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Ljubljana to Lake Bled (day trip & transportation ideas)

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Visiting Slovenia and wondering how to travel from the capital city of Ljubljana to Lake Bled? Don’t worry, we will share all the possible ways to get there easily. We traveled there on a tour from Zagreb, in a private car, and also in a bus. 

There are about 4 ways to reach there, and we will discuss the pros and cons of each, with an approximate budget, and the time required to travel there. 

Ljubljana to Lake Bled Day Trip: Distance, seasonal conditions, road trip planning, and things to see in Lake Bled

Lake Bled Views from the Castle

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The driving distance from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is 55.4 km (or 34.4 miles) via A2/E61. The entire route is well maintained, and easy to drive, and it takes about 45 minutes to arrive in Lake Bled from Ljubljana.

Ljubljana to Lake Bled: 45 minute by road, traveling a distance of 55.4 km or 34.4 miles

How do you get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled? At a glance

TravelTime$$
Day tour4-hour tour$80+BOOK HERE
Car45 minutes$40+BOOK HERE
Bus90 minutes$8+CHECK HERE
Train90 minutes$7+
Taxi45 minutes$97+
Camper45 minutes$200+BOOK HERE

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by tour

COSTS: $80 – $100 USD round trip per person

A guided tour is the MOST comfortable way to reach Lake Bled from Ljubljana.

Tours departing from Ljubljana allow you to spend 2 hours at the lake surroundings with sightseeing time at the Castle. 

Small group tours are conducted in a minivan, with a driver and tour guide who takes you around. You get to soak in amazing mountain views, while the guide does all the driving, and takes care of directions. 

Views of Lake Bled and the neighboring area
Lake Bled

This recommended private tour starts early with pick up from your hotel in Ljubljana at 8:00 AM. It is a half-day tour, so you will be back by 12:00 pm. You can book this tour here.

On our first trip to Lake Bled, we took a day tour from Zagreb with a stop in Ljubljana. This tour took an entire day, and it was perfect for early spring sightseeing. We had enough time at the Lake Bled grounds, including enough time at the Castle viewpoints. Here is the tour we took

We informed the driver, and stayed back in Slovenia, and did not return to Zagreb. You can do that too, but remember to inform them ahead of time. However, note that the tour includes a return trip. 

It is important to remember that to walk around Lake Bled only takes about 1.50 hours. So if you are not into hiking, but just want to stroll, ride the Pletna Boat and visit the Castle then the time included on a day tour is more than enough to explore. 

On a small-group tour, it is also quite convenient to ask the tour guide for photo spots, or some extra time. 

Perfect for those: Travelers who love to enjoy a ride, comfortably. 

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by car & road trip ideas

COSTS: Gas: €1.07 euro per 1.25 L + Car Rental starts at 11 euros per day

The driving distance from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is 45 minutes. The route is well maintained, and the drive is scenic as you arrive closer to the lake. 

A car comes in handy if you are planning to road trip through the Balkans or explore more of Slovenia. However, if Lake Bled is your only stop and you are traveling solo, this cost is almost at par with a guided tour – so you might as well travel there in comfort. 

Views of Lake Bled Slovenia
Road tripping in Slovenia

Road trip ideas: From Ljubljana, make a stop at Hraše, and then proceed to Lake Bled. Spend a day at the lake, hike, stay overnight there. Then start for Vintgar Gorge the next day, explore Predjama Castle, and Piran. Return to Ljubljana. You can book a car rental here

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by bus

COSTS: Bus tickets start at €6.30 euros ($8 USD), takes about 1 hour 10 minutes one way

How long is the bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled? 

The bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. It takes longer than a car ride (which is 40-45 minutes).

Where to catch the bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled?

Buses are available from Avtobusna postaja Ljubljana bus station, and they arrive at Bled. These are direct bus services and they depart hourly and operate every day. 

Bus operators include

  • Nomago: Buses depart 3 times a day, and they cost around $12+ ($22 for premium seats). The trip takes an hour
  • Arriva Slovenia: Buses depart 5 times a day, and the trip takes 1 hour 20 minutes. Costs $9 to 12 USD
  • FlixBus: FlixBus operates buses once a day, and the journey takes about an hour. Costs $9 to 12 USD. 
  • Time tables for Ljubljana to Lake Bled Bus Check timetables here
  • Note that bus schedules vary on weekdays and weekends. The last departure bus trip will help you to plan the return journey to Ljubljana. 
    • Weekdays: The first departure is at 6 am and the last is 9 pm.
    • Saturdays: The first departure is 5:30 am and the last is 10:30 pm.
    • Sundays: First departure is at 7 am and the last is at 9 pm. 

Whichever bus service you choose, it is easy to book a ticket at the Avtobusna postaja Ljubljana station (which is the Ljubljana main bus station). 

