Tours and Tickets

Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

By Traventuria
Recommended by 93% of travellers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Lift your sights beyond Sofia to visit two of Bulgaria’s historical must-sees in one day—quite a feat to achieve independently. See Bulgaria’s countryside on a drive south, and tour the medieval Rila Monastery with a guide to do its history and treasures justice. Then return to Sofia’s outskirts to visit and learn about the fresco-filled Boyana Church. Choose from a transport-only, audio guide, or English live-guided tour to suit your group.
from
S$29.09
per adult
from
S$29.09
per adult

Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 5-99, max of 30 per group
Duration:8h
Start time: Check availability
Ticket type:Mobile
German, Russian, English, Italian, Spanish

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

  • Driver/Tour guide in English
  • Transport by air-conditioned minibus
  • Parking Fees
What's not included
  • 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 in Spanish, Italian, German, Russian or English (approx. 5 euros per person)
  • Food and drinks
  • Entry/Admission - Boyana Church

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.

Departure details
  • St Alexander Nevski Square, 1000 Old City Center, Sofia, Bulgaria IMPORTANT: The meeting point is BEHIND Alexander Nevski Cathedral (opposite La Cattedrale restaurant) | Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/KY3uaHDALKjDJukQA | GPS coordinates: 42.695601, 23.333790 | Please, be there 15 min. in advance! | This tour is not suitable for children under the age of 5.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Not wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6992RILA

  • 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:
  • Boyana church will NOT be visited on the following dates: the 18th of May, the 19th of April, 24th and 25th December
  • 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.
  • Minimum traveler age is 5 years old
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Face masks provided for travellers
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Which attractions will I visit with Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
How much is Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia price starts from S$29.38. Discover and book Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia on Tripadvisor
What is the Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia cancellation policy?
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia?
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia is hosted by Traventuria. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Traventuria on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6992RILA

Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    St Alexander Nevski Square
    1000 Old City Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
    IMPORTANT: The meeting point is BEHIND Alexander Nevski Cathedral (opposite La Cattedrale restaurant) | Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/KY3uaHDALKjDJukQA | GPS coordinates: 42.695601, 23.333790 | Please, be there 15 min. in advance! | This tour is not suitable for children under the age of 5.
    See address & details
  • 1
    St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 2
    Boyana Church
    Stop: 45 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 3
    Rila Monastery
    Stop: 2 hours
    See details
    Pass by
    St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
  • You'll return to the starting point
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

teapavich
teapavich
00
Definitely would recommend!
When we booked the tour we knew that Plovdiv and Koprivshitsa will be a great way to explore Bulgaria and its histo
Stanko A
Stanko A
00
Recommended
Very good way to take a peek at two very different Bulgarian cities. Logistics and organization went smoothly, the
MDLavey
MDLavey
00
Excellent trip!
Excellent tour to two very cool Bulgarian cities. This was my second trip with this tour operator. Don’t hesitate t
scr64
scr64
00
Good day-trip from Sofia
The guide was knowledgeable and the overall experience pleasant even though the weather was not so nice. Also I wou
freddy429
freddy429
00
Great driver & tour guidd
Tour guide good interesting tour of old town but too much time afterwards to wander down basic shopping streets
SandraplGuerra
SandraplGuerra
00
Monastery & Hike
The tour was an amazing experience. Our guide was very good, explaining everything and giving pointers. Hard hike w
X9192CUpaulc
X9192CUpaulc
00
Great experience
Very professional tour, lots of info, a really good guide Lubo. Post service great costumer service (watch lost and
579enim
579enim
00
Incredible, Everyone MUST Visit
We knew we were coming during a colder period but I still would recommend visiting this as long as you’re prepared.
Andreea C
Andreea C
00
Experience of a Lifetime
Pleasant beyond expectation! My friend and I signed up for the self-guided tour. The weather was brisk with strong
maronader11
maronader11
00
Amazing experience
Recommended, the lady who helped me booked was very kind because there was a problem with the online shop
Kiara K
Kiara K
00
Fun Picturesque Day Trip
Great way to see the museum and medieval cities of Bulgaria in one day. My tour guide Maria was very informative, h
cathybeans
cathybeans
00
Wonderful day out
The views from the 7 lakes hike were absolutely beautiful; and the walk was nice and easy in pace so that we had ti
Daria Z
Daria Z
00
Lovely
Dear guides, thank you a lot for the wonderful walk! The organization was perfect, the nature is lovely. Highly rec
Dawid W
Dawid W
00
Perfect experience
Perfect experience. Mountains are beautiful and surprisingly not crowded at all (actually empty). Trip organisation
Raffaella1888
Raffaella1888
00
Perfect
Beautiful experience! Nice guide! Wonderful view. I think a guide is necessary for this trip. Perfect
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
333 reviews
Excellent
255
Very good
55
Average
15
Poor
1
Terrible
7

