Bled is an unmissable destination in Slovenia that needs little introduction. The town is famous for the scenic Lake Bled at the heart of the town that draws in visitors from around the globe.
The town of Bled is small but there are plenty of things to do in Lake Bled for all ages and kinds of travellers. From adventure-packed activities in nature that will get your adrenaline pumping to moderate nature hikes and luxurious spots for sunset, this Lake Bled travel guide has got you covered.
There is so much more to do in this must-visit town than you can do in a day trip to Lake Bled so I highly recommend giving Bled a minimum of 2 days during your Slovenia trip to truly experience its beauty.
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Things to do in Lake Bled
These things to do in Bled cover activities in town and beyond, giving you the option to stay in Bled as your base while exploring the surrounding nature on your own or on Bled day trips provided by tour and adventure companies.
Bled is obviously most famous for its lake which draws visitors in year-round because of its beauty. There is a path around the entire lake which takes about an hour and 15 minutes to walk. Alternatively, it’s also popular to bike around.
I recommend walking though as you really get to take in the scenery and because you’ll want to stop plenty to capture the beauty of the lake from many angles.
Bikes can be rented at many accommodations or it’s possible to book an e-bike tour and get to know all of Bled through a local’s perspective and see the top hidden spots.
You’re going to have to do a little work to get to the best viewpoint in Bled, but it’s well worth it. The hike takes about 45-60 minutes and brings you up 645 metres above the lake so expect a steep hike and wear sturdy shoes (and avoid doing it after the rain like I did!).
The view from the top is spectacular though and offers panoramic views over Lake Bled with the Julian Alps as a backdrop.
Apparently, there are metal stairs to get to the viewpoint (how I got up I have no idea). When you reach the top of them there is the Osojnica viewpoint, turning right will bring you up further (to where I was) to Mala Osojnica where there is a bench and an even higher view.
Bled Castle sits perched high on a cliff overlooking Lake Bled majestically. The castle is the oldest in Slovenia and is one of the most popular Bled attractions.
You can explore through parts of the castle but it’s frequently visited for the view from the restaurant which is easier to access than the Mala Osojnica hike and still offers incredible views but also from a different perspective.
You can even bottle your own wine and have it sealed with wax in the castle’s cellar!
Hop on a boat
One option is to take a ride on one of the traditional boats, pletnas, which are large wooden boats that fit about 18 people and are similar to gondolas. A local will row the boat for you standing and using a special technique called stehrudder.
If you prefer to explore the lake on your own you can always rent your own boat and row yourself to the island to take your time and visit between boatloads of other tourists.
Bled Island is a tiny teardrop shaped island that sits in the middle of Lake Bled offering visitors a picturesque view while walking around the lake. On the island there is the Church of Assumption, a small museum, cafe and a gift shop.
Upon arrival you will have to climb 100 stairs to the top that were built in 1655. It’s an old tradition that new husbands carry their brides up the stairs.
It’s free to visit the island but there is a fee to enter the church and costs for transportation to get there which is whatever type of boat you choose to hop in.
Ring the bell
The main attraction on Bled Island is the wishing bell in the church. It’s believed that ringing the bell fulfills all of your desires and wishes.
The church dates back to the 17th century and the belfry even further, to the 15th century. A fee is required to enter the church and ring the bell but it’s a small price to have your wishes come true!
Bled Cream Cake
The Bled cream cake is the go-to dessert and is easily one of the top things to do in Bled. After much trial and error to find the perfect consistency the cake was created in 1953 and has been sold ever since.
You can find the original cake sold at Kavarna Park which sits across from Park Hotel, where the former manager of the patisserie created Bled’s famous cake.
The cake itself has a crispy crust with a vanilla cream filling that is made to the perfect consistency so as to not collapse when a piece is cut. It’s topped with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar.
Personally, I didn’t love it but it’s absolutely worth trying to find out for yourself!
Discover the Bled area more by venturing to the Bohinj Valley where you can spend a morning or afternoon hiking through pristine forests to get to your canyoning adventure.
This half-day excursion is one of the most popular things to do near Lake Bled and will have you repelling down rocks, jumping through waterfalls and enjoying the cool water that runs down from the surrounding mountains.
Sunrise and sunset
The prime spot to catch the sunrise in Bled and one of the best things to do in Lake Bled is at the Mala Osojnica viewpoint. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you if you’re going up for sunrise as it’s quite rocky and easy to injure yourself. You’ll be in for a treat though as the sunrise comes up and makes its appearance from behind the Julian Alps.
For sunset, one of the best viewpoints is at Straza, which is known as the tobogganing hill. The chairlift closes at 5PM so you’ll have to walk up but it’s definitely worth the view as the sun disappears behind the mountains.