We mostly prefer to book tickets online and save them on our iPhone app. However, we realize that in Ljubljana (many of the other Balkans states), you have to swap that receipt for a ticket, which the bus driver takes from you when you board the bus. 

All the operators listed above have apps where you can store the tickets. They provide a lot of intercity routes connecting Ljubljana to other cities in the Balkans. They are safe, clean and efficient (they do leave on time, so be there 10-15 minutes early).

There is room for a small backpack (up to 30 litres) to carry with you on board. If you are carrying a lot of luggage, the buses have storage compartments.

Depending on the amount of bags you are carrying, there could be an extra charge, which you can pay when you catch the bus.

All buses have WIFI, charging port, and washroom.

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by train

COSTS: Starts at €5.75 euros ($7 – $18 USD), takes about 90 minutes (or 1 hour 45 minutes weekend trip via Bled Jezero Station) one way

The train ride to Lake Bled from Ljubljana is very scenic with stunning mountains and cute towns along the way. This train ride is surely relaxing, like all alpine train journeys.

Ljubljana to Lake Bled train services are operated by Slovenian Railways (SŽ). And there are two stations, where trains arrive. 

  • Lesce Bled Station: Most popular and common station. They take the same duration as a bus ride, and also cost the same. However, it is located 4 kilometres away from the lakeside. So you have to either take a bus, or cab to reach there.
  • Bled Jezero Station: Trains arrive at the Bled Jezero station. Services depart twice a week, and operate on the weekends only. Tickets start at €5.75 euros, and you can choose from 1st class, 2nd class or intercity passes. This is for direct trains.

You can buy the train tickets at the railway station. The ticket can be purchased at a station in the country of departure, also sometimes in other countries. You cannot purchase it online from the Slovenian Railways website.

View from Bled Castle
Bled Castle

Tips for connecting from the train stations + return trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana

Lesce Bled Station

Trains to Lesce Bled Station are very frequent, and they run almost every hour. The earliest train is 4:00 am, so you have the entire day to spend at the lake. The last train is at night, after 11:30 pm. 

There are frequent buses that connect the station to the lake, and they are operated by Alpetour.

A single ticket costs €1.30 (around $2 USD). You can buy them on board.  The bus stop for Lesce Bled station is “Lesce ZP”, in Bled. 

Lesce Bled station is best if coming from Ljubljana and cities east such as Zagreb.

Bled jezero Station

The Bled Jezero, as mentioned above, only operates on the weekends. It is located about 1.50 kilometres from the town center. This line is Slovenia’s most scenic railway line, as it takes you to Bohinj, upto the Italian border.

Use this route if you are traveling on the weekends.  

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by taxi/private transfer

COSTS: Starts at €80 euros ($97 USD), takes about 40 minutes one way

How much is a taxi from Ljubljana to Lake Bled?

Taxi ride from Ljubljana to Lake Bled costs €80 – 100 and takes 40 minutes. It is definitely one of the fastest ways to reach there, as compared to bus and train. But it is also expensive. 

Once there, you will still need transportation to get back to Ljubljana. 

Ljubljana to Lake Bled by campervan

COSTS: Starts at $200 USD per night

For those road tripping in Slovenia and the Balkans, prefer a campervan for their journey. And it is quite popular with travelers, as you can slow travel and explore at your pace. 

There are 3 agencies from where you can rent a campervan,

  1. Vanvoyage
  2. Spicycamper 
  3. Slovenia Camper

You can pick up the rental campervan from Ljubljana airport. They have packages that start at 500 kilometres, and insurance is included in most of them.

Always confirm the finer details like driving within the Balkans, as there could be additional charges. 

Is Lake Bled worth it?

Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions. I had this on my bucket list since I saw pictures on Instagram about 2 years ago. It is definitely a must-visit.

The lake area is very picturesque and you can easily check it out in as little as 4 hours if you are not into outdoorsy activities. Or as part of your road trip stop. 

Views of Lake Bled
Beautiful Lake Bled

Depending on the season, you are traveling in you can go camping, boating, hiking, and heritage sightseeing. When we traveled there, the place was quiet (we were there in the late winter/early spring months).

If you are visiting in the peak summer months, expect the place to be crowded!

How long does it take to walk around Lake Bled?

It takes around one hour and 15 minutes to walk around Lake Bled. You can explore the lakeside by walking or on bike. 

How many days do you need in Lake Bled?

Most travelers combine Ljubljana and Lake Bled together, and you can explore both in one day if you really push it!

The tour we booked was designed to cover both in a day and then return, and it seems to be a popular option with travelers who are pressed for time.

We had time on our hands, so we decided to stay back and explore more of Slovenia. Ideally, 3 – 4 days in Slovenia will be perfect to spend time in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Triglav National Park, and Predjama Castle (allotting a day to each site). Get our 2 weeks in Balkans itinerary for inspiration.

What is there to see in and around Lake Bled? 

From Lake Bled, you can explore the following attractions. This is best explored by car.

