Destination

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If you find yourself in the picturesque capital city of Ljubliana or are simply passing through Slovenia, you might be contemplating which places to visit. One destination that undoubtedly captivates the attention of many travelers is Lake Bled. In this post, I’ll share my experiences visiting Lake Bled, offer insights into what you can expect and must-do activities, and hopefully assist you in deciding if Lake Bled is worth visiting!

Is Lake Bled Worth Visiting? (2024)

Of the 10+ countries I visited during one of my trips to Europe, Lake Bled was by far my favorite destination. It felt like I had stepped into some enchanting fairytale novel setting. All I could think was how is this not one of Europe’s top destinations?! This is what should be on all the travel brochures!

Needless to say, I was hooked on this place lol. And I genuinely think this is a place everyone would admire and should make an effort to visit. That said, I know every traveler has their unique preferences and interests. So, to cover both sides and help you decide, here are a few reasons why to visit Lake Bled as well as cases in which you should perhaps skip Lake Bled.

A picture of Kristin smiling while riding the boat gondola across Lake Bled.
A picture of Kristin holding a heart art installation on the docks around Lake Bled.

Lake Bled Is Worth Visiting If…

You want to see one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Slovenia. The first I saw Lake Bled, I couldn’t process what my eyes were seeing — I was completely stunned. Dramatic, I know, but I mean it was beautiful on the level of Banff National Park and Lake Louise. The waters are so unbelievably blue, a quaint castle is perched atop a mountain, and the towering Julian Alps encompass the lake, creating a magical backdrop! It was truly the stuff of fairytales.

Another reason to visit Lake Bled would be to connect with the area’s rich history. What many people don’t know about Lake Bled is that one of the oldest castles in all of Slovenia is on-site. And while Bled Castle is no longer in use as a place of residence, you can still wander around inside. In fact, the castle has been converted into a museum dedicated to explaining the lake’s history. It even contains all kinds of ancient artifacts found within Lake Bled.

A picture of some ancient artifacts that were found at the bottom of lake bled. For those who enjoy history, getting to learn about one of the oldest castle's in Slovenia is another reason why Lake Bled may be worth visiting.
Some of the oldest artifacts found buried in Lake Bled

Lastly, Lake Bled is worth visiting because it offers you the chance to escape the bustle of city life. When I visited Lake Bled, I had been previously visiting mostly major cities across Europe, such as Paris, Milano, and Barcelona. This meant I was always surrounded by throngs of tourists and hearing lots of external noise. It just becomes draining over time, at least for me.

In contrast, at Lake Bled, almost all of that commotion disappears. Maybe it’s because the town is so small there’s hardly any foot traffic or there are some local laws for noise control. Either way, it was a blissful escape and a much-needed space to recharge. So, if any of these descriptions resonate with you, I think you’ll find Lake Bled well worth visiting!

✅ Check out this fantastic tour to Lake Bled

Lake Bled Is Not Worth Visiting If…

Now, aside from none of the above descriptions aligning with your interests, here are some other situations where Lake Bled may not be worth visiting.

First, if you only have the opportunity to visit during the winter season and are not particularly fond of extremely cold temperatures, you might want to reconsider. Lake Bled and its surrounding region experiences harsh winters. And while the snow-covered landscape has a certain charm, if you’re like me and from somewhere warm, the cold weather can be pretty brutal.

Likewise, if you can only visit during the peak summer season, it may not be worth visiting. I previously said Lake Bled was incredible because you can avoid tourist crowds. But, I visited at the beginning of October, which isn’t exactly peak tourist season. So if you’re keen on escaping tourist crowds, consider what season it is. Social media exposure has put Lake Bled on a lot of people’s radars, so it’s likely crowded during the summer.

A picture of lake bled with bled castle in the background. Seeing this gorgeous landscape is one of the reasons lake bled is absolutely worth visiting.
Despite Lake Bled being so expansive, large crowds do form during the summer

Finally, if you aren’t comfortable doing a bit of independent navigation, Lake Bled might be not so fun.
With Lake Bled being part of a tiny town, infrastructure and navigational signage are limited. And if you’re keen on visiting more than just the lake and Bled castle, I recommend adding some “I got lost time” to your schedule! Can you tell that my friend and I learned that the hard way? 😅

Of course, if you go with a guided tour or only plan on staying in the immediate Lake Bled area, you should be fine! Ultimately, these are just my opinions, so please take everything I’ve said with a bit of salt!

