SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
England
York
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some folk are happy in T-shirts. I usually wear two layers, but you might feel the need for a light jacket or top. It starts cool, but warms up. There are thousands of people in the show and they heat the halls. There is a cloakroom, for 2.50 Euros I think, so you can arrive at the halls dressed up and then leave your stuff at the cloakroom when you're comfortable with the situation. Definitely bring in a water bottle and biscuits, but you can easily bring in a thermos flask if you wanted.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Skinner
United Kingdom
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Are there good places in Essen to get free or low cost internet access? Everywhere I am finding is at least 8 euros/hour.

You can get 1 free hour/day in Starbucks, which is not bad, but it would be great to find other options.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Perrins
United Kingdom
Benson
Oxfordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi, I'm in the IBIS. I signed up for T-Mobile €30 for 30 days. I only need the 5 days of the show, but it is way cheaper per hour than anything else I found.
Just hunt for wireless networks and select T-Mobile.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martijn Vos
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
About that cafetaria at the Messe, I tried it today, and the food tastes a lot better than it looks. It looked a bit run-down and zombie-like when I got there, but it was the end of the day, so perhaps everybody was tired and most of the food was gone, but the food that I got tasted good.

I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a quick but decent meal.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After taking a trip to Essen 2009 and having used this forum extensively to help me on my first (and likely not last) journey to Essen, I wanted to send some updates for those planning on going in the future. We left from Montreal, Quebec so my comments on the travel portion will be for those coming from North America, so here goes:

7 How to get to the city Essen?
c By plane (UK, US, other, prices?)

Since we were first visiting our friend in Venice, we did not fly directly to Düsseldorf, but took a discount carrier from Venice to Düsseldorf. Our biggest problem was luggage, since our discount carrier only allowed one check in luggage of 20kg and one carry on of 6kg. This is not a lot of space and we ended up loading up our carry ons and school bags. Our luggage was 21kg each and there was no extra charge (which is €8/kg), so you can go slightly over, but since mailing items to North America is not a great option (pricey and your games will likely get damaged) we were able to get carry ons of up to 13kg on the plane without getting checked, so if you have a luggage problem there is a way around it (however your carry on may get checked so it is not fool proof). From Montreal to Venice we wanted to fly Air Canada, but since Air Canada's prices jumped up right before we bought our tickets, we went with Swiss. The ticket was $754 which includes two check in baggages of 23Kg each and two carry ons (one personal item and one carry on). Although this seems like a lot of space, we did not have much free space on the way back. The entertainment on Air Canada is much better however, since you each get your own TV, which is larger then the one on Swiss and you can play a large selection of movies and shows at any start time. Swiss has a schedule of start times, so if you try and start a film you may only be able to see it from the middle.

Once in Venice, we flew with Air Berlin to Düsseldorf which costs €123 and gave us one luggage of 20kg and one carry on of 6kg. From the Düsseldorf airport, we were going to take the Sky Train, which costs about €10 per person, however we checked for a taxi first and a taxi costs only €56 to our hotel in downtown Essen. We asked for a price in advance and the quoted price was exactly as stated. With the Sky Train, you would have to walk or take a taxi form your hotel, so at only €6 more (we were five) the taxi (which fit all of us and luggage perfectly) was a great deal and it was the exact same price on the way back and takes about 20 minutes.

If you decide to take the Sky Train from Düsseldorf to Essen, there is a great guide (with pictures) here.

9 How much is a room?

Our room was €75/night for a double occupancy (two single beds). But we reserved our room almost 6 months in advance. When booking, ensure you are near a Subway stop, since that is the main concern (more below).

10 How to get to the show? Local transport, u-bahn, trams, bus, stations, taxis, maps.

Taking the Subway is a great way to the show. As stated above, you buy tickets in advance and have to stamp them, the prices (for 2009) were:

K-ticket (3 stops): €1.30
Regular (unlimited stops): €2.30
Four regular tickets: €8.00
Day pass: €5.70
Five person full day pass: €11.70

We were five, so the five person pass was a great deal. All five people can go and come all day, however you must stay together since you can get asked for your ticket at anytime. We were never verified, but we still paid each day. Our stop was Essen Hbf (see Subway map here), which is five stops away form Messe Essen. Essen Hbf is the downtown stop, so there are many hotels there. If you are five, the pass is cheap, but if you want to save on the fare and can be within 3 stops, then that would be best, but once you are five, any hotel near a subway works.

