We visited Lake Bled with our kiddos and we found it to be an immensely satisfying family travel destination. There are tons of things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia with kids!
Lake Bled is an idyllic destination with a fairy tale castle in the middle of a beautiful blue lake. If you are coming to Slovenia you will almost certainly visit Lake Bled (it is one of the most popular tourist areas in the country).
Most folks spend a day or two at Lake Bled and then go on their way. We found Lake Bled to be an effective base for exploring the many attractions in this epic part of Slovenia. We spent 6 days of our trip here because there were just so many things to do in Lake Bled with the kids!
Our Favorite Things to do in Lake Bled with Kids
Walking Around the Lake
You will want to walk around the lake. It is just what you do. That way, you won’t be worried that you have missed one of those epic views of the island that everyone comes here for.
Fortunately, walking around the lake is one of the best things to do in Bled Slovenia with kids. Don’t worry, it is doable even with small children with a stroller. It will take most of a day with stops for lunch, ice cream, cream cake and maybe more ice cream (don’t worry, the sugar will keep your kids going and they will CRASH when you get done so you can have some quiet time!)
By the time we got back, it was lake afternoon. We had taken every conceivable picture of the castle and the island and felt satisfied with our Lake Bled experience.
>>> Cost: Free, except for buying your kids cooperation with occasional bribes of ice cream
The Lake Bled Tourist Train
If walking around the whole lake with kids sounds a little daunting or you don’t have that much time you can jump on a cute little tourist train for a spin around the lake. Your ticket allows you to hop on and hop off at major tourist sights around the lake for the whole day.
The train is cute and most kids enjoy riding around on trains. This would be an easy way to see Lake Bled with kids.
>>> Cost: $3 for kids / $5 for adults for the day
>>> Website: http://www.bled.si/en/what-to-do/tourist-train
Getting out to Lake Bled Island
Most people get out to Lake Bled island via the Pletna boat. The Pletna boat has a long history, so this is a good way to go for the experience. They also cost 14 euro per person and it was cheaper for us (and a fun adventure for the kids) to rent our own boat for 30 euros and row ourselves out.
We started in the morning and rented the boat first thing. We rented from the boat rental place in the glass building at the west end of the lake (near Camping Bled). The views at this end of the lake were better in the afternoon once the sun is behind you, so you won’t be missing much by heading out to the island in the morning.
An hour was enough time for us to row out to the Lake Bled island and back and explore a little bit. If your kids are older climbing to the top of the church tower on the island to ring the wishing bell is a fun activity.
>>> Cost: 20-30 euros to rent your own boat, 14 euros pp to ride the Pletna boat
Summer Toboggan Bled at Straza Bled
We had seen the the toboggan run the day before when we were poking around Bled Castle. The kids had gotten super excited about it. We found a pathway near the Hotel Jadran (on the south side of Lake Bled) to take us up to Straza Bled, a mountain adventure park above the city.
This was a great motivational stop for the kids! The toboggan run was not expensive, and even our littlest one could go in one of our laps (kids need to be 8 to ride by themselves.) There was a little neat hiking loop at the top with scenic views. The kids had A BLAST going down the hill. This was one of our family’s favorite things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia. Definitely a win.
>>> Cost: One ride 5 euros for children, 8 euros for adults (discounts for multiple rides)
>>> Website: https://www.straza-bled.si/en/Summer
Swimming at Lake Bled
There is a really lovely public swimming area just underneath Bled Castle on the shores of the lake. The Lake Bled Public Lido has fenced swimming pools at various depths, restroom and changing facilities, slides, a diving board, a playground and sandbox for the kids. When we visit again in the summer, we will certainly plan a day for a picnic here!
>>> Cost: Whole day 7 euros for adults, 4.50 euros for children. Cheaper tickets available after 5pm
I have a confession to make. Despite oodles of other travel blogs and websites telling us that we MUST go here when we visited Lake Bled, we did not. It was not for lack of beauty – I am sure the views were adequately spectacular.
We had read that there wasn’t a lot for the kids to actually DO inside the castle. We had already had some amazing views of the lake and its iconic island and church and paying $25 for us to go in for 10 minutes to take some more amazing photos just wasn’t that appealing at that moment. There, I promised honesty and now you have it.
This is not to say that the castle won’t be worthwhile FOR YOU, it just wasn’t for us (we did see another amazing and super kid friendly castle in Austria on our way back that I will write about sometime soon!)
>>> Cost: 11 euros for adults, 5 euros for kids (14 and under)
>>> Website: http://www.blejski-grad.si/en/
Hike Up to a Viewpoint
The views of beautiful lake Bled are amazing walking around the lake, but they are even better from above. There are a number of trails that lead up to viewpoints. The easiest one to attempt with kids is the trail to Ojstrica Bled.
This trail to Ojstrica Bled heads up from the western end of the lake, not far from Camping Bled. It is marked by a sign and is listed on the tourist maps that you can pick up around town. It is listed as a ten minute hike, so triple that with kids 😉
If your kids are older and are up for a harder hike, you can hike upwards from the Ojstrica Bled viewpoint to the Osojnica Bled viewpoint, which will yield more lovely views.
