Vienna basics

7 very random fun facts about Vienna


Need a conversation starter? Here´s some superfluous knowledge about Vienna for your next small talk session.

The other day on my way to work I stopped at a traffic light and spotted the brilliant piece of morbid Viennese humour you can see on above picture: a suicidal business man on top of a roof I had never noticed before.

Which led me to think: what else is there (you and) I haven´t gotten to know about my hometown yet? So I went on rummaging through my brain (and the internet) and stumbled across these very, very random fun facts about Vienna.


  1. Viennese love their wine. That´s why Vienna is the world´s biggest and only capital to produce its own wine on a major level (190 winemakers, 660 ha vineyards, 2,39 million litres vintage). The city´s smallest vineyard is located right in the 1st district, on Schwarzenbergplatz.
  2. Michael Jackson wrote the „Earth Song“ while staying at the Imperial hotel in Vienna.
  3. Even our toilets are classy: on Vienna´s Graben you can powder your nose in a landmarked public Jugendstil/Art Nouveau toilet. So in case you enjoy spending your time in pretty rest rooms, the 50 cent fee is totally worth your while.
  4. In Vienna, when someone says „He/she has taken the 71“ („Er/Sie hat den 71er genommen“), it is actually a way of saying someone has died. The 71 refers to the tram line which stops at one of Europe´s largest cemeteries, the Zentralfriedhof. Among the many buried there are quite prominent figures of history: Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Schubert, to name but a few.
  5. Sausages that are called „Frankfurter“ in Vienna, are called „Wiener“ in Frankfurt. (Rumour has it a native Frankfurt butcher moved to Vienna and „invented“ this kind of sausage, hence the identity conflict of these poor sausages)
  6. Vienna´s recreational area Prater is twice as big as New York´s Central Park.
  7. Neither of the two architects of Vienna´s famed opera house survived its opening: Eduard van der Nüll committed suicide, August Sicard von Sicardsburg died of a stroke. The building had been heavily criticised and called a „sunken treasure chest“. All because the level of Ringstraße along which the opera was being built, had been substantially raised during the opera´s construction phase, thus leaving the entrance of the opera significantly lower than originally planned.


















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