Day trip

From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

4.5 / 5

49 reviews

Activity provider: City Tour Sofia

From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

Activity provider: City Tour Sofia

From US$ 27.13 per person

Enjoy a day in the mountains by exploring 2 UNESCO sites. Visit Rila Monastery and Boyana Church, UNESCO World Heritage sites. The tour will be in a group with a professional guide in English.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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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
Spanish, English


  • Spend a day in the mountains by exploring 2 UNESCO sites
  • Discover Rila Monastery, the largest Bulgarian monastery complex
  • Learn more about the historical sites of Bulgaria
  • Visit 13th-century Boyana Church, famous for its frecoes
Full description

The tour departs early in the morning in front of Alexander Nevski. Your first stop will be the great UNESCO Boyana Church located on the outskirts of Sofia consisting of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th-century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two-story building to be erected next to it. After exploring it, head to Rila Monastery, where you will admire the impressive architecture, frescoes and learn about the history of the monastery from your guide. During the guided tour in the inner yard and the monastery museum, discover the most precious pieces that are kept from the past and all the facts and stories about the largest Bulgarian monastery complex.

After your monastery tour, enjoy about 2.5 hours of free time for food and shopping.

  • Trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church
  • Transportation with an air-conditoned van
  • Guide or driver (depending on the option you booked)
  • Boyana Church entrance ticket (10 lev per person)
  • Rila Monastery History Museum ticket (8 lev per person, optional visit)
  • Food and drinks
  • Tips (optional)
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

What to bring

  • Cash

Know before you go

  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  •  Please note, women should have their knees and shoulders covered in the monastery
  • Boyana Church is closed on January 1, December 24, December 25, December 31, and on the Sunday of the Orthodox Easter. On these days, the tour will visit the monastery only
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 49 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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The ride to Rila was long, so it didn’t matter if you slept too short, because you could take a nap while you were on the way. The view from the bus is also amazing. You see that your are driving towards the beautiful mountains and eventually are driving through them and it’s amazing. We were given a lot of time at the monastery, which we didn’t really need. We had like 3 hours there and after 1/1,5 you could have seen everything. But now we had more than enough time to eat. The monastery is nice to see and to learn the history. The Boyana Church is really small and the tour takes 10 minutes (you are 10 minutes allowed in) and then you head back and see again the beautiful surroundings

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January 23, 2023

The tour was very well organized. The minibus was comfortable. The driver/guide was friendly and helpful. The Rila monastery is a place for a "must see" list in Bulgaria. The only thing I would like to be a bit better - more guide's commentary on the 2-hours way to the monastery, but it may be difficult to do so as the guide is also a driver.

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August 18, 2022

Great experience departing from the center of Sofia. Trip of approximately two hours with guided tour in English or Spanish of the Rila Monastery. If you want, you can buy the audio guide in Italian at a cost of 5 euros. Moreover, inside the monastery, at a cost of 8 euros, you can buy the entrance to the kitchen, the guest rooms, the museum and the tower. Second stage of the tour, the boyana church, where you have to buy the entrance ticket at a cost of 5 euros per person which is not included. New, convenient and comfortable bus, on the way we also made a stop at a motorway restaurant. The only flaw, at the departure in the morning at 9 am, near the church of Alexander Neveskji there are various buses leaving for this tour and it is not clear which one is to get your guide, in the ticket there is no tour operator and we have had a hard time finding ours as they initially told us that the booking was not found.

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April 20, 2022

Product ID: 109324