Bled is an alpine resort in the northwest of Slovenia (Alpine Slovenia), known for Lake Bled with Bled Island, and a cliff with Bled Castle that rises above the lake. It is one of the most visited places in Slovenia due to its natural attractions, as well as various traditional events (such as rowing competitions, Bled Days, Okarina music festival).
Bled is located around 50 km (50 mi) from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Bled lies on the edge of the 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.
There is no best time for visiting Bled, it is a matter of personal preference (check a reliable local weather forecast for NW Slovenia here).
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 ‘Indian summer’.
During summer you can relax and be active outdoors: walk, hike, swim in the lake as the temperature of the water goes up to 26°C (78°F), (mountain) bike, climb, camp by the lake (Camping Bled-Zaka), paddle-board, row, kayak, dive… 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 (usually even crowded) by Lake Bled and at other tourist attractions (Bled Island, Bled Castle, Vintgar Gorge) as summer months mark the height of the tourist season.
In autumn (September, October, November) when tree leaves change colour, it becomes more peaceful in Bled again. If the weather is good, you can still do many outdoor activities, like hike one of the hills and admire the view of Lake Bled from a bird’s eye view, and take beautiful photos of autumn landscape.
Some years November sees many rainy (it-rains-cats-and-dogs) days.
Winter (December to February) brings colder weather (usually freezing mornings) and also mysterious morning fog rising from the lake, and sometimes snow. That is the time of year when you can do winter sports (ice-skating, cross-country skiing in Pokljuka, skiing in nearby ski resorts such as Vogel in Bohinj, and Kranjska Gora), visit cultural attractions (Bled Castle), try local cuisine… Around New Year’s Eve, there are various events taking place at the Lakeside Promenade (Christmas stalls, concerts …) that you can visit and catch some Christmas spirit.
In spring (March to May) nature awakes from winter’s sleep and days become longer and warmer. However; it has happened that it still snowed in March while the month of April was once considered the rainiest month of the year. – That is not one hundred percent sure 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), open again (as they were closed in winter).
LJUBLJANA JOŽE PUČNIK AIRPORT (BRNIK AIRPORT)
You may reach Bled from Ljubljana Airport by a direct bus, or return to the airport. From May until September (high season) there are more buses.
When in Bled, the bus will stop at Bled Union bus stop (located opposite Union Hotel) and at the Bled main bus station (located near Bled Rose Hotel and Lake Bled).
Find the timetable here (in English). – As for your destinations (from/to), type in Brnik/airport Ljubljana and Bled or Bled Union.
You may also check the bus timetables at the website of Ljubljana bus station here (use Brnik/airport Ljubljana for Ljubljana Airport and Ljubljana avtobusna postaja for Ljubljana main bus station).
*If there is no direct bus between the Ljubljana Airport and Bled at the time of you arrival, you may take a bus from the airport to the main bus station in Ljubljana first and then from there to Bled.
The alternative to bus is taxi (Taxi Bled, Maya Tours, SMS Taxi) or shuttle service (GoOpti).
FROM LJUBLJANA, KRANJ, JESENICE, RADOVLJICA OR LESCE
There are buses running from the towns of Ljubljana, Kranj, Jesenice, Radovljica and Lesce towards Bled. Check out the bus timetables here (in English).
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 borders with Austria and Italy) and wish to go to Bled, I would suggest you to take a bus to Radovljica first, 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
It is possible to travel from Ljubljana or Kranj towards Bled by train (train timetable), however, you need to make sure to get off at the train stop in Lesce (train stop is called Lesce-Bled). Lesce is a small town near Bled.
Across 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 heading to Bled. It takes around 10 minutes to get from Lesce to Bled by bus. Taxis often wait outside the train in Lesce station too.
Buy the bus ticket from the bus driver, while the train ticket needs to be purchased at the train station in Ljubljana or Kranj. If a train station is closed (public holidays), you may 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 may take a train to Bled (the train stop 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 is located quite far away from the centre of Bled (approx. one hour of walking). The alternative is to take a shuttle bus – blue line (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 could easily get around on foot. If you are accommodated in the centre of Bled, you could walk to Lake Bled, as well as to Bled Castle, supermarkets, banks, post office, restaurants and cafés.
You may 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 Hotel).
You may rent a bike 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)
Bled Green Way bikes (city, mountain or electric bikes) are available at two locations in Bled (at Information Centre Triglavska Roža and in front of Camping Bled near the lake) and at two other locations in the villages near Bled, Zasip (Vintgar Gorge) and Ribno.
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). The Julian Alps Card holders get 2 hours/day for free.
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.
There are two bus stops (Bled Union, Mlino which lies in the settlement of Mlino) and one bus station (the main station) in the centre of Bled.
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.
Local buses also run from or via Bled to the nearby villages, 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 end of April until the begging of May, and mid- June until mid-September you may 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. Ask for the bus timetable at the tourist info point (address: Cesta svobode 10).
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 and are thus the most prestigious mode of transportation.
Fijakarji wait for passengers at the parking area next to Bled Festival Hall or Festivalna dvorana Bled in Slovenian (map).
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 2 nights), you will receive a mobility card. The card is named The Julian Alps Card. The card will allow you to use shuttle and hop on hop off buses (see below) free of charge.
Bled is located in the upper part of Gorenjska Region where you may 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 could take various buses from the bus station in Bled (to go to Bohinj, Radovljica) or from the Bled Jezero train station (to go to Jesenice or Bohinj). During summer, you may 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 (buy it on the bus). It is free for the Julian Alps Card holders.
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 could go on a different tour.
The leaflet with timetables and descriptions of the routes is available at tourist information centres in Bled (address: Cesta svobode 10 or Ljubljanska cesta 27).
THE ROUTES ACCORDING TO THE DAY
TUESDAY – Exploring towns and villages with historical significance: The circular route will take you from BLED to RADOVLJICA (charming old town) and then to the village of KROPA known for the tradition of nail making and iron forging.
WEDNESDAY – Three lakes tour: From BLED to the village of VRBA (where the greatest Slovene poet, France Prešeren, was born) and from there to ZAVRŠNICA (lake) and the villages of ŽIROVNICA (apitourism, tradition of beekeeping). Then the bus returns to Bled.
THURSDAY – Stories from the countryside: From BLED to the villages of BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM (Oberkrainer music, Kamen Castle), BREZJE (famous for pilgrimage church) and then back to Bled.
FRIDAY – Panoramic tour to the Town of the Dragon: 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 may go to Bled Island that lies on Lake Bled either by a traditional pletna boat, electric boat (hydrobus Črtomir) 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 around 14 EUR (Julian Alps Card holders pay 1 EUR less).
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 could 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. A return ticket costs 12 EUR. Julian Alps Card holders pay 1 EUR less.
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 may row to Bled Island by yourself, renting a wooden boat for one hour or more.
You could 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, in the SKB bank, at Union Hotel, in front of Casino Bled and near Park Hotel .
There are two supermarkets in Bled, Mercator supermarket and Spar supermarket where you may 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 may buy groceries at the Mercator supermarket or Spar supermarket, and other smaller Mercator grocery shops scattered across Bled.
At the bakeries, you may buy bread, pastry and some fast food. One bakery is located at Ljubljanska cesta (which is open late), another one (Pekarna Planika) lies next to the fire station. You will also find a bakery opposite the main bus station (Pekarna Magušar).
It is also possible to buy some food (sandwiches, sweets) and coffee to go at the Petrol gas station (address: Seliška cesta 4).
You will probably be surprised by the fact that you may also buy some snacks and drinks at the post office (address: Ljubljanska cesta 10).
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 may keep the change (which is everything below 50 cents or 1 EUR, depending on one’s generosity).
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
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
Bled tourist information centre is located by Lake Bled (in the same building as Café Park and Casino).
Address: Cesta svobode 10 / Phone: +386 45 74 11 22 / e-mail: info@td-bled
Infocentre Triglavska roža offers information regarding visiting Triglav National Park.
Address: Ljubljanska cesta 27 / Phone: +386 45 78 02 05 / e-mail: email@example.com
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 tap water. You will see several drinking fountains placed around Lake Bled (including in Spa Park, near pletna boats dock in Mlino) 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 may buy insect repellents in the pharmacy, as well as in the supermarkets and some 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 need to purchase a parking ticket (prices vary).
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