How to Plan Your Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids Tour

How to Plan Your Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids Tour

If you’re traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria, there’s one must-see that shouldn’t be missed: the Rila Monastery, St. Ivan Rilski Cave, and the Stob Pyramids. This full-day trip through the Rila Mountains is full of history and natural wonders that will undoubtedly provide a memorable and enriching experience. Here’s how to plan your Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids tour.


You will be picked up from your hotel or address in Sofia in the morning, and begin your scenic journey through the Rila Mountains. The first stop on the tour is the Rila Monastery, one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria. After spending some time exploring the monastery, you’ll embark on a beautiful walk to the cave of St. Ivan Rilski, where the founder of the monastery lived as an anchorite. Finally, you’ll explore the amazing rock formations of the natural phenomenon of the Stob Pyramids.


This tour is filled with many exciting experiences. Here are some of the highlights: – Visit the Rila Monastery, which has been in use since the 10th century. – Explore the Rila Monastery Forest Reserve on a beautiful walk to the cave of St. Ivan Rilski. – Discover the rock formations of the Stob Pyramids, which tower over the surrounding landscape. – Benefit from a knowledgeable and passionate guide who will provide rich insights into the history and culture of the region.


The tour begins at 9 am, with a pickup from your hotel or address in Sofia. You will then travel to the Rila Monastery, arriving within two hours. After exploring the monastery, you’ll merge onto a fairy trail walk that will lead you through the centuries-old Rila Monastery Forest Reserve, towards the cave of St. Ivan Rilski. Upon arriving at the cave, you’ll have the opportunity to explore it by foot, taking in the geological marvels that surround you. Finally, you’ll continue to the Stob Pyramids to marvel at the unique rock formations before heading back to Sofia.

What to Bring

Make sure you dress comfortably, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a bottle of water with you. The tour will take you through the forest reserve, so be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and any other gear to protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as there will be many opportunities to capture breathtaking photos of the natural surroundings and historic landmarks.

Booking the Tour

To book your Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids tour, visit GetYourGuide, which offers a variety of tours and experiences. This tour is perfect for anyone looking for a full-day trip outside of Sofia to explore the beautiful and historic landmarks that Bulgaria has to offer.

Book Your Tour Now

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a unique and memorable experience, the Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids tour is the perfect way to spend a day. From centuries-old monasteries to remarkable natural wonders, this tour has it all. Plan your trip now with GetYourGuide, and get ready to experience the beauty and history of Bulgaria’s Rila Mountains.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sofia

Sofia is the capital and largest city in Bulgaria. It’s a popular tourist destination known for its stunning architecture, rich history, delicious food, and friendly people. If you’re planning a trip to Sofia, here are some frequently asked questions that may help you plan your visit.

1. What is the best time of year to visit Sofia?

The best time to visit Sofia is during the warmer months, from May to September. The weather during this time is mild and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so the city may be crowded. If you prefer cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, consider visiting during the fall or winter months.

2. What is the currency in Sofia?

The currency in Sofia is the Bulgarian lev (BGN). It’s a good idea to exchange some money before you leave home, or you can withdraw local currency from ATMs throughout the city. Most restaurants and shops in the city accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand.

3. How do I get around Sofia?

Sofia has an efficient public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and a metro system. You can purchase tickets at kiosks or at the stations themselves. Taxis are also readily available, but be sure to use reputable taxi companies and avoid hailing them on the street.

4. What are the must-see attractions in Sofia?

Some of the most popular attractions in Sofia include the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Palace of Culture, and the Church of St. George. Other notable sights include the Vitosha Mountain and the National Museum of History.

5. What is Bulgarian cuisine like?

Bulgarian cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighboring countries and features a lot of grilled meats, fresh vegetables, and dairy products. Some must-try dishes include banitsa (a filo pastry filled with cheese), kebabche (grilled meatballs), and lyutenitsa (a spread made from roasted peppers and tomatoes). Bulgarian wine is also highly regarded and worth sampling while you’re in the city.

6. Is English widely spoken in Sofia?

English is not widely spoken in Sofia, especially outside of the main tourist areas. However, many younger people speak English, and you should be able to get by with a few basic phrases and a good translation app.

