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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church with Light Lunch

Sofia, Bulgaria

From $54.78

Price varies by group size

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more


Visit two notable World Heritage sites of Bulgaria — Rila Monastery and Boyana Church — recognized by UNESCO for their religious significance, historical attributes and Byzantine architecture. Travel to the outskirts of Sofia in the comfort of your own private vehicle and let a personal guide lead you on a tour of both landmarks. A light lunch is included in your full-day itinerary.
  • Private day trip to Rila Monastery with a personal guide
  • Visit Rila Monastery and Boyana Church, two UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Marvel at Bulgarian icon painting, Byzantine architecture and 13th-century frescoes
  • Light lunch and round-trip hotel transport included from Sofia
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Professional guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Light lunch

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
we provide pick up from any address in Sofia

Departure Time

9:00 AM
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

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

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Not enough time to check out the icons for sale, go to the separate museums within the Rila complex, or buy the famous snack they sell at a restaurant behind the complex." See review


25 Reviews
3 stars
2 stars
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 25 reviews
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church
, Jul 2020
My guide Stoyan was a wealth of knowledge. His 17 years of experience was quite evident. But he also spoke in a way that was pleasant to hear and easy to learn. My photos speak for themselves. I had an incredible experience. The driver Peter was also very polite and professional.
, Nov 2019
Guide and driver amazing! Beautiful tour! We had a fabulous time! Incredible history! Excellent car to get there and back! Fully recommend!
A Great Tour
, Oct 2019
Going up to Rila was well worth it. Alex our Tour Guide was excellent. The only thing you should know is there is lots of added extras for all the attractions there. So be mindful of that if you going to book. It's like going shopping for your groceries in the states to later find out you've got tax on top.
5 stars for Rila, 1 star for guide
, Oct 2019
Rila is awesome but the guide on our particular day got in the way. He had us stand in one place and listen to a long winded, tedious history of Bulgaria. It would have been better to walk us around, break up the lecturing into absorbable chunks, and even stay silent some of the time. We were too polite to break off and leave him. He left us only 30 minutes at the end on our own. Not enough time to check out the icons for sale, go to the separate museums within the Rila complex, or buy the famous snack they sell at a restaurant behind the complex. The tour with Light Lunch goes to the Gorski Kut restaurant a few minutes away from the monastery. It includes a chicken lunch but their specialty is the trout caught in the stream you can see from their windows, so we upgraded and it was wonderful. There were only 4 of us in the mini van and 2 had actually bought a different tour that does not include lunch. They had to go to Gorski Kut too. Then we went on to Boyana Church, which is really small and very special. You are allowed only 10 minutes inside and that guide again talked the entire time. He was expert like a university lecturer but not a helpful guide. For instance, there are western toilets at Rila and he knew where they were but sent 70 year old ladies to the Turkish floor toilets instead.
Punctual and very articulate guide
, Sep 2019
Our guide Denita and driver Evan were very punctual. Denita also was very articulate and gave us a very good overview of the history behind the Rila monastery and how it grew. She however did not join us inside the museum to give us more insights. Maybe bcos she would have had to purchase a ticket as well. She also took us up to the cave which was not part of the original schedule. Evan the driver was careful and drove very professionally. The lunch was good and actually not light by our standards. It was almost a full meal! The only odd thing was the guide and driver sat with us and had the soup but not an entire meal, which was kind of awkward. Viator should should cover a meal for them. Of course not want the driver so full that he falls asleep. This is the first time we have had a guide and driver sit with us (and we.have done many such trips), so that was unusual. It would have been very comfortable if they had a proper meal with us. Overall a good deal.
Treat your clients like you would like to be treated.
Liliana L
, Sep 2019
We booked this tour months in advance and paid for it. The morning of the tour we were waiting for the tour guide to picked us at 9 am at the hotel and since by 9:20 they hadn’t showed up we asked the concierge to call them. They said they sent us a cancellation e mail the day before, which we never got. They said a refund was processed immediately but after two weeks we had to ask Viator to ask them for the refund and so we got it. We would like to suggest to this tour company that instead of canceling for whatever valid reason they may have, to transfer their clients to another tour company that will take care of their clients, just don’t leave them hanging in there. We were so grateful that the concierge of the Intercontinental Sofia immediately found another tour company and the owner came to pick us up and drove us to meet their bus that was already in the way to the Rila Monastery. That is a company that really cares about people and of course their clients!
Great day out
, Jul 2019
Danica was a really good guide. Very friendly and knowledgable. We had a lovely interesting and fun day. The picked us up from hotel and took us home.
Great tour. Loved the monasteries...
, Jul 2017
Great tour. Loved the monasteries, specially Boyana. Our guide Chimi was great, a bit talkative, but that is also what made her so interesting. Lunch was nice with soup, and chicken.
Our guides were delightful and...
, Dec 2016
Our guides were delightful and well-informed. The day went smoothly and we enjoyed the sights and commentary. This is a winner.
The tour started well with being...
John G
, Nov 2016
The tour started well with being picked up at our hotel on time by our guide and driver George. The drive out of Sofia on new highways into the countryside was very interesting and George gave us a brief account of Bulgaria's recent history. The drive from the village of Rila was up a narrow river valley with the road ending at the monastery George gave us a talk about the monastery then left us to look around on our own. The monastery is amazing, and quite extensive though only a handful of monks still remain there. There is a lot to see in the lovely church and museum, and even time for a coffee in a restaurant just outside one of the gates. The whole setting is magical, being surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The next stop was for a very nice lunch at a riverside restaurant on the way back down the valley, then on to Boyana Church on the southern outskirts of Sofia. This really is a little gem, having been built and painted inside with fescoes over a number of centuries. It is still possible to see the different layers of plaster and paintwork. Overall this was a brilliant cultural experience and one not to be missed on even a short visit to Sofia.

Product code: 18744P5

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