Rila monastery and Boyana church

  • Description
  • Departures and Prices

Rila Monastery is definitely a must-see sight if you are a tourist with a free day in Sofia. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila, it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in UNESCO World Heritage List for its historical and artistic value. We shall see the monastery church with its unique frescoes inside and in the narthex – a work of some of the most famous Bulgarian painters from the Revival Period. Admire the combination of the amazing architecture of the monastery with the stunning mountain views surrounding it. You may visit the monastery history museum housing a rich collection of exhibits connected with the history of the monastery and the spread of the Christianity on the Bulgarian lands. Don't miss the museum masterpiece - Rafail's cross - a unique of its kind cross, made from a single wood piece, depicting 36 different carved scenes from the Bible. Have some free time to enjoy the crystal clear air of the mountain, to taste the local "mekitsi" (Bulgarian doughnuts) with delicious buffalo's yoghurt (local specialty). 

The Boyana Church's frescoes dating back to the 13th c., painted 200 years before the Western European Renaissnce are a remarkable piece of art and have outstanding artistic value.  

Pick up point:
St. Alexander Nevski Square (south-east corner; at the parking lot in front of La Cattedrale restaurant. You will receive a map with instructions after completing the booking. Hotel pick-up can be ordered, but is surcharged 5 - 10 euro per booking depending on your hotel location. The tour ends in the afternoon with drop off at Al. Nevski Cathedral.  

08:45 Meeting at the parking at south-east corner of Al. Nevski Cathedral's square and in front of “La Cattedrale” restaurant. (you will receive detailed map after you complete the booking process)
09:00 Departure time
09:30 Planned visit to Boyana Church (can be rescheduled for the afternoon)
10:15 Departure to Rila Monastery
12:00 Estimated time of arrival at Rila Monastery.
12:00 Guided visit to the Monastery
13:00 Free time on your own 
14:30 Transfer back to Sofia.
16:30 Estimated time of drop off at Alexander Nevski Cathedral 


November 2018 - March 2019, every day of the week

Dates and prices:
Price per adult35.00 И

Price includes:
  • All transportation costs along the route
  • English speaking guide
  • VAT and parking fees
Price excludes:
  • Admission fee to Rila Monastery Museum - 8 BGN (appr. 4 Euro)
  • Admission fee to Boyana church - 10 BGN (appr. 5 Euro)

Note on prices:

Children between 5 - 12 years old are subject to a discount of 5 Euro. Please be advised that the tour is not suitable for children under 5 years old.

GROUP SIZE: The groups vary between 8 (small groups), 16 (medium groups) and more than 20 people (big groups). Kindly note that the group size is not upon request. HOTEL PICK-UP: Between 5 and 10 Euro per booking, depending on your hotel location. Please be ready at least 5 minutes earlier! AUDIO GUIDES: An audio guide for the Rila Monastery in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian is available with a supplement of 5 Euro per person. Enjoy a comprehensive 1 hour professionally recorded commentary on Rila and Vitosha Mountains, Rila Monastery Architecture, History and Frescoes. PLEASE NOTE: The time spent inside the Boyana church is limited to a maximum of 10 minutes, as a preservation measurement for the UNESCO World Heritage site's fragile frescos. It is better to prepare a lunch pack and use the free time at the Rila monastery for exploration and contemplation.

Atlantic Tour is a member of BCCCI (Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry)