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Subject: Essen - online maps and local transport rss

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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Please use this thread for info on getting around Essen.

Here is an online map of the local underground, tram and bus routes in Essen. It's a large .pdf file, but well worth downloading and saving. You can zoom quite deeply and identify most street names (no index though). The map is given out free at the main station.

http://www.evag.de/bilder/download/EssTag.pdf

EVAG is the local transport authority. There are other maps here, but they show the same stuff but for Night buses and so on:
http://www.evag.de/?p=info/netzplaene/nachtnetz

Looking at the map, bang in the middle is Essen Hbf (Hauptbahnhof), the main railway station. Just above this is the Innenstadt (the inner city), which is the main shopping centre. There are several hotels very close to the Station, in walking distance. The show halls are called the Messe and are South of the Hbf, at Messe West/Sud/Gruga on the map.

The map shows thick coloured lines for the Underground trains (U11 goes to the Messe Essen) and overground trams (101 and 107 go near the Messe) but the trams run underground through the Innenstadt. Running across the map left to right are the train lines through the Hbf. The thin lines on the map are the local buses, useful, but they do go round the houses.

Getting the U-trains or trams is easy. You buy your ticket at an automated ticket machine, they are all over every station. They have a touch screen and English language instructions, and take bank notes as well as coins of course.

There are various tickets (more on this later), but an adult ticket for a few stops was €1, and one for several stops was €1.85 I think. These are one ride only, but you can buy tickets for 4 rides, and group tickets. Please note, the short ride is called K, the longer ride is called A. It's easy to think that the K ticket is for Kinder (children), but it's not. I've yet to learn how many stops the K ticket covers (I think it's 3 or 4), but it's not sufficient to get from the Hbf to the Messe, for that you need an A ticket.

When you buy the ticket, it is not timed/dated. You must put the ticket into a date-stamp machine (they go ding!) to validate your ticket. These can be found on the steps down to the platform, or inside the trains/trams. There are no ticket barriers and I've never seen a ticket inspector, but it's NOT an honour system. Inspectors do ride the trains and if you don't have a validated ticket, you'll get fined. As a Brit, I kept forgetting to stamp my ticket, being used to the ticket already have the time/date when you buy it. Getting your ticket stamped is a habit you have to learn.


When you ride the trains on the underground, depending on the type of train, the doors don't open unless you have pressed the request button. So you could be standing there expecting the doors to open and they won't! While underground, the trains usually stop at every station. Above ground this is not always the case. It's always good to press the button...
Other trains have buttons on the doors themselves, the sort you'll be familiar with.

At the Hbf, you go down from the railway level to the Underground level. At the ticket machines, there is always a Ubahn official in uniform, ready, willing, and generally able to help you. Their English is good, but your pronounciation of German place names can fox them. It might help you to have your hotel and location (street name) written down clearly.

The stations have steps and escalators, and I think most have small lifts (elevators) suitable for disabled access, or people with heavy suitcases packed with board games. There is smoking on the Underground concourses, but I think not on the platform or on the trains.

The trains run past 11pm, but not much past. Essen is not 24/7. It is very safe to walk around Essen. I've never had a moment's trouble. Around the Innenstadt, there are always Police officers on foot patrol. I've also been very lucky with the weather, only caught in rain once. It's nice to walk the streets, but it's way too far to walk from the Innenstadt to the Messe.

I've never driven or used the taxis, so others will tell you about them.
 
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Christian Becker
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:

There are no ticket barriers and I've never seen a ticket inspector. It's an honour system, and the Germans honour it and so should you.


It's not an honour system but there are ticket inspectors riding random trains. Even though you can be lucky not being asked for your ticket there is a good chance that you WILL be asked.

Quote:

When you ride the trains, the doors don't open unless you have pressed the > request button. Other trains have buttons on the doors, the sort you'll be familiar with.


While underground, the trains usually stop at every station. Above ground this is not always the case. It's always good to press the button...

Quote:

It is very safe to walk around Essen.

I don't know ANY German city I would be afraid of walking around.
Even Berlin or Hamburg are quite safe at night.
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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I have found another map, and this one is searchable.
http://www.hot-maps.de/europe/germany/nrw/essen/homeen.html

It works pretty well, and you can type in the first few letters of the street you want and it comes up in the list.
 
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