Also note that the subway stops running at 11pm, but since the show ends at 7pm it is usually not a problem.

11 How to get a ticket for the show? Can you get a ticket in advance? Do you have to get a ticket in advance (pre-booked)? Does the show sell out of tickets? Can you re-enter the show? What kind of tickets are available?

At the Essen Hbf stop there is a store called Galeria Kaufhof, in the basement (not actually in the store but just outside) there is a ticket counter and you can buy your tickets there in advance. The lines at the show are long on all the days, so save yourself the wait and buy in advance.

The tickets for 2009 were €29 for the four days or €20 for the student rate for the four days. Single day tickets are less and come with a subway pass for the day (not sure of exact prices, I think it was €12/day).

Also, as mentioned above, the Messe West/Sud/Gruga entrance also brings you to the Messe Essen and you can enter from Eingang Mitte (Middle Entrance). There are less people, but make sure not to be in the ticket purchasing line. The gates are closed till about 10 minutes to ten and you can be inside before 10am.

12 Cash or credit? In the show, around Essen in general.

Cash in the show (with a few exceptions), but outside, most restaurants and places take Visa, Mastercard and American Express. I had my Amex the whole time and never had a problem, it is more accepted then here in Montreal.

13 Are games cheaper at the show?

There are some crazy deals, some games were as low as €2.50 and some were actually decent games. The new games are about €25 to €30, still pretty cheap and on Sunday afternoon you do find some deals. New games can go down up to €10, but also many are sold out.

14 Food - can you buy food in the show? Can you bring food into the show? Are there supermarkets near the halls? Are there places nearby to eat? How much are meals?

If you want water, buy it outside, since it is costly. You can buy sausages in the show for fairly cheap, along with other items, but if you drink a lot of water, buy it in advance (and the tap water is safe, so you can refill your bottle). You can bring in anything you want, so bring a water bottle to keep your stamina up.

15 Smoking?

We asked at our hotel and were confirmed that you can no longer smoke indoors in Germany except for specific designated smoking rooms (our hotel had one, but no one smoked so we gamed there). At the fair there are outdoor fresh air areas where people can go outside to smoke or get some air. I saw only two people smoking at the fair during all the four days and no smoking was present in any restaurant.

16 Tips for visitors - ATM, bags, freebies

Ask around for promos and expansions. We got tons of free expansions including Tigris and Euphrates and Atlantis. Many of these are only available at Essen so ask around. Sometimes you have to buy something, but even for the T&E expansion which was only available with purchase, we asked and we got it for free. Most stores will give you a bag, plus you can buy bags there (including a BGG bag for €1), but the free bags are often small and plastic, so to be easier to carry around, you may want to bring a nice cloth bag.

17 Games shops in Essen?

There is now a Games Workshop in downtown Essen, near the Galeria Kaufhof. The stores mentioned above can be found at the locations below using Google maps

Galeria Kaufhof: Department store with games on the second floor (which is the third floor since the ground floor is floor zero)

Toys R Us: Better then a Toys R Us in Montreal, but basically the same stuff as the Galeria Kaufhof and the Mueller store below. Wasn't really worth the visit. Prices are good at all these stores, sometimes cheaper then at the show, sometimes more expensive. But they carry certain publishers only. Most had games like Dominion, Catan, Queen's Games and the like.

Mueller: Another department store with games on the third floor. Same selection as others.

Hema / Mayersche (Book store): Games on the third floor, same as in other stores.

Also to note is that everything closes early. Most places close around 7pm or 8pm, with the exception of restaurants. But you will notice that as of 8pm, even the downtown is pretty quiet.

