Quick Guide To Ljubljana and Lake Bled

Ljubljana is one of Europe’s hidden gems and does not get nearly as many visitors as it deserves – which makes it even more special for those who make the journey. Situated on a river, Ljubljana has a wonderful café and bar scene which spills out to the sides of the river. With beautiful architecture and a hill-top castle overlooking the city, the capital of Slovenia is well worth your time. And what’s best? It’s cheap! I loved that Ljubljana has all the hallmarks of a spectacular European city but without the price tag. Add a Ljubljana backpacking trip to your itinerary.

Ljubljana and Lake Bled
One of the main streets in Ljubljana


Where to Stay

  • There are plenty of AirBNBs in Ljubljana and this might be the best way to go, as you will be able to see the city from a local’s perspective. The places I looked into were cheap and quite central.
  • We stayed at Hostel 24 and it was pretty satisfactory for a hostel, as it had a kitchen and was pretty cheap. I was given a basement room which was not as pleasant, but heard good reports from other rooms. There is a bar/café next door, and it’s a short walk from both the castle and the city centre.


Ljubljana and Lake BledTaking an evening stroll along the river in Ljubljana


What to Do

  • Walk up to the castle and admire the view. There is not a lot in the castle, but there are lovely surrounds to go for a stroll.
  • Enjoy a cocktail by the river
  • Visit the nearby Lake Bled (see information below)
  • When I was there, there was a market on each Friday which was great to have a look around and there were also cheap meals.



What to Eat and Drink

  • The cafés are really cheap on Ciril-Metodov trg, with cafés doing cappuccinos and for €1 and often accompanied by a small sweet or cake.
  • Druga violina (violin restaurant) is cheap and delicious! With an array of traditional (and less traditional) foods, and lovely staff as well, this is a restaurant that you have to try. I don’t normally go to restaurants, but it was almost as cheap as cooking.
  • A couple of places along Ciril-Metodov trg will also do pretty cheap food, such as soups, sausages and sandwiches. Just keep your eye out and you’re bound to find something!



Ljubljana and Lake Bled

The castle overlooking Ljubljana


  • There are a few clubs around, but the bar scene was more my style. There were loads of little places around to grab a drink.
  • The more picturesque places were by the river, and despite their popularity they were still quite cheap. With happy hours having €4 cocktails.


Lake Bled

Ljubljana and Lake BledLake Bled is absolutely beautiful


Lake Bled is absolutely gorgeous and only about an hour outside of Ljubljana. You can do it as a day trip or spend the night; the lake itself is free entry but you do have to organize a way to get there.


I caught one of the buses from the Ljubljana main bus/train station and it was relatively cheap but completely packed! I would recommend booking your tickets the day before to ensure no disappointment, and it might be worth paying a bit extra to reserve a seat. It was about €5 one way for just the tickets without the seat reservation, but if you miss out on a seat you will be crammed in standing for over an hour.


Bled is incredibly beautiful and there are a lot of different ways to see the lake. I would recommend just walking around the circular track, but also to climb up to the castle to see the lake from above. There is a little side path to the side of the castle where there will be way less people and killer views.


It’s worthwhile bringing a packed lunch to Bled as the restaurants are very touristy and expensive. Definitely head to Lake Bled though because it is stunning and really accessible.


Been to Ljubljana and Lake Bled or have questions? Comment below!

Lucy Owens Travel Textbook


My name’s Lucy and I’m the junior doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.


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