Lake Bled is 120 miles (194 km) northwest of Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. Thanks to Slovenia’s small size and major highways, the journey is fairly quick and straightforward. You can easily enjoy picturesque Lake Bled in the morning and be in bustling Zagreb by evening. The most convenient way to travel between the two is my car, either rental car or private transfer. You’ll reach Zagreb in just over two hours.
If you prefer public transportation, you have a couple options. Trains are comfortable and reliable, leaving Lake Bled from its Lesce station and arriving in Zagreb 3-3.5 hours later. Buses are also reliable but take a bit longer. They run in two segments (Bled to Ljubljana and Ljubljana to Zagreb) in about 4 hours.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hours
The fastest and most convenient way to get to Zagreb from Lake Bled is by car, either rental or private transfer. The route follows major roadways, making the journey fairly easily, even if you’re not used to driving in Slovenia.
You’ll leave Lake Bled from the east and follow European Routes E61 to Ljubljana. Slovenia’s capital is an excellent stopping point to grab a coffee or lunch, or just enjoy the historic old town. After Ljubljana, you’ll transition to highway A2 which takes you all the way to the Croatian border. Note that you’ll need to stop and show your papers at the border crossing. If you’re traveling during the summer months, plan a little extra time as the border tends to get busy.
Once you’re in Croatia, the town of Samobor is worth the slight detour. It has a little old town and is home to a famous variation of the bucket-list-worthy kremšnita (creme cake). From Samobor, highway E70 will take you the rest of the way to Zagreb.
Duration: 3 - 3.5 hours
The train is a great alternative to driving, especially in the summer months. Train schedules factor in border crossings, so if it’s busy at the border, the train can be faster than driving.
You’ll depart from Bled’s Lesce station. This requires a 10-minute taxi from the center of Bled. The train travels southeast through Ljubljana and across Slovenia. You’ll arrive in Zagreb about 3-35. hours later.
Duration: 4 hours
The bus is the slowest option and requires one connection in Ljubljana. It’s best to book the journey in two segments. From Lake Bled, the regional bus offers numerous departures and arrives in Ljubljana in about one hour. Once in Ljubljana, the private company Flixbus is your best bet. There are several daily departures that get you to Zagreb in just 2.5 hours.