One of the oldest castles in Slovenia, Lake Bled Castle is an iconic site.
Located at the top of a precipice above Lake Bled, it offers incredible views of the lake and the Julian Alps Mountains.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with tips, photos and a map.
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Why visit the Lake Bled Castle in Slovenia?
The Lake Bled Castle is mostly interesting for its location:
- on a precipice
- surrounded by mountains
- above a lake that has emerald colors
Climbing for a visit is a must to enjoy its chapel and museum and especially for its views of the colorful lake.
This is one of the top things to do in Bled and one of the most famous attractions in Slovenia.
Video - Virtual Tour
Below is a short video to give you an idea of what your visit could look like - get a virtual tour!
Is Bled Castle worth it?
- Yes, if you enjoy magnificent views of lakes and mountains. This is a magnificent viewpoint over Lake Bled.
- No, if you are looking for an in-depth historical information or museum.
More photos after the planning tips
PLANNING TIPS & Map - Castle of Bled, Slovenia
How to get to Lake Bled Castle
- First you have to get to Lake Bled - easy access from Ljubljana by Motorway - 45 min drive
- Ljubljana airport to Bled - 30 min
- Then you access the castle that is located on the North East shore of the lake
- By car (or taxi) - 5 min drive from Bled center - Carpark at the top for a fee
- On foot - 15/20min walk uphill from the lake shore - steep walk
- If you don't want to rent a car, you can book an excursion from Ljubljana that includes the Castle - check out program and book
- Below is a map to help you get oriented and locate the castle:
- Bled Castle Opening Hours - 9am to 7pm in Jun/Jul/Aug - 10am to 6pm Apr/May/Sep/Oct - 9am to 5pm in Winter
- Bled Castle Price - 13 euros
- Check out latest prices and hours on the official website
- Plan 1 to 2 hours depending on how long you want to admire the views and how much time you plan on reading in the museum
- Steps and slopes to visit the castle - not so easy for those with knee problems
- Toilets on site
- Café and restaurant
- Note that your visit may be impacted by a wedding
Where to stay at Lake Bled
- CHARM AND CHARACTER - Old Bled House with a charming country decor, only a couple of minutes from the lake - Check out photos and availability
- LUXURY BY THE LAKE - Grand Hotel Toplice is located right on the lake, difficult to do better in terms of location! - Check out photos and availability
- BALCONIES WITH VIEWS - The Best Western is very close to the lake shore and has many rooms with balconies overlooking the lake - Check out photos and availability
- LUXURY & QUIET - You can also avoid the Bled center and relax at the magnificent Vila Bled right on the lake but away from the crowds, west of Bled. Quite a romantic setting - Check out photos and availability
- LAKE BLED HOSTEL - Back Hostel is not as central as the other options but it has fantastic reviews and hostel prices - Check out photos and availability
- ORIGINAL GLAMPING - further away from the lake but quite an experience! It gets booked very fast - Check out photos and availability
- Or check out the best rated accommodations in Bled
Need to rent a car in Slovenia?
Views of Lake Bled Castle from the distance
Before we climb up there and visit the castle, let me show you some of the best spots around Bled and the lake to admire it from the distance.
This first view below is from the East of the Lake. Walk by the lake from the town of Bled and you will see the famous heart. From this position (which is great for sunset), you can clearly see the 130m cliff, steep drop, and the castle above it.
Your next option is to admire its other side from a boat or from Bled Island. Riding a boat on Lake Bled is really enjoyable. Bled island is very very touristic, but you can just rent a boat to have a peaceful glide on the lake.
On the road, back from the magnificent Vintgar Gorge (see my article), you can also see the back façade of the Castle. Not as charming though.
You can learn more about all the things to do at Lake Bled, in my complete guide to Bled.
Access to Bled Castle & Parking
You have 3 options to get up to the castle:
- Drive up there from the center of Bled - 5min drive - there is a carpark at the top with an attendant - you have to pay a fee (around 3 euros)
- Take a taxi from the center of Bled - around 10 euros, but it depends where in Bled you leave from
- Or hike up there from the shores of Lake Bled - steep walk up for 15 to 20 minutes
And once at the carpark, note that you are not at the entrance yet. You still have to climb a short but steep slope to the castle entrance. Wear good shoes because it is rocky and not good for the ankles.
The main attraction: Views of Lake Bled
Before I tell you more about the castle, its structure, museum and history, let's go straight to the best part.
Once inside, climb the steps to get those incredible views of the lake and the Julian Alps.
I promise I have not changed the color of the water with my computer. This is really what you see.
I could have sat there for hours admiring the views.
This is towards the West with Bled Island and its church:
And a zoom on the island:
This is a view of Bled town with some big hotels by the shore:
And if you look towards the back, you can see small villages and mountains
Bled Castle History
Now let's have a look at the structure and history of the Castle of Bled. The upper courtyard, it's the best part of the castle:
- Bled Castle is one of the oldest castles in Slovenia
- First written mention is from 1011
- It is located on a 130m precipice above the glacial lake
- The castle has 2 courtyards on different levels
- On the lower courtyard you have access to the shops, café, gallery and the wine cellar
- On the upper courtyard is a 16th century chapel, the museum and the restaurant
- The courtyards are protected by Roman defensive walls and a Gothic defense tower
- The castle was renovated between 1952 and 1961
Visiting the castle - Chapel, Museum...
In the lower courtyard is a well to collect rainwater. It is cut into the rock and 10 to 12 meters deep.
As mentioned earlier, there is a 16th century chapel on the upper courtyard. This is the left part of the building on the picture below.
The Gothic chapel is dedicated to 2 bishops: St Albuin and St Ingenuin.
After the 1690 earthquake, the chapel was made bigger. Baroque vaults were added, and frescoes were painted in an illusionist manner. They are in a good state of preservation.
One of the frescoes represents the German King Henry II and another one represents his wife.
However, this is a small chapel and the visit does not take long.
Bled Castle Museum - inside
In the main building, a museum has been established.
I must admit that considering the quality of other museums I have visited in castles (for example in Skofja Loka or Idrija) this one was disappointing.
There are some interesting pieces but the presentation feels empty.
It is structured to take the visitor on a journey through the history of Bled from the first settlements to the present day.
Once again, I was more attracted by the views outside.
Restaurant and facilities
Lake Bled Castle has really been developed for tourism. On the lower courtyard you will find shops and a cafe:
And on the upper courtyard you have a restaurant with an incredible view:
Want to see more things to do in the Bled area?
- My complete guide to Lake Bled with viewpoints and island - read article
- The wilder Lake Bohinj - read article
- The magnificent Vintgar Gorge walk - read article
- The magnificent Savica Waterfall - read article
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