7. Is Sofia a safe city?

Sofia is generally a safe city for visitors, but it’s still important to take common-sense precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and don’t leave your belongings unattended. It’s also worth noting that there have been incidents of pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas, so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings.

8. What is the nightlife like in Sofia?

Sofia has a vibrant nightlife scene that includes everything from nightclubs to cozy bars. Many of the bars and clubs are located in the city center near Vitosha Boulevard. If you’re looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of cozy cafes and wine bars to choose from as well.

9. How do I get to Sofia from the airport?

Sofia Airport is located about 10 kilometers east of the city center. The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is by taxi or public transportation. There is a metro station at the airport with direct links to the city center, as well as buses and shuttle services that run regularly.

10. What are some day trips I can take from Sofia?

There are plenty of day trips you can take from Sofia, including visits to nearby towns like Plovdiv or Koprivshtitsa. You can also explore the Rila Monastery, one of Bulgaria’s most iconic attractions, or take a hike in Vitosha National Park.

How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Sofia

As the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia has a lot to offer for tourists. From impressive architecture to delicious food and drinks, there is no shortage of things to do in this historic city. Here are some tips on how to spend your time as a tourist in Sofia:

1. Explore the City Center

The city center of Sofia is rich in architecture and history. Start your tour by visiting the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. This cathedral is the largest Eastern Orthodox church in Bulgaria and features a beautiful gold-plated dome that can be seen from many points in the city. After visiting the cathedral, take a stroll through the city center and explore the pedestrianized Vitosha Boulevard. Here you’ll find a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can enjoy some local cuisine.

2. Visit Sofia’s Museums

Sofia is home to several museums that showcase the city’s rich history and culture. Some of the top museums to visit include:
  • The National History Museum, which is home to a collection of artifacts that date back to prehistoric times.
  • The National Art Gallery, which features works by Bulgarian artists, as well as by international masters such as Rubens and Van Dyck.
  • The Museum of Socialist Art, where you can learn about Bulgaria’s communist past through a collection of sculptures and paintings.

3. Take in the Scenery

One of the best ways to see Sofia is from above. Head to the Vitosha Mountain, a short drive from the city center, and enjoy the stunning views from the top. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a hike through the mountains and explore the nearby caves.

4. Enjoy the Nightlife

Sofia is famous for its nightlife, with a wide variety of bars and clubs to choose from. Some of the top places to hit up for a night out include:
  • Hambara Bar, which features a cozy atmosphere and a wide selection of drinks and cocktails.
  • Sofia Cocktail Bar, a trendy spot that serves up creative cocktails and has a great rooftop terrace.
  • Reactor Club, a popular destination for techno and house music lovers.

5. Indulge in Local Cuisine

No visit to Sofia is complete without trying some of the local cuisine. Bulgarian food is hearty and delicious, with influences from neighboring countries like Greece and Turkey. Some must-try dishes include:
  • Bulgarian Shopska Salad, a fresh and colorful mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and feta cheese.
  • Kebapche, a type of grilled sausage made with ground beef and pork.
  • Banitsa, a savory pastry made with phyllo dough and filled with cheese, spinach, or meat.

6. Shop for Souvenirs

Sofia is home to a variety of markets and shops where you can pick up souvenirs to take back home. Some top places to shop include:
  • The Central Market Hall, which sells a variety of local products like cheese, honey, and traditional Bulgarian spices.
  • The Lion’s Bridge Flea Market, where you can find vintage clothing, antiques, and handmade crafts.
  • The Women’s Market, a bustling outdoor market that sells everything from fresh produce to souvenirs.

7. Attend a Cultural Event

Sofia is home to a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Some top events to attend include:
  • The Sofia International Film Festival, which takes place in March and features films from all over the world.
  • The Sofia Jazz Festival, which takes place in November and brings together jazz musicians from Bulgaria and beyond.
  • The Bulgarian Rose Festival, which takes place in June and celebrates the country’s famous rose oil industry.

Book Your Tour Now

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nightlife, Sofia has something for everyone. With this guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your time as a tourist in this beautiful city. Don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, take in the scenery, and attend a cultural event to make your trip truly unforgettable.

How to Plan Your Sofia Rila Monastery St Ivan Rilski Cave Stob Pyramids Tour