Bled is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful places and the most visited tourist attraction in the country. Bled Lake is straight out of a fairytale. It is a relatively small lake surrounded by mountains and forests with a lovely town, and most importantly, an island with a church in the middle.
If you are a tourist in Slovenia, you have to go to Bled. It is the perfect landscape for postcards and an unforgettable experience for your holiday. At Bled Lake, you can hike, swim, visit the city, bike, paddle, and many more activities. With a well-organized day, you can see everything there is to see in Bled in 24h.
I have been living in Slovenia for a while now, and Bled still is one of my go-to places to get amazed. Let’s take a look together at what to do in Bled for 24 hours and leave fulfilled.
Begin With a Walk Around the Lake
Bled Lake is not an immense lake, and you can easily walk all around the Lake in about one hour or one hour and a half. Leave your car in the town when you arrive. You will not need it to discover lake Bled.
When we visited Bled, we began walking on the right side of the Lake (when you arrived from the city), the Castle’s side. It was nice to start our experience of Bled, but walking along the left side of the Lake is much nicer because there is no road, only paths for pedestrians and bikes. You are also a lot closer to the water.
Starting your day with a walk around Lake Bled is excellent to discover the place. When you arrive in the city, you will already be amazed by the scenery’s beauty, but the Island will seem a bit far. When you walk to the other side, where you will find a restaurant, camping, and supermarket, you will see the Island getting closer and closer.
The closer you get, the more beautiful it looks. Do not be afraid about the walk. You do not need to do the whole Island. Only one half is enough. Indeed, the Lake has an oval shape, which is excellent to know when to stop. Leave from the city, where you will find the Tourist Information Center and most restaurants and hotels.
Tourist Information Center
Address: Cesta svobode 10, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Phone: +386 4 574 11 22
Then, just follow the road. On your right, you will see the Lake, and on your left, you will see beautiful hotels and houses, like the Grand Hotel Toplice and the Adora Luxury Hotel. When the road ends, you will get to a pedestrian path where you will truly begin your adventure at Lake Bled.
Grand Hotel Toplice
Address: Cesta svobode 12, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Phone : +386 4 579 16 00
Adora Luxury Hotel
Address: Cesta svobode 35, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Phone: +386 591 41220
At the beginning of the path, you will see Vila Bled, which is a beautiful luxury hotel. It was the holiday house of Josip Broz Tito, the President of the former Yugoslavia. You can stop by for a coffee if you want, there is a restaurant.
Address: Cesta svobode 18, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Phone: +386 4 575 37 10
Keep going until you get tired, and feel free to stop whenever you see something interesting or want to go inside the woods. Bled Lake is full of secrets to discover, be attentive, and you might spot the best place ever to bathe or take a picture.
Do Not Waste Time Visiting the Castle
The important thing in Bled is not to spend time visiting the Castle. Except if you are an absolute fan of castles, Bled’s Castle is way more impressive to see from the Lake than from the inside.
Bled’s Castle is beautiful, high up on the hill. Whether there it is sunny or snowy, it is imposing. It also looks charming in the evening when the sun is setting, or when there is a bit of mist because it gives it a mysterious look.
We do not know precisely when the Bled Castle was built. However, we know it was around the year 1000, after the German king Henry II ceded the Bled estate ownership to the Bishop of Brixen. The Castle was also heavily renovated in 1952 by one of the famous architect Jože Plečnik’s disciples, Tone Bitenc.
However, if you still want to visit the Castle, it is accessible by car. It is a five-minute ride from the town. Up there, the parking is about 3,00€.
You can get a nice view of the Lake from the Castle because the Castle is overlooking Lake Bled, but you will have to pay an entrance fee, and there are other ways to access incredible viewpoints on the Lake.
Maybe I would advise people who cannot walk or hike to go to the Castle to get a viewpoint on the Lake, but if you can hike a little, you should go for the views leaving from around the Lake up the hills in the woods.
