If you’re in Slovenia’s capital and you want to get to its most famous outdoor attraction, you will have no problem doing so. Getting from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is simple and affordable.
How far is Lake Bled from Ljubljana?
Luckily, Lake Bled is just about a one-hour drive from Ljubjlana so it’s easily and quickly accessible. Though the driving distance can vary throughout the day depending on traffic. You can expect more traffic between the two destinations in the morning and in the evening rush hour periods. Even with traffic and many stops on the bus, you can expect to get there in less than an hour and a half.
There are a couple of different ways to make the trip from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. The most popular option is by bus, though trains and private transfers are also available.
The most popular way to move between Ljubljana and Bled is by bus. During peak season, buses run every half hour from Ljubljana and every hour from Bled in the other direction, so you never have to wait too long for the next available one. You don’t need to pre-buy tickets, unless you want to be sure you get on at a specific time. If it’s a particularly busy day, like a weekend in the summer, you may have to wait for a later bus to have a seat available.
If you want to pre-buy tickets, you can do so online. Just search for routes between Ljubljana AP (main bus terminal) and any of the Bled stations. Bled itself is closer to the main part of town on the lake. Bled Mlino is another popular stop because it drops you off directly on the lake closer to the west. You’ll notice the times range from about 45 minutes to an hour and twenty minutes. That’s because there are different stops on each route, including the Ljubljana airport some hours of the day. If you wait to buy them at the bus station, make sure you bring cash because the station ticket counters are cash only.
Whether you book them online or at the station, you can save by buying a return ticket in advance. The return is open with a validity of 30 days from the day of your Bled-bound bus. So you can return any date or time within a 30-day period.
Aside from the local buses, you can take a private line like Flixbus, which might save you money but offers less flexibility. Affordable group shuttles are also available from the city of Ljubljana itself and from the Ljubljana airport to Bled. If you’re relying on private bus or shuttle companies, you should book in advance.
The train route from Ljubljana to Bled is a little bit more complicated for several reasons. For one, there is no direct train from Ljubljana to Bled. One option is to take the train from Ljubljana to Lesce-Bled, which is about 6 km away from the lake itself. From there, you can either take a bus another 20 minutes or get a taxi the rest of the way.
Another option is to take a longer train route with a connection in Jesenice. From there, you will double back slightly to Bled Jezero station. The problem with arriving at this station is that you will be on the other side of the lake across from the main part of town. This may not be a problem for you if you’re traveling light and you want to take a stroll all around the lake. You can also get a taxi to your final destination. Buses may be available from Bled-Jezero as well, depending on where you’re trying to get to.
Because the train routes are so indirect, they add a lot more unnecessary travel time to your trip. However, you can always go by train if the buses are sold out. Typically, you can at least stand on the train even if you don’t have a seat. You can browse train times in advance here, but tickets can only be purchased in person. You’ll find that trains run less frequently than buses but there are still several options per day.
Considering how simple and cheap it is to go between Ljubljana and Bled by bus, I wouldn’t recommend using a taxi unless you’re traveling at really strange hours. Some taxi companies will take you one-way for as little as 45 euros. The good thing about this is that the transfer is door to door so you don’t have to bother getting you and your luggage to the bus stations. Since taxis don’t have any stops, you can expect to arrive a little faster than by bus, barring any traffic. If you were traveling in a large group of 7 or 8 people, this would come out just as cheap as traveling by bus.
Driving to Bled from Ljubljana
Another option to get from one city to the other is to rent a car and drive there. Though the freedom probably seems inviting, I would caution against this. Bled is a very small town with many of the main roads constantly clogged by cars, buses, and giant trucks carrying lumber. I wouldn’t recommend driving around there because you’ll waste a lot of time that would be better spent leisurely strolling around. One of the only upsides of driving would be to easily access places near Bled like Vintgar Gorge and Triglav National Park. But if your primary destination is Bled itself, expect the roads to be very congested and parking to be hard to come by.
Already in Bled? Here are some activity ideas for you!