Frequently Asked Questions

What is the environmental badge?

Since the Heart of Gold Hostel is situated in the Environmental Zone of Berlin, your car needs a green environmental badge ( „Umweltplakette“) to park in the immediate surrounding of the Hostel. The environmental badge shows what emission group your car belongs to.

You can buy the environmental badge at an emission examination place such as TÜV, DEKRA, GTÜ, FSP, KÜS and authorized service station, or you can make an online application in advance. It is not the car itself that gets examined, but its papers. If you do the online application you can scan the papers and send by E-mail, or send them by regular mail. It is recommended to apply at least 3 weeks ahead of your trip to Berlin so that the badge arrives in time.

index.php“Umweltplakette” – green environmental badge

The examination place closest to the hostel is the DEKRA KFZ-Prüfstelle in the Prinzessinnenstraße 17-18, 10969 Kreuzberg. You can search for other examination places by DEKRA and TÜV here.

There is no set price for the environmental badge, but normally it costs between 5 – 10€

The registration number of the car has to be written on the white field of the badge, and the badge is to apply to the windshield.

If you park in the environmental zone without the badge you may be charged 80€.

If you do not get the green environmental badge or you are not interested in getting a badge, you can simply park outside of the environmental zone. The option closest to the HEART OF GOLD Hostel would be north of the Berlin Gesundbrunnen train station. From there it takes you three stops with the train (S-Bahn) to Oranienburger Straße.

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Pets

Pets are not allowed to stay at the HEART OF GOLD Hostel.

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Prices

Our booking system calculated prices based on preset prices, current availability and the (im)probability for how many beds will be left on a particular day in the future. This means prices constantly change with new bookings and as time progresses.

This way we can offer lower prices for less requested times with low occupany – but also means higher prices for very busy days. This also ensures, that we can offer the best price possible for every single day while getting a higher average price for beds available.

If you are flexible in your travel plan, you can save this way. Please go to our online booking form and play around with arrival dates to find the best offer.

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Best Price Guarantee

We offer our beds on our own website, but also through 3rd party websites like Hostelworld, Hostelbookers, Hostelsclub and many others. These sites have their own sub-pages and affiliate websites as well.

We control the beds on these website by uploading our availability and prices. These “agents” charge a commission/provision and sometimes a booking fee on top – sometimes called “deposit”. In the end we only get the uploaded price minus the extra charges, but you pay the full price of course.

As we are low budget already, we don’t want to loose money on extra charges and thus often add the provision to our prices leading to higher prices on 3rd party channels – in short: “you pay more for the same bed!

By booking directly with us you always save as we offer the best price available – guaranteed!

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Arriving by plane at Schönefeld (SXF)

Take the Airport Express train RE7 or RB14, which goes directly to stop Friedrichstrasse and runs every 30 minutes.
Exit onto Friedrichstrasse and walk north to cross the River Spree. After the bridge take the second street to your right into Johannisstrasse, walk 150 m down the street and you will find us on the left hand side at number 11.

You can also use the train (S-Bahn) S9 to Friedrichstrasse – this just takes longer because of more stops.

Alternatively please use S-Bahn (CityTrain = green “S”) S45 from stop Schönefeld to stop Südkreuz.
Change into subway (U-Bahn) U6 and exit at Oranienburger Tor. Exit south (against driving direction) onto Friedrichstraße and turn left into Johannisstraße – we are 350m down the street at number 11.

Costs are 3,40 Euro (Ticket ABC), takes about 45 minutes. Tickets are available from ticket machines on the way to the S-Bahn. Sometimes there is a long queue so you can also try the App from BVG on bvg.de to get your ticket online.

You can find all ticket prices here (pdf).

For detailed information and alternative directions head over bvg.de

Here you can check the prices for a taxi taxi-calculator.com

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Arriving by plane at Tegel (TLX)

Take the bus 128 to subway station (U-Bahn) Kurt-Schumacher-Platz.
Get on the subway U6, direction Alt-Mariendorf. Get off at Oranienburger Tor
and exit the station in the same direction the train went. Keep walking,
take the first left into Johannisstraße, walk 150 meter down the street and you will find us on the left hand side at number 11.

Alternatively ou can take the bus TXL until stop Brandenburger Tor, then change to S-Bahn train S1 or S2 and gett off at Oranienburger Straße. Exit onto the street and walk south into Tucholskystraße. Take the first street to the right: Johannisstraße – we are at number 11.

Takes a little more than 40 minutes, costs 2,80 Euro – tickets are available directly from the busdriver or at ticket machines near the airport bus station.

For detailed information and directions go to bvg.de

Here you can find the price for a taxi on taxi-calculator.com

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Arriving by train at Hauptbahnhof / Ostbahnhof

Take any train (S-Bahn) going to direction Friedrichstrasse and get off there. It is just one stop away from Hauptbahnhof and four stops from Ostbahnhof. Exit onto Friedrichstrasse and walk north to cross the River Spree. After the bridge take the second street to your right into Johannisstrasse, walk 150 m down the street and you will find us on the left hand side at number 11.

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Arriving by bus at ZOB / Südkreuz

From ZOB:
At the nearby subway station (U-Bahn) Kaiserdamm take the U2 and go to Potsdamer Platz. Change here to train (S-Bahn) S1 or S2 and get off at Oranienburger Strasse.
Exit the station and walk south on Tucholskystraße, take the first street right into Johannisstraße, you will find us on the right hand side at number 11.

For detailed times and instructions go to bvg.de

The price for a taxi you can find on taxi-calculator.com

From Südkreuz:
Take the trains (S-Bahn) S2 or S25 and get off at Oranienburger Strasse.
Exit the station and walk south on Tucholskystrasse, take the first street right into Johannisstrasse, you will find us on the right hand side at number 11.

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Parking

Due to our central location, free parking is not available nearby. You can park in the streets in the immediate surrounding for 2 Euro/hour, if you find a spot. There is also a parking house in Luisenstr. 47-52, 10117 Berlin, it is 2,50€ per hour – max 20 Euro per day. Payment is cash or by card.

http://www.apcoa.de/parken-in/berlin/luisenstrasse.html

However we can show you free parking spots on arrival, which are about 5 minutes away by public transport. A short trip ticket for that one stop would be 1,70 Euro each way. But if you plan to don’t use a car, you buy a day-, week- or even group-ticket for the public transport instead. To NOT use a car in the center of Berlin is a good idea anyway – and you also can save money.

Prices as pdf.

Please remember you need a “Umweltplakette” for your car to drive legal in Berlin center.

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Breakfast

Breakfast is available from 8 am until noon for 5 Euro per person.
It usually consists of variations of bread, bread rolls, jam, honey, nutella, cream cheese, cheese, salami, (soy-)milk, yogurt, muesli, cornflakes, fruit, tea and coffee.
No need to reserve, just pay before you start.
It is an “All you can eat” buffet. Take away is not allowed though.

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Lockers

There are free lockers in every room! You need a padlock, which you can bring yourself or rent from reception. Before going to the rooms or after checkout you can store your belongings in our free lockers in the reception.

For valuables we also have a free safe or our special small lockers including charging facilities for laptops, cell phones, tablets or your favourite toy…

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Kitchen

We offer a free fully equipped guest kitchen (open from 8am to 11pm) including dishwasher, stove, oven, fridge, microwave, electric kettle, dishes, cutlery, pan and pot, glasses, etc. Some basic things like salt and pepper, rice, pasta and oil is available too.

At the receptopn we have a snack machine and also hot water and a microwave.

In the MegaDorm we also have a small kitchenette including dishwasher, electric kettle, microwave and a fridge – but no stove or oven for security reasons.

Also you will find lots of nice and cheap places to eat around the hostel.

 

 

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Wi-Fi / Internet

At the HEART OF GOLD Hostel we offer you free wi-fi. Also you find additional PCs in the reception area with internet access and printer available. The use is also free.

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Check-In / Check-Out

Check-In is always possible – rooms are usually ready from 2 pm.
Check-Out is until 12 noon. The reception is staffed 24 hours.
On arrival we check your booking – you register your name and address – payment is done.
If you arrive before 2pm, you can lock your stuff and explore the neighbourhood or simply relax.
If  your room is already finished, you can get directly there if you like.

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Sheets

Sheets are free and are included in the deposit you pay upon arrival.

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Towels

Towels are available in a limited number for free at reception. Although we usually have enough, it is never wrong to travel with your own towel.

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Letters & Packages

In general we cannot receive letters or packages for you.
This is because we cannot guarantee, that it will arrive at all or in time. Also on delivery we will have to confirm, that it arrived – but we cannot confirm the content or guarantee, that everything is ok with the letter or package etc. However we will never pay for any delivery when needed and we can also not accept letters, that have to be delivered to a certain person!

Of course we know, that sometimes it’s the only way to organise your travels..

So if you want to send letters or packages to the Hostel to be picked up on arrival or while you stay here, please send an Email to ask for that – please include your booking information like name, arrival, booking reference. We will get back asap.

Just some examples from the last month:

A guest sent a letter. But because the post was on strike it never arrived. He had to extend his stay – and it still never arrived.. so the whole order had to be cancelled – more costs – and still no sign of the expected mobile phone..

Another guest lost his credit card – disable it. The new one should have been sent to the Hostel. But again – it never arrived – disabled again – automatically a new one was sent out – but again never arrived..

So – to avoid problems – please ask before you just send something or let somebody else send something important to the Hostel.

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Walking Tours

Until April 2018 Brewers Walking Tours do not pick up at the hostel – we can show you where to find meeting points for this and other tours.

There is one free and one paid walking tour leaving from our hostel every day. The tours are in English and are operated by Brewer’s Berlin.
Many other walking tours in different languages start nearby.

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Jobs

At the moment we are looking for night shifts and cleaners with a chance for reception – part time or full time.

German Registration Papers are needed to start working – e.g. working Visa or EU passport.

Unfortunately we can not offer work for stay, as it is rarely legal in Germany.

To apply please send an Email to office@heartofgold-hostel.de – CV and/or photo appreciated, but not necessary.

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The Meaning of Life

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