Private tour

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

4.9 / 5

74 reviews

Activity provider: Zelanos Tours
Private tour

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

Activity provider: Zelanos Tours

From US$ 37.72 per person

Experience the jewel of Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage. Marvel at over 1,000 years of history through the architecture of the sprawling monastery. View 11th century frescoes at Boyana Church on the way back.

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 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English, Spanish
Pickup included
We provide pick up and drop off from any address in Sofia city
Private group


  • Experience the lush and vibrant religious history of Bulgaria through 3 sacred sites
  • Gaze at 11th-century frescoes
  • Breath in fresh mountain air amidst lush pine forests
Full description
After pickup from any accommodation in Sofia, your journey through over 1,000 years of Bulgarian cultural history begins. Make the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery via air-conditioned bus into the dense pine forests of Rila Mountain. Upon arriving, explore the monastery, which was founded in 927, at your own pace with 2 hours of free time. Amble the 21-acre complex, taking in the colorful and unique traditional Orthodox architecture. Gaze at the 5-domed church, with its numerous altars, side chapels, and gold-plated mosaics. Take in the beauty of the tranquil mountain environment surrounding the peaceful place of worship. Afterwards, you’ll have lunch, before heading on to your next destination. Only a couple of miles away from the monastery into the forest is St. Ivan Rilski Cave, where St. Ivan of Rila took up residency in the early 10th century. Experience a sacred site of tremendous importance to Bulgarian Orthodox Christians. On the way back to Sofia, you’ll pass through Boyana Church, famed for its elaborate frescoes dating back to the 11th, 13th, 15th-17th, and 19th century. Afterwards, you’ll be transported back back to your accommodation in Sofia.
  • Pickup and drop-off from any address in Sofia
  • Transport in comfortable minibus
  • English speaking Guide
  • Bottle of water
  • Entrance fee for Rila Monastery Museum
  • Entrance fee for Boyana Church
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities for the driver
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Jacket
  • Cash

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Smoking
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 74 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Our guide spoke excellent English and was very knowledgable. She was able to give us a good idea of the historical and architectural important of both the Rila Monastery and the Boyana Church. Even my teenage son was engaged. She also adapted the schedule to how long we wanted to be in each place.

March 26, 2023

This tour was very fun and the guide had a great energy. We were picked up right in front of our accommodation and driven in a comfortable van towards the monastery. The guide was wonderful and it was cool to drive through the Bulgarian villages. Lunch comes with the tour which was a traditional Bulgarian meal.

March 26, 2023

Maria, our guide on this tour, went the extra mile to make the most of our visit. She’s a lovely, knowledgeable, travelled and experienced guide who provided us with information during the trip to have a better understanding of the region, the country and everything else we were curious about. We definitely recommend this tour!!

March 26, 2023

Product ID: 235787