19 How much luggage do airlines allow?

As noted above, a discount airline will allow about 20kg and one carry on of 6kg. If you live in Europe, shipping via DLP is very cheap (about €30 for 30kg) and is located right next to the Galeria Kaufhof (here).

For those coming from North America, you get two check in luggages at about 23kg and two carry ons of 8kg. Should be enough space, but we were tight. I purchased less then the others so I had space and took some of my friends items. If you are coming from North America for the first time and are not sure when you will return, you may spend a lot, but still, weight wise you should be ok.

One of my friends brought a scale, which was the most valuable item we had. We ensured that our check in bags were one kg above the limit and then fit everything into the carry ons.

20 I can't read or speak German at all, is that a problem?

Here is why I say you should be a group of at least two or better three or four. As we all know, Euro games tend to be for three or four players, so if you are alone, you need to find at least two other players that speak English to play with you, a copy of the game and a table. Sometimes you get lucky, but other times it can take a while. Sticking together is easy if you pay attention, as mentioned above, if you are easily distracted and go into a booth, that's it, your lost. If you continually communicate, such that when you see something you call your friend over and thus you both go into the booth, then you are fine. We didn't really have many problems sticking together. We also had appointments to play games (the longer ones require appointments) and thus had some meet up times, so we tended to find each other at the scheduled game times.

Finding an English person to explain the games is easy, almost everyone at the booths is multi lingual (there is a lot of German and English, but also French and Italian). The problem is finding other players, since many people are in groups, it may take a while and then you have a slightly bigger problem if you only speak English. I speak French and I played with quite a few French people. Many of the German players also speak English, but even so, sometimes I was looking for players for 30 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday tables are also tight, so that may add to the wait. Ideally, go as a group of three or four, thus you can always be enough for the major games and one person can always branch off, but once you branch off, you will never be able to time it to rejoin your group, so don't bother. We tended to separate at the end, so that we would just meet outside at 7:15pm.

22 Apart from the show, is there anything else for a tourist to do in Essen?

Essen is a modern town and during the show there is not much else going on. On the Monday after the show there was a light festival downtown and there were fireworks on the Sunday night also. But it is not a huge tourist city like Paris or London.

As for food, the food is not the best, but you can find some decent places. In the Essen Hbf subway station there are some fast food places (no burgers, but other fast food stuff), so if you want a quick bite you can stop there. In the downtown area, again at Essen Hbf there are some decent restaurants. Mostly heavy on the meat, so if you are a vegetarian you may have to look around more. We ate at the following places:

Maredo: This is a chain but it is pretty good. Mostly steak and other meats. It cost under €20 and we all enjoyed it.

We ate at another Steak house here. I cannot remember the name, it has a long name that starts with a V I believe. It was also good and about €25 per person.

The best restaurant we ate at was Ruttenscheider Hausbrauerei (estimated location). This is like a pub, with great food and great beer (I had the light beer, which was awesome and you can get it in 1L format). It is right next to the Messe Essen, so you can go right from the fair.

In the downtown area, Essen Hbf stop, there are also a lot of stands outside that sell stuff. There is a sausage stand, which you can get with bread or with onions (the onions are better), there is also a place that sells fish n chips (very heavy, I didn't like it but others did). You can find some dessert places, there is one place that sells strawberries dipped in chocolate (I hear it is good but did not have one), oven baked pizza (also didn't really like it) and there is a place that sells beer and you can drink it on the street. The beer is €2.50, but you have to pay an additional €2.50 for the glass, but you get that back when you return the glass, so don't be shocked when they ask for €5.00 for the first beer. They also have hot chocolate there that you can add run or amaretto (quite tasty from what I hear). There is also a stand that sells gluvine which is red or white wine that is heated with various citrus fruits and spices which I also hear is really good.

Our hotel did not have Internet, but downtown there are plenty of Internet and Call shops that give access for €1/30 minutes. The Messe Essen does not have Internet and neither does the Starbucks. Essen seems to be owned by T-Mobile for cell phones and it was a pain to get Internet access at hot spots (we also tried the mall) since T-Mobile makes it very complicated or costly.

28 What's the best way to get games home? Can I ship games from the show?

See above
14 
 Thumb up
0.26
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Murat Onart
Mali
Bamako
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does anybody know when the first Essen Fair was held?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1983. Something like 24 exhibitors, I seem to remember someone telling me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Martin
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Mwa ha ha ha ha
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pezpimp wrote:
9 How much is a room?

Our room was €75/night for a double occupancy (two single beds). But we reserved our room almost 6 months in advance. When booking, ensure you are near a Subway stop, since that is the main concern (more below).


Hi Michel,

What hotel did you stay in?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Mathes
Germany
Essen
NRW
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
HilkMAN wrote:
1983. Something like 24 exhibitors, I seem to remember someone telling me.


Yes, it was in 1983 . . . but the SPIEL was a more amateur thingy, one or two dozen game authors and small scale publishers - lasting only one day and taking place in the rooms of the "Volkshochschule" (adult education centre) in Essen.

After three or five years - i think, there was even a year without a SPIEL in between, it had grown too large for the rooms and was transplanted to the Messe-Essen and comercialised .

The first ten years in the halls of the Messe-Essen still had some unoccupied area with tables and benches for visitors to set up games by themselves.

I think, the last "unclaimed" tables were desintegrated when the CCGs came up . . . they were all occupied by frelance card dealers arrrh

Ciao

Martin M.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In 1990, when I first went there, my job was to tell people what role playing games were - There was a rather large empty area upstairs, and when someone went up the escalators, I would talk to them. That was not a very stressful job back then.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry for the late reply, we stayed at:

Hotel Kessing
Hachestrabe 30, 45127 Essen
Tel: 02 01 - 23 99 88
Fax: 02 01 - 23 02 89
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
oskari
Finland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any idea whether school holidays will coincide with the Messe this year?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ingo Keiner
Germany
Oberhausen
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
oskari wrote:
Any idea whether school holidays will coincide with the Messe this year?


Yes.
The "autumn-holidays" are from 11.10.-23.10. (Messe is from 21.10.-24.10.)


Edith said, the 24th is also a "holiday-day" as it´s of course a sunday.
4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ingo Keiner
Germany
Oberhausen
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You all should be aware of the fact, that Essen is the European Capital of Culture 2010.

This seems to have direct consequences on the hotel-vacancies.
gavingva mentioned here, that several hotels are already (nearly) fully booked. So, come on, hurry up!

Nevertheless, it also has it´s superb sides.
Some links:
http://www.essen-fuer-das-ruhrgebiet.ruhr2010.de/en/programm...
the main site of the event

http://www.lwl.org/LWL/Kultur/Aufruhr/ausstellung/Ausstellun...
for the medieval interested

http://www.essen-fuer-das-ruhrgebiet.ruhr2010.de/no_cache/en...
Additional to our online program-section, you can find here all RUHR.2010 highlights of the day available for download in PDF

http://www.ruhr-tourismus.de/en.html
the "tourist-info" for the whole area

http://www.ruhrtopcard.de/
if you decide to stay for longer, you should consider to buy this card. it gives you free entrance in a lot of museums and other attractions. one can really save some money here.


Any questions (translation-problems)? Feel free to send me GM! I try to answer them.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
F. F.
Germany
Bochum
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
quatsch7 wrote:


As someone who is part of the team working to realize this exhibition I can heartily recommend visiting AufRuhr 1225. It's going to be the biggest exhibition on medieval history and archaeology in North-Rhine Westphalia ever and is just 20-30 min. away from Essen (Autobahn A43, Exit Herne-Eickel).
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lars Rügenhagen
Germany
flag msg tools
mb
just a little tip on the pronunciation of german umlauts : it easy if you know or heard a little *french* : "ä" sounds like the french "ai", "ö" like french "eu", and "ü" like french "u".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Xander
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
EYE of NiGHT wrote:
Often these hotels are smaller, family run places, known in Germany as hotel 'Garni'

