free guides Budapest free walking tours Budapest

Welcome,

have a great time in Budapest and stay at wombat´s CITY Hostel!

Our reception staff member prepared some interesting guides for you, check it out!

24 hour guide Budapest

72 hour guide Budapest

We also offer free walking tours, more information at the reception.

your womcrew Budapest

womTip

 

Brick Lane Street Sign

What to Do in East London

Brick Lane and Shoreditch

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 was once a rundown area of London, 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. It 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 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.

Discover Vienna with our free womwalk!

The free walking tour Vienna

You want to get some spectacular views of the Austrian capital Vienna, see heaps of great historical sights and meet nice people for good drinks and food? No problem, our womwalk has it all for you – for free!

The walk starts at our wombats CITY HOSTEL “The Naschmarkt”, where you meet up with other travellers taking part. Our certified city guide Charles takes you on a tour along famous Viennese sights like the Naschmarkt, the Opera or the St. Stephen’s Cathetral, giving you first class background information. For time schedules, please ask at the reception! The walk also includes stops at the legendary “Würstlstände” (traditional food stalls) and ends at the “12 Apostel Keller” (“Twelve-apostle’s cellar”), a really old wine cellar in the heart of Vienna – so plenty of typical Austrian food and excellent wines are at your delight! The participation in the womwalk is free and an exclusive service to travellers staying at wombat’s CITY HOSTELs; you just pay for your food and drinks.

All guests taking part so far were excited. The womwalk proofed to be a great opportunity to get a first impression of the city and meet other travellers from around the world. A perfect start for a good stay, for your wombats experience!

For more information don’t hesitate to contact our reception staff in the hostels. We are looking forward to walk with you!

 

Oktoberfest

O´zapft is! How to Oktoberfest 2016

The Oktoberfest runs from Sept 17th – October 3rd 2016

What do hostel workers need most after an exhausting summer season? A sixteen-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 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.

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 with me. I don’t want the contents of your digestive system raining down on me when I queue up. Please!

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 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!

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 over pack. 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 get lucky and your hostel offers laundry service, btw. 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 100ml. This way you save some hassle at the security checks when taking your backpack as carry on luggage and save some time on the airport.

 

HAPPY BACKPACKING!!!

Best gifts to bring from a UK trip

There is certainly no denying that travelers 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 travelers can often become caught up in buying cheap knick knacks and gifts from tourist traps. It can be considerably difficult to put together a list of top souvenirs and gifts to bring from a UK trip, simply because 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 matter of months, we have put together a short lift of some authentic items that you may wish to consider when travelling to the United Kingdom.

tea cupTea from Whittard and British Tea.

If you are visiting the capital of England, London comes with its very own Whittard tea shop which is 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 flavored green. Why not sample a few of their teas from their house blends? If you are not a big tea drinker, they also have a wide selection of coffee and hot chocolate for you to choose from, and 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 Sweetscadbury chocolate

It’s no secret that British, are absolutely in love with sweets. The British are certainly 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 when 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 an extra special treat.

museum shopMuseum Gifts

There are plenty of museums dotted around the United Kingdom, 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 you might be able to plan some more money in for a visit to the museum shops. Both museums are known to commission special pieces and gifts for their own lines of accessories, homeware, and jewelry 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 pieces

Vintage Treasures

England is a treasure trove of gifts and unique antiques that range from small simple trinkets to extravagant historic artifacts. 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 market places, such as Camden, Brick Lane or the Old Spitalfields Market.
Especially on weekends there are markets popping up everywhere in 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 souvenirsUnion Jack Souvenirs

For travellers visiting London, a simple short walk along the streets of Central London will unearth a world of ubiquitous souvenir shops which sell key chains, hats and t-shirts that are emblazoned with the union jack. There are plenty of fantastic places around the London capital where you can discover incredibly interesting keepsakes that will certainly commemorate your trip to the United Kingdom!
If you are one of those, who start to think about gifts just when you stand at the airport and realize that your trip is nearly over. Union Jack Souvenirs are obviously the option for you, as you can easily literally get anything labeled with an Union Jack at any British Airport :)

72 Hours in Vienna – City Guide

72-hours City Guide

Vienna

Day 1: Encounter the old city

Never been to Vienna?

Well, it’s about time then.

There is a lot to be seen, and our tips how to see Vienna in three days may be a good start.

 
After breakfast, start the day with a tour of the Imperial Palace, viewing the private rooms of Emperor Francis Joseph (ruled 1848-1916) and those of his wife, Empress Elisabeth. In the Imperial Apartments, the Sissi Museum gives an insight into the life of the beautiful empress.

Certainly a must here: the Treasuries with the magnificent crown jewels.

Full-dress performances at the Spanish Riding School tickets must be ordered in advance.

Time for a little break? Drop into the dignified Demel cake shop, once a Purveyor to the Court (Kohlmarkt 14).

You can then continue to Judenplatz for a short visit to the Judenplatz Museum and the memorial in remembrance of the persecution of the Jews. You can also explore the maze of narrow streets where time seems to have stood still.

Now on to the oldest church in Vienna, St. Rupert’s (8th century), from where you have a nice view of the Danube Canal and Franz-Josefs-Kai. Climb up again to explore the medieval romanticism of Hafnersteig, Heiligenkreuz Court, the Jesuit Church and the quarter around Blutgasse, reaching on these winding paths the very centre of Vienna: St.Stephen’s Cathedral the city’s most famous landmark for just 850 years. If your feet will still carry you, climb the 343 steps of the south tower: the panoramic view is certainly worth it. (Guided tour of the cathedral at 3 pm)

Go for a stroll across Graben with the baroque Plague Column or in the famous Kärntner Strasse, both of which are lined with nice shops and cafés and street musicians or artists playing at every other corner. Walk through the pedestrian zone toward the State Opera and on to the Secession a magnificent specimen of Art Nouveau architecture that has just celebrated its 100th birthday. Take your time to study the Beethoven frieze by Gustav Klimt.

The buildings on Linke Wienzeile and the subway pavilions at Karlsplatz are more wonderful examples of Art Nouveau by architect Otto Wagner.
Roam across the Naschmarkt this produce market is a delight for all the senses – easy to see that Eastern Europe (or even the Orient?) begins in Vienna.

Before you plunge into Vienna’s nightlife, you may want to stop by at wombats for a little rest and enjoy the happy hour (6 – 8 pm, 9-10 pm and 12-1 am) in our famous wombar before you go on celebrating in the city… Check out the info wall for any parties and concerts!

Nothing more authentic than an evening at a “Heuriger – one of the wine taverns with gardens in the hilly outskirts, and the more plain and remote they are, the cosier the atmosphere. Therefore, don’t just try places in Grinzing but also in Sievering, Pötzleinsdorf, or on the other side of the Danube in Stammersdorf.

In the city centre, there’s still time to wander around the old town. If you feel up to it, finish the evening in the maze of streets called Bermuda Triangle (Rabensteig / Seitenstettengasse) where you find one bar next to the other.

Day 2: From Schönbrunn Palace to the Ferris Wheel

Take tram 58 to Schönbrunn Palace. Here you can enter the extensive gardens, where you are immediately faced with the beautiful palace. The famous glass-and-steel Palm House is a 5-10 minute walk through the gardens. Take a walk up to Gloriette where a spectacular view over the palace and the city awaits you at the café. Or you can visit the Zoo, the maze & the labyrinth.

In the palace itself, rent an “Audio Guide” for an individual tour through the magnificent state rooms to see the living and working atmosphere of the Habsburgs.

Now take the U4 back to the city centre where at first you can stroll across Karlsplatz with the Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner’s Stadtbahn pavilions.

Do I hear your tummy rumbling? Sit down in any cosy inn. On the Naschmarkt you can find nice little restaurants!

There’s the guided tour in the State Opera House: the grand staircase, marble foyer and red-and-gold auditorium are well worth seeing. Afterwards, you will pass the Hotel Sacher behind the opera – famous for its chocolate cake – and take in the Monument against War and Fascism by Alfred Hrdlicka on Albertinaplatz.

