Street Art and Murals in Vienna

Did you know that Vienna is one of the most interesting cities to discover street art in Europe?

Its scene is buzzing and renowned artists from all over the world come here to leave their artwork visible for everyone walking through the 23 districts.

You thought Vienna was all about the former Habsburg empire, castles and monuments from the past?

Get to know the other side, the modern urban Vienna. Take a walk with us starting from our two hostels in Vienna!

Around Wombat’s City Hostel Vienna THE LOUNGE

Our hostel located right next to the Westbahnhof train station is just a short walk away from some impressive murals!

Felberstraße 1, 1150

Artists: Cyrcle. / Gaia (USA), curated by Cash, Cans & Candy, a project by Gallery Ernst Hilger

Cyrcle. and Gaia left this gigantic piece on a parking garage, curated by the street art and mural festival Cash, Cans & Candy, a project by Gallery Ernst Hilger in 2014.

Just a few minutes away, on the other side of Westbahnhof, you’ll find Aldo Giannotti’s work ‘Buildings on Buildings #3’ (2017), curated by KÖR, an institution for art in public space.

Grangasse 6, 1150

Artist: Aldo Giannotti (Italy/Austria), curated by KÖR – Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien

Did you find it? Take a closer look if you’re still looking for the art 😉

Fun fact: This building used to be our former hostel ‘The Base’.

Walk a bit further down into Schwendergasse and you’ll find the Schwendergasse Public Gallery. The whole street gets repainted by street artists during festivals taking place every once in a while.

Schwendergasse 2, 1150

Artists: SKIRL, FRIEND, RUIN, Perk_up (Austria), curated by Improper Walls, Jan Arnold Gallery, Block44, Spot The Dot, Schwendergasse Public Gallery

At the moment you can see artwork raising awareness for skin cancer, painted by some of the most active local artists, SKIRL, FRIEND, RUIN, Perk_up.

The street right next to it, the hip Reindorfgasse, hosts the young contemporary art gallery Improper Walls that’s very worth checking out!

Hungry now? Get some of Vienna’s cheapest pizza at Pizzeria Mafiosi and on the way pass by this amazing mural by nita.

Reindorfgasse 31, 1150

Artist: nita. (Austria), curated by Improper Walls

Let’s walk back in direction of the city center and stop at the Gürtel avenue.

At the height of underground station U6 Gumpendorfer Straße you’ll find the following artworks:

Untergrundbahn Bogen 6, 1060

Artist: Cix (Mexico), curated by iOnArt in association with KunstBOGEN

 

Watch the making-of and interview of this mural by Mehsos:

Artist: Mehsos (Belgium), curated by iOnArt in association with KunstBOGEN, Vienna Murals

 

Around Wombat’s City Hostel Vienna THE NASCHMARKT

Our hostel next to the Naschmarkt food market is located right in Vienna’s mural epicenter.

Be sure to grab a bite and even free food samples at some of the countless food stands and restaurants.

Right next to the restaurant NENI you’ll find some great street art pieces.

Naschmarkt 510, 1060

Artist: Hoxxoh (USA)

 

Artists: Dede, Nitzan Mintz (Israel), curated by Jan Arnold Gallery & LEAP Art Prints

On Sundays or at night when the shutters close, there’s even more to discover!

Keep walking towards Falcostiege (the second exit of U4 Kettenbrückengasse station) and find a rotating wall right now showing pieces by Australian artist Lushsux, portraying celebrities and instagram-starlets. Find Falco (Amadeus) and Eminem.

Falcostiege / Rechte Wienzeile 2a, 1050

Artist: Lushsux (Australia), curated by: Jan Arnold Gallery, MQ – MuseumsQuartier Wien, Q21, in association with Burggasse 98, Oxymoron, KARMA RAMEN

Nearby Magdalenenstraße be impressed by the gigantic piece ‘Imperishable Relics’ by Evoca1.

Magdalenenstraße 12, 1060

Artist: Evoca1 (Dominican Republic / USA) – ‘Imperishable Relics’, curated by INOPERAbLE

Just a few minutes further down, you’ll see this piece by Stinkfish and RUIN and right next to it an artwork by Helmut Kand und die Mauersegler.

Hofmühlgasse 12, 1060

Artists: Stinkfish (Colombia/Mexico), RUIN (Austria), curated by Calle Libre – Festival for Urban Aesthetics

 

Artists: Helmut Kand (Austria) und die Mauersegler – Kurt Neuhold, Arturo Peña-Velarde, Christine Ulm – ‘Des Malers Sechste’

Standing in front of them, turn around and find a piece by Mr.WOODLAND in Sandwirtgasse 6.

