Hostel Ruthensteiner Review

Having never even visited a hostel, I had no idea what I was getting into when I booked my first 3 nights at Hostel Ruthensteiner in Vienna in September 2009.  Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!

From the exterior, it looks rather ordinary as it blends in with the other buildings on the street, but it is pretty trendy on the inside.  As you can see from the photos, my 8-bunkbed room was spacious and clean.  Individual lockers were available to store your belongings and each bed had its own reading light.

Here is the view from one of the room's two windows:

Just outside the room, there was the washroom, two sinks and mirror, along with a shower. 

As you can see, the shower area is not very spacious and I found it somewhat awkward to get out of the shower and dry myself off in the makeshift room.  I should also mention that the shower had hot water but I had to push the button every 20-30 seconds to prevent the water from getting cold.  Luckily, I read about that in another review and gave it a shot, or else, I would have had a very cold shower.  I guess that's how the Europeans save on hot water.  That being said, the facilities were clean and well maintained.

The main floor has the typical lobby / welcome counter at the entrance, and when you turn right, you have a lounge area where you can chill and meet new friends while sipping on a cold brewsky from the bar in the next room.

After the bar, you'll find a nice dining area, and then around the corner, the well-equipped kitchen.

Outside the kitchen, you have a nice, quaint little courtyard with lawn chairs, tables, and chessboard.

The English-speaking front desk staff were friendly and more than willing to provide helpful suggestions. 

As for transportation, trams are available only a block away, and you are a short, five minute walk (past many shops, grocery stores, and restaurants) to the Westbahnhof train station, where you can catch a subway into the old part of town. 

Now to the bad things about the hostel: 

Well, what can I say, not much was wrong but the hostel did fail on the "dropped apple" incident.  What's Mike talking about?  Well, in the early morning of my second day, I bought some apples at the nearby grocery store, and upon returning to my room, one of the apples slipped out of the bag, and rolled across the room and under one of the beds only to stop once it hit the wall.  Since I couldn't reach it without waking up the guy sleeping on the bed, I left the apple there as I had five more.  Let's just say the apple was still there when I left two mornings later. It wasn't rotting or anything; it was just still there.  The rooms were otherwise as clean as one can expect for a hostel environment.

Free wireless internet was also available but it seemed overloaded during the late evenings as page loading times were extremely slow, reliable Skype service was difficult to obtain, and the network went down at least once each night I was there  (but it would be back and running in less than 30 minutes).  That being said, I had no issues with the Internet when I would quickly check a few things in the morning when most hostel patrons were still asleep.

Speaking of the patrons, there was a mix of people at the hostel; male and female (but I think the hostel separates the sexes in the larger rooms).  Some patrons in their late teens while others were parents with their teenage children, mostly from Europe but also some from Australia and Asia, and of course, the one Canadian.  The demographics would depend on the day you show up, of course, but it does show that if you're looking for a 'party youth hostel' then this place may not be for you.  

So to summarize, Hostel Ruthensteiner was the first hostel I ever stayed at and it definitely set the bar really high.  I would, without any hesitation, recommend it to any one seeking a nice hostel to stay in Vienna.

If you found this unbiased review and photos helpful, please click on one of the interesting Google advertising links on this blog to help me out. Thanks.


  1. Dear Mike!
    I just stumbled over your wonderful article about our Hostel! Your pictures are really lovely although they make it look like we are totally empty :D.
    No, but really I liked what you wrote about the Hostel! We always want to improve on our quality so I had a meeting with the cleaners and instructed them to look out for apples and collect them all in a special place in our lost&found compartment.
    Other than that we already refurbished our whole WIFI system so now it is very fast and you have WIFI in every room.
    I hope you will visit us again and if you do so let us know in advance that you are the ONE mike with the nice Blogpost. We will invite you to a fresh Drink at the bar :).
    Have fun traveling and writing!
    Stefan @ Hostel Ruthensteiner

    1. Thanks Stefan! I'll be sure to drop by the next time I'm in Vienna


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