by travellers for travellers

travel europe with wombat's CITY HOSTELS

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Don’t Miss “Europe’s Largest Free Party”: The Danube Island Festival Vienna 2012

Come to Vienna this June and join over 3 million visitors in seeing 2,000 performers at the Danube Island Festival! The dates of the festival are 22 to 24 June 2012.

Photo from the Danube Island Festival

Danube Island Festival

Performers will include: Simple Minds, Jennifer Rostock, DJ Antoine, Haight Ashbury, Johnny Logan, Samy Deluxe, and many more. There will also be activities and events like speed climbing, volleyball, sailboat races, and a Freestyle Mountain Bike Show.

There will be over 250 vendor stands where you can get delicious food and beer. You can also bring your own beer (if it’s in cans, not bottles), as well as your own food.

Read more on the Vienna tourism site (English) and the Danube Island Festival’s website (German). In the Vienna underground stations, you can also usually find a free newspaper that has a map of the event. You might want to pick up one of those maps, because the festival is several kilometers long.

Hope to see you there!

[womphotocredits]Photo © Claus Rebler under CC BY-SA 2.0 license[/womphotocredits]

Best Travel Apps for Android Phones

Here are some of my favorite travel apps for Android phones. I’ve focused on travel apps that are most likely going to be used while out exploring a destination, rather than ones that are used for pre-trip planning.

I’ve used most of these Android apps over WiFi, so you don’t absolutely require a data plan to get some use out of the apps as long as you are in a city with abundant wireless Internet connections. Continue reading

10 Vienna Museums Featuring Gustav Klimt in 2012

If you’re traveling to Europe in the summer of 2012 and you like Gustav Klimt, it’s a perfect time to visit Vienna. 2012 is the year that would have had Klimt’s 150th birthday. To celebrate, 10 museums in Vienna are featuring his work.

Here’s a list:

Belvedere: 150 Years of Gustav Klimt

The Kiss painting by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss

The Belvedere has the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including The Kiss. The exhibition, 150 Years of Gustav Klimt, runs from 12 July 2012 to 6 January 2013. Visit the museum’s website at

Leopold Museum: Klimt – Up Close and Personal

Tod und Lleben, Gustav Klimt

Tod und Lleben

Klimt: Up Close and Personal will run at the Leopold Museum between 24 February and 27 August, 2012. The exhibition contains paintings, as well as 400 documents sent to Emilie Flöge.

Austrian Museum of Applied Art: Stoclet Palace Designs

Gustav Klimt Stoclet Palace

Stoclet Palace preparatory design

Gustav Klimt: Expectation and Fulfillment (Designs for the Mosaic Frieze at Stoclet Palace) runs from 21 March to 15 July 2012 at the Austrian Museum of Applied Art. The exhibition contains nine preparatory designs for Klimt’s art at the Stoclet Palace in Brussels.

Secession: The Beethoven Frieze

Beethoven Frieze, Klimt, Secession

Beethoven Frieze

The Beethoven Frieze is on display at the Secession building between March 23 and Nov. 4, 2012.

Wien Museum

Klimt - Emilie Flöge

Emilie Flöge

Klimt at the Wien Museum is a place to see hundreds of Klimt drawings as well as the famous painting, Portrait of Emilie Flöge.

Albertina: Gustav Klimt, The Drawings

Klimt: Portrait of a Lady with Cape and Hat

Portrait of a Lady with Cape and Hat

An exhibition called, Gustav Klimt, The Drawings, runs from 14 March 2012 to 10 June 2012 at the Albertina.

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)

Gustav Klimt in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, from 14 February 2012 to
6 May 2012, centers on wall paintings around the museum’s grand staircase.

The museum’s website also has information on the Klimt Pass, which offers discounts on the Klimt exhibitions around Vienna:

Discover the artist and his works in Vienna‘s most important museums. By showing this pass at the cash desks whenever you visit a Klimt exhibition you will save € 1,- on each adult admission. When you have collected 10 stamps a “Klimt” present is waiting for you (ready for collection in all participating museums). With 5 or more stamps you can participate in the grand lottery:

1st – 3rd prize: an exclusive weekend on Lake Attersee including a visit to the Klimt-Centre and a trip on the Klimt-boat
4th – 10th prize: a Klimt-catalogue package (one catalogue of each of the 10 exhibitions!).

Just drop the complete pass at the cash desks of the participating museums.

Austrian Theater Museum: Nuda Veritas

Nuda Veritas - Klimt

Nuda Veritas

The famous painting, “Nuda Veritas”, will be on display between 10 May and 29 October 2012 at the Austrian Theater Museum [English]. The painting depicts a naked woman holding a mirror to the viewer, with a quote by Friedrich Schiller above:

If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad.


The exhibition, Gustav Klimt and the Künstlerhaus, runs between July 6 – September 2, 2012 at the Künstlerhaus.

The “Gustav Klimt and the Künstlerhaus” exhibition uses documents, letters and photographs from the Künstlerhaus archive to explain many of the artistic and biographical milestones in the work of Gustav Klimt.

Austrian Folklore Museum: Emilie Flöge

Emilie Flöge

Photo of Emilie Flöge

The Klimt exhibition at the Austrian Folklore Museum between May 25 and December 2, 2012 features works by fashion designer, Emilie Flöge. (See the Wien Museum, above.)

Planning Your Museum Visits

Here are some tips about planning your museum visits:

  • Read more about activities and events during “Klimt 2012” on
  • Check the museums’ websites for updates as well as any special rates and discounts.
  • For public transportation information, check out this website or, if you are walking, check out Google Maps for directions.

Enjoy the exhibitions!

A First Glance of Our New Hostel in the Centre of Budapest

As many of you already know, we open a new wombats CITY HOSTEL in Budapest in June. As the construction works are on the way, we want to reveal some first facts and pics:

The wombats CITY HOSTEL BUDAPEST will be the biggest wombats so far with 461 beds in 112 rooms with bathrooms ensuite. We think it is one of the most splendid hostels you’ll see in a long time – and one of the most affordable ones, too. Because great quality and design should not affect our well-established value for money budget prices.

The Location couldn’t be better: a very short walk from Deák Square, the city’s main transportation hub where all three metro lines stop. We’re in the middle of the bohemian 6th district, with lots of unique nightlife venues and all the sights of the Pest side of town within easy walking distance.

To get a first picture of the new wombats CITY HOSTEL Budapest, have a look at the renderings below. First real pics will follow as soon as we got the construction process done. We hope to welcome you this summer in Budapest – rooms can already be booked on the wombats Budapest website.


Breakfast Room

Lounge Area

Bar Outside

Bar Inside

Late but Great: the wombats New Year Story

A few days ago, we got a really lovely thank you letter from Michelle and Drew, two guests from Australia. They were on a two months vacation in Europe, when their belongings and wallets got stolen on New Year. Our staff at our wombats CITY HOSTEL “The Naschmarkt” managed to help them out and saved their holidays.

Reading their message I decided to post it here on our blog, as I want to thank the reception team of “The Naschmarkt” for their great work – you girls and guys just rock!

Anyway, here’s the message from Michelle and Drew:

Travelling on a train from Krakow (Poland) to Vienna and have your wallet and belongings stolen is probably one of the worst ways to spend New Year! It takes a lot of international phone calls, police formalities and even more nerves to sort things like that out.

But we were lucky that we had booked at the wombats hostel “Naschmarkt”. The staff there saved our day and gave us support we are eternally grateful for.

We arrived at the hostel in the evening, without identification, as it had been stolen. The reception staff was not only willing to check us into our room, they also helped us with phone calls to our bank and the Australian Embassy. After that one of the staff members from wombats came with us to the police station to help us with translations and sorting things out. After heading back to the hostel we just wanted to sleep off the tributes of the day…

…but the wombat’s staff invited us to their staff New Years Eve party. Accepting this offer was the best decision we made on our two month vacation. We were partying with our new wombats friends, hopping between the various wombats hostels, feeling welcomed and loved at every location!

But it was not at that point that the support and compassion from the wombats staff stopped. For days they lent us their phone to call banks in Australia or our credit card companies. For days they became our family, the ones we turned to for support and guidance, laughs and tears, food and drinks.

Therefore we want to thank the staff at the wombats hostel “Naschmarkt” from the bottom of our heart, we are forever grateful for your lovely help. We are planning a trip early in 2014 to come and see you all again – or alternatively, please come visit us in Australia.

Love Always, 

Michelle and Drew


Walking in Vienna: Spring Is Waiting for You!

Walking in Vienna

A few weeks ago, we introduced WildUrb, a Vienna based online community that encourages urban people to discover urban space by walking. As spring is pampering us with sun and warmth these days, it’s time to head outside and discover Vienna’s outdoor secrets! So we asked Doris from Wildurb to give us her personal recommendations for some really cool walking tracks in the Austrian capital. Here we go:

Flashy Expressions – street art at the Danube Canal
Chill out trail (8km) in the center of Vienna. Start at the U4 and the U6 metro stration “Spitellau” and walk along the Danube Canal to find good mood, good people and good graffiti.

