There are 4 ways to get to Rila Monastery from Sofia.
1. Getting to Rila Monastery by own car, camper van or rent-a-car is fairly easy and the 130 km route takes about 2 hours. In Sofia you have to follow the green signs (motorway) to Kulata. This is Lulin highway and if you are in the central part of the city this is the boulevard behind the statue of St. Sofia in the very center of the city. In about one hour drive you will see the first exit for Rila Monastery near Boboshevo, but we recommend taking the second exit near Kocherinovo (you cannot miss this exit is right after you pass a tunnel). Then you follow the brown signs to the Monastery of Rila and you should arrive there in about 45 min.
2. Getting to Rila by taxi. Taxis would usually charge around 65€ (125 BGN) to take you to Rila Monastery. However, you may have to pay extra for the waiting time while you are visiting, plus you will not have a guide for the site. Sometimes taxi car conditions are not really recommended.
3. Getting to Rila by public bus. Of course this is the least expensive alternative. There is direct bus line from Sofia (10:20 departure from Ovcha Kupel bus station) to Rila Monastery (arrives 13:00). The return departure is at 15:00 from Rila Monastery, so you have 2 hours to visit the place. Another drawback would be that you have to get to Ovcha Kupel bus station in Sofia which is not centrally located. This day trip would cost you 11 BGN (levs) each way or roughly 11€ for a return ticket in 2017.
4. The most efficient way to visit the Monastery of Rila is the Rila Monastery Shuttle Tour operating daily since 2010. Currently in 2017 the return ticket cost is 30€ per adult and 25€ per child (1-16 years) and furthermore we offer a discount for families or groups of minimum 4 persons (25€ per adult and 20€ per child). Among the advantages of the Rila Monastery Shuttle tour you will find:
- you are accompanied by an English speaking guide throughout the whole day, so you will never get stuck with a taxi or bus driver who would not understand your English;
-you will have a guided tour of the Monastery for 40-60 minutes with full explanations about the complex, the church and the paintings;
-your departure is right in the heart of the city - behind St. Alexander Nevski church at 9:00 every day except 25.12 and 01.01;
-you have 2 hours at the Monastery and 1h30min more for lunch;
-you will visit your second UNESCO site for the day - Boyana church near Sofia.
Book online here.