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Our most recommended Sofia Catholic history tours

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Group Tour

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Group Tour

Start your day with travel to the Boyana Church in the suburbs of Sofia (if option selected). See the historically significant frescoes of the Byzantine building, and hear how they started the fashion of illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside the local aristocracy. After that, 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 the 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 dishes such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep-fried). * The tour is not recommendable to children less than 6 years old. * Kindly note that on some days we MAY stop at Boyana Church even if it is not included in your tour. Rest assured, this will not shorten your time at Rila Monastery. Enjoy the beautiful gardens at Boyana Church during this brief visit.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip

Experience the religious history of Bulgaria on a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Rila Monastery and Boyana Church from Sofia. Follow your guide around the monastery to learn about this epic site or choose to explore it on your own before viewing Boyana Church's ancient frescoes. Meet your friendly group for the day at the parking lot Behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, near cafe La Cathedrale. Settle down in your seat and set off out of the city as you drive along scenic roads with picturesque views of rural Bulgaria. Arrive at Rila Monastery, the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in the country. If you've booked the tour, follow your guide around the historic site and learn about the main frescoes. If you're an explorer you can visit the museum, take photos, and check out the church at your own pace. Spend about 3-hours at the monastery where you will get the opportunity to take photos, check the shops, visit the museums, and have a lunch break in the nearby restaurant. Then start your journey back to Sofia with one more important stop along the way. Enter the medieval Boyana Church and stroll within the ancient walls, studying the artistic frescoes which make this place so special. Finish your journey at around 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the city center.

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

Depart Sofia in the morning and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver. Journey in air-conditioned comfort to Panichishte in the beautiful Rila National Park. Get briefed on arrival by your driver, who will tell you the different options and routes you can take up the mountain. Ride the chairlift to the 7 Rila Lakes, where you will get 5 hours of free time to go on some amazing nature walks independently to experience the glacial lakes from different perspectives. Board the shuttle bus at the agreed meeting point and relax on the 2-hour drive to Rila Monastery in a deep valley of the Rilska River. Founded in the 10th century, the monastery complex is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural and historical monuments. Get 1.5 hours to explore the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria at your own pace. Then, return to Sofia in the evening and get dropped off at the meeting point.

From Sofia: The Seven Rila Lakes Full-Day Tour

From Sofia: The Seven Rila Lakes Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a full-day trek into the Rila Mountains to explore the most picturesque area near Sofia and one of Bulgaria's most beautiful natural sites, the Seven Rila Lakes.  This group of glacial lakes lies between 6,900 and 8,200 feet (2,100 and 2,500 meters) above sea level, surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys. Leaving Sofia, you will drive for 90 minutes to reach the Panichishte resort area, where you board the chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut.  From here, continue on foot to explore the landscape and its majestic blue pearls – the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake, and the Lower Lake. The route is not difficult and can be altered on the spot depending on fitness levels or strength, following either more gentle routes or steeper gradients. Take your chance to explore the Blue Pearls of the Rila Mountains, and the Seven Rila Lakes. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and St. Ivan Cave Day Trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and St. Ivan Cave Day Trip

Travel in comfort as you visit several Bulgarian landmarks like the Rila Monastery and the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski in the company of a guide. See one of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, enjoy a delicious bite to eat, and learn about each location through the use of an audio guide. 9:00 AM - Depart from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Square (back side of the cathedral), and relax on a 3-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. At noon arrive at the Rila Monastery. 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Enjoy a guided walk at the Rila Monastery. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See the 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. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Take some free time to have lunch at one of the restaurants around the monastery, where you could taste local dishes such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yoghurt that is deep-fried) or some grilled trout. Please kindly note that on some dates the free time at the Rila Monastery may be shorter due to traffic, group size, or complementary stop at Boyana church. 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Visit the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski - one of the most sacred places in Bulgaria. Pass through the tunnel of St. Ivan Rilski. Drink some water from the holy spring which is believed to never freeze. 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Head back to Sofia and arrive at Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Square around 5:00 PM The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Explore Sofia’s hidden nightlife gems on a 4-hour pub crawl. On Fridays and Saturdays the experience is curated for larger groups as the tour visits larger places. On weekdays and Sundays discover the hidden bars in Sofia. Meet people at some of the favorite hangouts in the city. If you’re a solo traveler this is a great way to socialize with locals and meet travelers from all around the world. The guides are a unique part of this experience. They’ll take the time to get to know you and at the end of the night you’ll have made some new friends. Enjoy a beer or wine at two of the bars. Welcome shots are included in all the other bars and a free admission to all the places that need one during the night.

