It is generally considered that the best balls in Vienna usually take place in January and February (during the Carnival Season). These are elegant events with live classical and contemporary music which normally require adherence to a strict dress code; usually floor length evening ball gowns for the ladies and tuxedos, tailcoats or uniform for men. (For some the dress code reflects a theme). Tickets tend to go on sale close to the event date and sell very quickly.
Many of the best balls are organised by professional guilds and associations e.g.
Confectioners’ Ball (17th January 2019), Zuckerbaeckerball website
Ball of Industry and Technology (26th January 2019) Techniker Cercle website – you’ll also find a lot of information on the history of this event on the website.
Vienna Medical Doctor’s Ball (26th January 2019) www.aerzteball.at. Every year a special motto is adopted at the ball and runs throughout the activities of the night. In 2019 this will be “Dancing is Medicine“. The organisers explain:
Dancing is life and movement. Dancing is good for your health. Dancing and gliding on the parquet especially during the ball season a great pleasure and this can be done best while enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of the Vienna Medical Doctors’ Ball in Vienna’s Imperial Palace.
The 26th January 2019 is a popular date for Balls in Vienna giving dancers lots of choice.
Ball of the Viennese Industry (16th February 2019) Hofburg ball website
Ball of The Coffee House Owners (22nd February 2019) Kaffeesiederball website
Ball of Legal Professionals (2nd March 2019) Juristenball website
The “New Year Concert” performed by the Vienna Philharmonic takes place each year on New Year’s morning and is probably the most important international program of Johann Strauss’ family and its contemporaries. With an audience of over 50 million people from around 90 countries the concert takes place in Musikverein, Vienna. In fact, these concerts are so popular worldwide that tickets are drawn by lot entered almost a year in advance. The concerts are available shortly afterwards on DVD – we highly recommend these since they not only capture the marvellous music played by this splendid orchestra in such a grand setting, but they also include recordings of fantastic dancing displays.
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Have fun with the Vienna Advent Calendar – discover Vienna at Christmastime by taking a virtual tour of Rathausplatz; one of the best-known Christmas markets in the world!
If you find all the Viennese Christmas surprises by December 24, you stand the chance to win a trip to Vienna for 2 people. There’s also a goodie bag raffled off each day.
The Vienna Philharmonic Ball (24th January 2019) is also held in Musikverein with music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic and hence a fantastic classical ball experience. wienerphilharmoniker ball website
The Vienna Opera Ball (28th February 2019) is the most famous of these events, with an attendance of around 5,000 it is held in the auditorium of the Vienna State Opera (converted for this event into a large ballroom – rows of seats are removed from the stalls and a new floor is built level with the stage). The grand opening ceremony, watched by millions of TV viewers, includes the introduction of @ 150 debutante couples whose last dance is always a Viennese waltz to the Blue Danube, after which the floor is opened to everyone until 6am. With stars from opera and ballet (including Vienna State Ballet) and orchestras of Wiener Staatsoper contributing to the opening this is a truly remarkable event. Vienna Opera Ball website
The Rudolfina Redoute (Masked Ball) (4th March 2019) normally signals that the Viennese Carnival season is coming to a close. There is a long tradition still upheld that all ladies (whether they have a partner or not) must wear a mask (covering the eyes in the style of the famous operetta “Die Fledermaus”) until midnight – up to this time in the night it’s “Ladies’ Choice”. When the midnight Quadrille is danced, ladies remove their masks and dancing continues till 5am, with both ladies and gentlemen inviting each other to dance. Rudolfina Redoute website
The Elmayer-Kränzchen (5th March 2019) is held at the Imperial Castle by the Elmayer Dance School. The school organises the introduction of debutantes at many of the ball opening ceremonies including the Vienna Philharmonic Ball discussed above. Their own event, which traditionally takes place on the last day of the ball season (Mardi gras) is attended by around 3000 guests and starts and finishes earlier than other balls. It includes the introduction of around 400 debutants and a dance show. Elmayer Kraenzchen website
There are literally hundreds of balls held in Vienna over this season but, if you can’t manage to visit Vienna during the Carnival Season, there are other grand Viennese Balls held later in the year such as the Concordia Ball (14th June 2019). Concordiaball website
and the lavish charity summer ball held by the Spanish Riding School (28th June 2019) Fête Impériale website