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Johann Strauss: Viennese ball

Best Vienna Balls 2020/2021: 10 Ballroom Dancing Highlights

This shortlist summarises the best Vienna Balls 2021 and lets you know about tickets, online ordering and dress codes for each event. Each year, Vienna hosts more than 400 balls: High profile ballroom dancing events with elegant dress codes next to modern balls such as the Life Ball and dance events of the local firebrigade. I have pulled together 9 of the best traditional Vienna Balls to help you make an informed choice, sort out dates and required dress codes, and book your tickets.

Impact of Corona Virus Regulations on Vienna Balls

From September 2020, the Austrian government plans to allow indoor events with up to 5,000 participants when specific criteria are met. Please bookmark this page as further announcements are expected to be made throughout the summer.

1. Confectioners’ Ball (14th January 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. Imagine dancing past thousands of Viennese cakes among hundreds of elegantly dressed locals in Vienna’s Imperial Palace. Join the sweet raffles, competitions and a showcase baking station to venture far beyond Sacher Torte. Each year, the local trade organisation of Vienna’s Food Industry rallies its hundreds of confectioners’ and bakeries for the annual cake galore at the industry’s Confectioners’ Ball.
Location: Vienna Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
Tickets: EUR 110 (price based on 2019 prices); Ticket sales from early October 2020; use the online form (in German only) or email info@zuckerbaeckerball.com;
Dress code: Ladies – floor length evening dress; Gentlemen – tailcoat (with decoration), tuxedo or uniform

2. Vienna Philharmonic Ball (21st January 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. Number one of the best Vienna balls in the classical category for many locals. The setting of this ball by the Vienna Philharmonics is brilliant, not to speak of the home-made Philharmonic music, and people dress their best. You will dance in the Golden Hall, famous location of the New Year’s Concert.
Location: Vienna Musikverein
Tickets: approx. EUR 180; (the second most expensive of the best Vienna balls, following the Opera Ball); visit website for online ticket sales (from 11th January 2021); email: ball@wienerphilharmoniker.at;
Dress code: Ladies – floor length evening dress; Gentlemen – tailcoat (with decoration), tuxedo or uniform

3. Techniker Cercle (end January 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. The ‘Ball Der Industrie und Technik’, aka ‘Techniker Cercle’, is a highly popular ballroom dance event among urban professionals. And not only those with technical professions. It is run by the eponymous networking and fundraising association related to the Vienna Technical University. This is another great chance to waltz through the Golden Hall of the Vienna New Year’s Concert at Musikverein – the video below shows the débutants’ opening quadrille.
Location: Wiener Musikverein
Tickets: EUR 170 (based on 2018 prices) Table bookings: in writing only; to Techniker Cercle, Ball Bureau, Reitschulgasse 2; A-1010 Vienna; Ticket sales start one to two weeks before the ball and are limited in time: email ball@techniker-cercle.at; or call +43 1 533 90 61.
Dress code: Ladies – floor length evening dress; Gentlemen – tail coat.

4. Ball of The Coffeebrewers (22nd January 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. Joining the Kaffeesiederball it the best way by far to enjoy the Imperial Palace. The ball usually has lovely ballet performances. When I joined the ball in 2014 there was also a fantastic modern performance – a great contrast to the traditionally dressed audience. Find out more in my Vienna ball review.
Location: Imperial Palace Vienna and Redouten Hall
Tickets: from EUR 150; you can buy tickets online here (form in German only). Tables can only be booked at the ball office but you can email a booking request to Ms Rosemarie Bauer at klub@kaffeesieder.at;  There is a EUR 24 international booking fee.
Dress code: Ladies: ball gown or long evening gown; Gentlemen: tuxedo, tailcoat or uniform; NO tie.

5. Vienna Opera Ball (11th February 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. Vienna’s most famous ball is a fix point in the calendar of the international and Viennese socialites. For one night every year, the Vienna State Opera’s stalls are transformed into Europe’s most glamorous dance floor for hundreds of debutants and thousands of hungry ball aficionados and lounge lizards. Learn more about the Vienna Opera Ball and how to get tickets.

As of June 2020, the Vienna State Opera has started with first preparations for the ball in 2021. Further announcements as for the exact setting and maximum number of visitors allowed under Covid-19 regulations will follow.

