Please choose Language or Country
or

Austria's Glorious Ball Season

Every winter, Austria hosts hundreds of swish ball nights - nowhere are balls so romantically formal as in Vienna. Learn about the traditions of a typical evening at the ball.

Over 400 Viennese balls are staged each winter, frequented by 300,000 dance-loving visitors from all around the world. Strict dress codes, an opening fanfare, the entrance of the debutants and debutantes and the call "Alles Walzer!" (literally: “Everything is waltz!”) are all part of a classic ball. Balls are usually opened by a Polonaise (a slow stately dance of Polish origin) and punctuated by speeches, a midnight Quadrille (a square dance performed by couples) and the crowning of the "belle of the ball".

The Viennese Ball’s History

In the 18th century the wearing of masks and costumes was reserved for the nobility. To compensate for this, Emperor Joseph II opened up the dances in the Redoute Rooms in the Hofburg palace to everyone. This allowed the Viennese to copy the courtly customs of these celebrations, something which they retain to this day.

The waltz, being a partner dance, was initially perceived as a provocation, and caused moral outrage. The Vienna Congress (1814/15), meeting in the city to establish the new order in Europe following Napoleon's campaigns, made it acceptable via the salons.

  • Ball Season in Vienna © Kaffeesiederball Ball Season in Vienna © Kaffeesiederball
  • The Vienna Opera Ball © Österreich Werbung / Hans Wiesenhofer The Vienna Opera Ball © Österreich Werbung / Hans Wiesenhofer
  • Opening of the Opera Ball © Wien Tourismus / Peter  Rigaud Opening of the Opera Ball © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud
  • Opera ball © Österreich Werbung / Lois Lammerhuber Opera ball © Österreich Werbung / Lois Lammerhuber
  • Viennese ball and Viennese waltz (Kaffeesiederball 2010) © Kaffeesiederball / no name Viennese ball and Viennese waltz (Kaffeesiederball 2010) © Kaffeesiederball / no name
  • Vienna Ball Season © Österreich Werbung / Gerhard Trumler Vienna Ball Season © Österreich Werbung / Gerhard Trumler

Balls Today

The crème-de-la-crème of high society - along with a crowd of wannabes - dances and socialises the night away. There are sparkling balls held everywhere in Austria, with a quite impressive list of balls in Vienna.

Today, some of the most popular balls are held by professional groups, ranging from confectioners, hunters and pharmacists to coffee house owners and engineers. Officially, the ball season ends in February with an array of carnival balls. Only few events are held out of season, such as the Fête Impériale in the Spanish Horse Riding School, the proceeds of which go towards the protection and breeding of the oldest cultural horse breed, the Lipizzaners.

Austrian balls go on until the early hours, and had the Fairy Godmother been Austrian, she wouldn't have dreamed of ordering Cinderella to leave the ball as early as midnight!

Vienna's Glorious Ball Season

Ever dreamed about dancing the waltz at one of Vienna's many famous balls? With hundreds to choose from, here are some highlights of the Viennese Ball Season.
 

The Vienna Philharmonic Ball

24 January 2019 
Location: Musikverein
German: Ball der Wiener Philharmoniker
www.wienerphilharmoniker.at


Ball of the Viennese Industry

16 February 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German: Hofburg Ball der Wiener Wirtschaft
www.hofburg-ball.at
 

TU Ball

31 January 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German TU Ball
www.tu-ball.at


Viennese Rainbow Ball

26 January 2019
Location: Parkhotel Schönbrunn
German: Wiener Regenbogenball
www.hosiwien.at
 

Vienna Medical Doctor's Ball

26 January 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German: Wiener Ärzteball
www.aerzteball.at
 

The Vienna Opera Ball

28 February 2019
Location: Vienna State Opera
German: Der Wiener Opernball
www.wiener-staatsoper.at
 

Vienna Coffee House Owners' Ball

22 January 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German: Ball der Wiener Kaffeesieder
www.kaffeesiederball.at
 

Bonbon Ball

1 March 2019
Location: Vienna Concert Hall
German: BonbonBall
www.bonbonball.at
 

Ball of Legal Professionals

2 March 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German: Der Juristen-Ball
www.juristenball.at
 

Rudolfina-Redoute Masked Ball

4 March 2019
Location: Hofburg Vienna
German: Rudolfina-Redoute Masken-Ball
www.rudolfina.at
 

Johann Strauss Ball

16 February 2019
Location: Vienna Kursalon
www.soundofvienna.at
 

Fête Impériale

No date in 2019
Location: Spanish Horse Riding School
German: Ball der spanischen Hofreitschule
www.fete-imperiale.at

 

Plan your trip with us...

Give us a call Monday to Friday from 8am to noon. Outside of our office hours please drop us an email and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

Holiday information

Our holiday experts are here to assist you with your holiday planning. Give us a call from 8am to noon or drop us an email and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

Telephone: 00800 400 200 00*

*toll-free; calls from mobile networks may incur charges

Feedback and win

Share feedback about holidays in Austria for a chance to win!

Take the survey here

Newsletter

Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter and receive great information about Austria.

Newsletter

Image copyrights

The main purpose of the two main domains www.austria.info and www.austriatourism.com is the promotion of Austria as a holiday destination.