March 27, 2020

3 Days in Slovenia: A Guide to the Lakes & Ljubljana

If you had a chance to read my first blog post on Slovenia, you’ll know how much I loved this trip! I’m so glad that we had the chance to go before countries started shutting their borders and we all got put on lock-down.

When I started posting photos of our trip, quite a few people messaged me saying that they’d never considered visiting Slovenia but it was now firmly on their bucket list. If there’s one thing I want to get out of travel blogging – it’s that!

So now Slovenia is on your bucket list, you need to know what to do there. Here’s my ultimate itinerary for three days in Slovenia!

Watch: Slovenia Travel Vlog

Day One: Lake Bled

Arrive in Slovenia

Arrive early into Ljubljana Airport and catch a bus or shuttle to your accommodation at Lake Bled. Many choose to stay in the city of Ljubljana, which is just over an hour from Lake Bled, but you’re much better off staying at this beautiful bucket list spot. You won’t regret it!

Hike around Lake Bled

Once you’ve dropped your bags at your accommodation and grabbed some food, it’s time to head out to explore. We started our trip with a hike around Lake Bled which is by far one of the top things to do in Slovenia. You can also rent bikes if you prefer. The hike takes you around two hours at a leisurely pace, longer of course if you’re stopping to take photos like us. 

Visit the Mala Osojnica viewpoint

During the adventure you can also extend your hike up to Mala Osojnica, which is the viewpoint that overlooks Lake Bled and the famous Bled Island. This will take about 30-minutes each way, and bear in mind it is considered strenuous. It’s also really tough in bad weather because of the muddy incline.

Climb up to Bled Castle

During the hike you can also climb up to Bled Castle, either via the steps to the right of the castle, or the more ‘off the beaten track’ path to the left of the castle. The steps are definitely easier! It’s 13 euros to get into the castle, which I have to admit we found a little underwhelming. That said, the views are incredible as you get a full panoramic look at the lake from left to right.

Take a boat out to Bled Island

Do not miss this, it’s so much fun! You can either take the famous wooden Pletna boat out to Bled Island for around 12 euros per person, or you can rent your own boat for 20 euros which gives you an hour on the water. We managed to get there and back in that time, but it was rushed. I think it’s only about 10 euros more per hour if you’d rather go for longer!

Whilst you’re on Bled Island, you can wander around, enjoy coffee or an ice-cream in the cafe and explore the church and clock tower. Just note that it’s 6 euros each to go inside. Many people pay this as they want to ring the bell for good luck, but we decided not to as we were tight for time.

Enjoy dinner at Lake Bled

To be honest we didn’t find the most incredible restaurant options at Lake Bled. Maybe we were being too cheap, but on our first night we spent ages walking around trying to find somewhere. I always find it harder as a vegetarian too, especially when the menu isn’t written in great English!

We ended up at Pizzeria Rustika which is set back from the lake up a hill. It was lovely food and very affordable, but there wasn’t much of an atmosphere as we were the only people in there! Lake Bled generally seemed deserted come 6pm, perhaps because we visited in the low season.

See if you grab some famous Bled Cream Cake for dessert too! We had ours at Bled Park Cafe, where it was first served.

Day Two: Ljubljana

Catch the bus to Ljubljana

Wake up bright and early and catch the bus from Lake Bled to Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. The bus system is very efficient and comfortable, and this journey only took about 90-minutes. All bus times for Slovenia can be found here.

Grab some lunch

When we arrived around 12pm, we grabbed a coffee in Prešeren Square to warm up beside a fire, before heading to a Mexican restaurant called Cantina Mexicana for lunch. The food was good, but if you go for the Mexican Tapas, order more than we did! We only got about six tapas items thinking they’d be bigger portions than they were.

Explore Ljubljana

Once you’ve enjoyed your meal, head out to explore the city. We roamed the streets for a couple of hours, which included a quick hike up to Ljubljana Castle. We didn’t pay to go in, but took in the views from the top for a while before walking back down.

Apart from Ljubljana Castle, the church and Triple Bridge at Prešeren Square, and the central market, we didn’t find that there was too much to do here and were ready to head back to Lake Bled by late afternoon. I’m sure Tivoli Park is lovely in spring and summer, but it was freezing and snowy whilst we were there.

Head back to Lake Bled

We decided not to stay for dinner (although there are some great places if you choose to), but before we left we grabbed these incredible drinks from Bar Lockal which is situated beside the river. I’d really recommend visiting this place, their menu is crazy indulgent!

If you want to add one last stop on your route back to the bus, you can visit a place called Metelkova Mesto. We walked through here and to be honest it absolutely terrified me, but if you like art, you might love it. Google it and see for yourself!

Day Three: Lake Bohinj

Hop on the bus to Lake Bohinj

After a chilled breakfast, catch the bus to Lake Bohinj. Just half an hour from Lake Bled, this is another must-see destination in Slovenia! It’s so amazing, I’d actually consider staying here next time.

Hike around Lake Bohinj

I’d recommend grabbing some lunch from either the restaurant or the supermarket at the base of the lake just before you set off. You’ll need hiking snacks!

Set off to the right of the lake, as that’s the hardest part of the hike. This will take you about 90-minutes with photo stops. It’s a fairly easy walk but can be much more difficult in bad weather! We had a lot of slushy snow and mud to contend with.

Extend your hike to Savica Waterfall

If you have plenty of time on your hands (and energy!), you can walk a further hour to Savica Waterfall. This is fairly tough as it’s an inclined hike, and once you arrive and have paid your 3 euro entry, you have a hell of a lot of steps to get up. You’ll find a restaurant with toilets here if you need a break.

The waterfall itself was quite small when we saw it, especially after seeing the countless incredible waterfalls in Iceland, but the scenery is unreal. Just don’t make the mistake we did and go off-route on the way back. It’s much easier to stick to the main hiking route!

If you’re not up for more hiking, in summer you can choose do swim in the lake, or enjoy watersports. Sadly this wasn’t an option for us in early March!

Hike the remainder of Lake Bohinj

Once you’re back at the lake, you can hike along the road to get back to the bus stop. If you’re out of time or energy, you can try and grab a bus back to Lake Bled from Ukanc. All timetables are listed on the Arriva website.

We had no option but to continue to hike as the bus wasn’t running the hour that we were there. It took about 75-minutes, which admittedly seemed like an eternity as we’ve been hiking non-stop through snow and ice for about 5-hours at this point. But that’s our fault for getting lost and wearing stupid shoes! On this day we walked 35,000 steps and 22 kilometers.

Enjoy dinner at Lake Bled

For your last dinner, I’d really recommend getting off a stop early at Mlino Lake Bled. This is where our accomodation was so it was convenient, but if you’re staying in the main part of Lake Bled you can walk back in about 30-minutes. Or catch another bus, which will take less than 5-minutes.

Here you can dine at Restaurant Sova. They have a huge range of options and the food is absolutely incredible! There’s something for small and large budgets. We both had the vegetarian risotto (one of the cheaper options) and shared the chocolate bomb dessert. I drank far too much wine here and had the best time!

If you decide to eat back in the main town next to Lake Bled and you enjoy vegan food, you can eat at Public Bar & Vegan Kitchen. They do amazing vegan burgers and chunky wedges! It’s really cheap to eat here too.

Read more: Slovenia Travel Guide

After three adventurous days, we were ready to fly home early the next morning. I really loved our trip to Slovenia and wouldn’t change a thing about how we spent our time there!

Hopefully this 3-day itinerary gives you a taste of what you can do at Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and Ljubljana.

Have you got Slovenia on your bucket list? Let me know below!

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