If you’re visiting Vienna these days you’ll have to face moody autumn weather. Maybe the best way to escape fog and rain is to take advantage of the Viennale, Austria’s most important Film Festival. As The Guardian once commented on the Viennale: If the prime purpose of a film festival is to open up exciting new vistas and present work one is unlikely to see elsewhere, then Vienna in autumn is the place to be.So you obviously chose the right place to be.

The international Film Festival takes place since 1960 and offers a broad spectrum of artistic movies from around the globe. Many movies are shown in original language (subtitled in german). Commonly it is known for the variety of movies, serving the needs of main stream and more critical minded cineasts. This year, the programme has been restructured and the Vienna Film Festival is showing 300 international films of various genres, from historical to contemporary over mainstream to arthouse cinema.

The Viennale 2019 takes place from October 24th until November 6th. Participating cinemas are Metro, Filmmuseum, Stadtkino Künstlerhaus, Urania and Gartenbaukino. All of them are places with a unique atmosphere and wonderful charme located in the city center. Every single one is easily reachable from every Wombat’s The City Hostel in Vienna. A special goodie is the retrospective in Vienna’s Filmmuseum. The Viennale retrospective shows movies from previous editions of the festival. By the way, the Filmmuseum is worth a visit at any time of the year. For additional information, directions and most importantly the festival’s program check out their website www.viennale.at

The Oktoberfest runs from Sept 21st – October 6th 2019

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.

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!

film-festival-rathausplatz

Vienna’s public open air Film Festival

Vienna’s public open air Film Festival offers classical and modern cultural highlights in front of City Hall in Vienna until September 1st. It’s not just about sitting in front of a huge screen and watching concerts and operas. There’s also a decent food court featuring 26 restaurants and food outlets open daily from 11am ’til midnight. But not a sign of fast food in sight, as all dishes will be freshly prepared. The emphasis is on foods of organic origin from the region.

Close to the underground stations Rathaus (U2) and Volkstheater (U3/U2) it’s easy to reach within 25 minutes from any wombat’s CITY HOSTEL in Vienna. If you don’t make it to Vienna by September maybe you’d like to visit Viennale, Vienna’s most famous Film Festival.

The program for the last week:

27.08.2019         20:30       97 min.

Juan Diego Flórez: Bésame Mucho
Komponist: Consuelo Velázquez, Tomás Méndez, Joseíto Fernández u.a. Dirigent: Jonathan Bolívar
Music-Programm
Solisten: Juan Diego Flórez
Orchester: Juan Diego Flórez & Band
Aufführungsort: Wiener Konzerthaus

28.08.2019        20:30        163 min.

Salzburger Festspiele 2018: L’Italiana in Algeri
Komponist: Gioacchino Rossini. Dirigent: Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Music-Programm
Solisten: Cecilia Bartoli, Ildar Abdrazakov, Edgardo Rocha, Alessandro Corbelli, José Coca Loza, Rebeca Olvera
Orchester: Ensemble Matheus, Philharmonia Chor Wien

29.08.2019       20:30        68 min.

Imagine: John & Yoko
Jahr: 1971
Music-Programm
Soloists: John Lennon, Yoko Ono

29.08.2019        21:40       67 min.

Amy Winehouse – Live from Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Jahr: 2007
Music-Programm
Solisten: Amy Winehouse
Aufführungsort: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

30.08.2019        17:00       79 min.

Ritter Parceval
Komponist: Henrik Albrecht, Musik nach Motiven von Richard Wagner. Jahr: 2018
Music-Programm
Solisten: Alina Wunderlin, Flurina Stucki, Elisabeth Birgmeier, Marcel Brunner, Johannes Mooser
Orchester: Mitglieder der Berliner Philharmoniker, Stipendiaten der Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker, Gesangssolisten baden-württembergischer Musikhochschulen
Aufführungsort: Berliner Philharmonie

30.08.2019        20:30        90 min.

Jubiläumskonzert 150 Jahre Wiener Staatsoper
Komponist: Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, Beethoven, Tschaikowski. Jahr: 2019
Music-Programm
Solisten: Roberto Alagna, Benjamin Bernheim, Olga Bezsmertna, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Günther Groissböck, Tomasz Konieczny, Aleksandra Kurzak, Valentina Nafornita, Camilla Nylund, Erwin Schrott, Nina Stemme, Sonya Yoncheva.
Aufführungsort: Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz, Wien

31.08.2019          20:30        104 min.

Der Dritte Mann
Jahr:1949
Diverses
Solisten: Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee

01.09.2019        20:30        60 min.

Musikkurzfilme – Highlights des VIS Vienna Shorts Festivals
short movies

Weblinks:

http://www.filmfestival-rathausplatz.at/en/filmprogram/

Talking about diversity!

Have you ever read a slogan and thought it describes the core of your existence perfectly? ‘United in Diversity’ was the slogan of Life Ball and could not have been a better match. Life Ball is an astounding charity project to help fight HIV and prejudices in society.
Throughout the years it had grown to be one of Vienna’s most renown annual events. Celebrating diversity and tolerance. We have been supporting this amazing event through a collaboration as accommodation sponsor since 2013.
Back then Chris was the manager of wombat’s THE BASE in Vienna and also volunteered at the Life Ball. Furthermore there was always a good crowd of wombat’s staff volunteering or just partying at the Life Ball. No wonder the idea of this collaboration was welcomed with open arms and actually felt like a thing we had to do anyway.

A core connection

A couple of month ago Gerry Kessler announced that this year would be the last Life Ball. It made us recap the last years and we asked ourselves why we actually never really saw this collaboration as a Marketing gig and didn’t brag about this sponsorship.

And there’s the loop back to the slogan. There’s not much of an obvious connection between a charity event with tickets from € 80.- and a hostel. Maybe apart from hostellers hardly ever missing out on a good party.
However, we are indeed united in diversity. Diversity is vital for an open society and it’s in the nature of a hostel. Without tolerance and people who embrace diversity, hostel life would just not be possible.
In a hostel you share pretty much everything with travellers from all around the world. No matter what their cultural background is, whom they love or what their lifestyle is. It’s unfiltered, random and beautiful.

Celebrate diversity

a kiss in the cameraWe were lucky enough to share Vienna, our home town with an event like Life Ball. Nevertheless at wombat’s we celebrate diversity and tolerance wherever we can. There’s always a crowd of staff members, ex-staff members and friends of wombat’s who celebrate pride parades, like Regenbogenparade in Vienna, Christopher Street Day in Berlin, the pride in London and other wombat’s destinations.
A good bunch of our staff gets unbelievably excited about these events. It’s more than a LGBT+ thing. It’s about celebrating the freedom to be who you are and love who you love.

For us at wombat’s tolerance and diversity are just natural. That’s why we usually don’t make a lot of fuzz about mentioning it. But maybe we should actually stress our point of view more often?

 

https://youtu.be/nZE1LyV-9ww

LIFE BALL 2019

Interview with CHRIS (Head of Innovations & Project Management)
Beautiful slogan for the very last LIFE BALL, it has been a “Beacon of Hope”, an instrument for help during the last 27 years.  It´s been so great to be a part of it. I´ve been working during 10 years, wombat´s has been a partner for 6 years. We gladly cooperated with the LIFE BALL this last years to help a beautiful cause.

The essence of LIFE BALL is THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, promoting diversity and tolerance, for people from all over the world, with no exceptions, from all beliefs, all sexualities. It´s been a pleasure and a big honour working with them on that cause.

UNITED IN DIVERSITY

That phrase brings everything back to the beginning, when LIFE BALL started bringing together people that were affected directly by the terrible illness of AIDS and brought them together with people who didn´t know, had no information, were not part of the gay community, did not have friends infected by AIDS and just spread the word about this awful disease, by now, AIDS is world ´known, we are on the best on defeating it, but it is very important we keep up this work, spreading information around the world. The disease is still not curable, just treatable.
I´m very proud that wombat´s CITY HOSTELS is a company where I feel very comfortable at, a place that promotes this year´s motto of the LIFE BALL, United in Diversity, on daily basis, because if you look at our staff or our guests, you really see diversity as a mainframe of the company.

Diversity; at wombat´s isn´t something you just talk about. It is something that we live, not something special, it´s what we do!

 

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!

New Year´s Eve in the center of Vienna

For 24 years now, the New Year’s Trail Vienna has been an integral part of New Year – just like the traditional Blue Danube Waltz at midnight and the famous Vienna New Year’s Concert.

The visitors of Stephansplatz can dance into the New Year with the traditional Danube Waltz.

With dozens of events and attractions in thirteen different locations throughout central Vienna, the Vienna New Year’s Trail will again be a great open air festival for everyone who wants to start the New Year in style. The programme offers highlights for all tastes and ages – from Viennese waltz, folk music or samba rhythms to current pop hits.

As always, there will be plenty of food and refreshments for the revellers, with food stalls, bars and restaurants serving hot punch, baked potatoes and barbecued sausage. You can even try specialities like fresh rolls with wild boar meatloaf – the gourmet version of a local snack favourite.

Locations are among others: Rathausplatz (Cityhall), Freyung, Graben, Stephansplatz, Kärnter Straße, Neuer Markt, Heldenplatz and Prater.

If you want to have a drink before you enter Vienna´s New Year´s Trail, the wombars in wombat´s CITY Hostels The Base, The Lounge and The Naschmarkt will be offering Drinks for reasonable prices, as well as Happy Hours for beer, Cocktails and other specials.

We hope you enjoy your stay in Vienna and wish you a Happy New Year.

For more information on  New Year´s Trail Vienna check
https://events.wien.info/en/vgv/new-years-eve-trail-2018/