Colourful Contrasts – from urban subculture to decadence
Walk along the Wien river to find various kinds of architecture and urban space – from the wild side of the Wiener Gürtel all the way to the Naschmarkt and the Karlskirche. Easy 4,29 kilometers and highly recommended!

Urban Moods – A tour round Vienna’s unofficial “Central Park”
Central park, ey? Yes! The recreation area of the “Wienerberg” gives you a feeling of nature while  offering views of the “skyline” of the Vienna Business Park with its twin towers – a little bit of New York feeling!

Ancient History – Straight across the heart of Vienna
Start at the U3 metro station “Herrengasse” in Vienna’s first district and discover the old town off the beaten track. Find a good mood of mysticism flowing through the forecourts and courtyards of historic buildings – especially in foggy nights.

Full Commitment – climbing up the walls
For all of you that want to go higher than just walking on the ground, here’s your deal: get some climbing equipement and enjoy on of the city’s centre outdoor climbing experiences – we highly reccomend the Flakturm Esterházypark!

Vienna is waitin’ for ya – don’t hesitate and get outside!

Safety Rules! First Aid Course for Our Employees

Rule #1 of the wombats-code: “Our hostel staff shall always be able to help our guests.” In everyday hostel business “help” mostly means to give travel, sightseeing and party information. We have been lucky enough to go through hostel life without grave medical accidents in our houses.

But as you can never know what could happen in the future, we recently took a first aid course at the aid organisation “Green Cross”. 16 of our Viennese hostel employees learned all the essential things to do in case of medical accidents. See the pictures to get some impression…

For all of us participating in the course it felt good to improve these important skills. And it feels even better that our hostels are even more safe than before – from “very safe” to “super safe” :)

Thanks to the guys from the Grünes Kreuz for their support and the great lessons!

Take Me to the Disco! wombats Presents the womCLUB

Boom boom boom: After years of awesome party nights in our womBARS we have decided to take the next level of partying: our own clubbing series. Curtains up for the womCLUB in our hostel “The Lounge” in Vienna!

The first session starts next Friday the 23rd March. Besides lots of great international party people there will be an ass kicking range of contemporary electronic music from Austria’s DJ scene: sweet Classic House from ‘Mesca’, massive breakbeats from ‘DJ Clash’ and ‘Wanek:D’ as well as deep dubstep and minimal beats from ‘TJM’.

It all starts at 9 p.m. in our “The Lounge” womBAR in the Mariahilfer Straße 137. There will be one clubbing each month – more info on the flyers. See you there and show us how you party!

Austria’s Next Topmodel and Popstars go wombats!

Last weekend we had some pretty special guests at our wombats CITY HOSTELS in Vienna: At “The Naschmarkt” hostel the finalists of the casting show “Austria’s Next Topmodel” stayed for two nights during the final show and party.

Although the young beauties Gina, Lana, Melisa and the winner Antonia were super-busy with all the ceremonies, they were really decent and lovely guests without special wishes or airs and graces. They even let one of our receptionists take a photo shooting with her handy cam.

In our Vienna hostel, “The Lounge” we hosted the participants of the music casting show “Popstars: Mission Austria”. Unfortunately we couldn’t manage to take a picture…

…anyway – it was nice to have you around, girls and guys. Thanks for your stay! The wombats crew wishes you all the best for your future music and model career.

womTunes: vote for Bensh at the Amadeus Music Award

After winning a lot of hostel awards recently, wombats is now entering the stage of music awards…

…well, it’s rather not wombats itself but our lovely receptionist Benjamin-Zsolt Zombori: his music project “Bensh” is nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards. Due to massive radio airplay of three singles and their recent album release “Clues” they have been selected for the category “FM4 Award”.

Vote for Bensh!
Help the wombats community and support Bensh by giving them your vote on the radio FM4 website. Big thanks!

Bensh or Bensh?
“Bensh” is both the artist name of Benjamin and the name of his band, consisting of Bensh, Sion Trefor and Sevo. They play topnotch “cosmopolitan” noisepop, mixing influences from many of the most eclectic places in pop Bensh has travelled in the last six years: from the Austrian Alps to the United Kingdom, from Japan to Germany to Iceland and back through Europe.

So Benjamin is a real traveller and that’s what brought him to wombats: He’s now working at the reception of our wombats CITY HOSTEL “The Lounge”, which is a good balance to the music work in the studio. “I just love the contact with people from all over the world at wombats,” Benjamin told us. “Guests and employees are meeting each other very open and friendly. And it’s great fun.”

For more info visit the Bensh website and facebook page.

And here’s my favourite song from Bensh:

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