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 remarquable views of the lake and the Julian Alps Mountains. Let me show you around:
Info and Tips to plan your visit at the end of the article
Navigate back to the complete Slovenia Travel Guide
Lake Bled Castle Slovenia in Video
Let's start with a short video of my visit to the Bled Castle with its chapel and museum but mostly for its views of the colorful lake.
This article contains affiliate Links. If you purchase through them, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. It helps me keep this blog running and bring you more info.
View of Lake Bled Castle from the distance
Before we climb up there and visit the castle, let me who you some fo 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 photos), you can also see the back façade of the Castle. Not as charming thought
You can learn more about all the things to do in Lake Bled, in my complete guide to Bled.
How to get to Bled Castle
First step : Get to Bled
Bled is easily access by car or bus from Ljubljana or the airport.
- Ljubljana to Bled - 45 min
- Ljubljana airport to Bled - 30 min
- 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
Second Step: get to the Castle
You have 4 options to get up to the castle:
- Drive up there from the center of Bled - 5min drive - there is a parking at the top with an attendant - you have to pay a fee (around 3 euros)
- Take a taxi from the center of Bled - 5 to 10 euros
- Driver - get a driver to take you from Bled to the castle who will pick you up at the castle 2 hours later to drop you off back in Bled - tour includes entry ticket so you don't have to queue - Book
- Or hike up there from the shores of Lake Bled - steep walk up for 15 to 20 minutes
And once at the parking, 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 site 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 views 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, its 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 defense walls and a Gothic defence tower
- The castle was renovated between 1952 and 1961
In the lower courtyard is a well to collect rain water. It is cut into rock and 10 to 12 meters deep.
Chapel of Bled Castle
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 frescoe 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.
Labe Bled castle interior Museum
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 was very very disappointing.
There are some interesting pieces but the presentation fells 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 🙂
Lake Bled Castle 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 :
PLANNING TIPS - CASTLE OF BLED SLOVENIA
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS
How to get to Lake Bled Castle
- Drive 5min from Bled center - Parking at the top for a fee
- 15/20min walk uphill from lake shore - steep walk
Visiting Bled Castle
- Bled Castle Opening Hours - 8am to 9pm in Jun/Jul/Aug - 8am to 8pm Apr/May/Sep/Oct - 8am to 6pm in Winter
- Bled Castle Price - 10 euros
- Plan 1 to 2 hours depending on how long you want to admire the views and how much you plan on reading in the museum
- Steps and slopes to visit the castle - not so easy for those with knee problms
- Facilities on site
- Café and restaurant
Want to see more of SLOVENIA?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Love sharing? Here is another pin for you: