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German Giga Announcement?

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It seems a new icon is coming! The long-mooted Giga cache event type for 5000+ cachers may be being released today. Given the number of Will Attends already listed (about to jump up?) it could be this Munich event (August 15-17 this year) and if it is, I plan to organise a coach or coaches to go out as I suspect there will be no shortage of interest in the UK. More info when I have it!

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Regarding prices:

You don't have to pay if you just want to attend and log. But to get into the closed area or want to take part in the offered attractions, you have to pay.


Fees to get into the "action area" are only 8€ per person (pre-registration through the website, on-site it will cost a bit more). Kids below 12 years age are free.


There are additional costs for several attractions in the surrounding area of the event (commercially available during the year), which offer reduced prices for registered attendees: climbing the architectural interesting roof installations of the olympic grounds (1972 summer olympics in Munich), Flying-Fox (flying down a steel line) over the soccer grounds there, visiting the olympic tower (tv broadcast antennas and a turn table restaurant) with beautiful sight over Munich and some more. There are surrounding events at Friday and Sunday in beergardens and restaurants (however, Sunday brunch at Hofbräuhaus already is booked out), where some costs arise for reservation and food.


Additionally, you may support the organizers buying the event t-shirts and geocoins.


Watch out: don't underestimate the costs for hotel, eating, public transport and generally staying in Munich. But that's not Geocaching-/event specific, it's just not the cheapest city in Germany...


At least the whole lot of interesting caches in and around the city are free.


Welcome to Munich! :)

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By the way, on a Giga related topic, has anyone else noticed that since the introduction of the Giga icon this morning all the stats icons, bars and number totals are now misaligned on the 'Cache Types I've Found' section of the stats page. Just looks really odd - especially that the trad line (at the top for most people) has had its top chopped off.


Not expecting them to fix it any time soon (after all we're still waiting for the code to include lab caches on our personal stats pages some MONTHS later) but still, you'd have thought as they knew this one was coming, they'd have made the box bigger to fit it.

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Certainly interested - I have to admit I looked up flights this morning and found there essentially wasn't any from Heathrow to Munich for a normal price anymore! Then again, it is August. :)


The thought of caching on the way there through a variety of countries makes it a very tempting prospect, that's for certain. **signs up for Facebook group**

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Cheaper flights may be available to other airports in Bavaria than directly to MUC.


Not far away around Munich is Memmingen airport (IATA-Code: FMM). Ryanair offers flights from/to UK and Ireland. Germanwings/Eurowings connects FMM with Hamburg and Berlin, maybe you can get a cheap connection there. To Munich you need a car (~2hrs) or take the regional train.


Other suitable airports may be Stuttgart and Nürnberg. From them the travel to Munich will be significant longer (but highspeed train connections exist with ICE). Good enough if you're planning to stay for several days.


Have a nice trip! :)

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Thanks for the extra info folks!


Bump for this as an affordable £60-a-head (about 1/2 of flight costs) for travel from Milton Keynes Coachway (by the M1, free car parking, easy to get to) is looking possible. As is a nip across international boarders to pick up caches in NINE(!) countries on the way there and back. Please see the Giga Or Bust! Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/gigaorbust for more info B)

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Has anyone ever bought one of the Umweltplakette stickers before? Seems griefy.

Yes, I have one, nothing to worry about.

The sticker costs something around 3-8 EUR, if you get it from a local administrative office, a car repair shop or one of the german technical surveillance companies (TÜV, DEKRA, KÜS).


General information and a really greedy (30-60 EUR!!!) shop for buying those stickers in english: http://www.environmental-badge.co.uk/en/environmental-badge.html


Regarding environmental protected zones, Munich inner city is very restrictive: http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/home_en/Environment-and-Health/Low_emission_zone (english).


Don't drive there without the appropriate sticker, they do check.


However, I wouldn't recommend driving into the inner city by car at all. Munich has a very good, dense, reliable and safe public transport system including busses, street cars ("Tram"), underground and suburban trains, all operating within a common tariff system (zone logic). The system even reaches out to the surrounding counties. So best suggestion may be to take a hotel out of the inner city limits, park your car there or at a suburban train station's park&ride then go to Munich by public transport. Most locals do it this way.


For tourists I'd suggest buying a day ticket or even a week card, if staying a bit longer. If you really know where you go or like to read zone plans, a stripe card may be enough (but you have to find out, how much stripes you have to stamp). There is a mobile ticketing system and a smartphone app for route planning available.


Don't try using public transport without paying, they control very strictly, will throw you out of the vehicle and charge a fee of ~60 EUR, sometimes even plus police investigation.


More information about public transport in Munich on the company and the network websites: http://www.mvg-mobil.de/en/ and http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/index.php?id=3976 (english).


You won't need a Umweltplakette for your car then. It's not required for most parts of Germany (and not for the Autobahn or other out-of-city roads), mostly just for several inner cities - including Munich.


BTW: On several places in Munich, the city provides free WLAN/WiFi hotspots (Marienplatz, Odeonsplatz, Sendlinger Tor, Karlsplatz/Stachus). Some McDonalds and Burger King restaurants have free WLAN/WiFi as well. Your hotel most probably has access.


Have a nice stay in Munich!

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My advice to anyone considering this trip - or the Giga in general - is to book accommodation on a reserved basis as soon as possible. Many hotels/sites offer free cancellation right up til the 14th of August so you've nothing to lose. According to one popular hotel booking site, Munich's hotel/hostel/B&B beds are over half full and prices seem to be going up quickly in response. So, don't delay, book today!

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