Bled is a small town and an alpine resort in the northwest of Slovenia (Alpine Slovenia), known for Lake Bled with Bled Island, and a white cliff with Bled Castle that rises above the lake. It is one of the most visited towns in Slovenia because of its many natural and cultural attractions, as well as various traditional events (such as rowing competitions or Bled Days).
Bled lies on the edge of Triglav National Park and is bordered by the Karawanks mountain range to the north, the valley of Sava Bohinja River to the south, Pokljuka Plateau and the Julian Alps to the west, and Radovljica Plain to the east. The Karawanks mountain range represents a natural border between Slovenia and Austria.
Bled is located around 50 km from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
There is no best time for visiting Bled, it is a matter of personal preference. Bled sees many warm (or even hot) days during summer (June to August) with occasional afternoon storms. Some years it is also very warm in September when autumn starts to kick in and when that happens we say that we are having “an Indian summer”.
During summer you can do many outdoor activities, including swimming in Lake Bled as the temperature of the water goes up to 26°C, camping by the lake (Camping Bled-Zaka), paddleboarding, kayaking… or attend open-air concerts (Okarina music festival) and other open-air events (Bled Days).
In summer (especially in July and August), it is very lively (sometimes even crowded) by Lake Bled and at other tourist attractions (Bled Island, Bled Castle, Vintgar Gorge) as it marks the height of the tourist season.
In autumn (September to November) when tree leaves start to change colour, Bled becomes more peaceful. If it does not rain, you can still do many outdoor sports, like hiking to one of the hills and admire the view of Lake Bled.
Winter (December to February) brings cold weather (below freezing) and normally snow. That is the time of year when you can do winter sports (skiing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing), visit cultural attractions, try local cuisine… Around New Year’s Eve, there are various events taking place that you can visit and catch some Christmas spirit.
In spring (March to May) nature starts to awake from winter’s sleep, however; sometimes it is possible that ii still snows in March by the lake (depending on the year). The days become warmer, but it could also rain a lot (however, that could not be accurate anymore due to climate change).
The number of visitors to Bled starts to rise in spring (reaching its peak in summer) and some facilities (like camping site, adventure park and summer tobogganing on Straža Hill, Vintgar Gorge), as well as some restaurants, open again (as they were closed in winter).
There is always something to do in Bled, regardless when you come. You can walk around the lake, go to Bled Island by pletna boat or visit Bled Castle in any season.
LJUBLJANA JOŽE PUČNIK AIRPORT (BRNIK AIRPORT)
* The same bus runs between Bled (main bus stop, Bled Union bus stop) and Ljubljana Airpot. You can check the timetable on the link above.
When the above-mentioned bus does not run, you need to take a bus from Ljubljana Airport to the main station in KRANJ or LJUBLJANA, and then take another bus from one of those stations to Bled. You can check the bus timetables here (use letališče Brnik for Ljubljana Airport and avtobusna postaja Ljubljana for Ljubljana main bus station).
The alternative to bus is taxi or shuttle service.
FROM THE TOWNS OF LJUBLJANA, KRANJ, JESENICE, RADOVLJICA OR LESCE
There are REGULAR BUSES running from (the main stations in) Ljubljana, Kranj, Jesenice, Radovljica and Lesce towards Bled. For Ljubljana/Kranj – Bled and vice versa please check the bus timetable here, for Radovljica/Jesenice/Lesce – Bled and vice versa please check the bus timetable here.
You can buy the bus ticket while getting on the bus, that is directly from the bus driver (it is good to have some change with you).
FROM KRANJSKA GORA
If you are in Kranjska Gora (an alpine resort near Slovenia’s border with Austria and Italy) and wish to go to Bled, I would suggest you to take a regular bus to Radovljica, and then another bus from Radovljica’s main bus station to Bled. You can check the bus timetable here.
FROM LJUBLJANA OR KRANJ BY TRAIN
If you go from Ljubljana or Kranj towards Bled by train (train timetable), then you need to get off at the train station in Lesce (Lesce-Bled train station), a small town near Bled. Opposite the train station in Lesce, you will see a bus stop (on the other side of the road) from where you can take a bus to Bled. It takes around 10 minutes to get from Lesce to Bled by bus. Taxis often wait outside the station too.
You can buy the bus ticket from the bus driver, while the train ticket needs to be purchased at the train station. If the train station is closed (public holidays), you can buy the ticket on the train (might be more expensive).
FROM NOVA GORICA OR BOHINJ BY TRAIN
If you are in Nova Gorica or in Bohinjska Bistrica (Bohinj) you can take a train to Bled (the train station is called Bled Jezero and is located above Lake Bled). There are only a few trains running per day. You can check the timetable here.
* The train station in Bled is located quite far away from the centre of Bled. It takes around one hour to walk from the train station that lies above the lake to the centre. The alternative is to take a shuttle bus (runs from June until mid-September every day and costs 1 EUR) or call a taxi.
Bled is a small town and if you do not mind walking you can easily get around on foot. If you are accommodated in the centre of Bled, you can walk to Lake Bled, as well as to Bled Castle, supermarkets, banks, post office, restaurants and cafés.
You can also walk around the entire Lake Bled (6 km / 3 mi). It takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes to get around on foot.
In summer months, the traffic in Bled is busy. Please walk on pavements and cross the roads at the crossing for your own safety. There is only one traffic light in the centre of Bled (near Union bus stop) that changes to red for pedestrians quite quickly (I usually walk really fast when crossing the road there).
If you do not have your own bicycle with you, you can rent it at one of many agencies or tourist points in Bled or use Bled Green Ways which is a public bike system.
BLED GREEN WAYS (except winter months)
Before using Bled Green Ways bikes you have to register at the Information Centre Triglavska Roža that is located by one of the main roads in Bled (address: Ljubljanska cesta 27). When you are registered, you can use Bled Green Ways bikes free of charge for 24 hours/week.
SAFETY: Please be advised that there are not many bike lanes in Bled which means that you will need to ride a bike on the road that could be busy with traffic or on side roads and macadam paths. Please be careful and also mind the pedestrians.
BY (REGULAR) BUS
There are two bus stops and one bus station (the main station) in the centre of Bled: Bled Union bus stop (opposite Union Hotel), main bus station (near Jelovica Hotel and Astoria Hotel) and Mlino bus stop (in the settlement of Mlino near Lake Bled). The distance between Bled Union bus stop and Mlino bus stop is 3 km (6 mi).
All the buses running from Ljubljana, Kranj, Jesenice, Radovljica or Lesce stop at Bled Union bus stop and the main bus station. The buses heading towards Bohinj (Bohinjska Bistrica) stop at Mlino bus station.
Regular buses also run from or via Bled to the villages nearby, such as Ribno, Spodnje Gorje (Vintgar Gorge) and Zgornje Gorje. Check the bus timetable here.
You can buy the bus ticket on the bus (from the bus driver).
BY SHUTTLE BUS (April-May; mid-June–mid-September)
From 27 April-5 May 2019, and 15. June until 15. September you can take a shuttle bus to get to various natural and cultural attractions in Bled and nearby: Bled Castle, Vintgar Gorge, Pokljuka Plateau etc. The bus stops at various locations in Bled (main bus station, Bled Union bus stop etc.) and costs 1 EUR. There are two different bus routes. You can download the shuttle bus timetable here.
BY HORSE CARRIAGE – FIJAKARJI
In case you would like to commute in Bled in a bit more traditional way, then you should take a ride with a horse-drawn carriage, so called fijakarji. They have been around since the 19th century.
Fijakarji wait for passengers at the parking area next to Bled’s Festival Hall (above the lake and Lakeside Promenade).
If you are to stay in Bled between 15 June and 15 September and will be accommodated with one of the Bled Local Tourist Board partners (min stay is 3 nights), you will receive a mobility card. The card is named The Julian Alps Card.
Bled is located in the upper part of Gorenjska Region where you can visit some other places and attractions, such as Bohinj (Bohinj Lake, Vogel), Radovljica (old town), Žirovnica (apitourism) and Jesenice (iron making tradition).
To get to those places you can take regular buses from the bus station in Bled (to go to Bohinj, Radovljica) or a train from the Bled Jezero train station (to go to Jesenice or Bohinj). During summer, you can also explore Upper Gorenjska Region by hop-on hop-off bus.
HOP-ON HOP-OFF BUS
Hop-on hop-off bus runs between 1 July and 31 August while the all-day bus ticket costs 8 EUR.
Hop on hop off bus leaves from the main bus station in Bled every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On each of those days, you can go on a different tour.
THE ROUTES ACCORDING TO THE DAY
TUESDAY: The circular route will take you from BLED to RADOVLJICA (beautiful old town) and then to the village of KROPA known for the tradition of iron smelting.
WEDNESDAY: From BLED to the village of ZABREZNICA (apitourism, beekeeping) and from there to the village of BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM known for Oberkrainer music and Avsenik band. The next stops are RADOVLJICA and CAMPING ŠOBEC in Lesce (Sava Dolinka River), and then the bus returns to Bled.
THURSDAY: From BLED to the village of VRBA (where the greatest Slovenian poet was born), ŽIROVNICA (apitourism), BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM (Oberkrainer music), BREZJE (famous pilgrimage church), RADOVLJICA and then back to Bled.
FRIDAY: The bus starts in Bled and stops in RADOVLJICA, BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM, BREZJE, TRŽIČ (tradition of shoemaking, Dovžan Gorge) and goes back to Radovljica and then Bled.
