Set in northern Slovenia near Triglav National Park, Lake Bled is famous for picturesque Bled Island at its center and views of the neighboring mountains. Because it’s a major tourist attraction, it’s easy to travel directly to the lake. If making the journey by car, a major highway runs near the town’s entrance. Otherwise, you can rely on Bled’s train and bus stations.
The closest major city is Ljubljana, which sits nearly in the center of Slovenia and prompts the legend that all roads lead to (and out of) the capital city. But you can also easily reach Lake Bled from Slovenia’s eastern hub of Maribor, the country’s second-largest city. Major highways, as well as bus and train routes, make it fairly easy to traverse the relatively small country.
Despite the distances, you can also visit Lake Bled from many neighboring international cities. Zagreb, Croatia; Vienna, Austria; and Venice, Italy; can all be easily combined with visits to the scenic lake town.
Duration: 45 minutes - 1.5 hours
A 45-minute drive north from Ljubljana will get you to Lake Bled. Rental cars and private transfers—available in both the city center and at the airport— are great options. Direct buses share a similar route and depart regularly from Ljubljana’s main bus terminal. Travel time is just over one hour.
The train is another alternative, arriving in Bled’s Jezero station on the western side of the lake. Trains take 1-1.5 hours depending on departure time.
Once in Bled, you can enjoy the scenery by walking the designated path around the lake. You’ll find row boats and pontoon boats dotting the shores, both available to take you to Bled Island. On the western side of the lake, you’ll find a small trail network with short, steep hikes and incredible viewpoints. Although the water is still a bit cool, you can swim in the lake during the summertime.
If you’re interested in extending your trip to see more of the country, this 5-day itinerary combines Ljubljana and Lake Bled with the Soča River Valley. And for better details of the journey, check out How to Get From Ljubljana to Lake Bled.
From Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 2 - 4 hours
In just two hours, the fastest way to travel between Zagreb and Lake Bled is by car, either rental or private transfer. You’ll first take highway E70 to the border and transition to A2 until Ljubljana. From there, E61 takes you all the way to Lake Bled.
Buses and trains are also available, but require connections in Ljubljana. The private company Flixbus offers numerous direct routes from Zagreb to Ljubljana each day, taking just 2.5 hours. About five daily trains run from Zagreb to Ljubljana in 2-2.5 hours. For travel between Ljubljana and Lake Bled, see the previous option.
Duration: 2 - 5.5 hours
Although Maribor is Slovenia’s eastern hub, you can reach Lake Bled by highways, regional buses, and train routes. All options travel through Ljubljana. If you choose to go by car, you’ll first follow highway E57 west and then transition north to Lake Bled via highway E61.
You can also reach Lake Bled by bus in about three hours; but keep in mind that the routes aren’t direct and require a connection in Ljubljana. Trains are also available, but they require at least three connections and arrive in Lake Bled 4-5.5 hours.
From Vienna, Austria
Duration: 1 - 7 hours
Vienna is also a great city to combine with a visit to Lake Bled. The fastest way to make the journey is to fly to Ljubljana. You can choose from a handful of daily departures, both in the morning and the evening. Adria Airways (a Slovenian airline) and Austrian Airlines offer 1-hour direct flights between Vienna and Ljubljana.
You can also get to Ljubljana by bus or train. Flixbus offers a route between the two capital cities in just five hours and trains make the journey in six hours. For travel between Ljubljana and Lake Bled, see the first option.
Driving is another option. Car rentals and private transfers are both available and can be booked in Vienna’s city center. The drive follows E59 towards Graz, eventually changing to highway A2 until Villach. Villach is just north of Lake Bled, connected to the lake town by highways A11 and E61. You’ll arrive in Lake Bled in just four hours.
From Venice, Italy
Duration: 3 - 7 hours
Venice and Lake Bled are connected by two major international highways (E70 and E61), so it only takes about three hours to drive between the two. Renting a car or taking a private transfer is the fastest and most convenient option. But if you prefer public transportation, both buses and trains are also available. Keep in mind that they both have much longer journey times.
Trains can be booked in three separate segments: Venice to Trieste (two hours), Trieste to Ljubljana (2.5 hours), and Ljubljana to Lake Bled (1.5 hours). In total, the train will get you to Lake Bled in about six hours. Buses are almost just as long but only require one connection. Flixbus runs a few daily routes that connect in either Trieste or Villach, Austria. You’ll arrive in Lake Bled 6.5-7 hours later.