Photo from the Danube Island Festival

The Danube Island Festival Vienna 2019

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!

Vienna in One Day: a Sightseeing Quickie

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.

help-content

The How To Travel Series

It’s not common to everybody – some need a little help

Recently we have been sitting together at wombat’s head office and had a chat about good old times.
9 out of 11 officers have a vivid wombat’s history, having started at wombat’s as a receptionist or bartender. We all know how to hostel and how to travel.
Everybody can come up with a silly story or with a top ten of stupid questions. It’s shocking how many people don’t know how to do the most basic things in life, when they are already out there exploring the globe. For years we have been wondering about people who came up to reception and tried to make us believe, that their duvets wouldn’t fit into their covers. Only to find out, that they tried to stuff them into the pillowcase. Once five guys came to the hostel bar paying drinks and cheering for a sixth guy, who turned out to be a Marine. Bartenders thought it was a stag do or a birthday party, but it turned out this guy just helped the others to make their bed, as they were struggling hard.

Laundry, please?

All of us had a moment when we were surprised by somebody in his twenties, confessing that he had never made his bed before.
The tons of questions regarding laundry. Or more specific the simple use of a washing machine. Some guests attempted to bribe receptionists to do the laundry for them. We once had a guy who spent a whole day waiting in the lobby and everytime he noticed, that somebody was changing money for the laundry at reception, he jumped at them and asked if they could do his laundry too.
He broke into tears when our receptionists kindly told him to do his laundry himself and even offered him detailed instructions. He was just too afraid to shrink his clothes.

How to travel

Yet there are also less particular questions and topics, that our fellow travellers need some explaination for. Questions like ‘How does public transport work here?’ or ‘Which is the strongest Cocktail in your bar?’ or ‘What’s the easiest way to see most of the sights here?’.

So we decided to dedicate part of our video content and a whole section of our Youtube Channel to this help content. Subscribe and we’ll keep you posted and entertained with little help videos. Our coworkers won’t run out of funny hostel stories to tell.

 

The children’s choir Dia.logos at wombat’s VIENNA

Everybody who stayed at wombat’s Vienna the Lounge shortly before Christmas will remember the little musical interlude at breakfast. At that time we had a very special guest: the children’s choir Dia.logos from Sibiu, Romania. During their concert tour in Upper Austria and Vienna they spent one night with us and surprised us with a little Romanian Christmas song in the morning. What a nice gesture, that sweetened the morning for the guests and the staff!

The children’s choir Dia.logos is from the Transylvanian city Sibiu, which is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007. Dia.logos was founded 3 years ago by the priest Alexandru Ionită who supports projects for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. One of the projects he supports is the “Caravana Gypsy Jazz” Ensemble, consisting of seven ambitious musicians. At the same time the Caravana Gypsy Jazz is an education project that offers a perspective to young people from disadvantaged families, offering them music lessons by the members of the ensemble. The initiator of this project is Emanuel Mario Bebe from Bucharest, who also grew up in a children’s home and calls it his “soul project”.

With the help of wombat’s and that of many others, the children’s choir Dia.logos was able to realize this trip. The voluntary donations collected at the three benefit concerts can now be used mainly for the educational project of Alexandru Ionită, for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. The high sum of 1.000.- Euro will go into the music project with the group Caravana Gypsy Jazz.

As Teresa Leonhard, another supporter of the project said, it is beautiful to see how music is is able to build bridges. We are very happy being part of this great project and would love to welcome them again!

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/

 

 

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