Not far from here (Neuer Markt/ Tegethoffstrasse), go down to the Imperial Burial Vault, the final resting-place of the Habsburgs’ bones. From here, take the city bus (3A) or walk through Annagasse to Schwarzenbergplatz, behind which rise the exquisite gardens of the baroque Belvedere Palace – enjoy a great view of the city centre from the Upper Belvedere, in which the Austrian Gallery has a permanent exhibit of works by Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.

After so much art and history, some diversion should follow. From the South Railway Station (Südbahnhof), the “O” tram-line will take you to the big amusement park in the Prater (Wien-Nord station) – or walk to Südtiroler Platz and take the U1 to Praterstern.
Try a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel and taste some typical Viennese hot sausages with sweet mustard at a “Würstelstand” (sausage-stand). Or else take in a real meal at the Schweizerhaus, for instance Spiegelkarpfen nach böhmischer Art (carp Bohemian style) or Stelze (roast leg of pork). If you have had enough of the fairground hubbub, go for a walk along the Prater Hauptallee – a paradise for jogging, in-line skating or strolling.

Enjoy Vienna’s cultural life to the fullest – after all, Vienna is a center for theater and music: in addition to the traditional venues, musicals, and concert stages, there is a lively alternative scene with numerous cabarets and venues for live music – check out Jazzland, Joe Zawinul’s Birdland, or Porgy & Bess.

There’s a busy nightlife in the pedestrian zones around Stephansplatz until the early morning hours. No problem finding a nice streetside café or good entertainment in one of the many side streets.

 

Day 3 Special Tipps

Now that you’ve seen quite a lot of Vienna already, you should have an opportunity to set your own focus of interest
But before that, a little tour of the Ringstrasse:

After breakfast, take your constitutional through the Burggarten Park across Heldenplatz and into the romantic Volksgarten Park where the Art Nouveau memorial to Austria’s most famous empress is a must for all fans of “Sissi”. Opposite the Volksgarten, there is the Parliament with the Athena fountain. Or have a refreshing walk through the cool Rathauspark past its many fountains, statues and exotic trees.

Facing the Vienna City Hall, there is the National Theatre – its programme is always a controversial discussion matter among the Viennese. Treat yourself to a Melange, Vienna’s most popular coffee variation, at Café Landtmann, a fashionable meeting-place for theatre people and politicians from the nearby government buildings.

The tour ends at the University Building and the picturesque neo-Gothic Votive Church behind it.  Now plan the rest of the day according to ideas of your own… care for a few suggestions? Interested in whimsical architecture? Then go and see the Hundertwasser House (Kegelgasse/Löwengasse) – a “somewhat different” council house. More of this eccentric building style can be seen in the nearby KunstHausWien (with a permanent Hundertwasser exhibition).

The House of Music (1st district, Seilerstätte 30) is imaginative and unconventional; it presents musical highlights and visions, history and entertainment, according to the motto: “Your ears will be amazed.”  Friends of classical or modern art can make a selection from many museums, exhibitions and galleries – for instance, the Museum of Fine Arts (Maria-Theresien-Platz) with its great collection of the old masters, in particular the Bruegel Room.

Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier is a spectacular cultural complex located on the fringe of Vienna’s old city and one of the world’s nine largest museum districts. It is a sensational blend of revitalized baroque architecture (the former court stables) and impressive modern edifices.

The new cultural district comprises the chalk-white Leopold Museum in the new section, the Museum of Modern Art shrouded in dark-grey basalt, the Kunsthalle, Halls E und G (Vienna Festival, Dance Centre), some restaurants, the Architektur Zentrum Wien (Vienna Architecture Centre), the Zoom Children’s Museum, the Dschungel – a children’s theatre and experimental areas for cultural initiatives.

 

womTip

Interested in ART?

 

“Westlicht” > smaller art gallery famous for their exhibitions, check out > http://www.westlicht.at/

just 6 minutes with the tram tram 5 (direction Praterstern) from Westbahnhof) to

Kaiserstraße/Westbahnstraße, from there ist a 2 minutes walk to Westbahnstraße 40

 

womTip

Spittelberg:

 

From MuseumsQuartier few streets further on, a charming blend of restaurants, shops and crafts businesses has evolved there.

