Though for much of the 20th century Slovenia wasn’t exactly a hotspot for international travelers, the small country is now becoming a premier destination.
It’s amazingly beautiful, full of friendly people, fascinating history, and natural wonders. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the continent’s most underrated attractions.
Bled is also a winter sports wonderland. During the warm spring and summer months, it’s about as full of old-world charm as most visitors are ever likely to see.
The food is top-notch, and the architecture is nothing short of stunning.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in Bled, Slovenia.
1. Bled Castle
Castles, by their very nature, are remarkable and romantic places. Though some of them harbor dark Machiavellian pasts, they deserve a top spot on travelers’ itineraries.
Bled Castle is the town’s most noted attraction, and during the peak tourist season, it can get downright crowded.
That being said, it’s so stunning and full of history that it probably won’t matter.
Plenty of tours of varying lengths are available, but past visitors tend to agree that it’s wise to block out at least half a day to experience it in all its splendor.
Consider an evening visit, when it’s lit up.
Included in: Bled: All-Inclusive E-bike Tour
2. Vintgar Gorge
For such an impressive mix of culture, history, and natural beauty, it’s tough to beat Bled.
The Vintgar Gorge is another of the town’s gems. It was carved from the surrounding rock over countless eons of water erosion from the Radovna River.
It’s a great place to spend a spring morning or afternoon enjoying Mother Nature at its most majestic.
The river features stunningly blue water, and during the spring bloom, the shores are often awash in vibrant wildflowers, making it a great place for a romantic picnic or an afternoon with a good book and bottle of local wine.
Available tour: Self-Guided E-Bike Tour of Vintgar Gorge
3. Lake Bled
Bled is so jam-packed with amazing attractions that for visitors with limited time, it can be tough deciding what to see.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that whatever you choose, you’ll likely be blown away.
From most vantage points, Lake Bled looks like it leaped from the pages of a Fairy Tale, and it’s an easy walk from the town’s center.
It’s ringed by mountains and castles, and there’s a stunning church on an island in the center.
Kayaks and paddleboats are available to rent and are perfect for energetic visitors looking to see things from a truly memorable perspective.
Recommended tour: Lake Bled & Postojna Cave Day Trip
4. Church of the Assumption of Maria
Located in on an island in the middle of the aforementioned Lake Bled, the Church of the Assumption was built in the mid-15th century and looks pretty much the way it did back then.
It’s so magnificent that it draws young lovers from all over the country who prefer to tie the proverbial knot in a truly unique and remarkable setting.
The church features impressive Baroque-style architecture and 99 steps, up which the groom must carry the bride before the official ceremony gets underway.
Professionally guided and self-led tours of the church are available, and it’s a great place to take in a sunset.
5. Eat Like a Slov
Bled is the perfect town for activity minded travelers who prefer hiking, biking, and kayaking to guided tours in air-conditioned vans.
Those activities tend to cause big pangs of hunger, and though it’s not so well-known outside the area, Slovenian cuisine is hearty, unique, and brimming with flavor.
Bled’s restaurants run the gamut from cheap and comfy to expensive and trendy – and a little bit of everything in between.
That means lots of great options for hungry travelers.
A few local favorites include meat-stuffed dumplings, mouthwatering puff pastries, and a number of local wines that come in a variety of colors and flavor profiles.
6. Pokljuka Plateau
It’s definitely not the easiest of Bled’s attractions to pronounce, but the Pokljuka Plateau is one of the area’s most amazing natural attractions.
In the winter, the plateau features a variety of cold-weather sports, as well as a biathlon that draws participants from all over the world.
Don’t worry if strenuous activities aren’t your thing, because the plateau is noted for stark beauty that offers visitors amazing sights year-round.
If the winter weather becomes inhospitable, which is often the case, it’s quite all right to retreat to a cozy café for a hot meal, coffee, or a nip of the local liquor.
Suggested tour: Half-Day Pokljuka Gorge Trail Hike
7. Straža Ski Resort
Though Bled’s Straža Ski Resort doesn’t rival its bigger mountain counterparts in the Alps of Italy, France, and Switzerland, it’s the perfect place for a winter escape, especially for those whose alpine skills aren’t exactly up to snuff.
The resort’s mountain stretches a few thousand feet over the town below. Though it’s not high by European standards, it still offers fun runs, amazing scenery, and powdery snow.
A variety of instruction programs are offered for beginners, and there are a number of restaurants and bars in the lodge that serve great food and tasty drinks.
