V Travel Ltd. - Professional guided tours in Bulgaria

Rila Monastery Shuttle Tour (including Boyana Church)

Rila Monastery Overview

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 key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. It is traditionally thought that the monastery was founded by the hermit St. Ivan of Rila, whose name it bears, during the rule of Tsar Peter I (927-968). The hermit actually lived in a cave without any material possessions not far from the monastery's location, while the complex was built by his students, who came to the mountains to receive their education.

Boyana Church Overview

The Boyana Church  is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated in the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, in the Boyana quarter. 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.

Your Day in Rila and Boyana

The Rila Monastery shuttle tour on shared basis has been offered with great success sine 2010. V travel Ltd. is the first tour operator to offer a full day Rila Monastery Shuttle tour for just 30 Eur per person. Our guides will make your day unforgettable and will impress you with their knowledge, energy and interesting history facts about Bulgaria.

The meeting point for the Rila excursion is behind the landmark of Sofia - St. Alexander Nevski Memorialchurch, in front of La Cathedrala restaurant (see map below). After 2 hours drive we reach the Monastery in the Rila mountain at an altitude of 1147m (3763 feet)  above sea level. You have 2 hours for a visit of the complex. If you wish to have more time, you can skip the lunch and spend more time in the Monastery. Our guide will introduce you to the UNESCO site for about 30 min and  you will have the opportunity to either follow our detailed audio guide (5 Eur per person) or book a local guide and visit the Monastery Museum (4 Eur entrance fee per person) and Hrelio Tower (3 Eur per person). At 13:00 h you will meet your guide again at the parking lot in front and if you wish you will go to a nice restaurant for a local grilled trout and shopska salad lunch or you will go straight to Boyana church. This UNESCO World Heritage church is a precious medieval example of Bulgarian Orthodox art and is well worth the 5 Eur ticket. Due to special humidity and temperature regime the visit inside is limited to about 10 minutes but you can hear a lot of explanations from our guide outside. After another 20-30 min drive you will be back in the Sofia city center around 17:00 h.

Start: 9:00h / End: 17:00h

Recommended period: All year round

Meeting point: Behind St. Alexander Neski cathedral in front of La Cathedrala (see map below)

Driving time: 4h 00m

Walking time: 30m approx.

Handicap accessible: Quite accessible.

Special requirements: All year round women need to have kneels and shoulders covered. Warm clothes and low heel shoes.


1 person

2 persons

3 persons

4-5 persons

      6+ persons

April 1st – October 31st

30 € / 59 BGN

30 € per person

 30 € per person

25 € per person

25 € per person

November 1st –March 31st

 35 € / 69 BGN

 35 € per person

 35 € per person

35 € per person

30 € per person   

             The price for Rila Monastery tour includes: transfer to/from the meeting point in Sofia, guide in English, parking fees. Meals, personal expenses, entrance fee  (Boyana Church) are not included. Free hotel pick-up in winter. Children (1-16yrs) 20% discount.


01 January 2020 - without Boyana Church

 Advance booking required. Bookings after 18:00 for the following day must be confirmed in person! Please call "V Travel" mobile +359 899 321 986 to reserve seats or book online at www.RilaMonasteryShuttle.com

Meeting point 9:00 am behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in front of La Catedralle restaurant (please check the map below):

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Here you can watch a 5 minute documentary about Boyana Church - with subtitles in English.