Rila Monastery from Sofia

Letter 143

A trip to Bulgaria would not be complete without visiting this monastery. It’s beauty and magnificence are striking when paired with the forested mountains in the background and surroundings of peaceful paths and rivers.

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Art and Architecture

I fell completely in love with the buildings, courtyard and art that graced ever wall, arch and dome. It was utterly amazing and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures and looking around in awe. I truly loved it.

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How to get there

From Sofia it was a simple bus ride to get here and we spent two hours wandering around the monastery enjoying the history, art and architecture. The bus leaves from the west bus station (accessible via tram 5 from the Palace of Justice) at 10:20, arriving at Rila at 1. It then waits and leaves the monastery at 3pm, arriving back in Sofia for 5:30ish. It was 11lv (around £5) each way and was well worth the trip.

I would recommend taking food to eat on the way there so you are free to wander for the full 2 hours. There is plenty to see and admire, and there are also a couple of museums. You can buy food and drink there and I even managed to pick up some delicious natural honey.

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Hope you enjoyed this – if you ever visit Bulgaria make sure you pay a visit to the monastery. You can also stay overnight in the area which I can imagine would be lovely, and would enable you to see it without the crowds. However, in May it seems pretty quiet anyway.

Thanks for reading!

From Lou

About Me

8 thoughts on “Rila Monastery from Sofia

  1. I am doing this as a day trip from Sofia on Monday! Your photos have made me even more excited, looks beautiful. Did you take the bus from “Ovcha kupel”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll love it!! It is so beautiful. Yes the tram 5 stops at the stop called ovcha kupel which is over the road from the west bus station. (If you use Google maps to follow the journey or find where you’re going, type west bus station, not ovcha kupel because that will take you somewhere else!!) It should take about 25 minutes from the palace of justice and the stop is right by a big vivacom shop on the left. Our bus was a bright pink one so if its the same you wont miss it! Have the best time!!


      1. I arrived May 7th and I leave at the end of the month for Kosovo – I saw on your draft itinerary that you’re planning on Rila National Park? I stayed in the Govedartsi village and it’s really quaint, unfortunately there was too much snow / fog at top of the mountain for me to go to the Rila Lakes but hopefully going closer to June should be better for you! Heads up that buses between the villages aren’t as frequent as I thought, although maybe staying in Samokov would have better connections


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