If Lake Bled is the outgoing, popular sibling then Lake Bohinj is the quiet, introverted one. Lake Bohinj makes an ideal Lake Bled day trip as it is an easy 30 minute drive away. Lake Bohinj Slovenia also offers up a really nice selection of activities for families in a convenient, laid back package.
How to Get to Lake Bohinj Slovenia
Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj: Lake Bohinj Slovenia is approximately 45 minutes away by car from Ljubljana. There are also hourly bus departures from Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj. The trip is listed as taking just under two hours. Once you arrive, you could use the hop on, hop off shuttle mentioned below to get around during the summer.
Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj: Getting from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj by car is an easy task. It is a 30 minute drive. If you need to get between the two via public transportation things get a little more complicated. You can take a bus from Lake Bled to Bohinj Bistrica (details here https://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/).
From here, there are free hop on, hop off shuttles that run during the summer and stop at a number of Lake Bohinj highlights. The buses make three stops per day, allowing you to see a couple different area of Lake Bohinj.
For more detailed information about how to get to and around Lake Bohinj by bus, click here.
What to Do in Lake Bohinj Slovenia with Kids:
Ribcev Laz Slovenia
Ribcev Laz is the biggest town around Lake Bohinj and a solid place to start your explorations. There is paid parking nearby at the tourist information office (which has a nice selection of fruit schnapps if you are looking for souvenirs).
Walk down towards the lake and take pictures of the photo worthy arched bridge and church before it gets crowded. Walk around the lake a little bit and take your pictures of the Zlatorog statue (you can read about the legend of the Zlatorog here).
Mount Vogel Cable Car
The Mount Vogel cable car was a highlight for adults and kids alike. The thrilling ride on the Vogel cable car made for some nice photo opportunities. The views only got better once we got to the top.
At the top, there is ONE hiking trail that is marked as a 30 minute trail that might be doable with kids. Ask at the information office where it is. A little ways down from the information office, the trail splits and appears to go two ways. They are both listed as 30 minutes, but go to the left.
Tips: When you get off the cable car, don’t be in a huge rush to exit. Some of the best photos are right from the cable car platform, and once you exit, you will not be able to get there again.
>>> Vogel Cable Car Cost: 20 euros round trip for adults, 10 euros for kids (5 euros more if you get the package with lunch included. It is worth it – the soup and bread were amazing and plentiful and the strudel was a nice way to finish. Completely worth the extra $5)
>>> Mount Vogel Website: http://www.vogel.si/summer/options/cable-car-ride
This is a beautiful waterfall that is close to Lake Bohinj. As beautiful as it is, I would honestly not suggest this hike if you have small children. It was 500 + steps and was challenging for me as a fit adult. Small children will almost certainly need to be carried much of the way up. We hit slap Savica later in the day while both kids napped in the van (husband elected to stay with them as he was tuckered out, too).
The best time of day to visit Slap Savica is between 9-10am when the sunlight is most likely to get to the bottom and illuminate the beautiful green pool at the bottom. Don’t worry if this doesn’t work – it is still pretty, even without ideal light (we were there in late afternoon and it was still very worthwhile).
>>> Slap Savica Cost: 3 euros for adults, 1.50 euros children 7-14, under 7 free
The Mostnica Gorge is an easy 1.2 mile hike near Stara Fuzina, just north east of Lake Bohinj. The dramatic walls or the gorge carved by the beautiful blue green water make this a lovely addition to a visit to Lake Bohinj.
>>> Mostnica Gorge Cost: 2.50 euros for adults, 1.25 euros for children
>>> Mostnica Gorge Website: https://www.bohinj.si/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mostnica-gorge.pdf
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Boat Ride Across Lake Bohinj
A boat ride across Lake Bohinj is a great way to see the scenery if the kiddos are just tuckered out from hiking. The boats leave from the dock in Ribcev Laz Slovenia near the bridge.
>>> Lake Bohinj Boat Cost: 10.50 euros return for adults, 7.50 euros kids 7-14, under 7 free
>>> Lake Bohinj Boat Tour Website: https://www.bohinj.si/en/experiences/tourist-boat-tour
The Best Lake Bohinj Restaurants with Kids
Here is our hand picked short list of kid friendly restaurants near Lake Bohinj Slovenia:
- Pod Skalko: This sits at the top of my list of the best Lake Bohinj restaurants for families for one reason. They have a great little playground onsite…with goats. The playground is uniquely entwined with a goat enclosure. What kid wouldn’t be entertained by a playground with goats? This simple pizza place is super casual and outdoors with lots of room for the kiddos to run around while waiting for food.
- >>> Website: http://www.pod-skalco-bohinj.com/
- Gostlina Mihovc: Good, simple food, ample portions and reasonable prices are what put this onto my radar.
>>> Website: http://www.gostilna-mihovc.si/
- Foksner Burger Joint: Centrally located in Ribcev Laz. Great burger place, huge portions, extremely reasonable prices and excellent reviews.
Lake Bohinj Hotels and Accomodations for Families
- Farm Stay Dolinar Krainer: We really enjoyed our stay at the Dolinar Krainer tourist farm. It is located conveniently halfways between Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. We had a great apartment that was a perfect fit for our family of five. You can read a full review of our Slovenia farmstay experiences here.
>>> Cost: We rented a two bedroom apartment here for around 80 euros/night.
- Hostel Pod Voglom: This budget and family friendly Bohinj accomodations offers a wide variety of room options for various sizes of families. The hostel offers private rooms. You can also rent apartments of various sizes for more privacy.
>>> Cost: A private hostel room runs 22-29 euros pp/pd (discounts for children) with options to add on meals. Apartments range between 60-90 euros per day (cleaning fee not included.)
One Day: Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj?
When most folks plan a trip to Slovenia, they consider Lake Bled a must. Lake Bohinj is also extremely beautiful and worthy of your precious vacation time. If you have two days to spend between the two, you have no problem. If you only have one day to spend in the area, you should definitely plan for Lake Bled.
Because the two lakes are so close together, it might be possible to see both in the same day if you have your own vehicle. Here is a comparison of the two lakes to help you decide trying to fit both into the same day is worth it for you.
Lake Bled offers those beautiful, iconic views of the church and the island that comprise the picture that most people have in their minds of Slovenia. Lake Bled is smaller than Lake Bohinj, so you can walk around the whole lake in a day.
Lake Bled is also one of the most touristy spots in Slovenia. Its shores are filled with hotels, restaurants, stores and other necessary pieces of the tourist infrastructure. It can get crowded, especially during the summer.
A partial day at Lake Bled would be enough time to take a Pletna boat out to the island, have a piece of cream cake and walk around the lake if you are moving at a good pace (with kids, you really need most of an afternoon to walk all the way around the lake).
Lake Bohinj Slovenia has a much more laid back feeling to it. It is larger, and surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks. The shores of the lake are a lot more natural. It has a wilder feeling to it. Lake Bohinj is much more of an outdoorsy, hiking, kayaking, sports oriented sort of lake. If you like to stay a little further off the beaten path, you might enjoy Lake Bohinj more than Lake Bled.
A half day in Lake Bohinj would be enough time to snap a few photos in Ribcev Laz down by the lake, hike up to Slap Savica and perhaps take the cable car to the top of Mount Vogel (if you don’t stay for very long). With kids, you would probably only be able to do two out of the three of those in a half day.