From Sofia: Plovdiv Shuttle Day Tour

From Sofia: Plovdiv Shuttle Day Tour

Join this usually small group tour (most times the group size is up to 20 people), to discover the oldest existing town in Europe - Plovdiv - its capital of culture for 2019! The tour departs at 9:00. Please be at the meeting point - at the parking lot Behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at 8:45 and ask for the City Tour guide and van (our guides usually wear blue clothes). The traveling time to Plovdiv is abour 2-hours. There, if you have chosen the option with the guided tour, you will have a 2-hours guided tour in the old town, where you will be able to see the remarkable Revival houses, the views from the hill, the Roman theater and stadium, as well as the main walking street. After the guided tour, you will have 2 hours free time, during which you can have lunch, check the shops and visit some of the museums. If you have booked the self-guided option, you will have 4 hours free time after the arrival, during which you can explore the town on your own. The departute back to Sofia is at 15:00 and the approximate return between 17:00 and 17:30, depending on the trafic.

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Discover the main landmarks of communist history in the city of Sofia. Start your tour by passing by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Continue on to see buildings such as the secret police investigation facility and the destroyed mausoleum. Head on towards the monument of the Soviet army and the National Palace of Culture. During the 3-hour-long walking tour, learn about the theory of communism and what Marxism-Leninism is. Find out about the history of communism in Bulgaria, the pros and cons of the period, and the relation between the communist government and religion, industry, economy, culture and everyday life of the people. End the tour with a fresh perspective on the city and a new insight into the country's communist past. 

Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Discover Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, on this full-day trip from Sofia. During this day tour to Skopje, you will have the chance to explore the city's highlights and hear its rich history and culture from your guide.  Be picked up from your accommodation in Sofia and board an airconditioned vehicle. Relax, and take in the countryside on the transfer to Skopje. Once in Skopje, begin your walking tour of the at Skopje Fortress. Admire sweeping views of the city from the fortress before heading to the Church of the Holy Savior, home to fantastic iconostasis. Continue towards the Sultan Murat Mosque and the Old Bazaar, where you can witness the remnants from Ottoman Period.  Listen as your guide tells you about Skopje's history as one of the main trade centers in the Balkans. Stop a typical Macedonian restaurant where you can purchase a delicious lunch before crossing the Vadar River explore the other side of the city.  Visit the new neo-classical square and continue to the Mother Teresa memorial house. End your walking tour at the newly built triumphal arch Porta Macedonia. Journey back to Sofia and be dropped off at your hotel or accommodation. 

From Sofia: Plovdiv Full-Day Guided Tour

From Sofia: Plovdiv Full-Day Guided Tour

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. The tour is offered as well with ONLINE, cloud-based audioguide in different languages (EN, ES, IT, FR, DE, RU). INTERNET required to download and use. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Sofia

Sofia

Our most recommended Sofia Catholic history tours

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Group Tour

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Group Tour

Start your day with travel to the Boyana Church in the suburbs of Sofia (if option selected). See the historically significant frescoes of the Byzantine building, and hear how they started the fashion of illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside the local aristocracy. After that, 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 the 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 dishes such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep-fried). * The tour is not recommendable to children less than 6 years old. * Kindly note that on some days we MAY stop at Boyana Church even if it is not included in your tour. Rest assured, this will not shorten your time at Rila Monastery. Enjoy the beautiful gardens at Boyana Church during this brief visit.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip

Experience the religious history of Bulgaria on a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Rila Monastery and Boyana Church from Sofia. Follow your guide around the monastery to learn about this epic site or choose to explore it on your own before viewing Boyana Church's ancient frescoes. Meet your friendly group for the day at the parking lot Behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, near cafe La Cathedrale. Settle down in your seat and set off out of the city as you drive along scenic roads with picturesque views of rural Bulgaria. Arrive at Rila Monastery, the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in the country. If you've booked the tour, follow your guide around the historic site and learn about the main frescoes. If you're an explorer you can visit the museum, take photos, and check out the church at your own pace. Spend about 3-hours at the monastery where you will get the opportunity to take photos, check the shops, visit the museums, and have a lunch break in the nearby restaurant. Then start your journey back to Sofia with one more important stop along the way. Enter the medieval Boyana Church and stroll within the ancient walls, studying the artistic frescoes which make this place so special. Finish your journey at around 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the city center.

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

Depart Sofia in the morning and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver. Journey in air-conditioned comfort to Panichishte in the beautiful Rila National Park. Get briefed on arrival by your driver, who will tell you the different options and routes you can take up the mountain. Ride the chairlift to the 7 Rila Lakes, where you will get 5 hours of free time to go on some amazing nature walks independently to experience the glacial lakes from different perspectives. Board the shuttle bus at the agreed meeting point and relax on the 2-hour drive to Rila Monastery in a deep valley of the Rilska River. Founded in the 10th century, the monastery complex is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural and historical monuments. Get 1.5 hours to explore the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria at your own pace. Then, return to Sofia in the evening and get dropped off at the meeting point.