5 Reasons Why to Visit Lake Bled

Although Lake Bled is nestled in a small town surrounded by the Julian Alps, the area has so much to offer. And if you find yourself craving more compelling reasons to explore this enchanting destination and travel (because who doesn’t? 😎), here are 5 additional reasons why Lake Bled deserves a spot on your travel bucket list!

A picture of some wine bottles outside Bled Castle, where wine tasting tours are offered. For those who love wine, Lake Bled might be worth visiting just to save money on an immersive wine tasting tour!
Fancy a bit of wine tasting while in Bled? 😅
A picture of the tower that can be found on Bled Island in Slovenia.
Not too shabby of a view!

1. Affordable Destination

First, unlike some popular European tourist destinations, *cough cough Paris* that come with hefty price tags, one of the appealing aspects of Lake Bled is its affordability. From reasonably priced accommodations to affordable dining options and attractions, Lake Bled allows travelers to enjoy the stunning area without sending their bank account down a money pit!

For example, an activity I recommend any wine lover do is a wine-tasting tour! In particular, this excellent tour lets you sample 7 top-notch wines from various wine regions around Slovenia and learn all about their flavor profiles from a local wine expert! Not to mention, you’ll get to complete your wine-tasting tour in a 100-year-old cellar within Bled, which makes the experience that much better.

And, compared to the wine tours in Bordeaux and Provence (France) that I’m very familiar with, this wine tour in Bled costs a quarter of the price of other wine tours! So, if you’re seeking a destination that’s both budget-friendly and offers a wealth of natural beauty and immersive experiences, Lake Bled is worth visiting!

✅ 🍷 Check rates & availability for this awesome wine tour in Bled!

A picture of Kristin and her friend sailing across Lake Bled to Bled island in a traditional boat.
It costs €18 euros to ride the traditional boat across the lake to Bled Island… bring euros!

2. More Than Just the Lake

While most people think of Lake Bled as just a place to stroll around the lake and enjoy panoramic views from the top of Lake Bled, there’s an abundance of different activities to partake in! For instance, I highly recommend boating across the tranquil waters of Lake Bled to the enchanting Bled Island. Once there, you can have some ice cream, ascend the tower, and revel in the serene atmosphere.

During the warmer months of the year, you can enjoy the scenery with a refreshing swim in the blue waters of Lake Bled. They have some parts of the lake sectioned off as designated swimming areas. Or, if you’re in search of a thrilling adventure, consider canyoning through Grmecica Valley or rafting along the Soca River! These exhilarating activities offer a new perspective of the area that’s off the typical tourist path.

Alternatively, if you want to cover more ground than you would be walking, you can rent an e-bike. This lets you explore the area at your own pace without the adrenaline rush of the other mentioned activities. 😅 Overall though, there are tons of activities available in the area, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is only the castle and lake!

✅ Check out rates & availability for canyoning, rafting along the Soca River, or renting an e-bike here.

A picture of the Postojna Cave in Slovenia
Postojna Cave in Slovenia 🇸🇮
A picture of Kristin standing along the canals in Ljublijana
Ljubljana is the perfect mix of city and nature!

3. Easy Day Trip From Ljubljana

Another compelling reason to visit Lake Bled is its convenient accessibility as an easy day trip from the nearby capital city of Ljubljana. I know a lot of visitors tend to stay in major cities. So if this is you and you want to immerse yourself in a serene natural paradise without an extended journey, Lake Bled is a lovely option.

And for anyone who doesn’t want to figure out the local public transportation system or language barriers, you can always take a guided tour. Below is the tour I recommend taking from Ljublijana for a comfortable day trip around Slovenia. You’ll visit 3 of Slovenia’s most impressive attractions and can make the most of your limited time with a knowledgeable guide!

Check Rates and Availability for the Slovenia in One Day: Small-Group Day Trip

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 – 545+ 5-star reviews! | ⏳ LENGTH OF TOUR: 10 hours

The Slovenia in One Day: Small-Group Day Trip includes:

  • Spending time at Lake Bled, Predjama Castle & Postojna Cave
  • Relaxing pletna boat ride to Bled Island (at own expense)
  • Immersing yourself in history at medieval Bled Castle
  • Seeing Predjama Castle, a remarkable fortress nestled high on a cliff.
  • Visiting the awe-inspiring Postojna Cave
  • Small-group tour limited to 8 people

“Had the most wonderful day exploring Slovenia. Seeing the caves was unbelievable. I enjoyed the train ride and walk through the caves! The castle was also amazing to see in the side of the hill. I liked the guided tour as it gave more insight into the rooms and the castle history. And lastly Lake Bled was amazing. Such a wonderful trip and Sanda our guide and driver was lovely and helpful! Definitely recommend!!”

