Bled, Slovenia was one of my favorite places to visit in Europe. I never really heard about it, but constantly saw that famous photo on Instagram of Lake Bled with the island in the middle (so basic lol). Bled is absolutely breathtaking and truly remarkable. There’s so many things to do there that are suited for everyone. You can take a leisure walk around the lake, you can go hiking, visit Bled castle, or even go tobogganing. There’s a variety of things to do in Bled, and you will have an amazing time doing any activity. If you’re only there for a limited time, check out my weekend guide for a compact trip of activities.
1. Book a paragliding tour over Lake Bled.
I stumbled upon this activity the day before I had to leave. The pictures looked gorgeous and it seemed like a fun, exciting, and beautiful thing to do. I was about to book it, but then the forecast had possible showers. If you want to do this, I suggest booking this right away in case there is any rain and gets cancelled or pushed off to the following day.
2. Go tobogganing with a view.
Straza Bled is a small hill where you can do lots of different activities. In the summer, you can go tobogganing down the hill with a gorgeous view of Lake Bled. I wanted to do this activity but ran out of time. This is a fun activity for adults and children! It looked like a lot of fun and the views are beautiful so why not? You can also go to the Adventure Park there too. In the winter, you can ski down the hill.
3. Swim or take a Pletna to the island.
A lot of people swim, paddle board, kayak or even canoe to the island. My hostel-mate told me she rented a canoe and had to paddle her way to the island and STRUGGLED. The wind made it impossible for her to get back to land. There’s different places where you can rent equipment to get to the island. Depending on what you want to do and how many people you’re with, I suggest looking at the prices for each item and see what seems the most cost-effective for you.
I decided to take the boat, Pletna (similar to a gondola-like boat), to the island. If you’re the first person to arrive (like I was) you’ll have to wait until the boat is full. The boat fills about 14-20 people. The boat trip includes transportation there and back from the island and 40 minutes on the island.
Once you get to the island, there’s not much to do. 40 minutes is PLENTY of time there. You can pay a small fee to go into the church, ring the bell, and walk up the tower. I don’t think it’s worth it. The tower is under renovation when I went in summer 2018 and you can’t see anything at the top since there is scaffolding is blocking the view. If you do decide to pay the fee, make sure to ring the bell three times and make a wish! Rumor has it if you do that, your wish will come true 🙂 Make sure to clarify what time you’re supposed to be back to the boat. Multiple people were late because they misunderstood what time to be back at.
4. Book an adventure tour.
There’s so many adventure tours you can book from Bled. You can go canyoning, water rafting, balloon flight, cave kayaking, skydiving, zip lining, paragliding, and so much more! There’s so many fun activities you can do from Bled. If you’re there in the winter, there’s a lot of winter activities too. You can go ice climbing, snowshoeing, skiing, and more! If you walk around Bled, you’ll see a lot of tour companies advertising for different activities you can book.
5. Visit Bled castle.
Bled castle has a beautiful view of the lake from a different viewpoint. The trail to get to Bled castle is not really marked on the road, but you’re essentially hiking up the forest. Keep going uphill and you’ll finally get to the top and will see the castle. It’s a little expensive to get in. Other than the views, I personally did not feel like it was worth paying to get in. If you make a reservation at the restaurant, you get free admission into the castle. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the lake so it might be worth doing if you want to dine there! If you go around the castle, there’s a free spot you can view of the lake. This would be a really pretty place to see the sunset. Someone told me it’s free to enter the castle after 8 pm. I’m not positive if that’s true… so don’t quote me on that.
6. Book a tour to go inside caves.
Postojna cave is a popular cave in Slovenia and one of the world’s largest karst monument. Book a tour to see Postojna cave and visit more sights in Slovenia. There are a few companies that offer this tour. You can check online to see which company and tour fits your price range.
7. Visit the Vintgar Gorge.
Check the website to make sure the Vintgar Gorge is open! I went in June and it recently opened the week I was there. You can get there by either walking, riding a bike or taking a shuttle or bus. There are a lot of bike rental places around the lake. A lot of them are by the hour. I suggest renting a bike for at least 6 hours. If you walk, it’s about an hour walk. The bus is also another option, but I didn’t have enough time to take the bus. You can of course drive there too.
