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Sofia Bus & minivan tours

Our most recommended Sofia Bus & minivan tours

Sofia Half-Day Tour

1. Sofia Half-Day Tour

A guide will pick you up from your hotel and start off the tour by visiting the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the vicinity of Sofia - the Boyana Church. This delightful church is small in size yet has an enormous collection of historical art. You also have the option of going to the National Historical Museum nearby. Afterwards, it's on to Alexander Nevski Square for a visit of the largest Cathedral in the Balkans, followed by a stroll to the Russian Church. You'll also get to visit the National Theater and its garden, the rotunda (circular church) Church of St. George and the Roman remains. The tour will finish with a walk in front of the Balkan Hotel (St. Nedelya Church square).

Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

2. Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

Enjoy a panoramic 4-hour evening tour of Sofia, traveling by comfortable air-conditioned minivan to all the main sights. Pass Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Bulgaria and the second biggest in the Balkans. Continue to the main square of Narodno Sabranie to see the Parliament building and magnificent statue of Bulgaria’s King Liberator, Tsar Osvoboditel. Marvel at the onion domes of the Russian Church and pass the ornate façade of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. See the serious buildings of the Presidency and Council of Ministers. Continue to the National Palace of Culture and National Stadium of Vasil Levski, located in Sofia’s expansive Borisova Garden near Lake Ariana. Then, go to the Veselo Selo restaurant, situated in the beautiful forest of Borisova Garden. Here, enjoy a delicious dinner from a menu of typical Bulgarian dishes. As you sip local wines, enjoy a fantastic show of traditional music and dance.

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

3. Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Full-Day Tour

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.

Highlights of Sofia: The History and Heritage of Bulgaria

4. Highlights of Sofia: The History and Heritage of Bulgaria

Discover fascinating Sofia; a unique city combining the wisdom of the past, and the verve of the present. Beginning at the medieval city walls, explore the streets of antiquity; Middle-Age churches and Byzantine edifices stand side-by-side, taking you as far back as the 4th century. Enjoy a pleasant tour covering all of Sofia's highlights including the 6th-century Church of St. Sophia, the St. George Rotunda dating back to the 4th century, the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevski, the Russian Church, the Military Club, as well as the beautiful architecture of the Sofia University, the National Art Gallery, and the National Theater. Nestled at the foot of Vitosha Mountain lies the National Museum of History, the next step of the tour, housing some of Bulgaria's national treasures, and the Boyana Church, preserving the spirit of the Christian Orthodox renaissance in a land rich in history. Experience a tour of alluring historical heritage in the heart of modern Sofia – and of course a relaxing lunch with local cuisine, and a glass of fine Bulgarian wine!

Rila Monastery Wine Tasting Tour

5. Rila Monastery Wine Tasting Tour

Medi Valley Winery is a classic winery complex located at the crossroads of a multi-directional touristic compass. The winery will be an unforgettable experience that will provoke the senses and stimulate the mind, learning about local history and traditions. The Rila Monastery private tour includes a wine tasting of five different local wines, produced in the vicinity of Rila Monastery. The full-day tour of this UNESCO site in Rila includes an exclusive 60-minute wine tasting tour. You'll be impressed by the knowledge and energy of your guides as you learn about Bulgaria.  Rila monastery is the holiest place for the Bulgarian orthodoxy, where past, present and future are interlaced. To make your day tour of this magnificent monastery unforgettable, after spending two hours at this holy place, you will be taken for a unique wine tasting to a wine cell in the feet of Rila mountain. Before the Bulgarians, The Thracians were the rulers of these territories. Their remarkable culture and warrior dignity are woven in the wine of the region, called after one of their greatest tribes, The Medi. The great Spartacus itself originated from here. Your tour will start with pick-up from your accommodation in Sofia. After a 2-hour drive you will reach the Monastery in the Rila Mountain, at an altitude of 1147 meters (3763 feet) above sea level. The introduction of the UNESCO site will begin with brief history of the founder and the construction of the monastery. After that you will visit the church and medieval 14th century defense tower. After you finish exploring the monastery complex you will have lunch at a cozy restaurant and sample some local food (grilled trout specialty). Then you will make your way to Medi Valley winery where you will have the possibility of trying five different types of wines. A short story about the history of the region, the winery and the current products will be followed by a question-and-answer session. 

From Sofia: Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Trip with Optional Lunch

6. From Sofia: Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Trip with Optional Lunch

You'll be picked up and taken to the charming town of Koprivshtitsa, with its fascinating history and authentic 19th-century architecture. Spend the day at your leisure in this small and picturesque town situated in central Bulgaria, among the tranquil slopes of "Stara Planina" mountain. Inside the houses, discover museums from the national revival period and explore works of art, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewelry as well as authentic furniture from 150 years ago. Learn about the dramatic Bulgarian history from your professional guide and get the chance to visit the original houses of the heroes of the April Uprising. Upgrade your tour to include a 3-course traditional lunch included in the price by selecting the relevant option when booking.

