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Need help with planning Ljubljana and Lake Bled area


Jan 10th, 2015, 06:54 AM
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Need help with planning Ljubljana and Lake Bled area

Three of us (mid 60s) will be traveling by car for three weeks in May-June to NE Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. We've planned a lot so far, but now we're trying to make sense of various suggestions about the number of nights to spend in Ljubljuna and then Lake Bled area. We'll head back into Italy to spend our last few days in the Fruili-Venezia area (as we've already been to the Dolomites).

We're not interested in touring churches or museums, but prefer walking around towns/cities to get the flavor or an area; going to outdoor markets; sitting at cafes; taking easy hikes; enjoying scenic drives (Julian Alps). We enjoy wine and beer tasting, and trying regional cuisine.

We had first thought of spending two nights in Ljubljana (coming from Plitvice Lakes) to have one full day there, and then two or three nights in Bled (time to walk around Bled, a day for driving/hiking in the Julian Alps).

Thank you for taking time to read and comment.
golfbuddy is offline  
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Jan 10th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Ljubljana with museums and castle is one day's visit. I think you will struggle to fill the time just people watching, but you know best

Bled is pretty small, maybe 2 or 3 hours to walk around, half a day to walk up and tour the castle, couple of hours to visit the island, then further walking for miles.

Walking in the Julians, sounds good. Just before the border is Kranska Bora ( a ski resort) but a good base for walking, including local wet lands and the hills around.
bilboburgler is offline  
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Jan 10th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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You need a vignette, a short term license, to drive on Slovenian roads; this takes the form of a sticker on the windshield. Here's some info: http://www.dars.si/Dokumenti/Vignette_308.aspx. You should be able to buy the vignette at gas stations close to the Italy/Slovenia border.
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Jan 10th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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Ljubljana has some wonderful streets and squares and delightful markets; you can also take a relaxing boat ride along the river. I think a day there makes sense given your interest.

Bled itself easily has enough for a day IMO; add a half day for the Vintgar Gorge.

I didn't make it into the Julian Alps, so can't help you with your timing there.

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Jan 10th, 2015, 01:41 PM
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(You can read my 2011 Slovenia trip report (plus pictures) by clicking on my name. My 2009 report includes Croatia.)

I loved Ljubljana, but it is small. It's lovely to stroll around the (narrow) river and admire the beautiful architecture and bridges, especially at night. I'm not a big museum person either, though I did visit a few in Ljubljana (I've visited twice). I did visit the home of architect Jože Plečnik, who designed many of the beautiful buildings and bridges you see in the town; it was only a half hour tour but it was very interesting (the house isn't open every day).

I highly recommend a detour to the town of Škofja Loka on the drive from Ljubljana to Bled - detailed in my trip report - instead of simply taking the freeway. Very scenic.

Bled the town isn't anything special in my opinion. I spent a few nights there as a base for the area. Lake Bled itself is of course almost essential but it is not huge. Nearby Lake Bohinj is more "natural," less developed, and much bigger.

The Vintgar Gorge is nice, but compared to Plitvice Lakes it is a bit of a come-down, in my view. I wouldn't make a special trip there if you are also seeing Plitvice; I'd recommend a visit to Bohinj instead, if you must choose one or the other, just because it's different from everything else.

