Slovenia, Julian Alps, Upper Carniola, Lake Bled, Church and island on Lake Bled

Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Bled Island

Top choice in Lake Bled

Tiny, tear-shaped Bled Island beckons from the shore. There’s the Church of the Assumption and a small museum, the Provost's House, but the real thrill is the ride out by pletna (gondola). The pletna will set you down on the south side at the monumental South Staircase (Južno Stopnišče), built in 1655. The staircase comprises 99 steps – a local tradition is for the husband to carry his new bride up them.

There is no charge to visit the island, except for what you pay to travel there (eg the gondola ride or hire of a rowboat); you are free to wander and visit the cafe and souvenir store. However, there is an admission charge to enter the church.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lake Bled attractions

1. Church of the Assumption

0.02 MILES

The baroque Church of the Assumption dates from the 17th century, though there’s been a church here since the 9th century. Go inside to see some fresco…

2. Provost’s House

0.02 MILES

On Bled Island, this building is home to a gallery and an excellent souvenir shop; on the 1st floor is an exhibition space (with changing exhibitions).

3. Lake Bled

0.43 MILES

Bled’s greatest attraction is its exquisite blue-green lake, measuring just 2km by 1.4km. The lake is lovely to behold from almost any vantage point, and…

4. Bled Castle

0.72 MILES

Perched atop a steep cliff more than 100m above the lake, Bled Castle is how most people imagine a medieval fortress to be, with towers, ramparts, moats…

5. Parish Church of St Martin

0.89 MILES

This pretty neo-Gothic church was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in 1905, who also did the city hall and Votive Church in Vienna. Outside there's a…

6. Festival Hall


Surrounded by park at the lake's eastern edge, the hall hosts events, exhibitions and concerts.

7. Vintgar Gorge

2.64 MILES

One of the easiest and most satisfying half-day trips from Bled is to Vintgar Gorge, some 4km to the northwest of Bled village. The highlight is a 1600m…

8. Pokljuka Plateau

2.72 MILES

Close to Bled, the forests and meadows of the Pokljuka Plateau offer plenty of walking trails and winter-sports facilities. While Vintgar Gorge gets all…