From Sofia: Koprivshtitsa and Panagyurishte Tour

7. From Sofia: Koprivshtitsa and Panagyurishte Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Sofia and travel to the town of Koprivshtitsa. Admire the traditional architecture of Koprivshtica with a guided tour. Hear the story of the April Uprising of 1876 during the Bulgarian struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. See all the most famous sites that this town has to offer. Next make your way to Panagyurishte, where you will see a city rich with monuments, museums, and history. The town is known as being the central point for the Bulgarian movement for independence from the Ottoman Empire. See the famous Panagyurishte Golden Treasures, the Historical Museums, and the traditional architecture before returning to Sofia.

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour of Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa

8. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour of Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa

In the morning departure to one of the most popular villages in Bulgaria, Koprivshtitsa. Once you arrive the guide will take you around and will make you indulge in the turbulent history of the Bulgarians from the 19th century. Visit the houses of some of the most prominent revolutionaries who fought for the liberty of Bulgaria. Koprivshtitsa One Day Tour from Sofia is a journey back to the 19th century. It is a charming village where many revolutionaries, poets, writers and scholars were born. In the 18th and 19th century, the inhabitants of Koprivshtitsa became famous as good stockbreeders and artisans. They produced thick woolen fabrics and clothing and travelled all over Europe and the Middle East. The wealthy town was attractive for the violent Turkish troops. They burned and looted the village three times. Koprivshtitsa reached its zenith in the 19th century. The locals built churches and schools, lavish houses and bridges. They also established a cultural club, along with a students` society. The inhabitants of the village took part in all of the largest incidents of struggle for national liberation. On April 20, 1976, the first rifle shot at the oppressor was here and the revolutionaries declared the April uprising. It cleared the way for the construction of modern Bulgaria. Proceed to Plovdiv. After arrival take a guided tour of the Old Town. You will admire the very well preserved Roman theater and Roman stadium. Walk around the cobble stone streets and feel the ambience of this beautiful part of Plovdiv. After the tour hang around the art neighborhood Kapana. It will give you the feeling that you are in a real art town. Plovdiv Tour is a must-do tour when you visit Bulgaria. “Ancient and Eternal” Plovdiv is one of the most appealing cities in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The first foundations laid here between 6-8000 years ago, thus making it older than Rome or even Beijing. Plovdiv is a great combination of real historical and archaeological treasures with the liveliness of a modern city and great cultural and night life. The most visited and admired is the hilly Old Town, built on three hills called “tepeta”. The maze of cobbled streets which meander the area and contain the cuddled up revival houses with their colorful facades and ornate decoration don’t fail to impress and take you back in time. The modern part of the city center is built along the main pedestrian street starting at the Central Square. It passes along the Mosque just next to the Old Town. This long street runs past all kinds of monuments, fountains, the ruins of the Roman stadium, shops, restaurants and coffees all the way to River Maritsa. Have some free time before you depart back to Sofia. Arrive in Sofia in the early evening. Drop off in your hotel.

Starosel and Hisarya: A Tour From Sofia

9. Starosel and Hisarya: A Tour From Sofia

After you have been picked up from Sofia, you will travel to the charming Bulgarian town of Starosel. Here, you will explore the temple tombs that have existed for over 2500 years. You will see the recently uncovered enormous grave of what is believed to be an ancient king of the Thracians. After this, move on to the famous town of Hisarya, where you will visit the popular hot mineral springs. Explore the ruins left by the great Roman civilization here. Before you head back, take a walk through the beautiful green parks in Hisarya. At the end of the tour you will be taken back to Sofia.

From Sofia: Bachkovo Monastery and Plovdiv Day Trip

10. From Sofia: Bachkovo Monastery and Plovdiv Day Trip

Visit the Eastern Orthodox monastery of Bachkovo and admire its ancient frescos, valuable icons, and scenic courtyard. Afterward, head to Plovdiv and tour its old town. Meander through cobbled streets and be inspired by the city's architecture ranging from Antiquity to Bulgarian revivalism. Your day trip begins with a pickup from your hotel with a suggested departure time between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Depart for Bachkovo Monastery. The drive is around 2 hours and 15 minutes and takes you on a scenic drive through the Rhodope Mountains. Arrive at the monastery and spend time touring its grounds. Afterward, head to Plovdiv. The drive takes around 30 minutes. Stop for lunch in a traditional restaurant (subject to your decision) and then visit the old town of Plovdiv. Enjoy spending free time exploring Plovdiv and seeing its stunning architecture and stopping by its Roman theater. Conclude your day trip with a drive back to Sofia, taking approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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Frequently asked questions about Sofia

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Sofia?

The best day trips and excursions from Sofia are:

Rila Monastery

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What people are saying about Sofia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,293 reviews

The tour was wonderful. Our guide was very knowledgeable and polite. She showed us around at leisure and we saw most of Sofia's attractions. Dinner and service was good with traditional folk music, dancing and singing. Unfortunately it was raining so we didn't enjoy the full show which takes place outside in the garden.

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.

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.

The tour was great. We saw all the highlights of Sofia. Our guide was very knowledgeable, speaks perfect English and ready nice.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly which made for a very enjoyable tour. We would highly recommend