Tips and Advice for Visiting Lake Bled
Lake Bled is one of Europe’s most famous lakes, and it’s not hard to see why. This picturesque body of water in Slovenia, not far from the capital of Lljubljana, is nestled within lush hills and woodland, offering views of snow-capped mountains in the distance.
One of the lake’s identifying features is the little island in the centre, Bled Island, which is home to the Assumption of Mary Church.
Lake Bled had been on my bucket list for a long time, so when my friend and I were planning a European interrail trip, I made sure that it was one of our stops. Ever since seeing a picture of it a few years previously, I’d been desperate to visit the fairytale-esque destination.
It certainly didn’t disappoint – the lake and surrounding areas are every bit as beautiful in real life.
Here are my tips for visiting Lake Bled and getting the most out of your trip.
How many days do you need in Lake Bled?
A couple of days is enough time to explore the lake and the surrounding area. That’s how long we spent there and we had time to take in the lake, hire a boat and row to the island, hike up to a good viewpoint and enjoy some relaxation time.
How do I get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled?
We had taken the train from Budapest to Ljubljana, which is the nearest big city to Bled. From there, we shared a taxi with some other tourists who were heading the same way. This took just over half an hour. Alternatively you can get bus from Ljubljana train station, which takes about 1 hour 20.
How long does it take to walk around Lake Bled?
The walk around the whole lake takes about 2 hours, or less if you’re a fast walker. There are a few cafes and restaurants dotted around the edge if you want to have a break and take in the view with a drink or snack.
A picture from our walk around Lake Bled
Where’s the best viewpoint across Lake Bled?
If you fancy a hike there are a few hills you can climb to get some amazing panoramic views over the lake. We climbed up Ojstrica, on the west side of the lake. It’s very steep and is a little rocky in places so make sure you wear sensible shoes if you’re planning to climb it! The view from the top is definitely worth working up a sweat for though.
At the top of Ojstrica
Can you swim in Lake Bled?
You can swim in the lake in the summer – there are also some beach areas round the edge for sunbathing. We went in May and it was a bit too cold for us to go swimming, but I’ve read that in the summer months the water is fresh yet swimmable.
Can you hire a boat at Lake Bled?
Yes, there are lots of places around the lake where you can hire a boat for an hour or two. Or if you don’t feel like rowing, you can take a ride on a typical “pletna” boat, which comes with its own oarsman. We hired our own little boat and rowed to Bled Island, where we tied up the boat and had an explore. This was a highlight of our visit and I would definitely recommend doing it!
Rowing a boat across Lake Bled
Other things to do in the area
If you have some extra time, you could visit Bled Castle on top of the hill or take a day trip to Lljubljana or the nearby Vintgar Gorge. Alternatively, it would be easy enough to while away the hours taking in the breath-taking scenery at Lake Bled itself.
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Rachel is a freelance writer and German translator who has lived in Hamburg and Stuttgart. She loves both travel and writing about it. Her favourite destinations are places that have a mixture beautiful scenery, interesting things to see and do and great food!