Second stop on our interrailing trip (first stop was Prague), Vienna was the place we knew least about. We hadn’t been given many recommendations on where to go and what to see and so after a whirlwind 3-day adventure in Prague we were looking forward to seeing where the next couple of days would take us. We had a rather eventful journey where I accused a man of stealing my phone then found it in my bag (highly embarrassing). First thing we did when we arrived: got lost. Of course we did. Because this is me, and we decided not to take a cab but to navigate the tram system to our hostel which just so happened to be on the longest road in Vienna. Our first mistake was listening to the little boy on the information desk who hadn’t a clue, our second mistake was going in the wrong direction and getting off by some kind of industrial estate. We wandered into the only establishment nearby, a half closed fake Irish pub where an Austrian family stared at us like freaks and then mumbled at us in broken English to go back the way we came. By the time we got back to station we were so hot smelly and knackered that we gave up on walking and backpacks and got in an expensive cab. No regrets, I needed a shower so badly I would’ve paid a random car to take me to one.
I’ll be honest, I’m not certain that Vienna has a whole lot to offer tourists and travellers in the way of sightseeing, unless you’re into opera and museums and that. Granted we were only there for one full day so there was probably a lot we missed, but from our perspective we walked around the city in a day and felt like we saw it all. The buildings are very pretty and grand and have a Greek/Roman vibe to them which was different, and the views from the Stephansdom church were pretty great. We wandered down to the river and sat on a boat cafe looking at fake beaches and drinking fake appletiser. We then got the train to the Naschmarket and had several falafel men shouting at us and elephant material sellers chasing us which was all the funs. We were so hungry because we kept forgetting to eat that we caved in and bought oodles of falafels and olives and mango houmous (I know right) and ate a much deserved spread back at our hostel. All in all, a nice day but nothing majorly thrilling to report that would make me go ‘omg you MUST go to Vienna now’.
However whilst our sightseeing experiences may not have been that exciting, our discovery of one of the best bars in Europe definitely was. Grace had googled Vienna nightlife and found a place called Travelshack down the road from our hostel so we thought we would check it out… best decision of our life. It looked like a little quirky bar when you first went in with a line of bras hanging from the ceiling (standard) but had so many hidden secrets. One room had beer pong and table football, one room had the Austrian hammer game where you have to hit a nail into a tree stump with the sharp side of a hammer – more fun than it sounds and is done with compulsory tequila shots. #nailedit. When it gets busy enough they open up a garage-style door to a dancefloor with a pole and you can only enter once you do the conga and have tequila poured into your mouth; and a karaoke room which is where we spent the end of our night screaming into a microphone that comes from the ceiling with 30 strangers.
The best thing about the Travelshack was their bar crawl, ‘The Mission’. This is no ordinary bar crawl. You are given a card before you start with missions that you must complete over the course of the evening in order to win 4 free shots. These include: swapping clothes with someone of the opposite sex, being cable tied to someone for an hour (I needed the toilet during this hour so made my partner stand outside the door in the girls toilets), getting a rubber band from your forehead to your neck without using your hands, winning at the limbo, doing a scavenger hunt, performing a talent (cup song, obvs), performing a booty dance and streaking around a church which was surprisingly liberating (the fact it was a church had no significance, it was just the nearest building). I’m always an advocate for organised fun so obviously I was loving the challenges but I think they genuinely added far more hilarity and enjoyment to the night for everyone involved. The free buckets of sangria before we left probably helped too.
Having checked quite a few off our list, we decided for some reason that The Mission wasn’t enough and we should add our own challenges. So we performed some kind of foursome straw sipping contest for which we were rewarded with a disgustingly great shot activity of sorts. Another thing about the Travelshack – they provided a vast assortment of shots. Tequila fire shots that made the bar smell like cinnamon, body shots, slammers which involve a hard hat and a hammer, and many more unmentionables. The whole experience of Travelshack meant we met a lot of random people including twins called Storm and Lightning (surely not), smug face friends, and fellow karaoke singers/mission completers from many different nationalities. The night ended with regrettable shots of absinthe, games of pool (grace is a lad), beanbags and yolo. The word has never been more appropriate.