The tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church is in English language. As a supplement we offer audio guides with commentaries on Rila Monastery complex in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian. You can reserve an audio guide during the process of the tour online booking. The price per device is just 5 Euro. Upon request we can also offer live guides in almost every widely spoken language. Kindly note that we may require a couple of days to secure a guide in other language other than English. Send your inquiry well in advance at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a general rule we recommend to book as soon as you can. Naturally our dedicated team is trying to be as flexible and limit or refuse bookings, but in peak seasons (May, June, August and September) the tour may be sold out a week in advance.
When we have an available seats we can accept a booking on the day of the tour. Check our website for availability first. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there is a chance that it’s sold out or it may just be off-sale, because it’s within a day or two of tour running time. In that case we can often still take bookings over the phone or via our online chat platform – so give our team a call to find out.
All payments can be done via credit/debit card, bank transfer or cash in our head office.
Credit card payments
Almost all of our customers are paying with credit/debit card via our secure and easy to handle online payment platform. After your payment goes through you will immediately and automatically receive a confirmation invoice-voucher on your e-mail.
When you start the booking process you will receive an invoice on your e-mail. You will find in the received invoice our bank details. Kindly note that after you make the wire transfer it may take a few days (depending on your bank) for the money to arrive in our bank account. Your booking is not confirmed until we have received the payment! This way of payment is not recommended and reliable for last minute bookings.
Cash in our office
We accept cash payments in our office during the working hours: Mon-Fri from 9:00-18:00. You should first make a booking over the telephone, mail or chat platform and than come to our office.
It’s really up to you. If you enjoyed your tour and feel like you received an excellent service from your guide, it is customary to leave a tip at the end of the tour. It’s not obligatory though and we won’t hold it against you if you don’t – nor will your guide.
Clothes and Dress Code
Rila Monastery is about 1150 meters above sea level in a deep forested valley in the heart of the Rila Mountains. It is always good to check the forecast before the tour, but keep in mind that the weather at Rila Monastery may change in matter of minutes, but generally it is colder than in Sofia. The inner yard of Rila Monastery is cobbled and comfortable walking shoes are recommendable. Sometimes the tour can be extended with a short walk to the cave where St. John of Rila had lived. This walk is on relatively steep mountain path and wearing walking shoes with ankle support is a good idea.
Despite the weather conditions the tour is running every day!
Spring & Autumn
The weather is very dynamic. Bring along warm clothes and a rain coat and/or umbrella.
You can expect cold weather and temperatures below zero. Usually there is snow, which makes the monastery and the nearby mixed forest and craggy peaks exceptionally beautiful. We recommend that you wear very warm clothes and shoes; gloves and a hat.
Summer and Strict Dress Code
Rila Monastery is a functioning Eastern Orthodox temple and the monastic brotherhood is very strict on the dress code. Women should have their shoulders covered and should not be wearing short skirts or dresses. Men should also not be with very short trousers. The weather during summer in the mountain can also be cold, so bring a rain coat or a pullover just in case. Sun glasses, hat and sun lotion is a must.
You can make photos in the inner yards of Boyana Church and Rila Monastery. You can also make photos of the outer frescoe gallery of Rila Monastery main church – “The Nativity of the Virgin”. It is forbidden to take photos inside the museums and the churches.
Your guide will be waiting for you at the pick-up point (at the parking lot in front of “La Cattedrale” restaurant on the south-east corner of Al. Nevski square) holding a signboard “Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Tour”. The signboard will be branded with Traventuria’s Logo as well.
The Rila Monastery and Boyana Church tour pick-up point is at the south-east corner of Al. Nevski cathedral, at the parking lot in front of La Cattedrale restaurant. Most of the minibuses and cars of Traventuria are branded and easily recognized from a distance.
You may find this old video of ours useful in finding the directions:
Rila Monastery and Boyana Church video
The tour is not suitable for babies, toddlers and children up to six years old. The driving time to Rila Monastery is a bit over 2 hours and there is no playground anywhere near the monastic complex. The guides’ discourses are adapted for an adult audience and will not be interesting to small children. Our experiences has also proved us that the itinerary is too intensive for small children. Kindly note that some of our vehicles do not have enough luggage space for strollers.
If you insist very much on bringing your baby, toddler or small child on the tour, please first contact us. Children up to 12 years old use a discount, but kindly note that up 6 years old it is compulsory for them to travel in baby or child or booster seat. We can provide one for an extra charge of 10 euro/seat.
If you are travelling with a small child/children we highly recommend that you get in contact with our customer service department and inquiry a quote for a private tour. With the private tour you can set your own pace of exploration.
The tour is not suitable for people with moving disabilities. Unfortunately our vehicles are not equipped with elevators and some of the vehicles do not have enough luggage space for wheelchairs. At Rila Monastery the inner yard is cobbled and there is not WC for disabled people, nor there is an easy access to Rila Monastery ‘s museums, churches and chapels.
Boyana Church however is accessible for people with moving disabilities and possesses wheelchair facilities. Please contact us for a private tour quote, on which the guide can adapt the program and be at 100% at our disposal.