Lake Bled was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen so many pictures of the iconic island in the middle of the lake on Instagram. Finally I was able to see it in real life. I made it a priority to go to Lake Bled even though it didn’t fit with my route. You will fall in love with this beautiful place. Trust me. I’ve never felt so at peace when staring off into the lake. Lake Bled is a perfect place to go to for a weekend getaway or for a few nights. There’s so many activities to do so you could even extend your trip longer if you want to.
How to get to Bled, Slovenia:
Taking the bus to Bled from Ljubljana is super easy. The bus leaves several times throughout the day during the week and on the weekend. Go to the bus station and buy a bus ticket. The bus ride is about an hour and a half.
Where to stay in Bled, Slovenia:
There’s a lot of hostels in Bled and most of them are located near each other. Some of the hostels are confusing to find and are combined with other hostels. I stayed at Bled Hostel which I recommend. It has a bar that you can drink at, a kitchen to cook your meals, and it’s walking distance to the bus station, lake, and grocery store. It’s a really great location! If you hang out in the kitchen/common room, it has a great atmosphere. A lot of people are hanging out there. The bar attached to the hostel is a great place to hang out too.
I recommend booking a room that has a bathroom ensuite. I booked a mixed 4 bed dorm, and my room had to share a bathroom with 8+ other people. So there was 12+ people sharing ONE bathroom. There was always a line to use the bathroom since the shower, sink, and toilet were located in one room.
What to do in Bled, Slovenia:
There’s a lot of fun things to do in Bled. It’s a beautiful location and you’ll soon see why. If you have an extended stay in Bled, read my top 15 things to do in Bled. There’s a variety of different activities to do so I highly recommend checking out my other post to see if there are any activities you want to switch up to fit your needs and liking’s. If you’re short on time and only in Bled for a limited time, the main things to do are listed below.
Depending on what time you arrive in Bled, there’s lots of things to do. The most popular thing to do in Bled is hike up the hill to see the beautiful view of the small island in the middle of Lake Bled.
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.
Hike Maja Osojnica for the beautiful view of Lake Bled.
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 🙂
Take a dip in the lake and 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. If you’re crunched on time, you can probably skip this. I wanted to do other things, but the people I was with wanted to do this, and I decided to enjoy their company instead of going on a day trip somewhere else.
Swim or take a boat 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 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 the 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 the 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.
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 where you can see 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.
Travel to Triglav National Park and 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.
Eat the infamous Bled 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.
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 the pick up location is. 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.
Say your goodbyes to beautiful Bled.
I booked a bus through FlixBus since I was going back to Croatia. Download the app, and enter in your destination information. If you have the app, you can follow where the bus is and the app will give you updates if the bus is running late. You can also take the public bus or Mamut office has direct transportation to Ljubljana.