The Top 9 Things to Do in Lake Bled

A short trip out from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, Lake Bled is a breathtaking town based around a glacial lake. Amongst the serene environment, you’ll find some of the most incredible things to see and do in Eastern Europe.

Whether you’re captivated by its iconic island church, eager to explore the castle perched on the cliffs, or simply looking forward to enjoying the tranquil beauty of the lake itself, taking a tour of Lake Bled offers a delightful escape into nature at its finest.

As such a famed area of natural beauty, it can be difficult to know where to begin when organising a trip to this iconic destination. To make the planning process as easy as possible, we have shared all of the best things to do in Lake Bled, Slovenia. 

  • Visit Bled Island

Situated right at the heart of the glacial lake rests Bled Island (Blejski otok), serving as a mesmerising focal point amid the shimmering expanse of water. Naturally, you won’t want to miss out on visiting this iconic site during your visit. The little oval-shaped isle is home to a tiny church, known as the Church of Assumption. 

Tracing its origins back to 1465, this quaint landmark stands as a remarkable example of Gothic architecture at its finest. Inside, you can climb a staircase to the summit of the church tower for glorious views over the pristine landscape around you. 

While you’ll have to conquer 99 steps before reaching the top, all will be made worth your while as soon as the glorious panorama unfolds before you. You will have your pick of ways to get to Bled Island, including paddle boat, kayak, swim or “pletna” gondola. 

While there’s no fee to set foot on Bled Island itself, entry to the church and bell tower comes with an admission cost. Given its small size, exploring the island’s complete beauty is likely to take less than half an hour.

  • Walk or Cycle Around Lake Bled

One of the best things to do at Lake Bled is to walk around it. There is an incredibly scenic 6 km paved pathway that takes you on a wonderful circuit around the entire perimeter of the water. Along the way, you can take small detours to tick off many of the top things to see in Lake Bled, such as the castle and town centre. Whether by foot or pedal, exploring the landscape around the twinkling waters is the perfect way to uncover the esteemed beauty of the area. 

Not to mention the abundance of photo opportunities, be sure to take a snap by the turquoise lake with Bled Island in the background. You’ll also pass buzzing cafes where you can stop for a bite to eat, along with the Bled Tennis Club, the Bled Campsite and the entrance to hiking trails. 

The tree-lined pathway provides plenty of shade which you should make the most of when visiting during the hot summer months. If you do start to overheat, you can stop for a dip in the pristine swimming spots dotted throughout the trail. 

  • Visit Lake Bled Castle

Straight out of a fairytale, Lake Bled Castle is not to be missed during your trip. The mediaeval palace traces back to the 11th century when the German King Henry II requested for it to be built out of his love for the picturesque area. 

It lies perched upon a sheer cliff overlooking the lake, boasting glorious views over the surrounding landscape. The palace itself is absolutely breathtaking and exceptionally well-maintained, especially considering it is the oldest castle in Slovenia and one of the most visited attractions in the country.

As such an iconic landmark, visiting Bled Castle is certainly one of the best things to do in Lake Bled. During your time here, you will be blessed with glorious views over the waters from the terrace and incredible vistas over the Karavanke and the Julian Alps mountain ranges. 

  • Take a Boat Ride on Lake Bled

Take a boat ride on Lake Bled and glide across to the unspoilt island of Bled. Whether you choose a traditional wooden “pletna” gondola, a paddle boat, or a kayak, the leisurely voyage offers a unique perspective of the surrounding natural beauty. 

As you float towards Bled Island, the shimmering lake and the distant backdrop of the Julian Alps create an awe-inspiring panorama around you. The ride itself is sure to be entertaining, especially for those in kayaks who are sure to have an adventure

For those aboard the “pletna” gondola or paddle boat, the gentle movement of the vessel and the ever-changing views ensure a peaceful journey. Book your boat ride in advance to make the process as easy as possible during your visit.

  • Hike to A Viewpoint

As such a stunning landscape, one of the best things to do around Lake Bled is hike to a viewpoint. Luckily for you, you’ll have your pick of trails to choose from. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, there is a route for you. Keep reading to find some of the top trails below.

Mala Osojnica

The trek to Mala Osojnica promises some of the best views in Lake Bled. While the hike is short, it can be quite strenuous. Your journey begins on the western side of the lake, where there is a bench with a small sign marking the beginning of the route. The GPS coordinates are 46°21’31.7″N 14°05’07.5″E. 

