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No other city has balls as romantic and festive as Vienna. The traditional events enchant locals and guests from around the world alike well beyond a single night. More than 450 balls take place in Vienna every winter, attracting dance-loving visitors from all walks of life. The tradition of Viennese balls dates back to the 18th century with roots in the imperial courts and aristocratic circles: there are dress codes, an opening fanfare, the debutants' arrival and the exclamation "Alles Walzer!" Other highlights include the so-called "midnight performance," often a quadrille and a small gift for every visitor when entering or leaving the hall.

The dress codes vary depending on the ball, so make sure to check your ticket! The most common one is black tie: Women are required to wear full-length formal dresses and opera-length gloves and entlemen should arrive wearing a black dinner jacket, black trousers, black shoes, white wing-collar shirt and black bow tie.  

The ball season typically spans from late November to Ash Wednesday, just before the Lenten season. Here are some famous balls in Vienna and their dates:

Vienna Opera Ball


One of the most renowned balls is the Vienna Opera Ball, held annually at the Vienna State Opera. This opulent event attracts international attention and features a grand opening ceremony, where the opening committee, that consists of approximately 150 pairs of young men and women, perform the traditional opening dance. The atmosphere is one of glamour and sophistication with attendees dressed in elegant evening gowns and tailcoats, showcasing the city's commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. This ball of balls creates opportunities for encounters between artists, politicians, businesspeople, and ball enthusiasts.

🕐 February 8th 2024

📍 Vienna State Opera

Coffeehouse Owner's Ball

Kaffeesiederball / more infos

Year after year, the Viennese Kaffeesieder transform the Hofburg into the "largest and most beautiful coffee house in the world" where Vienna's famous coffeehouse culture is celebrated. This ball offers a more relaxed atmosphere, featuring live music and dance in a setting reminiscent of the city's historic coffeehouses. The event provides a platform for coffeehouse owners and enthusiasts to come together, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. The Kaffeesiederball one of the most famous balls of the Viennese ball season - Around 3,600 national and international guests enjoy this glittering ball night every year.

🕐 February 2nd 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Confectioners' Ball

©Verein Förderung des Lebensmittelgewerbes | more infos

The Confectioner's Ball or "Zuckerbäckerball" is not just for those with a sweet tooth. This unique event celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship of Vienna's confectioners, showcasing their creativity and skill in the world of pastry and sweets at the Hofburg. The most creative confectioners in the country will produce 3,000 cakes especially for the ball raffle. There are as many guests as cakes and, if visitors wish to guarantee one of the cakes, they can buy one of 500 ball tickets with a cake guarantee in advance. The other coveted raffle tickets are available locally at the ball. Another special feature of the Zuckerbäckerball is that in the show bakery guests can watch bakers and confectioners making crispy and sweet products. The delicacies are offered for tasting.

🕐 January 11th 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

©Wiener Philharmoniker | more infos

Vienna's most exclusive ball, as some would say, is hosted by one of the most famous orchestras in the world and invites dancers into the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. The Golden Hall and the entire building are decorated with countless floral arrangements to provide a festive atmosphere. Richard Strauss composed a festive fanfare for the first ball in 1924, and this work has been performed at every ball since that time. When the brass players of the Philharmonic begin the fanfare from the balcony overlooking the hall, the entrance of the guests of honor and an unforgetable evening begins.

🕐 January 18th 2024

📍 Musikverein

Ball of Sciences

©Franz Reiterer / Roland Ferrigato | more infos

At the ball of science (Ball der Wissenschaften) Vienna’s City Hall will be turned into a festive venue for the city’s science and research community. It combines classic traditions with contemporary impulses from the field of science communication. Since its establishment in 2015, the Science Ball has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most successful and largest events in the Viennese ball season.

🕐 January 27th 2024

📍 Vienna City Hall

Hunter's Ball

©Jägerball | more infos

The Hunter's ball (Jägerball) is one of the highlights of the Viennese ball season and attracted around 5,000 guests. The hunters’ ball, which represents all the federal states, offers a wide artistic spectrum: From hunting horn blowers from various provinces, the Tyrolean Kaiserjägern to opera and ballet.