If you want a more relaxing option for sunset, stop by Cafe Belvedere for a sunset drink.
Stand up paddle boarding
If you’ve never tried paddle boarding before, why not try it in a beautiful destination? You’ll get some instruction and tips from a guide beforehand and then you’re off to explore the lake on your own. Take the time to just chill or paddle up to Bled Island, it’s up to you!
Now I know I’ve said that you can get the best views of Bled from the Mala Osojnica viewpoint but those views can be beaten by the adventurous. Paragliding over Lake Bled definitely offers the most epic views.
You’ll get the opportunity to see Bled and the surrounding area from a new perspective on a tandem flight over Lake Bled that is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.
For an adventure that isn’t too intense, meaning this is safe and doable for families with young children or those who don’t want too much of an adrenaline rush, can opt to go whitewater rafting on the Sava River.
Just outside of Bled you can coast down level II and II+ rapids for an hour and a half with a guide who will steer you past the jaw-dropping scenery of Slovenia’s countryside.
Lake Bled is great for swimming from June until late September and offers a refreshing break from all of the active Lake Bled activities.
Grajska beach, the castle bathing area, is a public beach with blue flag status that sits just below the rock that Bled Castle sits atop. It’s the only designated public swimming area in Bled and there is a fee to enter as there are numerous amenities provided.
There are waterslides, a trampoline, a climbing wall, swings, a sandbox for kids to play in, outdoor swimming pools, table tennis and more. Amenities also include numerous change rooms, lockers, beach umbrellas for rent and toilets.
Private swimming areas are available at Vila Bled and Grand Hotel Toplice.
Mountains by horseback
While Lake Bled and the town of Bled itself are beautiful, many of the attractions just outside of the town are worth visiting too.
The surrounding nature in the Julian Alps is breathtaking and to take it in by horseback is just one way to experience the beauty of Slovenia. Jump on horseback just outside of town and spend the afternoon riding through nature and small villages that make this picturesque area oh so charming.
It’s not well-known that Slovenia makes great wine so it’s often a pleasant surprise for visitors to the small country. Slovenia is home to over 28,000 wineries that produce majority white wine.
Slovenia is also home to the world’s oldest grapevine as wine has been made here long before top wine destinations such as France, Spain, and Germany started making any.
It’s important to try the local wine while in Slovenia because while over 80 million litres are made annually, almost all of it is consumed domestically with very little being exported.
You can join a wine tasting experience where you’ll get to sample wines from 7 different regions in Slovenia and learn from an expert while sipping away in a 100-year-old wine cellar.
Just a few minutes walk from Bled you can enjoy an easy hike up the Straza, a small hill that offers a punch of adrenaline for some summer tobogganing. In the winter it becomes a ski hill that offers night skiing, rentals and lessons.
From the top (which is also accessible by car) you’ll be able to take in some of the best views of Lake Bled and then make your way down the hill on a sled. There is also an adventure park for kids and adults with with ziplines and various obstacles to climb across through the trees.
Vintgar Gorge is a stunning natural attraction just outside of the town that is easily accessed by car, bike or foot. It’s a 1.6km walk with boardwalks along the rocks that have been carved out by the Radovna River that is an emerald green or aqua colour.
The gorge has picturesque views as the boardwalk crosses over the river at points, suspended in mid-air.
Getting from Bled to Vintgar Gorge can be done on foot, by car or bike. There is a fee to enter and if you choose to walk to the gorge from town it adds an additional 4km each way but is an easy walk. Walking is a good option since parking can fill up fast, especially in the peak summer months.
Fees for parking and entering the area are available on the official website.
Black Hole mines
It’s possible to join a full-day adventure that will take you out of Bled to the Black Hole mines that are completely pitch black. You’ll spend 4 hours descending into the mines, hiking and paddling your way through galleries and passages as you light your way with only a headlamp.
Day trip to Lake Bohinj
One of the best day trips from Bled is to Lake Bohinj, a much lesser-visited area that offers an option to be in nature with fewer people. Bohinj to Bled is about a half-hour drive and is located in the heart of Triglav National Park.
The lake is completely surrounded by mountains and on a tour you’ll be brought to the most scenic spots, stopping for hiking, pictures and waterfalls.
It’s possible to visit Lake Bohinj on your own as well with the option to get a bus on both sides of the lake from Bled.
Lake Bled Accommodation
Now that you know what to do in Lake Bled, it’s time to book your accommodation as rooms book up fast in this European hot spot!
Read my detailed Lake Bled accommodation guide to find the best places from budget to luxury, hostels to hotels.
Enjoy your visit to Bled and to the surrounding areas! It’ll be an unforgettable trip!