Day trip

From Sofia: Afternoon Half-day Trip to Rila Monastery

4.8 / 5

14 reviews

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Day trip

From Sofia: Afternoon Half-day Trip to Rila Monastery

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Save up to 30%

From US$ 31.52 US$ 22.06 per person

Explore one of the most impressive monastic settlements in Europe at your own pace on a leisure, afternoon trip to the amazing Rila Monastery. Benefit from round-trip transfers from Sofia city.

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 7 - 11 hours
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  • Visit the Rila Monastery at your own pace
  • Benefit from a reliable round-trip transfer service from Sofia city center
  • See the beautiful sights of the Rila Mountains
  • Explore the highlights at your own pace
  • Add the Bells Park, Boyana church and National History Museum on the way to Rila
Full description
Discover Rila Monastery at your own pace on a self-guided, afternoon tour from Sofia. Begin by boarding the shuttle service at noon (12:00h) at the centrally located meeting point (Aleksander I square) and head to the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Get almost 2 hours of leisure time to explore the complex, founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the medieval tower independently. Wander down quiet outdoor corridors adorned with beautiful mosaics, and see gold-plated iconostasis and valuable icons from the 14th to 19th centuries. Learn more about the history of the site at the museum, where highlights include the double-sided crucifix of the Rila Cross. See the old bakery and other monuments, including the residential area with high stone walls and little windows. Board the minibus back to Sofia in the afternoon and get dropped off at the central pick-up point on arrival. Make full use of your day by combining the trip to the Rila monastery with a visit in the morning to the Bells Park monument Boyana church and the National History Museum, located in a former Bulgarian communist leader's residence, on the way to the Rila monastery (depending on the tour option selected).
  • Shared or private round-trip transfer from Sofia (depending on the option selected)
  • Tour assistance throughout the trip
  • Entrance to National Museum of History (10 Bgn per person)
  • Meals and drinks
  • Guiding services
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Tips (optional)
Not suitable for
  • People with back problems
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

Meeting point is at the car parking lot at Knyaz Aleksander I square, in front of the former Royal Palace (The Palace - National Art Gallery). Nearest metro station is Serdika. The Shuttle bus will have a Rila Shuttle sign at the front window. Depending on the group size, the vehicle can be a car/van/minibus. Please be at the meeting point 5 min before departure time.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Shorts
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Smoking in the vehicle
  • Smoking indoors
  • Vaping
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • Rila monastery is located high in the Rila mountains. Please bring appropriate clothing for the weather
  • The tour takes place in all weather conditions
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 14 reviews

Review summary

  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

Extremely accommodating host Bobby. Helped the journey to and from the monastery feel not so long with his facts, not only about the monastery, but also about Bulgarian history. Even stopped the van extremely promptly when I felt travel sick on the way back and was very sympathetic about it. Only giving 4 stars instead of 5 because I booked the trip for the day before and it was cancelled at rather short notice meaning I had to change my plans. But I know these things happen

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March 27, 2023

Very nice trip, we enjoyed a day long tour around places you must visit if you come to Sofia as the botana church, the national history museum and the monastery of rila. We had time enough to visit each place, specially at the monastery where you have plenty of time to relax and have a meal or a local breakfast. The guide was very nice with as and explained us many historical things while traveling even we didn’t hire a guided tour option. A totally recommended experience!!

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May 22, 2022

Very beautiful tour in an amazing location. Our guide/driver Bobby was very energetic friendly and excited to show us some of the best sides of Rila Monastery, museum and another church. Locations for all these places were amazing . He also explained a lot of curious information and general knowledge about Bulgarian life/history related to the places and beyond. Thank you bobby you were great!

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May 9, 2022

Product ID: 406452