The town of Bled which sits on the lake that bears its name is one of the most beautiful natural destinations I’ve ever seen. As a traveler, Lake Bled is spectacular. But what about as an expat? Allow me to explore what it would be like to live in Bled.
Though it’s Slovenia’s most popular outdoor attraction, I didn’t find Lake Bled to be too crowded, even in August. Which probably bodes well for its relative peace throughout the rest of the year when the tourism dies down. Having walked through some residential areas, the city looks peaceful and beautiful. Though it’s surrounded by mountains, it’s rarely too steep of a walk in the populated areas. Though I imagine it’s a lot less vibrant during off-season, Bled peaks in summer and winter so it would offer a lot of seasonal variety. I could spend summers relaxing by the lake and winters snowshoeing and ice skating. It seems like a wonderful place to spend a restful few months. I imagine that looking out my window to a view of hazy mountains while I work would make me very happy. Though I don’t know how long before I’d get cabin fever and want to head back to a big city.
The town of Bled definitely gives me the impression that I would benefit from having a car. Though it’s possible to walk to the grocery store and the lake from the town, things aren’t as easily accessible as they are in a big city. Besides, having a car would be the best way to take advantage of the surrounding nature on a regular basis. I’m not crazy about car ownership and after a while, I might feel trapped if I don’t have one.
Because of its popularity as a tourist destination, Bled is definitely more expensive than the rest of Slovenia. It’s not unbearable and to be able to afford to live in a place so beautiful is a dreamy proposition. The rental market in Bled is tricky though. You could get a flat for around 600 euros during off-season but when it warms up, the owners will want you out so they can rent it for 100 a night. Long term rentals in the summer can be as high as 1000-1500 euros. But if I managed to secure the housing situation, day to day living expenses like food would be very affordable.
Almost everyone in Bled speaks English very well, which is a welcome relief for an American expat. But people weren’t as friendly as I would expect them to be given how peaceful and gorgeous the place they live is. Maybe getting them on the tail end of summer season when they’re sick of all the tourists makes a difference. Though I didn’t find them offensive, they don’t seem nearly as nice and welcoming as people from Ljubljana.
Safety and security
Bled has the warm atmosphere of a super safe small town where people probably don’t lock their doors when they take their adorable dogs for walks. But the downside is accessibility to necessities. I’m old now, so if I have a mysterious pain or the flu, I want to be able to see a doctor as soon as possible. Bled may not have the kind of healthcare accessibility that I’m used to; the nearest hospital is 12 miles away. What if I break an ankle on a hike? I’d like to be a little closer to professionals that can help me in an emergency.
Total livability score 7/10
It may be the kind of touristy and could be pretty dead during off-season but living in Bled might allow me to achieve my dream of getting a secluded cabin in the mountains and writing one or two epic novels.