From Sofia: The Seven Rila Lakes Full-Day Tour

From Sofia: The Seven Rila Lakes Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a full-day trek into the Rila Mountains to explore the most picturesque area near Sofia and one of Bulgaria's most beautiful natural sites, the Seven Rila Lakes.  This group of glacial lakes lies between 6,900 and 8,200 feet (2,100 and 2,500 meters) above sea level, surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys. Leaving Sofia, you will drive for 90 minutes to reach the Panichishte resort area, where you board the chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut.  From here, continue on foot to explore the landscape and its majestic blue pearls – the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake, and the Lower Lake. The route is not difficult and can be altered on the spot depending on fitness levels or strength, following either more gentle routes or steeper gradients. Take your chance to explore the Blue Pearls of the Rila Mountains, and the Seven Rila Lakes. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and St. Ivan Cave Day Trip

From Sofia: Rila Monastery and St. Ivan Cave Day Trip

Travel in comfort as you visit several Bulgarian landmarks like the Rila Monastery and the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski in the company of a guide. See one of Bulgaria's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, enjoy a delicious bite to eat, and learn about each location through the use of an audio guide. 9:00 AM - Depart from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Square (back side of the cathedral), and relax on a 3-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. At noon arrive at the Rila Monastery. 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Enjoy a guided walk at the Rila Monastery. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See the 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. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Take some free time to have lunch at one of the restaurants around the monastery, where you could taste local dishes such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yoghurt that is deep-fried) or some grilled trout. Please kindly note that on some dates the free time at the Rila Monastery may be shorter due to traffic, group size, or complementary stop at Boyana church. 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Visit the Cave of Saint Ivan Rilski - one of the most sacred places in Bulgaria. Pass through the tunnel of St. Ivan Rilski. Drink some water from the holy spring which is believed to never freeze. 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Head back to Sofia and arrive at Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Square around 5:00 PM The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Explore Sofia’s hidden nightlife gems on a 4-hour pub crawl. On Fridays and Saturdays the experience is curated for larger groups as the tour visits larger places. On weekdays and Sundays discover the hidden bars in Sofia. Meet people at some of the favorite hangouts in the city. If you’re a solo traveler this is a great way to socialize with locals and meet travelers from all around the world. The guides are a unique part of this experience. They’ll take the time to get to know you and at the end of the night you’ll have made some new friends. Enjoy a beer or wine at two of the bars. Welcome shots are included in all the other bars and a free admission to all the places that need one during the night.

From Sofia: Plovdiv Shuttle Day Tour

From Sofia: Plovdiv Shuttle Day Tour

Join this usually small group tour (most times the group size is up to 20 people), to discover the oldest existing town in Europe - Plovdiv - its capital of culture for 2019! The tour departs at 9:00. Please be at the meeting point - at the parking lot Behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at 8:45 and ask for the City Tour guide and van (our guides usually wear blue clothes). The traveling time to Plovdiv is abour 2-hours. There, if you have chosen the option with the guided tour, you will have a 2-hours guided tour in the old town, where you will be able to see the remarkable Revival houses, the views from the hill, the Roman theater and stadium, as well as the main walking street. After the guided tour, you will have 2 hours free time, during which you can have lunch, check the shops and visit some of the museums. If you have booked the self-guided option, you will have 4 hours free time after the arrival, during which you can explore the town on your own. The departute back to Sofia is at 15:00 and the approximate return between 17:00 and 17:30, depending on the trafic.

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Sofia: Communist Walking Tour

Discover the main landmarks of communist history in the city of Sofia. Start your tour by passing by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Continue on to see buildings such as the secret police investigation facility and the destroyed mausoleum. Head on towards the monument of the Soviet army and the National Palace of Culture. During the 3-hour-long walking tour, learn about the theory of communism and what Marxism-Leninism is. Find out about the history of communism in Bulgaria, the pros and cons of the period, and the relation between the communist government and religion, industry, economy, culture and everyday life of the people. End the tour with a fresh perspective on the city and a new insight into the country's communist past. 

Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Discover Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, on this full-day trip from Sofia. During this day tour to Skopje, you will have the chance to explore the city's highlights and hear its rich history and culture from your guide.  Be picked up from your accommodation in Sofia and board an airconditioned vehicle. Relax, and take in the countryside on the transfer to Skopje. Once in Skopje, begin your walking tour of the at Skopje Fortress. Admire sweeping views of the city from the fortress before heading to the Church of the Holy Savior, home to fantastic iconostasis. Continue towards the Sultan Murat Mosque and the Old Bazaar, where you can witness the remnants from Ottoman Period.  Listen as your guide tells you about Skopje's history as one of the main trade centers in the Balkans. Stop a typical Macedonian restaurant where you can purchase a delicious lunch before crossing the Vadar River explore the other side of the city.  Visit the new neo-classical square and continue to the Mother Teresa memorial house. End your walking tour at the newly built triumphal arch Porta Macedonia. Journey back to Sofia and be dropped off at your hotel or accommodation. 

From Sofia: Plovdiv Full-Day Guided Tour

From Sofia: Plovdiv Full-Day Guided Tour

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. The tour is offered as well with ONLINE, cloud-based audioguide in different languages (EN, ES, IT, FR, DE, RU). INTERNET required to download and use. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Frequently asked questions about Sofia Catholic history tours

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