As a travel blogger, it’s no surprise I have a never-ending case of wanderlust. I’m constantly dreaming of new places to visit and new destinations to explore. One of my favorite places I visited this year was Lake Bled, Slovenia. It truly felt like a fairytale city – and I highly recommend you visit! It’s a picture-perfect destination for a romantic getaway or simply a little R&R.
From numerous castles, historic churches, and former Yugoslavic President Tito’s summer home, it’s a charming and historic city you need on your radar. Check out my tips below and what to do, where to stay, where to eat and more!
How To Get There:
There are numerous ways to get to Bled, so it’s easy to build a variety of itineraries to include a trip to Bled. We drove from Bratislava to Lake Bled on our trip and then continued to Ljubljana a few days later.
- From Ljubljana: 45 minute drive through the Julian Alps
- From Venice: 3 hour drive
- From Bratislava: 4.5 hour drive
- From Vienna: 4 hour drive
Click here to read about how we rented a car in Europe
Where To Stay:
- Vila Bled – During our trip we stayed at Vila Bled, and it was absolutely magical. It’s on the far end of the lake, so it’s a bit more peaceful and quiet. I highly recommend this one! (click here to read my full review!)
- Grand Hotel Toplice – This is another great option to consider for your stay. It’s only a few minutes from Vila Bled, but it’s in a busier area. The hotel is a lot bigger and has tons of restaurants. If you’re hoping to explore town, this is a great spot. It has the same great views as our hotel!
What To Do:
- Visit Bled Castle – This medieval castle is one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. Plan a trip to visit and enjoy the best views of Slovenia. Tip: come hungry and enjoy a bite to eat or a cocktail on the terrace.
- Vintgar Gorge – If you’re looking for a beautiful hike, be sure to add Vintgar Gorge to your list. It’s located in the Triglav National Park and is often regarded as one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of Slovenia. (Note: we relied solely on BMW GPS and somehow we got lost 6 times trying to get there. Be sure to get directions before you leave your hotel. While Bled is incredibly peaceful, Vintgar Gorge can get busy with travelers – plan a visit early in the day or before sunset to beat the crowds!)
- Row A Boat To Explore Bled Church on Bled Island – One of our favorite activities during our visit was taking a rowboat to Bled Island. Vila Bled offers free rowboats for guests, but you can always rent one if you’re not staying at the hotel. It’s such a peaceful experience, and the water below is crystal clear! Once you get to the island, you can explore the church, grab a coffee, and shop some of the local gifts. Fun fact: It’s tradition for a groom to carry his new bride up the 98 steps to the top of the tower and ring the bell. Once this happens, the couple’s dreams will come true and they will enjoy a perfect marriage forever.
- Hike Up Ojstrica For The Best Views Of The Lake – Pack your sneakers and spend a morning hiking up Ojstrica. It’s so peaceful and offers a great view of the lake.
- Go Skiing – Though we planned our trip during the summer, we hear the skiing is amazing! We definitely plan to come back in the winter to experience it.
- Go For A Walk Around The Lake – The lake itself is not too large, so you should plan to take a leisurely stroll (or run) to get a feel for the area. Lake Bled is definitely an area of peace and relaxation, so try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!
Where To Eat:
- Have A Kremsnita Cake (Cream Cake) For Happy Hour At Cafe Belvedere – You can’t come to Bled without trying the cream cake. I recommend grabbing a table on the patio of Cafe Belvedere at sunset, grab a glass of vino, and a slice of cake for an incredible experience.
- Vila Bled Restaurant – Despite the delicious menu of local favorites, I loved the ambiance of this restaurant. The food was incredible, the service was impeccable, the formal dresscode was so refreshing, and the views were unforgettable. You have to try it.
- Pizzaria Rustika Bled – If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, stop by Pizzaria Rustika Bled. The menu has some of the best (and unique) pizzas, so I highly recommend it! Since it’s located in town, you can explore some of the local shops after you eat.
- Bled Castle – As mentioned above, Bled Castle is also amazing spot to eat! Be sure to make a reservation in advance to waive the castle entry fee.
- Okarina Restaurant – If you love Indian food, add Okarina Restaurant to your list. It’s has a Slovenian twist on classic Indian dishes, and so many vegetarian options. Make a reservation in advance.
- Predjama Castle – Though we visited a lot of castles during our trip, this was hands down my favorite. The Renaissance castle was built into the mouth of a cave, and it’s the largest cave castle in the world. While the cave has some eery history, it’s absolutely fascinating!
- Postojna Cave – While this experience was a bit more touristy, I highly recommend it. You can visit the cave and the castle on the same visit (same ticket). Hop aboard a small train that will take you deep into the caves. It’s one of the largest caves in Slovenia and one of the most known caves in the world. The cave also features a beautiful event space deep in the cave with gorgeous chandeliers – can you imagine?!
- Ljubliana – If Ljubljana isn’t on your travel list, be sure to take a day trip to visit. It’s less than an hour away. It’s the largest city in Slovenia, so you can experience a lot of history and culture here – plus explore the nightlife scene.
Tip: Carry cash. You will need it everywhere! From the Vintgar Gorge to the castle – ATMs are hard to find and credit cards aren’t accepted everywhere, so plan ahead.
Have you been to Lake Bled? What was your favorite experience? Let us know in the comments below!
Keep scrolling to see more photos from Lake Bled: