Day trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Plovdiv Self-Guided Trip

4.7 / 5

11 reviews

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Day trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Plovdiv Self-Guided Trip

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Save up to 10%

From US$ 95.93 US$ 86.34 per person

Explore the amazing Rila Monastery and enjoy the cultural capital of the country Plovdiv. Combine Bulgaria's most visited sites on a one-day self-guided tour from Sofia with an expert local driver.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 13 hours
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  • See two of Bulgaria's most visited places in one-day from Sofia
  • Explore the historic Rila Monastery before the crowds
  • Discover the most important sights of Plovdiv Old town
  • Explore the sites at your own pace with a self-guided trip
  • Travel in comfort with a reliable transfer service from Sofia city center
Full description
Explore Bulgaria's most famous sites in 1 day from Sofia: the UNESCO Rila Monastery and the city of Plovdiv on a small group, self-guided trip. Walk the sites at your own comfortable pace without the need of following others. Get expert local advice from your friendly English-speaking driver/host and benefit from reliable comfortable transfers. Depart from Sofia city center at 7:00 AM and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver/host. After your 2-hour transfer in an air-conditioned minibus, you will reach the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Once there, you have more than 1-hour to explore the monastic complex at your own pace - more than enough time to see all the major parts of the complex. The monastery was founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the museum and medieval tower independently. Continue with a 3.5-hour transfer through scenic mountain roads to the city of Plovdiv (a short break half-way is included) and get more than 4 hours to explore Bulgaria's second largest city, famous for its Old Town, Roman remains and Kapana artistic district. Your driver will provide you with a free copy of a tourist city map and local tips. Board the shuttle bus at 5:30 PM (for the period May to September, departure is 6:00 PM) at the agreed meeting point and return to Sofia in the evening to be dropped off at the meeting point around 7:30 PM at knyaz Alexander I square. For the period May to September, departure from Sofia is at 07:30 AM and the bus goes to first to Plovdiv and then to Rila monastery. Return to Sofia is around 8:30 PM.
  • Round-trip shared transfers
  • English-speaking host
  • Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
  • Map of Plovdiv Old Town
  • Map of Rila Monastery
  • Licensed driver
  • Optional museum admission fees for museums in Plovdiv and Rila monastery
  • Food and drinks
  • Guide services
  • Optional gratuities
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Car parking at Knyaz Aleksander I square, in front of The Palace - National Art Gallery . Nearest metro station is Serdika.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Passport or ID card for children

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Smoking in the vehicle

Know before you go

  • Dress code for the Rila monastery: shoulders and knees have to be covered
  • Bring local cash (BGN Leva)
  • This trip involves moderate walking on cobbled (stone) streets
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes suitable for walking
  • This trip operates in all weather conditions. Please dress appropriately. During winter and autumn it can be very cold at Rila Monastery
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 11 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Il nostro autista è stato gentilissimo e molto disponibile, ci ha parlato della Bulgaria in generale e spiegato cosa avremmo visto. In più ci ha fornito una cartina, con spiegazione sul retro, dei due siti! Il monastero molto bello e suggestivo, la città di Plovdiv da vedere! Prelevate contanti perché altrimenti non potete accedere nemmeno alle aree archeologiche in città!

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November 29, 2022


Cuando llegamos al punto de encuentro diez minutos antes, Felipe que era el encargado esa mañana, nos dijo que no estábamos en su lista, pero que esperaramos.. Fue llegando otra gente toda para otras excursiones.. Nosotros éramos los únicos que estábamos para Rila y Plovdiv.. Nos volvió a decir que no estábamos en la lista pero que no habían problema.. Cuando terminó de explicar a los demás y colocar los en otros buses, vino y nos dijo que nos iba a llevar él en su furgoneta había otro conductor ni furgoneta oficial de la empresa para nosotros..Así que el problema lo solucionó rápido y tuvimos una excursión privada a precio de grupo.. Felipe se perto muy bien con nosotros, no hablamos inglés e intentó en todo momento explicarnos todo y hacernos entender y eso que fueron muchas horas de coche para el para ver los dos lugares Muchas gracias a Felipe por su profesionalidad, buen hacer, su amabilidad.La excursión nos encantó.Aunque tengo para diciembre otra excursión

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October 12, 2021


Parfait, très belle visite libre de Plovdiv et monastère de Rila avec un chauffeur très gentil et sympathique

September 14, 2020


Product ID: 192702