For those who prefer the Castle’s viewpoint, here are the prices:
- Adults: 13,00 EUR
- Students: 8,50 EUR
- Children (aged 14 or younger): 5,00 EUR
Groups from 10 or more people:
- Adults: 10,50 EUR
- Students: 7,50 EUR
- Children (aged 14 or younger): 4,50 EUR
Address: Grajska cesta 61, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Phone: +386 4 572 97 82
- From June to September: 9 am – 7 pm
- From October to May: 10 am – 6 pm
Hike to the Viewpoints in the Morning
In Bled, there are many viewpoints if you climb a little and get further into the woods. The hike is not very difficult, but do not forget to take water with you, as well as a cap and sunglasses.
What we did the first time is that we arrived in Bled early in the morning and hiked when it was not too hot. It was in July, and the sun can beat in summer. This way, we had time to see the Lake from up above, and then we could spend the rest of the day swimming, resting, and enjoying watersports.
The three most famous viewpoints are near the camping, this is why the best is to walk from the city center to the views, and not to walk all around the Lake when you arrive.
These viewpoints are called Mala Osojnica, Velica Osojnica, and Ojstrica. We did the three hikes relatively quickly, so do not worry about a long hike. Even children can join the trek. However, it is not suitable for people with disabilities or that cannot walk too much. You should also avoid going to the viewpoints with a wheeling chair or a stroller. It will not be possible.
The Velica Osjonica is the longest hike; however, it still is not long, about 40 minutes to one hour, depending on your speed. It will offer you the best possible view on the Lake. There are some steep pieces of the hike, but it is very doable.
The Mala Osjonica is a steep hike that will give you a fantastic view of the Lake. Since you will be on the side of the Lake closest to the Island, it is also the best place to take beautiful pictures and admire the landscape. One way to go to this viewpoint is steep, like for Velica Osjonica, but the other goes around the hill and is more accessible.
The Ojstrica viewpoint is at the top of a pyramid-shaped hill, with a lovely wooden bench at the top to sit and just wonder at the fairytale scenery.
After climbing to the viewpoints, you will get the best reward ever: a view on Lake Bled that is unforgettable. I would advise doing the hikes when there is daylight because it can be tricky, and even dangerous, in the dark.
To begin the hikes, you just have to find the Mala Osjnica Trailhead, which is pretty easy to find. It will show you how long each trail lasts and give you directions. The paths were well-marked.
Swim in Lake Bled After Your Hikes
Lake Bled is a great place to swim, and you will see people swimming there all summer. There are not really sand beaches, but you can stop almost everywhere and jump directly into the water.
Since it is a lake, the water is not too cold. Between June and August, the water temperature is over 20°C/68°F. However, it is the only time when you can swim in Bled. In winter, the average temperature is 4°C/39.2°F, in autumn, it is 13°C/55.4°F, and in spring, it is 10°C/50°F.
Swimming in Lake Bled when the water is warm is terrific. The water is very transparent, and the landscape is perfect, no matter where you are bathing.
It is also a great way to refresh after a hike, especially in summer when it is hot.
Visit the Island
Visiting the Island can be fun. You will get the chance to see the church. Legend says if you ring the church’s bell three times, your wishes will come true. This church is also often used for fairytale-like weddings. The tradition is that the groom has to carry the bride up the Island’s 99 steps to the church.
To join the Island, you can rent a boat, which is an excellent idea to discover the Lake differently. What we did is that we swam to the Island from the place where we stopped to swim, near the Cafe Belevedere. It was about 300 meters away, which means you only have to swim about 600 meters.
The only problem if you do this is that wearing only a swimsuit is not authorized on the Island. Also, the pavement is not great to walk barefoot.
I would not advise you to do it. You can swim to the Island for the (small) challenge, but do not bother visiting the Island.
