Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia

2. 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.

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

3. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

Spend the day exploring 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located outside of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Begin by meeting at 9:00 behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Sit back and relax for the next 2 hours as your friendly, English-speaking drivers transport you to Rila. Upon arriving, spend 2 hours exploring the area and visiting the Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant which features a specialty of grilled trout. Get back in the van for another 2-hour journey, eventually arriving at Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church on the outskirts of Sofia. Check out the elaborate frescoes that have made this site famous, before your tour returns you to your meeting point.

Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

4. 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.

The Seven Rila Lakes: Full-Day Tour from Sofia

5. The Seven Rila Lakes: Full-Day Tour from Sofia

Enjoy a full-day trek into the Rila Mountains to explore the most picturesque area near Sofia and one of Bulgaria's most beautiful natural sites, the Seven Rila Lakes. This group of glacial lakes lies between 6,900 and 8,200 feet (2,100 and 2,500 meters) above sea level, surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys. Leaving from Sofia, you will drive for 90 minutes to reach the Panichishte resort area, where you board the chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut. From here you will continue on foot to explore the landscape and its majestic blue pearls – the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake. The route is not difficult and can be altered on the spot depending on fitness levels or strength, following either more gentle routes or steeper gradients. Take your chance to explore the Blue Pearls of the Rila Mountains, the Seven Rila Lakes.

Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

6. Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Explore Sofia’s hidden nightlife gems on a 4-hour pub crawl. Meet people at some of the favorite hangouts in the city. If you’re a solo traveler this is a great way to socialize with locals and meet travelers from all around the world. The guides are a unique part of this experience. They’ll take the time to get to know you and at the end of the night you’ll have made some new friends. Enjoy a free beer at the first stop, then proceed to a second bar where you can enjoy an alcoholic dessert with anything you buy. Enjoy another free beer on tap at the third stop and then free admission to the club selected for the night.

From Sofia: Belogradchik Rocks Full-Day Tour

7. From Sofia: Belogradchik Rocks Full-Day Tour

Take a day trip to the northwestern corner of Bulgaria to see the Belogradchik rocks, located in the Balkan Mountains. You will drive 2.5 to 3 hours from Sofia until you reach this area. The rocks are grouped in various formations and are made up of primarily sandstone. In 2009, they were nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Many rocks have fantastic shapes and are associated with interesting legends. They are often named for people or objects they are thought to resemble, and on your tour, your guide might share some of these stories while pointing out the specific rocks and their names. The Belogradchik Rocks have also been declared a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government and are a major tourist attraction in the region. At the top of a hill near to some of the rocks is also a medieval fortress, known as the Belogradchik Fortress, built when the region was part of the Roman Empire. You will have the opportunity to visit the fortress and behold its well-preserved and menacing facade. Later, you will also be taken to the nearby Veneca cave, an incredibly beautiful cave with modern colorful lights. All entrance fees are included in the price and there will be time to stop for an optional lunch, which is not included.

Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

8. Sofia: Small Group Walking Tour

Journey through almost 10,000 years of history on a guided walking tour of Sofia, and learn how the city sits on land that has been settled over the centuries by Thracians, Romans, Huns and more. Marvel at its well-preserved monuments and outstanding sights, such as the East Gate of the Serdika ruins from Roman times. Walk through the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and Ministerial Council to encounter shops selling traditional souvenirs and rosewater. Experience the city's laid-back charm as you explore streets scattered with mosques and impressive onion-domed churches.

Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

9. Sofia by Night: Panoramic City Tour and Folklore Dinner

Enjoy a panoramic 4-hour evening tour of Sofia, traveling by comfortable air-conditioned minivan to all the main sights. Pass Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Bulgaria and the second biggest in the Balkans. Continue to the main square of Narodno Sabranie to see the Parliament building and magnificent statue of Bulgaria’s King Liberator, Tsar Osvoboditel. Marvel at the onion domes of the Russian Church and pass the ornate façade of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. See the serious buildings of the Presidency and Council of Ministers. Continue to the National Palace of Culture and National Stadium of Vasil Levski, located in Sofia’s expansive Borisova Garden near Lake Ariana. Then, go to the Veselo Selo restaurant, situated in the beautiful forest of Borisova Garden. Here, enjoy a delicious dinner from a menu of typical Bulgarian dishes. As you sip local wines, enjoy a fantastic show of traditional music and dance.

Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting

10. Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting

Begin your tour in front of the 5-star Grand Hotel Sofia, where you’ll meet your guide. Visit the beautiful National Theater, the former Royal Palace, and the Presidency. On this 3-hour afternoon walk your guide will take you next to the Art Club café, a favorite spot of many locals. Try the world famous shopska salad, prepared from fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and spices, and taste traditional Bulgarian cold soup, called tarator, prepared from yogurt and cucumbers. See the Rotunda St. George, St. Nedelya Church, St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral, the Banya Bashi Mosque, and the Sofia Synagogue, all around a square known as Small Jerusalem. Visit the historic Central Hali Market that dates from the beginning of the 20th century. Taste typical sweets such as baklava and tolumbichki, or buy fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, or sausages. Head to Europe’s newest underground and travel 1 stop to Lions' Bridge. Near the stop is a typical Bulgarian restaurant, created from 4 houses with a common garden. The restaurant features the architecture and furnishings of the 19th century, representing the 4 corners of Bulgaria. Taste fantastic Bulgarian wines together with different meze of meats, including lukanka, babek, fillet Elena, and pastarma. The tour ends at this point, but you may want to continue sampling different hot or cold appetizers, traditional dishes, and Bulgarian desserts.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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What people are saying about Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,711 reviews

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.

Good way to meet new people and discover the night life a little better :)