After months of joyful and intense work, we are happy to invite you to the inauguration of Stupa Sofia with Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl. It is an Enlightenment Stupa, the first one to be built in Bulgaria.
The Inauguration Course will take place between 13 and 15 August in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, and at Retreat Center Plana, which is located 30 km outside of Sofia.
Here is the CHANGED program of the Inauguration Course (changed on 21 July). The placing of the Life Tree into the stupa will be on 12 August instead of 13 August, as initially planned.
12 August, 10:00h
Life Tree | Retreat Center Plana
Lama Ole will place the Life Tree in the stupa together with Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche at Retreat Center Plana.
13 August, 19:30h
Public Lecture | Sofia – National Palace of Culture
In the evening, Lama Ole will give a public lecture in Sofia at the National Palace of Culture, Hall 3.
14 August, 10:00h
Stupa Inauguration | Retreat Center Plana
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole will inaugurate Stupa Sofia at Retreat Center Plana.
15 August, 11:00h
Empowerment | Sofia – National Palace of Culture
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche will give a Green Tara empowerment in Sofia at the National Palace of Culture, Hall 3.
The full course price is 100 leva (~51 EUR) if you register before July 15. After that date, the full price is 140 leva (~71 EUR). It covers the entrance fees and does not include accommodation and transport.
If you are coming only for a part of the program, the separate price of the public lecture in Sofia is 15 leva (~7.5 EUR), and for the Empowerment – 25 leva (~12.5 EUR).
Camping at Retreat Center Plana will not be possible due to the limitations of the current infrastructure. You can see below a list of recommended hotels and hostels in the center of Sofia, as well as in the villages near Retreat Center Plana, with some budget options too.
Hostels in Sofia
Art Hostel: Located near the the Lecture Hall (NDK, Hall 3) in the center of Sofia. Price per person in a 5-bed dormitory is 28 leva (EUR 15) and in a double room – 36 leva (EUR 18.50). Includes breakfast.
Be My Guest Hostel: Located in the center of Sofia. Price per person in a 5-bed dormitory is 20 leva (EUR 10) and in a double room – 25 leva (EUR 13). Includes breakfast.
Canape Connection Hostel: Located in the center of Sofia. Price per person in a 8-bed dormitory is 22 leva (EUR 11), in a 4-bed dormitory – 26 leva (EUR 13.50), and in a double room – 32 leva (EUR 17). Includes breakfast.
5 Vintage Hostel: Located in the center of Sofia, not far from NDK. Discounted rate of EUR 200 per night if you book the whole hotel (can accommodate up to 10 people).
Hotels in Sofia
Park Hotel Moskva: Located near the center of Sofia, next to a metro station. B&B from 62 leva to 96 leva (from EUR 31 to EUR 48) for a double room per night.
Hemus Hotel: Located at a walking distance from the Lecture Hall (NDK, Hall 3). B&B from 82 leva (EUR 42) and room only from 66 leva (EUR 34) for a double room per night.
St. Sofia Hotel: Located very near the center of Sofia, near a metro station. B&B from 80 leva (EUR 40) for a double room and from 70 leva (EUR 35) for a single room. To get a discount, please mention “Stupa Sofia” when you fill in your booking request through the hotel’s website.
The House: Located very near the Lecture Hall (NDK, Hall 3). B&B from from 60 leva (EUR 30) and room only from 34 leva (EUR 30).
Hotels and rooms near Retreat Center Plana
Guest House Villa Bistritsa: Located in Bistritsa village, near Plana village where the retreat center is. Double room from 40 leva (EUR 20), no breakfast.
You will have to organize your own food during the course. We will have a cafeteria with coffee and snacks on 13 August at Retreat Center Plana.
Conditions at Plana
Retreat Center Plana is situated at an altitude of 1,200 metres, with lovely views on the nearby mountains. This means that during the day it gets quite hot – up to 35 degrees, but then it gets quite cold in the evenings. Please consider this when packing – and don’t forget to drink a lot of water during the day.
As mentioned earlier, the infrastructure is still in development phase, which does not permit hosting 1,000 friends on site.
Тhe course will take place at two locations – Retreat Center Plana and the National Palace of Culture (NDK). We have gathered here the most important transport information with schedules and maps for both venues.
The GPS coordinates of Retreat Center Plana are 42°28’43.6″N 23°24’26.9″E. Here is the map of where exactly it is situated:
Taxi to Plana Village
We highly recommend that you use the taxi service below because it will be the easiest way for you to get to Retreat Center Plana!
We have arranged a special price for taxi rides with Yellow Taxi Company. You need to mention that you’re going to the ‘Plana event’ and they will know you are our guest.
Important: Do not take a random taxi from the airport because not all have regulated rates. The best option is to call the Yellow Taxi Company and get the special rate we have negotiated with them.
Getting from the city of Sofia to Retreat Center Plana (or vice versa) will cost you around 35 leva (18 EUR).
To order a taxi, please call +359 2 91 119.
Public Transport to Plana Village
To get to Retreat Center Plana from Sofia Airport, please take the subway from Terminal 2.
* If you arrive at Terminal 1, there is a free airport shuttle to Terminal 2.
Get off the subway at G. M. Dimitrov station. Follow the exit to Dianabad. Go right, as marked on the map, and you will find a bus stop. Bus number 70 takes you directly to the village of the retreat center. The bus stop at Plana village is called “Turmachka Mahala.”
From Sofia to Plana: the bus leaves at 4:40 a.m., 7:10 a.m., 9:50 a.m., 2:10 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
From Plana to Sofia: The bus leaves at 6:00 a.m., 8:40 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The public transport ticket costs 1 lev (0.5 EUR) and you need to buy it either from a kiosk at the bus stop or from the driver (only Bulgarian currency accepted).
Public Transport + Shuttle to Plana
From the European Union subway station, which is 10 minutes by foot from NDK (the lecture hall), you can catch bus number 98. It runs every half an hour. The bus doesn’t go directly to Plana village, so you need to get off in the village of Zheleznitsa. It is the last stop and is called “Zheleznitsa Townhall” or “Kmetstvo Zheleznitsa.”
In the period of 10-15 August there will be shuttles that can take you to the retreat center from Kmetstvo Zheleznitsa. They will run every half an hour. The price per ride is 2 leva (1 eur).
The number of the shuttle service: +359 897 865 094.
Public Transport to National Palace of Culture (NDK)
If you’re going from Sofia Airport to NDK, take the subway from Terminal 2 to Serdika station. Transfer to Line 2 to NDK station (there are maps and voice message in the subway).
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com or call Ralitsa (+359 888 360806) or Nadezhda (+359 894 378912).