While Vienna left me saying “meh,” Hostel Ruthensteiner left me saying wow. Since Vienna was a bit of a last-minute decision, I was really lucky to find a hostel close to the train station that had availability. When I arrived at the hostel I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not a complete “shit hole” like my Brussels hostel turned out to be.
Hostel Ruthensteiner has been around since 1968 making it probably one of the oldest hostels in Europe although you wouldn’t know by looking at the hostel. Everything was modern, clean and a “homey” feeling. The hostel is located in a beautiful 1800s building that was recently renovated, hence the modern feel of the common areas and dorm rooms.
The biggest selling point for me was its 10-minute walk from the Westbahnhof Metro and Train Station where my train from Budapest arrived. I arrived in the early evening and didn’t want to spend hours trying to find my hostel so its convenient location was perfect. From the metro station I could easily get to the historic city center within 15 minutes and the Schönbrunn is about a 30 minute walk in the opposite direction. Of course, you can hop on the tram that runs in that direction, but I always prefer to walk when I can. Hostel Ruthensteiner is located on a quiet side street off of Mariahilferstrasse, which is Vienna’s most popular shopping avenue.
The Hostel Facilities
As I walked into the main doors I was immediately greeted by the warm and friendly staff that spoke excellent English, which was important to me as I only know one German word. Hostel Ruthensteiner has a lot of well-thought out common spaces for hostel guest. There is a cozy, well-stocked bar, a dinning/living room area, computer room with free internet and computers, and a large courtyard patio perfect to mingle with other travelers or just to quietly read in the afternoon. The public modern kitchen filled with all the pots and pans you need to cook your own food is located just outside the patio. I’ve seen a lot of hostel kitchens and this was definitely one of the best.
I loved the patio! I spent a few hours in the afternoon working on my computer basking in the warm sun before my train to Prague. The free wifi is fast and had great signal in the patio area. Win, win for everyone! What makes the patio and the hostel truly unique is the collection of homemade art and furniture throughout the hostel. While I don’t play chess, there is a giant chess set in the patio if you decide to challenge your new travel buddy to a drunken battle of chess.
Hostel Ruthensteiner has many room options to meet every travelers needs. While I booked a 8 bed female dorm room, I was actually placed in a 4 bed dorm room. The room was nice, but it was tiny with not much floor space to move around with all my gear. The bunk beds were super nice though. They were sturdy and quality built unlike a lot of bunk beds at many hostels. When you check-in at the hostel you are given clean, bagged linen to make your own bed. All rooms have large lockers for your gear. My room was located just outside the bathroom, which is nice for me since I drink so much water. However, it does get a little noisy late at night or early morning when all the women guests were getting ready. While I didn’t see any of the large rooms, I have no doubt they are nice. Private rooms are also available for travelers who choose that option. Private rooms are probably great for families, which I did see one in the hostel.
I enjoyed my stay at Hostel Ruthensteiner. I found the staff to be warm, friendly, and very knowledgeable about Vienna. The rooms are clean and cozy. Despite my tiny room size I found my bed to comfortable and I slept well during my one night stay. The hostel is surprisingly large, but for the number of people who can stay there, it is quiet. Hostel Ruthensteiner is definitely not a party hostel. It’s family friendly too. While I’m not usually a fan of making beds, I liked how the hostel gives you bagged linens so you know that they are clean. However, towels are not included with dorm rooms. If you’re staying in a private room you’ll get free towels.
I absolutely loved the outdoor courtyard patio. During the afternoons the patio is a great place to read or do work on your computer. During the evening times it’s a great place to mingle as many travelers will grab a beer at the bar and hang out in the patio. Both my Athens and Budapest hostels provided free breakfast in the morning, which I love. For the price I paid at Hostel Ruthensteiner I expected free breakfast too, but you must purchase breakfast. I did end up purchasing breakfast, which set me back about €3 for toast, jam, and juice. There are about three breakfast options ranging from toast to toast, yogurt, and cereal. It was good, but I don’t think it was quite worth the price. Overall, I definitely recommend staying at Hostel Ruthensteiner in Vienna. It’s a great modern, clean hostel in a great location in Vienna.
Hostel Quick Facts
- Location: Robert-Hamerlinggasse 24, 1150 Vienna
- Cost: Ranges depending on season. Dorm rooms range from €10 (winter rate) upwards of €30 (summer rate). Private rooms will cost you more.
- Nearby Attractions: Schönbrunn Palace, Westbahnhof train station
- Languages Spoken: German and English
- Payment: Cash and Credit Card
- Pros: Great location, modern and clean, outdoor patio, friendly staff, fast wifi
- Cons: No free towels or breakfast