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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: Travel Update: May  (Read 1866 times)

Schakaline

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Travel Update: May
« on: 10.05.2018, 14:47:26 »

Hello everybody!

With Eurofurence just a little more than 100 days away (oh my god) it's time for our 1st annual spectacular EF travel update!

General travel tips
Now's a good time to prepare a few things, especially if you've never been on a longer trip before.

- Make sure your travel documents are up to date (see section below!)
- Check up on your vaccinations
- Now's a good time to break in new shoes if you want to take them to EF (it's not fun trying to do that at the con)
- Generally make a rough draft outline of your trip, including (coarse) times and dates of your flight, road trip, dinghy raft, whatever.

Travel documents

As every year, this is the time where I will tell you again that visitors from outside Schengen countries need both a valid government ID and may need a travel visa. If you choose to ignore that advice, you will be entirely responsible by yourself for the hilarity that ensues.

You will find further information on the web site of the German Foreign Office and can find out there whether you need a visa for the Schengen area.

Waiting time for German embassies and consulates may be significant, especially in lesser developed countries. Also, some countries are notorious for taking a long time to process passport applications, especially for first-time issues.

Remember to sort out your health insurance well in advance too - visitors from the EU should get a EHIC card from their national insurer, others should get private travel insurance to be on the safe side. A trip to the hospital, for whatever reason, can easily cost you thousands when not insured.

Roads

Please note that near the A100 / A113 exit AD Grenzallee a diversion is in place until 2019 due to the construction of the new A100 tunnel.

Do remember that the low-emission zone starts just around the corner from the hotel though, so if you feel like driving anywhere within the central districts of Berlin (i.e. you are totally crazy and in dire need of professional help) you will need the appropriate sticker for your vehicle.

Rail

Eurofurence has an exciting new offer for you this year!
After lengthy negotiation with Deutsche Bahn, which involved several e-mails being sent, we can now offer our very own ticket that even says "Eurofurence" on it! You heard right!

... well, actually we signed up for the DB Veranstaltungsticket (Event Ticket) price plan, which allows you to book both saver tickets as well as flexible tickets for a set rate valid from any German station.
Fares are €49.50 per journey in 2nd and €79.50 in 1st class.

The offer is bookable exclusively online through the EF web site, where you will find a booking button in the "Travel/Hotel" section.



I know nobody ever reads the web site, but in this case you must, as it's the only way to book. Really!

Note that at this early stage the site will also offer you other DB fares that - depending on your route and the distance you're travelling to Berlin - might be slightly cheaper than the Event ticket — however, there is a certain threshold that must be sold for a specific event so if you want to help Eurofurence out, book the ticket even if it is slightly more expensive than the other options. Thank you!

Alas, the price will remain stable right up until EF, as the contigency allocation works different from other fares. If you plan to make your travel arrangements shortly before the convention, this is a good thing to remember.

Overflow Hotels

Oh. One More Thing.

Yeah, we have overflow hotels. What we don't have yet is a special rate, as our hotel liaison was unable to get in contact with the involved people within a reasonable timeframe (the Berlin hospitality industry can be agonisingly slow at times, I'm afraid).

However, pending budget approval, we will operate a nighttime bus shuttle to an area with several hotels. The way it works is this:

Next to the Estrel Hotel, there's the Berlin S-Bahn station Sonnenallee. From there you can catch a train that takes 12 minutes to Landsberger Allee.  Trains are running all day except at weeknights between 1:20 and 4:20 (on weekends, the S-Bahn runs 24 hours).
The S-Bahn fare is €30 for a 7-day ticket. The shuttle bus will be free to use, but operate only when the trains do not run.

At Landsberger Allee, you can pick between the two hotels:

andel's by Vienna House Berlin ★★★★
Vienna House easy ★★★

For the andel's, further announcements on how to book will be made soon. For the Vienna House easy, you can book through the web site linked above.
There also is a hostel nearby Landsberger Allee, the Generator Hostel at Storkower Straße, approximately 150 metres away on foot.

Good to know: If you are booking an external hotel stay but you are still on the lookout for an Estrel room (for example if you are on the waiting list) consider booking a flexible rate that can be cancelled. This will help smoothen things in case you really should rebook yourself into the main hotel.

If you'd like to know more about hotels in the immediate area around the Estrel, you can also look at this thread at https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,6063.0.html and the announcement at https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,8039.msg72123.html#msg72123 .

Also, a word about airBnB. Be aware that airBnB is tightly regulated in Berlin, and the Berlin senate is actively shutting down illegally run hostels. We've had a few cases where EF attendees were put in an uncomfortable situation because of their booked accomodation suddenly disappearing without warning.
Even if you are on a tight budget, always make sure to check twice. As tempting as those "sharing economy" services may be, they are of little help if they end up ruining your holiday. Pick a proper, licensed hostel or hotel, for your own peace of mind.


That's all for now! If you have any questions feel free to use our forums, the contact form on our web site (nobody ever reads the web site) or ask in any of the not-so-official Telegram groups.
« Last Edit: 19.05.2018, 21:25:36 by Schakaline »
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