Vienna at sunset

Six interesting facts about Vienna – and why you should visit

local perspective

If you’re planning on visiting Central Europe, you will most likely make your way to beautiful Austria and its colourful capital - Vienna. Here are a few interesting facts about Vienna you might want to keep in mind when travelling to the capital of music.

An afternoon in a street in Vienna

1. Over 30% of Viennese residents are not actually Austrian

Vienna is a very diverse city and this is what makes it such a great place. Located in Central Europe and having a great standard of living, Austria attracts many foreigners who choose this country as their home, may it be temporarily or permanently. A lot of people also come here to study in one of the many good universities, or just stay for a semester or 2 as part of an exchange program.

When you’re walking around Vienna, you’ll often people speaking languages other than German. And this is something you have to get used to because it’s what makes Vienna so special.

A red tram outside the historic Burgtheater (Imperial Court Theatre) in Vienna, Austria

2. Public transportation in Vienna is amazing

Vienna is probably one of the few cities in the world where you are better off without a car. Honestly, the public transportation works so well that you’re able to get from one end of the city to the other within half an hour. The underground, buses and trams are incredibly well connected, the schedules are aligned and you usually have to wait just a couple of minutes until the next vehicle comes.

The Danube River flowing through Vienna

3. One of the biggest European rivers flows through Vienna

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe and it flows through quite a few countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. The river goes through Vienna, dividing it in two parts, with a little “island” in the middle. The canal is perfect for evening walks, daily sunbathing or at some spots - for swimming. You can even hire a paddle boat and enjoy some time floating around.

One of the things associated with the Danube Island in Vienna, is the Donauinselfest – the biggest open-air music festival in the world! The festival takes place each year and it attracts millions of people every time. Oh, and did I mention it’s one of the many free events in Vienna!

Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria

4. You can find the world’s oldest zoo in Vienna

Vienna’s Tiergarten Schönbrunn was established in 1752 and is the oldest zoo in the world, which is still operating. If that is not convincing enough for you, Anthony Sheridan’s zoo rankings named Schönbrunn Zoo the best zoo in Europe five years in a row. The Schönbrunn Zoo is home to around 7,800 animals from 700 species - you can even see koalas here!

A ball in Vienna

5. More than 300 balls take place in Vienna annually

Vienna is famous for its ball season - a time between the months of January and March when numerous balls take place. Attending a ball is one of the things I recommend people the most when visiting Vienna, as it’s an experience for a lifetime. All you need is a ticket (it costs around €100 for adults and €30 for students) and formal attire - suit and bowtie for the gentlemen and a long evening dress for the ladies.

An aerial view of Vienna

6. Vienna is the most liveable city in the world

Vienna has been named the city with the best quality of living for ten years in a row! Each year, the international consulting company Mercer carries out a study to compare the quality of life in 231 cities around the world.

The study takes into consideration numerous factors like environmental conditions, medical care, education and infrastructure conditions such as the well-developed public transportation network, power and water supply.

It comes as no surprise that so many people choose Vienna as their home. It is not only amazing to visit - it’s even better to live here.

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Lyubomira

Author - Lyubomira

Lyubomira is a travel blogger from Bulgaria who has spent 5 years studying and living in Vienna, Austria. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Vienna, and is currently doing her masters in Tourism in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her blog focuses on travel tips about more off-the-beaten-path places around the world.

Last Updated October 7, 2021

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