Lake Bled is perhaps one of the most iconic places in Slovenia with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains, castles and of course the brilliant blue lake itself.
Over a million people visit here each year and it is somewhere we plan to re-visit each time we come to Slovenia.
There a a lot to do in Lake Bled beyond viewing the lake itself and you can easily fill one day in Lake Bled with the following itinerary.
10 Things to do in Lake Bled: One Day in Lake Bled
To spend one day in Lake Bled and see everything this magical place has to offer make sure to tick off the following activities in order.
You can either try to do this solo or via a professionally organised tour where everything is pre-paid and included – we went with Luxury Slovenia and can’t recommend them enough.
Taste the Famous Bled Cream Cake
First on our list of things to do in Lake Bled is to taste the original Bled cream cake.
The Bled cream cake is a recognisable feature of Bled that you will see advertised as soon as your drive in. It is an iconic local treat and a great way to start your morning.
The cake itself is a pastry slice with a sweet cream/custard style filling dusted off with icing sugar and usually served with a berry compote.
Whilst you can get this in many places in Lake Bled, we recommend that you head to Vila Bled and enjoy a slice of Bled cream cake and a coffee with views overlooking the lake.
Timing: 10:30 – 11:30
Private “Pletna” Boat Ride to Bled Island
Next up to make the most of your one day in Lake Bled, after your Bled cream cake walk down the steps from Vila Bled and take a trip across the lake in the traditional Pletna boat (you can pre-arrange or if you do this as a tour with Luxury Slovenia it will all be pre organised).
The island in question is the one you will see in all the famous pictures of Lake Bled.
The Pletna boat is a traditional boat made by the locals which is only found in Bled. The origins of the Pletna boat go back to 1590 and they are operated by the Pletna oarsman. This profession is highly respected as it cannot be performed just by anyone. The title of the Pletna oarsman was handed down from generation to generation.
If going solo the cost is around €12 per person.
Timing: 11:30 – 12:00
Visit Bled Island, the Church, the Wishing Bell and the Tower – Bled Island
The Pletna boat is will take you to the most recognizable symbol of the lake, Bled island and the Church of the Assumption.
The boat will normally dock at the bottom of the 99 steps leading to the church, take your time if it is a hot day! We felt the burn for sure.
Take a walk around the island through the greenery where many other buildings, paths and walkways are hidden. If you then head to the top of the island and visit the church you can ring the wishing bell – if you can make it ring three times your wish may come true…
Timing: 12:00 – 13:00
Lunch at Vila Bled
Once you leave the island take a Pletna boat back to shore to Vila Bled where you can take a beautiful lunch with wine overlooking the lake. You are here for the views after all so getting the perfect spot for lunch is a must do.
Timing: 13:00 – 15:00 (including getting the Pletna boat back to shore).
Visit to Bled Castle – Bled Castle
Our final stop for one day in Lake Bled is the mighty Bled Castle which offers the finest views of Bled island, the town of Bled and the wider countryside of Upper Carniola region.
The castle itself has sat atop the hill looking over the lake for over 1000 years and is the oldest (and perhaps most impressive) castle in Slovenia. On site you can expect to find a few shops, a wine cellar home to one of the worlds oldest vines and also one of the worlds first printing presses (which is more interesting than it sounds!).
The view from up here is known as the million dollar view and its easy to see why.
If coming from Vila Bled after lunch, you will need to drive 10 minutes or so around the lake to get here.
Timing: 15:00 – 16:30 then drive back to Ljubljana.
More things to do in Lake Bled
The above list is plenty for one day in Lake Bled, however if you have time or return for a second day in Lake Bled, consider:
Paddle Boarding Lake Bled
Personally I am not a fan of paddle boarding but I 100% have to make the exception for Lake Bled.
What better way to casually take your time and enjoy all the views the lake has to offer. You can also use this as a way to visit Bled Island which can work out cheaper at €10 per paddle board – there are plenty of places to rent one from for the day.
Going on a hike around Lake Bled
The distance around the entire lake is 6km which is not too long. Along the way (as ever) expect to experience lots of beautiful views.
Slovenia is all about nature so what better way to see more of it than hiking around Lake Bled.
Swim in Lake Bled
Yes you can swim in Lake Bled and on a hot day you will definitely want to!
There are many swim spots around Lake Bled but we recommend Velika Zaka which is set up like a beach.
Hiking up to Maja Ojstrica
For us is one of the best viewpoints of all!
For a relatively short hike, you are rewarded with one of the best views of Lake Bled with the island perfectly centred.
The trail is easy to follow from 46°21’31.7″N 14°05’07.5″E where there is a bench and a sign, if not Google Maps is your friend.
The hike is part steps and part beaten path, trainers are sufficient, no need for hiking boots.
How to get to Lake Bled?
Slovenia is a relatively small country which means its very quick to travel from place to place.
Assuming you are starting your trip in the capital, Ljubljana, it takes just 45 minutes to drive to Lake Bled.
We would suggest either hiring a car for your time in Slovenia (we used Sixt) or joining on to a professional tour with Luxury Slovenia.
For more on Slovenia check out our Complete Gay Travel Guide to Slovenia.