Austrian traditions For Members

IN PICTURES: What are the best balls this season in Vienna?

Julia Hjelm Jakobsson
Julia Hjelm Jakobsson - [email protected]
IN PICTURES: What are the best balls this season in Vienna?
The Kaffeesiederball 2022 ©Andi Bruckner Mariengasse 1 A - 7423 Pinkafeld

January is the peak time of the Viennese ball season, with hundreds of balls taking place in the city - from the most traditional to more popular options.


The Viennese balls are formal social events where guests dress up and participate in traditional dances such as waltz, swing, cha-cha, salsa, polka and tango. 

Elegant customs, live music and a glamorous atmosphere characterise the balls. They are known for adapting to tradition and etiquette, creating an ambience that takes us back to the 18th century when guilds and professional associations organised social gatherings. Over the years, these gatherings evolved into glamorous balls attended by the nobility and aristocracy - but also ordinary folks looking for a night out.

The Viennese balls typically include specific dress codes, opening fanfares (musical tunes), debutants' arrivals, and other highlights such as special historical dance performances and small gifts for the guests.

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Traditional famous balls 

Three of Vienna's most famous, beautiful and traditional balls are The Coffee Maker Ball, the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and The State Opera Ball.

The Kaffeesiederball 2022 © Katharina Schiffl

The Coffee Maker Ball takes place in the Viennese Palace Hofburg in early February and is organised by the Viennese Coffee House Owners' Club. The event welcomes over 6,000 guests to the palace, where various dances take place. The evening includes a massive program with live music and performances. 

One of the highlights is the "ballet of pastries" created by Viennese confectioners, which is, of course, recommended to try along with some coffee. Guests usually receive small gifts related to the Viennese coffee culture, such as a small espresso cup or coffee beans. 

You can obtain your entrance ticket by calling or sending an email. Standard tickets cost €180, and discounted tickets cost around €80 (students).


The Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is another famous traditional ball. It takes place in mid-January in Vienna Musikverein and is considered the highlight of the ball season. It is hosted by one of the most famous orchestras in the world, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. 

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The event starts with a fanfare, a short ceremonial tune written by Richard Strauss. It continues with selected musical pieces for the special evening, which offers participation in various dances and performances. 

Tickets for the 2024 event are available at the Vienna Philharmonic Ticket Office (Kärntner Ring 12) and will also be available over the phone and online from the 8th of January. The price for a standard ticket is €195 and for a discounted one (students) €70. 

READ ALSO: What you need to know before attending a Viennese ball

The official state ball of Austria is the Vienna Opera Ball. It is held early in February in the opera house and celebrates the artists of the opera, who perform during the evening. 

Couples as members of the opening committee line up during the opening ceremony at the Vienna State Opera during the annual Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria on February 20, 2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

One of the other highlights during the evening is the introduction of 180 debutante couples during the opening ceremony. These are selected young dancers who have completed an application program and a strict classical dance choreography. You can buy your ticket at the official box office or online. 

The Opera Ball offers a wide range of different ticket types. If you want to join the dance floor events and move around in the different ballrooms, a standard ticket is around €385. If you instead prefer to watch everything from a balcony or gallery, there are spectator tickets available for the price of around €60 to €135. 

Couples as members of the opening committee line up during the opening ceremony at the Vienna State Opera during the annual Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria on February 20, 2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Some free-standing spots are available in the ballroom if you are there on time for the admission around 8.30 pm. 


Alternative balls

The Flower Ball takes place in Vienna City Hall in mid-January and is famous for being one of the most beautifully decorated balls of the season. The Vienna City Gardens arranges a flower sea of over 100,000 blossoms at the event and invites guests to wear festive clothing. 

Attendees dance during the opening of the 99th Flower Ball at the City Hall in Vienna on January 13, 2023.(Photo by Alex HALADA / AFP)

The ball offers a diverse musical program with traditional waltz music and house, techno and disco tunes. Standard tickets cost around €75 to €130 and are available online

The Vienna Rainbow Ball is an LBTQ+ event held on the 27th of January at Parkhotel Schönbrunn. It is a ball that celebrates diversity and inclusion. The event is famous for its happy atmosphere, music, dance, and diverse and colourful crowd. 

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The evening offers different types of music, dance floors and performances. The Rainbow Ball is one of Vienna's most popular alternative balls, and this year's guest list is already closed. Tickets for next year's event will be available on their homepage. The price for a ticket is around €100.

The Vienna Vegan Ball will take place at Hilton Vienna Park by mid-January. The event offers vegan food, snacks, dance floors, and DJs. One of the highlights is a traditional dance performance at midnight when four dancing couples perform quadrille, a historical dance originally from France. 


You can easily book a ticket on their homepage. The price for a ticket is around €30 to €80. 

Different university faculties also tend to have their ball open to the public. Two examples are the Ball of the Viennese University of Economics and Business and The Ball of the Vienna University of Technology. Those balls are typically combining tradition with a modern flair. 

The music typically involves everything from classical waltz to jazz and Latin American rhythms. The Ball of the Vienna University of Technology still has tickets available online. The price for a ticket ranges from €50 to €140. 



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