We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rila Monastery

Rila, Bulgaria
Update attraction details
Ranked #1 of 2 attractions in Rila
Type: Historic Sites, Religious Sites
Description: Founded in the 10th century, this monastery was restored in the 15th and again in the 19th century.
Write a Review

220 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    182
    31
    7
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nicosia, Cyprus
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014 NEW

If you visit Bulgaria the monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila is a worth-visiting and must-see place! I strongly suggest it!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sofia, Bulgaria
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014 NEW

We have thought only to ski and relax at the hotel, but the receptionist advised us to come here. Very interesting history plus indescribable atmosphere of the place. This is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. We will come back with our friends.

Was this review helpful? Yes
London
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
15 attraction reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014 NEW

A good day trip from in Sofia. We read previous reviews about how best to get there, and settled on a 25 euros pp tour with 'rilamonasteryshuttle.com' (VTravel Ltd) which also included the Boyana Church on the way back. This way we had a very knowledgeable guide who was passionate about Bulgarian history. Learned a lot. The monastery gets fairly... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Capel, Western Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

The history of the monastery is extremely interesting and its setting in the mountains not too far below the snow line is quite something. But most of the buildings date from the 18th or 19th Century - some from the 20th - so it's not quite as old as you might think. The inside of the church is well worth... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
usa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

This is a stunning place to visit. The ride there is equally beautiful but drive slow as most of it is a narrow and very curvy road. The Monastery is breathtaking. The architecture is a wonder and don't miss the little cemetery below...it's very interesting.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

This is probably the most amazing monument in Bulgaria. The painted ceiling of the chapel is a masterpiece. Try to get there are early as you can to avoid tourists traffic. If you have the time, take a short walk down the hill to the monastery cemetery.

Was this review helpful? Yes
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Situated not very far from Sofia in a beautiful and peaceful location, Rila Monastery is remarkable. There are not too many great Byzantine heritage sites like this one. You will not forget your visit even if you have no religious affiliation at all. It's beauty is awe-inspiring.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Prague, Czech Republic
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

A very special place, both by its meaning and by its looks. The omnipresent wall paintings are very enjoyable to study. There is even a small post office.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Blandford Forum, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Out standing architecture with fabulous paintings. Completely awe inspiring everywhere you look. From the monastery itself to the approaching drive through the mountains and the mountains surrounding the monastery. The museum takes your breath away with the elaborate artefacts. Well worth a trip.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
256 reviews 256 reviews
147 attraction reviews
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful monastery with amazing frescoes set in a stunning mountain setting. The monastery is worth the day trip from Sofia. Don't miss the museum exhibit that contains lots of items from the monastery including stunning carved wooden crosses and a chest with five locks that must each be opened with a separate key. There is no fee for the monastery,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Rila Monastery also viewed

 
Plovdiv, Plovdiv Province
Bansko, Blagoevgrad Province
 

Been to Rila Monastery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Rila Monastery, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing