A Hostel story
The Wombat’s story
It was in December 1988, when we went to “Connor’s Irish Pub” in Melbourne. Since we had run out of money, we decided to spend most of the night there drinking a few beers, playing pool and waiting for the first bus to Alice Springs.
After our first beer, we made our way over to the pool table, but a huge guy interfered, “If you guys want to play here, you first have to win against the king of the table – me! They call me ‘The Sucker’… – just so you know.” All right, so we played by the special “Connor” rules: if somebody finishes the game while the other one hasn’t put one ball into a hole, the loser must drop his pants.
Now, we don’t really know ourselves how this came about, but we had a great series and this huge guy and his friend had no chance to sink even a single ball. So he dropped his pants and said, “Hey, I am John ‘The Sucker’ O‘Sullivan – let’s have a beer.” We drank a “few more” beers together and he invited us to stay at his place for a couple of days.
He was really crazy about wombats, those little mammalian marsupials, and there were 5 or 6 of them living with him. One night, he told us about his dream of running a hostel. He had already come up with a name: “Wombats Backpackers”.
Two years later, we were in Melbourne again, so we went to John’s house. But he was not living there anymore. His neighbour told us that he had died in an accident six months previously. A few years later, we started to think more seriously about the idea of running a hostel in Vienna and there was no doubt about the name…
Wombat’s The City Hostels – A success WomStory
It took ten years from that pool game to the founding of Wombat’s. Marcus and Sascha had spent these years working in different hotels in Austria. They had studied at a tourism school in Vienna and gained quite some expertise at their work places. The idea of opening a hostel stuck with them throughout the years. And, at some point, their passion for this special hostel vibe that we all love lead them to sketch out a business plan and find a spot for the very first Wombat’s in Vienna.
Founded as a company in 1998, Wombat’s The City Hostel opened its doors near Vienna’s Westbahnhof in 1999 – making Wombat’s one of the most experienced hostel chains in Europe.
Wombat’s quickly turned into the place to be for young travellers on a budget. Backpackers waiting in line around the block to get a bed at Wombat’s was a usual occurrence in times before online reservations. Even when online reservations did come in, long lines continued to be a common picture in the neighbourhood.
Five years and some thousands of happy travellers later, Marcus and Sascha expanded their concept to their second destination. Wombat’s The City Hostel Munich opened in 2004 and immediately began rocking the city just as hard as the first Wombat’s had done in Vienna. Both hostels and their infamous hostel bars obviously sparked an appetite for more among young travellers.
And so Wombat’s continued to grow. The opening of a second Wombat’s in Vienna in 2006 lead to renaming the first Wombat’s into Wombat’s The City Hostel – The Base. The new house was called ‘The Lounge’.
In 2008, Wombat’s The City Hostel Berlin opened in Germany’s capital – a great, vivid and innovative city and a big step forward for Wombat’s.
Another three years later, in 2011, Wombat’s opened a third hostel in a prime location in Vienna. It was named Wombat’s The City Hostel – Naschmarkt, after the famous food market next to it.
In 2012, Wombat’s expanded to Budapest, being the first major hostel brand to open a hostel in Eastern Europe. On a side note: Wombat’s The City Hostel Budapest is a former 4 star hotel which has been upgraded to an amazing hostel in the heart of the city.
The next step took Wombat’s across the Channel to London. Just 10 minutes’ walk from the epic sights of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Wombat’s The City Hostel London went into business in winter 2014. Yet another side note: The hostel is located in a house that was initially inaugurated as a seafarer’s hostel in 1865.
When Westbahnhof ceased to be the main train station in Vienna in 2015, Wombat’s sold ‘The Base’ to the NGO ‘Caritas’.
After focussing on structural changes within the company and announcing Boris as the new CEO, Marcus and Sascha celebrated the opening of their first hostel in Italy as chairmen.
Wombat’s The City Hostel Venice Mestre is the newest addition to the WomFamily, but surely not the end of the WomStory.
Wombat’s The City Hostels
Why stay at Wombat’s
More than 300.000 travellers pass through our Wombat’s City Hostels in Budapest, London, Munich, Venice and Vienna every year.
Every one of our hostels sits in the heart of the city so that travellers are right in the thick of things. They are conveniently located with easy access to major transport hubs so that travellers don’t spend too much time looking for the right way. After all, we wouldn’t want them to miss Happy Hour at the famous WomBars.
Gone are the days of simplistic, dirty buildings and cramped 10-bed dorm rooms with squeaky bunk beds. Style is at the fore of Wombat’s, with the unique design of each hostel reflective of its cultural surroundings. And you’ll find no more than eight beds in a dorm.
The spacious dorms and private rooms are decked out with modern interiors and en suite facilities. So no need to wander endless corridors. Locker space and key-card only access ensure extra security, and we are more than happy to boast about our award-winning cleanliness rating.
That’s on top of winning six Hostelworld HOSCAR awards for ‘Best Hostel Chain’. Just saying.
We don’t impose curfews (that would be boring) but instead our receptions are staffed 24/7 and only by travel-loving locals and experienced backpackers. In order to entice you out of your room, our bars remain open until very late at night. Here you can socialize, become a pool champion, play bar games or gather a group to go out and paint the town.
Want to post that selfie of you and your new friends? There’s decent Wi-Fi throughout the entire building. Run out of clean pants? There’s a self-service laundry. Starving or want to impress your roommates? Cook up a storm in the guest kitchen (we even throw in some free pasta). Hungover or needing fuel for a city expedition? There’s an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet to fill yourself up.
Wombat’s has all the facilities needed fora carefree home away from home.
We’ll lift that travelling stress off your shoulders, so you can concentrate on the fun stuff.
So drop off your backpack, find your kindred spirits and start your adventure with us.
Hope to see you soon!