Here are some fun facts about Vienna to enrich your visit!
Welcome again to the fascinating world of Vienna, a city that seamlessly blends its imperial grandeur with intriguing, lesser-known stories. Let’s revisit our list of 10 fun facts, with a twist on one of the entries to unveil a shadowy facet of Vienna’s past.
Home to the World’s Oldest Zoo
The Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna takes the crown as the world’s oldest continuously operating zoo. Established in 1752, it initially served as an imperial menagerie and now captivates visitors with a mix of historical allure and commitment to wildlife conservation.
A City Underneath the City
Beneath the streets of Vienna lies a sprawling network of underground tunnels and cellars, some of which date back to mediaeval times. These hidden passageways have diverse histories, from storing beer to providing shelter during WWII air raids. You can find out more about this underground city on our “Vienna behind the scenes” tour.
Vienna’s Secret Addresses
Surprisingly, Vienna is dotted with several ‘fake’ addresses. These peculiar buildings, lacking doors or windows, were constructed for various practical reasons, such as subway ventilation and utility camouflage.
The Birthplace of Snow Globes
The delightful snow globe was invented in Vienna in 1900 by Erwin Perzy. His original design featuring the Basilica of Mariazell sparked a global fascination, and his family continues this unique Viennese craft to this day. The snow globes museum is definitely worth a visit to those particularly interested in it. Find more information here.
A Network of Ghost Stations
Hidden beneath Vienna’s vibrant life are several ‘ghost stations’—parts of the subway system built but never utilized. These abandoned platforms and tunnels add an eerie layer to the city’s underground world.
Vienna’s Vineyards within the City
Vienna stands out among major cities for having over 700 hectares of vineyards within its urban boundaries, making it the only world capital producing a considerable amount of wine right in the city. There are many fun wine related experiences in Vienna. We recommend to try this one here.
The Unique Viennese Coffee House Culture
Viennese coffee houses hold a special place in cultural history, recognized by UNESCO for their significance. They are celebrated not just for their coffee but as traditional spaces for relaxation and intellectual discussion. There are many coffee related experiences in Vienna. Beside learning about it on our “Vienna’s top 10 and their secrets” tour, you can also book experiences such this one here.
A Dreamlike Name
Vienna’s name, “Wien”, is thought to derive from the Celtic word ‘Vedunia’, meaning ‘forest stream’ or ‘dream’, highlighting the city’s historical connection with nature and a touch of its whimsical charm. You learn more about the city’s history on our classic tours. There are many options for you to choose from and you can see the full catalog here.
A Hotspot for Cold War Espionage
During the Cold War, Vienna served as a crucial hub for international espionage. The city’s neutral status made it a crossroads for spies from the East and West, leading to a labyrinth of intrigue and secret dealings that could rival any spy novel. Do you love spy stories? Then make sure to book our “Codename: Vienna” spy tour.
The Viennese Waltz: A Dance That Captured the World
The ‘Wiener Walzer’ or ‘Viennese Waltz’ originated in this city. Once seen as scandalous due to its close-hold style, this dance is now a cherished part of Vienna’s cultural legacy, especially during the city’s renowned ball season.
Join our tours to learn more about Vienna!
Would you like to uncover more secrets and learn cool facts about our beautiful city? The perfect way to do so is by joining our Secret Vienna tours. We have public tours available on weekends and private tours available any time. Simply fill the inquiry form and join us on a fun and fascinating experience.