RILA MONASTERY AND BOYANA CHURCH SELF-GUIDED TOUR

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Tour at your own speed Rila Monastery and Boyana Church – two of Bulgaria’s holiest places, declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy our comfortable daily shuttle to these two sights of interest. It starts and ends at a convenient spot in central Sofia. As a benefit, you will have an English-speaking driver at your disposal throughout the trip as well as the option to book an audio guide. This tour is for self-guided people who like to explore the world on their own and in a cost and time-effective way!

About this activity

Prices from 25 euro

Approximately 8 hours

Printed or mobile voucher accepted

Instant confirmation

Audio guide/headphones: Spanish, English, German, Italian, Russian

EASY CANCELLATION: CANCEL UP TO 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE FOR A FULL REFUND!

September 2020

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Discover 2 of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria
  • Travel in a modern air-conditioned minibus
  • Marvel at the beautiful frescoes painted by the most famous and talented Bulgarian artists
  • Use a map and an audio-guide (with multi-language commentaries: Spanish, German, Italian, English or Russian)
  • Uncover the rich history of the Boyana Church and the Rila Monastery on your own 
TOUR ITINERARY
  • 09:00: The trip starts from the parking behind Alexander Nevski Cathedral (you will receive a detailed map after you complete the booking process).
  • 09:30: A planned visit to the Boyana Church (It can be rescheduled for the afternoon).
  • 10:15: Departure for a 2-hour journey through beautiful countryside to the Rila Monastery.
  • 12:15: Estimated time of arrival at the Monastery.
  • 12:15-14:45: Time at the Monastery
  • 14:45-15:00: Head back to Sofia.
  • 16:45-17:30: Approximate time of arrival at Alexandar Nevski Cathedral parking.
USEFUL INFORMATION

What is included: 

  • Round-trip shared transfer;
  • Transportation by air-conditioned minivan;

Extras:

  • Audio guides with multi-language commentaries: Spanish, German, Italian, English or Russian (5 euro per person);
  • Hotel pick-up & drop off (5 euro per booking);

What is not included:

  • Optional admission fees (All entrance fees must be paid in leva);
  • Lunch and personal expenses;
  • Guide services;
  • Gratuities.
PICK-UP AND DROP OFF

The shuttle drives off at 09:00 am from St. Alexander Nevski Square, behind the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (at the parking lot in front of La Cattedrale restaurant). You are going to receive a map with instructions after completing the booking. The self-guided tour ends around 5 o’clock back there. Hotel pick-ups/drop-offs could be arranged (5 euro).

BEFORE YOU GO

Dress code:

Bear in mind that the Rila Monastery is an active Christian temple. Visitors are expected to follow a certain dress code, in particular, to wear clothes that cover their shoulders and knees. High heels are not appropriate, because the inner yard of the monastery is cobbled-stoned. 

Note that the Rila Monastery is situated 1147 meters above sea level. in the heart of Rila Mountain. That’s why we recommend bringing warm clothes in the winter and sun cream/ hat with you in the summer.

Money:

The official currency in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian lev (pl leva) and this is the only currency accepted in the shops, museums and restaurants in and around the monastery. Kindly note that payment by credit or debit card is not possible! There is only one ATM at the monastery and sometimes it is out of order. It’d be better to have some cash in you.

Post office:

Fewer and fewer people send postcards, but if you are one of those people, know that there is a post office in the Rila Monastery, which is working during the week.

Wi-Fi & Mobile network coverage:

There is no Wi-Fi there! Don’t worry though, in most of Traventuria’s vehicles there is free Wi-Fi, which you can use while on the road. The good news is that the network coverage is good and you should have access to it during the whole journey.

Camera:

Rila Monastery complex and the surrounding it Nature Park are extremely colorful and appealing. If you are a nature-lover or keen on architecture, it would probably be difficult for you to resist taking pictures. Note that this is not allowed inside the main church as well as in the museums.

Other options for this tour:

An alternative to the self-guided tour is a guided tour with an English-speaking tour guide, which can be booked from Here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Rila Monastery complex from one of our tour guides, you can read the interview Here.