Bled, Slovenia has been on our bucket list for a long time, so we were very excited we planned our family summer vacation to Austria and Slovenia. Our visit to Bled with kids was a bit unconventional as we came and went several times due to the family-friendly hiking and biking tours we enjoyed during our 14 days in Slovenia with kids.
As unusual as our family’s Bled itinerary was, a big benefit was it allowed us to see all corners of Lake Bled. Our varied experiences visiting Bled as a family allow us to share our insights with you, hopefully allowing you to plan the best family trip to Bled possible.
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8 Amazing Things to do in Bled with Kids
As mentioned above, Bled was our base for several family-friendly hiking and biking tours around Slovenia. As amazing as those self-guided tours were, it was always exciting to return to Bled. It’s such a beautiful lake town, and there are so many kid-friendly things to do in Bled. Here are the highlights of our time in Bled with kids.
1. Vintgar Gorge
One of the most popular things to do in Bled with kids is to go on a family hike at Vintgar Gorge. Located just north of Lake Bled in Triglavski National Park, Vintgar Gorge is a must-do family activity in Bled.
As we began hiking the Vintgar Gorge Trail with our kids, we could instantly tell this was going to be a magical place. The sun was just hitting the canopy of the lush trees surrounding the gorge and there was a eerie mist rising off the emerald green water running through the gorge. It was a truly beautiful sight.
Unlike most gorge hikes, this trail follows the direction of the river downstream. The Vintgar Gorge hike is such a fun thing to do with kids in Bled as you walk most of the gorge on elevated wooden boardwalks, many of which are right over the water.
The super-fun kid-friendly boardwalks continue through the Vintgar Gorge for approximately 1.5 km / 0.9 miles. Even after the dramatic gorge walk ends, you’ll still follow the flow of the Radovna River for a while longer, until it’s time to take one of the two return trails back.
We wanted to catch the 11:30am Bled Bus back to town, so we took the shorter Red trail back. The red trail loops back so you return back to the entrance via a trail above the gorge. It’s a beautiful hike through a lush forest, and you can often hear the rushing waters of the Radova River through the trees below.
Tips for Hiking Vintgar Gorge with Kids:
- As we hiked the Vintgar Gorge with our kids, we discovered that looking back is often just as scenic as looking forward.
- Get there as early as possible. The Vintgar Gorge is an incredibly popular kid-friendly attraction near Bled. By arriving at 9:20am, it was not busy at all. By the time we left the gorge at 11:00, it was a madhouse.
Taking the Free Bled Bus to Vintgar Gorge with Kids
We took the seasonal Bled Bus to Vintgar Gorge for free. There are three different routes for the Bled Bus – the Countryside Line is the one which goes near the Vintgar Gorge.
We got on the 9 am bus at the Bled – Union bus stop (there are two bus stops with this name – be sure to take the one where the traffic is headed towards the lake). We got off the bus at the Sebenje – Podhom bus stop at 9:20.
It’s a 1.6 km / 1 mile walk from the Sebenje – Podham bus stop to the entrance to the Vintgar Gorge. I used this time to buy our admission tickets online. By doing so, we were able to bypass the long ticket line and waltzed right in.
Of course, if you’d prefer someone else to manage the tickets and transportation details, you can always join an organized tour to Vintgar Gorge.
2. Walk Around Lake Bled with Kids
Another great outdoor activity to do with kids in Bled is to go for an enjoyable family walk around the lake. Lake Bled is a reasonably small Slovenia lake, so the walking trail around the lake is only 6 km / 3.7 miles long.
After fueling up with some ice cream, we hit the walking trail around Lake Bled. There are so many things to entertain kids along this walk. Our kids loved looking for fish and baby ducks swimming in the water, and they even noticed a small frog going for a swim.
There are countless viewpoints where you can get a new vantage point of the famous Assumption of Maria Church as you circumnavigate Lake Bled. We loved getting to see so many different views of the Lake Bled church throughout our family walk.
Along our family walk around Lake Bled, we discovered several new places to go swimming. The Olimpijski Veslaški Center Bled had a large grass area and several docks, while the Velika Zaka swimming area was also very popular.
There are also countless places to rent a boat on Lake Bled, or a stand-up paddleboard.
3. Ojstrica Viewpoint
It’s funny that most visitors come to Bled as they’ve seen the iconic photograph of the Assumption of Maria Church on the island in the middle of the lake, but many don’t realize that you don’t get to see this vantage point from town. From town it just looks like the church is on a peninsula at the far end of Lake Bled. To get the iconic photograph of Lake Bled, you need to hike up the Ojstrica Viewpoint trail.
We hiked the Ojstrica Viewpoint trail with our kids as we walked around the Lake Bled Trail. The Ojstrica Viewpoint trail is located on the western side of the lake – roughly 3 km / 1.8 mile walk from town.
Once you are at the trailhead, the hiking trail to the Ojstrica Viewpoint is only 1 km / 0.6 miles each way, but it is a little steep. When we hiked it, the tree roots and rocks were very slippery from the overnight rain, so wear good hiking shoes if you have them.
The views of Assumption of Maria Church from the Ojstrica Viewpoint were amazing – it’s even better to see the iconic Lake Bled image in real life! It was crowded up at the viewpoint, but everyone took a turn getting a great picture of the iconic church in the middle of Lake Bled.
4. Castle Bathing Area (Grajsko Kopališče)
We first arrived in Bled, Slovenia after a 7-day family-friendly cycling tour through Austria. It was a hot, sunny day, so in recognition for all the effort the kids put into cycling across Austria, we decided to reward them with some swimming in Lake Bled.
