5 Days In Slovenia Itinerary [No Car] – Magical Lake Bled & Ljubljana!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you! This allows me to continue bringing you valuable content for free and any purchases you make via these links are gratefully appreciated. Please refer to my Disclosures for more information.*

Wondering how to spend 5 days in Slovenia?

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally ticked Slovenia off my bucket list. After 2 failed attempts to reach Slovenia by motorhome (because we broke down both times), I hopped on a plane with my dad and did a whistle-stop tour of Slovenia using public transport. Located in southeastern Europe with a small coastline on the Adriatic, Slovenia has to be one of the most beautiful countries on the continent. This 5 day Slovenia itinerary pulls together the best of Lake Bled and Ljubljana. It’ll give you a good taste of the country at a comfortable pace, and features my exact trip costs so you have an idea of what it might cost you (keep scrolling for those)!

A sunny autumnal afternoon on the shores of Lake Bled, Slovenia, with beautiful blue skies - 5 Days In Slovenia Itinerary!
A sunny autumnal afternoon at Lake Bled

5 days in Slovenia – itinerary overview

3 nights in Lake Bled, 2 nights Ljubljana – if you can, I’d recommend you don’t include the day you fly into Slovenia as one of your 5 days, to make sure that you have ample time to explore.

Know before you go

Always check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting to see if you will need a Visa to enter, and that you have enough validity left on your passport.

Always have a good level of travel insurance for every international trip. This is a non-negotiable part of any trip abroad, as the unexpected can happen.

How many days do you need in Slovenia?

You might be unsure on how long you need in Slovenia, and this really depends on what you want to see. 5 days is probably the sweet spot for a Ljubljana and Lake Bled itinerary – it’ll give you plenty of time to see the main sights without rushing. I think that 4 days is the minimum that I’d recommend to see these highlights, but you could easily spend a good couple of weeks exploring the country (especially if you want to head over to the coastal town of Piran or across to Predjama Castle).

Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia - 5 Days In Slovenia Itinerary!
Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana

If you’re wondering how many days is enough in Lake Bled, I’d recommend a minimum of 2 full days (and 3 nights) to get a good taste of the area. I’m probably biased now because I was completely captivated by its beauty, but I’ve got no doubt that you could spend a week in Bled, exploring the lake and its surroundings, without getting bored. Lake Bled is absolutely worth a visit for a longer period, but if you’re short on time (like I was) then 2 days is a good starting point.

Bled Castle perched high atop a cliff overlooking Lake Bled and Bled Island on a beautifully sunny day with blue skies.
Bled Castle overlooking Lake Bled

Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of doing a quick day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana – Lake Bled deserves so much more than that.

And how many days to visit Ljubljana? Again, it depends what type of experience you’re after. Ljubljana has an abundance of bars and cafes, so if you want ample time to enjoy these, then you might need to stay in the city a touch longer. Personally, I felt that one full day and 2 nights was enough to see the main sights, and I didn’t feel shortchanged.

The Triple Bridge in Ljubljana
The Triple Bridge in Ljubljana

Is Slovenia worth visiting?

Yes, 100%. I cannot emphasise this enough. Slovenia is nothing less than enchanting. It is a magical country filled with stunning lakes, divine mountain scenery, and beautiful architecture. It’s a feast for the eyes

What is the best month to visit Slovenia?

If you are visiting Slovenia to ski, then December to March is probably the best time as the alpine northwest can see snow.

Late Spring to early Autumn sees the best weather, though.

July and August will be the hottest months, but also bear in mind they coincide with European summer holidays which can mean that flight/accommodation prices are inflated and it is a busier period.

I visited Slovenia in October – it was characterised by misty/cold mornings and sunny/warm afternoons. The autumnal colours only enhanced the prettiness of the scenery.

Autumnal colours of the abundant trees in Tivoli Park, Ljubljna (Slovenia)
Autumn foliage in Tivoli Park, Ljubljana

What is the best currency to take to Slovenia?

The currency in Slovenia is the Euro (€). 

5 days in Slovenia – Ljubljana and Lake Bled itinerary

Day 0 – Travel to Slovenia

I’d recommend that you don’t really count the first day as one of your Slovenia itinerary days (hence why I’ve called this day 0). If you do, then you will shortchange yourself of precious time exploring. To maximise your time in Slovenia, try and take an early flight to Ljubljana and upon arrival, take a bus from Ljubljana Airport to Lake Bled (takes around 30 minutes). 

The bus stop at Ljubljana Airport, to catch the bus to Lake Bled, Slovenia
The bus stop at Ljubljana Airport

Tip: In my experience, card payment on buses was not an option. So, make sure you have some cash with you, and preferably smaller change! 