Sandwirtgasse 6, 1060

Artist: Mr.WOODLAND (Germany) curated by Calle Libre – Festival for Urban Aesthetics

 

Where to continue now? Use this map!

Use this map by Vienna Murals and find some of the most amazing murals in Vienna!
Make sure to follow them on facebook and instagram.

 

Further street art recommendations:

Get the book Vienna Murals – Street Art Guide Vienna on www.viennamurals.at

A perfect gift to bring along as a souvenir from Vienna.

 

And if you’re here in August, don’t miss the annual Calle Libre Festival for Urban Aesthetics, where several large-scale murals get painted all over the city and side events take place.

Enjoy your stroll through the streets of Vienna!

 

 

Best Gifts to Bring from a UK Trip

There is no denying that travellers are always on the lookout for gifts and souvenirs to bring home—a certain something that will help to remind them of their exciting trip. However, many travellers can often become caught up in buying cheap knick knacks and gifts from tourist traps. Putting together a list of top souvenirs to bring home from a UK trip can be difficult since there are just so many amazing things that you can shop for. To avoid purchasing something you may only decide to throw away in a few months, we’ve put together a short list of some authentic items that you may wish to consider when travelling to the United Kingdom.

Tea from Whittard and British Tea

If youtea cup are visiting the capital of England, London comes with its very own Whittard tea shop—a very popular chain tea shop that sells exquisite teas, both hot and iced. They provide a lovely selection of quality teas from across the globe. From fruit infusions and flowering teas to oolong and flavoured green. Why not sample a few of their teas from their house blends? If you’re not a big tea drinker, they also have a wide selection of coffee and hot chocolate for you to choose from. Not only that, they have incredibly creative flavours such as strawberry, tiramisu, and even salted caramel! If you miss out on shopping in London and are perhaps visiting somewhere further afield, there are plenty of tea shops hidden around most towns and cities. It’s certainly well worth a visit.

Chocolate and Sweets

cadbury chocolateIt’s no secret that the British are absolutely in love with sweets. The British are well-known for making some of the most delicious sweets (candy) and chocolate that is often craved across the globe. The famous British Cadbury chocolate bars taste so much better, compared to the reformulated ones that you can easily find in your local supermarket. Some fantastic favourites to try are Dairy Milk, Wispa and Aero. For travellers coming from the United States of America, the Hershey Company has banned the sale of Cadbury’s chocolate in the US, which means bringing back a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate will certainly be a special treat.

Museum Gifts

museum shopThere are plenty of museums dotted around the UK, but for travellers heading to London, you should take

some time out to visit The British Museum and V&A Museum, which offer more than your regular museum souvenir shop. Admission to most museums in London is free, so your budget might be able to accommodate a visit to the museums’ shops. Both museums are known to commission special pieces and gifts for their own lines of accessories, homeware, and jewellery, which are based on their exhibits. Not only are some of the most commissioned artists based in the United Kingdom, but the collections are typically only available for purchase at museums. How’s that for a unique gift?

Vintage Treasures

Vintage piecesEngland is a treasure trove of gifts and unique antiques that range from small simple trinkets to extravagant historic artefacts. With so many different shops for you to visit and what seems to be an endless selection of vintage goods for you to choose from, you are bound to discover something that will catch your eye. If you are spending enough time in London, you should definitely focus your treasure hunt on the numerous marketplaces, such as Camden, Brick Lane or the Old Spitalfields Markets.
The weekends, in particular, see markets popping up throughout London. In East London you can easily visit Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane Market and Greenwich Market to fill your bags up with authentic vintage gifts.

Union Jack Souvenirs

union jack souvenirsFor travellers visiting London, a short walk along the streets of Central London will unearth a world of ubiquitous souvenir shops selling key chains, hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the Union Jack. You can discover incredibly interesting keepsakes that will certainly commemorate your trip to the UK!
If you are one of those, who start to think about gifts just when you stand at the airport and realise that your trip is nearly over. Union Jack souvenirs are obviously the option for you. As you can easily get literally anything labeled with an Union Jack at any British airport. 🙂

Bear Pit Karaoke at Mauerpark Fleamarket

wombat’s Top 4 Favourite Markets in Berlin

Spring has almost sprung in Berlin and what better way to celebrate the sun than to spend a hungover Sunday afternoon roaming around buying second hand goodies.  And let me tell you, there is no better way to cure a throbbing headache than walking back to the hostel with a freshly squeezed orange juice in one hand and a broken accordian in the other.

