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Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Kyustendil, Bulgaria

The Basics

Nearly a million visitors explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site each year. You can visit Rila Monastery's cloisters, farming buildings, and church, and step into its on-site museum for a look at its history and to see handwoven national costumes. Take a self-guided tour, or visit with a guide for deeper context. Some tours combine a monastery visit with a trip to a Bulgarian winery or to nearby Boyana Church, known for its medieval murals.

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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
star-4.5
$28.15 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Lovely trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church
The trip was very smooth, our guide was very Informative, he shared a lot of interesting details with us ( also some fun facts). After the lecture we had 1 hour for ourselves so we could grab a lunch in the restaurant next to this place. Lovely trip!
David_V, Jul 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Sofia

star-5
Perfect day trip from Sofia
JaeHyung_K, Jul 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
Guide was very friendly and did a great job explaining the historical significance of Boyana Church and Rila Monastery. I felt that we had enough time on each stop and the van was comfortable and safe. Highly recommend!
star-5
Awesome!
Judie_H, Jun 2022
Rila Monastery and Melnik, Day Tour from Sofia with Pickup
Wonderful guide and a fabulous day trip! Rila Monastery is gorgeous! And Melnik was very quaint, loved the winery.
star-5
Definitely recommended
Isabel_P, Jul 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
We had an amazing time at this tour, both Boyana church and Rila monastery are worth the visit but what made it truly great were the explanations behind their complex stories which our guide conveyed in a very informative and engaging way! The tour was well organized, providing time to see everything both in group and independently, and our driver ensured a very safe ride.
star-4
Good overview of important world cultural sites.
herbert_b, Jul 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Small Group Day Trip
Rila Monastery is a spectacular piece of history and Bulgarian culture. The vivid colors of the frescoes is astonishing. I was left wanting more information on both sites but still ended the trip knowing more than I started .
star-4
Great experience
Michael_R, Aug 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
Amazingly beautiful place in the mountains. Easy experience with informative guide. Would recommend highly.
star-5
Bobi was very friendly...
Christian_S, Aug 2022
Rila Monastery and 7 Rila Lakes Self-Guided Shared Trip from Sofia
Bobi was very friendly and provided excellent guidance. Highly recommended 👌. The Rila mountain is wonderful
star-5
Well organised trip....
Bozhana_P, Aug 2022
Rila Monastery and 7 Rila Lakes Self-Guided Shared Trip from Sofia
Well organised trip. Minivan comfortable n driver was good. On time to depart. Excellent briefing tips about mountain routes. Highly recommend this self guided tour. My friend & I enjoyed the trip.
star-5
Great guide, awesome monastery
Tarek_A, Jul 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Small Group Day Trip
Pretty monastery and beautiful history about the churches such an awesome informative guide, who explained everything with details
star-5
Highly recommend!
Erika_L, Jul 2022
The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
Incredible experience! The hike around the Seven Lakes was terrific…amazing views and great insight from the tour guide. I really enjoyed visiting the Monastery as well. It’s a busy day but worth it if you want to see it all! Bring plenty of snacks!
star-5
Absolutely breathtaking
Ciaran_M, Jul 2022
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Small Group Day Trip
Absolutely awesome! We chose the self guided tour but the tour guide for the rest of the group (philipe I think his name is?) was absolutely amazing! Helped us out when needed!
star-4
One has to wonder how...
Joseph_J, Jun 2022
Rila Monastery and Boiana church private tour
One has to wonder how interesting a tiny old church and ancient monastery can possibly be. The church has some of the finest and best preserved frescos in Europe and the monastery is set in terrain that takes you back in time. The church time is very brief but the historian-attendant is generous with his time and explanations if no one is waiting to enter. It was a great day trip. The tour, tour company and guide are all very professional and accommodating.
star-5
Reliable operator and perfect place
Hend_L, Jun 2022
The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
Very professional tour operator and guides. They are reliable. I did two tours with them and they never failed me. Very good value for money.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Prebook tickets to the monastery to skip the line and enjoy more time inside.

  • Visitors must wear clothing that covers shoulders, knees, and elbows to tour the grounds.

  • A traditional bakery behind the monastery serves homemade mekitsi (dough fritters), while several nearby restaurants specialize in Bulgarian food; trout is a specialty.

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How to Get There

Travelers can take the E79 International Route between Sofia and Kulata to the monastery. It’s located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) from Kocherinovo. The easiest way to get there is by joining a guided tour with included transportation.

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When to Get There

Rila Monastery is a popular day trip destination among locals and visitors, especially in summer. Plan to visit the monastery in winter when it's quieter and you’ll have the grounds largely to yourself.

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Cave of St. Ivan of Rila

No trip to Rila Monastery would be complete without a stop at the nearby cave where St. Ivan of Rila, the hermit who founded the monastery, lived while his students built what would become Bulgaria’s most famous spiritual center. Visitors can hike to this small nook in the mountainside from the monastery to see where the saint spent some 20 years in relative solitude.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Rila Monastery?
A:
Attractions near Rila Monastery:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Sofia?
A:
As well as visiting the Rila Monastery, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: