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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

star-4.5365 Reviews
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 4 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Immerse yourself in the beguiling beauty of two of Bulgaria’s most spectacular sights on a full-day trip from Sofia. Admire the natural splendor of rural Bulgaria as you travel to the Rila Monastery, a sacred structure cradled by the dense pine forests of the mountains. Delve into the history of the medieval landmark and browse the intriguing exhibitions of the on-site museum. Continue to Boyana Church to gaze at the fascinating pre-Renaissance frescoes that decorate the walls within. Please note, entrance fees are not included on this tour.
  • Rila Monastery and Boyana Church day trip from Sofia
  • Visit UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery in the idyllic Rila Mountains
  • Admire the monastery courtyard and church, home to a magnificent iconostasis and frescoes
  • Opt to visit the monastery museum and make the most of free time to explore independently
  • Explore UNESCO-listed Boyana Church to see its stunning medieval frescoes

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Get a budget-friendly outing to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church.
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Driver/Tour guide
Transport by air-conditioned minibus
Parking Fees
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

Departure Point

ул. Оборище +, ul. "19-ti fevruari", 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

Departure Time

9:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Greet your guide at a central Sofia location and climb aboard your comfortable, air-conditioned minibus. Admire the verdant splendor of Bulgaria’s countryside as you travel towards the Rila Monastery, a sacred UNESCO-listed structure cradled by pine-carpeted mountains. 

On arrival, listen as your guide offers insight into the legend-shrouded monastery, whose origin dates back to 927 AD. Embark on a guided tour of the architectural masterpiece and marvel at vivid, fresco-coated colonnades and richly carved wooden icons. Pay your respects at the grand tomb of Bulgaria’s last monarch, Boris III, and venture within the monastery museum to peruse the intriguing exhibits. 

Afterwards, relax during some leisurely free time to revitalize with a traditional lunch, and then return to the minibus to venture to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Boyana Church, Famed for its impeccably preserved medieval frescoes, the church demands attention with its ancient artworks; spend a while admiring the depictions of angels, apostles, saints and sinners, and listen to the historical context of their creation. 

Culturally enriched, return to your vehicle and relax during the journey back to central Sofia.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Rila Monastery Shuttle Bus Starting Point
09:00 departure from the starting point. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure.
Stop At:  
Boyana Church
Boyana Church is a small temple at the outskirts of Sofia with frescoes dating back to three separate periods: 11th, 13th and 19th century. The most important and fascinating are the frescoes dating from 1259. They are Renaissance frescoes that predate the Italian Renaissance (triggered by the works of Giotto) and brake the strict Christian canon law to present pure human emotions, royal figures and folklore elements.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery is one of Bulgaria’s symbols and a popular tourist destination. The monastery is set deep in the heart of Rila Mountain, between the Rilska and Drushliavitza Rivers, at 1147 metres (3760 feet) above sea level. It is situated 120 kilometres south of Sofia.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Rila Monastery Shuttle Bus Starting Point
Return to the starting point at approximately 17:00
  • 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:
  • 01.01.2020 departure at 11:00 AM without Boyana Church
  • Boyana church will NOT be visited on the following dates: the 18th of May, the 19th of April, 24th and 25th December
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Hand disinfectant will be provided for free throughout the tour.
  • All customers are required to wear face masks during the transfers.
  • Due to COVID-19, only part of our vehicle seat capacity will be used.
  • All our drivers and guides will be wearing masks and gloves during the transfers.
  • All touch points in the vehicles will be cleaned frequently.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Traventuria

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
A:
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 30 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "Highly recommended as it save you lots of time of figuring out the transportation!" See review
  • "The Boyana church is basically in the suburbs of Sofia; the Rila Monastery is about a 2 hour drive away, and well worth the journey!" See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
365 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 365 reviews
star-5
Excellent trip!
hannahpritchard2000
, Feb 2020
Really fantastic trip. Our tour guide Vincent was extremely knowledgeable about Bulgarian history and the church and monastery we visited. There was a good pace to the trip and i would thoroughly recommend. Extremely good value for money.
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star-5
Amazing experience
311tomp
, Dec 2019
Had a very good guide Martin who was very informative and spoke excellent English.Provided is with a huge amount of information on the history of boyana and Rila which was fascinating.This is a must do trip for any visit to Bulgaria.Recommend doing this in the winter months when you have both boyana and rila to yourselves as there are less tourists
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star-3
Rila Monastery
Hkjshkjdhdjkks
, Dec 2019
Guide was good and gave us some useful information but there are very few facilities at the monastery. Only two toilets which were a bit basic and not much in the way of eating places. It's a long drive from Sofia so go prepared!
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star-5
Trip to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church
822it
, Nov 2019
Overall very Good. The Guide Martin was quite good in explaining things and does have a sound knowledge and a good sense of humour
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star-5
Rilski Boyana tour
baks202
, Oct 2019
Well worth the price. Our guide Martin was fantastic. Would highly recommend this tour. His insights and knowledge were very helpful in understanding the culture
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star-4
Rila Monastery
MadrasDazza
, Oct 2019
Really enjoyed the tour, which was professionally conducted from start to finish. The only real issue is the quality of the food on offer at Rila Monastry. It is accepted that the tour operators have no control over this, but maybe it should be highlighted in the itinerary so that guests can have the option of bringing their own food.
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star-5
Rila Monastery and Boyand Church day trip from Sofia
LaDene M
, Oct 2019
We really enjoyed both Boyana and Rila. There was enough time on our own to view both the Monastery and the Church. The presentations at both Boyana and Rila provided just enough history and factual information with many "fun facts" provided by our guide. The bus trip was splendid and our guide, Martin, provided just enough commentary along the keep the group interested and informed. We were particularly satisfied by the narrative that Martin provided. He had a great command of the history, personalities and culture of the past and the present and regaled us with stories and "fun facts throughout our day. He is one of the best guides we have had on a tour. He led the group and kept the day moving at a good pace. He gets a top rating from us!
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star-5
Great
Krishan S
, Sep 2019
A wonderful tour - the guide Lubo was exceptional, positive and enthusiastic all day. Rila monastery is beautiful. The scenery en route is beautiful. The only thing I would add is there is not much in the way of eating options there, so would recommend bringing your own snacks/drinks with you.
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star-5
Beautiful and interesting sites; perfect day trip from Sofia
TalyaTravels
, Sep 2019
This tour was just what I was looking for - a small group (we were on a mini-bus), knowledgeable guide (thanks Martin!), and really interesting sites. The Boyana church is basically in the suburbs of Sofia; the Rila Monastery is about a 2 hour drive away--and well worth the journey! Our guide was great and I learned so much history about the sites themselves as well as Bulgaria overall. Definitely recommend this trip!
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star-5
Great informative tour
GOF0108
, Aug 2019
Really enjoyed the day trip. We had over 2 hours free time in Rila Monastery which was sufficient. Each group is only allowed 10mins inside the Boyana Church so our time here was a little rushed however I acknowledge this is something the tour group can't control! Nonetheless the guide gave a good insight into the church and its history. Our guide Lubo was really really good. He explained everything very well. He is very interested and passionate about both sites. He is a great tour guide. Our mini bus was new and very comfortable. Good value for money. Highly recommend. The journey to Rila is also very scenic.
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