I spent two nights in Bled, then did the Julian Alps/Vršič Pass drive and spent the following night in the town of Kobaird in the Soča valley. The town itself is nothing amazing, but it is a convenient base for the Soča valley. I wanted to stop there to see the World War I military museum, which I found a bit of a disappointment.
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Jan 10th, 2015, 03:51 PM
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Try to plan Friday for Ljubljana http://openkitchen.si/ and if that's not enough then Saturday morning market. We spent three nights in Ljubljana and were never bored but it is not a big city by any means. We also enjoyed beautiful Lake Bled as a day trip stop on our way to Austria. We spent a few hours on and around the lake, eating cream cake and sliding down Straza Bled.
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Jan 10th, 2015, 04:24 PM
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we spent a week in Ljubljana and weren't bored at all. It is small but there is lots to see.
We drove one day to lake Bled and another day to the caves at Postonja ( I think that s how you spell it)
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Jan 10th, 2015, 04:33 PM
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Someday I'd love to go back to Ljubljana for a week and use it as a base for day trips. There are a lot of little Slovenian towns nearby to explore. Ljubljana is a great place to come back to in the evening. I loved Slovenia!
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Jan 11th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. We are now planning on using Ljubljana as our base, and taking a day trip to Lake Bled. We may even drive into Austria (Graz area - thanks Andrew for your trip report)before going to the Julian Alps and doing that circuit and hiking.

Andrew, how did you like Slamic B&B? how long a walk is it to the Old Town? I liked it because of the free parking onsite.

My wife read TripAdvisor reports and is leaning to the Adora or Allegro hotels on a square in the Old Town. We would also consider an apartment (2 bedrooms). Suggestions, Fodorites?
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Jan 11th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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The Slamic worked for me. It wasn't quite the quaint gem I read about in other reviews, but I had a small room; I think the others are bigger. It is kind of a "funky" place but in a good way; you "check out" at the coffee shop downstairs. It was only a short walk (5-10 minutes?) into the center of town. You have to cross a busy street (at a crosswalk) to get into the old town area, but it wasn't a super long walk . Because I was picking up a car at the train station after my stay there, I enjoyed the quick walk to/from the train station with bags.

As I recall, they don't have unlimited parking so you need to contact them in advance to reserve it.

I would certainly stay at the Slamic again but I might look for an alternative next time. I stayed in 2011; in 2015 I'd probably look for something on AirBnB. In 2009, I stayed at a hostel (private room) close to the Grand Union Hotel which I thought was an ideal location. For whatever the reason, hotels in Ljubljana are expensive. I usually prefer an apartment to a hotel if I have a choice, if the budget works.

I am not familiar with either the Adora or Allegro. I see on a map they are both at the south part of the old town, which would probably be a decent location you have a car. (I walked down there in the mornings when I took long walks.) You'd be walking north (5-10 minutes) to get to the center of things but it's a small town, fun to walk along the river. I think the Slamic would be more convenient for travelers who don't have a car because it's a quick walk from the train/bus station which is at the north part of town.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 10:18 PM
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We stayed at Slamic in Oct. 2014 and really really liked it. Big room and cozy breakfast room. Definitely check on the parking ahead of time. Good location for walking downtown. We were there three nights.
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Thank you all for your feedback.

I reserved the Slamic B&B and requested a parking space - all set. Also will be getting a room on the first floor facing the courtyard (as recommended on Trip Advisor).
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 07:06 PM
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we travelled by train from Graz to Ljubljana-Graz is really worth visting.
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Jan 24th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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I second Andrew's suggestion of Skofja Loka. I loved it's old town and just walking about the place.
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Feb 8th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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We first visited Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj in 1966.More recently ( both 2011 and 2012) we have spent a whole week in Bohinj, and travelled from there. This would be particularly easy if you have a car.We much prefer Bohinj to Bled. Over the years the scenery around Lake Bled has of course remained beautiful, though the rowing lanes rather spoil the surface of the lake, and the town has become a dump. My advice would be to drive there from Llubljana, spending a few yours, walk around the lake and go up to the castle, then drive on to Lake Bohinj. On our two most recent visits we have stayed at the Hotel Jezero in Riscev Laz at the eastern end of the lake.The walk from there along the northern shore is excellent, and at the far end of the lake is an good restaurant for lunch. One can either walk back along the southern edge which is rather boring, or preferably come back on the electric powered boat. At the end of the lake is the Savica waterfall, and the Vogel cable car. At the eastern end there is a glorious wqlk through the Mostnicq gorge to the Voje Vqlley.(Further details can be found in any good guide book and on the web.
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