 Dip into Vienna’s young and creative scene – the gamut runs from interesting shopping offers to trendy art and a lively nightlife.
The city’s old building stock, which was barely damaged during the war, has been carefully renovated and modernised. Now there are many lovely streets with the charm of ages past which can be explored during the daytime or in the evenings – apart from the 1st district, especially the 7th (Spittelberg Quarter) and the 8th (Josefstadt) can be recommended.

                        

womTip

English Theatre

 

check their homepage for the latest program.

Vienna’s English Theatre is the oldest and most established English-language theatre in continental Europe.

Take U3 Underground line (direction Simmering), go out at Volkstheater, from there  you can go for a walk about 10 minutes Josefsgasse 12 in the 8th district.

 

womTip

Vienna CITY OF MUSIC > Collection of Ancient Instruments

 

Admire the instruments on which such musicians as Beethoven and Chopin once entertained the imperial family. Here, in the Collection of Ancient Instruments in the Imperial Palace, you will also find the zither on which Anton Karas played his world-renowned melody for the film “The Third Man.” Open Wed – Sun 10 am – 6 pm Take U3 Underground line (direction Simmering, go out at “Volkstheater”, from there its just a 5 minutes walk to Kunsthistorisches Museum.

 

womTip

The Central Cemetery

 

with its honorary tombs for numerous prominent artists and politicians and with its Art Nouveau church is a special kind of “museum”.

 

If you found anything that should be changed in this city guide or had a good time using our 72 hour city guide to Vienna let us know. Just tell your receptionists.

HAPPY TRAVELS

Discover Berlin

Berlin. So much history, so much to see and do. Berlin is my favorite city in Europe and every time I go back, I love it even more. Walking into the wombat’s there gave me a sense of familiarity, as it has the same look and friendly feel as the one I’ve been to in Munich. The location is also as equally convenient, right by a tram and train station, Rosa Luxemburg Platz. Helpful staff, clean rooms, and an awesome rooftop bar with great Happy Hour specials!

Knowing backpackers are on a budget, the front desk gave me some excellent suggestions on free stuff to do around Berlin. The first night there, however, I headed up to the bar to check out the view and make some new friends. With a free pool table and 5 EUR pitchers, that wasn’t very hard to do. :)

My new wombat’s friends and I decided to go on the Alternative Art Walk the next day, which was one of the recommendations wombat’s gave us. We met in the Lustgarten at 11:30am (not too early after a night in Berlin!) and the guide started telling us about the street art culture in Berlin. We went all around the city and looked at sculptures, graffiti, countless murals, and ended at the East Side Gallery, the longest section of the Berlin Wall still remaining.

We realized how often we walk around a city while touring and don’t actually SEE a lot of what is there, right in front of us. For the next few days, I started noticing all the art on buildings, street signs, shop windows, etc., that I wouldn’t have looked for before this tour. It was really informative and a cool way to learn about the artistic, edgy Berlin culture.

A friend and I also decided to check out the tour of the Reichstag (German Parliament building) dome, which is also free. The only drawback is that you have to make a reservation in advance, which we stood in line to do for about 30 minutes. It was worth it, though, and taught us a ton about the history of German government. You can see all the important landmarks from the top of the dome, which the tour points out as well.

Getting some really good use out of my boots, we walked all around to discover Berlin, visiting the Holocaust Memorial, the Berlin Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Otto Weidt Museum (all free). Luckily there are street food stands with Glühwein (warm spiced wine) and Currywurst (a Berlin favorite) everywhere along the way!

Lastly of my free excursions, I decided to go to the Topography of Terror, which is more of an exhibition than a museum. It’s intense, a lot of reading, and a lot of disturbing Holocaust imagery. It’s worth a visit if you are interested in learning more about the dark history of Germany during World War II.

For those who are lucky enough to have a smartphone while traveling, the Berlin transit app, “BVG”, was incredibly valuable. You can simply put in your destination and it will give you a timetable and route using bus, tram, train, or a combination of the three. I bought a 7 day transit pass for 28 EUR, which was valid for any form of public transit. Berlin is big, so it was worth it since I was there for so long and covering a lot of ground.

As for nightlife, there are a thousand options due to the diversity of people in Berlin. I would tell the wombat’s crew what kind of party/event you are looking for, and they can point you in the right direction. Just be prepared for a late night because I don’t think the bars ever close! If you are there during late November/December, be sure to stop by the Christmas markets for some food, warm drinks, and shopping, there are several scattered around the city.

