Every picture I’d ever seen promised me picture perfect fairytale views and crystal clear blue waters. Our day trip to Lake Bled delivered all that more.
It probably feels like I’m over exaggerating quite a bit, but trust me when I say Lake Bled is somewhere very special.
It was the place I was looking forward to visiting the most but I was so scared of setting my expectations too high. So it’s a very good job that our little day trip also ended up being one of my favourite days from the whole of our interrail journey.
If you want to see what else we got up to on our European Interrail, you can read all about it here.
Getting there and back from Ljubljana:
We were staying in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana which is only an hour and 20 mins away from Lake Bled. Which means it’s very easy to combine both places in one trip.
The easiest way to get from Ljubljana to Bled is by bus. Buses leave once an hour from the main station, which is about a 10-minute walk from the city centre. The first bus leaves around 6 am.
Return tickets cost about €12 and can be bought directly from the station.
Getting back is as easy as getting there. The bus stop at Bled is a 2-minute walk from the lake and once again buses leave for Ljubljana every hour until around 9 pm.
The journey is so easy, there’s no reason not to fit in a day trip to Lake Bled during your stay in Ljubljana. Or even doing it the other way around!
How we spent our day:
First things first, stock up on food for a picnic.
Since we wanted to spend as long as we could at the Lake, we realised we would probably end up eating both lunch and dinner there. To try and keep things a bit more budget friendly we opted for a picnic lunch.
I would 100% recommend doing this regardless. We managed to find a little gap amongst the trees, right by the shoreline, overlooking the Bled Island. I swear, sat there with a picnic, my life has never felt more like the scene from a movie.
And while you’re stocking up on food, make sure to buy a cheap bottle of wine or can of beer. When you’re sat watching the sunset (or grey clouds if you’re unlucky like us), you’ll be glad you came prepared!
Head off for a walk around the lake when you first get there. Although with all the photos you’ll want to take don’t expect to get very far!
We only managed to get about halfway around before we decided it was time for a swim to cool down.
On the opposite side of the lake to the bus stop, is a small beach type area, perfect for a bit of sunbathing and swimming. It is worth noting it’s a very popular spot and was very busy while we were there. But you won’t struggle to find a quieter spot, away from the crowds, if that’s what you want.
After a spot of swimming, it’s time to find that perfect picnic spot.
Full from lunch now’s the perfect time to head off and explore Bled Castle.
It’s a bit of a steep climb but the views are sooooo worth it.
Originally we planned on just grabbing a drink in the cafe, only to find out, once we reached the top, that you can’t just visit the cafe.
To enter any part of the castle, even the cafe or shop, you need to buy an entrance ticket. Tickets cost €11 for an adult, which isn’t the most budget friendly but we didn’t feel like heading all the way back down again without seeing anything.
However, once we were through the gates, that was soon forgotten.
We headed straight to the cafe for a slice of the famous Bled Cream Cake along an iced coffee to help cool down after that hike up.
You can not go on a day trip to Lake Bled without trying a slice of Bled Cream Cake. It’s available at most of the cafes and restaurants around the lake but in my opinion, you can’t beat treating yourself to a slice in the incredible surroundings of Bled Castle.
The cake itself was very good, particularly for someone with as much of a sweet tooth as me. It’s made from several layers of custard, cream, and pastry. Although the pastry was rather difficult to eat with a wooden fork…
One slice was enough for both me and Mark and costs €4 along with the coffee.
Make sure you take plenty of time to explore the castle and really appreciate the breathtaking views over Lake Bled.
We spent a good couple of hours exploring the castle, taking about a hundred photos and just relaxing in the sun.
I can’t tell you just how incredible the views of Lake Bled are, no picture really does it justice.
We headed back down to the lakeside and went off to hunt down some food.
If you can, try to time your dinner so that you’re able to catch the sunset over the lake.
After food, as the sun was starting to set, we wandered back to the lake to enjoy our last hour or so at Bled.
Once again we found a secluded spot amongst the trees and sat side by side, feet dangling in the water, putting the world to rights with a can of beer in hand. Of all the moments in my life, that is the one I most want to relive.
Where to eat:
Our search for food took us away from the Lake, to a little pizzeria called Rustika’s.
No matter how long you have in Lake Bled, I highly recommend eating at Pizzeria Rustika.
The restaurant had an open terrace above it, with views out over Lake Bled. The inside was somewhat basic with a very rustic feel.
The pizza itself was massive (I’m talking enough for breakfast leftovers), good quality and most importantly very, very good. At roughly €10 it was a pretty good price too.
Definitely a great find, and they even do takeaway!
Other things to do at Lake Bled:
There’s a whole host of things to do at Lake Bled that we just didn’t have time to fit it all in!
If I were to go back I would definitely take a boat over to the Island in the middle of the lake. You have two options here, either hire a rowing boat and do the work yourself. Or jump on an iconic Plenta Boat and have someone else do it for you.
If you do make it to the Island you can climb the 99 steps to Bled’s Church of the Assumption to ring the wishing bell.
Both of the above are pretty expensive for what they are. You’ll find they’re pretty much only aimed at tourists and the prices reflect that.
For the more active among you, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy.
How about going for a hike to one of the many spectacular viewpoints surrounding the lake? Trails last anywhere between 20 minutes and 3 hours, so there’s something for everyone.
If walking isn’t your thing then there are plenty of places to hire a bike. The 6km path circling the Lake is perfect for a bike ride.
If you’d rather be closer to the water why not try paddle boarding? Or head to one of the paid swimming areas that have everything from diving boards and slides to sun loungers.
However you decide to spend your day trip to Lake Bled, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
The place is truly magical and if I could recommend anywhere from my entire interrail route, it would be Bled.
And if you’re heading to Bled from Ljubljana, make sure to keep an eye out for my post about our time in the city.
All my love,