>>> Cost: Free
Tasting Some of that Yummy Lake Bled Cream Cake
While walking around the lake, make sure to stop somewhere for some of that darned Lake Bled Cream Cake. The Park Hotel Bled Slovenia is the original proprietor of the cream cake, but pretty much every place sells it for around 4.50 euros. It is worth having with lunch when you are poking about. There are also lots of places along the lake to stop for ice cream whenever the kids need a motivational boost.
>>> Cost: 4.50 euros, give or take
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Lake Bled
How to Get From Ljubljana to Lake Bled
- Most people come to Lake Bled from visiting Ljubljana. Lake Bled is easy to get to from Ljubljana. It is an easy 45 minute drive north on the A2.
- You can also get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled by train. The train takes an hour and a half to two hours. The train station in Bled is on the north side of the lake (Camping Bled is within walking distance of the train station and this is a great choice for your stay!)
- If you are looking to travel by bus, buses depart hourly during the summer for Lake Bled from Ljubljana. The trip takes a little over an hour.
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Where to Park Around Lake Bled
If you are not staying by the lake, parking can be difficult during the summer. Our farm stay host recommended parking at the parking lot next to Camping Lake Bled. It is less busy than the area with most of the parking at the other end of the lake. There is also a public bathroom nearby in the building towards the lake (always a plus with little ones).
If you are cheap like us and don’t want to pay for parking, we found free parking on the north side of the lake next to the train station (please verify that this is still true before you park!) If you are going to walk around the whole lake anyways, you can park here and save some money.
Take the stairs down in front of the train station (if you have a stroller, it will need to be carried.) Starting counter clockwise around the lake, you will come to a toilet (paid) if anyone needs a pit stop.
Where to Stay in Lake Bled with Kids (what we wish we would have known)
We had an amazing stay at farm stay Dolinar Krainer, just ten minutes outside of Lake Bled. If you are looking for a place to stay for your Lake Bled holidays, this is a solid choice. It was nice to be just a little bit outside of the congestion of Lake Bled in our own spacious apartment.
In hindsight, staying at Camping Bled Slovenia would also have been a really great option. They have these amazing little family cabins that would have been perfect for us, and they are located right near the lake. If you visit Lake Bled in the summer, they have a lovely little beachy area down by the lake where the kids can splash and cool off.
The icing on the cake of staying at Camping Bled is the fact that you can walk right from here around the lake without having to worry about where to park (parking around Lake Bled gets congested in the summer). You could add swimming in the lake to your list of awesome things to do in Lake Bled. If we were to return in the summer time, we would definitely stay here.
What are The Best Lake Bled Restaurant with Kids?
Our explorations of the restaurants around Lake Bled showed us that what is true of many overly touristy areas is also true here. They breed a slew of high priced, mediocre quality restaurants. Please correct me if I am wrong, but we felt that it was much easier to find authentic Slovenian cuisine once we got out of Lake Bled.
Fortunately, this was not true of Pizzeria Rustica. This was our favorite Lake Bled restaurant by far. This highly rated pizza place really was worth all the hype. Excellent pizzas at super reasonable prices. Our pizzas came really quickly, which is always a bonus with hungry little ones!
What Are the Best Day trips from Lake Bled?
Lake Bled was an excellent base for exploring this corner of Slovenia. Many folks stay in Ljubljana and visit Lake Bled as a day trip from there, but we like staying outside of big cities and it was nice to be able to have more than one day to explore the area around the lake. We stayed near Lake Bled for six nights in a really nice tourist farm just outside of town.
From Lake Bled, we took some lovely daytrips to the Vintgar Gorge, Lake Bohinj, the Vrsic Pass/Julian Alps and Soca Valley and Ljubljana. These are all within easy driving distance of Lake Bled.
Vintgar Gorge: This is an easy hike with kids just a short distance from Lake Bled. The waters of the river were this beautiful blue color that was just hard to believe was real. This is a great way to get out to the Vintgar Gorge.
Lake Bohinj: Lake Bohinj is Lake Bled’s laid back cousin. Located within a thirty minute drive of Lake Bled, and it is much more natural and less developed. This is a great place to escape the tourist crush of lake Bled and enjoy some of Slovenia’s abundant natural beauty.
The Julian Alps and Vrsic Pass (and the Soca Valley): The beginning of the Vrsic Pass is about 45 minutes north of Lake Bled near Kranska Gora. We spent an amazing morning driving through the pass with views of the stunning Julian Alps and the afternoon picnicking by the Soca River (yes, the water really is THAT blue.)
Ljubljana: This goes counter to much of the Slovenia travel advice out there, but instead of staying for 2-3 days in Ljubljana, we chose to stay in Bled and take a couple of daytrips to explore picturesque and walkable Ljubljana. It is only a 45 minute or so drive south of Lake Bled.