This blog post is all about how to day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Lake Bled is not very far from Ljubljana and can easily be a nice day trip out of the city and into some beautiful nature.
I remember the first time I saw Lake Bled. I was sitting at home watching the Rowing World Champs 2011. The cameras did a long sweeping shot of the lake, the hills surrounding, the church on the island, the fortress on the hill. It was then that I decided I will go to this lake one day.
In my previous blog post I wrote not only about Lake Bled but also Lake Bohinj. I will also mention how to include Lake Bohinj in your day trip. Both lakes can be easily visited by private or public transport.
Follow the A2 highway northwest out of Ljubljana and follow the signs for Jensenice or Kranj. The journey takes about 40 mins. Once you get to Bled there is plenty of parking for around €3-10 per day. If you follow the main road through the city to other side of the lake, there are less tourists and still a lovely view of the island and castle.
Bled is difficult to get to by train. Both train stations are a 3-4 kms out of the city. If you chose this option you’d need to walk or bus into town the rest of the way.
Buses leave regularly from Ljubljana main bus station. The buses leave from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, in peak season they leave almost hourly, in the off season the buses don’t leave quite as frequently. The bus ride to and from Bled takes just over an hour.
Getting to Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is about another 30-40 mins past Lake Bled. If you’re driving, just follow the road through Bled and continue on the other side, following the signs to Bohinjska Bistrica. If you’re using the bus get a ticket from Ljubljana to Bohinj, not all buses to Bled continue on to Bohinj, so check with the ticket person. The train station isn’t very close to Bohinj, so it’s not a optimal form of transport.
We got on an early bus from the main staion in Ljubljana and went straight to Lake Bohinj, it took over an hour to get there. It was a lovely scenic route once you’re off the highway. After lunch we caught a bus from Bohinj to Bled, spent the afternoon at Lake Bled and then caught the bus once again back to Ljubljana. We booked each of these tickets on the day, we did not pre-book.
The bus tickets cost around €12 each way, with the exception of Bohinj to Bled which was a shorter journey and only cost a few euros. If you’re getting on a late afternoon bus from Bled back to the capital, make sure you get on the bus on the far side of the lake, closer to island. This way you will be more likely to get a seat. If you get on at one of the main stops in the middle of town you may spend the ride home standing.
A lovely way to visit the island and church on Lake Bled is by rowing. You can hire a small row boat for about €20 for an hour or so. Then off you go, rowing around the lake, you can lock your boat up at the island and go explore the church, gift shop and have a sneaky ice cream if it’s hot. If your not too keen on doing the rowing you can use a company that has motor boats or person who can row for you. One of my favourite sights on Lake Bled was a wedding party, blasting music from a small motorboat, celebrating and drinking and waving out to passers-by. They were having a great time.
Around both Lake Bled and Bohinj, there are walking tracks. At Bled you can also walk up to the castle on the hill which has a great view over the lake and surrounding hills. As Lake Bohinj is just inside the National Park there are also more tramping and hiking level tracks if you’re up for a bit of a challenge.
Slovenia has great beer and it’s pretty cheap too around €3-4 in Bled, may be cheaper in other places. So on a hot summer day, after you’ve walked/rowed around the lake, it’s always nice to sit lakeside and sip a cold beer while admiring an amazing view.
Shops and Restaurants
In a touristy spot like Lake Bled, majority of shops are souvenir shops. There is also a variety of restaurants and cafes to eat and relax at.
If a day is not long enough for you, there is plenty of accommodation at Lake Bled to further your stay.
Has anyone else been to Lake Bohinj or Lake Bled? How did you find it? Do you have anything to add?