Lift tickets are inexpensive, and toboggan rides are popular too.
8. Treat Yourself to Bled’s Traditional Cake
There’s just something about the idyllic alpine setting in Bled that makes locals and visitors want to eat gobs of sweet cake.
The traditional local cake of choice is called kremšnita.
It’s moist, creamy, and buttery, but not exactly low-cal.
The good news is you’ll probably expend lots of unwanted calories walking and biking around town, so a little indulgence probably won’t hurt the waistline too much.
Apparently kremšnita pairs well with coffee and local wine, so consider stopping at one of the town’s many cafes for a bite, or getting a slice or two to enjoy by the lake in the afternoon.
9. Hike to the Lake Bled Overlook
Hiking is a great way to take in Bled’s abundant attractions, and one of the most popular destinations is the bluff overlooking the lake referred to as Ojstrica.
It’s accessible to those of moderate physical fitness, but during periods of cold and wet weather, parts of the trail can get a bit treacherous.
From the main trail below, the hike takes less than an hour and is a favorite point from which to catch a spectacular sunrise or sunset.
There’s another vista point a little farther up, but most hikers agree that the extra effort required to reach it isn’t necessarily worth it.
10. Triglav National Park
Bled’s Triglav National Park contains the country’s highest peak and is a premier attraction for hikers, nature lovers, and those looking to distance themselves from the crowds often found at tourist sites closer to town.
The park is located in the Julian Alps and is full of well-marked hiking trails, incredible vistas, and local vendors selling everything from produce to jewelry
Many outdoorsy types choose to see the park on their own, but for those interested in getting historical insight into the area, a variety of tours are available.
The park is accessible by car, bike, and on foot, and Savica Waterfall is worth checking out too.
Recommended tour: Triglav National Park Tour from Bled
11. Church of St. Martin
Per capita, Bled’s got more than its fair share of churches, and they’re all impressive in their own right.
The Church of St. Martin was built in the first decade of the 20th century, but for generations before that, other churches stood on the same site.
It features impressive gothic architecture that’s well worth a photo or two, and the inside is just as spectacular.
The church’s sanctuary is adorned with statues, frescoes, and intricate woodwork, and the best part is it’s a free attraction to visit.
The Church of St. Martin is close to other area attractions and lodging, so it’s convenient to visit by bike or on foot.
12. Bled Island Gallery
For those who’ve experienced the natural and humanmade wonders of Bled, it’ll probably come as no surprise that it’s always been a great inspiration to artists.
From majestic churches and shimmering lakes to towering castles and idyllic pastures, it’s really a sight to behold, and many of the works in the Bled Island Gallery depict these very things.
The Bled Island Gallery contains both historic and contemporary pieces, many of which you may recognize from the scenery you’ve already taken in.
Most visitors spend about an hour checking out the gallery’s paintings and sculptures before heading off to explore the other treasures found there.
13. The Working Farm Experience
There’s really no better way to experience Slovenia like a Slovenian than by getting your hands dirty right alongside them.
Though you could sign on as a volunteer trash collector, a better way to go about it would be to stay on a working farm for a day or two.
Don’t worry if you’re not up to speed on planting seasons and animal husbandry, because it’s a learn-as-you-go deal.
Fun for those of all ages, it is a truly memorable way to learn, experience cultural immersion, and possibly make a few lifelong friends.
There are a number of area farms open to visitors.
14. Ride the Bohinj Steam Railway
Visitors who’ve taken advantage of the Bohinj Steam Railway in Bled tend to agree that it was one of the most memorable experiences of their trip.
Trains are just downright fun; they instill in riders a sense of the old days that you just won’t find in a mini-van.
The Bohinj Steam Railway winds its way through forests and mountains and offers guests unobstructed views of many of the area’s most noted features and attractions.
Looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon with someone special?
Look no further, because the train tour is consistently ranked as one of Bled’s most romantic activities.
15. Postojna Caves
The Postojna Caves are located just outside Bled, making them a perfect escape destination for those looking to convene with nature.
The subterranean caves are brimming with stalactites and stalagmites, and are especially popular with those traveling with children.
Like most caves, they’re a bit dark and primordial, but they’re also magical places that tend to make a big impression for those who’ve never before ventured below the earth’s surface.
Many visitors spend a few hours at the caves before heading off to Predjama castle, which is only a few miles away.
Many locals and visitors consider it even more impressive than Bled Castle.