I was limited on time so I paid for a shuttle service. If you do the shuttle, they’ll drop you off and tell you where they will pick you up. You’ll get 2 hours inside which I felt was enough time. I was able to walk to the end, stop a few times and take pictures, and walk back on time. You can book your shuttle with Mamut office. I was leaving Bled right after the tour, so I was able to leave my bags at the office which was awesome since it’s right next to the bus station! The shuttle leaves every hour which was nice and flexible with my schedule.
Vintgar Gorge was beautiful! A lot of gorgeous spots to stop and take a picture, and fully admire the beautiful scenery and nature. It really depends on the lighting outside and the way the sun hits the water. I’ve never seen such beautiful colors before! I definitely recommend going when it’s sunny out. If you can’t, it’s still worth going to.
8. Rent equipment for the lake.
You can rent a canoe, kayak, stand up paddle board, and more! There’s lots of things you can rent and do on the lake.
9. Swim or lay out..
During the summer, it’s so hot and nice out. Taking a dip in the lake is so refreshing and very relaxing to chill and hang out. There’s a few designated spots to lay out at. Pay attention to the signs – there are some spots where you can’t swim/lay out.
10. Walk or bike around the lake.
Walking around the lake takes about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your pace, how many stops you take, and how many times you stop to take pictures. It’s a beautiful walk. I suggest taking your time and soaking in the beautiful scenery. In order to get to the hike with the famous viewpoint, you have to walk about half way around the lake. I suggest pairing the hike and walking the lake together as one activity.
11. Hike up Maja Osojnica.
There are two popular hikes to get a view of Lake Bled: Ojstrica and Maja Osojnica. I highly recommend hiking Maja Osojnica. I read a lot of reviews that it’s a lot more challenging to continue from Ojstrica to Maja Osojnica’s viewpoint, but I didn’t think it was THAT much more challenging. It’s definitely doable, and I highly recommend powering through it and hiking to the top. You won’t regret it.
To get there, follow the signs off the main walking path. The best times to go are: sunrise (I tried to do this, but it was supposed to be foggy and I didn’t want to wake up early and hike to the top to just see fog) or right before sunset so you can watch the sunset while you’re up there (if you do this, bring a flashlight). I was crunched on time so I just went during the day when it was scorching hot. Beautiful view though with the sun shining down!
I recommend wearing tennis shoes. It rained right before I went so it was very muddy and slippery. I also recommend bringing water and snacks so you can eat your food and enjoy the beautiful scenery at the top. Make sure to bring ALL your trash with you though 🙂
12. Step out into nature at Lake Bohinj.
Triglav National Park is home to the largest glacial lake in Slovenia, Lake Bohinj. There’s a lot of hikes to do around the area. It’s not as touristy as Lake Bled so you’ll truly feel one with nature. You can also take the Vogel cable car to see beautiful panoramic views. I really wanted to go there during my trip, but I ran out of time. I highly recommend going though.
13. Eat the famous Bled cream cake.
Oh, the yummy, delicious Bled cream cake. I got the cake twice while I was there. It’s so good! It’s one of the recommended things to try while you’re in Bled. The original Bled cream cake was created at the Park Hotel Restaurant in 1953. Over 500,000 original Bled cream cakes are produced every year with the original recipe at Park Cafe. I also ate lunch twice at that restaurant. The food was delicious! The service was a bit slow though. Several other places serve Bled cake. If you want, you can even try one at every restaurant you go to. Some restaurants have it where they serve ice cream with it… omg my mouth is watering.
14. Escape the Escape Room.
There’s a ton of Escape Rooms all over the world. If you’re with a group and love doing escape rooms, try one in Bled. This would be a good rainy day activity or something fun to do with your group.
15. See if there are any festivals or events while you’re there.
If you’re going to Bled in July, they have a weekend festival called, Bled Days. There’s also several different events going on throughout the year. You can check their website to see if there are any upcoming events while you’re there.