The road to Gamescom 2015 – part 2

Welcome to the second part of the “Road to Gamescom” series.
In this post I will talk about some of the other things that can be very handy for planning a trip to this (or future) Gamescom.  As it is such a large event it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the possibilities and things you can do there.
Besides gaming, that is.


Depending on where you live there are different ways to get to Cologne for Gamescom. If you live nearby it’s easy to just hop in a car, on a bike or on public transport, but those who live further away need to look into some different choices.

  • A car is a perfect way to get to Gamescom. My first Gamescom we went two days and both days we drove from the Netherlands to Koelnmesse and back. There was enough parking available and the locations is clearly marked as soon as you get into Cologne. To make it more worthwhile see whether you can go with a bunch of friends and split the fuel bill. And it is always nice to have company on the road.
  • The train is my personal choice of transportation. And this is largely to do with how fast and easy it is if you live in one of the neighbouring countries. From Utrecht, the Netherlands to Cologne, Germany is just a bit over 2 hours and a return-ticket only costs you around 75 euros. If you are a student, or own a discount card it’s even cheaper. Just look at different arrival/return times and by leaving earlier or later than the rush-hour you can get very good prices.
  • Airplanes, if you are from really far away a plane-ride might be the only way. Cologne has it’s own airport but not every airline might fly directly to it. Best way is to check on your local travel sites whether the airline travels there directly or that you need a connectiing flight or a train-ride. In our case it was just too expensive, being almost three times the price of the train.

After all that gaming and walking you are bound to get hungry and thirst for some drinks and snacks. Like I said in my previous post just take some small bits with you to eat/drink while you are waiting. But the Koelnmesse also has plenty of opportunities if you need something else to eat/drink.
In between halls you can find several open spaces where you can get an assortment of food and drinks. But be warned that it will be expensive and a lot of the food is junk-food like pizza, fries, bratwurst, hamburgers and the likes. Luckily there are restaurants as well who serve more healthy options during the event.
My personal recommendation? I liked the noodles and the crepe with Nutella/Banana is just divine.

This year I think we will opt to just walk back to the train-station/ inner city. This is only a fifteen minute walk which will take you over the bridge with gorgeous view of Cologne. When you are in the train-station there are several places where you can grab a bite to eat. And if you walk out the station there are more restaurants available.
No matter where your eat make sure you pack enough water and small snacks for in between meals. The Con is pretty much sold out and the halls are crowded, hot and at times a bit uncomfortable. Having water on you is a lifesaver. And while it might be very tempting to get a beer during the event, make sure you have drunk and eaten enough beforehand. Nothing is more annoying than a bunch of drunken gamers who drank too much beer on an empty stomach.

Internet/ Wifi
The Koelnmesse has a wifi connection… or so they say. Basically with so many people on the event all trying to access the wifi spot there is no (stable) connection available. So if you are a visitor and you want to use twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like, you need to use your own connection. So make sure that you have enough pre-paid and keep that data-usage in check.
If you are from outside Germany you can take a look at the special Holiday package that most phone-companies offer. In my case I will pay 5 euro to have 100 mb for during Gamescom. If you are outside the event you can use the wifi of the hotel or places like Starbucks/ McDonalds and others.

Other events
Images property of Gamescom

What else to do
Besides gaming there is plenty of other stuff to do at the Gamescom.
First off is a huge hall filled with shops that sell the official merchandise of the games that are present at the event. In some cases you can even pick up exclusive products of certain titles. There is also a area for videogames fans who sell their own fanart work and prints and is well worth the visit.
This year the Cosplay village is there as well. For me this is one of the highlights every time as I adore cosplay and I am always so impressed with how much craftsmanship and love people put in their costumes. And this year there are some amazing cosplayers in attendance, people like Kamui Cosplay. I can’t wait to see all these amazing costumes and find some inspiration for my own projects.

But there is also an area where you can sit back and relax and play some lasergaming, RC-cars or take a look at the awesome case-modding.
And on the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can go to Videogames Live! I have to say that if you really love music and never seen them before, it’s well worth the ticket. I was luckily enough to catch them a few years ago at the Worldwide Invitational.

Last Minute Gamescom Tickets
At this point on tickets for the Sunday are still on sale, and those are running out as well. In Germany you could also buy the tickets at the the Saturn shops but from what I have heard they are also all sold out there.
If you really want to go on one of the sold out days you only have two viable options left. You can either start queuing early on for the afternoon tickets and hope you get in. These tickets will be given out and allow you entry after 14.00 on the day itself. It’s not best option but it is the cheapest one and you will have guaranteed access. Be early though as lines were already in place at 09.00 in the morning.
The other option is go through 3rd party sellers. Not the most advisable and it will mean you are likely to spend a huge amount of money. The prices on the local Dutch market are already through the roof. My suggestion is to go for the afternoon ticket or save up for next year.

My own Plans
This year  I will be in Cologne for a couple of days to get my geek on and see some of the city.
For Gamescom I have tickets for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. While there I will be taking pictures and trying to visit as any of the many games as I can.
Chances are we will only be there for a bit on the Friday and will do other stuff outside the con as well.
On the Saturday I decided not to go as last year we more or less fled since it was too busy. So we opted to spend that day to do some shopping and visit a Star Wars exhibition in Cologne. And in the evening we have the amazing Warframe – TennoVip party! This event is being organized by the team of the game Warframe. Last year they organised a TennnoLive event which was amazing as well.

Next week I will tell more about stuff I am queuing up for and what else I am planning to do when I am not at Gamescom.

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