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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

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Sofia, Bulgaria
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 4 more


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
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
Rila Monastery Shuttle Bus Starting Point , ул. Оборище +, ul. "19-ti fevruari", 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

From the car park next to La Cattedrale restaurant, at the south-east corner of Alexander Nevski Square

9:00 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
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.
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
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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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
  • "A very easy way to make a full day trip to the out of the way Rila monastery." See review


390 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 390 reviews
, Oct 2021
Very interesting Nice places and the guide was well prepared and welcoming Recommended also the restaurant at the monastery
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Dear Giulia! We are the people to thank you for choosing our services and for letting us host you in our small, but beautiful country! Wishing you many many amazing travels! Stay safe, Maria Kamenova
Great tour
, Oct 2021
Great tour. Our guide Martin was very friendly and informative. Everything was as described and on time. Very good value.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Dear Eimear! Thank you so much for valuing the work of our team and especially of our amazing guide Martin! We are really happy that you enjoyed the tour! Looking forward to hosting you again! Safe travels! Maria Kamenova
Best thing to do when in Sofia
, Oct 2021
The church and the monastery are beautiful, and worthy of a visit. Surrounding nature is also amazing. The trip is not too long. It is mostly on highways.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Dear Jaksa, thank you for your review! it will be great if you give us another chance to impress you, this time with 5 out of 5 stars! Come again! Kind regards, Maria Kamenova
Good day trip from Sofia
, Sep 2021
The tour itself was very informative. Martin was a delightful guide and very safe driver. The minibus was filled — 8 tourists and the driver in 9 seats. Only 4 of us wore our masks at all times. We were outside a lot for the monastery tour, but I still think masks should be worn since we were within 6’ of each other. It would also have been nice to know if everyone was vaccinated.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Dear Customer! Many thanks for the nice words. We are glad that you enjoyed our tour. Customers' health are top priority and we strive to obey the highest standard in disinfection and preventive measures. The majority of our staff are vaccinated and masks are mandatory inside the bus. While outside however, having in mind that our groups are very small, we do not find the need (nor are we legally able to impose such regulation) to wear masks, as everyone can be safely far from the other participants. Such are the measures in the EU and the % of vaccination nowadays, so it is virtually impossible to travel without vaccination passport or PCR test taken the past 48h. Once again thanks for the honest review and we are looking forward to seeing you again on-board on our tours! Kind regards Maria Kamenova
Awesome trip w informative guide
, Aug 2021
Highly recommend going on this tour and the guide was awesome (informative). We visited the Boyana church first and he ensured that we entered the church first among other tours. He provided a lot of information and history along the way and at the church. Very knowledgeable and friendly sharing his experience and life in Croatia. Also provided great tips on where to Eat and what he would recommend to optimize our time at Rila Monastery the most. It seemed that we had a lot of time but with the amount we would see, it is never enough. So beautiful!!! Since the parking lot was full, he dropped us off at the entrance to ria Monastery, then went off to park and then came back to us to continue the guiding. He provided a lot of information about the storks we passed in the village along the way, the sunflower fields, information about the area we were in Bulgaria, the neighborhood where the boyana church is located, etc. It was awesome and I felt Iike I came away with a lot of information to help appreciate the places we were visiting. Only change I would do is to inform the guests ahead of time as part of the confirmation email that is sent to wear clothes below the knee and cover shoulders since we have to do that to enter Rila Monastery. I had a sundress on and it wasn't good enough to get in so the guide provided a scarf to use to cover my knee and shoulder to get in. It does look a bit strange in the photos but at least I got in! :) the guide was organized, was early at the meeting spot, the van had the name of the tour operator on it so it was easy to find them. I would definitely recommend this tour operator.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Dear Jin! Thank you for your great review of our services! We are really glad that the tour met your expectations! Safe travels, Maria Kamenova
What a guide Martin
, Jul 2021
I would recommend Martin to everyone! He knew everything, he could answer to every of your questions and last but not least, he was fun. A tour guide needs to be fun, so he gets more attention and people are more interested, and that’s what he did. I had a lot of fun and a nice day discovering stuff you don’t do without a tour guide. Cheap and amazing, such an experience
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
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, Annie Paykova
A very nice day
, Jul 2021
We spent a very nice time with a great guide, she was passionate and very knowledgeable about the history of Bulgaria. She explained to us the signification of the paintings inside the Boyana Church. Then, she drove us to the Rila Monastery which is an amazing place. We learned a lot about the Orthodox religion and the organisation of Orthodox churches. She even proposed to us doing a guided visit of the History museum of Rila Monastery. Thank you for this wonderful day, we recommend it without hesitation.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Hello Adele, Annie 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, Annie Paykova
Smooth ride
, Jul 2021
I purchased the transport option. Martin, the driver and guide from Traventuria, was above all a good driver. He was very entertaining throughout the ride, sharing insights about Sofia as well as interesting places along the way.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Donald, Thank you for sharing your review! Martin is very happy with the feedback received! Looking forward to seeing you! Best regards, Annie Paykova
, Jul 2021
This is a must if visiting Bulgaria! It’s a full day but not too long. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. I highly recommend!
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Tony, our team is looking forward to guiding you to some other amazing places hidden in Bulgaria! Thank you for your review! Safe travels, Annie Paykova
Wonderful Day to a Monastery
, Jun 2021
This day trip from Sofia was outstanding. My tour guide, Lubo, was so knowledgeable and his english was second to none. His knowledge of the history, the Romanian culture, and countless little things that he pointed out on this tour made my stay Sophia. The monastery and church are beautiful and should not be missed if you are in Sofia for a few days as I was.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2021
Dear Jim, Thank you for taking the time to rate us! For many new adventures, Annie Paykova

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