Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
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From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

1. From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

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.

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From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

2. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

Spend the day exploring 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located outside of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Begin by meeting at 9:00 behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Sit back and relax for the next 2 hours as your friendly, English-speaking drivers transport you to Rila. Upon arriving, spend 2 hours exploring the area and visiting the Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant which features a specialty of grilled trout. Get back in the van for another 2-hour journey, eventually arriving at Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church on the outskirts of Sofia. Check out the elaborate frescoes that have made this site famous, before your tour returns you to your meeting point.

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Half-Day Private Tour: Sofia, Boyana Church & History Museum

3. Half-Day Private Tour: Sofia, Boyana Church & History Museum

The tour starts at 9:00 AM when you will be picked up by a private guide from your accommodation in Sofia. By car you will head to the outskirts of Sofia and Vitosha Mountain. The first stop is the National History Museum, the biggest museum in Bulgaria and one of the biggest in the Balkans. It has rich collections from antiquity to nowadays. The next stop is the remarkable Boyana Church, recognized by UNESCO because of its amazingly well-preserved frescoes from the 13th century. After exploring Boyana Church, head to the center of Sofia for a two-hour sightseeing tour. You will go around the most interesting buildings and places and learn their history from your guide. See sights such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Sofia Basilica, Saint George Rotunda, the Parliament, the Presidency, the Roman Remains and others. The tour will finish at around 14:00 PM near the beginning of Vitosha street – the main street in Sofia.

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From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery

4. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery

On this full-day tour you will visit Plovdiv and the Bachkovo Monastery, located 170 kilometers from Sofia. You will start your journey from Sofia in the morning and first visit the old town of Plovdiv for a 2.5-hour walking tour through the Roman and medieval remains. You will then have some free time for a stroll along the main street in Plovdiv, enjoy an open-air café, or a quick kebab sandwich. Before returning to Sofia in the evening, stop at the Bachkovo Monastery (30 minute-drive from Plovdiv), where you can admire the churches and the dining room wall paintings from 1602. Plovdiv is one of the oldest European towns, contemporary to Troya and Mikena. It has existed as a settlement for about 8,000 years, and became a town 3,000 years ago during the Troyan war. In the historic quarter of the city you will see beautifully decorated Revival period houses, the ancient fortress-wall, the Roman forum and stadium, and magnificent churches. The old city of Plovdiv with its museums, historical sites, ancient houses, and paved streets is the perfect place for sightseeing.

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Boyana Church & Rila Monastery Full-Day Private Tour

5. Boyana Church & Rila Monastery Full-Day Private Tour

The tour departs early in the morning and heads to the tranquil hearth of Rila Mountains where you can admire the impressive Rila Monastery (UNESCO). Its architecture and frescoes present the apogee of Bulgarian Renaissance art. During the guided tour in the inner yard and the monastery museum, you will discover the most treasured monuments and learn the most fascinating facts and stories about the biggest Bulgarian monastery complex. The first stop will be at the Rilla monastery and the museum, so you can fully explore the history and see what it was in the past. After the museum you will have the chance to explore more about the complex and then visit the surrounding mountain around the monastery.  There will be sufficient time to stop and have lunch by the side of the river in one of the greatest restaurants on the side of the road back to Sofia. There you will have the chance to taste some great Bulgarian cuisine.You will also have free time to buy souvenirs, take some photos and then continue on to the tour. After visiting Rila mountains, you will go back to Sofia and on the way stop at Boyana church. Part of the UNESCO heritage area, it's located deep in the Vitosha mountain near Sofia. Located on the outskirts of Sofia, Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two storey building to be erected next to it. The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. The ensemble is completed by a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art.

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Plovdiv: Private Sofia Day Trip

6. Plovdiv: Private Sofia Day Trip

With this tour you will have the chance to visit the Bulgarian capital Sofia whilst staying in Plovdiv. Your tour starts at 9:00AM, at which point your guide will collect you from your hotel and you will travel for 2 hours to Sofia. The capital of Bulgaria has preserved heritage from different cultures and epochs, including Roman, early Christian, Ottoman, Bulgarian, and Soviet. The most popular sights are the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is the 2nd-largest cathedral of the Balkans, and the Saint George Rotunda, which is the oldest church in town and dates back to the 4th century. You will also discover the Saint Sofia Basilica, the Medieval symbol of Serdica which was built in the 6th century. Other interesting places that you will see are the Parliament, the National Theater "Ivan Vazov" (one of the most beautiful buildings in town), the former Royal Palace, the administration of the President, and the mineral springs. Your guided tour will last for about 2 hours, after which you will have another 2 hours' free time for a lunch break and shopping. At 3:00PM, you will depart back to Plovdiv.