You can go to Bled Island that lies on Lake Bled either by a traditional pletna boat, electric boat or by a rowboat that you can rent.
BY PLETNA BOAT
The return ticket that you can buy directly from a pletnar (a man who operates pletna boat) costs 15 EUR.
It is possible to get on a pletna boat at one location and then get off at a different location on your way back to the lakeshore. In that case be careful not to lose a receipt, because you will need to show it to pletnar when going back in a different boat.
BY ELECTRIC BOAT (HYROBUS)
You can also get to the island on the lake by an electric boat (hydrobus named Črtomir) that runs at fixed hours from the dock below Café Park and Casino Bled (see on map). A return ticket costs 12 EUR.
You can find the timetable for the electric boat on the green information boards that are placed at different spots around the lake.
RENT A BOAT
You can go to the island by a wooden boat that you can rent for one or more hours at various agencies near the lake.
You can rent a smaller boat or a bigger one, depending on how many people you are. The agencies’ prices for renting a boat are similar (around 20 EUR/boat/first hour – the second hour is usually cheaper).
There are a number of ATM’s in the town, including at the Mercator supermarket, Petrol gas station and at SKB bank located in the shopping centre above the lake.
There are two supermarkets in Bled, Mercator supermarket and Spar supermarket where you can buy groceries and other necessities (cosmetics, personal care products). Both supermarkets are located opposite the Information Centre Triglavska roža. The address is Kajuhova cesta 1.
In Mercator supermarket, you will also find a bank, a cosmetics shop and a shop selling sports clothing and equipment. By the side entrance to the supermarket, there is also a post box (yellow box).
You can buy grocery in the Mercator supermarket or Spar supermarket and other smaller Mercator grocery shops scattered across Bled (in the building near Bled Union bus stop, at the shopping centre, in Mlino and at Camping Bled in Zaka).
There are three bakeries where you can buy bread and pastry. The first one is located in the building opposite Mercator grocery shop at Ljubljanska cesta (which is open late), the second one (Pekarna Planika) is next to the fire station and the third one (Pekarna Magušar) is opposite the main bus station.
It is also possible to buy some food (sandwiches, sweets) and coffee to go at the Petrol gas station (the first gas station to the left when driving into Bled where you will also find an ATM).
You will probably be surprised by the fact that you can also buy some snacks and drinks at the post office that is located on the main road running towards the lake.
There are many restaurants in Bled where you can order different kinds of food: local cuisine, fish, pizza, pasta, wild game dishes, vegetarian and vegan food, Balkan, Mediterranean, Indian or Chinese food, fast food…
It is common that a menu includes a list of different allergens that are present in the food a restaurant serves.
There is no general rule regarding tipping at the restaurants, however, we usually say that the waiter can keep the change (which is everything below 50 cents or 1 EUR, depending on the person).
Above the lake (close to Astoria Hotel and main bus station) you will find a pharmacy and a community health centre in the same building.
Address: Mladinska cesta 1 / Phone number: (+386) 45 75 40 00
Bled is a safe place to travel, including for solo women travellers. But of course, you need to be careful in some situations when travelling alone (for instance, if you go swimming in the lake, do not leave valuables lying on the beach). I would also discourage you to walk alone in the dark around the lake as some areas are not well lit.
When on a bike, mind the traffic and pedestrians, as there are not many separate bike lanes. If you are walking or riding a bike at night, please make yourself visible for drivers.
In Bled, as well as in other places in Alpine Slovenia, it is safe to drink water from the tap. When at the lake, you will see a fountain (in Wellness Park) where you can refresh yourself free of charge.
During summer, mosquitoes are the most active bugs in the area. If you plan to go hiking or will walk in the forest, then there is a bigger chance of getting bitten by a thick (which you should try to avoid at any cost).
You can buy insect repellents in the pharmacy in Bled, as well as in some Mercator grocery stores.
The majority of the restaurant and cafés in Bled have a free WiFi access (but you usually need to obtain a password to connect).
Free WiFi access is also available at Bled Castle and Public Lido below Bled Castle.
If you come to Bled by car, you can leave it at one of the parking areas. Please be advised that parking is not free. Each parking area has a ticket machine where you can purchase a parking ticket.
In Slovenia, we drive on the right side.
As for the driving culture, it could happen that you come across a nervous or an aggressive driver (especially during summer months when the traffic is busy and traffic jams are possible).
BUS AND TRAIN STATIONS
The main bus station is located close to Lake Bled (between Bled Rose Hotel and Astoria Hotel).
Phone number: +386 45 74 11 14
Train station (Bled-Jezero) is located 4 km (2,8 mi) from the centre of Bled.
Phone number: +386 42 94 23 63