  • The Vintgar Gorge or Bled Gorge is a short drive away from Bled (located about four kilometers/2.4 miles). The gorge is carved by the Radovna River and is ranked as one of the most popular sites in Slovenia. 
  • Lake Kreda: From Lake Bled, you can visit a man-made lake called Lake Kreda. The lake gets its name from the chalk mines that existed there. It takes 25 minutes to reach  Lake Kreda from Bled.
  • Lake Bohinj is one of the stunning places to visit in Slovenia. The lake area is huge and takes about 6 to 8 hours to fully explore. 
  • Kranjska Gora and Lake Jasna: Kranjska Gora is an alpine ski resort near the mountains and glacial lakes of Triglav National Park. From there, another 2 km from Kranjska Gora, you will arrive at Lake Jasna. Both are beautiful and deserve a visit. It is only a 40-minute ride from Bled Town.  
  • Soca River Valley: One of the picturesque river valleys in Europe, and the stunning blue color of the Soča river pulls adventurers.

Many of the attractions listed above can be easily done as day trips from Ljubljana as well. 

Things to do in Lake Bled

Walking, biking or hiking around the Lake

One of the must-do things at Lake Bled is to enjoy a walk around the lakeside.

There is a boardwalk which is perfect for strolls, and for taking pictures. It also has benches where you can sit back and relax, and admire the castle from a distance.

Lake Bled Slovenia

The paved area surrounds the lake, so one can also complete the loop in an hour, by walking or biking, around it. 

Bikes can be rented for €5 per person. You can find a bike shop near the bus stop.

Take a Boat to Bled Island

This is one of the popular attractions at Lake Bled. Visitors love to hop on a Pletna Boat to Bled Island (and visit its landmark – Church of the Assumption). They cost around €15 per person and a local guide leads the way. 

You can also rent a private row boat for cheaper at €10 for an hour. If you are new to row boats opt for the one with the guides to make it easy for yourself. And they are the prettiest boats and are beautifully decorated!

Explore Lake Bled Island

Once you arrive at the island, you take 99 steps to arrive at the Church of the Assumption. The church’s iconic 52 feet bell tower has been standing since 1465. 

The church tower with the Karavanke Mountain Range in the background makes it one of the most picturesque places we have ever visited. 

Did you know that you can also get married here? Sounds amazing to me.

Also, a legend says that those who ring the bell and make a wish will have their wish come true. The caveat is that you are only allowed one wish! 

Go for a swim at the lake

If the weather is nice and warm, you can go for a swim here at the lake. During summer months from June until September, there are also dedicated bathing areas at the lake.

We have also seen swimmers jumping there in the colder months for fun! 

Visit the beautiful Bled Castle

A must-visit attraction in Slovenia is the Bled Castle, which is the oldest castle in the country.

If you wish to capture some of the stunning shots of the island and the beautiful mountains, you must visit the castle.

Inside the castle, there is a museum and a restaurant. The castle, just like the Island Church, is a popular wedding destination. 

Entry tickets to Bled castle are €13 ($15 USD) per adult. Book them online here

Try cream cake in Lake Bled

When visiting Lake Bled, you must try the yummiest and softest pastry aka the Kremsnita or Slovenian Bled Cake.

The cake is delicious and not too sweet. It is made of eggs, flour, and little sugar – it’s like custard cake, with vanilla icing on top! Makes my mouth water, as I write this!

Crispy Cream Cake in Slovenia
Cream cake in Slovenia

You can try one at the Park Restaurant and Cafe or any confectionary store near the lake. We also had a few in Ljubljana (quite a few actually!)

Mala Osojnica Viewpoint

If you want to soak in the views of the lake and are open for a short hike, head to the Mala Osojnica Viewpoint. This trail is open all year-round. The trailhead is at the western end of the lake, above the island.

Where to stay in Lake Bled?

There are over 300+ hotels in Bled and the neighboring train station area of Lesce. You will also find a host of Airbnbs in the area. Here are our top 3 picks

  • Hotel Triglav: This hotel is a beauty, and the views from their restaurant and suites are to die for – just insanely gorgeous. You get to view the lake and the island. Check out the photos here
  • Adora Luxury Hotel: A luxury hotel, with vintage interiors, this property is located right next to Bled Lake and provides amazing views of the lake, and the Triglav Mountain. Click to book this hotel here
  • Hotel Park – Sava Hotels & Resorts: Another mid-budget property, this hotel has rooms with a private balcony, and of course, Lake Bled views come with it. There are quite a few ski resorts in the vicinity, a short drive awayCheck prices here

So that’s a wrap! We hope you found this post on transportation tips for traveling from Ljubljana to Lake Bled useful. If you have not made any plans for Ljubljana yet, then read our one day in Ljubljana itinerary guide.

Happy Travels!

Pin: Visiting Lake Bled from Ljubljana Day trip

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