Secret City Trails

Secret City Trails

Secret City Tour Berlin

The Secrets of Berlin

You love discovering cities but classic city tours where you just check off the sights seem quite boring to you? If you’re more into exploring a city with all senses we have the perfect tool for you! Instead of walking around without being involved, your city tour converts into a game! Also you don’t have to pre-book your tour and stick to fixed times, just start the game when you’re ready. So forget POKEMON GO and discover real hidden treasures in cities across Europe with Secret City Trails!

 

Secret City Trails Munich

The Secrets of Munich

 

Secret City Trails takes locals and travellers on urban adventures in 24 cities across Europe. During the experiences players explore a city’s hidden gems and unlock stories and recommendations to cafes and restaurants while they solve a trail of riddles via a web app (works in browser of any smartphones, so no downloads are needed). Solving the riddles puts people in the present and requires focus on what’s around instead of on your phone. The city discovery games are an entertaining, interactive, instantly bookable, affordable and independent way of seeing and enjoying  a city.

How it works

The game can be played alone or in a group of up to 5 persons. First of all you need to choose one of the 24 cities and book it online before you receive an email with a unique link to play. By adding the discount code wombats you’ll get off 10% a game at any city!

After that, the starting point will be revealed in the email. As soon as you open the email link in your smartphone’s browser and tap ‘Play Now’ the game starts and you receive your first riddle. Now it’s your turn to search for answers to the riddles on streets, hidden courtyards, alleys, unknown galleries and even lovely shops and cafes. Answer correctly and unlock the next riddle, as well as stories and recommendations to cafes, bars, shops and more. There’s no limit for incorrect answers and you get encouraged to try again. If you’re stuck you can ask for a hint. There’s one for each riddle and it will get you nearer to the location where you can find your answer. Asking for a hint will cost you 10 minutes of ‘penalty time’ though. If you’re really stuck or lost, you can choose to skip a riddle. This will result in 20 minutes ‘penalty time’ which will be added to your overall time. Your total time will be revealed after the last riddle when the game ends.

Secret City Trails Vienna

The Secrets of Vienna

We had the chance to try Secret City Trails in Vienna and we absolutley loved it! Not only that it’s great fun to solve the riddles and explore many places, you also perceive the spots completely different. By focusing on the details to solve the riddles you will realize things you have never seen before! You also get to know many facts about the buildings and the history which was really interesting and we didn’t know yet. Unfortunately it started to rain heavily on our Secret City Trail tour so we had to interrupt it for some time. But this wasn’t a big problem as you pass many cute cafes and bars on your tour and there’s also a break after you solved half of the riddles. At the end of the game you will receive a map with all the locations you have passed, so that you can come back to those places at any given time.

Attack of the 50 Foot Socialite

Street Art Map Berlin

Berlin is the perfect city for everybody who is crazy about culture and art! Countless museums, galleries and daily new exhibitions leave nothing to be desired. But even Berlin’s streets themselves are art: street art artists from all over the world, as well as local stars of the scene, have turned Berlin’s house walls into canvases and decorated the city with larger-than-life works of art. There are so many things to discover all over the city! But what is the best way to go, to see all of Berlin’s street art?

How about an interactive street art map? The guys from DEFSHOP have put together on a map the 46 best murals of Berlin so you can see at a glance where they are and how to get there. The only two things you have to do is first, to choose one of the 4 routes in the menu of the street art map and second, buy a metro ticket. The selected murals can all be reached using a single underground or suburban railway line. By clicking on the icon, you will not only find the exact address and the nearest S- or U-Bahn station, but also more detailed information about the artist and exciting backgrounds to the artworks. The perfect way to do a street art tour on your own and get to know Berlin’s most beautiful murals!

The Routes

As already mentioned there are 4 different routes to choose from. The first one is the U1 route which goes through the heart of the city and contains 14 murals. The secound one is the U8 route that leads from the North to the South of Berlin and hides 11 murals. Number three is the city railway route that runs right through Berlin along the Spree river. Last but not least you can take the Tegel route, situated a little off the beaten track, in the very north of Berlin. The underground line U6 starts right where the street art objects are located and the 6 impressive murals lie close together in a residential area.

Greifswalderstraße - Herakut                                       Well done Steak - Art 071218

Schwedterstraße- We are                                               Oderbergerstraße- Dedicated to

All in all the interactive street art map is a great tool to discover the abundance of street art in Berlin for free and with no long journeys. It should be added, however, that you cannot download the map. So you better have a look on the map before you start and plan your route as it might not work on your way. You also should keep in mind, that the murals are not exactly located at the S- or U-Bahn station and you have to walk a bit to reach it. Some of them are also very hidden so keep your eyes open and don’t miss it!

Winter in Vienna – sightseeing tips from our expert

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

Skiing - Day Trip from Vienna

Skiing – Day Trip from Vienna

Do you love skiing and really don’t give a damn about our environment?

Well, then here’s the perfect day trip from Vienna for you.
Austrian Airlines, American Express and ski region Hochzillertal-Kaltenbach partnered up for a tempting offer.