Chiara A
3 contributions
Oct 2022
We're very grateful for our lovely and kind english guide Maria. She entertained us during the bus trip telling us interesting curiosities about what we were seeing outside (rivers, routes, mountains, city traffic and the Monastery we were going to visit), she told funny jokes and even sang us a song. We adore her. She even organised a little competition for us and rewarded the winner with a postcard!! I wouldn't have understood anything about Bulgaria without the stories of Maria.
The little buses of Traverturia are cosy and the driver drives safe. We are italians but and we never struggled to understand Maria's accent: her english was clear and understandable.
I would recommend you this trip because what you're gonna see worths the money spended and it's hard to reach without a car or a private guided tour.
Written 23 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Chiara! I will surely let Maria know how amazed you were with her! Thank you so much for sharing feedback for your experience with our community on Tripadvisor! Looking forward to hosting you again! Safe travels, Maria Kamenova
Written 26 October 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SapphireRose88
London, UK675 contributions
Dec 2019
We met Chris our tourguide near the Cathedral and the tour started on time. Chris was a very pleasant fellow and he was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Sofia. The tour started with a brief stop to Boyana Church. The entrance ticket was not part of the tour, so each of us had to pay around 5Euro to enter. The Boyana church tour is not to be missed, for it was astounding to see how the Alfrescoes managed to last through the centuries. We then headed to Rila Monastery up the mountains. It was special as it recently snowed which made the whole scenery look magical. We toured the Monastery with Chris. He was great in explaining the history of the place to the group, and we headed off to lunch at a nearby restaurant which served delicious food. We headed back to Sofia at around 3pm. I would certainly recommend Traventuria and Chris as your tour guide. Keep up the good work Chris, we really had a great day.
The only one suggestion going forwards is – if the Guide could please check occasionally if the passengers were comfortable with the temperature in the van. It was a small vehicle and crowded, and there was a point where it became too hot and uncomfortable at the back.
Written 11 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Rose, Thank you for your detailed review and your suggestions for improvement. We always strive to offer the best service possible and we will surely take note. We hope that you will join us for another unforgettable experience in Bulgaria! Safe travels, Annie Krumova
Written 30 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Truth
London, UK113 contributions
Jun 2022
Joined a minibus near the Cathedral Cafe in Sofia
There was a group of about 10 people.
About an hour drive to Boyana Church , very old , small and atmospheric.
Not allowed to take photos inside , but guide very informative.
About a 30 minute stop.
A further hour or so to Rila.
Excellent location at the foot of the mountains.
Great photo opportunities apart from the inside of the chapel , not allowed.
Plenty of time to climb up the tower , look in the museum , have a short walk in the woods and have lunch.
Back to Sopia by about 4pm
Written 23 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Friend! Thank you for sharing your feedback with others here on TripAdvisor! We are lucky we had you as our guest! Looking forward to many new trips! Best regards, Maria Kamenova
Written 2 December 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sairah79
Essex, UK47 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
This is a place worth visiting, no doubt. But I'd only recommend this if you have more than four days in Sofia as there's plenty to do in the city centre, and this is one of those excursions where you spend longer driving in an uncomfortable bus than you do at the destination itself.

City Tours organised this day trip and the two guides we had were very nice, but lacklustre and not very engaging in their tours. The restaurant we stopped at was freezing cold and lacked vegetarian menu options.

I would recommend this tour but perhaps go with another operator.
Written 1 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TraventuriaAdmin
Dear Sairah, Note that we are Traventuria, not City Tour. We are two different companies. Please, be kind to remove that review and submit it at the right place. We are doing our best to always provide new, comfortable buses. All our guides are licensed and well trained. We never stop at any restaurants along the way. We advise our guests to bring their own snacks so they could have more time at the Monastery where there are also 2 restaurants and 1 bakery. Kind Regards, Lubo
Written 3 October 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