A Hotel Garni is a hotel without its own restaurant, offering breakfast but no half-board or full-board options. Often the places who operate this way are the smaller and un-multinationally-chained ones, but that's not technically part of the definition.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Teo
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i have some noob questions:

a) how does a 1st timer get as immersed as he can into ESSEN? some thoughts i have for e.g. like volunteering at a booth..
any suggestions?

b) are there badges / medals to collect where you can turn into great discounts? (like i heard before at gencon?)

c) i can probably only arrive on sat morning and leave sun evening. are there any events that are must-go-to-and-only-happen-on sat and sun?

d) what time does everything close on sun?

thanks a bunch!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A Derk appears from the mists...
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
a) Show up on Thursday. Weekends are nuts. This isn't a typical 'convention.' As I mentioned in the other thread, it's really more of a shopping mall for board games. You're gonna show up for the most crowded portion. It does help to have a group to travel with if you want to play games, but that's even more difficult if you're there on Saturday/Sunday.

b) Not that I know of.

c) Other than press and industry events (and very few of those, even fewer of those are English), there's really not a lot to do like that. Essen is mostly about publishers showing off their latest and greatest stuff and giving the public an opportunity to buy it without a middleman taking a cut.

d) 6pm, I believe, an hour before normal closing time.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Teo
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hmmm... oh well..... i guess the experience ought to be fun and i'll ask politely before i join any bging group.

if i do go, i'll be going alone (unless wifey joins me)

so mostly is just to go see new stuff, get good deals (or freebies with purchases) and experience boardgamegeekdom
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While it will be terribly crowded, particularly on Saturday, you will still have a chance to play with others. It might actually be easier to join a group of three or so that just sits down somewhere than to find a free table for a group of four. Enjoy the experience, there is enough to do there.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
England
York
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
duckizz wrote:
a) how does a 1st timer get as immersed as he can into ESSEN? some thoughts i have for e.g. like volunteering at a booth..
any suggestions?


Don't work on a booth unless you really want to help a buddy. For your first visit, it will totally tie you down for hours. Once you've done a few years at Essen, then helping out is good, especially if you speak various languages. But for your first year, don't do it.

Instead, do your planning well before time. Work out which games you really really want to see. Use the Spielbox lists or subscribe for the BGN guide. Work out which game is at which stand, and how to get there. Try and make the most of your time instead of going back and forth. But also, keep your eyes open as you walk round. There are always little hidden surprises worth stopping to see, so leave gaps in your schedule.

Bring lots and lots of cash. Lots. No, more than that. More.

Quote:
c) i can probably only arrive on sat morning and leave sun evening. are there any events that are must-go-to-and-only-happen-on sat and sun?


Some of the designers will be scheduled to appear at certain booths/stands at certain times, usually for a signing. Fpr example, typically the designer of the SdJ will be at the Galeria Kaufhof to sign for an hour one day. Klaus Teuber will be at the Kosmos stand and so on. If you can find out who will be where, then you can at least meet some of the big names, if only briefly. Some of them can be very generous with their time though. I've had several long discussions with lots of the designers over the years.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Teo
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wow thanks for your good advices! now to convince the wifey to go with me and that i need to go lol
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Coen Velden
Germany
Geldern
Deutschland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
duckizz wrote:
wow thanks for your good advices! now to convince the wifey to go with me and that i need to go lol


Most important thing is to convince her that YOU need to go, I never took her with me to Essen, but "surprised" her on my return.

"Don't you have enough boardgames already? You haven't even played all of the games you own, and you neither have the time!"

whistle
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Yeager
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
And the thing of it is, there's a lot to see even if you're NOT into games (granted, not as much as if you are, but...). My wife will be joining me again for this trip (her third; she goes every other year), and she's found all sorts of things I would have normally overlooked: the ceramics dealers, bead-sellers, textiles, and jewelry, frex. Plus, there's always the promise of day trips afterward (in our case this year, bumming around Köln for a couple of days...)

Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
[1]  Prev «  3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7  Next »  [20] | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.