Seamlessly Take the Bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
Updated on March 19th, 2020
I always get asked questions about how to get between places, specifically, ‘how do you get the bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled?’. So in keeping with my transport theme over the past month, I will explain exactly how to get between the two Slovenian destinations.
It had been a long couple of travel days for us when we arrived in Ljubljana. Only 3 days prior we had been in finishing up hiking in Albania. Afterwards, we took a short bus into Montenegro and then 2, 10-hour train journeys to reach Ljubljana. Exhausted, and still not at our final destination. Luckily getting between Ljubljana and Bled was a breeze. Follow these tips to make it just as easy for you too.
We wanted to recoup and spend a couple of nights in the city, but after being in the Balkans where everything was cheap we couldn’t believe the prices for accommodation here. We decided to spend one night in Ljubljana before making our way by bus to Lake Bled and then our final destination of Lake Bohinj.
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There aren’t many travellers who haven’t heard about the beauties of Lake Bled. This Alpine Lake lays on the outskirts to the Triglav National Park and is a marvellous blue colour. What makes the lake even more picturesque is the small island in the centre with a church and completely surrounded by forest.
It’s possible to visit the island via boat trips or paddle out on the smooth waters yourself in a kayak or paddleboard. Although you’ll most definitely want to walk to one of the higher vantage points to see the entire lake from above.
During the summer months Bled is a popular little town and does get quite busy, but the size of the lake allows visitors to spread out around its shores lessening some of the crowds.
Getting a ticket
Because Bled is a popular destination you will find plenty of buses running between the capital and the lake. Although if you have a particular time in mind it is best to book the bus in advance. You can either buy tickets online, at the bus station in Ljubljana or on the bus itself.
When purchasing a ticket online, its a bit confusing as there are multiple Ljubljana’s. You will want to select the Ljubljana AP. Searching for Lake Bled will come up as a blank also, just type in Bled.
Websites to buy tickets online
Strangely enough, the European go-to Flix Bus does not travel between the two cities. Another popular site I frequently use is Get By Bus, but when I search for tickets prices start at 33 Euros! Definitely not the price you should and need to pay for the short journey.
You can use the Arriva bus website to see the schedule but they don’t allow online purchases. These are the most frequent buses and I use this site as a reference for when to arrive at the bus station. I have then both bought them at the station and jumped on board and purchased our ticket from the attendant.
If you do want to buy online the Ljubljana Bus Station website allows ticket sales.
Ljubljana to Bled bus timetable
There is no shortage of Arriva buses, with 24 different departures times in the winter and 32 in the summer.
Summer schedules start at 5:00 am and run until 9:00 pm. Buses run at least hourly and in the middle of the day have departure on the half-hour and a couple that leave at the same time on the hour.
The trip takes from 57 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bus ticket prices
A regular one-way bus ticket between Ljubljana and Bled will cost 6.30 € on the Arriva buses regardless of which departure time you choose. There are concession tickets for students and children.
If you buy tickets online through the bus station one-way tickets start at 7.80 €. If you plan on returning it is cheaper to purchase a return ticket at 12.84 € and is valid for 30 days.
Distance from Ljubljana to Bled
The distance between Ljublana and Bled is 55 km and is separated by the Gorenjska highway. With a few short detours into highway towns, the total driving distance is 57 km.
Ljubljana bus station
The main bus station in Ljubljana is located outside the train station. It’s between a 500m and 1 km walk from the downtown area making it walkable for most. The roads and footpaths are smooth and it’s a pretty direct route making it hard to go wrong.
Make sure to get to the bus station 10 minutes before departure time as the buses aren’t waiting for anybody. Our driver was out of the lot the moment the clock ticked on to departure time.
If you still need to buy a ticket, I recommend arriving at least 30 minutes prior to allow for long queues in the ticket office. The bus parking lots are lined up alongside the railway station, if you follow this west you will come to the ticket office located in the median strip.
Buses depart from different platforms. You can check online on the Arriva website or inside the ticket office.
You can grab some snacks at the nearby supermarkets.
The journey from Ljubljana to Bled
We caught an afternoon bus out of Ljubljana and left without any delay. The roads were quiet with very little traffic when exiting the city and on the highway.
The entire journey went by really quickly and without too much excitement. When heading out of Ljubljana we made one further stop and then the bus stopped at Medvode, Kranj, Radovljica, and Lesce. Each of the stops was quick and didn’t allow anyone off the bus.
The scenery is mostly open meadows and farmlands interspersed with some cute small towns.
Bled bus station
The Bled bus station is to the northeast of the lake 10 minutes after leaving the highway. The bus station is just a pullover area on the main street in the heart of town. Many of the hotels and hostels will be within walking distance under 1 km away.
When you get off the bus you won’t actually be able to see the lake. Although a short walk south of the bus station will bring you your first glimpses of the azure waters.
Around the station, you will find plenty of cafes, restaurants, a supermarket and right next door is a tour agency. Make sure to book some fun activities while in Bled like a day trip exploring Triglav National Park.
and… that’s it! As you can see getting from Ljubljana to Bled is really easy. Once you’ve finished exploring Bled make sure you jump back on the Arriva bus and head to Lake Bohinj. Pssst. I liked Bohinj more than Bled.
Things to know & FAQ’s
Ljubljana to Lake Bled day trip
If you’re short on time there are options of doing a day trip from Ljubljana. As the bus only takes an hour and a half max you could choose to take an early bus and come back in the evening. The last departure in the evening from Bled is 9:30 pm giving you plenty of time to explore during the day.
Another option is to do an organised tour. I always recommend Get Your Guide for tours and have used them multiple times in the past. This day trip to Lake Bled picks you up at 8 am and will take you to Bled Castle, on a boat tour to the Bled island, into Vintgar gorge and finally through the medieval town of Skofja Loka before heading back to Ljubljana.
Other ways of getting to Lake Bled
Ljubljana to lake bled train
There is a train to Bled which takes between 1.25 and 2 hours. You will need to make one change in Jesenice. Trains start running at 4:40 am until 5:54 pm. The cost of a regular one-way ticket is 6.59 €. You can search for schedules and routes on the Ljubljana railway station site.
The biggest issue I see with taking the train is the location of Lake Bled train station. It’s 3.5 km from the town centre which means you would need to take a taxi. Adding an additional expense to the trip.
Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
I love road trips and having a car would be a great way to explore some more of Slovenia. You can take the direct route along the highway the same as the bus or make the trip more scenic.
On another trip, we detoured by Jamnik which has the most adorable church on a high hill overlooking the mountains. This detour only adds a half-hour to the journey.
Ridesharing is a great way to get from A-B in Europe. Check out Bla Bla Car and Free E-Car to see if someone is driving the route and has a spare seat.
Bled to Ljubljana bus
Reversing the trip is as simple as checking out the Arriva bus schedule page and turning up at the bus stop ahead of departure time. As the bus stop is in town you can buy your tickets ahead of time to ensure you get on your desired bus.
How do you pronounce Ljubljana
Nothing to do with buses, although something I struggled with until I got there. Loub-li-ana
Where to stay in Bled
Bled has dozens of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers up to mid-range travellers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Hostel: Garden House Bled
Budget / Mid-range: Rooms Mlinar Bled
My personal favourite. Get $55 AUD off your first booking