How to Get From Ljubljana to Lake Bled for a Slovenian Escape

When planning a road trip from Germany to Slovenia, I quickly realized that getting from Ljubljana to Lake Bled takes less than an hour. Unable to pass up the opportunity to visit both cities, I added them to our Central Europe road trip itinerary.

There are several ways to reach Lake Bled from Ljubljana: bus, train, taxi, day tours, and renting a car and driving yourself. Find the best transportation method for you below:

Travel blogger Eva Phan traveling from Ljubljana to Lake Bled.

Ljubljana to Lake Bled Distance

The distance from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is 55.4 kilometers (34.4 miles). Driving this distance is typically around 40 minutes without traffic.

Public transportation options, like the bus or train, take a little longer, usually up to 1.5 hours.

How to Get From Ljubljana to Lake Bled

Bus

Bus company Arriva operates buses from Ljubljana to Lake Bled every day of the week from Ljubljana’s main bus station. On weekdays (Monday to Friday), buses run from 5:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Weekends have more limited hours. On Saturday, buses run from 6:25 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Sunday, buses depart from 6:25 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Bus timings aren’t consistent throughout the week, so you should check the schedule before leaving. Current bus schedules from Ljubljana to Lake Bled can be found on the Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana website.

Depending on how many stops are on your route, expect the bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled to take 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bus fares from Ljubljana to Lake Bled vary depending on which day you’re going. On weekdays, buses are €6.30 ($6.75 USD) in each direction. On weekends, bus fares drop to €2.10 ($2.25 USD) one-way. If you have bags, budget an extra €1 ($1.10 USD) for each that needs to go in the hold—Arriva charges for bags!

If you’re unsure when you’re going to return, you can book an open-return ticket for €12 ($12.80 USD), which is valid for 30 days.

How to Get to the Bus Station in Ljubljana

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the bus terminal in Ljubljana. It’s convenient (just a 10-minute walk from Dragon Bridge), but the train station is behind the bus station, which often confuses travelers. The train station is larger and located behind the bus terminal, which is a small building in the parking lot.

Usually, buses from Ljubljana to Lake Bled depart from platform 7, but you should still check when you get to the station. You’ll see “Bled” on the bus or the platform.

Buying Bus Tickets

If you know exactly which bus you want to take, purchase your fare online in advance. Unsure when you’d like to travel? No worries. Bus tickets can be purchased at the station in Ljubljana also. Bring cash if you plan on buying your tickets physically—the station does not accept credit cards.

IMPORTANT: If you purchase your bus tickets online, you will need to print them at home, or go to the ticketing counter at the station to get a physical copy. Digital tickets are not accepted.

Dragon Bridge, one of the best things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Train

Slovenian Railways operates several trains daily from Ljubljana’s main station to Lake Bled. The station in Bled is roughly 5 km from town, so when you arrive, you’ll need to take a short taxi to your hotel or bus ride from Lesce ŽP to Bled Mlino, then walk. Budget €5 to €10 ($5.35 to $10.75 USD) for this if you’re taking a taxi, and €1.30 ($1.40 USD) per person if taking the bus.

The journey is similar in duration to taking the bus. You’ll spend roughly an hour on the train and 10 to 20 minutes in a taxi or bus, bringing the total travel time to about 1.5 hours, though it varies based on the type of train you’re taking.

Older trains, labeled with LV, are the slowest and least expensive trains. These trains cost €5.10 ($5.50 USD) per person and only offer second-class fares.

Newer trains, including the EuroCity (EC), EuroNight (EN), and International trains (MV), are faster and slightly more expensive. These trains have both first- and second-class seats. Expect to pay €6.60 ($7.10 USD) for second-class, and €9.10 ($9.75 USD) for first-class seats per person, one-way.

The main train station in Ljubljana is a 10-minute walk from Dragon Bridge and located right behind the central bus station. The train station is the larger of the two buildings.

Check current train schedules and purchase your ticket online here.

Taxi or Private Driver

Booking a taxi or private driver is the most comfortable way to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana. You won’t need to worry about driving yourself, can leave on your own schedule, and might actually be able to save a little money if you’re traveling with a group.

Though you certainly could hop in a taxi on the street and have it take you to Bled, I don’t recommend it. Even reputable taxi companies in Ljubljana are known to have issues with drivers’ fare gouging.

The exception to this is the airport. If you’re flying into Ljubljana and transferring to Bled, taxis at the airport are usually reputable. Still, I prefer arranging a company online for peace of mind, which allows for pickup in Ljubljana’s city center or at the airport. Transferring from the airport can save you the time and money of going into town first.

Several car companies arrange private drivers for transfers from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, which can be booked in advance online. Expect to pay around €70 ($75 USD) per car or up to €20 ($21.45) per person (per-person rates drop the larger your group).

Lake Bled.

Renting a Car in Ljubljana and Driving

Having a car in Lake Bled is really helpful for getting around. Though the city has local buses and taxis, having your own car avoids the need to book tours to nearby attractions and the risk of getting stranded somewhere. Plus, I found that gas in Slovenia is much less expensive than in nearby countries like Germany and Austria, which makes driving much more reasonable than in other parts of Europe.

We chose to drive to Lake Bled from Ljubljana. It’s a straightforward drive once you get out of the city. The route stays on the same highway the entire time before exiting to the town, which is just a few minutes from the road.

For a break along the drive, stop in Kranj, a medieval town regarded as the capital of the Slovenian Alps. Kranj is almost exactly halfway between Bled and Ljubljana.

If you’re driving into Slovenia from a different country in Europe, you’ll need to purchase a toll vignette before entering to avoid fines. Your rental company may already have this taken care of as e-vignettes are tied to your license plate. Ask when you’re picking up your car.

Slovenia requires that foreign drivers carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your local license when in the country. IDPs aren’t difficult to get if you’re already licensed. It’s a matter of stopping by your local AAA location, paying a nominal fee, and filling out a few papers.

For those who aren’t driving into Slovenia, the best place to rent a car in Ljubljana is at the airport, where major rental car companies like Alamo, Enterprise, and Sixt operate.

Most hotels in Lake Bled have free parking. If you’re driving into town from Ljubljana or a hotel on the other side of the lake, public parking is readily available for €2 ($2.15) an hour.

Tours From Ljubljana to Lake Bled

Though I’m not a tour person, I totally understand how booking a day tour takes a lot of the stress out of travel.

Several tours from Ljubljana to Lake Bled are available that include transportation between the cities. Many of these tours also offer stops at Triglav National Park, Lake Bohinj, Kranj, or other nearby attractions.

Lake Bled tours can be booked as part of a shared group, or private. Private tours typically cost around $400 USD per group or upwards of $150 USD per person. Shared small group tours range in price from $65 to $130 USD per person.

Boats on the shore of Lake Bled.

Things to Do in Lake Bled

Honestly, you could spend your entire time in Lake Bled relaxing in its waters and taking in the beautiful view. However, if you want to make the most of your visit, work a few of the best things to do in Lake Bled into your itinerary:

  • Visit Bled Castle
  • Try Bled Cream Cake at the best Lake Bled restaurants
  • Hike Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar)
  • Take a Pletna Boat Ride to the Assumption of Maria Church

For more ideas of things to do in Lake Bled, check out the activities below:

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