The starting point for this trip is Bled. Many people start their Slovenia itinerary in Ljubljana and then go to Lake Bled. Some only do a day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana which is just not enough. I’d recommend that you dedicate most of your trip to Lake Bled, hence this itinerary features 3 nights there and 2 nights in Ljubljana. 

The sun shining brightly over Lake Bled with rowing boats lining the shore in Slovenia
Rental rowing boats on Lake Bled’s shoreline

From the bus stop, walk to your Bled accommodation. I’d recommend that you book yourself an apartment, so you can save money by prepping your own meals. I actually found Slovenia to be quite expensive for food including in the supermarkets (when compared to the UK), so this should cut the overall cost of your trip. Once you’ve checked in, head to the local supermarket and stock up on some essentials. I shopped in both Spar and Supermarket Mercator. By the time you’ve done all of this, and cooked dinner, you probably won’t feel like doing much but if you do, then head down to Lake Bled for your first glimpse of its beauty

Tip: I stayed at Apartma Carnica and I can’t hype this place up enough! It was located in a quiet residential area of Bled, overlooking mountains and fields. It had a balcony to enjoy the magical scenery from and the apartment itself was one of the best equipped and cleanest that I have ever stayed in. 

Mountains surrounding our suburban apartment in Bled, Slovenia
The view from our Bled apartment

Tip: Grab yourself some famous Bled Cake in the supermarket – it is a fraction of the price of what it costs in the lakeside cafes and is super scrumptious!

Day 1 – Lake Bled

I’d recommend that you dedicate the first of your 5 days in Slovenia to Lake Bled, which is one of the crown jewels of the country. There is a tarmac path spanning the circumference of Lake Bled, which totals 6km in distance. Notable things to do in Lake Bled include Bled Castle, Bled Island and the Church of St Martin.

Bled Island in Slovenia surrounded by the clear waters of Lake Bled, with mountains and a blue sky in the back drop.
Bled Island

Down at Lake Bled, there are options to walk it, cycle it, or even take a land train around it. Personally, I walked around it once, and cycled around it twice (on different days I hasten to add). The bikes we used were from Infocenter Triglavska roža Bled and were luckily free for us as we had a Julian Alps card (the benefits might be subject to change). Why not take a rucksack filled with a packed lunch, drinks and snacks and spend the day in the company of the serene lake

Standing on the shoreline of Lake Bled in Slovenia with a rental bicycle - 5 Days In Slovenia Itinerary!
Rental bike to cycle around Lake Bled

Tip: Around the lake, there are various viewpoints which can be hiked, other options for seasonal activities such as tobogganing, and the chance for a spot of boating. The surrounding area isn’t short of things to do either, with places like Vintgar Gorge nearby. (note: I can’t personally vouch for any of these attractions, but I wanted to note them for you.)

Day 2 – Day trip from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj

On day 2 of your trip to Slovenia, rise relatively early and take a day trip from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj. Lake Bohinj is located in Triglav National Park, and locally is called Bohinjsko jezero. Although a well-known beauty spot in Slovenia, with its clear-blue waters and dramatic mountain scenery, I found that Lake Bohinj was much less commercial than Lake Bled (however that might be a different story in the peak months). Lake Bohinj is a paradise for the outdoorsy, with options for activities both on and off the water. 

The clear waters of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia with a backdrop of mountains, trees and mist.
Early morning mist over Lake Bohinj

At the southern edge of the lake, you will find the postcard-perfect Church of the Holy Spirit. You might also encounter local four-legged friends – we were lucky enough to hear the sound of bells chiming as the local cows roamed free along the shoreline. Lake Bohinj is easily accessible by bus from Lake Bled in around 45 minutes, so you don’t need to take a tour. The Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj bus timetable can be found at the Arriva website

Standing on the shores of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia on an autumnal morning with a backdrop of mountains and trees
Beautiful Lake Bohinj

Tip: Search from ‘Bled’ and to ‘Bohinj Ukanc’ to find the Lake Bohinj bus timetable. Bohinj Ukanc is a settlement at the western point of the lake. Personally, I got off the bus at Ribčev Laz – a quaint town on the southern edge of Lake Bohinj and a short walk from its shoreline and the Church of the Holy Spirit. 

When we arrived back in Bled, we walked around the lake again at sunset (having already walked around it the day before). You might not feel like it, but Lake Bled had always been at the top of my bucket list, so I was determined to make the most of it. 

