One of the must-visit landmarks in Sofia is the Boyana Church, which is the only UNESCO sight in town! Watch our video, and join us for a short, virtual guided tour! Check our blog article below for more interesting facts and useful information about visiting the church!
Boyana Church FAQ’s
How to get to Boyana Church?
There are several ways to reach the Boyana Church from downtown Sofia:
- You can reach the Boyansko Hanche bus stop by public transport (bus №64). The bus departs from the Institute of Hygiene, which could be reached from the city center by trolleybuses №2, or №9, or by bus №204. The tickets for the public transport in Sofia are valid for 1 journey. Better buy a single-day ticket for 4 leva per person, instead of 4 tickets per person x 1.60 leva each. This is the cheapest way to reach Boyana, but the journey will take more than an hour per direction.
- A taxi ride from downtown Sofia to the Boyana Church would cost you around 12 leva per direction. Make sure that you get a proper taxi. We would recommend Yellow Taxi (+359291119). This is the fastest way to reach Boyana Church.
- An excellent way to fully explore the only UNESCO sight in Sofia is to book a guided tour. The Rila Monastery Bus by Traventuria departs every morning at 9AM from behind Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the top city center. The tour includes a guided visit to both the Boyana Church, and the Rila Monastery (also a UNESCO site). The admission fee to the church is not included in the tour’s price. Traventuria has a guaranteed entry spot every day, which means less waiting time, and no chance for all tickets to be sold out if you show up without a reservation. An experienced tour guide will guide you throughout the whole tour! Another tor, which includes a visit to Boyana is Traventuria’s Full-Day Sofia Tour.
What are the working hours of the Boyana Church?
The Church is open for visitors daily from Monday to Sunday, except on Christmas, and 01.01:
- From November to March: 9AM – 5.30PM
- From April to October: 9.30AM – 6PM
- Mind, that the cash desk closes 30 minutes earlier!
What is the price of the entrance ticket?
A regular ticket costs 10 leva. Students pay 2 leva entrance fee. The admission to the Church is free of charge for disabled people, children under school age, and for all visitors, every last Monday of the month, after 3 PM. It is good to know that payment in Euros, U.S. Dollars, British Pounds, and any other foreign currencies are not accepted! (1 Lev ~ 0.50 Euros).
Do they accept cards?
Yes, they accept most credit, and debit cards!
Is it allowed to take photos inside the Church?
No. Taking pictures inside the church is forbidden, as a preservation measure for the frescoes. You may take pictures in the yard, which is also beautiful, and buy a postcard with the frescoes, as a souvenir!
Is it required to book in advance?
Booking in advance is not required, but is strongly recommended for solo visitors. Reservation requests are accepted from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can contact the cash desk on +359879456635. If you book a group tour, no reservation is needed.
What are the options for a guided visit?
You can book a guided visit in advance, but it will cost 10 more leva. Contact the cash desk to check for availability!
An excellent option for a guided visit is The Rila Monastery Bus. It stops at the Church daily, and includes a guided tour in English (every day), and Spanish (every Thursday, and Saturday). The admission ticket is not included, and could be pre-booked, or purchased, at the cash desk. Traventuria offers audio guides in English, Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian (5 Euros/ 10 leva per device), which go together with a detailed map of the church, and the frescoes.
It is also good to know:
- The Boyana Church is not an active church. It is part of the National Museum of History.
- Groups of up to 8 visitors are permitted to stay inside the church for a maximum of 10 minutes, as a preservation measurement for the frescoes!
- Information up to 30.05.2020: Due to COVID-19, the Boyana Church can currently be visited by not more than 2 persons at the same time, and without a tour guide!
And… 2 more interesting frescoes!
The small temple, which is famous due to its unique Medieval Pre-Renaissance frescoes is located in the outskirts of the capital, in the feet of the Vitosha mountain. That is why, many of the tourists skip visiting it, which is probably the most common sightseeing mistake you can make, while in Sofia! Here are 2 more fascinating frescoes, which you definitely must see in person!
On the right, two men are damaging an ancient statue of Venus, and St Nicholas is giving them his blessing. Such an act would have been a crime nowadays, but after Christianity became the major religion of Rome, many statues of the Old Gods were destroyed, and lost forever!
On the left, we can see the most realistic scene in the Church. It represents St Nicholas, saving 3 sailors from a sea storm. What is unique here, except the sailors’ figures which are painted with great realism, and individuality are the 3D waves.
In order to protect the privacy of individuals, Google maps blurs the faces of the people, when Street view imagery is published. Just like many scientists, Google’s software also recognizes the faces of the sailors as real ones!