Sofia Province
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended Sofia Province Architecture Tours

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

1. From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Depart Sofia at 09:00 AM sharp, and relax on the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. Upon arrival, explore the largest and most important Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See gilded iconostasis and enjoy the fabulous mountain views. Hear the story of the monastery from your guide before enjoying some time to explore the monastic complex on your own. Learn more at the museum, or purchase souvenir icons and other items in the nearby shops. Take some time to refuel with lunch at one of the local restaurants, where you can purchase local specialties such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep fried). Depart at 01:30 PM and travel to Boyana Church in the suburbs of Sofia. See the historically significant frescoes of the Byzantine building, and hear how they started the fashion for illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside the local aristocracy. With an estimated arrival time at the church of approximately 03:40 PM, enjoy about 30 minutes to explore. Leave at around 04:10 PM for the drive to Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center by 04:30 PM to 05:00 PM.

From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

2. From Sofia: Shuttle Tour to Rila Monastery & Boyana Church

The tour departs early in the morning in front of Alexander Nevski. Your first stop will be the great UNESCO Boyana Church located on the outskirts of Sofia consisting of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th-century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two-story building to be erected next to it. After exploring it, head to Rila Monastery, where you will admire the impressive architecture, frescoes and learn about the history of the monastery from your guide. During the guided tour in the inner yard and the monastery museum, discover the most precious pieces that are kept from the past and all the facts and stories about the largest Bulgarian monastery complex. After your monastery tour, enjoy about 2.5 hours of free time for food and shopping.

Sofia: Rila Monastery Trip w/ Boyana Church & History Museum

3. Sofia: Rila Monastery Trip w/ Boyana Church & History Museum

Board the shuttle service behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center. Then, head to the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Depending on the tour option selected: visit the UNESCO Boyana church and/or UNESCO Boyana church on the way to the Rila monastery. Get over 2 hours of free time to explore the complex, founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the medieval tower independently. Wander down quiet outdoor corridors adorned with beautiful mosaics, and see gold-plated iconostasis and valuable icons from the 14th to 19th century. Learn more about the history of the site at the museum, where highlights include the double-sided crucifix of the Rila Cross. See the old bakery and other monuments, including the residential area of high stone walls and little windows. Board the minibus back to Sofia in the afternoon and get dropped off at the pick-up point on arrival.

Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia

4. Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia

A 2-hour drive from Sofia will take you to the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city and one of its oldest towns. Within 2-3 hours of walking along the city, you will discover the history and culture behind a 7000-year old settlement, written by the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Bulgarian civilizations. You can enjoy sightseeing in the Old Town with its museums, historical monuments, revival period houses, lined with souvenir shops cobbled streets or get impressed by the rich Ethnographical Museum and the ancient Roman Theater. Feel the atmosphere of this artistic and trades center and enjoy a lunch at the local restaurants. Next stop on your way back is the charming town of Koprivshtitsa with its fascinating history and authentic 19th-century architecture. Spend the rest of the day in the leisure of this small and picturesque city situated in central Bulgaria, spread amongst the slopes of the Sredna Gora Mountains, that carries a specific spirit of tranquillity and eternity. Once a scene of battles for the liberation of Bulgaria, now the city is turned into a museum of the Revival Period of Bulgaria. Here you can visit the homes of some of the most eminent Bulgarians, writers and rebels, admire the vast collections of ethnographical treasures, including ancient weapons, intricate national costumes and stunning jewellery.

Sofia: Lovech, Devetaki Cave and Krushuna Waterfalls Tour

5. Sofia: Lovech, Devetaki Cave and Krushuna Waterfalls Tour

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia. After an approximately 2-hour drive, you will reach Lovech. From there you will begin exploring the old quarter of the city. You will walk through the small cobbled streets, traveling back in time as you admire the typical 14th-century houses. You will then take a detailed trip to the Vassil Levski Museum, before continuing your walk to the Hisarya Fortress. The last site in the town to which you will pay attention is the famous Covered Bridge, a masterpiece of Bulgarian architecture which was built by Master Kolio Ficheto. Following the bridge, you will continue your trip with a 20-minute drive to your next stop, Devetashka Cave. Once there you will have some time to walk around the stunning cave, and will proceed to the Krushuna Waterfalls (a 20-minute drive from Devetashka Cave). There you will discover a unique natural wonder where you can take a walk through the beautiful forest and along the stream that has formed this beautiful cascade of blue waterfalls. Following this waterfall visit, your tour will then end with drop off at your point of origin.

From Sofia: Rila Monastery, Boyana church and History Museum

6. From Sofia: Rila Monastery, Boyana church and History Museum

Enjoy the sights of Bulgaria from the comfort and convenience of a transfer, taking you to some of the country's most stunning and significant highlights all in one day. Meet your driver in the morning, at a centrally located meeting point in Sofia. Head to the UNESCO Boyana church and visit the richly frescoed historical site. Continue with a short transfer for the National Museum of History where you will have ample time for a tour of your own. Learn about the intriguing history of Bulgarian lands, and then meet you driver again for an onwards journey towards the UNESCO Rila Monastery. You will pass through beautiful countryside on the way to the Rila mountains. Go higher up the mountain through the scenic route, and reach the Rila Monastery. You will have enough time to visit at your own pace all the areas of the monastery complex. Then, in the afternoon, you will be driven back to Sofia city.

Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

7. Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

This full-day trip begins with a 2-hour drive from Sofia to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest towns. On a guided walking tour, discover the history and culture of this 8,000-year old city that was settled by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian civilizations. See the sights of the old town, including museums, historical monuments and revival period houses lining the cobbled streets. Explore the Ethnographical Museum and the impressive Roman Theater. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group throughout the day and will point out the most interesting architectural and cultural treasures of the region and provide commentary on modern life in Bulgaria.

From Sofia: Day Tour to Nis, Serbia

8. From Sofia: Day Tour to Nis, Serbia

During this day tour you will travel through history with the professional lead of your guide. Your journey through time will start from the Roman period, when Nis gave to the world the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. You will then continue through the Middle Ages and the period of the Ottoman rule, which left constructions like the Nis Fortress and the Skull Tower, a symbol of the struggle for freedom and independence from the Ottomans, as well as a representation of the violence of the time. The latter of the tour will pay attention to modern history, in particular the period of Nazi occupation of former Yugoslavia by visiting a Nazi concentration camp. Following this concentration camp visit, it will be time for some rest. During this stop you will have the chance to taste typical Serbian cuisine, which is one of the most delicious of the Balkans. You will also have free time for a walk in the historical old part of the old city. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned back to your accommodation in Sofia.

Melnik Wine Tour

9. Melnik Wine Tour

Melnik overview Melnik is a declared architectural reserve and one of the most famous wine region in Bulgaria. The first to settle in the area were the Thracian tribe Medi (the famous rebel Spartacus belonged to this tribe). The Slavs who came later in these parts, named the settlement Melnik after the sand formations surrounding it on all sides. Melnik became a part of the First Bulgarian Empire under the rule of Khan Presian I (836-852) and prospered greatly in the period. Melnik became the capital of an independent feudal principality ruled by Despot Alexius Slav in 1209 and had an economic and cultural prosperity. The town continued to flourish under Tsar Ivan Assen ІІ because of the duty-free trade with Dubrovnik (ruled by Venetians). In the late 18th century, the town had 1300 houses, seventy churches and a population of some 20, 000 people. Your wine day in Melnik region Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Sofia at 8:30 AM and after a 2 hours and 30 minutes drive through various landscape (highway, mountains, river canyon and valleys). The first stop will be town of Melnik. You will visit one famous house, owned by a very rich family in middle 18th century, who was dealing with wine trade, including export to Venice. You will enjoy some time in the private cellar of the house. Then you will have a little walking in the smallest town in Bulgaria, option to visit the Wine museum. After that you will head to a nearby village - Rojen, where you could have nice lunch and a glass of excellent local wine. Next to the village is a old monastery, which you can visit. The final stop will be one of the good wine cellars of Bulgaria - Villa Melnik. You will have a guided tour in side, by member of the family, that owns the cellar. After wine tasting of their products you will head back to Sofia. 

Sofia Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Sofia Self-Guided Audio Tour

At the start of your tour, you will receive an audio guide and a map to help you fully enjoy your tour, led by the voices of a certified guide and historian with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Enjoy the tour at your own pace and feel free to take between 3-9 hours to explore Sofia. Your first stops will be the National Theater, the Russian Church, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the hidden Jewish memorial complex and St. Sophia Church. Then, you can relax with a cup of coffee or something to eat at the café & restaurant in the Arena di Serdica, where you receive a 10% discount and can enjoy the view of the arena of ancient Serdica. Next, continue on to the old St. Petka Church, the central Mosque and the famous St. George Rotonda Church. Your trip finishes with a relaxing meal at a 10% discount at the Art Club Museum. Please keep in mind that you are only able to receive the devices until 4:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Sofia Province

Very beautiful tour in an amazing location. Our guide/driver Bobby was very energetic friendly and excited to show us some of the best sides of Rila Monastery, museum and another church. Locations for all these places were amazing . He also explained a lot of curious information and general knowledge about Bulgarian life/history related to the places and beyond. Thank you bobby you were great!

Very good and informative Tour . Our tour guide Chris was very well organized and approachable/friendly . He was very knowledgeable and gave detailed information not only on Plovdiv area but also on the whole general history of bulgaria and traditional things in this country . He also gave us recommended places to visit . Good tour and bravo Chris!

Great guide, at the same time also a very good driver, conveyed the information in a lively and humorous way. Definitely recommended! We were back before 5pm. It is worth bringing your own drinks and a snack for lunch.

Excellent trip, very professional and knowledgeable guide with funny jokes. Cold up in mountains so get a sweater or jacket. Go in the middle of the week to avoid crowds

Great tour. Everything ran smoothly and the guide (Ljubo) was great. Nice balance between guided tour and free time to explore on your own.