Tucked away in Slovenia's Julian Alps, just a bit northwest of Ljubljana, you'll find the charming town of Bled.
Despite its small size, it's full of awesome activities, which makes it popular with visitors.
Sure, it's a tourist favorite, but places like Lake Bled are popular for a good reason – they are gorgeous, like something from a storybook. If you plan a trip here, prepare for fantastic experiences by and around the lake, and our guide will walk you through the best things to do in Bled.
Get ready to fall in love with this little slice of Slovenian paradise.
1. Walk Or Bike Around Lake Bled
The more frugal amongst you will walk, as it's free, but if you have a bit of a budget, our tip would be to hire electric bikes as it's just an easy and fast way to get about.
The path around the lake stretches for about 6 kilometers, making it an easy and enjoyable journey for everyone, no matter your fitness level. This route gives you stunning views of Bled Castle and The Church of the Assumption from various angles – each one offering a new perspective on these iconic landmarks.
For those who love photography, the natural scenery around the lake, dotted with trees, provides the perfect backdrop for your Instagram selfies, and venturing around the lake is one of the things to do in Lake Bled that is accessible to all.
2. Take a Swim In Lake Bled
One of the best things to do in Lake Bled in the summer, when the heat hits around 27 degrees Celsius (or 80 degrees Fahrenheit), is to cool off in the lake.
Locals and visitors head to the lake for a refreshing swim, and there's a specific area set aside for swimming, so there's no need to worry about bumping into any boats while you're enjoying the water. Plus, this area has fun slides and a jump board, adding a bit of thrill to your swim.
For those who like to lounge and relax, check out Grajsko Kopališče, also known as the Castle Bathing Area. Here, you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, ideal for those who want a bit of shade.
This spot is open from June to September, making it a great summer destination for everyone looking to unwind by the water, whether taking a dip or just soaking up the sun.
3. Visit Bled Castle
A trip to Bled Castle is like stepping into a fairytale. Perched above Lake Bled, it's the oldest castle in Slovenia and completes the romantic landscape.
You get the best views of Lake Bled and the surrounding mountains from the castle terrace, including the Karavanke and Julian Alps.
Visiting the castle is perfect for those looking for something to do on a rainy day in Bled. It offers a chance to explore the area's history and enjoy stunning indoor views. Whether sunny or drizzling, Bled Castle is a must-visit destination, adding a royal touch to your Lake Bled experience.
4. Lake Bled Island
Visiting Lake Bled Island is a highlight of any trip to Bled. In the heart of the lake sits The Church of the Assumption, a beautiful destination accessible by boat.
Around the lake, there are plenty of places where you can hire a boat, but for those who prefer not to paddle, boats with captains are available, offering a relaxing journey across the water.
The trip to the island is more than worth it, as the church is a stunning sight, and the experience of being there is unforgettable. It's one of the more romantic things to do in Lake Bled.
5. Ring The Church Bell
A visit to Lake Bled isn't complete without ringing the wishing bell at The Church of the Assumption on Bled Island.
This tradition is a favorite among visitors, and the sound of the bell is a constant backdrop to the lake, ringing out as long as tourists are around. Before you can make your wish and ring the bell, there's a bit of a climb – 99 steps. It's a small effort for a moment steeped in tradition and one of the unique things to do in Bled.
6. Lake Bled Toboggan
Summer tobogganing is a must-try for those looking for fun and adventure at Lake Bled. Put it at the top of your list of things to do with kids in Lake Bled.
The toboggan track is located on Straza Hill, offering a ride with stunning views. You can take a chairlift to the top, where the ski slopes are, buy your ticket, and zoom down the hill.
The prices vary from €8 to €15 for adults and €4 to €10 for children, depending on how many rides you want. The track is 520 meters long, with a 131-meter elevation difference, and you can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h and an incline of 25.2%.
7. Mala Osojnica
Mala Osojnica offers one of the best viewpoints around Lake Bled, but getting there isn’t easy.
The hike can be challenging, especially as you approach the steeper steps towards the top. There's a rail for support, but it gets higher as you climb, which can be daunting. Hiding on a dry day is a good idea, as slippery conditions might make it more challenging.
Once you reach the top, the effort is worth it, as the view of Lake Bled is stunning and is a highlight for many visitors. The best part is it's completely free, which frugal travelers will love.
Our top tip would be to wear comfortable sports shoes and bring your camera – you'll want to capture the breathtaking scenery.
8. Eat Bled Cake
Bled is famous for its unique dessert, the Cremeschnitte, affectionately known as the Bled Cream Cake.
This custard-based treat is a staple in most cafes and restaurants in Bled Town Center. Perfectly paired with a cup of coffee, this dessert is a dream for anyone with a sweet tooth.
It’s similar to a custard slice in the UK, adding a sweet touch to the Lake Bled experience.
The cream cake, locally called kremna rezina, is available at many cafes along the lake.
However, the bakery inside Hotel Park is where it all began. Chef Ištvan Lukačević created this delightful recipe post-World War II, introducing it in 1953. T
The cake is a perfect square, featuring seven-folded puff pastry, egg custard, whipped cream, another pastry layer, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Following the original recipe, the bakery has produced over 12 million pieces.
9. Go On a Wine Tasting Tour
Held in a charming, century-old cellar in Bled, this tour offers a chance to taste seven top wines from various wine regions across Slovenia. While drinking these selections, a wine expert shares fascinating facts and stories about each wine.
This popular wine tasting in Bled is more than just sampling wines; it's a fun and interactive two-hour journey into the world of wine. It's designed to be engaging and educational, with fun stories, games, and challenges that will change your thoughts about wine.
Conducted in English, the tasting includes delicious appetizers to complement the wines.
To find out more, visit their website here.
10. Explore Vintgar Gorge
Due to Vintar Gorges's popularity, there's now a reservation system to manage the number of visitors, especially during busy times between 9:30 am and 1 pm. They can be turned away without a reserved ticket if they're sold out. Trying your luck without a reservation is possible, but booking ahead is recommended to guarantee entry.
With its walkways and bridges, the walk through the gorge is a leisurely and scenic stroll, offering countless photo opportunities.
However, the trail is one-way, meaning the return journey is a bit more challenging, involving a hike on a steep mountain trail. At the end of the gorge, you can choose an easier path to the left or a route to the right that passes by Sv. Katarina church is known for its incredible views and friendly cows.
Vintgar Gorge is a popular day trip from Lake Bled or Ljubljana, particularly in the summer. Thanks to the reservation system, an October visit can be equally rewarding, with fewer crowds. To ensure your spot, it's best to visit vintgar.si and book in advance. Remember, the gorge is closed during winter, so plan your visit accordingly.
11. Eat Some Traditional Slovenian Food At Spica
Špica Restavracija is a restaurant not just about the great food; the whole experience makes it special.
With its fantastic views of Lake Bled, Špica offers a beautiful setting for a lovely dining experience.
The service here is exceptional, with attentive and friendly staff who go out of their way to make your visit memorable.
One of the best dishes is their amazing pizzas, praised as some of the best in Bled. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed, making it a perfect place to enjoy a meal as the sun sets over the lake.
The delicious food, excellent service, and stunning views make it a favorite among visitors. It's one of the best restaurants in Lake Bled for you to enjoy a fabulous meal by the lake.
12. Go Fishing On Lake Bled
Lake Bled has become one of Europe's popular carp fishing destinations. The lake is home to carp that can grow up to 80 pounds, making it a dream location for anglers.
Covering about 300 acres, Lake Bled is quite deep, with typical depths reaching 30 meters (about 100 feet). Fishing in areas over 10 meters deep is typical here. The fish stock in Lake Bled is impressive, with around 150 carp over 40 pounds, 70 over 50 pounds, 20 over 60 pounds, and even a couple nearing 70 pounds. The current record holder is a massive 75-pound carp!
Fishing in Lake Bled is hard, but carp respond well to bait, and finding productive spots while consistently introducing bait is the key to a successful catch.
13. Zipline Dolinka
Zipline Dolinka is one of the top things to do around Lake Bled and offers an exhilarating way to experience Slovenia's stunning landscapes. This adventure is perfect for those looking to add a bit of thrill to their visit as you can glide over breathtaking scenery and get a bird's-eye view of the area's natural beauty.
The experience includes seven zip lines that cover a total distance of 4 kilometers, and you'll soar at 350 to 700 meters!
Along the way, the guides will share insights about the local environment, adding an educational twist to the adventure. It's not just about the thrill of ziplining but also about connecting with the region's natural wonders.
14. Triglav National Park
The park's beauty, with its lush trees, greenery, and impressive mountain views, offers excellent views, especially on a clear day. There are many walking paths to choose from, catering to different levels of hiking experience, so everyone can find a trail that suits their pace and enjoy the outdoors.
Covering a large area, Triglav National Park is centered around Mount Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia and a part of the Julian Alps. The park offers various ways to spend time, from driving through the scenic landscapes to embarking on short hikes. A popular route is the switchback road leading up to Vrsic Pass, which provides stunning mountain scenery.
However, it's worth noting that some of the higher trails may still be covered in snow during early summer, like in June.
Visitors often dedicate a day to exploring this park, enjoying its tranquil nature. With more time, there is more to discover, from longer hikes to different park areas.
Bled is a special place, and the best things to do around Bled happen around the lake. You might be stuck if you are not into the outdoors, as most things happen here.
You will be in for a real treat if you can time your visit with good weather just before the main tourist season. Please let us know in the comments below if you think we have missed anything.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.