Are you planning to visit Bulgaria this year? Or you have already arrived here? If you wonder what are the best places to visit within a few days, keep reading. We have prepared a list of the very best guided day tours around Bulgaria, which you must take during your stay. City Tour has significant experience in organizing day tours and together with our professional guides we have chosen the best 10 destinations for day tours from Sofia.
Rila Monastery is one of the symbols of Bulgaria and is also a popular tourist destination. It was established in the 10th century by the Bulgarian holy man Saint John of Rila and his followers. Since its establishment, the monastery became an important place for the faith and the education of the Bulgarian people. Although several times it was destroyed by bandits and fires, it was always restored after that and it managed to survive throughout the centuries. Nowadays, it is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria with about 250 monk rooms. Since 1983 it is a part of the UNESCO heritage list as well. You can choose from several day tours from Sofia, but we recommend taking a day tour to the Rila Monastery combined with Stob Pyramids or this tour to Boyana Church and Rila Monastery from Sofia.
Boyana Church and History Museum
The Boyana Church is known in Bulgaria and abroad mainly for the high artistic value of the frescoes from 1259, which follow the decorative system and iconography of Byzantine art from the XI-XII century. The frescoes of the Boyana Church are very close in style and fresco-tempera technique to the frescoes in Tarnovo from the 13th century. They were created by an unknown Bulgarian artist who worked in the style of the Tarnovo Art School. With their vital, humanistic realism, they are a renaissance phenomenon, and in its culminating phase for the whole of European art. They occupy one of the first places in the medieval painting of Europe in the XIII century. If you have less than a full day free in Sofia, you should join our half-day tour to Boyana Church and the National History Museum.
Plovdiv is officially considered the oldest existing town in Europe with a history dating back as early as the 4th millennium BC. It is situated between six hills and the big Maritza river flows through the town, which makes it a very suitable place for settlement. In antiquity, it was populated by the Thracians who fortified the Nebet hill and established a village there. Later, it was conquered by Philip II of Macedonia and it was named after him – Philipopolis. In the 1st century AD, the area became a Roman province. With its ancient and rich history, Plovdiv has a lot to show you, so be sure to make your Plovdiv day tour from Sofia soon.
The famous Seven Rila Lakes are situated in the Rila Mountain at a height between 2100 and 2500 meters. They are a remarkable natural attraction and a must visit place for people who like hiking and nature. All of the lakes have a glacial origin and they are named after their shape or quality: the Tear, the Eye, the Kidney, the Twin, the Three-leafed, the Fish lake and the Lower lake. If you have a free day in Sofia we recommend doing this magnificent hiking tour to Seven Rila Lakes that you will never forget.
Vitosha Mountain is located just next to Sofia so it is the closest place for hiking trips. It offers a lot of different trails and paths. The difficulty and the length of the hiking can be adjusted so it is accessible for everyone. If you take a trip to the mountain with us, you will also see from above some of the panoramic views of the city. You can also combine a walk in the mountain with a visit to Boyana church if you have a full day to spend with our professional guide.
Sapareva Banya is primarily popular for its mineral waters – the hottest mineral water in whole of continental Europe with a temperature of 103 °C springs in the town. The only geyser on the Balkan Peninsula lies here too. Sapareva Banya is located just 70 km south of Sofia and it is obviously the best place for a SPA day trip from the capital. You will be picked up from your location in Sofia and after an hour of driving you can swim in the hot pools – nice, isn’t it?
During your stay in Bulgaria you should explore the charming mountain village of Koprivshtitsa with its Revival style architecture. There are many legends about the establishment of the town. According to the most popular of them, some Bulgarian aristocrats who managed to escape the old capital Veliko Tarnovo when it was invaded by the Turks at the end of the 14th century, settled in this distant, impenetrable area, and established Koprivsthitsa. Our professional guide will pick you up from your hotel and after about 2 hours you will arrive in the beautiful mountain village. You can book your private day trip to Koprivshtitsa today!
The rocks of Belogradchik are rock sculptures, situated west of the town of Belogradchik, in the fore hills of the western Balkan mountain range. They contain groups of rock figures resembling people, animals, fortresses, pyramids or different objects with imposing sizes - from a few meters to several dozens of meters. With their red color they contrast beautifully with the green broadleaf forests below and the lush meadows and small vineyards around the site.
The fortress has existed since Roman times. In the 1st – 3rd century AD, the Romans built roads in the new provinces of the empire on the Balkan peninsula, as well as fortresses to guard them. The Belogradchik Fortress has three yards separated from one another, the total area of which reaches 10 210 square meters, and one fortification. Even nowadays embrasures (openings) for guns and three bastions and embrasures for cannons can be seen on the fortress walls. The walls are 6.5 feet (2 meters) thick at their base and 40 feet (12 meters) high.
The Krushùna Falls offer an excellent opportunity for a one-day escape from the city, especially during the hot summer months when one can enjoy a nice walk up the cascade. This natural wealth is the biggest travertine cascade in the country, unique with its picturesque scenery, lush vegetation, numerous round-shaped terraces and small natural pools with mineral water. These majestic waterfalls are 2h 30 min away from Sofia, so you can definitely make a day trip to Krushuna and back. In addition to that, being in the Lovech area you absolutely have to visit the Devetashka Cave, as it is not an ordinary cave – it is very well lit and its floor is covered by lush greenery, so sometimes it is hard to believe that one is actually underground.
The capital of Bulgaria has an ancient history. It has preserved heritage from different cultures and epochs. Over the centuries, it has been given several names - Serdica, Sredetz and the remains of the old cities can still be viewed today. Because of its strategic location in the middle of the Balkans for a while it had been selected as a new capital of the Roman Empire. Most of the tourist attractions are located in the city center so Sofia is very appropriate for guided walking tours. City Tour offers a diversity of city tours – a communist history tour, evening tour with folklore dinner, gourmet lunch tour, Sofia tour with wine tasting, etc. Just easily book the previous day!