stories of a Brunette
    Reply

    Wow! This lake looks so dreamy! Haven’t been but I will add it on my list 🙂

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      It is def worth a visit. If you can add on the Lake Bohinj too, it’s a stunner and less touristy.

  • Avatar
    Cate
    Reply

    I’ve really been thinking about going to Lake Bled, and your article will be so helpful!!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hey Cate, if you need any additional information I would be happy to provide it! It is very much worth paying a visit.

  • Avatar
    Kay
    Reply

    I don’t think I had even heard of Lake Bled before social media!! I hope to visit soon!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hey Kay, what can I say but “Hurray for social media”. Hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to visit.

  • Avatar
    Emma
    Reply

    This truly does look like something straight out of a fairy tale! So gorgeous.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Could not agree more! So worth a visit if you get the chance.

  • Avatar
    Tabitha Bear
    Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous. And the cake looks super delicious! Thank you for the information.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      The cake is seriously a huge highlight! Ha, worth going just for that .

  • Avatar
    Sandy Kul
    Reply

    Ahhh I have to go there! Last time I was in Slovenia I didn’t get a chance to go so it’s on the bucket list for next time. Thanks for sharing this

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Oh what a pity! But it gives you an excuse to go back in that case.

  • Avatar
    Tayo
    Reply

    Great information on how to get to the lake. This has been on my list for the longest time but still debating whether to do an adventure holiday here or plan it myself. Will definitely be coming back to this post when I plan it thanks for sharing.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! Both options sounds fab, let me know which one you pick :).

  • Avatar
    Alizon Robertson
    Reply

    This is on my road trip route this year. Now I really want to do it! Thanks for the useful tips and inspiration.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Oh you are more than welcome. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Avatar
    Adele Gee
    Reply

    You just reminded me that i need to visit bled again for a winter view. Thanks!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      I bet you the lake is beautiful every season. Such a stunning spot!

  • Avatar
    the Curious Pixie
    Reply

    On my wish list. Such a handy guide.

  • Avatar
    Jenn - The Solivagant Soul
    Reply

    I have a big trip planned for the Balkans next year and this is going to be so useful! And gosh i want to try that cake!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      The cake is seriously good! Hope you have a wonderful trip.

  • Avatar
    Julia Dent
    Reply

    I’ve been wanting to visit Lake Bled forever! I really want to go for that cake now, too! 🙂

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      The cake is absolutely fab! Well worth visiting just for the cake haha.

  • Avatar
    Jyoti
    Reply

    Hi Caroline, I absolutely love your pictures! It reminds me of the time we visited Lake Bled. It was so beautiful! We took one of the little boats to the island in the middle of the lake. It handsome, young rower was impressive! He rowed the boat with 10 people, manually in one stretch. You could see the exercise was serving him well.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      I got an old man who did the rowing… I think you got the better end of the deal ha.
      Thanks for your kind words.

  • Avatar
    Claudia
    Reply

    A place I didn’t know about before, so thanks for sharing! Beautiful pictures!https://aworldfulloffairytales.home.blog/

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      You are more than welcome. Hope you get to experience it one day!

  • Avatar
    Diana
    Reply

    I have never been but this place looks so dreamy! Definitely trying that cake too when i visit!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hope you get to visit it soon! If only for the cake 😉

  • Avatar
    Carrie Mann
    Reply

    Lake Bled is definitely on my list now! You say tourists normally arrive at 9:00 ish — do most people come as day trips? Would staying overnight be a good option to avoid the crowds?

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hi Carry, I think staying over would be a fab idea if you have the time! Alternatively you could get a early bus (they start at 06:00 am) and beat the crowds. Depends on if your time and if you are a morning person or not :).

  • Avatar
    Laura
    Reply

    I’m desperate to visit Slovenia!! Fingers crossed this summer will be the year 😀 x

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Crossing my fingers for you too!

  • Avatar
    Hayley
    Reply

    Amazing! I was at Lake Bled last year during winter – it’s so beautiful when it’s snowing but would love to experience in Summer too!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      I do no know if I could stand the cold in the winter to be honest. The summer was absolutely great!

  • Avatar
    Dylan
    Reply

    Just when I think Lake Bled can’t get any cuter, there’s the photo of the pletna! Ha, every picture I see of this place makes me more convinced that I’ll visit some day.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hey Dylan,
      Yep it’s def a spot for the bucketlist!

  • Avatar
    Alicia
    Reply

    I’ve never thought much about Slovenia as a travel destination. You have made me want to go!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hey Alicia, I really hope you get to go one day!

  • Avatar
    Mayuri
    Reply

    OMG! These photos and your words are so atmospheric- makes me wanna drop everything and go there. The serenity of this place is definitely a crowed puller
    Thanks for the great post!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Hey Mayuri, you are so sweet! Thanks. Hope you get to go and visit one day.

  • Avatar
    Carlinn Meyer
    Reply

    Wow it looks so beautiful there! Definitely need to add Lake Bled to my bucket list 🙂

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Yes! It’s such a stunner of a spot.

  • Avatar
    Haley
    Reply

    Stunning place, your post makes me so excited to go visit. Your ideas and links are so helpful in planning! Looking forward to reading on.

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Thanks Haley, you are so kind!
      Hope you get to go some day.

  • Avatar
    Ari
    Reply

    This post was STUNNING! I can’t wait to go and visit someday! Saving this for later!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Thank you so much Ari! It really is a beautiful spot in Europe.
      Hope you have fun when you get to go.

  • Avatar
    Marisa
    Reply

    I love Lake Bled! Went there many times during my time living in Italy as it was only 2.5 hrs away! You’ve captured the beauty of this place perfectly!

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      Oh lucky you! I would be going there all the time if I lived only 2.4hrs away :).

  • Avatar
    Tjapke | Tjapke Op Reis
    Reply

    That’s some useful information for our trip to Slovenia this summer! Thanks! 🙂

    • Caroline
      Caroline
      Reply

      You are more than welcome. Looking forward to the pictures!

  • Avatar
    Eunice
    Reply

    The photos are amazing! Will definitely add this to my bucket list!

  • Avatar
    Reyes
    Reply

    Hi there! Such a great article, thank you!

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