You are planning your 1 week itinerary in Slovenia and are utterly confused where to base yourself – Ljubljana or Lake bled. Your coffee has gone cold, your tongue had a workout trying to say ‘Ljubljana or Lake Bled‘, both look equally good on web and you are getting nowhere.
Fine fine, I’ll tell you. Just stop looking at me with those puppy eyes!
Make Lake Bled as your base.
We’ve seen a fair share of picturesque places. From dreamy fjords in Norway to silken Swiss villages. From untamed Iceland to the wild exuberance of India. But none of those prepared us for what we were about to experience.
Slovenia skillfully eased our senses into ecstasy! Dimpled with delicious valleys and dotted with dainty peaks, Lake Bled’s stellar beauty left us numb.
Why base in Lake Bled instead of Ljubljana ?
Becauseyou don’t usually refuse epic scenery, medieval castles, fairytale treehouses, enchanted islands, sapphire lakes and gourmet food.
Lake Bled’s unbeatable central location, excellent connectivity and proximity to all visually striking natural treasures, make it a perfect base to explore Slovenia.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast or simply love to soak the natural splendor of any country then you will be delighted. Lake Bled’s closeness to the Kranjska Gora and Lake Bohinj in Julian Alps make it the most perfect hub to explore beautiful Slovenia.
Why not Ljubljana ?
Because later you don’t want to regret not making Lake bled your base! The reason Ljubljana doesn’t make as perfect a base as Lake Bled is because there simply isn’t enough to see and do around this capital city. Its very nice. Just not as great a base as Bled.
One of the most common mistakes people do is – they try to explore Lake Bled as a day trip from Ljubljana. That gives you very little time and energy for the prettiest part. It’s best to explore Ljubljana as your first stop in Slovenia or on your way out of the country. Keep maximum time of your itinerary for the Alpine beauty Slovenia is famous for.
Ljubljana is surprisingly small. Everything is mostly concentrated at the nucleus of the city. It’s iconic pink church, trio of bridges, the river, alfresco dining, castle, the dragon statue, eclectic painted buildings are all mostly in the same place.
But when you look at these images in blogs or travel shows, it can deceptively give an impression of being far and out.
Pros and cons of Making Lake Bled as base :
- Beautiful sights -Lots more to do and see in the surrounding areas
- Excellent location close to Julian Alps
- Not very expensive despite being insanely gorgeous
- Very unique and unforgettable lodging options
- More authentic food & wine experience
- English speaking friendly hotel staff
- Many tour operators will pick you from your hotel in Lake Bled and design a customized itinerary
- Perfect blend of nature, history , architecture and luxury
- You most probably have to cross Ljubljana to reach Lake Bled
- Not as many alfresco restaurants and dining options as in Ljubljana
- Slightly farther away from Postojna and Predjama caves
- Doesn’t have an airport
Lake Bled as Base – What sights am I gonna see ?
- Lake Bled itself
- Bled Island or Church
- Bled Castle
- Vintar Gorge
- Lake Bohinje
- Julian Alps
- Triglav National Park
- Sava River
Now that I made Lake Bled my base , how do I reach it ?
One of the most common ways to reach Lake bled is by flying into Ljubljana airport and taking taxis or rental car. The roads and signage are excellent in Slovenia making it perfect for self-drive enthusiasts. Just carry your international driver’s license. Journey to lake Bled takes about 40 mins by car with jaw dropping vistas.
From the capital, there are also buses costing about 15 Euros to Lake Bled and take 1.5 Hrs which is the most cost-efficient way. GoOpti (private or small group transfer), Flixbus and Trains have made it very easy to reach Bled/ Ljubljana from a lot of places such as Venice or Zagreb.
Where to stay in Lake Bled, Slovenia ?
The town of Bled is utterly romantic. Small and snuggled among mountains and teal blue lakes, it is a traveller’s dream. We’d recommend staying as close as possible to lake Bled itself.
The area around Lake Bled is very scenic. Despite being a tourist hot spot it felt very uncrowded and deliciously secluded during our visit. We stayed at the most gorgeous Eco- Resort in the area called Garden village Bled. Replete with tree houses, gurgling streams with resident ducks and a fancy restaurant – it delighted our whole family.
Food @ Lake Bled – What Slovenian specialities can I eat in the region ?
We enjoyed some amazing local cheese and Slovenian wines. Plenty of alpine meadows always guarantee happy cows and sheep which means delicious cream, cheeses and chocolates! In the upscale restaurant of our resort, we enjoyed brilliant food day after day.
What’s the best way to get around in Lake Bled area ?
Legs, bike, boat and car. The whole place is a dream. Stunning scenery all around and clean mountain air. Ask you hotel for rental bikes or arrange for a small private tour with a driver or simply hop on the bus. The choices are plenty.
Lake Bled as a Base – are there enough activities for me ?
Are you kidding me? Boating, Canoeing, Whitewater rafting, climbing waterfalls, venturing in valleys, exploring deep ravines, soaking the architecture, exploring medieval castles, hiking up cliffs – name your pick!
Is it a good idea with kids ?
Absolutely ! Slovenia and Lake Bled specifically is a great choice when traveling to Europe with kids.
How long should we stay at Lake Bled ?
Minimum of 5 days and a maximum of.. errr.. a lifetime! I cannot emphasize enough, don’t visit Lake Bled area just as a day trip from Ljubljana. It deserves so much more.
How much will Lake Bled cost as a base -?
Slovenia and Lake Bled area are a traveler’s paradise ! It’s one of the most beautiful and cost efficient countries in Europe. I’ve said this before about places like Portugal.
Cost of food and accommodation were lesser than what we’ve paid in other European countries like France, Italy, Iceland, Norway and Austria.
Hostels cost about 20 Euros per bed. A Pletna boat ride can cost 15 -18 Euros per person. You will appreciate the price once you realize this boat propels 20 overweight tourists with just the muscle power of a single Oarsman. Admission fees in Vintar Gorge are 9 euros per person, Church of Assumption entry fee 6 Euros pp, as of 2019.
Simple studio apartments or AirBnBs cost between 50 – 80 Euros for excellent rooms.
Slightly upscale hotels cost about 120 -150 Euros.
Eco Resorts with swimming pools , inclusive of breakfast cost about 250 Euros a night. This was our favorite option and would urge you to try too!
Glamping is very popular in Slovenia and is definitely at the intersection of budget and Luxury stay. Food is delicious and fresh. We loved every minute of our time in this country. I hope you’ll choose Lake Bled as your main base because we would love for you to experience Slovenia’s splendor as much as we did!
“Purple, yellow, magenta and blue” I gasped under my breath. The lakeside meadow looked like a painting when swaying flowers kissed each other. Slovenia’s Lake Bled glistened in a brilliant turquoise under the Arian sun. Bled castle, looked all crimson and handsome, perched on a cliff. I blew a parting kiss at him and closed my eyes as our taxi whizzed past this frame. Slovenia is etched in our memory forever.