Day trip

Sofia: Rila Monastery Trip w/ Boyana Church & History Museum

Activity provider: URCA Travel

Sofia: Rila Monastery Trip w/ Boyana Church & History Museum

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Save up to 30%

From US$ 25.10 US$ 17.57 per person

Explore one of the most impressive monastic settlements in Europe at your own pace on a self-guided tour of the amazing Rila Monastery. Benefit from round-trip transfers from Sofia by minibus.

About this ticket

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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 6 - 8 hours
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  • See the beautiful sights from the Rila Mountains
  • Explore the historic Rila Monastery at your own pace
  • Benefit from a reliable round-trip shuttle service from Sofia city center
  • Combine the trip with a visit to UNESCO Boyana Church
  • Visit the National History Museum — a former communist residence
Full description

Board the shuttle service behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center. Then, head to the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Depending on the tour option selected, visit the UNESCO Boyana church and the National History Museum, located in a former Bulgarian communist leader's residence, on the way to the Rila monastery. Get over 2 hours of free time to explore the complex, founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the medieval tower independently. Wander down quiet outdoor corridors adorned with beautiful mosaics, and see gold-plated iconostasis and valuable icons from the 14th to 19th centuries. Learn more about the history of the site at the museum, where highlights include the double-sided crucifix of the Rila Cross. See the old bakery and other monuments, including the residential area with high stone walls and little windows. Board the minibus back to Sofia in the afternoon and get dropped off at the pick-up point on arrival.

  • Shared or private round-trip transfer (if option selected)
  • Boyana church visit (if option selected)
  • National history museum visit (if option selected)
  • Guided tour at Rila Monastery (if option selected)
  • Boyana church entry ticket: 10 BGN (if option selected)
  • Boyana church and National History Museum combo entry ticket: 12 BGN (if option selected)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Tips (optional)
Not suitable for
  • Children under 7 years
  • People with back problems
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Board the shuttle service at the car parking lot behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Sofia. Look for the minibus with the "Rila Shuttle" sign in front of La Catedrale Restaurant.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Smoking
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Smoking in the vehicle
  • Smoking indoors

Know before you go

  • Dress code for the monastery: shirts have to cover the shoulders and skirts/shorts need to be at least knee length
  • It can be very cold at Rila Monastery, especially in the fall and winter period
  • Dining options are limited, so it is recommended that you bring your own food
  • Children have to be above 7 years old to attend the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 201 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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I now understand why these destinations are advertised and advised to visit! We had a very good tour guide who explained everything clearly and in good English. He also had tips for lunch breaks and photos. The excursion was well organized and very interesting. If you have one more day in Sofia, don't miss this trip!

June 28, 2022

It was approximately for 2 hours drive to the destination, kind instruction was given to the participants. Even though there was the trace of snow that had been still remained in Rila, it was not so much cold than I expected in the mid of February when I had the tour. The time in the Rila Monastery was approximately for 3 hours (12.00 arrival, 15.00 to get on the car for return, verily enough, everything was possible, including museum, restaurant, strolling around the monastery that has the water fountains, drinkable waters, famous for clean, non chemical.) The fascination of this destination is not only the renowned sanctity, but also the surrounding environment, rocks and mountain ranges, superb scenery of Bulgaria can be enjoyed on journey.

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February 12, 2020

Meeting point in front of the restaurant "La Cattedrale" there was the guide with a "rila Shuttle" sign, the guide did not come to the monastery but explained us before departure times, meeting point and a description of about 5 minutes on the Monastery and its history. The guide also spoke Italian but the directions were given in English as we were of different nationalities on the 8-seater van. Departing at 10 am, the journey lasts two hours, of which an hour and a half on the motorway and half an hour on the mountain road. The monastery is very beautiful, it is worth a visit, the only flaw is the excessive stay time; arrived at 12pm and the return was scheduled for 3pm. in my opinion, a couple of hours were more than enough, even for lunch. at 17:00 we returned to central Sofia.

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November 19, 2019

Product ID: 126893