Day trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Activity provider: Traventuria Ltd.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Activity provider: Traventuria Ltd.
Likely to sell out

From US$ 32.18 per person

Likely to sell out

Explore 2 of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites on an exciting minibus tour from Sofia. Visit the Rila Monastery and get breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Then, see stunning pre-Renaissance frescoes at the Boyana Church.

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 6 - 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English
Optional audio guide
Spanish, English, German, Italian, Russian
Small group available

Experience

Itinerary
2 - 4 hours
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

  • 2 hours
  • Rila Monastery (guided tour)

  • Rila Monastery (lunch)

    • Optional
  • 1.5 hours
  • Boyana Church (guided tour)

  • 30 minutes
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Meeting point
Main stop
Other stop
Highlights
  • Visit 2 of Bulgaria most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a day
  • Go to Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains
  • Marvel at the pre-Renaissance frescoes of Boyana Church
  • Taste organic food in the nearby restaurants, such as mekitsi, yogurt or grilled trout
  • Travel in comfort through the Bulgarian countryside
Full description

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.

Includes
  • Transportation by modern, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Entrance fees to Rila Monastery Museum (€4 per person) and Boyana Church (€5 per person)
  • Food, drinks and other personal expenses
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

Know before you go

  • There is a dress code in the Monastery that should be respected. Men and women should wear clothes covering their shoulders. Women should not wear short shorts or skirts (above the knees)
  • If you want to have more free time at the Monastery, it is advised that you bring your own snacks. There are 2 restaurants in the area that offer local specialties, but service there could slow on busy days
  • The entrance fee to the Boyana Church is 10 BGN (5 EUR) per person
  • The tour will not visit the church on January 1, Orthodox Easter, and December 24 or 25.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 898 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.7/5
  • Transportation
    4.7/5
  • Value for money
    4.4/5
  • Safety
    4.7/5

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The starting point was from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, where I boarded the very comfortable bus. Martin was our guide and he made every effort in the world to make this tour as fun and enjoyable as can be possible, always inviting us to participate and interact, also being very instructive and promptly answering any questions, truly a wonderful guide without equal. The Rila Monastery itself is the most beautiful monastery that I've ever seen in my life, with outstanding architecture, heavenly frescoes and surrounded by a breathtaking scenery, really living up to the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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January 23, 2023

The bus ride is so comfy. Our guide Martin is very nice, knowledgable, helpful, humorous… he can answer your questions and talk about everything from tiny bits of facts of Sofia to things happening the world, so impressive! He’s very good at maintaining the group’s atmosphere and make sure everyone’s doing good. The tour itself is very interesting and impressive showing two very different church&monastery. We’re well informed from the very first beginning about what to expect and what will happen during the trip. Very good for the value!

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January 20, 2023

Very nice trip covering Boyana church and Rila monastery. Everything was in time and according to description. Bus was comfortable. Guide Martin was excellent, full of knowledge but also entertaining. We had enough free time to explore on our own as well. This tour was highlight of my trip to Bulgaria and I would recommend it to other travelers.

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January 13, 2023

Product ID: 50410