Bled Castle is one of the first things you’ll notice when arriving at Lake Bled (probably just after you notice the island in the middle of the lake). The medieval castle is built on top of a 130m high cliff which makes it hard to miss. It’s the oldest castle in Slovenia according to written sources and was first mentioned in 1011. Bled Castle is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Slovenia and in this blog post, I’m telling you everything you need to know about visiting Bled Castle.
Slovenia is the first European country that officially ended the pandemic on 14 May 2020. However, precautions are still taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For Bled Castle specifically, this means that the opening hours are currently limited. Check this website for more and updated information on the situation in Bled.
How to get to Bled Castle
Bled Castle is easily accessible from Bled town. The walk up the cliff takes about 15 minutes uphill. The trail starts here.
Only touring buses are allowed to park near the castle up the cliff. If you don’t want to or are not able to walk to the castle, you can book a group tour that will bring you to the castle or grab a taxi. It’s just a short walk from the parking lot and drop-off point to the castle, but be aware that this short path is very steep.
Things to do at Bled Castle
The castle is built around two courtyards on different levels (upper and lower) that are connected through a staircase. The castle offers a few things to do. There’s a museum in the upper courtyard of the castle that shows you everything about the rich history of the castle.
Besides the museum, you can also find a reconstruction of Gutenberg’s wooden printing press. Here, you can print your own memorial document if you’d like to. The Gothic chapel in the upper courtyard is one of the best preserved buildings of the castle. The chapel was built in the 16th century and was decorated with frescos. The chapel is beautiful and definitely worth checking out
There’s a Castle Coffeeshop at the lower courtyard. Here, you can enjoy a drink and a typical Bled cream cake while enjoying the beautiful view over the lake. Please note that the Coffeeshop is closed from November to April.
Bled Castle also features a restaurant. The restaurant is closed off from the public and also offers a beautiful view over the lake. Reservations in advance are required. The entrance fee is included in the price when having a reservation for a 3-course lunch or a dinner tasting menu. The restaurant offers Slovenian dishes with a modern twist.
There’s also a wine cellar in the castle, which is open to visitors. At the castle’s forge you can find different kinds of forged artifacts on display. In the souvenir shop you can buy honey products and typical souvenirs from Slovenia. Don’t forget to take a look into the well on the lower courtyard. The well is designed to collect rainwater and is about 10-12m deep!
The view from Bled Castle
There are plenty of things to see and do at Bled Castle, but the one thing that attracted most of my attention was the incredible view. Because the castle is located high up a cliff, the view is just amazing. The weather wasn’t that clear when I visited the castle, there were quite some clouds up in the sky that blocked the view of some of the mountains. The mountains and nature surrounding the lake were clearly visible though, as well was the lake itself. You can easily spend hours enjoying the view from up there and I couldn’t stop taking photos.
The crowds at Bled Castle
I visited the castle on a Sunday afternoon at the end of June and it was pretty crowded. Most people that visited the castle were part of tour groups. Despite the crowds, I could still enjoy my visit and soak up the amazing views. I decided where to go in the castle based on the tour groups. If I saw a group entering the museum, I waited a bit before entering. To avoid the crowds, my advice would be to go as early as possible (best is right after opening time) and avoid the peak months of July and August.
Prices & opening hours
Temporary opening hours (from 14 May 2020)
Regular opening hours (currently not valid)
April-June & September-October: 08.00-20.00
August & July: 08.00-21.00
I hope I’ve provided you with all the information you need to plan your visit to Bled Castle. Is Lake Bled on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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