The Love of Lake Bled
Have you guys ever been browsing Pinterest and come across an amazing destination that you knew you HAD to travel to at some point in your life? That is what Lake Bled was for us, a Pinterest dream come true. We sadly only had a little over 24 hours in Bled, but every second spent there was absolutely dreamy and so relaxing. We think 2-3 days would be an adequate time to see almost all of the landscape and partake in the activities, plus you’ll never want to leave after you see this scenery!
There are a few easy ways to get to Lake Bled, most notably by car, however you can find some public transportation. We used the Alpentour bus from Ljubljana, the same bus we used to Kobarid, that dropped us close to the center of town. It’s a really nice and comfortable one hour ride to Bled from Ljubljana and a great value at under $5 a ticket, one way.
where to stay
We really enjoyed our stay at Castle Hostel 1004 in Bled. It was a great value, had awesome amenities, and the most amazing rooftop terrace to enjoy some relaxation! We stayed in the 6 person dorm for about $12 per person and used the free computers to print out tickets for attractions in the next couple countries. One of the best parts about it was the coupon bracelet they gave us that got us 10% at a few places around Bled and some free drinks at a local pub.
things to do
Even though Bled is a small town, there is a lot to see around the lake, especially if you have a few more days than we did. We actually didn’t make it to a lot of the big tourist things, primarily the Bled Castle and the island church. We still really enjoyed the activities we did get to partake in, even if they weren’t the most touristy ones around.
Walk the Lake
The stroll around the lake is the best way to see the famous island church from all angles. We never took a boat out to the lake, although you can rent them and take your own tour of Slovenia’s only island. You can climb the 99 steps of the church tower to ring the bell and as the legend goes, all your wishes will come true! There’s a couple stops along the way for ice cream, food, and drinks – so don’t worry about forgetting any water or snacks!
Ojstrica Trail Lookout
This is one of the best ways to see the lake and and the island church from an aerial view. It’s a fairly easy hike – there’s a couple spots uphill that get a bit tiring, but the view is absolutely stunning and worth it. It’s not too hard to find, just ask your hotel or hostel for a map to the trailhead.
We randomly happened upon the Dalí exhibit after our walk around the lake and it was actually a really fun place to spend an hour. Since Kenny has extensive knowledge about art and absolutely loves Dalí, he knew a lot of the art pieces and some stories behind them which makes it even better. It’s a reasonably priced activity in case you get caught in bad weather and showcases over 200 original drawings and paintings, among copious amounts of sculptures as well.
Unfortunately, we never made it up to Bled Castle, but we sure did love seeing it when we walked around the lake. The castle is beautiful day or night and if we would’ve had more days, we surely would have made it up to take a tour. You can visit the 12th century castle on the hill for exquisite views of the lake and surrounding mountains and even bottle wine in its cellar!
where to eat + drink
◊ Red & Black – This was the best one stop shop in Bled! We got coupons from our hostel to get 10% off our drinks and a voucher for our breakfast. We recommend trying all 4 of the local Crazy Duck beer especially the stout and pale ale – which also came with a shot of lemon schnapps. We also used our breakfast vouchers the next morning to fill up before our hike around the lake and tried the traditional cream cake, the Kremšnita – a must eat while visiting Bled.
◊ Pension Mlino – We stopped at this bed and breakfast on our walk around the lake and sat on the patio in the sunshine. It was a perfect lunch spot to enjoy the view of the castle and the ducks!
◊ Zdravljica Vinoteka – This makes the list for one of our favorite wine bars we’ve ever visited. The wines are fantastic, the staff are friendly and hospitable, and the outside patio is the perfect spot to sip a nice Zinfandel. We bought two glasses of wine for our time spent outside for $2 each and a bottle of Merlot to enjoy later for $11. We could have sat here for hours – we can’t recommend it enough!
◊ Pizzeria Rustika – This little pizzeria was within walking distance of our hostel and had another terrace to enjoy the weather, so you know we had to visit! We actually opted for a wood fired cheeseburger and it did not disappoint, but they obviously have an extensive pizza menu that looked great too. Make sure if the weather is nice to ask for the terrace!
◊ Pub Bled – This pub is located on the side of the lake opposite the castle and its outdoor patio makes for a spectacular sunset view. They have a lot of international brews on tap, along with some of their local favorites. It was nice and low-key on the evening we visited, but we did read that it can get really rowdy, especially on pub crawl days.
Bled was such a stunning place to relax in for our short time and we couldn’t have gotten more lucky with beautiful weather and great scenery. We know we missed out on so much, tell us your favorite spots for next time! We can’t wait for more cream cake!