Berlin has quite a few markets on offer depending on what you’re in to.  This is a list of our favourites here at Wombat’s.

1) Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Sundays 8am –  6pm)

Located an easy 15-minute walk from wombat’s, “Mauerpark” (literally translating to “Wall Park” – it runs along one of the few remaining sections of the wall in the city) is easily one of the biggest and most famous flea markets in the city.  You can spend hours wandering through endless stalls selling all kinds of things from locally manufactured clothing to second hand watches to organic produce.

It can get pretty packed and busy though…so when the crowds are too much for you, grab a beer, have a lie down on the grass and listen to some of Berlin’s most eccentric street musicians doing their thing.  If you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to see the “Bearpit Karaoke” in full swing.  If you’ve ever wanted to butcher your favourite pop song outdoors in front of 400 people, Mauerpark is the place for you.

2) Flohmarkt am Boxhagener Platz (Sundays 10am – 6pm)

Smack bang in the middle of hipster suburb “Friedrichshain” is the small but extremely popular flea market on Boxhagener Platz.  Join the 20-somethings on their way back from the club, parents with their children and some of Berlin’s most stylish residents trawling through a huge amount of second hand books, records, furniture, clothing and other knick-knacks.

3) Turkish Market at Maybachufer (Tuesdays and Fridays 11am – 6.30pm)

“Angebot, angebot, angebooooot!”  Every Tuesday and Friday, Kreuzberg’s Maybach Canal comes alive with the sights and sounds of Turkish produce sellers offering visitors to the market the best deals on kilos of oranges/tomatoes/apples, etc. etc. etc. It is not for the faint hearted; there’s usually a huge bustling swarm of tourists, locals and families bargaining with shop-owners.  Towards the end of the market though, one can relax with a crowd of other exhausted market-goers. Sitting along the banks of the canal eating Turkish breads and dips and listening to street musicians.

4) Flea market at Rathaus Schöneberg (Saturday & Sunday 8am – 4pm)

Held in front of the Town Hall in district “Schöneberg” (where John F Kennedy made his famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech) this flea market has more of a local character where Berliners come to buy and sell their bric-a-brac.  Sellers sit under tarps and sell all kinds of random things out of cardboard boxes.  If you have the time to trawl through all the rubbish, it can be totally worth it. But don’t forget…haggle!!

Brick Lane Street Sign

What to Do in East London

East London

Touring around London, you will likely find yourself checking out all that East London has to offer. It is a popular location for all ages, but especially for anyone in their 20s. This is an area of the city built around the interests and needs of early 20s individuals. You have the shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and activities that appeal to youth in a way that you cannot find elsewhere. In East London, two of the most popular stops are Brick Lane and Shoreditch. Both offer some exceptional dining, shopping, and sightseeing, giving visitors a memorable experience that opens their minds up to all types of new things.

Brick Lane

Brick Lane was once a rundown area of London. It is covered in slums and known for its proximity to the Jack the Ripper killings. It recently began to bounce back, however, and see an improvement. Brick Lane is on the rise. The crowds flock to this part of the city to have fun and shop in the numerous vintage stores. Mostly full of pubs and shops. This area is a great place to hang out with friends or to stock up on items that you need. You can check out Blitz, Rokit, and East Gallery, as a few options for shopping and galleries. For food and drink, head over to Cinnamon, The Brickhouse, Big Chill or visit the Brick Lane Food Market on Sundays. Plenty more places are around Brick Lane, too. They brighten and liven up the streets. Even during the day, the streets are alive with musicians, entertainers, and creativity. It brings these streets to life at all times of the day and night.

Shoreditch

Shoreditch has even more to offer. This location is a trendy place for younger individuals to grab a bite to eat, go shopping, go partying, and live life. You have everything from Golden Heart. A tavern that will capture your heart from the moment that you walk in, to Cereal Killer Café, a café where you can enjoy cereals from across the globe. Whether you want to party or you want to sit for a quiet meal, there is always something right up your alley.

The huge variety of locations means that it is near impossible to list everything here. You can go have fun in places like Queen of Hoxton or you can go find food stalls and view the beautiful architecture and street art around the city. You can even check out the lively individuals that take to the streets in these locations.

10 Things You Should Bring Backpacking

Backpacking Vienna

Aim for a light pack and travel with a smile.

Travelling light is the name of the game when it comes to backpacking, after all, you have to carry everything you’ve packed on your back. For many first time backpackers, the urge to overpack is overwhelming. A good target is about 10 kg (22 lbs) of total gear, including the pack.

