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Lake Bled for a day trip from Ljubljana. Tour? Bus and hike? Rent car for a day

We will be staying in Ljubljana as a base (sleeping four nights there), and were thinking of doing the day tour of Lake Bled with Roundabout. Looking at it, it seems that we would be rushed and may prefer to do it at our own pace. Rick Steves says to take a taxi from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. He also says you can rent a car there for the day (which may be cheaper than paying for a tour for four people). Is that the best way, or would we be better of by bus/taxi and tour around (Vintgar gorge, the castle, island) by hiking or bike (or car to Vintgar Gorge?) and then bus/taxi back to Ljubljana? Thanks again!!

Posted by
4955 posts

I can't imagine taking a taxi to Bled from Ljubljana! There's cheap, frequent direct bus service:

You could also stop in the lovely old town of Radovljica on the way up (take a train or bus) and the bus on from there to Bled.

If you want to hike Vintgar Gorge nearby, as some do, there is shuttle service from town plus a local bus occasionally I think - or you can walk, maybe 45 min(?) each way.

If you really love trains, you can take the train back to Ljubljana from Bled. Bled Jezero train station (tiny) is across the lake from the town of Bled and requires a connection in Jesenice. Or get the train direct from Lesce-Bled station, which is not really waking distance from Bled, so take a bus or taxi between there and Bled. But the direct bus between Ljubljana and Bled is just easier, so just stick to the bus unless you really love trains (I do).

But renting a car isn't expensive or difficult, and you'd get to see some lovely scenery that you'd miss without a car. On the way from Ljubljana to Bled, you can detour through the town of Skofja Loka (worth a stop) and then take the scenic drive through the mountains via Jamnik and Kropa down to Bled - very pretty drive and lovely scenery, but narrow roads (but your car will probably be small too).

Posted by
21301 posts

I found Slovenian taxis unusually inexpensive in 2015; that may have changed. I never saw an opportunity to do it on the way to Bled, but for travel onward to Vintgar or Bohinj or back to Ljubljana, there is often a taxi hanging out near the Bled bus station, trying to entice bus passengers into saving time by sharing a taxi. The 2015 rate back to Ljubljana was 7 euros per person, but that required a full van. If you decide not to rent a car, you may find that for four people, sharing a taxi for short trips is extremely affordable. (Or not; certainly the exchange rate isn't as good as it was in 2015.) Making bus connections at Bled sometimes means waiting a good while, and time is often of the essence when one is on vacation.

This post brought to you by someone who happily walks miles to avoid spending the money on a taxi in most situations.