Your Day in Rila and Boyana

9:00 h Departure behind St. Alexander Nevski church in front of La Cathedrala restaurant.

11:00 h Arrival at Rila Monastery. Guided visit and free time until 13:00 h;

13:00 h Optional lunch in nearby restaurant (grilled trout specialty);

14:30 h Departure to Sofia;

16:00 h Arrival at Boyana church. Guided visit until 17:00 h;

17:00 - 17:30 h Arrival at St. Alexander Nevski square.

The itinerary may vary depending on road conditions, Boyana church schedule or other.

Rila Monastery Overview

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a must-visit tourist attraction for both Bulgarians and foreign visitors. It was built at its present place in the 14th century. The oldest buildings in the complex date from this period - the Tower of Hrelyu (1334–1335) and a small church just next to it (1343). However, the arrival of the Ottomans in the end of the 14th century was followed by numerous raids and a destruction of the monastery in the middle of the 15th century.

The monastery complex, regarded as one of the most impressive masterpieces of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, was declared a national historical monument in 1976 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. On 25 May 2002, Pope John Paul II visited Rila Monastery during his pilgrimage to Bulgaria. He was greeted by the Monastery's igumen (hiero monk), Bishop Ioan, who had been an observer at the Second Vatican Council.

Boyana Church Overview

The Boyana Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated in the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The east wing of the two-storey church was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century, then the central wing was added in the 13th century under the Second Bulgarian Empire, the whole building being finished with a further expansion to the west in the middle of the 19th century. The church owes its world fame mainly to its frescoes from 1259. They form a second layer over the paintings from earlier centuries and represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European medieval art. A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls of the church.

Where you'll be


35€ fixed price per person every day.

Group discount: 25€ per person (4+persons).

Children discount (1-16 years): 25€ per child.

The tour price includes: full transportation costs from and to meeting point in Sofia, live guide in English, parking fees, visit of Monastery complex (free).

Not included: entrance fees for Rila Monastery museums and Boyana church, meals and personal expenses.

Check all prices and book online here: V Travel Online Booking

The departure point for Rila Monastery and Boyana church shuttle tour is behind St. Alexander Nevski church from La Catedralle restaurant at 9:00 every day except 25.12 and 01.01. Advance booking is required.

star rating  A long day (4 hours each way) but so very enjoyable! We were collected by our Guide Ivan, who was super professional & knowledgable, whilst also friendly. A great... read more


star rating  Went in February. I'll go over the positives - in the winter there's not a lot of tourists, and the wait time at the border is not long. ... read more


star rating  This is a place not to be missed. It has a certain about of charm and the artistry on the wall is immense/ strikingly beautiful. We went to the Rila... read more


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Visit 2 UNESCO sites in one day

Friendly English-speaking guides

Free audio guides in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian and German

Guaranteed daily departure even for just 1 person

A/C van or minibus for comfortable, quick and safe ride

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Fixed 35€ per person

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