  1. Backpack

    Aim for carry-on size, which means 40L – 50L. If you go bigger, you will need to check your pack when flying, which can cost extra, take longer and you run the risk of lost luggage. Look for a pack that has an internal frame, padded hip belt and lots of pockets. Shop in-store and get some help finding a pack that fits you properly.

  2. Scarf

    A scarf is incredibly useful. Not only can ladies use it to cover heads or shoulders during sightseeing in churches in more conservative countries, but everyone can make use of one as a small blanket while on a train or bus, a pillow to rest your head, something to sit on while outside or even as a towel.

  3. Shoes

    Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes, suited for the weather. Hiking shoes or boots are quite popular, as they have a good grip, are a bit sturdier than regular sneakers and are ventilated to keep your feet cool and dry. Backpacking with the wrong shoes might cause serious back pain. Choose wisely.

  4. Universal Adapter Plug

    They’re small and lightweight, but essential if you want to charge things. A multi-plug USB charger also comes in very handy for all the devices that are charged that way.

  5. Tablet

    A tablet or chromebook are a great alternative to a laptop. They give you much of the functionality of a laptop but are only a fraction of the size and weight. They are also easier to hide in your pack so they don’t get stolen.

  6. Clothing

    This is where so many people overpack. You want to keep it to as few items as you can. You only need 2-3 full outfits, which you can then wash in the sink or if you’re lucky your hostel offers laundry service (by the way all wombat’s CITY HOSTELS do). If you have enough socks and underwear, an outfit can be worn a few times before it needs to be washed.

  7. Raincoat

    Make sure that you have a rain-proof coat, since it will rain at some point. A windbreaker can offer a bit of warmth when you need it and help keep you dry. If you’re backpacking in rainy seasons you might also consider getting an extra rain cover for your backpack.

  8. Ziplock Bags

    These are great for keeping stuff dry and organised. Bring extra and you can stash a snack or leftover food to eat later at your hostel or on the road.

  9. Smartphone Camera

    DSLR cameras take great photos, but are big and require multiple lenses. Consider using your smartphone as a camera. You can pick up lens kits that will fit in your pocket and give you lens options. Selfie sticks double as a monopod for when you need a steady shot.

  10. Travel Toiletries

    You should bring your own stuff, because hostels, campsites and other budget accommodations often don’t offer toiletries. Choose small units or even product samples. Avoid liquids over 100 ml. This way you save some hassle at the security checks when taking your backpack as carry-on luggage and save some time at the airport.

 

HAPPY BACKPACKING!!!

Oktoberfest

O´zapft is! How to Oktoberfest 2017

The Oktoberfest runs from Sept 16th – October 3rd 2017

What do hostel workers need most after an exhausting summer season? A 16-day beerfest, along with a hostel full of intoxicated guests. NOT, you would think, but we actually still enjoy this.

OK, we could do with less puke in the elevators, but there are the bizarre moments making up for the downsides. Like the guest we only saw wearing a helmet (“to avoid injuries when passing out”) or the guy wearing a zebra costume for breakfast. I asked him where he got that one from, to which he replied, “I don’t remember, I woke up in it.” Or the guy who returned at 3am with nothing but his underpants (he couldn’t tell how that happened, but we know it). We have seen it all, and whatever you do, we won’t tell your girlfriend. Here’s how to Oktoberfest:

Avoid the weekends.

Especially avoid Saturdays. Especially the Saturday on the second weekend, when FC Bayern has a home match. Do yourself a favour and go on a weekday. Even on a Tuesday afternoon, it’s still the biggest party on earth. It’s easier to find accommodation. You”ll have to line up less than an hour for the rollercoasters, you’ll get inside the tents without lining up for hours and a free spot at a table will be much easier to find as well.
Actually we have a special offer running at wombat’s, you can save 15% on a stay during weekdays.

Don’t try to reserve a table

Because they don’t accept table reservations when the tent is likely to be full anyway. You just enter the tent of your choice. Scan it for empty spots and ask the other people on the table “ist hier frei?” – that’s it, and it’s also a good conversation starter.

First eat, then drink!

Oktoberfest beer is stronger than the regular stuff. It can get quite warm in the tents, so you will be thirsty and might drink more than you intended. The salt on the pretzels will do the rest. Start your day with a hearty lunch – I recommend one of the many beer halls. Augustiner Bräustuben (http://www.braeustuben.de/) serves excellent pork knuckle for just €9,20. The alcohol will hit you in a much more enjoyable way when you have some lardy food in your stomach.

