On my most recent trip to Ljubljana, I gave myself a few days to explore more of Slovenia outside of the capital. Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason! The beautiful lake is complimented by its picturesque island, watched over by a castle on a hill, and surrounded by the Julian Alps. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Lake Bled!

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Buses leave at least every hour from Ljubljana to Bled. The price for students is 12€ return—although make sure to check which return times your ticket is valid for (it might not be for every return). The journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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The most popular activities on Lake Bled are swimming (in summer) and boating. I also highly recommend walking around the lake, and seeing the views of the island and castle. The Olympic Rowing Club is also located at Lake Bled.

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Renting a boat and rowing out to the island is one of those “most-do” things in Bled. The standard price for boat rental is 15€ for 1 hour. The regular-size boats fit up to 4 people. Be warned that rowing is hard work! (I found this out halfway from the island.) Also depending on where you rent the boat from, 1 hour might not be enough to really see anything on the island. There are gondolas that can take you from the mainland to the island for 12€ return.

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The island is probably the most beautiful and picturesque part of Lake Bled. On the island itself there is the Church of the Assumption (which was under construction during my visit), which has an admission fee. The tower has views over the lake, and also charges an admission fee.

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Bled is mainly a tourist town, as the lake is its biggest attraction. Bled Castle is a steep walk up from the lakeshore, but offers incredible views over the lake and surrounding scenery. While most of the castle has been reconstructed, there is an interesting exhibit on the history of the settlement and tourism in the area. The castle costs 7€ for students.

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There is also a church, St. Martin’s Parish Church, that sits at the base of the castle. Besides the church and the castle, the lakeside around Bled is mainly casinos, hotels, and restaurants. And be warned if you’re looking to eat cheap, there are literally no grocery stores or supermarkets around the lake.

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Visiting Lake Bled is one of the most popular daytrips from Ljubljana, and with good reason! Lake Bled is picture-perfect, and I can only imagine how packed it gets in summer once swimming-weather hits. Lake Bled was one of my favorite parts of Slovenia—don’t miss out on this beautiful area!

Have you ever been to Lake Bled or another picturesque place?