You can get to the 7 Rila lakes by car.

The drive is about 1h 30 mins from Sofia city. 

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+ indipendency

+ no other people on board

+ no fixed departure times



- driving in Bulgaria can be challenging as signs are often in cyrilic alphabet only

- parking near the Rila lakes charlift is difficult during summer season and weekends

- parking fees apply


Getting to Rila lakes by public transport from Sofia city is possible, but quite difficult as there is no direct bus or train.

You would need to take bus or train from Sofia to Dupnitsa town. From there take a taxi up to the 7 Rila lakes chairlift.

Keep in mind that most of the people at the bus and train stations in the smaller cities do not speak English so checking timetables and buying tickets can be challenging at times.

DIRECT SHUTTLE BUS from Sofia city

The Rila Shuttle is offering direct transfer service during the summer season from Sofia city to the chair lift parking lot. 
The shuttles leave conveniently from central meeting point in downtown Sofia. It is a direct transfer and takes normally 1h 40 min each way.

They have a morning shuttle from Sofia to the Rila lakes and an afternoon shuttle from the lakes to Sofia so you can easily do the hike in one day from Sofia. However the shuttles do not run every day. Return ticket is 30 EUR per person.

There is also a combo trip to the 7 Rila lakes and monastery that is running every day.

Rila Shuttle is a partering company so you can book using the direct links below. The calendar shows real time availability.