Bled’s Island is very small. Sure, it is lovely, and if you do rent a boat, you should go see it, but do not rent a boat only to visit the Island, I do not think it is worth it. The benefit of the Island is to see it standing in the middle of the Lake, and when you are on the Island, you do not see it – obviously.
Try a Bled Cake as an Afternoon Snack
After walking and swimming, you will probably be hungry. It is the perfect time to try a Bled Cake or Kremna Rezina and Kremšnita in Slovene. It is also called cream cake because it is full of delicious cream.
This specialty was first baked in 1953 by Ištvan Lukačević, that modified a Hungarian Cake. It is considered one of the best cream cakes globally, but its origin is debated a lot among countries neighboring Slovenia.
My advice to try Bled Cake would be to go to the Cafe Belevedere. This cafe is known for being the place where Tito would come to drink his cognac.
It also gives you a beautiful view of the Lake from the terraces. You can eat your Cream Cake for about 5,00 € while resting and looking at the water. You can also enjoy a Bled Cake for only 4,70 euros at the Park Cafe, but the Lake view will not be as good at all.
The cake is relatively simple, with three layers. The bottom layer is cake, with the central layer is a thick vanilla cream and whipped cream layer. The top part is a soft, cracker-like layer with caster sugar on it.
Paddle, Kayak, Boat, and Other Watersports to Enjoy in the Afternoon
Since Bled is a lake, there are a lot of opportunities for watersports. After swimming in the Lake, you will want to try every single activity the Lake has to offer. Since you only have 24 hours in Bled, I would advise you only to choose one.
In Bled, you can rent a small boat or a row-boat for a ballad across the Lake and to the Island. You can rent a boat at the different stations around the Lake. If you decide to rent a boat rowed by someone else, it will cost around 13,00 € per person, but you can also row the boat yourself. If you decide to go for this option, it will cost about 10,00 € for one hour (but you will have to do the exercise!).
If you rent a guided boat, it will stay about 30 minutes on the Island, which is more than enough to visit the church and maybe even drink a coffee at the little cafe.
You can also decide to hire a canoe or a kayak for a bit more exercise. Renting a kayak can be more fun than a row-boat, and it will not be much more expensive. You can expect to rent kayaks for about 15,00 € per hour. It is also a great idea if you do not want to be in a boat full of other tourists.
Finally, a fun and new activity trending lately is SUP, which means Stand-Up Paddle. You just have to stand on the paddle and visit the Lake. This way, you feel closer to the water and can try this relatively new watersport.
The Lake is not big enough for other watersports. If you are looking for more adrenaline, I would advise checking the Bohinj Lake activities, which is next to Bled Lake.
Eat a Nice Pizza in the Evening
In the evening, we went to a delicious pizzeria called Rustika. The pizzas were good, and the terrace was lovely. It is located in the city center. They also do pizzas to go if you are not in the mood to eat at the restaurant.
Eating at the restaurant is an excellent way to end your day in Bled. The terrace is lovely, with big tables that can welcome families. The restaurant is below the patio, and you can also eat inside.
Pizzas are around 9,00 € and 13,00 €, and there are many options, including vegetarian options. They also do burgers, salads, and some other dishes.
Riklijeva cesta 13, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Every day: 12 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Receiving orders for home delivery: till 10 pm Orders only by Phone
Phone: +386 4 5768 900
Mobile: +386 51 812 300
Come Back to Bled in Every Season
Bled Lake is absolutely mesmerizing, and it is a must-see destination. However, after your 24 hours in Bled, you will only be asking for more of this fantastic place. What I would advise is to come back for every season to discover the fairytale under a new light every time.
In summer, you will see Bled shining, hot, with warm water, and lots of people. In autumn, the forests and mountains surrounding the Lake will wear a red, orange, and yellow coat, making Bled the perfect destination for a gloomy ambiance holiday. When the temperature drops and starts to snow in winter, Bled has a magical Christmas-like spirit. It is the ideal time to come ski, ice-skate, and to discover white and snowy Bled.