– Allyson C. (See More Reviews)

Check Rates and Availability for the Slovenia in One Day: Small-Group Day Trip

A picture of a gorgeous sunset over Zagreb. Even from the Croatian capital, Lake Bled is worth visiting as it's an easy day trip!
The spectacular light show I saw while visiting Zagreb

4. Easy Day Trip From Zagreb

Similarly, it’s possible to do a day trip to Lake Bled from the Croatian capital city, Zagreb. By way of car, the drive takes just over 2 hours. Meanwhile, if you want to make your way via the public transport system, it takes about 3.5 hours. For this reason, I would only recommend doing the day trip if you have a rental car or plan on going with one of the many guided tours to Lake Bled from Zagreb! Speaking of, this is the full-day tour to Lake Bled I recommend doing from Zagreb!

⭐ RATING: 4.8 out of 5 – taken by 645+ guests! | ⏳ LENGTH OF TOUR: 11 hours

The From Zagreb: Ljubljana and Lake Bled Tour includes:

  • Discovering the beautiful streets, squares, and bridges of Ljubljana
  • Learning about Ljubljana’s history + free time to explore solo
  • Catching stunning views from the top of Bled Castle
  • Sailing on a traditional boat to Bled Island
  • Free time to explore at your leisure
  • Round-trip transport in a comfortable van
  • Direct pick up from hotels in Zagreb

“Our guide Stepan led a delightful day trip with a small group of eight, exploring the rich history and culture of Croatia and Slovenia. His extensive knowledge made the visit to Ljubiana and Lake Bled truly incredible. Stejpan even treated us to chocolates as a sweet ending to the tour. I wholeheartedly endorse this trip and encourage others to experience it.”

– Carmencita (See More Reviews)

Check Rates and Availability for the From Zagreb: Ljubljana and Lake Bled Tour

A picture of the green foliage around Lake Bled.
Lots of beautiful foliage

5. Fancy Some Hiking?

Lastly, I recommend visiting Lake Bled if you’re interested in hiking and getting your steps in for the day! Around the lake, you’ll find several trails around Bled ranging from easy to challenging. Most can be completed on a day trip. But, you’ll likely want to spend the night in the Bled area or at least allot 2 days in Bled for the longer ones, especially if you go via public transport. This is because the buses don’t run super late and you don’t want to become stranded!

How to Get to Lake Bled

Depending on your starting point, there are many ways to get to Lake Bled. For those with a personal car or a rental car, the drive from the Slovenian capital to Lake Bled is about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, if you opt to make use of the public transportation system, it takes about an hour and a half.

If you decide to go the public transport route, simply buy a ticket from a ticket kiosk near the train station. Beware, language barriers may arise as my friend and I found that frequently to be the case in Ljubljana. So, be patient and make use of Google Translate if needed!

Tours to Lake Bled

For those looking to have a stress-free day, I recommend joining a Lake Bled tour! Many wonderful tours visit Lake Bled from major cities. Here are just a few…

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Trieste, Italy

✅ Explore other tours to Lake Bled 🇸🇮

A picture of the local infrastructure around Lake Bled.
There are little markets and churches to explore around the perimeter of the lake.

Map of Lake Bled

And since I know geography isn’t most people’s strong suit, here’s a map of some of the places mentioned in this post! The turquoise pins represent the Lake Bled area while the purple pins represent areas outside of Lake Bled!

Lake Bled Accommodations

Want to spend a night or a few nights around Lake Bled? Here are some highly-rated places that I recommend checking out.

Low-Cost Stay

  • Castle Hostel 1004 — located in Old Town & has a kitchen! | ⭐ 8.8 / 10
  • Hotel Astoria Bled — lovely 3-star hotel w/ spa & restaurant | ⭐ 8.6 / 10

Mid-Range Stay

  • Rikli Balance Hotel — 4-star hotel w/ panoramic views of lake | ⭐ 8.8 / 10
  • Hotel Triglav — gorgeous 4-star hotel w/ spa, & airport transfer | ⭐ 9.6 / 10

Fancy Stays

  • Vila Bled — beautiful 4-star hotel along the waterfront + spa | ⭐ 8.9 / 10
  • Adora Luxury Hotel — 4-star hotel w/ incredible views of Lake Bled | ⭐ 9.2 / 10

Feel free to click these buttons to head to your favorite booking platform and see additional housing options there.

