This map is meant as on overview for getting to the venue, including also recommendations around the conference.
If you want to get around in Heidelberg, public transport might be one of the best options. If you have no issues with German-only webpages you will get the best travel recommendations from the traffic association VRN. The Deutsche Bahn website offers multiple languages. If you want to use a nice (Android) app, we can recommend Öffi.
Almost everyone will reach Heidelberg via the Central Station (Heidelberg Hbf). To get to the main venue, it is best to take the tram 24 heading to Handschusheim/Schriesheim and exit on Technologiepark. The tram leaves at Central Station on platform E.
If you come from other parts of Heidelberg you can also take the bus 31 from Bismarckplatz heading to Chirurgische Klinik/Kopfklinik and exit on Technologiepark. The bus leaves Bismarckplatz on platform F.
You have a local transport ticket included in your SotM ticket for the days of the State of the Map conference (21–23 September). You will get the ticket by email in advance. Please print it out and take it with you while travelling. It is only valid together with your ID card (EU/Schengen citizens) or passport. It is valid in the whole VRN area, see the map below for details.
If you want to buy public transport tickets for the days before or after the conference, you might use the vending machines found at most stations. When using busses you can also buy tickets directly from the bus driver. When travelling within Heidelberg, you most likely need to buy a ticket at "Preisstufe 2" (also called “Großwabe Heidelberg”), which costs € 2.60 for a single ticket or € 7.00 for a day ticket. Prices for the day fare get cheaper if you travel in groups of up to 6 people.
If you want to buy your ticket with your smartphone, you can use the Deutsche Bahn app “Navigator” that sells not only train tickets, but also local transport tickets at many places in Germany. If you prefer buying tickets at the vending machine, be aware that some tickets have to be stamped. If you buy your ticket at (mostly blue) RNV vending machines, you have to devalue/stamp your ticket inside of the busses or trams to be valid. Tickets from DB vending machines are valid immediately after the purchase. (More information in German).
If you are travelling from / to Heidelberg by train, check out if you have a +City on your DB train ticket. That means that your train ticket includes a City-Ticket and is therefore also valid for a single ride in Heidelberg to your final destination. But be aware that the city ticket is only valid on the first day of validity of the ticket.
If you like riding bikes, you can use VRNnextbike or Call a Bike. You have to register for both services, but be aware that VRNnextbike has a lot of stations, but Call a Bike only has one at the Central Station.
Since a few weeks, we have an e-scooter rental service in Heidelberg: Tier. You can find more information on their website or in their app. If you are not aware of the (special) German regulations where and how to drive, please ask someone who can help you.
If you want to use a taxi in Heidelberg, normally you will find enough at transfer points like Heidelberg Central Station or Bismarckplatz. If you want to call for one, just call the taxi control center Heidelberg: +49 6221 30 20 30
During the conference, you can get information via Twitter by the official account @sotm. Everyone that is tweeting about the State of the Map should use the hashtag #SotM2019. If you prefer using Telegram, you can join the Telegram State of the Map Group to have a chat with other people attending the State of the Map. We will also post important information in this Group.
Running a conference is a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun and very rewarding. Though the local team have many aspects of the conference covered, we are always looking for eager people who can volunteer to help out with some tasks during the conference. So if you want to add that little extra to the conference and can volunteer just a little of your time, head on over to the SotM 2019 Volunteer system!
This year we are using the Engelsystem tool as a means of managing volunteers. Once you have registered, you can assign yourself to shifts throughout the conference. Things that we need help with include helping at the registration desk, refilling the drink tables during breaks, and working the cameras that are used for live streaming talks.
Here we give you a little bit of extra information that might make your visit to Heidelberg a little easier if you are aware of it.
One thing that can confuse a lot of people the first time they are in Germany is that most things that come in plastic or glass bottles have a deposit on them (Pfand). This is basically there to reduce the amount of waste being produced. So when you are in a shop, the large price shown is normally the price without the deposit, and so at the checkout a bit extra is added to the bill (normally between 10 and 50 cents). To get this money back, when you have finished you take it to a supermarket (most bottles can be returned to any supermarket) and you put it in a machine called the Rückgabe / Leergutautomat / Pfandrückgabeautomat, where you put the bottle in a little hole and then you get a receipt saying how much deposit was on it. Then take that receipt to a checkout and they will return the Pfand, or take the amount off of whatever else you are buying.
Here is a collection of some places to see, eat and drink that people from the local organising committee recommend (we are not affiliated with these places, they are just our own personal recommendations)
Rada Coffee (Cafe) - Located in Untererstraße, Rada Coffee is a small family owned cafe with a great selection of coffee beans and some south american recipe bakery snacks and cakes. They actually roast the coffee beans themselves on site...
Brauhaus Vetter (Brewery/Restaurant) - Close to the old bridge with plenty of German food options and their own brewed beer.
The Dubliner (Irish pub) - If you have had your fill of German beer, then the Dubliner on Hauptstraße has Guinness and some ciders. They often have live music and sports on the TVs
Zum güldenen Schaf (Pub/Restaurant) - Traditional rustic German decor and a good selection of food and drinks.
Eiscafe Puro (Ice cream) - Lots of different flavours of very tasty icecream.
Marktplatz (Neuenheim) - Nice outdoor seating, there are quite a few restaurants.
Mahlzeit (Burger restaurant) - Though relatively small, Mahlzeit has possibly the best burgers in Heidelberg with a good selection including vegan and vegetarian options.
Das Bootshaus (Restaurant) - Good burgers and steaks, though a little bit more on the expensive side.
Gilberts Goldener Adler (Pub/Restaurant) - Traditional rustic German decor and a good selection of food and drinks.
Zum Ritter (Pub/Restaurant) - Bulgarian food in a rustic German setting.
In and around Heidelberg, you shouldn't struggle to communicate as a large proportion of locals have good English skills. Just in case though, here are some phrases that might be useful during your visit: