Day trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Activity provider: Traventuria Ltd.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Activity provider: Traventuria Ltd.
Likely to sell out

From US$ 31.40 per person

Likely to sell out

Explore 2 of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites on an exciting minibus tour from Sofia. Visit the Rila Monastery and get breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Then, see stunning pre-Renaissance frescoes at the Boyana Church.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 6 - 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English
Optional audio guide
Spanish, English, German, Italian, Russian
Small group available

Experience

Itinerary
2 - 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

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

Know before you go

  • There is a dress code in the Monastery that should be respected. Men and women should wear clothes covering their shoulders. Women should not wear short shorts or skirts (above the knees)
  • If you want to have more free time at the Monastery, it is advised that you bring your own snacks. There are 2 restaurants in the area that offer local specialties, but service there could slow on busy days
  • The entrance fee to the Boyana Church is 10 BGN (5 EUR) per person
  • The tour will not visit the church on January 1, Orthodox Easter, and December 24 or 25.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 842 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.7/5
  • Transportation
    4.7/5
  • Value for money
    4.4/5
  • Safety
    4.7/5

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Star rating:

Very kind, professional and well-informed tour guide, Ludo! We had a wonderful tour with him and learned a lot of things about the places we visited and the history of Bulgaria in general. Our tour driver was also very efficient . All in all, it was a great tour. Day definitely well-spent !

December 6, 2022

A day not to be missed if you are on holiday in Sofia: the Rila monastery is really very beautiful and also the place where it is located is beautiful. The trip starts from Sofia and first makes a stop in Bojana to see the frescoes of the small church (entrance 10 lev) then continues towards Rila, in all two hours by bus and the last half hour is a mountain road because the monastery is located at 1.125m. There is plenty of free time to visit the monastery, eat, and possibly take a walk. The bus leaves at 3 pm to return to Sofia where we arrive at 5 pm. The guide only speaks English and speaks way too much on the bus especially on the way back when people just want to sleep!

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October 30, 2022

Really enjoyed Boyana Church, small but so beautiful, and the monastery is well worth the trip. Bus left on time and was comfortable. Everything was well organised. My only tip is that there are no toilets open where the busses leave from so ensure you use a toilet elsewhere before you get on the bus !

October 30, 2022

Product ID: 50410