View on Booking.com

Check on Hotels.com

See Expedia.com

Alternatively, if you’re visiting from Ljubljana, feel free to use the interactive map below to search for housing accommodations. You can input your travel dates and the number of people in your party to see more accurate pricing!

Best Time to Visit Lake Bled

The best time to visit Lake Bled is in May, June, September, or October. This is when the weather is perfect — sunny days, average high temperatures in the 70s°F (21°C), and average low temperatures in the 50s°F (10°C). Plus, you’ll hopefully encounter fewer tourists since you’ll be avoiding the brunt of the summer travel season.

And, speaking from personal experience, my friend and I visited in late September and it was delightful. My friend and I saw only a few tourists here and there (more as the day progressed), but it was a welcome respite from the chaos of the larger cities.

For those planning on doing a day trip, I recommend opting for the earliest tour slot (if there are options) or picking one of the first buses leaving. This gives you ample time to explore the area and will let you intimately enjoy the beauty before most others arrive. My friend and I arrived by 9 AM, and there were maybe 5 other people at the Lake.

A picture of the super blue waters and a cluster of lily pads in Lake Bled.
The water visibility is so good, you can see the bottom about 10-15 feet out even while just standing on the edge.

How Long Should You Spend at Lake Bled?

For a day trip, I recommend allotting a good 6 hours at the Lake. This will give you time to hike to the top of Bled Castle, walk along the lake, check out the stalls at the little market, and ride the little gondola boat over to Bled Island.

On the other hand, if you want to see a bit more of the area, maybe do a hike or two, or partake in less touristy activities, I recommend spending a night or two in the Lake Bled area. This will help you cut time on transportation. Plus, accommodations in Lake Bled aren’t too costly since Slovenia is a fairly affordable country.

A picture of Lake Bled and Bled island from above! I find Lake Bled to be definitely worth visiting just to see these magnificent, panoramic views of the area!
Quaint Bled Island in the middle of Lake Bled

Lake Bled Slovenia: FAQ

Is Lake Bled Expensive?

Depending on where you’re coming from, the cost of visiting Lake Bled will vary. You can spend as little as ~$10 USD or upwards of $200 USD with some tours. Generally, though, Lake Bled is not expensive, at least not in comparison to areas in Western Europe, like Paris or anywhere in Switzerland. Prices are often much more affordable in Eastern Europe.

Is Lake Bled Too Touristy?

In recent years, Lake Bled has become a lot more touristy. But, I don’t think it’s too touristy such that you should avoid it. It’s not like Paris where you end up being squished like a can of sardines on the metro or near the Mona Lisa.

Can You Walk Around Lake Bled?

Yes! You can easily walk around the perimeter of Lake Bled. There’s a lovely little path that wraps around the majority of the lake and offers great photo opportunities.

How Deep Is Lake Bled?

Lake Bled has a maximum depth of about 29.5 m or 97 feet.

Is 1 Day Enough for Lake Bled?

1 Day is enough for Lake Bled if you want to see the castle, walk around the lake, and visit Bled Island. But, if you want to do a hike or some summer sledding along the Straža ski slope, I’d recommend at least two days!

Is It Better to Stay in Lake Bled or Ljubljana?

My friend and I spent 4 days in Ljubljana, which was the perfect amount of time to really explore the city and comfortably fit in a day trip to Lake Bled. But, if you’re an outdoorsy person and want to explore the Lake Bled area, it’s best to spend a night or two there.

Wrap-Up: Is Lake Bled Worth Visiting? (2024)

If you’re craving an escape from the commotion of the city or keen on exploring one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, nestled within the picturesque Julian Alps, then Lake Bled is absolutely worth visiting! With its unbelievably gorgeous views, tranquil atmosphere, and numerous fun activities to partake in, Lake Bled is a place that almost everyone can appreciate and admire. So, if you have time in your itinerary, I encourage you to visit, either independently or with a guided tour — I can *almost* guarantee you won’t be disappointed! 😉

A picture of Kristin standing at the top of Bled Castle with Bled Island in the background.
🤠 Happy Travels Through Slovenia! 🇸🇮
A picture of Kristin and her friend with the Lake bled castle in the background.

Explore Eastern Europe

  • 🇵🇱 Visiting Krakow? Don’t miss out on the small, mountainous town of Zakopane and its rejuvenating thermal baths!
  • 🕊 Alternatively, if you’re staying in Poland, an easy excursion that allows you to connect with the past is Auschwitz.

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