You could go to nearby ski regions from Vienna by train or bus within 2 hours, but you could also do this:
Catch a flight from Vienna at 6:35am, fly out to Innsbruck/Tyrol, enjoy a day of skiing and get back to Vienna by 19:55pm.
Sounds crazy? Indeed it is, but the weird thing about it is, it’s actually offered as an affordable package.

The package includes in detail:
Flights including taxes (Carry-on Luggage max. 8 kg)
Transfer to and from the ski region
Ski- or snowboard hire on site
Ski-pass

The whole package is available from €169
This is probably the best deal you can get for a ski trip from Vienna. The ski region offered is spectacular and compares to the ski regions outside of Vienna (Semmering mainly) like a Dodge Viper compares to a Buick. Just to give you an idea, the day pass alone is worth around €50. So, price-wise this is a ridiculous offer, really.

When is it available?
Between December 2018 and April 2019 only on Tuesdays and Fridays due to availability.

How can you book it?
You can try to book via http://www.abzumschnee.at/home/flugzumschnee/angebote/33, the website is only in German though.

You could ask our receptionists to book for you, but we will talk you into another day trip, as we do care about our environment and flying from Vienna to Tyrol is just impractical.

Seriously, this offer is as good as it is insane and it will leave you with the ecological footprint of a chain-smoking, truck-driving Tyrannosaurus Rex. So, please, spend €50 less and catch a train to Semmering. That might be less spectacular, but way better for your karma.

New Year´s Trail Vienna

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/

 

 

New Year’s Eve in Berlin

One of Europe’s largest open air parties  is celebrated on New Year’s Eve in Berlin, between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. Together, about one million people await the beginning of a new year.

New Year’s Eve in Berlin

On New Year’s Eve Berlin invites its guests and residents to celebrate the beginning of a new year with a great open air party. Each year bands and DJs attract about one million people to party along the “Straße des 17. Juni”, between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column until the early morning hours of the 1st of January.
At midnight a massive firework marks the start of the new year.

New Year’s Eve between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column

The party area comprises two kilometres from Brandenburg Gate along the “Straße des 17. Juni” until the Victory Column. The festival programme includes music acts, international stars and performances, light shows, food from all over the world as well as the famous firework. The party kicks off at 00:30 and has no definite ending.

Security Checks at the Entrances

At the entrances of the festival mile security checks take place. Any kind of firework is strictly prohibited. Pointed and sharp items as well as items which can be used as weapons, are not allowed to be carried inside the party area. The same counts for glass bottles and big bags.

New Year’s Eve at wombat’s

If you don’t want to celebrate New Year’s Eve among millions of people and you are one of the lucky persons staying at wombat’s CITY Hostel Berlin, the roof terrace and bar might be the place to be. You’ll have an amazing view over Berlin’s city center and our wombar offers drinks at reasonable prices, specials and Happy Hours.

For more Info on New Year’s Eve in Berlin visit https://www.berlin.de/en/events/2947764-2842498-new-years-eve-party.en.html

New Year’s Eve in Munich

The Bavarian capital Munich, or München to the locals, is one of Germany’s busiest cities when it comes to celebrations. People are on the streets for New Year’s Eve in Munich and celebrate in public with their neighbours, with large scale fireworks displays held across the city, lighting up the skyline as midnight strikes.

Munich is often reduced to the consumption of german beer and sausages, but the New Year’s Eve in Munich has more to offer. The big event in Munich over the holiday season is the famous Tollwood Winter festival on the Theresienwiese. The festival actually starts earlier in December and incorporates live entertainment including live music and circus acts before actually ending in December 31st with a last final big party and fireworks display at the  Tollwood New Year’s Eve Party “Silvester on the Beach”.

It is the biggest New Year’s party in Munich and boasts 5 huge areas enclosed in tents with a wide range of live bands and DJs including Independent, Rock, Alternative, Latin, Salsa, Reggae, Hiphop, Funk, Soul, Disco and boogie. Away from the Tollwood event, crowds gather at various points across the city to watch the famous midnight fireworks displays. Popular vantage points include Englischer Garten and the Bayerischer Hof while the area around the Friedensengel (peace angel) offers fantastic panoramic views of the city.

The Olympic Park and the city’s iconic Marienplatz also attract large numbers of visitors, with the latter in particular enjoying a thriving trade in it’s many bars and restaurants throughout the evening.

If you are searching for a good place to start and end the party, we’d recommend our wombar at wombat’s CITY Hostels Munich. With specials, cocktail and beer happy hours and reasonably priced drinks all evening long the vivid wombar might just be the place to start.

