From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Plovdiv Self-Guided Trip

4.7 / 5

10 reviews

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Plovdiv Self-Guided Trip

From US$ 100.58 per person

See the best of Bulgaria's culture in one day on a self-guided tour from Sofia. Explore the amazing Rila Monastery and the cultural capital of the country - the city of Plovdiv. Benefit from round-trip transfers from Sofia by comfortable minibus.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 1 day
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Small group
Limited to 8 participants


  • Explore the historic Rila Monastery
  • Explore the most important sights of Plovdiv Old town
  • See two of Bulgaria's most visited places in one-day from Sofia
  • Travel in comfort with a reliable round-trip shuttle service from Sofia city center
Full description
Depart from Sofia city center at 7:00 AM (for the period May to September, departure is at 07:30 AM) and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver. 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 medieval tower independently. Continue with a 3.5-hour transfer to the city of Plovdiv (a short break half-way is included) and get more than 4.5 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. Board the shuttle bus at 6:00 PM (for the period May to September, departure is 6:30 PM) at the agreed meeting point and return to Sofia in the evening to be dropped off at the meeting point behind St.Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
  • Round-trip shared transfer
  • Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
  • Map of Plovdiv Old Town
  • Licensed driver
  • Optional museum admission fees for museums in Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa
  • Food and drinks
  • Guide services
  • Optional gratuities
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Car parking behind St.Alexander Nevski Cathedral. The bus stops in front of La Cathedrale restaurant. Meeting point is close to metro station Sofia Univeristy.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Passport or ID card for children

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Smoking in the vehicle

Know before you go

  • 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
  • Please dress up accordingly: high heels, short skirts and short trousers, shirts with no sleeves, etc. are not allowed in the monastery
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 10 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

When we arrived at the meeting point ten minutes earlier, Felipe, who was in charge that morning, told us that we were not on his list, but to wait. Other people were arriving for other excursions. We were the only ones who were for Rila. and Plovdiv .. He told us again that we were not on the list but that there was no problem .. When he finished explaining to the others and putting them on other buses, he came and told us that he was going to take us in his private van. .There was no other driver or official van of the company for us .. So the problem was solved quickly and we had a private tour at group price .. Felipe was very good with us, we did not speak English and tried at all times to explain us Everything and make us understand and that it was many hours of car for him to see the two places Many thanks to Felipe for his professionalism, good work, his kindness We loved the excursion, although I have another excursion for December

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October 12, 2021

Good trip, it's worth it, Rila is awesome and Plovdiv better see it on your own. In case you prefer some guidance, Bobby blocks it so that you arrive before the Plovdiv free tour begins so perfect.

January 29, 2020

Boby was an excellent driver, very friendly! Two very interesting places in one day: I therefore recommend

January 26, 2020

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Product ID: 192702