Sunset over Lake Bled with an abundance of lily pads in the waters and mountains on the horizon.
Sunset over Lake Bled

Day 3 – Lake Bled to Ljubljana

If you have time for one final glimpse of Lake Bled before you head to Ljubljana, I’d recommend that you make the most of it. Perhaps wake up early and wander down to the lake to watch the sunrise (we did this but the sun was hidden by rain clouds which got us completely soaked). Or, take one final cycle around its shores, which is something that we opted to do before moving on to the capital. Then, midway through your 5 days in Slovenia itinerary, head across to Ljubljana

The Heart of Bled at Lake Bled, Slovenia, on a very early and gloomy rainy morning.
The Heart of Bled on a very early rainy morning

You might be wondering how to get from Lake Bled to Ljubljana using public transport? Well there are options to get the train or bus (the bus is operated by Arriva, and arrives into ‘Ljubljana AP’ which is Ljubljana bus station). Note that if you get the train, the train station you will need is located approx. 4km outside of the centre of Bled. There are two train stations around Bled – Bled Jezero and Lesce-Bled. 

Lesce-Bled train station in Slovenia
Lesce-Bled train station

The preferred train station for the Bled to Ljubljana train is Lesce-Bled because trains are direct and they take between 40-60 minutes on average (trains from Bled Jezero take substantially longer and can require a change). In order to get to Lesce-Bled, you can take a bus operated by Arriva  from Bled to Lesce ŽP (which should drop you right outside Lesce-Bled train station). You can find the Bled to Ljubljana train timetable and buy tickets on the Slovenian railways website. Ljubljana train station is located on the northern edge of the old town, around a 10 minute walk away – handy if your Ljubljana accommodation is around that area (the prime area to stay, in my opinion). 

Ljubljana University
Ljubljana University

Check into your accommodation and spend the rest of the day wandering the old town, getting acquainted with your surroundings, and soaking up the chilled aura which permeates the city.

Tip: Like Bled, I’d recommend that you book yourself an apartment in Ljubljana, so you can save money by prepping your own meals. I stayed at Apartments Maria which was a stone’s throw from the old town and located right alongside the river.

A gloomy morning at Ljubljana Central Market, with a vendor selling brightly coloured flowers and a state in the background.
Ljubljana Central Market

Day 4 – Ljubljana

Spend your final day exploring some of the best things to do in Ljubljana. A self-led walking tour is probably the best way to do this – after all, most of the major attractions are clumped quite close together, in or around the old town. Some of the things that I’d highly recommend:

  • Taking the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle to spend some time enjoying the castle grounds and breathtaking views over the city and beyond. 
  • Getting lost in the quaint side streets of the old town and exploring notable places like Dragon Bridge and Central Market.
  • Strolling around Tivoli Park. 
  • Seeing The Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) illuminated at night. 

Day 5 – Return home

On the final morning of your perfect 5 days in Slovenia itinerary, it’s time to say nasvidenje to Slovenia and make your way back to Ljubljana Airport for your flight home. The cheapest way to get to the airport is to take the bus from Ljubljana. You’ve probably gathered by now that this is operated by Arriva. On average, the journey takes between 45-60 minutes. Ljubljana bus station is within around a 10 minute walk of the old town (and happens to be right next to the train station that you may have arrived into on day 3). 

Tip: When searching for the airport bus timetable on the Arriva website, departure will be from ‘Ljubljana AP’ (which is Ljubljana bus station) and arrival will be ‘Brnik/airport Ljubljana’.

Ljubljana bus station at the bus stop for route 28, which travels from Ljubljana to Ljubljana Airport

Is Slovenia expensive for tourists? A breakdown of my travel costs, per person

International flights
Return flights from London Gatwick to Ljubljana (hand luggage only, include pre-booked seat reservations) = £60.96pp

Airport parking 
London Gatwick airport parking for trip duration = £25.07pp*

Airport transfers 
Bus from Ljubljana Airport to Bled Union = approx. £3.20pp
Bus from Bled Union to Lesce-Bled (train station) = approx. £1.20pp
Train from Lesce-Bled to Ljubljana = approx. £5.00pp 
Bus from Ljubljana to Ljubljana Airport = approx. £3.20pp

3 nights in an apartment in Bled = £88.74pp*
2 nights in an apartment in Ljubljana = £52.16pp*

Total = £239.53 per person
for the perfect 5 days in Slovenia itinerary

*The cost for anything marked with an asterisk is per person (pp) based on 2 people sharing.

Note: Price excludes the costs for travel insurance, spending money (tours, food, occasional taxis, drinks etc.), costs to travel to/from UK airport for international flights, and visas (if required). I don’t book accommodation based on star rating, and book purely based on reviews, location and value for money. All accommodation is private hotel rooms (I’m not a hostel type of girl, I like my privacy and home comforts) or apartments, and all flights are economy. Prices for certain things may have changed since the time I took this trip, so please only use this as a guide to help you set your own savings target.

Pssst… sharing’s caring! Pin this post using one of the images below, so you can find it easily later!