With an emerald-green lake, a charming church set on an island, and a medieval castle that takes you back in time, it’s no wonder Lake Bled has become one of the jewels in Slovenia’s crown.
Tucked cosily between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, this small but stunning country is fast becoming a hot spot for visitors to Europe.
Slovenia is extremely hospitable and has a love for beer, wine, gourmet food and outdoor activities, and Lake Bled is a blissful place to explore beautiful natural attractions and medieval history.
You will have plenty of ‘oh, wow’ moments in this pretty little corner of the world.
Things to do in Lake Bled
It’s a steep hike up to the castle gate but you won’t be disappointed by the view of Lake Bled and the surrounding mountains from the castle courtyards.
The castle rooms are fitted out as they were in medieval times, and the print shop has demonstrations of old printing techniques and the option to buy hand printed souvenirs.
The forge is home to the castle blacksmith where handmade metalwork items are available to purchase, while the museum gives a simple history of Slovenia and its people.
Bled Castle: Grajska cesta, 4260, Bled, Slovenia
Bled Island and Church
Jump in a wooden boat and let the local boatman row you to the middle of the lake where you can climb the stairs to the top of the island and visit the Church of the Mother of God. There are several boat operators stationed around the lake.
Inside the church there is a bell that you are invited to ring. It is said that if you believe in God, ring the bell three times, make a wish and it will come true. Either way, it’s fun to ring the bell.
Entry to the church also includes entry to the clock tower, with the historic pendulum clock which you can see after climbing 90 steps to the top of the tower.
There is a small gallery and souvenir shop plus a little ice cream stand on the tiny island.
Bled Island: Bled Island, 4260, Bled, Slovenia
Take the steep walk to get to the lookout and take in the most breathtaking view of Lake Bled.
There are three stages to this walk, which takes you to three different lookouts each one higher than the next, and the view more expansive. Comfortable walking shoes and water are advised to reach the top.
The lookout is located at the south-west end of the lake and there are two paths up to the top that begin across the road from the lakeside path – one is a gravel road, the other is a winding hiking trail.
Take the challenge of the windy trail, you won’t regret it.
Places to eat and drink in Lake Bled
Restaurant Vrtnarija, Garden Village Resort
The menu at Restaurant Vrtnarija is based on locally-grown, seasonal produce which are transformed into modern dishes using traditional techniques and ingredients.
The restaurant itself brings the outdoors in, with a stream running through it and grass-topped tables.
The cocktails are delicious and can be enjoyed by the fire pit outside.
Restaurant Vrtnarija: Cesta Gorenjskega odreda 16, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Café Belvedere is said to have the best view of Bled, and it certainly lives up to its claim.
The simple menu features a selection of beverages and light snacks.
The best choice is the local dessert Kremsnita, a Slovakian version of the Australian favourite vanilla slice. With a layer of firm, sweet custard and a layer of cream sandwiched between crispy pastry sheets and dusted with icing sugar, this decadent treat is highly recommended.
Café Belvedere: Cesta Svobode 18, 4260, Bled, Slovenia
Where to stay in Lake Bled
Tourist Resort Garden Village
This little gem is a brilliant way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Lake Bled area.
There are several different types of accommodation to choose from, from the tree house to the glamping tent, so use your visit to the region as an opportunity to stay somewhere unique.
Try the Pier Tent that accommodates two and looks over the stream – an amazing buffet breakfast made from local produce is included.
Garden Village Resort: Cesta Gorenjskega odreda 16, 4260 Bled
Alternatively, we recommend staying in an Airbnb in Bled.
Getting to Lake Bled
Slovenia is well connected by road and rail to neighbouring countries Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary so can be easily accessed from these locations.
Those flying in from other destinations will likely enter via Joze Pucnik Airport, about 27km north of Ljubljana.
Buses run from the airport to Ljubljana bus station and the journey takes about 45 minutes.
Alternative options include airport shuttle service GoOpti which takes passengers to the city centre in about 30 minutes, or a taxi.
To get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana, there is a local bus service that can take you there, in addition to the surrounding villages Lake Bohinj and Triglav National Park for a few Euros extra, depending on the distance.
Long-distance bus services such as FlixBus can get you to Lake Bled from various destinations, including neighbouring countries such as Croatia.