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Old 02.01.2023, 14:29
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Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Looking to take a short break end of January or so, somewhere in Europe, likely a weekend, four days tops.

Googling 'charming European towns', most lists include Bled, Slovenia. I've never been to Slovenia so hope that some of you more traveled folks can advise.

Would you recommend Bled as a get-away break? Is a weekend visit do-able? Besides the castle, any other must see spots or recommendations for restaurants and hotels?

Many thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02.01.2023, 15:42
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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Looking to take a short break end of January or so, somewhere in Europe, likely a weekend, four days tops.

Googling 'charming European towns', most lists include Bled, Slovenia. I've never been to Slovenia so hope that some of you more traveled folks can advise.

Would you recommend Bled as a get-away break? Is a weekend visit do-able? Besides the castle, any other must see spots or recommendations for restaurants and hotels?

Many thanks.
I've been to Bled many, many times.

Personally I think it's more of a spring/summer thing. Sure it looks beautiful in the winter but if you want to explore on foot, the summer is better.

Things to do in the area include walking up the Vintgar gorge and visiting the local waterfall, the Slap Savica waterfall.

However, I'm sure it is lovely in Winter too for the scenery.
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  #3  
Old 02.01.2023, 16:05
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Bled is at best a day trip !!

Ljubljana on the other hand is very nice, try to get into Union hotel.

Salt caves are excellent too.

There is an excellent night train from Zurich, leaves around 21.00hrs, arrives 08 30'ish, fantastic !!
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Old 02.01.2023, 16:09
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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Bled is at best a day trip !!
In winter maybe. Not in summer.


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Ljubljana on the other hand is very nice, try to get into Union hotel.
Actually a good winter long weekend would be to base yourself in Ljubljana and take a day out to Bled (it's not far).
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Old 02.01.2023, 16:29
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Slovenia is small, sadly the public transport is not that good. Ljubljana to Bled is 40 minutes with car. If you go to Bled I would go also further to lake Bohinj.
Or if you go the other direction, Piran is a very nice town on the sea coast.
And yes, hotel Union has its charm, if you want something more modern its hotel Cubo.
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Old 03.01.2023, 12:09
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

I went to a wedding in Bled a few summers ago. It was stunning, beautiful landscape, great food (sort of a mix between Austrian/German and Italian) and wine and very friendly locals (and they all spoke very good English). But I can imagine it being a bit cold and grey in the winter.
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Old 03.01.2023, 12:25
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Would you plan to fly there or drive?
I know there was another poster here who was given tips for the drive down and potential stops on the way. I can't find it now though.

I also would echo that it's a nice spot, but in winter its more of a stopover than a destination.
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  #8  
Old 03.01.2023, 12:40
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Thanks for the ideas and advice, one and all!

So it sounds like Bled is more of a spring destination - perhaps I'll hold off until then, and look for something else for end of January/beginning February.

If we are restricted to a weekend, I was planning on flying. But I like the idea of driving and seeing more of that part of the world, so another reason to wait until later in the year when we'll have a bit more time. Or taking trains.

Really appreciate all the help - and once again, I do wish we had a 'thanks' button in this section!
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  #9  
Old 03.01.2023, 12:44
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

For a winter weekend, I've enjoyed trips to Madrid/Barcelona in the past. I'd go to Madrid again, there was so much to see, and it was nice to not be in an overly touristy city like Barcelona.
Always nice to get away from these cold 10+ degree winter days...
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Old 03.01.2023, 13:38
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

We went to Bled last year, to follow in my mother's footsteps and spent time there in 1931. It is beautiful, but the centre has been ruined by a concrete shopping centre with fast food outlets. Such a shame.

But not for January- no boat trips to the Island and cold and possibly wet.

Lubjana (can never spell it!) is wonderful. But for a bit of warmth and sun, go to Seville and Cordoba. Or down to Capri. Or the SE part of 'baroque' Sicily (fly to Catania) - Ortigia, Modica, Noto, Scicli, etc.
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Old 03.01.2023, 13:39
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Or drive to the North of Croatia, Istria, so easily done by car.
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  #12  
Old 03.01.2023, 13:45
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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Thanks for the ideas and advice, one and all!

So it sounds like Bled is more of a spring destination - perhaps I'll hold off until then, and look for something else for end of January/beginning February.

If we are restricted to a weekend, I was planning on flying. But I like the idea of driving and seeing more of that part of the world, so another reason to wait until later in the year when we'll have a bit more time. Or taking trains.

Really appreciate all the help - and once again, I do wish we had a 'thanks' button in this section!

Take the night train from Zurich, far easier, far more convenient !!
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  #13  
Old 03.01.2023, 13:56
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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Take the night train from Zurich, far easier, far more convenient !!
If I wanted to explore beyond Bled/ Ljubljana, how are trains getting to other villages/sites around the area? (One poster's comments gave me pause...)

My original thought for this Jan/Feb holiday was Sweden/Norway/Finland to see the Northern Lights, maybe stay in the ice hotel... but my Christmas trip back home in -25 weather showed me that my Swiss winter gear is actually fairly wimpy (like Swiss winters of late) and I no longer have outerwear needed for 'serious' cold. So that's on next year's bucket list, after a shopping spree.

