Travel Guide Europe Slovenia Bled



Bled - reflection

Bled - reflection


Bled is a small alpine town of just over 10,000 people in northwestern Slovenia. It is situated on Lake Bled amongst the Julian Alps and features numerous worthy sights, not least among them the lake itself.



Sights and Activities

Lake Bled

The most famous feature of Bled, fabled to have healing properties is Lake Bled. Irresistably beautiful with crystal blue waters with a church and castle as a backdrop. It is 2,120 metres long and 1,280 metres wide, with a maximum depth of 30.6 metres. The southern and eastern sides of the lake are easy to walk due to good paths and is usually crowded as it is nearer to the town. It is shaded with many benches to watch over the lake. The west of the lake offers the best view, capturing the island and castle in one view. The northwest of the lake is usually very busy with people sun bathing and swimming due to the nearby campsite. Row boats can be hired for €10-€14 per hour. It takes about 1 hour to walk round the lake or 40 minutes on bicycle.

Bled Castle

Bled Castle (€7 adult/€3.50 student) is located on top of a cliff overlooking Lake Bled and the surrounding area. It was originally built in 1004 A.D. and thus only recently celebrated its 1,000-year anniversary. It can be accessed by a road winding up from behind the castle or alternatively (and more excitingly) via a winding walking trail uphill through the hillside at the front/side. This walking trail connects to the walking trail around the lake itself & is signposted (albeit via a small wooden signpost). Although small, inside the castle are various weapons & suits of armour as well as remnants of the former fitout of the castle. From one small window inside there is a view that looks directly towards the island in the middle of the lake. From anywhere in the external parts of the castle one will have fantastic views of the lake and the surrounding area.

Bled Island

Bled Island emerges from fog in Bled Lake, Bled, Slovenia

Bled Island emerges from fog in Bled Lake, Bled, Slovenia

© joshuag

Bled Island is a small island in the middle of Lake Bled. It can be reached via manually rowed boat from many departure points from around the lake's edge. Prices for this are standard but boats may not leave until somewhat full. People will be given around half an hour to explore the island, which is pushing it, but on a busy day it should be no problem to arrange a longer stay and a ride back on the next boat.

On the island itself there are several buildings, the tallest being the clock tower. The other main building being the Church of the Assumption, a beautiful 17th century church. Entry to the church costs around €3 but once inside the rope can be pulled, ringing the famous wishing bell that is often heard ringing out across the lake (be sure to give it a solid pull).

The local story behind the bell is that many years ago a young woman lived near the lake whose husband had been killed by robbers. Distraught, she almost bankrupted herself to pay for the commission of a bell for the church on Bled Island. During transit across the lake, the bell, its boat & its crew were lost during a violent storm. Again distraught at this further misfortune, the lady gave what she had left to the church & left for Rome where she become a devout nun until she died. After her death, the Pope commissioned a new "Wishing Bell" for the church on the island.

Vintgar Gorge

Nearby Vintgar Gorge ((€5 - adult, €4 - student, €2.50 - concession, 4 kilometres from Bled) entails a walk through the gorge (1.6 kilometres) on platforms that are in many cases built onto the sheer rock walls above the river. About 30 minutes from the entrance is the 16-metre-high Šum waterfall. A small entry fee is required to walk through the gorge. Afterwards you are able to walk back to Lake Bled. This walk may take a couple of hours along narrow streets through the town of Hom, passing St. Catherine's church with a beautiful view (be mindful of traffic). Whatever local operators may claim, the walk back is not signposted clearly (if at all) but at most times after the initial section Bled Castle can be seen in the distance as a clear reference point.

St. Martin's Church

A white neo-Gothic church. Paths lead here to/from the castle and the lake.


Numerous places offers adventure tours, including bike rides and rafting. One such place is Lifetrek adventures located on Ljubljanska Cesta 1.


Bicycle's can be rented for around €1 per hour, €8-€10 for the day (usually until 5:00pm) or €10-€12 for 24 hours from many places around town. It is probable the best way to enjoy the nature that Bled has to offer.

