A July 2002 trip
to Vienna by kiwilee
Quote: On a very tight budget of €210 for a week, I could have had to sleep in the open. Lucky then that it was in the middle of a heatwave, and that i found two brilliant hostels. On top of this, I marvelled at the art of Hundertwasser, played by the Praterstern, and took a dip in the Danube. And tried out a few bars and cafes aswell.
What Picasso did for Spain, Hundertwasser seems to have done for Vienna. Make sure you visit his house and the museum dedicated to him, the Kunst Haus Wien.
24 hour travel passes cost €5, but if you are going to be in Vienna for more than a couple of days, invest in a weekly travel pass (Wochenkarte). Mine ran Monday to Sunday and for €12.50 saved a lot of money (valid on U-Bahn, Trams and Buses)
And the door handles on the U-Bahn, so Viennese.
No curfew, but courtyard closes at 10:30pm
This was a fantastic place i stumbled on because my first choice hostel had been booked out. Not that this turned out to be a problem.
It is situated about 5 mins walk from Westbahnhof Station. Follow the signs off Mariahilferstrasse. The hostel is split into two parts, the main hostel and then another buliding around the corner coming under the same name, which is where I stayed. All the rooms were dorms with up to 10 people in each room. Everyone has their own locker and you share the bathroom/kitchen facilities with your dorm.
There is a courtyard with a huge table and chairs which acts like a central point for meeting people. It's also useful for anything from eating breakfast to reading in the sun. As there was no bar (drinks available from reception) this is where everyone congregated for dinner and evening drinks to meet fellow travellers and head out for the night.
Everyone I met was extremely friendly and the whole place had a very laidback vibe. I recommend going to the Billa supermarket on Maria Hilferstrasse and spending €2.49 for a big bottle of wine, great for sharing and making new friends
Clean and lively place, helpful owners and brillant people.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2002
Robert Hamerlinggasse 24, 1150
+43 1 8934202 or
Wombats is a very modern hostel located about 10 minutes walk from Westbahnhof station. For €14 you get a very spacious sunny dorm room with a sparkling new bathroom.
The hostel does seem to get very full over the summer months. After my first night, I went to pay for another few nights and was told that there were no rooms available at 11 am in the morning... all booked out.
I didn't make use of my free welcome drink as I fell asleep as soon as I got there, but after talking to others who had stayed at Wombats, I was assured that all the facilities are very nice: Internet, bar, bicycle hire, and all the standard fare.
I would recommend this place but I would suggest trying to book ahead.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 7, 2002
Grangasse 6, 1150
+43 1 8972336
Attraction | "Kunst Haus Wien (Hundertwasser Gallery)"
The first thing that you notice when going in the doors is the curvy floor. This is to try and bring us closer to nature. When combined with his works, it makes for an almost interactive experience.
Even if you are not that interested in his works of art, visit just to see the looks of amusement and amazement on others faces as they peruse the hills and valleys of the museum.
He had particularly close links with New Zealand in the later stages of his life (he is buried under a tree with red poppies there). My personal highlight was the incredibly interesting designs for new New Zealand and Australian flags, but more particularly, the reasons he gave for the changes.
As part of this visit, you may like to have coffee outside in the garden, set up in much the same style as the building, then take a five minute walk to the Hundertwasserhaus (see Hundertwasserhaus entry in this diary) to see his work put to use in real life.
Before you go it is worth having a look at the website (www.kunsthauswien.com) for a very informative overview of the place.
Open 10am-7pm every day
€6.90 adult, €5.10 discount, half price on Monday.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2002
Untere Weissgerberstraße 13
Vienna, Austria 1030
+43 1 712 04 91
Attraction | "Hundertwasserhaus"
Hundertwasser has turned this apartment block into a lasting imprint on Vienna. The bright colours and his hatred of straight lines leads to something that you may not see the likes of ever again (and it's free!).
You are not allowed into the building so as not to disturb the residents, but looking from outside and sitting on the fountain should suffice for most.
On the other side of the street there is an arcade which houses (among tourist shops) the famous toilet, perhaps the finest in the world. It is worth the €1.50 to see what some people may consider absurd, but most genius.
Easy access from Schwedenplatz, just take the N tram a couple of stops past Radetzkyplatz. Otherwise its about a 15 minute walk from Wien Mitte Station
Kegelgasse 34-38 Löwengasse 41-43
Vienna, Austria 1030
Attraction | "Praterstern"
This park has everything any other typical amusement park has: rollercoasters galore, game machines, haunted house. But the ride that really stood out for me was one tucked away at the back of the park. While I can't recall the ride's name, it has a huge arm that spins around with 4 seats on either end of it.... Well worth the €8 fee to enter.
Those slightly more game might take on the bungee rocket which catapults you to about 15 stories high before bouncing you slowly back to earth.
There is plenty of grass around the outskirts of the park, and it is well served by nearby shops. It might be a good thing to play in the afternoon, then retire to the grass for an early evening picnic before taking to the Reisenrad (€13? adults, about half this for children) to see the sunset and some stunning Viennese views at dusk. The ferris wheel takes about 30 mins to complete its cycle, so factor that into your schedule.
One could quite easily spend half a day unwinding here in the sun and enjoying the screams of those crazy enough to take on the most challenging rides.
Prater Amusement Park and Ferris Wheel
London, New Zealand