Don’t Miss “Europe’s Largest Free Party”

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 21 to 23 June 2019.

Photo from the Danube Island Festival
Danube Island Festival

International headliners such as Mando Diao and Felix Jaehn mix with German stars like Revolverheld or Christina Stürmer and Austrian artists, p.e. Yung Hurn and Seiler & Speer. There will also be activities and events like bagjump, volleyball, sailboat races, and the Camp DMAX Austria. The Danube Island Festival Vienna has become one of the largest open-air festivals in Europe and each year attracts visitors from around the world. This year the Danube Island Festival will take place for the 36th time under the motto “together we are Vienna”.

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!

One day of Vienna sightseeingVienna is an excellent city for sightseeing, but if you’re on a short trip and time is scarce, we’ve got just the thing. Check out this list of our personal recommendations and explore the Austrian capital in just one day.

Keep in mind, you’ll either have to get up early or be really quick. If you start at our wombats CITY Hostel “The Naschmarkt” and visit the items in the order listed here, than it shouldn’t be a problem. So go get your sightseeing on – Vienna is waitin’ for ya!

1. Naschmarkt
Head out of the hostel and enjoy the food stalls (and flea market on Saturday) of Vienna’s most popular market.

2. Secession
At the end (or the beginning) of the Naschmarkt you will find the Vienna Secession, an outstanding historic art centre and a masterpiece of architecture.

3. Karlsplatz and Karlskirche
Next to the Secession, have a look at Charles’ Square (Ger.: Karlsplatz) and the St. Charles’s Church (Ger.: Karlskirche), one of the most outstanding baroque churches.

4. Vienna State Opera
After that, head over the Ring Street and see the Vienna State Opera (Ger.: Wiener Staatsoper), one of the most important parts of Austrian cultural heritage.

5. Kärntner Straße
Directly from the opera, have a walk along the Kärnter Straße, Austria’s most famous shopping street, which leads you to the heart of the city.

6. Stephansplatz, St. Stephens’ Cathedral
This square is the geographical and tourist centre of Vienna. Here you find St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Ger: Stephansdom), the most popular sight.

7. Graben and Kohlmarkt
These are two historic promenades and shopping streets, leading from Stephansplatz to the Hofburg Palace.

8. Hofburg, Heldenplatz
At the end of the Kohlmarkt you’ll enter the Hofburg Palace and the Heldenplatz. This is the place where you can immerse yourself in Austrian history. The palace used to be the centre of the Austro-Hungarian empire (k.u.k. monarchy), today it houses the President of Austria. But beware: tourist factor 1.000!

9. Albertina
At the end of the Hofburg, you can find the Albertina, one of the most famous art museums of Austria (and the world).

10. Ringstraße
From the Albertina, have a decent 20 minutes walk along the famous Ringstraße boulevard, which leads you along to the Austrian Parliament, the Burgtheater and the Vienna Town Hall.

WELL DONE – now you are through with the most important stuff in the centre. If you still have some time left, we would recommend you to take the U4 metro line to Schönbrunn Palace (Ger: Schloss Schönbrunn), one of the most important cultural monuments of Austria. You can either quickly have a look at the palace or even spend hours in the beautiful garden parks or visit the oldest zoo in central Europe.

If you have more time for sightseeing, don’t hesitate to ask our reception staff for more recommendations.

ice skating Vienna city hall

Christmas time is over, but the winter has still taken over Vienna. But that’s no reason to not enjoy the Austrian capital. There are plenty of things to do and to see in this great city in wintertime! Our wom-walk guide and Vienna expert Charles collected some recommendations for sightseeing and activities in Vienna in winter.

Sport – Ice Skating

ice skating Vienna
“Eistraum” Vienna (© Stadt Wien Marketing)

As long as it is cold it’s time to discover the many natural ice skating facilities and ice rinks. Put on your skating shoes, step on the slippery surface and learn how great fun it is to skate outdoors in the centre of Vienna.

At the Wiener Eislaufverein (Vienna Ice Skating Club) you can rent skates, learn to dance the Waltz on the ice, try the “Eisstockschießen” (the Austrian version of curling) or just enjoy to skate in the beautiful neighbourhood of the Konzerthaus. It is situated at the Lothingerstraße 22 in the 3rd disctrict, next to the U4 metro station “Stadtpark”.

And you should try the “Eistraum”: From 18th January till 3rd of March you can skate in front of the Viennese City Hall – a truly unique Vienna winter experience! Especially at night (till 10 o’clock) this might be the best ice skating experience you ever had; it’s not just for nothing that it’s called the „Eistraum“, which means „Ice Dream“. For more Info check the Eistraum website.

Sightseeing – Vienna from above

It is rather difficult to get up anywhere in the city centre. Nevertheless, there’s a place I can definitely recommend for great panoramic views.

Another great view offers the café/cantina on the roof of the Palace of Justice, which houses the highest courts of Austria. You find it at the Schmerlingplatz 10, next to the Parliament and U2 metro station Volkstheater. At the entrance you will be checked like on an airport, but once you are inside you can enjoy the beautiful interior of this 19th century palace. Take the elevator up to the cantina: it is quite fancy, but you can enjoy good food and great view over the Ringstraße Boulevard and the Old town of Vienna.