🕐 January 29th 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Officers' Ball

©Vereinigung Alt Neustadt  | more infos

Since 1926 the Officers' Ball, or in German "Ball der Offiziere" takes place in the historic halls of the Vienna Hofburg. The Officers’ Ball is an event with a long tradition, organized in cooperation between the Austrian Armed Forces and the “Alt-Neustadt” Association, the graduates of the Theresian Military Academy. At this event, Austria’s officers invite people from different social, professional and age groups to socialize. The uniforms from all over the world illustrate the embeddedness of the Austrian Armed Forces and its officers in the Austrian society as well as the international community.

🕐 January 19th 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Medical Doctors' Ball

©Wiener Ärzteball  | more infos

First held in 1949 the Doctors' Ball is one of the most historic and prestigious balls in Vienna and delights the ball society every year with the variety of its mottos and program highlights. The ball regularly attracts up to 3,500 guests, including doctors, stakeholders from science and business, art, culture and sport as well as students, lecturers and culture enthusiasts from around the world. For many years, the Doctors' Ball has also focused on charity: the entire net proceeds of the ball go to a different charitable organization every year.

🕐 January 27th 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Lawyers' Ball

©Katharina Schiffl | more infos

At the height of the Vienna ball season, the Lawyers' Ball (Juristenball) is celebrated at Vienna's famous imperial palace (Hofburg). It has become a tradition that AIJA members and friends visit this unique event together and enjoy a night of splendour, music and dance.

🕐 February 10th 2024

📍 Imperial Palace

Flower Ball

©Fürthner/PID | more infos

The 100th Flower Ball (Blumenball) will take place on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Vienna City Hall under the motto "A Floral Anniversary". With a varied music program, it is the most beautifully decorated ball of the season. The Vienna City Gardens provide a very special colorful sea of flowersconsisting of 100,000 blossoms at their ball.

🕐 January 12th 2024

📍 Vienna City Hall

Rainbow Ball

©HOSI Wien | more infos

The Rainbow Ball celebrates diversity in all its facets together with the LGBTIQ community - and all for a good cause.

The team behind the Vienna Rainbow Ball works on a voluntary basis to make this ball night a special event for the visitors. The net proceeds support the diverse activities of HOSI Vienna, such as the organization of the Vienna Rainbow Parade, awareness campaigns and the association's center "Das Gugg" as a contact point for people who need support and information on LGBTIQ issues.

🕐 January 27th 2024

📍 Austria Trend Parkhotel

Balls of Vienna's Universities

©WU Executive Acadamy , WU Ball 

Vienna's universities contribute their own distinctive flair to the city's renowned ball season, hosting a series of elegant and intellectually charged events. These academic balls showcase a harmonious blend of tradition, cultural enrichment, and the vibrant spirit of student life. These are some balls held by universities in Vienna:

  • The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration hosts its own ball, infusing the evening with a unique blend of business acumen and cultural sophistication. The event reflects the dynamic nature of the university, bringing together students and professionals in a setting that encourages networking and the exchange of ideas.

    🕐 January 13th 2024

    📍 Imperial Palace

  • The TU Ball, hosted by the Vienna University of Technology, is a dynamic fusion of tradition and technology. This lively event brings together students, faculty, and tech enthusiasts for an evening of academic elegance and festive celebration held in the Hofburg.

    🕐 January 25th 2024

    📍 Imperial Palace

  • The BOKU Ball is hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. As one of Vienna's unique university balls, the BOKU Ball attracts a diverse crowd, including students from various environmental disciplines, researchers, and professionals passionate about sustainability. The event provides a platform for networking and exchange of ideas within the context of environmental studies.

    🕐 January 19th 2024

    📍 Vienna City Hall

Vienna's Ball Season

6 mins reading time
Jan 1, 2024
Kathrin Schwarz

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