javie c
Madrid, Spain2 contributions
The trip with Traventuria was good, they are helpful and kind, and they provide you with a lot of knowledge about Bulgaria and its monuments, but in my opinon, they should the possibility to offer just a trip to Rila Monastery (for those people who are not interested in Boyana Church) and another trip to both places.
Also, I think they should not segregate the people who paid for the guidance from the people who didn’t ( in my opinon, they could just charge everyone a little more, like 2.5€, and offer guidance to everyone to not split the groups)
In general I recommend traventuria to everyone coming to Bulgaria. The trip was worth it!
Written 12 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Friend! Thank you for reviewing our service! You could have booked a tour to the Rila Monastery only. It starts at 10 am. Many of our clients are non-English speakers and they prefer to book a transport-only tour, and many others just prefer to pay for transport and explore the sights on their own. We want everybody to have a choice. Kind regards Maria Kamenova
Written 22 November 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MLandiu
Cork, Ireland90 contributions
Jul 2021
This was a good day trip in a comfortable and safe vehicle. Heading off early in the morning from central Sofia, the tour takes you towards the mountains and you will have a brief visit to Boyana Church - it is a UNESCO WH Site and only 5 people are allowed to enter the church for 10 minutes at a time, After the guide will drive you to Rila monastery. It is really up to the tour group how they want to use this transit time. Our guide Martin suggested different music we could listen to, but was also open to answering questions as I thought of them, and on the way back most of the group was sleeping. I chose to have a guided tour of Rila with Martin. This was good but he was trying to cover a lot and so we rushed through the cathedral and the museum a bit too quickly for my liking. I think I would choose to have free time if I had the chance to do the tour again. I am really interested in religious culutre, popular religion and comparative Christianity, however, when I said I wasn't raised as Orthodox (I was raised as Catholic) I think Martin took it for granted that I wouldn't really be interested in the pilgrimage, hagiographic or prayer aspects of visiting Rila. Overall it was a good tour, I think it is a little expensive because there aren't many competitor operators. In other European cities I would expect a complimentary museum entrance or coffee or something extra included in the ticket price.
Written 26 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you very much for the review! During these hard times, it's really important to heаr good feedback from our customers. This gives us the will to keep on working and improving despite the hard situation that tourism is in right now! I hope you'll be back one day when the situation is back to normal so we can show you more of the beauties in Bulgaria! Stay safe! Kind regards, Maria Kamenova
Written 22 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TeddyLuProductions
Seville, Spain22 contributions
We enjoyed a full day of intriguing Bulgarian history and some delightful surprises with our guide and driver Ana. She is very knowledgable and has a terrific sense of humor—the best possible combination for a guide! The Rila Monastery was quite astounding in person, much more impressive than in the photographs. Ana accommodated our wish to visit the National Museum of History with a short detour there and her narration regarding artifacts over 2000 years old!
Written 27 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Teddy! Thank you for rating us for a second time! Ana is one of our best guides and we are really happy she was above and beyond your expectations! We have an amazing team, for whom it will be a pleasure to host you again for a longer time in order to show you the beauty of Bulgarian history and nature! Safe travels, Maria Kamenova
Written 29 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paul R
Stratford Saint Mary, UK7 contributions
Jan 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. We were not quite sure what to expect from a whole day with just a church and a monastery to see, but the experience was well worth the journey. The small church was a revelation and the monastery was breathtaking.
We also visited the museum at Rila monastery which we enjoyed. Our guide was very helpful in accompanying those who wished to see the museum and explained exhibits to us.
The only downside was that the guide’s microphone did not work well on the coach so those at the back did not hear the commentary which was a shame.
The guide was friendly and knowledgeable and our driver excellent.
Would recommend this excursion.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Paul, Thank you for reviewing our service. I hope you will meet us again and we will meet your expectations for an excellent review next time! Kind regards, Annie Krumova
Written 30 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ariel
1 contribution
May 2021 • Solo
I had a great experience in this tour. The guide, Lubo, is super professional, knowledgeable, and an excellent driver. He can talk about the history of Bulgaria and the Balkans freely and with excitement.
The Boyana church and the monastery are both very interesting, and you can see a lot of the legacy of Bulgaria condensed in those two places.
The way is beautiful, going through mountains and woods, what makes the trip enjoyable as well.
I truly recommend this tour.
Written 7 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TraventuriaAdmin
Dear, Thank you for the nice review. Such words give us the courage to keep going in these difficult times. We are happy that you have enjoyed the trip, and we wish you to come to the Balkans once again someday, as there is a lot more to explore! Kind Regards Lubomir Botev (another Lubo)
Written 8 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LyndaCR23
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates40 contributions
Aug 2021
Travelling up into the Rila mountain is a wonderful experience. The scenery is beautiful and the higher you get the more you are surrounded by the tall evergreens.
The monastery itself is well maintained. When you stop at Boyana Church be sure to appreciate the huge redwood tree near the entrance and the birds and squirrels in the garden.
After exploring the monastery be sure to go outside at the back and enjoy some hot fresh bread at only 2 lev per loaf!
Written 14 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Lynda! Thank you for sharing your feedback with others here on TripAdvisor! We are lucky we had you as our guest! Looking forward to many new trips! Best regards, Maria Kamenova
Written 24 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia | Bulgaria