No Mobile, No Problem: Offline Ways to Entertain Yourself in a Hostel

It’s almost hard to imagine travelling these days without having your mobile or internet-enabled device constantly within arms reach. Being able to look up directions or top attractions in seconds has made travelling easier, but it’s also led to a more solitary experience. Should you happen to lose your mobile charger, or heaven forbid, your device itself, we’ve got some suggestions for things to do in a hostel without your electronic BFF.

 

Photo: Gaby Domanski

Read a book

Remember those? Before eReaders became a travel essential the analogue version was the go-to for filling up one’s spare time. If you have an eReader then you’ve likely stocked up on literature, saving valuable luggage space. But if you don’t, most hostels have a book exchange just waiting to be perused. Don’t forget to leave a little note on the inside of your newly discovered book for the next traveller to enjoy.

Play boardgames

Another staple of any good hostel is a selection of well-worn boardgames. At the very least, you can usually track down a deck of cards. Get together your roommates or some random folks from a common area and release your inner competitor. The international appeal of a deck of cards means you’ll likely end up learning a new game or two by the end of the evening.

Write a postcard

Photo: Gaby Domanski

Who doesn’t like to open their post box to a nice surprise from a loved one? Sure it might not be the quickest way to keep the gang back home updated about your crazy adventures, but there’s something super endearing about a handwritten note on the back of a scenic view. If you’re staying at any of the wombat’s Hostels, you can pick from a range of postcards right at the reception and even pick some stamps up too.

Cook a group dinner

They say the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Why not make some new friends by organizing a potluck dinner, or even just making a bit extra of a shareable meal? Whether each member of the group contributes a dish popular in their own country, or you pool your resources together to prepare an epic taco night, a lot of memories can be made over a tasty dinner.

Hit the bar

It probably goes without saying, but an easy way to pass the time and meet new people, is over a few cold beverages in the hostel bar. The prices are often cheaper than hitting the town and the crowd is usually on the same page (i.e. looking to exchange adventure stories and travel tips, and likely to party the night away).

 

As much as having a mobile while travelling has it’s uses, sometimes it’s good to embrace the digital detox. So tuck away your gadget and venture out of your room to enjoy all that your hostel has to offer and maybe meet some new IRL pals in the process.

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 a little help video every other week. Our coworkers won’t run out of funny hostel stories to tell.

 

Street Art and Murals in Vienna

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!

 

 

wombats lobby posing

MQ Vienna Fashion Week 2017

Would you expect models in a hostel?

Well, if you’re a fan of the genre, you may answer this question with a simple, “what can you not expect in hostels?”, right? If you’ve visited enough hostels, you’re likely not easily surprised by anything. Still, most people don’t connect hostels to models or fashion. Reason enough for us to be proud of one of our longest lasting, continuous collaborations. For the seventh year now, we are an official model accommodation for the MQ Vienna Fashion Week. 

What’s your favourite travel outfit?

The MQ Vienna Fashion Week and wombat’s CITY Hostels will take you to the fashion shows if you can answer this question with a photo or a video.

We gave away two MQVFW17 Special Guest Tickets, with access to the VIP Area including free accommodation at wombat’s CITY HOSTELS The Lounge and travel costs.
In addition we rewarded two local contributions with a Day Pass for two and 1st row reservations at the MQVFW17.

Meet Mariana, our winner and a real connoisseur of hostel and travel fashion:

Our local runner-ups, Leandra and Denise also enjoyed their visit to MQVFW17:

Stay tuned for next year!