Christmas in Bled (all through December)

Planning to spend Christmas at Lake Bled? This is what you can expect.

December arrives as does the Christmas market “Winter Fairytale”. Since 2015, Bled has set up a market near the shore of the lake with entertainment every evening and highlights during the month. This year, 2019, Christmas lights were switched in on 29 November. They will illuminate the town all through December and January. The Winter Village also opened to provide entertainment, hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot food and seasonal gifts.  It remains open until 5 January.

You can see the tall Christmas tree covered in white lights from all around the lake. Musicians perform on the stage every night. Fires and blankets keep you warm. The festival goers share the trellis tables where they eat hot food from the stalls operated by the town’s restaurants. They drink beer and mulled wine (kuhano vino), and schnapps and hot chocolate (vroča čokolada).

A rare occasion - the lake is frozen in 2016

A rare occasion – the lake is frozen in 2016

On Christmas Day the town is busy with visitors mainly from Slovenia. The restaurants are open and the prices are not “hiked up” for the holiday (usually. There may be exceptions) You should try to book ahead for a restaurant table.

On the evening of the 30th December, one big community event brings locals from their homes and tourists from their hotels. They meet all around the lake and attempt a “Circle of Friendship”. Stewards direct the crowds of people into tidy lines. We all hold glow sticks and hold hands.

When it get dark – around 5:00 pm) there is a fantastic fire and lights show at the public lido celebrating the legend of the sunken bell. The whole town turns out to perform and spectate. 

There is a party on New Year’s Eve when temperatures can be minus 10c or lower. Fireworks mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. And we sing, and we dance, and we cheer, and we wish everyone “srečno novo leto”.

And we enter a new year.

Here is a sample of events that usually take place during December and on Christmas day to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

  • Winter Fairytale: usually from the end of November to the first week in January and the Lakeside promenade. Christmas Market, local food, live music and social events.
  • Christmas crib at Lake Bled:  in Spa park: life size figures, painted to match the local environment.  
  • Christmas Nativity Scenes at Castle Chapel, Bled Castle.
  • Potica Days on Bled Island for a few days in December – check Visit Bled for details. Potica is a traditional pastry. Most families have their won recipes and ways of making it for every holiday in Slovenia, be it Christmas, Easter or a family celebration.
  • Legend of the Sunken Bell is held every Christmas evening at 5:00 pm at the Public Lido Bled just as it gets dark. This is a festival of sound, lights and fire and is a wonderful spectacle.

Here, Bled TV report on the 2019 Sunken Bell festivities


  • St Stephen’s Fair and blessing of horses at the nearby village Kupljenik is held each year on 26 December at around 10:00 am
  • Merrily with our folk musicians is a fantastic celebration of traditional country music from the region.
  • Christmas-New Year’s Eve concert is normally held on New Year’e Eve or the evening before at The Church of St. Martin in Bled
  • Outdoor New Year’s Eve party is a wonderful community event for the town and visitors. Music, food, entertainment, fireworks.

To find out more and get up to date information on events and timings you should visit the Bled tourism website and the Bled Castle website.

Next: A Firsthand Guide to Bled – Bars and restaurants

Or: A quick coffee by Lake Bled (and tea, too)

Previous: Events throughout the year