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$ 27.58 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
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English
Small group available

Experience

Itinerary
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
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

The parking lot in front of "La cattedrale" restaurant at the back side of Alexander Nevski cathedral.

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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 738 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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Star rating:

The trip was amazing. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone coming to Sofia. Martin was one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. He was so enthusiastic right from early in the morning to the end of the day. Was happy to answer any questions and was very knowledgeable. The monastery was absolutely stunning and I would recommend to anyone visiting.

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July 8, 2022

A nice trip. If you can find a day in your plan at Sofia - you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of Bulgaria and see the old Boyana Church & the Rila Monastery on this trip. The group was small just around 16 people which gives you a perfect choice to understand the history and discuss your questions. The Bulgarian mountains and the Sunflower fields are beautiful scenes for you to relax and enjoy the ride. The van had Wi-Fi onboard though Wi-Fi only works in the city area. It was claimed that a USB charging port is available, but I couldn't find one!

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June 30, 2022

Smooth, easy, relaxing trip. Charging port and Wi-Fi onboard is really nice though Wi-Fi only works in the city. But the landscape on the ride is really lovely. See the beauty of Bulgarian mountain. Our tour guide Chris is very passionate and he tried to explain all the question and shared the history and culture.

June 15, 2022

Product ID: 50410