As Viennese as Schnitzel, the city’s annual ball season evokes images of richly decorated baroque interiors, elaborate gowns and tailcoats, and much old-world charm to go with the waltzes. But that’s just the surface of the contemporary ball culture – the tradition has managed to stay relevant as diverse social strata and professional associations were eager to have their own balls.
Less conventional events popped up next to long-established institutions, mirroring the society in this metropolis. Every year, over 400 hundred balls are held in Vienna; here’s a small selection to get you started.
1. The One with the Long History | Vienna Opera Ball
Meticulously planned, the Opernball remains the biggest and most prestigious social event of the year, oozing sophistication and a healthy dose of nostalgia.
When: February 20, 2020
Where: Vienna State Opera
2. The One with the Inclusivity | The Vienna Rainbow Ball
Catering to liberals and progressives, the Regenbogenball celebrates diversity and just being yourself with a flamboyant party for and by the LGBTQ community.
When: January 25, 2020
Where: Parkhotel Schönbrunn
Alternative balls: Hip Hop Ball, Wiener Technoball, Wiener Vegan Ball.
3. The One with a Social Conscience | The Vienna Refugees’ Ball
Organized by the Integrationshaus, this multicultural ball promotes awareness and strengthens the city’s community and cohesion while boasting one of the very best live music lineups in the city.
When: February 22, 2020
Where: Rathaus (city hall)
4. The One with All the Beautiful Flowers | The Blumenball
Vienna’s municipal gardeners go all out for their annual shindig, decking the Rathaus in fresh flowers from the city’s green houses, and gifting potted plants to the ladies.
When: January 17, 2020
Where: Rathaus (city hall)
5. The One with the Best Coffee | The Kaffeesiederball
With coffeehouse culture such an integral part of the city’s identity, it’s no surprise that the Viennese Coffeehouse Owner’s Association’s ball is a major social highlight.
When: February 14, 2020
6. The One with the Musicians | Vienna Philharmonic Ball
Traditionally held in the storied Goldener Saal of the Musikverein, the world-famous orchestra makes a point of playing the music themselves at their annual ball.
When: January 23, 2020
Where: Wiener Musikverein
7. The One with All the Cake | Confectioners’ Ball
Have you got a sweet tooth? Then the Zuckerbäckerball is for you! Held by Vienna’s bakers and confectioners, offering amazing sweets and pastries for the festivities is a point of pride for the organizers.
When: January 16, 2020
Still uncertain? We also have a quiz that helps you choose a ball.
For more options check the whole ball calendar for the 2019/2020 season.