So much for today, folks. For any further infos just contact our reception staff in the hostels or talk with me during one of the free wom-walks.

Yours, Charles

Charles Sperl

Berlin club
Berlin club © libertinus

Berlin is famous for its awesome nightlife: countless bars, pubs and events, combined with one of the best club scenes of the world. When travellers arrive at our wombats CITY HOSTEL Berlin, one of the first things they want to know is where they should go out…

As for us, we think that too much buzz is made about the famous clubs which are mentioned in all the travel guides and magazines. In fact, there are so much great places to go out that you can have great fun everywhere in this town.

Just bear in mind the following 10 facts of Berlin’s nightlife to find what you want and have a fun night out:

1. Where the nightlife happens: Mostly in the (former) districts „Mitte“ (middle), north of it in Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain (east) and Kreuzberg (south).

2. District “Mitte” was really wild and cool in the 90ies… By now, it has become commercialized and not as hip as it was back then. However, if you are looking for a wide range of pubs and bars, the “Oranienburgerstraße” (Oranienburger street) might be a good starting point for a night out.

3. “Prenzlauer Berg” is the place where the scene moved on to when “Mitte” became too commercialised. Kollwitzplatz, Helmholdtplatz and Schönhauser Allee are now the best neighbourhoods to find loads of “drinking holes”. Beware of the “Kastanienallee” street: this place is overpopulated with “too-hip-crowds”.

4. “Friedrichshain” is still one of the least gentrified and most alternative districts of Berlin. Here you find industrial wastelands turned to huge clubs as well as cosy pubs offering great numbers on outdoor seats on the wide sidewalks.

5. “Kreuzberg” is… Well, it’s considered a city of it’s own rights in terms of going out and having fun. Our recommendation: just spend an entire day and night there to check it out. Enjoy!

6. Don’t make plans: Just let yourself go, ask Berliners where to find good parties tonight and enjoy whatever comes up.

7. “The later, the cooler 1”: Most pubs and bars don’t get very crowded ‘til 9 or 10 p.m. They usually stay opened ‘till 3 a.m.

8. “The later the cooler 2”: Don’t go to any clubs before midnight! On the other hand, sometimes you can take advantage of happy hours or reduced entrance fees when showing up early.

9. Outfit: the local chic is to look spectacularly underdressed. But beware: Berliners spend hours to make up their outfits to make them look as if they wouldn’t care :)

10. The good news for the day after: You can have breakfast anytime before sunset. So don’t mind getting up early.

[womphotocredits]Photo of Berlin club © libertinus under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.[/womphotocredits]

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!

 

 

Munich beer garden
Beer & chill: Beer Gardens are cosy hangouts in Munich

For centuries, beer is and has been an important part of the culinary and cultural heritage of Bavaria and Munich. The best choice for having an authentic “beer experience” are the traditional beer halls (indoors) and beer gardens (outdoors).

Here is our list with 7 recommendations for the best options:

1. Augustiner Bräustuben
Off the beaten tourist track, this huge beer hall provides good atmosphere, great booze and cheap food. And the best thing: it’s just a 10-minute walk from our wombats CITY HOSTEL Munich at Landsberger Straße 19. www.augustiner-braeustuben.de

2. Waldwirtschaft (a.k.a WA-WI)
If there is any one beer garden that is an absolute must-see, it’s this cosy place in the southern suburbs of Munich. If the weather is good, you just have to go there, as it offers a cosy outdoor location, live jazz and big band sounds on the weekend and traditional food stalls. www.waldwirtschaft.de

3. Max Emanuel Brauerei (a.k.a. Max E)
A backpacker’s recommendation, this beer garden is quite close to the university, making it a popular hangout for students and people from all over the world. www.max-emanuel-brauerei.de

4. The Hofbräuhaus
Be warned, this is the most popular and also most touristy beer hall in Munich. Nevertheless, it’s also one of the most traditional and it helped to shape the city’s beer culture. www.hofbraeuhaus.de

5. Hirschgarten
This is the largest beer garden in the world. It offers space for up to 8,000 (!) guests and is part of Munich beer culture since 1791. www.hirschgarten.de

6. Seehaus
A place to hang out for Munich’s celebs and those who wanna be, it can be overpriced and posh. However, the location can’t be beat, as it is based right on the shore of a lake in the English Garden, next to a paddle boat rental. www.kuffer-gastronomie.com

7. Augustiner Keller
The traditional Augustiner Keller provides an indoor beer hall as well as the second largest beer garden in Munich (up to 7,000 guests). Here, the atmosphere on a summer evening is without equal. www.augustinerkeller.de

Well, that’s all for now – if you have any personal recommendations for beer halls and gardens in Munich, just post them as a comment below!

[womphotocredits]Photo of Munich biergarten © russellcc under CC BY 2.0 License.[/womphotocredits]