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Sofia: 2-Hour Guided City Tour with Gourmet Lunch

7. Sofia: 2-Hour Guided City Tour with Gourmet Lunch

Enjoy a guided tour and take your chance to discover the history behind Sofia's historical landmarks in the city center. See how the capital of Bulgaria has preserved its heritage from different cultures and epochs: from Roman, to Early Christian, Ottoman, Bulgarian and Soviet. With your tour guide, you will visit the city's most popular sights like Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (the second biggest in the Balkans), Saint George Rotunda (the oldest church in town, dating back to the 4th-century) and Saint Sofia Basilica - the medieval symbol of Serdica, built in the 6th-century.  Visit other places of historical significance such as the Parliament, National Theater "Ivan Vazov"- one of the most beautiful buildings in town, the former Royal Palace, the administration of the President, and the mineral springs. After your 2-hour walking tour of the city, you will visit one of the best local gourmet restaurants in town. Whilst here, you will have the choice of 3 menus: • Shopska Salad: Tomatoes, grilled peppers, cucumbers, pickled red onion, sheep, goat and cow cheese, parsley and grilled hot pepper Kapama Pork belly, ox-tails, rabbit, Petrohan sausage, prunes pestil, rice and manna croup popcorns Bulgarian rose II Vanilla sponge cake, yogurt ice cream with pink pepper, strawberry and rose sorbet, rose meringue • Moon salad: Moon beans from Kurtovo Konare, homemade luteniza, leek on charcoal, sheep cheese, lovage, spearmint Beef cheeks Trahana with spearmint, spinach puree, aged Smilyan cheese, seasonal mushrooms Banitza with boza Cheese mousse, rose jam, “boza” sorbet, crispy “banitza” • Pears with Green cheese: Green mix salads, dark craft beer, Vinaigrette jam of green walnuts, pickle of onion from Reselets Polenta with Brynza Porcini, cheese espuma, tomato confit, milk skin Tikvenik “Rachel” of pumpkin, caviar of smoked chilli honey, three types of pumpkin, cottage cheese, vanilla ice cream and long pepper

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Secrets, Facts, and Legends of Sofia: Full Day Tour

8. Secrets, Facts, and Legends of Sofia: Full Day Tour

At 9:00 AM you will be picked from your hotel/accommodation by your guide. After a short drive, you will reach Vitosha Mountain. Your destination is a meteorological tower, from which area you will have the chance to see the whole city from above. Your guide will give you a good overview of Sofia, its history and geography. Your next stop will be one of the most interesting and significant locations in Sofia – complex called “The Bells”. It is related to a Bulgarian initiative, which has started in 1979, called “The Flag of Peace”, gathering children from 135 countries, from both sides of “The Iron Curtain”. Each group had to put the unique bell from its country in this complex. After this experience, we will drive back to Sofia city center where you will start your walking tour. First stop is the National Archaeological Museum with its astonishing cultural treasures. On the way you will see the oldest building in Sofia – the Roman early Christian church St. George, dated in 4th-century. After the museum, you can have lunch in a restaurant situated in the same building, which was a Medieval mosque and enjoy the archaeological remains next to your table. Your next destination is the market area of Sofia, famous with the name “Ladies Market” where you will learn a lot for the epoch of the late 19th and early 20th century. You will pass next to a Synagogue, situated almost in front of an active mosque and Catholic Church, giving the name of the square – “The Square of tolerance. After you visit the Sofia History Museum you will walk by the Communist administrative center, St. Sofia church, Sofia University, and Alexander Nevski cathedral, where your tour ends. You can ask you guide some final question and if you need they can give you a ride back to your hotel, if it is far from the center.

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Plovdiv and Bachkovo: Private Full-Day Tour from Sofia

9. Plovdiv and Bachkovo: Private Full-Day Tour from Sofia

Visit Plovdiv, one of the oldest towns in the world, on this full-day private excursion from Sofia. Enjoy a 3-hour walking tour in the charming old quarter, and take in its ornate 19th century houses, the walls of the ancient fortress and magnificent churches. Note the Roman structures as well, including the theater, forum and stadium. In the afternoon, continue on to the Bachkovo Monastery, a famous religious site that’s popular with visitors. Admire the unique frescoes in the dining room and also the façade of the St. Nicolas Church, as the guide provides commentary about the history, architecture and modern day life of the monastery.

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What people are saying about Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 759 reviews

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.

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.

really nice Guide, Philipp was verhelpful and told us many interesting things. the church was smaller than expected, but still very pretty. the monastery was lovely and ee had a great time there

Very enjoyable day. the Monadteto is an oasis of peace and the Boyana Church a small treasure. We thank our excellent guide, Georgi

Very nice travel destination, knowledgable tourguide and everything on time. Can recommend.