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Ljubljana and surrounds by public transport - 5 days?

Hi, I'll be arriving in Ljubljana from Munich (most likely at this stage) by bus as it is quicker than the train. I plan to spend 2 whole days in Ljubljana before heading out to Lake Bled by public transport. I have done a fair bit of research regarding buses and trains... I'm thinking three full days in Bled as I would like to see and do: Walk around the lake, take boat trip to the island and see the castle, is this possible in one day? second day: Bus to Radovijica for the morning but I would also like to see Lake Bohinj (by bus) and the Vintgar Gorge (by bus) at some stage too. I'm not sure how to combine these into the remaining two days. They don't appear to be full days by themselves but as I am using public transport it could be tricky zipping from one to the other. I'll then take a shuttle to the airport at midday on the fourth day.. which of course leaves the morning free to do something. Is this too long for Bled, I don't want to rush things but at the same time I don't want to be drifting around with not much to do or see. Of course the weather may be an issue in mid to late May.

Any advice would be most appreciated for those who have done this by public transport.

thanks.

Posted by
4684 posts

Radovijica is on the way to Bled from Ljubljana. You could stop there for a few hours off the bus, if you can find a place to leave your bags (or perhaps spend a night there - it is a lovely old town, whereas the town of Bled, while convenient to the beautiful lake, isn't that charming). You can take either the train or the bus to Radovijica; the bus from Ljubljana to Bled passes through anyway.

Lake Bled isn't that big. It will take not much longer to walk around it as it will to take a pletna boat out to the island and back, once you explore the church on the island. Lake Bohinj is much larger; things to see there are more spread out, so it would take more time to see them without a car. Otherwise, figure out the bus schedule if you want to try to plan a day around it. The entrance to Vintgar Gorge is walkable from the town of Bled - might take about as long to walk there as to hike the trail once you get there. Besides the public bus, you should be able to get a shuttle from town to the entrance, as I recall.

Posted by
16545 posts

I spent some time in Ljubljana (with day-trips) back in 2015. Things could definitely have changed since then, but at that time taxi service was a comparative bargain. There was often a taxi at the Bled bus station, waiting for people wanting to get back to Ljubljana faster than the bus would take them; the charge (again--4-1/2 years ago) was 7 euros per person. It was also possible to get a taxi to Vintgar gorge or to Lake Bohinj, and frequently there was someone willing to share. The taxi drivers were used to that. Just something to keep in mind if the bus schedule doesn't suit you for a particular leg of your trip. I think Lake Bohinj may have cost around 30-35 euros, but I'm not certain.

And Lake Bled is indeed very small.

It's possible you'd be able to squeeze your rural adventures into two days, but on the other hand, I don't think three days is a serious mistake. As you noted, a lot depends on the weather. But if the weather is bad, you could day-trip back to Ljubljana.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much for the replies... really appreciate the detailed responses. If I were to stay in Lake Bled would I be better off a bit further out rather than in the centre, if it's not very nice. I'm only talking a bit further around the lake.. 1km or so.

thanks

Posted by
4684 posts

Clare, If I were staying at Lake Bled without a car, I would want to be right in the center / close to the bus stop. Staying 1km away seems needlessly inconvenient especially without a car. Bled is not a bad town - it's a practical place to stay if you are visiting the area. There are restaurants and stores. It's just not loaded with charm in my opinion (the way say Ljubljana is).

One alternative place to stay nearby without a car might be Radovljica, just because it has more of an "old town center" feel. And a little less touristy - Bled is a developed resort town. I'm not sure it really matters that much. Radovljica is also connected to Ljubljana by both bus and train, which may or may not matter to you. Bled is less convenient directly by train. I think the buses from Ljubljana pass through Radovljica, Bled, and Bohinj if I'm not mistaken.

Some people might prefer to base in Ljubljana the entire time and day trip to the other places. That's more of a personal preference thing. Although you'd be spending more time on buses, Ljubljana has more to offer at night in terms of restaurants. And, if you get some rain, you can pick and choose which days to do the outdoorsy stuff; if you have two nights in Bled, you're probably going to hike Vintgar Gorge while you are staying there. If you're staying in Ljubljana, you can choose the nicest day to day trip up to Bled and/or Bohinj. If it rains, stay in Ljubljana that day and visit museums. For what it's worth, I've been to Ljubljana four times now, and I've had at least a little rain on every visit, different times of the year.