Leave your stuff at the hostel

The Oktoberfest throng is a pickpocket’s paradise. You won’t want to be paranoid all the time about the contents of your pockets. Also leave your eyeglasses at home, you know, drunk people sometimes throw around their arms in a somewhat uncontrolled manner…

First rollercoaster, then binge drinking

Have mercy on me. I don’t want the contents of your digestive system raining down on me when I queue up. Please!
Still, if you are not yet completely wasted, sneaking out of the tent after the first Maß and go for a ride on the giant carousel or one of the rollercosters is definitely worth the experience.

Which tent?

There are 14 big ones and 20 small ones altogether with seats for 100,000. The first one you’ll see at the main entrance is the Hippodrom, well known for its champagne bar (WTF?) and the occasional celebrity visitor. Schottenhamel is a large one (it seats 10,000) and the tent where it all starts when the mayor taps the first keg. The biggest one is Paulaner Festzelt (capacity 10,900). The best about it is the large outdoor area on its southern side, so you can enjoy the autumn sun. The locals’ favourite is still Augustiner, the only one left tapping the beer from traditional wooden kegs. The tent where the shit really hits the fan is Hofbräu – like the Hofbräuhaus beer hall it’s very popular with tourists who intend to party hard. Mind that the waitresses will ask you to leave when you have an empty stein in front of you and refuse to replace it with a full one immediately. All the tents come with very cheesy oompah-style brass music playing traditional Bavarian songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Country Roads”. You will certainly hate it until you’ve finished your fifth stein, then you’ll love it.

Don’t go to the wine tent

This is a BEERfest, for chrissake! Don’t be a nerd and drink wine. You just don’t!!!

Try not to pass out

The tents close just before midnight and those who can’t make it on their own legs any more will be brought to the slope under the “Bavaria” statue by the security guys. There are hundreds of “Bierleichen” lined up there every evening and the pickpockets will leave you with nothing but your underpants. You have been warned!

 

All in all the most important thing is to have fun. Go out and party hard!

 

If you visit Munich for the Oktoberfest, you can have free breakfast for the whole stay. Just click here to book, with the promotion code: YUMMYBEERINMYTUMMY

Grafittis in East London

East London – Off the beaten path

London’s East End, formerly known as “that part beyond the Tower”, is a vibrant area, comprised of a number of boroughs. With an area full of artists and hipsters, the home of the cockney dialect and a history that dates back to medieval times, East London holds many places that are ‘off the beaten track’ and perfect for backpackers to discover.

Hang out in Hackney for the day and enjoy an up-and-coming neighbourhood. Check out eclectic shops, great streetscapes and stop by the Wilton Way Café for great coffee and music to relax after your walk.

Want to run away with the circus? Check out an experience day at Circus Space where participants can get a taste for various circus arts including trapeze, tightwire, juggling and acrobatics.

Getting a drink in London can get a little expensive, but that’s where Happiness Forgets comes in. A little hard to find, this basement bar is located at Hoxton Square and offers a dark, cozy atmosphere and reasonably priced high end cocktails from 5 pm to 11 pm every night.

The house at 19 Princelet Street has a long and often interesting history. It has been a family home, a workshop for weavers and a synagogue. In 1969 a man disappeared completely from the third floor. Due to it’s age and condition, access is very limited, so be sure to check ahead to see when public visits are possible.

Wilton's Mahagony Bar

Wilton’s Mahagony Bar is great for a drink and if you’re lucky enough, you can enjoy some live music.

If you enjoy theatre and music, you need to visit Wilton’s Music Hall. It’s one of the oldest surviving grand music halls in the world and it opens its stage to artists of all sorts. You can also just enjoy the atmosphere with food or drink at the newly renovated Mahogany Bar, the oldest section of Wilton’s, built in 1725.

Hidden throughout London are images of the 8-bit video game monsters Space Invaders. Created by a French artist, some can be found in East London. There are more scattered around London, Hong Kong and Paris.

Graffiti in East London (Lost Souls)

If you’re into street art, East London is the place to be.

Take a walk around and check out the graffiti and street art. You can see one of the last Banksy pieces in East London, along with many other talented artists. There are many organised tours or you can try a self-guided tour.

If you prefer a more macabre tour, you can try out a Jack the Ripper self-guided tour. Visit the places where the murders took place and imagine London’s East End in 1888.

Get back to nature in the city with a walk over the green bridge, which connects Bow Common to Mile End Park. Continue on to Victoria Park in the north or walk the Regent Canal along the west side of the park.

Finally, take some time to visit the free Museum of London Docklands, to learn some of the history of the area from Roman and Viking use of the area to more modern times. You can also shop at Canary Wharf, the modern shopping, food and entertainment district build on the old West India Dock site.