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A Guide to Visiting Ljubljana and Lake Bled



The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, and the beautiful Lake Bled, are undoubtably the two most popular tourist spots in Slovenia, and for good reason. 

Ljubljana is the greenest capital in Europe and Lake Bled is simply awe-inspiring: 


The Lifestyle Camp Big Berry took us for a day trip to these two hot-spots and we returned with a guide to visiting Ljubljana and Lake Bled just for you: 

Lake Bled
Lake Bled is a 2,220m by 1,380m lake of glacial & tectonic origins, with a maximum depth of 29.5m. It's an absolutely perfect turquoise colour, surrounded by thick green forests. 

We were blown away by its beauty!

There are many ways you can enjoy Lake Bled, including (but not limited to): hiking round the edge, renting a paddle boat and paddling on it, and hiking up to Bled Castle to see it from above. 


Bled Island

In the centre of Lake Bled is Bled Island, on which sits a pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Many weddings are held here, and it's considered good luck for the groom to carry the bride up the steps on their wedding day. This is a dream for many brides. 

Our Big Berry guide, Alberto, told us that the photos of this are hilarious: the brides are beaming as they are carried up the steps, and the grooms are red-faced, sweaty, and grumpy looking. 

Bled Castle

To witness Lake Bled and Bled Island in all their splendour, we recommend a trip up to Bled Castle. Entry is 10 Euros (5 for children), and this gains you access to the castle, the chapel, the museum and of course the best views of Lake Bled:


We weren't overly impressed by the museum or the castle themselves, but we think it's worth going in just for these views:





and the chapel is super cute:




Ljubljana


Getting from Lake Bled to Ljubljana takes about 45 minutes in the car. 

Ljubljana [lyoo-blyah-nah] surprised us, it's an absolutely fantastic city: clean, green, arty, quirky and full of history, beautiful architecture and super cute graffiti: 


In fact, Ljubljana is so green it was awarded 'Europe's Green Capital, 2016' by the EU. The centre is completely pedestrianised, which means walking through is pleasant and the air is clean. They also encourage these so-called vertical gardens:



Here are some of the hot spots in Ljubljana:

The Best Hostel in Europe 
Ljubljana boasts Hostel Celica which was voted as the number 1 hippest hostel in the world. It used to be a prison and you can still see the bars on the window! 


Triple Bridge
Triple Bridge is (you guessed it) three bridges right next to each other in the centre of Ljubljana. It connects old Ljubljana to new Ljubljana. No one knows why there are three bridges there, but they sure are pretty. 

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

Next to the bridges is this pretty little church. Directly to its right is a statue of a naked woman. The church hated it and tried to get it taken down/covered. But they lost that battle and instead planted the tree you can see in the above photo which hides the woman from view of the church entrance. 



Skuhna
We had lunch at Skuhna and it was great. Skuhna was established as a Slovene non-profit organisation to help integrate the vibrant migrant population whilst giving locals the chance to try diverse cuisines.   

The menu changes pretty much everyday and we had the chance to try Zimbabwean food. It was one of our favourite meals of our whole trip. It was a vegetable curry with coconut rice.

Ljubljana Castle
We walked up to Ljubljana Castle from the centre, which took about 15 minutes. We were keen to see the castle, but we wanted to see some great views of Ljubljana even more. We weren't disappointed  - even before we arrived we saw this:

And the view from the castle was even better:



The castle itself was cool too. It was built around the 11th century as a medieval fortress.  It has been rebuilt and used for several different things over the years, and by the early 19th century it was being used a penitentiary. 

Nowadays it's a popular tourist attraction and often holds cultural events. 

We also really liked the ceiling of the chapel:



Ljubljana's Open Kitchen


 Every Friday, Ljubljana is hosting an Open Kitchen Festival until October 2016. We went along and tried a vegan burger and a craft beer. Both were delicious. Skuhna also has a stall there too!



Metelkova

Right next to the Celica Hostel is Metelkova. Originally an artist squat, it has developed over the years into a touristy bar area similar to the ruin bars in Budapest. 

We liked it, and there were lots of locals there too. They recommended that we try a Bull's Blood (shot involving red wine, lots of spirits and no blood):

It was nice!

Where to stay

We visited Ljubljana and Lake Bled whilst we were staying at the fabulous lifestyle camp - Big Berry




















Ljubljana is only an hour and a half drive away from Big Berry, and thus it makes the perfect day trip. Staying at Big Berry will give you a chance to see the 'real' Slovenia which you won't necessarily experience if you stay at Ljubljana/near Lake Bled. 



Set next to the river Kolpa, Big Berry is in an absolutely idyllic location. Locally sourced good food, comfy accommodation, events like healing gong sessions and day trips to superb spots in Slovenia are all part of the package and thus we highly recommend staying at Big Berry.   




Further Information
We have been making daily YouTube videos since February 2016. So of course we made one of our awesome day to Ljubljana and Lake Bled with Big Berry, so for further information, watch it here:




Conclusion
Ljubljana has quickly earned itself a spot as one of our favourite European cities, it has the perfect balance of modernity (hip up-and-coming restaurants, progressive environmentalism) and historical classics (the castle, the architecture). 

Lake Bled was beautiful to behold, albeit a little touristy. It's clear why it's a gem of Slovenia though, as it's so lovely. 

Have you started a Slovenian bucket-list yet? Pin this one to it! :)




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Travelling Weasels were invited to Ljubljana and Lake Bled as guests of Big Berry, however all opinions are our own as always, we'd never recommend anything we haven't personally tried and loved, because that's not very nice. 

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ABOUTME

We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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