There are many paths you could take but the most popular is to cycle to Vintgar Gorge or to the Radovna Valley in Triglav National Park. To cycle there, head north following signs to Spodnje Gorje, this (sometimes steep) uphill cycle should take less than 1.5 hours. Once you reach the centre of Gorje, next to the beautiful St. George Church with a red tower, follow the signs left to go to Radovna (follow to Zgornje Gorje then Krnicn, about 1 hour) or right to go to Vintgar (about 30 minutes, a little more uphill). Or you can choose to take a well-deserved break at a pub there.

The Radovna valley cycle route is a beautful park surrounded by green hills and mountains. It is about 16 kilometres from the town of Krnica to Pocar Farm museum at Zgornja Radovna. The journey should take more that 3 hours with a gentle incline. However only the first 2.5 kilometres is paved, the rest is gravel. There are a few sights along the way such as the Napoleon Stone which, as legend has it, a soldier of Napoleon carved the emperors signature into a stone as they marched through (6-kilometre mark). The cycle back to Bled is more enjoyable and should take less than an hour. A complete journey takes 6-8 hours to cycle to Radovna, Vintgar gorge (you cannot cycle on the gorge) and back to Bled depending how far in Triglav National Park you cycled.



Getting There

By Train

From Ljubljana take a train to Jesenice then transfer to Bled Jezero. It is an hour walk to Bled town centre from the station. There is only one train a day going directly from Ljubljana to Bled Jezero.

By Bus

Frequent service connects Bled with Ljubljana (€6.20, 1.5 hours). Some services may require a change in Jesenice.



Getting Around

By Foot

Unless you choose to sleep at one of the guesthouses in the countryside (which are fairly popular and plentiful due to their spectacular scenery) a visitor should have no need for any form of transportation other than their feet and a boat to reach the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church located on an island in the middle of Lake Bled.

By Bike

Bicycles can be rented for around €1 per hour, €8-€10 for the day (usually until 5:00pm) or €10-€12 for 24 hours from many places around town. A ride round the lake will not take more that 40 minutes and is rather pleasant.




Kremna Rezina put Bled on the gastronomical map. It is a vanilla and cream based pastry available throughout the town.

Pizzeria Rustika ((04) 576 89 00, Riklijeva 13) is a nice local place selling decent pizza and also delivers. It's a 5 minutes walk from St. Martin's Church. It's €8 for a large pizza.





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Keep Connected


Slovenia is generally well covered by inexpensive broadband internet due to fierce competition between multiple companies. Internet cafes are thus common in cities and internet access is offered by most hotels and hostels.

A free wireless internet network is also being set up in some cities by volunteers (Ljubljana, Maribor, Nova Gorica). You can use it if you have a computer or a WiFi enabled phone.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Slovenia is 386, and the prefix for international calls is 00; the area code prefix is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for special use: 080 are toll-free numbers and 090 are commercial services, which are usually expensive.

Mobile networks use the common European frequencies (900 and 1800 MHz for GSM/LTE and 2100 MHz for 3G; 800 MHz is planned for LTE). Two major Slovenian mobile companies, Mobitel and Simobil, provide an excellent coverage in GSM and 3G, but 3G can be unavailable in mountainous regions. Roaming between European phone companies is becoming cheaper due to the EU regulation setting a maximum of 0.29€ per minute for calls made and 0.09€ for calls received, while calls to or from non-EU providers remain expensive. Slovenian pre-paid SIM cards are also available in supermarkets and gas stations.

Telekom Slovenije operates around 3500 phone booths. They unfortunately do not accept coins but require the use of cards costing 3-15€.


Posta Slovenije is the national postal service of Slovenia. It has relatively fast and reliable services. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Only the larger central post offices keep longer hours and/or are open on Sundays. You can also use them for money transfers and some other simple banking services. Stamps are available here or at newspaper stands/kiosks. Domestic rates for sending postcards/standard letters start at €0.29. International rates start at €0.39 for postcards and €0.44 for standard letters. Parcels start at around €16 for delivery to other Europena Union Members. You can also use companies like UPS, TNT or DHL to send parcels, as they offer comparable prices and fast services.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 46.3666862
  • Longitude: 14.1085106

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