Rêveuse Travel: A Day Trip from Zagreb to Lake Bled

Rêveuse Travel: A Day Trip from Zagreb to Lake Bled

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a wonderful city to delve into, especially if you have a stop over or a short break to explore everything the city has to offer. As Zagreb is a pretty small city, we definitely recommend adding Lake Bled to your list if you have a few days extra to explore surrounding places as a day trip. A fairytale turquoise lake with a lone church floating peacefully on the surface, surrounded by distant mountains lying on the edge of Slovenia.

The journey to Lake Bled takes approximately 3-4 hours, so we suggest waking up bright and early if you do plan on just the day trip. The first train from Glavni Kolodvor in Zagreb leaves at 4.40am. We decided to take the second train at 6.58 train which reaches Ljubljana by 9.16am. Please also remember to bring your passport, as about an hour into your journey the train will stop at the border for passport control. The police from either side will do a quick check and may ask a few questions like when you arrive in Zagreb and when you plan to leave, then you'll be on your way again. From there we took a bus, just opposite the station getting to Lesce Bled in about 15-20mins. For return times back to Zagreb, we suggest double checking timings at the ticket booth as we found there wasn't a proper train timetable to view, so we just had to use our own judgement and wait. Unfortunately for us we went on a day where there had been smoke coming out from one of the trains which stalled our particular train, so it was a bit of a stressful moment trying to find out train times from locals through hand signalling and wild gestures as the ticket office had closed. Luckily we managed to find a way in the end. The last train from Llubljana station is at 18.35pm and you'll arrive back in Zagreb by 20.51. Another option if you want to delve into the beauties of Lake Bled and surrounding areas is spending a night in the capital of Slovenia, Llubljana where you'll be able to find a bus that goes straight into the centre or take you can also take a taxi.

As you reach the terminal point of the bus station, you'll find an opening where you'll be able to see the lake, towards the same side of the bus terminal. Most likely others will also be getting off at this stop so a top tip to go by when travelling is to follow the crowd! Depending on how active you want to be when visiting Lake Bled, this is all we crammed in for a slow and relaxing day trip. Of course there are other places and activities you can do in and near Lake Bled such as cycling and rowing a boat to ring the bell on the island. However, as it was winter and still chilly, we wanted to take in the gorgeous scenery at a relaxed pace. Below is a quick guide to the activities we managed to fit in.


-6.58am train from Zagreb. Arrives at Llubljana at 9.16am
-Take a 20min bus journey to Lake Bled

- Walk around lake bled
For the majority of this day trip we walked around the outer perimeters of the lake, stopping to take in the picturesque scenery, each point being a different from the next. We started walking in the direction towards the Milno Port for Pletna Boat so that we could watch the sun light up the mountains in the background. Along the way you'll find ducks swimming in a line towards anyone willing to throw some food at them as well as the hotels lined along the lake. We spent about 4 hours walking around the whole of the lake, stopping off by Punto Panoramico, a popular photo spot opportunity to have lunch that we had bought with us.

-Enjoy a coffee and a Lesce Bled cream cake
Lake Bled is known for their lesce bled cream cake, a delightful morsel quite similar to a mille feuille with layers of sweet buttery pastry with light fluffy whipped cream and topped with a layer of snowy icing sugar. We enjoyed this at the end of our long walk at Vila Preseren where we we had a fantastic view of the lake with the tabogan run sloping downwards in the distant mountain. You'll find this tasty treat on many, if not all of the hotel and cafe menus around Lake Bled. Some of the best cream cakes as suggested in google can be found at Cafe Belvedere and Smon Slascicarna.

-Hike up to the castle
As it was a fairly quiet day we decided to hike up to the castle at the end of the day to get a view of the Lake from above. On the way, you can stop off at St Martins Parish Church and enjoy the calm setting surrounded by the beautiful stained glass windows and the flickering candles. The hike to the top is an easy climb, when you reach Bled Castle you'll find wonderful views from the top. We weren't particularly interested in entering the castle but just had a walk around the area whilst peering over the castle walls.

-Enjoy the picturesque sunset hour
The sunset at Lake is Bled was incredible during the January month I visited. The mountains were particularly dreamy with the peaks fading from a warm terracotta orange into a grape purplish hue.

Last train back to Zagreb at 18.35pm, reaching Kolodvor Glavni at 20.51pm.

This is what we managed to pack in the day to catch the last train back to Zagreb. However, if you want to add additional things to do into your itinery you can take the first train to Llubjana and perhaps take a hike to the top of Mala Osjonica, a good viewpoint from high above before descending down and taking a boat to the island. We also didn't go inside the castle so this is something you can also do when you have a tour around the lake. During the summer months I'm sure it's more lively at Lake Bled where there is also swimming access in the lake itself where you can swim to the island if you dare!

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