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From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Plovdiv Self-Guided Trip

11 Reviews
Culture & history Entry tickets Nature & adventure

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.


  • 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


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

Important Information

  • 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

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund


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