Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia

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Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Day Trip from Sofia
from USD $36.76
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.
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Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are currently not taking new bookings for day tours.

In Brief

Sofia, Bulgaria
8 hours
Important InfoInfo
This is a typical itinerary for this product

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

09:00 departure from the starting point. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure.

Stop At: Boyana Church, 3 Boyansko Ezero Str., Sofia 1616 Bulgaria

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

Stop At: Rila Monastery, Rila 2643 Bulgaria

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

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

Return to the starting point at approximately 17:00


  • Driver-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
  • Entry/Admission - Boyana Church

Departure Time

9:00 AM

Departure Point

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

Returns To

Returns to original departure point

Additional Information

  • 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
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travelers

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

Overall very Good. The Guide Martin was quite good in explaining things and does have a sound knowledge and a good sense of humour
• Submitted 13 Nov 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
• Submitted 21 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!
• Submitted 07 Oct 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.
• Submitted 13 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!
• Submitted 12 Sep 2019
Great way to visit these two magnificent UNESCO sites. Comfortable minibus. Friendly and knowledgeable guide. My only advice is to bring lunch is you are planning to eat in Rila. There are not many restaurants there. They were overcrowded when I visited and it was really hard to get a table!
• Submitted 07 Aug 2019
This tour was the highlight of our Bulgaria trip. Our guide [Shashi?] was very informative and energetic and led the tour through Boyana and Rila, explaining all the details and history of each place. The Rila Monastery was as great as it appeared on all the photos and there was time for lunch and a few optional museums on the monastery grounds. Bus was comfortable and the guide checked frequently to see that the aircon was good for all. Highly recommended
• Submitted 19 Jul 2019
Martin the tour guide is awesome! His explaination was details and clear! Appreciate that makitsa that he treated everyone! Highly recommended as it save you lots of time of figuring out the transportation!
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
We loved our guide and had him for this tour and also the Plovdiv and Koprivshtsa day tour (which I also give 5*). We would not have got as much out of this had we visited either without him. We loved Boyana and felt it was an authentic and well preserved piece of history and of course Rila is a must see.
• Submitted 06 May 2019
The trip to the Boyana Church and Rila Monastery was really excellent. Our tour guide was very helpful and provided a lot of information about the places and history. She even gave us suggestions of where to eat and what to order at the nearby restaurants of Rila Monastery. Since it's not easy to reach the Rila Monastery alone, I would highly suggest booking a tour with professional guide! This is a really great option.
• Submitted 14 Mar 2019
On 24 May 2018 we took this tour with Daffy. This is the best tour that we have taken with Viator. Boyana Church and Rila Monastery are a definite must if you visit Bulgaria. Daffy was fluent in English, entertaining, and knowledgeable about the church and the monastery. She had an expansive knowledge of the history and culture of Bulgaria and especially Sofia.
• Submitted 13 Jun 2018
The day trip was excellent we started at 9.00 and finished at 17.15. The guide Martin was very good at explaining everything in particularly in the Museum at the Rila Monastery he excelled in asking people questions and then given the answers and explaining everything in detail.
• Submitted 26 Mar 2018
Great day out lovely lunch what more can I say highly recommend
• Submitted 22 Mar 2018
I would recommend this day trip. The bus was easy to find behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Our guide, Marina, was very friendly and very knowledgable. Our first stop was at Boyana Church where Marina schowed us the inside of the church and gave us great information about its history and the frescos. I enjoyed the tour of the monastery the most as we got a lot of important information about the frescos and the history of the monastery. It was great that we had some free time. So, we could have a wander around the museums, have some food, and just enjoy the sights.
• Submitted 08 Jan 2018
Great guide, great food, amazing location! My only complaint is that I would like more time at the monastery. But the food was delicious and Boyana church was very interesting! Enjoyed it very much!
• Submitted 31 Dec 2017
We travelled first to Boyana Church and then on to Rila Monastery. Both were well worth seeing. Rila was especially interesting. Our guide, Marina was informative and friendly, in other words, a perfect hostess. Highly recommended.
• Submitted 15 Oct 2017
Nicely organised tour. Guide very knowledgeable. Comfortable bus with wifi.
• Submitted 02 Oct 2017
This was a very good value for money tour. These are two must-see Unesco Heritage sites and our guide Lubo was a very good host. The journey time of around 2 hours each way leaves ample time for Boyana groups of 12 are only allowed 10 mins in the church but this is enough time to take in the splendour of the place and Rila where you have around 2 hours. Great tour.
• Submitted 21 Sep 2017
Wonderful monastery in a spectacular setting the fabulous artwork worth the journey alone, Lyubo the guide was extremely informative and helpful
• Submitted 18 Sep 2017
This was an excellent tour. Our guide provided the right amount of information. If you are in Sofia this is a must do tour. The Monastery itself is spectacular the frescos in Boyana Church a special experience.
• Submitted 06 Sep 2017
This was exactly what I wanted, it made getting to Rila Monastery and Boyana church super easy. Pick up at Nevsky Cathedral was easy and the guide was good. There was some free time to explore and have lunch at Rila Monastery.
• Submitted 01 Sep 2017
Definitely recommend. The monastery is beautiful. So many colors. Unlike many other tours, this tour is definitely worth the price you pay.
• Submitted 01 Sep 2017
Definitely a must see when visiting Bulgaria. This is probably the best tour for the price I have ever done. It is so incredibly cheap that I thought it would just so so. It exceeded my expectations by far.
• Submitted 01 Sep 2017
Beautiful trip! Our guide was informative, helpful, answered every and all questions!
• Submitted 30 Aug 2017

In Brief

Sofia, Bulgaria
8 hours