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Film Location: Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Written on October 2, 2013

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is a working monastary situated in the heart of picturesque Rila Mountain, 120 km south of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. Over the years the monastery has played an important role in Bulgarian history attracting both pilgrims looking to flee Ottoman invaders and modern day tourists seeking to visit the final resting place of Bulgaria’s last king.

Location Permits

Film permits must be obtained from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. For maximum accessibility the best times to film are outside of religious holidays and weekends when tourist numbers are high. Late in the summer is best for good weather and less tourists. Winters are heavy with snow and offer an entirely different look.


For more adventurous crews Rila Monastery has limited accommodation on the premises. Otherwise there are larger hotels in Blagoebgrad 30km from the monastery.

Crew and Equipment

Some options are available in Sofia although many productions bring their own crew and gear (especially smaller productions) and hire a local Bulgarian fixer for support.

For your next project in Rila Monastery, contact us us for Bulgarian fixer or service company referrals. If you want to save and not travel everyone, we also have Sofia based shooting crew including directors, DoP’s, videographers, and stills photographers.

Location images courtesy of Alexenia Dimitrova.