See also:

http://www.newyearsevelive.net/cities/munich.html

http://www.tollwood.de/

 

Szilveszter in Budapest

New Year’s Eve in Budapest

If you are celebrating New Year’s Eve Budapest you won’t be bored. You can pick from plenty of events like concerts, upscale balls, street parties, local house parties and last but not least a party crowd in the wombat’s wombar. With its central location wombat’s CITY Hostel also gives you a variety of options from where to watch the spectacular fireworks at midnight! A variety of specials, happy hours and a DJ will keep the party going in our wombar. Hungarians are very good at partying, especially on these special occasions like the last day of the year, or Szilveszter in Hungarian.
New Year’s Eve in Budapest is something special, so you could also check out one of the three major places of outdoor festivities with spectacular fireworks.
  • on Vörösmarty Square (M1 metro line, tram No 2) a three-day celebration awaits you on 30th-31st December and on 1st January.
    Live bands from different countries will perform.
  • Nyugati Square (M3 metro line, trams No 4, 6).
    Hungarian pop-rock bands will entertain people.
  • Oktogon (trams  No 4, 6)
    Disco ’til dawn with popular Hungarian DJs. Especially for the young party crowd and everybody who wants to start with a great celebration into the New Year.

Some Hungarian New Year’s Tradition

Most Hungarian New Year’s traditions are related to food. Having lentil or bean dishes on New Year’s Day makes you wealthy. Eat roast pork on New Year’s Eve and you’ll be lucky throughout the year. For a hangover we eat a special soup (korhely leves) made from sour cabbage and sour cream. Washing and hanging out the washing is forbidden, because someone will die. According to common beliefs, the whole year will be like the way you behave on 1st January. You’d better be happy to drive away gloominess in the New Year!

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 is 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 it’s 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!

Vienna Christmas Markets

Christmas market at Vienna city hallIn Austria the Christmas spirit begins to creep in during November. That’s when the first Christmas markets open. Vienna has an enormous variety of Christmas markets to offer. Actually it seems there’s one Vienna Christmas market around the corner no matter where you are and indeed you don’t have to walk far from one to another in Vienna’s city center. You can either follow the sweet fragrance of chestnut, gingerbread and alcoholic punch or you can ask the receptionists at your wombat’s CITY HOSTEL for directions and recommendations. Normally, Christmas markets are more expensive and touristy the closer they are to Vienna’s main sights, like the city hall or Schönbrunn palace. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if you visit Vienna as a tourist and carry enough cash :).  Those locations also make for really nice photos, with the sites and monuments all lit up and decorated.

The slightly hidden markets, like the one at Spittelberg, are normally populated by locals. Especially at Museumsquartier and Altes AKH you’ll meet students and young locals. It is actually a habit among Austrians to visit a Christmas market to drink some punch (Punsch) or mulled wine (Glühwein) before you go out. In some places you have many different versions of Glühwein or punch, but the main concept is always the same: Hot alcohol (in case of Glühwein, hopefully wine) and spices mixed with more spirits. Looking for inspiration? Here are the most important Christmas markets with directions and opening hours in Vienna:

Vienna Christmas World at the Christmas Market

16 November – 26 December 2018
Daily from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
24 December 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna
wienerweihnachtstraum.at

Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz

21 November – 26 December 2018
Su-Th 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Fr & Sa 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
24 December 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
25+26 December 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
New Year’s Village 27 December – 31 December 2018
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, 31 December 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna
www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace

23 November – 26 December 2018
Mo-Fr 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sa & Su 10:00 am – 9 pm
24 December 11:00 am – 4 pm
25 + 26 December 11:00 am – 7 pm
Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna
www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Christmas Village in the Altes AKH

17 November – 23 December 2018
Mo & Tue 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm
We 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Th & Fr 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sa 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Su, hols. 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Alserstrasse/Spitalgasse, Hof 1, 1090 Vienna
www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Old Viennese Christmas Market

17 November – 23 December 2018
Daily from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Freyung, 1010 Vienna
www.altwiener-markt.at

Am Hof Advent Market

16 November – 23 December 2018
Mo-Th 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fr-Su & hols. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, food until 10:00 pm
Am Hof, 1010 Vienna
www.weihnachtsmarkt-hof.at

Cultural and Christmas Market & New Year’s Market, Schönbrunn Palace

24 November – 26 December 2018
Daily from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
24 December 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, 25-26 December 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
New Year’s Market 27 December 2018 – 6 January 2019
Daily from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Schönbrunn Palace, 1130 Vienna
www.weihnachtsmarkt.co.at

Art Advent – Art & Crafts at Karlsplatz

23 November – 23 December 2018
Daily from 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm, food until 9:00 pm
Karlsplatz, 1010 Vienna
www.artadvent.at

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

15 November – 23 December 2018
Mo-Th 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Fr 2:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sa 10:00 noon – 9:30 pm, Su & hols. 10:00 noon – 9:00 pm
Spittelberggasse, Schrankgasse, Gutenberggasse, 1070 Vienna
www.spittelberg.at

Winter Market at Riesenradplatz

17 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
Mo-Fr 12.00 noon – 10.00 pm
Sa, Su & hols. 11.00 am – 10.00 pm
24 December 10.00 am – 5.00 pm, 31 December + 1 January 12.00 noon – 2.00 am
Riesenradplatz, 1020 Vienna
www.wintermarkt.at/wintermarkt

Christmas Market at Stephansplatz

16 November – 26 December 2018
Daily from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
24 December 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, 25-26 December 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Stephansplatz/towards Churhausgasse, 1010 Vienna
www.weihnachtsdorf.at

source: wien.info