You must have dreamed about visiting the beautiful Lake bled? But there is another just as beautiful lake nearby called Lake Bohinj. If you’re tight on time here’s how you could easily see them both in 1 day!
I visited Slovenia for 4 days 3 nights in September 2017 with some friends. We primarily chose Slovenia for the famous lake Bled. Dedicating 1 whole day to explore Bled. We had seen some pictures of Lake Bohinj which look stunning. So we decided we would try to visit both Lake Bled and Bohinj in 1 day. Basing ourselves in the capital city, Ljubljana. Then from there doing day trips as most of the interesting places are within a few hours from the city.
I must admit we were unlucky with the weather most days. A few of the locals said we had arrived a weekend too late, as the weekend before was beautiful sunshine (oops). But we got on with it and embraced having soggy shoes and clothes for the entire trip. The best time to visit Slovenia is late spring to early fall, if you want to avoid rain.
If you are short on time in Slovenia (like me). It is possible to visit both of these amazing lakes in 1 day. Preferably if you have more time I would recommend spending the day at each of the lakes if not more. Both are beautiful but different in their own way.
How to get to Lake Bled and Bohinj
From Ljubljana bus station (Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana) you can take a coach to both lakes. The route goes to the far side of lake Bohinj and stops at lake Bled and various other stops on the way. The time the bus takes depends on which side of the lakes you get off at. At Bled there is a stop in the town and then one further down the lake near the island. And at Bohinj there are a total of 4 stops spread along the south road of the lake.
Ljubljana – Bohinj / Around 1 hour 50 mins
Ljubljana – Bled / Around 1 hour 20 mins
Bohinj – Bled / Around 30 mins
We had to buy 3 single tickets for the whole journey, altogether this came to around 20 euros. When leaving from Ljubljana you should buy your 1st single ticket in the bus station before you get on. We noticed the driver wasn’t letting people buy them on on board. But you can buy on board tickets between Bled – Bohinj. Aswell as the ticket back to Ljubljana, just check the coach times and wait at the stop you’re leaving from. The coaches are very reliable and leave on time!
So you can choose between which lake you want to visit first. We went to Bohinj first as we planned to swim in Lake Bled. So we didn’t want to be wet all day. I recommend you swim in at least one of the lakes just to get the full experience. If you don’t want to swim take the boat to the Bled island.
Times for the last coach back to Ljubljana change throughout the year. It’s best to check here or Google can tell you the updated times.
At Bohinj, we got off at the first stop by the lake, near the church and bridge. It was still raining quite a lot but we decided to start walking around the lake. Setting off, we didn’t realise how massive the lake was, and spent around 2-3 hours walking around one half (the north side) of the lake.
About midway we stopped at a cute summer hut to eat our lunch. We saw that there was a coach stop at the opposite end of the lake to where we got off, this worked out perfectly for getting to Lake Bled.
Other things to do at Lake Bohinj
We had spent the time we had intended in Bohinj. There are loads of other hiking trails around, and to walk around the entire lake it would take about 4-5 hours. Compared to Bled, Bohinj felt less touristy and much more peaceful. There’s a waterfall you can hike up to, also you can take a cable car to the top of the mountain Vogal. Kayaks and boats are available to rent from the south side of the lake, (we would have loved to of done these activities, but we wanted to experience both lakes in the same day and so was short on time).
(you know that one with the cute fairy-tale church on the island in the middle).
Getting to Lake Bled island
Arriving at Bled we got off the coach at the stop in the town. As we wanted to get some food. We stopped in a cafe by the lake for some bled crème cake and hot chocolate. After we was fed we took the Plentna boat to Bled island. It costs €14 each for a return ticket, where we had 40 minutes to explore. You can also hire a row boat and row yourself across.
On the island you have to pay to enter the church and lookout tower. (see prices here), we decided it was not worth the money. The famous wishing bell is inside the church, and legend says those who ring the bell and make a wish, will have it come true, but you have to pay for it (classic). The lookout tower is next to the church. The barrier was magically open so we decided to explore and snuck in. We thought this was where the bell was… To our disappointment it turned out the bell wasn’t there. We had climbed to the top of the stairs, however the views were amazing! and worth it.
Time for a swim!
After taking the boat back from the island, it was now swimming time! we wore our swim suites under our clothes in the day in preparation. When the weather is warmer they open the the swimming decks which have slides (which looked really fun). This was where we had planned to swim but couldn’t as it was closed, it was cold, rainy and I guess not summer anymore.
We thought our dreams of swimming In Lake Bled were over. But we carried on walking, found a mini beach at the other end of the lake. People were already swimming yay, so time for a dip.
Other things to do at Lake Bled
There are many other things and places to explore around Lake Bled. Which we didn’t have time for or were closed due to weather. You can walk up to Bled Castle or Ojstrica hill where you can get a lovely view over the lake. Visit Vintgar Gorge (which I wish we had time for), looks beautiful! and only about an hour walk away from the main lake. When the weather is good they open the sled slope you cant miss it from the lake, this also looked really fun.
Heading back to Ljubljana
We found a amazing pizza restaurant and had dinner. After we had planned to have about an hour left to walk around until the last bus left Lake Bled. Typically it started to absolutely pour it down with rain as we were leaving the restaurant. We ended up running for the 20:30 bus and only just made it, soaking wet. Lets just say It’s not easy running through heavy rain on a full stomach of Pizza!
We had a really great day out despite the rain, enjoying the rain free hours in Bled until we left. Both lakes were so amazing! and I would love to go back in spring/ summer when the skies are clear and the other summer activities are open!
The next day we spent exploring Ljubljana City, which I loved and didn’t expect to, It really surprised me! Read my blog posts on Things to do in Ljubljana .