Not necessarily looking for sun and warmth. More looking for something interesting with activities that are more or less weather proof.

Again, thanks for the advice everyone!
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Old 03.01.2023, 14:39
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Flights from Zürich a few years ago were crazy expensive, I flew Swiss to Venice and hired a car, it was an easy, and lovely, 3 hour drive.



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For a winter weekend, I've enjoyed trips to Madrid/Barcelona in the past. I'd go to Madrid again, there was so much to see, and it was nice to not be in an overly touristy city like Barcelona.
Always nice to get away from these cold 10+ degree winter days...
Madrilennos describe the weather there as 9 months of winter and 3 months of hell. January can be very cold and miserable. It's the highest capital city in Europe and it feels like it!
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Old 03.01.2023, 14:52
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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If I wanted to explore beyond Bled/ Ljubljana, how are trains getting to other villages/sites around the area? (One poster's comments gave me pause...)
!
I think he knows Slovenija better than the rest of us. I'd trust his judgement.

When I was younger, hitch-hiking was really easy there. Probably not your thing though!
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Old 03.01.2023, 16:10
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

We did it all by train this Summer- but not worth it for 3-4 days. We did Montreux-Verona and 2 nights, then Gorizia on the I/Slovenia border, 2 nights, on to Bled, 3 nights, and on to Lubljana, 2 nights (then on to Graz and Inssbruck).

As said, if you want to drive, Istria is a really beautiful area of Northern Crotatia- so easy to get to, and they have just adopted the Euro.

Edit- just checked itinerary, and it is probably a bit too far for such a short duration trip. 8.5 hrs- but a stop in Verona each way would be fab but you'd need a week.

Last edited by JackieH; 03.01.2023 at 16:44.
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Old 03.01.2023, 16:24
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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If I wanted to explore beyond Bled/ Ljubljana, how are trains getting to other villages/sites around the area? (One poster's comments gave me pause...)

My original thought for this Jan/Feb holiday was Sweden/Norway/Finland to see the Northern Lights, maybe stay in the ice hotel... but my Christmas trip back home in -25 weather showed me that my Swiss winter gear is actually fairly wimpy (like Swiss winters of late) and I no longer have outerwear needed for 'serious' cold. So that's on next year's bucket list, after a shopping spree.

Not necessarily looking for sun and warmth. More looking for something interesting with activities that are more or less weather proof.

Again, thanks for the advice everyone!

Public transport is GOOD, plenty of buses to Bled from the train station ditto for the caves & hidden castle. Ljubljana takes a good day to visit anyway, maybe 2 if you like
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Old 03.01.2023, 17:38
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

yes there are buses but far away from the Swiss standards. Sadly the trains are slow.
Most tourist points are well connected, everything else is less, and the biggest problem is there is no integrated bus information. Or at least it is not working well, sometimes it is hard to find necessary informations, especially if you need to change the buses in the middle.
Ljubljana main bus station page where you can look for connections in EN

Flights from Zurich by Swiss can be still relatively cheap, 185 chf (return ticket), if you buy the tickets a little bit in advance, and it is a direct flight.
You also have a night train to Villach (A) I think. And one that go to Ljubljana, but I think it is much slower (8 vs 12h or something).

If you go for a long weekend, it is enough to have one or two more ideas, like Bled (in the Alps), Piran (on the coast) etc.



yes, part of Bled is sadly destroyed since long, price for it's popularity. But if you walk around it there are still nice views. Btw. Bled was developed in 19th century by a Swiss naturopath? Arnold Rikli.

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Old 03.01.2023, 17:42
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

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yes there are buses but far away from the Swiss standards. Sadly the trains are slow.
Most tourist points are well connected, everything else is less, and the biggest problem is there is no integrated bus information. Or at least it is not working well, sometimes it is hard to find necessary informations, especially if you need to change the buses in the middle.
Ljubljana main bus station page where you can look for connections in EN

Flights from Zurich by Swiss can be still relatively cheap, 185 chf (return ticket), if you buy the tickets a little bit in advance, and it is a direct flight.
You also have a night train to Villach (A) I think. And one that go to Ljubljana, but I think it is much slower (8 vs 12h or something).

If you go for a long weekend, it is enough to have one or two more ideas, like Bled (in the Alps), Piran (on the coast) etc.



yes, part of Bled is sadly destroyed since long, price for it's popularity. But if you walk around it there are still nice views. Btw. Bled was developed in 19th century by a Swiss naturopath? Arnold Rikli.



It's a NIGHT train from Zurich, leaves around 21.00hrs gets there at 08.3o hrs next morning, nothing easier !! And it's comparable price wise to the airplane.



The local buses are absolutely fine, coaches and go regularly to Bled from the train station, nothing easier !


Caves, take the train and walk for about 10.15 mins (or get a taxi), again it was more than simple !


Ljubljana + Bled is already a long weekend !
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Old 03.01.2023, 19:34
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Re: Bled, Slovenia - Recommended?

Fly to Split - amazing.
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