From here, walkers tackle a steady incline to Mala Osojnica Viewpoint. Along the way, verdant greenery and trees will offer shade, as you climb wooden steps and face a short scramble, before reaching a metal staircase to the top.

Once here, you can sit down on a wooden bench and soak up glorious vistas over the glimmering waters of Lake Bled. Then, venture on your final step of the journey to Mala Osojnica where you will find the main viewpoint. 


Completing the trek to Ojstrica Viewpoint is certainly one of the top things to do around Lake Bled. The route will treat you to a glorious vista over the area. The perimeter trail will take you on a narrow dirt track for around 30-45 minutes before leading you to a sensational viewpoint over Lake Bled. 

Ojstrica lies a mere 20-minute walk beyond Mala Osojnica and offers a slightly closer-up view of Lake Bled. The vista is completely uninterrupted, offering the perfect spot to capture the beauty of the area on camera. 

You’ll find a wooden bench awaiting you at Okstrica, offering the perfect spot to sit down, recharge and soak up the stunning scenery around you. 

Velika Osojnica 

Those up for a challenge may wish to hike to Velika Osojnica. The viewpoint takes 20 minutes to reach from Osojnica. While the length of the trek makes it slightly more demanding, this extra effort often puts off other travellers. 

For this reason, Velika Osojnica tends to be the least crowded of the viewpoints. If you are looking to enjoy the scenery completely by yourself and get the clearest picture of Lake Bled, this might be the best option for you. 

The way down from Velika Osojnica also provides a scenic path, with lush greenery and dazzling views over the water.

  • Take a Ride on the Toboggan at Straža Bled

For those visiting between Spring and Autumn, one of the best things to do in  Lake Bled is take a toboggan ride at Straza Bled. Not just one for the kids, zooming down this hill surrounded by breathtaking views over the lake, castle and Slovenian Alps is a wonderful activity for those of all ages. 

While the track is only 520m, the elevation difference is 131m so you will be able to pick up quite the pace, with top speeds up to 40km/h. Those looking to embark on this sledging adventure will take a chair lift to the top, where you will wait your turn to board your ‘vehicle’.

When it comes, an experienced staff member will help you into your toboggan and send you on your way. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Lake Bled in summer, try sledging down amidst this breathtaking scenery.

  • Try Bled Cream Cake

Do not forget to indulge in some Bled Cake during your trip! After all, you will have earned some after your time spent hiking, boating or tobogganing through the landscape. The dessert was originally developed at a Park Cafe in the town centre.

However, nowadays you can tuck into this regional delicacy at one of the many lakefront cafés dotted along the perimeter, where you can tuck in with Lake Bled in full view. Officially known as Cremeschnitte, the cake comprises a crispy top and bottom layer filled with custard and whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar. 

If you work up an appetite during your visit, do not forget to sample some scrumptious Lake Bled Cream cake. 

  • Explore Vintgar Gorge

When it comes to things to do near Lake Bled, look no further than Vintgar Gorge. The spectacular site lies a short 10-minute drive away. Alternatively, those visiting during the summer season will be able to catch a bus from Bled.

Promising a spectacular adventure, picture a 1.6 km walk along an elevated boardwalk suspended above the Radovna River.  You will be trekking along a striking cliff face and crossing bridges, looking down upon gushing turquoise waters and vibrant water flowers. 

Sum Waterfall lies waiting for you at the end of the hike, providing a fantastic finale to the picturesque trail.  Book a day trip to Vintgar Gorge in advance to secure yourself a spot on this cliffside adventure.

  • Ring the Wishing Bell

While swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or boating to Bled Island, you are likely to hear the rings of the church bells. Legend has it that giving it a ding grants you a wish to come true. It is said that a widow had a bell made in memory of her late husband over a century ago.

During its journey to the islet, a storm struck and sank the boat along with all of its passengers and the bell. The Pope then consecrated a new bell and placed it inside the church on Bled Island. By ringing it, you are honouring the Virgin Mary and your wish will come true. 

Whether your dreams come true or not, giving it a ding is one of the most enchanting things to do in Lake Bled as it offers a charming insight into the traditional beliefs and practices of the area.


As you can see, there is an abundance of exciting things to do around Lake Bled. From hiking to viewpoints like Velika Osojnica for stunning vistas to exploring the iconic island church and the castle on the cliffs, this European gem offers a diverse range of experiences for every kind of traveller.

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Molly Corry