6. Bonbon Ball (12th February 2021)

Best Vienna Balls. My personal winner in the category food  is the Bonbon Ball.  That evening, all of Vienna´s cakes and sweets gather under one roof, swamping guests with a combined weight of around three tonnes. Many of them are available at the many bars or can be won as raffle prizes. The opening ceremony includes a wonderful ballet performance. Like every grand ball the Bonbon Ball is busy. You will be absolutely fine with basic dance steps! The evening’s highlight is the election of the annual Miss Bonbon. To change dance steps, use the fun modern discotheque downstairs.
Location: Vienna Konzerthaus
Tickets: EUR 110 (regular); tickets can be bought online from October 2018 or at the ball bureau;
Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown; Gentlemen: tuxedo, tailcoat or black suit;

7. Ball of Legal Professionals (13th February 2021)

Not just another ball at Hofburg Imperial Palace, but a themed one! If you like to dress up in 1920s style glamour, then the Ball of the Legal Professionals in 2020 makes a perfect event. At midnight, the organisers will stage The Great Gatsby – The Roaring 20s Show.

If you fancy an elegant gala dinner, you can feast at the palace’s Maria Theresa rooms from 7.00 pm for EUR 188 per person.

Location: Hofburg Imperial Palace
Tickets: EUR 155 (regular); you can order tickets online here;
Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown; Gentlemen: tuxedo, tailcoat or black suit;

8. Rudolfina Redoute (15th February 2021)

Best Vienna Balls: Rudolfina RedouteBest Vienna Balls.masked ball in the Imperial Palace – truly best fun classical dance event with a large student audience. Many of my friends say it is their best Vienna ball. Ladies are obliged to wear a mask that covers the eyes until midnight (in reference to the Strauss Operetta Die Fledermaus/The Bat), then they take their masks off and join the gentlemen in the masks-off dance;
Location: Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
Tickets: EUR 100 (based on 2018 prices); online reservation from October 2018;
Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown with mask; pantsuits, cocktail dress, traditional costume etc. are NOT PERMITTED. Gentlemen: black tailcoat with white bow tie; tuxedo with black bow tie; NOT PERMITTED are ties, neckties and cravats; kilts, cut, coloured tails or jackets, historical uniforms or fancy dress; masks for men.

9. Concordia Ball (17th September 2020)

Best Vienna Balls: Concordia BallBest Vienna Balls. When the Austrian Press Club Concordia hosts its annual ball in the sumptuous Vienna City Hall local celebrities and genuine ball fans attend. Because of Covid-19, the usual May date has been brought back to September this year.

Each year, the ball has a dance theme, such as Strauss’ waltz “Morgen Blätter Walzer” for this year. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get the chance to try other ballroom dances at the ball. Get your most elegant floor-long evening dress and tail coat and whizz across the grand hall or dance in the City Hall’s open air arcaded court yard.

Among the best fun highlights at that ball, too, is the midnight Fledermaus-Quadrille (Johann Strauss). By the way, single dancers can choose a professional dance partner from the amazing taxi dancer group at the ‘Isle of Men’ in the Festival Hall.
Location: Vienna City Hall
Tickets: EUR 95; students until 26 years pay EUR 40 (2019 prices); Book your tickets online.
Dress code: Ladies: Full length evening gown; Gentlemen: tuxedo, tail coat, dinner jacket.

10. Hofburg Silvester Ball (CANCELLED)

Best Vienna Balls. Finally, the traditional New Year’s Eve ball at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) gets an update in style and taste. Replacing the slightly kitsch Kaiserball, visited every year by hundreds of tourists, Hofburg Silvesterball has ditched Habsburg folklore for Vienna classics and jazz, followed by a gala diner. You can safely count it in as one of the best Vienna balls now.
Location: Imperial Palace
Tickets: EUR 165 (entrance and champagne) to EUR 720 (entrance and gala diner)
Bookings: n/a
Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown; Gentlemen: tuxedo, tailcoat or uniform

Hone Your Waltz Skills Before Joining The Best Vienna Balls

The balls in my list deliver wonderful backdrops for classical ballroom dancing. You don’t need to be a super brilliant dancer to join the best Vienna balls, though. Most of these balls are so packed that basic dancing skills will be absolutely fine. The key dance there is the waltz. To brush up on your waltz skills, you can book a Vienna Waltz lesson for couples at one of Vienna’s best dancing schools just before the ball.

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