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Eurofurence 26 — "Welcome to Tortuga"
Estrel Congress Center Berlin
July 28 – August 1, 2021
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Author Topic: Eurofurence 26 Travel Advisory  (Read 1942 times)

Schakaline

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Eurofurence 26 Travel Advisory
« on: 06.03.2020, 11:49:00 »




Hello everybody!

Yes, it's that time of the year! Eurofurence is rearing its ugly head again and hence it is time to slay the beast and reiterate our annual tips - if you've been here before, you've seen this before. But like the boring thing they do on plane trips, please pay attention to what's in here because there will be a written test to complete afterward. Thank you for your time!

Also, I would like to apologise for the late arrival of this year's Eurofurence hotel and travel web site information. This is due to a late running of the previous service and engineering works, but will be amended as soon as we can (i.e. I realised the stuff on there was basically from EF20, terribly outdated, and therefore pulled it off the web entirely, but never got around to actually updating it)

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. A trip to the hospital, for whatever reason, can easily cost you thousands when not insured. If you are from an EU country, make sure you have at least an EHIC card with you in case you need basic treatment - for full coverage and for visitors from outside the EU, we recommend getting private travel insurance.

Visitors from the United Kingdom: Even though the UK has yeeted itself from the European Union (for now), the previous freedoms of travel will still apply in 2020, so you should not expect any grave differences from previous years. Come 2021 however, may the deities have mercy with your poor souls...


Roads

The restricted entry low-emission zone starts just around the corner from the Estrel complex, 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.

There's still some construction going on in the general area, but the A100 is slowly finishing completion and we're not expecting any big issues like in the previous years.

Rail

Tickets, as usual, can be bought up to 90 days in advance.

You will be able to purchase discounted event tickets at  https://www.estrel.com/en/convention-center/services-references/train-tickets.html starting from €54.90 for specific trains / €74.90 for a flexible ticket.

Note that at this early stage the booking 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. Thanks to a recent change in German tax regulations, single journey long distance fares now start from as low as €17.90.

However, 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.

Air Travel

There is currently nothing noteworthy to report here, Berlin still has two pretty mediocre airports, one of them recently got new toilets, and the third one isn't open. SXF, in clear delusion of grandeur, has renamed its terminals from ABCD to KLMDKGJE-whatever (they're going to be BER Terminal 5 in case the other thing ever opens) - really, there is no news. Shoo! Look further down for the juicy bits.

Overflow Hotels

Our "preferred" overflow hotel is the andel's by Vienna House Berlin. However, again, there is no 'exclusive' Eurofurence rate this year, so feel free to use the booking portal of your choice.


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 €34.00 for a 7-day ticket.

This year, like in the previous years, there will be a  nighttime bus shuttle to the general area of the andel's Hotel during the main convention days.
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 ★★★

There also is a hostel nearby Landsberger Allee, the Generator Hostel at Storkower Straße, approximately 150 metres away on foot.

For further details (and pretty pictures) you can either look in this forum or use the web site, whenever I manage to finish this year's update.

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.

In case you're a Eurofurence first timer, we also provide a neat little booklet with bus and train timetables to help you get to the hotels in the vicinity at night. You'll be able to pick up that one once you register at the Estrel Convention Center, for free! (I spend a lot of time each year fact-checking that thing, give it a bit of love.)


*

Also, lastly, a word of caution 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.

I was lying about the test. If you read this through until the end, I love you.
« Last Edit: 07.03.2020, 09:42:05 by Schakaline »
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