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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

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Overview
Discover two of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage gems on this day trip from Sofia. Traveling by minibus, admire rural Bulgaria on route to the Rila Monastery in the pine-carpeted Rila Mountains. Take a guided tour of the medieval treasure with its fresco-coated church, and visit its fascinating museum. Then, after time to explore independently, continue to Boyana Church, near Sofia, to marvel at its spectacular pre-Renaissance frescoes. Entrance fees not included.
Highlights
  • Visit two of Bulgaria’s must-see sights on an easy day trip from Sofia
  • Travel through bucolic countryside to the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery
  • Explore the painted monastery and colonnades, and learn their rich history
  • Visit the medieval Boyana Church and admire its remarkable frescoes
  • Hassle-free air-conditioned travel without using public transportation
  • Lunch at Rila and entrance fees to all sights are at your own expense
What to Expect
Greet your guide in central Sofia and see Bulgaria’s countryside, forests, and villages on a drive into the Rila Mountains. Here the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage–listed Rila Monastery—one of Bulgaria’s most famous Eastern Orthodox monasteries—sits on pine-coated slopes. Learn all about the legend-shrouded monastery, whose origins date to 927 AD, and enter (at your own expense) for a guided tour. Marvel at the fresco-covered colonnades, wooden icons, and tomb of Bulgaria’s last monarch, Boris III. Opt to explore the monastery’s artifact-filled museum (own expense), and then enjoy free time for lunch at a local restaurant before journeying to the medieval Boyana Church, another UNESCO-listed site. Head inside (own expense) and view the well-preserved 10th-century frescoes that adorn the interior. Admire the depictions of angels, apostles, and sinners, and hear the full background on their painting, styles, and significance. Finally, end your tour with a convenient drop-off in central Sofia.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Rila Monastery Shuttle Bus Starting Point, ул. Оборище +, ul. "19-ti fevruari", 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Departure Time
9:00 AM
Duration
8h
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Driver-guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minibus
  • Parking Fees
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Admission to Boyana Church (approx. 5 euros per person) and Rila Monastery Museum (approx. 4 euros per person)
  • Audio guide at Rila Monastery (approx. 5 euros per person)
  • Food and drinks
  • Entry/Admission - Boyana Church
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Due to uneven surfaces, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities
  • Not wheelchair accessible or stroller friendly
  • Comfortable walking shoes recommended
  • Exceptions to the standard program:
  • 24.12.2018 Without Boyana Church
  • 25.12.2018 Without Boyana Church
  • 01.01.2019 departure at 11:00 pm without Boyana Church
  • 28.04.2019 Without Boyana Church
  • 24.12.2019 Without Boyana Church
  • 25.12.2019 Without Boyana Church
  • 01.01.2020 departure at 11:00 pm without Boyana Church
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Reviews (308)
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Traveller rating
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All reviews the bus rila monastery and boyana church small fee amazing frescos architectural delight tour guide was very informative no photos allowed amazing moment every inch english speaking guide relaxed trip small bus fresh air great place to visit everyday life nice trip ten minutes
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1 - 5 of 127 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

This was a well-run tour and the company and guide clearly knew what worked best. Timings were good and the guide spoke excellent English. Sometimes people tried the guide's patience and it must have been difficult not to let it show.

Thank notanotherjedi
Reviewed 3 days ago

One of the most exciting day trip ever! The tour guide was knowledgeable, humorous and helpful. Our group was the first visitor to Boyana Church on that day, so one of the members could open the church door with the huge key! Rila Monastery was...More

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank YUKIKO M
Reviewed 6 days ago

Travel 2.5 hours out of Sofia, up the mountains with stunning scenery. The monastery is a fortress with grand design and a tower to climb for higher views.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank MB201065
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Very interesting and well organised tour. Our guide Lubomir shared a lot of information about the sites visited and slso about Bulgaria. Highly recommended.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank Gerimalta
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great tour with very knowledgeable guide. Lots of free time at the Monastery to roam and take pictures.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank 75richardz
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Questions & Answers
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tsigag
11 June 2018|
Answer
Response from imp-ette | Reviewed this property |
They tell you on the ticket. It's just by La Cattedrale restaurant, behind St Alexander Nevski Cathedral. If you look it up on Google Maps they've actually pinned the location they pick you from. There's usually more than... More
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strombergDubai
23 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from franto70 | Reviewed this property |
i think it's not possibile, only groups
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Key Details
  • Duration: 8h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant confirmation
  • Languages Offered: German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
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