Day trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

From US$ 28.35 per person

See 2 of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites on an exciting minibus tour from Sofia. Go to Rila Monastery and get breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Then, see stunning frescoes from the Bulgarian National Revival at Boyana Church.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Small group available

Experience

Itinerary
4 hours
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

  • 2 hours
  • Rila Monastery (guided tour)

  • Rila Monastery (lunch)

    • Optional
  • 1.5 hours
  • Boyana Church (guided tour)

  • 30 minutes
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Meeting point
Main stop
Other stop
Highlights
  • Visit 2 of Bulgaria most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a day
  • Go to Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains
  • Marvel at the pre-Renaissance frescoes of Boyana Church
  • Taste organic food in the nearby restaurants, such as mekitsi, yogurt or grilled trout
  • Travel in comfort through the Bulgarian countryside
Full description
Depart Sofia at 09:00 AM sharp, and relax on the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. Upon arrival, explore the largest and most important Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See gilded iconostasis and enjoy the fabulous mountain views. Hear the story of the monastery from your guide before enjoying some time to explore the monastic complex on your own. Learn more at the museum, or purchase souvenir icons and other items in the nearby shops. Take some time to refuel with lunch at one of the local restaurants, where you can purchase local specialties such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep fried). Depart at 01:30 PM and travel to Boyana Church in the suburbs of Sofia. See the historically significant frescoes of the Byzantine building, and hear how they started the fashion for illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside the local aristocracy. With an estimated arrival time at the church of approximately 03:40 PM, enjoy about 30 minutes to explore. Leave at around 04:10 PM for the drive to Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center by 04:30 PM to 05:00 PM.
Includes
  • Transportation by modern, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Entrance fees to Rila Monastery Museum (€4 per person) and Boyana Church (€5 per person)
  • Food, drinks and other personal expenses
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet in front of La Cattedrale Restaurant behind Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Sofia.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Please be aware that smoking in the vehicles is strictly forbidden
  •  You can find mekitsi (sometimes called Bulgarian donuts) just outside the eastern gate, available to purchase at €0.25 each
  • Please note, the tour will not visit Boyana Church on May 18, April 19, and December 24 or 25
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 591 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.6/5
  • Transportation
    4.7/5
  • Value for money
    4.3/5
  • Safety
    4.7/5

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Star rating:

Our guide, Philip, was extremely knowledge about the monastery itself and about the history of his country. By the time we arrived we had an understanding of what we were visiting but were still unprepared for how stunning the place actually was. Pictures do not do it justice. We would encourage any visitor to take the opportunity to go.

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November 28, 2021

This trip has exceeded my expectations. Beside the fact that the 2 sites are very important historically/ culturally & very beautiful , I engaged in long deep chats about Bulgaria with Martin -our guide- during the 2-hours bus drive each way. Martin was very organized & informative , yet funny & easy going. I was on a tight schedule in Sofia (only 3 days , including the trip to Rila), so Martin provided very useful insights about how to benefit of my short time there to the maximum. Highly recommeded trip & guide.

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November 9, 2021

Really nice day trip, our tour guide Chris was lovely, really knowledgeable and had an answer for all our questions. Due to Covid measures the Boyana Church was closed so they took us to see a little cave not too far from the monastery. Just be aware that its a little mini hike and not suitable for all. The only downside, for me, but probably since the church was closed, was that we had a little too much free time at the monastery but thats my only complaint! Definitely recommend, and the monastery is incredible.

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November 2, 2021

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Product ID: 50410