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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
Citysightseeing Sofia, ул. Оборище +, ul. "19-ti fevruari", 1000 Old City 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
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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 (297)
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Traveller rating
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Show reviews that mention
All reviews the bus boyana church fresh air small fee amazing frescos architectural delight tour guide was very informative no photos allowed amazing moment every inch relaxed trip small bus great trip awe inspiring unesco world heritage everyday life excellent guide
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1 - 5 of 121 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Honestly, I was not a fan of the Boyana church and the monastery was just ok. The monastery was ok but i felt like the Boyana church in itself was a scam. You had to pay 10 lev to enter for only ten minutes, you...More

Thank sisieko
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I definitely loved Rila, is an amazing place full of history. Our guide, Todor, had a very fluent english and had very good explanations for questions and the entire place details. He is funny and attentive to the needs of the group. Thanks Todor! In...More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Mireya M
Reviewed 1 week ago

It was my first day in Bulgaria, and this tour was perfect. It was a beautiful day when we went to the Rila monastery. The bus was there on time, and everything was organised well. Lubo, our guide was very happy, enthusiastic and gave ample...More

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Darshani R
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

It was an excellent experience. Martin is experienced tori guide and knew history and the story behind well. He is presentable to draw your attention, fun, friendly, responsible and attentive. The coach is with stable wifi, clean, and all the travel plan is on schedule....More

Thank Tam C
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a must-do - truly beautiful and interesting! Really delighted we took this tour - our guide was so informative & passionate about the history that we really benefited from his expertise. Absolutely wonderful!!More

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank FellowTraveler301712
AmeliyaIlieva, Guest Relations Manager at Traventuria - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello! Thank you so much for your review! We are glad to hear you enjoyed your time on our tour. We work really hard to offer the best customer service so I am happy to see that reflected on your visit. We at Traventuria are...More

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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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