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 surroundings 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 car workshops, 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 have to count with a ticket of 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 Bernauer Straße. From there you can then walk 20 minutes to the hostel or take the S-Bahn (commuter train) one stop from S Nordbahnhof to S Oranienburger Straße.

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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 SCHÖNEFELD

Take the Airport Express train RE7 or RB14, which goes directly to 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 in number 11.

For detailed info and directions please go to bvg.de

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

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Arriving by Plane TEGEL

Take the bus 128 to U-Bahn-Station (Underground) Kurt-Schumacher-Platz.
Get on the 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 m down the street and you will find us on the left hand side in number 11.

For detailed infos and directions go to bvg.de

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

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Arriving by Train

Take any S-Bahn going to Friedrichstrasse, just 1 stop away from Hauptbahnhof and 4 stops away 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 in number 11.

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Arriving by Bus

From ZOB:
At the nearby U-Bahn-Station Kaiserdamm take the U2 and go to Potsdamer Platz. Change here into 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 in 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 S2 or S25 and get off at Station 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 surroundings for 2€/hour, but it’s oft full. There is also a parking house in Reinhardtstrasse 27A, the first hour costs 2,50€ and after that it’s 1,50€/h, 24h cost 25€. Payment only by EC/Maestro-Card (no cash).

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 1,60 euro each way. But if you plan to don’t use a car and by a dayticket for the public transport instead – which is a good idea anway – you can save money.

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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, 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 lcokers including charging facilities for laptops, handy’s, tablets, iPad’s or your favourite toy..

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Kitchen

We offer a free fully equipped guest kitchen from 9am to 10pm including dishwasher, stove, oven, fridge, microwave, electric kettle, dishes, cutlery, pan and pot, glasses, etc. Some basic things like salt and pepper, oil is available as well.

We have a snack machine at reception 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.

Als you will find lots of cheap places to eat around the hostel.

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Wi-Fi / Internet

We offer free Wi-Fi access in the lobby and 4 free internet terminals including free printing.

In the reception and smokers room, main parts of the MegaDorm, and the 1st and 2nd floor the wireless access is fast and stable – not in other floors.

We are working hard to make the wireless network accessible in all rooms by the end of 2016!

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Wi-Fi in the Rooms

There is fast and stable WIFi in the reception, smokers room and yard area. Also in all rooms on the first and 2nd floor and also the main part of the MegaDorm.

We are working on the other rooms and the rest of the MegaDorm and hope to have that finished end of 2016!

So we are looking forward and are sorry for the inconvenience meanwhile…

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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 of course go to the room 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

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 not looking for new staff.

In general we can not offer work for stay.

Please feel free to send your application anyway.

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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