Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Alexander Nevsky Cathedral History & Heritage

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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From Sofia: Snowshoe Hike on Vitosha Mountain

3. From Sofia: Snowshoe Hike on Vitosha Mountain

Experience the stunning landscapes of the Vitosha mountain massif from a different perspective on a snowshoe hike with an English-speaking guide. Get closer to the enormous domes and peaks of one of the most popular winter destinations in Bulgaria. Take up the challenge of walking on snow at a mountain that emerged as a result of volcanic activity. Shaped by the slow folding of granite rock layers and gradual uplifts, Vitosha is now one of the most frequently visited destinations from Sofia. Marvel at the towering peak of Cherni Vrah ("Black Peak") at the highest point of the massif and more.

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Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

4. Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

This full-day trip begins with a 2-hour drive from Sofia to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest towns. On a guided walking tour, discover the history and culture of this 8,000-year old city that was settled by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian civilizations. See the sights of the old town, including museums, historical monuments and revival period houses lining the cobbled streets. Explore the Ethnographical Museum and the impressive Roman Theater. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group throughout the day and will point out the most interesting architectural and cultural treasures of the region and provide commentary on modern life in Bulgaria.

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Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia

5. Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia

A 2-hour drive from Sofia will take you to the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city and one of its oldest towns. Within 2-3 hours of walking along the city, you will discover the history and culture behind a 7000-year old settlement, written by the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Bulgarian civilizations. You can enjoy sightseeing in the Old Town with its museums, historical monuments, revival period houses, lined with souvenir shops cobbled streets or get impressed by the rich Ethnographical Museum and the ancient Roman Theater. Feel the atmosphere of this artistic and trades center and enjoy a lunch at the local restaurants. Next stop on your way back is the charming town of Koprivshtitsa with its fascinating history and authentic 19th-century architecture. Spend the rest of the day in the leisure of this small and picturesque city situated in central Bulgaria, spread amongst the slopes of the Sredna Gora Mountains, that carries a specific spirit of tranquillity and eternity. Once a scene of battles for the liberation of Bulgaria, now the city is turned into a museum of the Revival Period of Bulgaria. Here you can visit the homes of some of the most eminent Bulgarians, writers and rebels, admire the vast collections of ethnographical treasures, including ancient weapons, intricate national costumes and stunning jewellery.

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From Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

6. From Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

Your tour begins with collection from your hotel in Sofia, from where you will be driven first to Arbanasi (around 2.5-3 hours). Here you will enjoy a 1.5 hour tour of this picturesque village, known for its rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th and 18th century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned the village into a popular tourist destination. Next there will be a short transfer to the city of Veliko Tarnavo, where you will have lunch before enjoying a 2-hour tour. This picturesque capital of the second Bulgarian Empire is situated on the northern slopes of the Balkan mountain range in the central part of the country, 220 kilometers from Sofia. During your tour of the old town, you will see the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God and many other highlights. Afterwards, you will be returned to Sofia.

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Sofia: 2-Hour Communist Jeep Tour

7. Sofia: 2-Hour Communist Jeep Tour

The Sofia Communist Tour will take you back to Bulgaria under totalitarian rule. See most of the remaining Communist sights in the city on-board a classic Eastern Bloc vehicle.  Start with pickup collected from your hotel by your driver. Learn plenty of interesting information about the places you will be visiting as well as intriguing and fun facts about life under the Communist regime.  Cruise through town making short stops en route, where you will be able to step down and take photos of the most impressive sights. Your driver will also stop upon request at other places of interest. 

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Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour - Back to the 19th Century

8. Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour - Back to the 19th Century

Discover the historic town of Koprivshtitsa (Копривщица) on a full-day sightseeing tour from Sofia. Lying on the Topolnitsa River in the Sredna Gora mountains, the unique town was one of the centers of the April Uprising in 1876 and is known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and folk music festivals. Still preserving the atmosphere of the 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival period, the town is huddled in the mountain folds, 67 miles (111 kilometers) east of Sofia. As you stroll along the cobblestone streets, you will visit 6 of the 383 unique houses and monuments from the period, most restored to their original appearance. You can also opt to take part in the "Meet the Locals" program, and ride a cart into the forest for a barbecue lunch or dinner, prepared by the clerks from the local church. Taste outstanding homemade food, such as cow and sheep’s milk and yogurt, shopska salad, broiled lamb and many more authentic Bulgarian rustic dishes. Then wash it all down with a glass of local rakia (brаndy).

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From Sofia: Full-Day Plovdiv Tour including Wine Tasting

9. From Sofia: Full-Day Plovdiv Tour including Wine Tasting

Once the wealthiest and most important city of the Thrace Valley, today Plovdiv still offers visitors many incredible places and memories. Standing proudly on the banks of Maritsa River, the town will amaze you with its beauty. With every step you make, ancient Phillipopolis and new Plovdiv reveal different pages from its wonderful history.  The location of the city is not accidental. Chosen by the founders of Plovdiv, the Thracians, the region is proud of the fantastic wine that has been produced here for centuries. Feel the spirit of Plovdiv and taste its unique wine. The city of Plovdiv, with its museums, historical sites, ancient houses and paved streets, will proudly be the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Your tour begins with pick-up from your accommodation in Sofia at 08:30. After visiting the old town you will continue to a small typical Bulgarian restaurant, where you can stop for an optional lunch on your way to the wine cellar. At around 14:00 you will arrive at the chateau. You will learn the amazing history of the winery before tasting 5 different kinds of fantastic wine. At around 16:30 you will start your journey back to Sofia with wonderful memories of the day.

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

10. 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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What people are saying about Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,040 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.