Overall, another great experience in a colorful, historic, and extremely diverse city. Yep, Berlin is still my favorite.

Happy travels!

Kiraly utca Budapest

NYE in Budapest

Kiraly Street is the place to be in Budapest! All the restaurants and ruin pubs are a couple minutes walk from wombat’s in Budapest, making this location absolutely ideal. As I walked into the lobby, I saw a diverse group of backpackers playing pool and a few sitting at tables looking at maps, no doubt deciding where to go next. What a cool traveler community this is!

I got to Budapest by train, so ended up taking a metro line to Kiraly street where I then walked to wombat’s. Travel time from the train station was approximately 10 minutes, and I had no problem finding it based on website directions. Just don’t forget to exchange your money as Hungary’s currency is the Forint, not the Euro.

At the reception, wombat’s also suggests a few free walking tours, which are a great way to see the city. I walked 90% of the time, even though it was winter, to get where I was going. I would suggest taking a few hours to go through The House of Terror, a museum that details both the Nazi and Communist eras in Hungary. The building itself was the headquarters of several of these groups and it held many political prisoners. Very intense, but interactive, educational, and worth seeing.

In Budapest there are events called Sparties, or “Spa Parties” at the thermal baths. It is basically a thermal bath turned into a nightclub, complete with drinks, mist, lights, and music. Even though clubs aren’t typically my scene, I had to do it for the experience. I bought a ticket for the New Year’s Eve Sparty and it was definitely fun and different, and something I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world! Being winter, it was cold getting out of the pool, but I would imagine in the summer it is just perfect.

Lastly, other than all the obvious historical sights, I highly suggest going to a few ruin pubs. My favorite was Szimpla Kert, a popular ruin pub about 5 minutes walk from wombat’s. It has an outdoor area for hookah, and several rooms full of random decorations. Don’t worry if there is a long line, it moves extremely fast!

My experience at wombat’s in Budapest was awesome and I can’t wait to go back! Budapest is definitely one of those cities that has fascinating historical sights mixed with fantastic food and nightlife. I will definitely be back!

Christmas market at Vienna city hall

Christmas in Vienna

Christmas away from home can be hard for some people. Fortunately, wombat’s Vienna did everything they could to make it feel like being home for my holidays last year. Upon arriving on Christmas Eve, there was a nice Christmas tree, and Christmas cookies at reception. I love Christmas cookies, so this already made me extremely happy!

Wombat’s Vienna Naschmarkt is a stone’s throw from the U-Bahn station, making my walk through the Austrian winter extremely short, which I very much appreciated. There is also an open air market right across the street, which has dozens of shops to buy warm food and groceries. After I checked in, the friendly staff gave me two free drink tickets (bonus!) and informed me that because it was Christmas Eve, they would be serving a warm punch at the bar tonight for free. Who needs presents when you have warm punch?

I decided to go on the free walking tour wombat’s has the next day. It was extremely cold out, but there was still a big group bundled up and ready to go! Our tour guide showed us around to a lot of the local sights, and I made friends with a few of my tour buddies!

Vienna is a beautiful, charming city and happens to be home of the original Wiener Schnitzel! There are several restaurants that specialize in schnitzel, so I would advise to do your research to decide which one to go to! Figlmüller seems to be the most popular, but make sure to make reservations in advance, as it fills up very quickly! I would also recommend enjoying some delicious Viennese coffee while you are there.

Nightlife it pretty diverse in Vienna, so I asked the wombat’s staff where to go based on my preferences. Turns out Christmas in Vienna has some special options in terms of nightlife. They had some great insight and made some recommendations that turned out to be just what I was looking for. I also spent some time at a couple of the Christmas markets, which are my favorite part of Europe in December. Nothing beats a mug of Glühwein (warm mulled wine) when its snowing outside.

It was cool to finally visit one of the original wombat’s on my trip around Europe. There is definitely a wombat’s theme, but each location has their own local flare. The most common similarities though, are the fantastic locations (both to public transport and activities) and the amazingly friendly staff. Thanks for making my Christmas in Vienna one to remember!