The closest swimming area to the town of Bled is the Castle Bathing Area, so named as it’s directly underneath the Bled Castle. There isn’t any natural sandy beach along this stretch of Lake Bled, so they have created artificial pools using docks and walkways. There are a series of small lakewater swimming pools near shore with varying depths, starting with little wading pools all the way to deep lakewater swimming pools.
Our kids enjoyed splashing around and swimming in the deep water swimming area at the Castle Bathing Area, as this is where is placed our travel beach towel on the grass. But, what they enjoyed most was the water slide and the diving board (roughly 5 feet high).
For an extra fee, there’s also an inflatable play area over the water. Given we only had a few hours to spend at the Castle swimming area, we took a pass on the inflatables.
5. Lake Bled Castle
We had a free afternoon on our family-friendly Bled cycling tour, so we decided to visit the Bled Castle. No matter where you are in Bled, it’s nearly impossible to miss seeing the imposing castle, perched way up high on a rocky outcrop on the northern shore of Lake Bled.
It’s a short, but steep walk up a pathway of stairs from the town of Bled all the way to the Bled Castle entrance. Once inside, we ventured over to the courtyard where we enjoyed some amazing views of Lake Bled and the Church of Saint Mary.
It didn’t take us too long to visit Castle Bled as it’s pretty small by European castle standards. There’s a small museum inside, showcasing artifacts from the castle property from the pre-castle days up until modern times. As usual, our kids liked the swords, suits of armor, etc.
6. Bled Mountain Coaster – Tube Jump
After completing our 5-day family-friendly cycling tour around Bled, we checked into our new hotel. Our hotel gave the kids a bunch of coupons for stuff around town – free ice cream, free bowling, etc. One of the coupons was for a free ride on the Bled Mountain Coaster. Given we had a little free time and the Bled mountain coaster was just a short walk from the hotel, we decided to treat the kids.
We arrived at the Bled Mountain Coaster at 2 PM on a Thursday in mid-August, only to see a massive line-up for the Bled toboggan. There was a sign on the ticket window indicating it was a 2 hour wait for the mountain coaster. I wouldn’t wait 2 hours to see the Mona Lisa, let alone for a 2-minute mountain coaster ride, so we bailed.
On our way out, the kids saw a fun little ramp where kids sit on a tube, go down a hill until they hit a big jump. They catch some good air and then land on a big inflatable cushion. It looked like a lot of fun and it was way less busy than the mountain coaster, so to lessen the disappointment of the outing, we bought them three jumps each.
It was very poorly organized and a bit of a free-for-all, but the kids didn’t care. They loved their three jumps each on the inner tube jump, so the outing wasn’t completely a waste.
If you want to go on the Bled mountain coaster with your family, we recommend you get there as close to opening as possible.
7. A Family-Friendly Hut-to-Hut Hiking Tour
Our family has traveled extensively through the continent and I can tell you that Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. One of the best ways to enjoy the epic scenery in Slovenia is to visit the Julian Alps within Triglav National Park.
We were lucky to find a family-friendly self-guided hiking tour in the Julian Alps which began and ended in Bled. Our family absolutely loved our 5 day hut-to-hut hiking tour through Triglav National Park. Our family hiking adventure through the Julian Alps was a major highlight of our family trip to Slovenia.
If you are interested, we have a full post about our family-friendly hut-to-hut hiking tour in Slovenia.
8. A Family Friendly Cycling Tour around Bled
As luck would have it, the same tour company that hosted our family-friendly hiking tour, also had a family-friendly cycling tour around Bled. We love self-guided cycling trips with our kids, so we quickly signed up for it too!
What I really liked about this family cycling tour around Bled was that we got to stay in the same place every night. Every morning, we’d hop on our bikes and go explore a new incredible bike path around the Bled area and Triglav National Park. As with the hiking tour, the cycling tour was a very special part of our Lake Bled holiday.
We also have a post about our family-friendly self-guided cycling tour around Lake Bled.
Where to Stay in Bled with Kids
Due to our crazy itinerary, over the course of 2 weeks around Lake Bled with kids, we stayed in four different places.
- Our first Lake Bled accommodation was a 2-bedroom vacation rental just west of town. We rented it as we arrived in Bled a day early for our kid-friendly hut-to-hut hiking tour. The location outside of town made it more affordable than the very expensive accommodation available closer to the lake.
- We stayed at Penzion Kaps on the first night of our family-friendly hut-to-hut hiking tour. It was much closer to the lake, but tucked away in a quieter part of town.
- We stayed at Nina’s Place for the four nights of our family cycling tour around Bled. Nina’s Place is a two-bedroom apartment on the far side of the lake. It was great for our tour as it was just minutes away from the Bled – Jezero train station (which we frequently used during our cycling tour). It was a bit far from town to go for dinner every night, so we stocked up at a supermarket and made dinner at home most nights.
- For our final night in Bled, we stayed at the very kid-friendly Garni Hotel Savica. We stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment, which allowed us some privacy away from the kids. The hotel gave our kids a bunch of coupons for some free stuff around town – good stuff too, like free ice cream and a free ride on the mountain coaster!
The Garnia Hotel Savica comes with free access to the awesome pool complex at their fancier sister hotel (Rikli Balance Hotel) across the road. The pool complex there is awesome with a a big waterslide and at least 6 indoor / outdoor pools. The views of Lake Bled from one of the hot pools was truly incredible.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our many visits to Lake Bled with kids. Slovenia is such a beautiful country and Lake Bled is the crown jewel. After visiting Lake Bled, we finished our summer holiday to Austria and Slovenia with 3 days in Vienna with kids.
Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.
When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).