A Guide to the Viennese Ball Season’s More Unusual Events

A Guide to the Viennese Ball Season's More Unusual Events

The Austrian capital of Vienna is a city of spectacular art and music, which inspires visitors from all generations. One of its major draws is its world-renowned Balls, and in this guide, we look at some of the more unusual gatherings that take place during the ball season.

Since the Congress of Vienna in the early 19th century, ball season has been a pillar of Viennese culture. Each year, more than 450 balls take place in Vienna, with ball season officially starting at the beginning of Carnival on 11/11 at 11:11 am. The season begins with the public dancing the waltz in the city centre on this day in November and reaches its peak in February.

Whilst the most famous balls, such as the Vienna Philharmonic Ball and the Opera Ball, garner huge attendance every year, there are also many unique and more niche balls that take place across Vienna’s ball season. Here are some of our favourite picks from the season and ones to add to the calendar for next year:

Confectioners Ball
At this event, Vienna’s bakers and confectioners invite you to dance in the imperial ambience of the Hofburg. The ball features a tombola which provides attendees with the chance to win 3,000 handmade cakes.

Guests also have the option to purchase a “cake guarantee” with their ticket, which means definitely going home with a cake from the pastry chef.

Coffee Maker Ball
Created in honour of the famous Viennese coffee house culture, the Wiener Kaffeesiederball, or “coffee maker ball“, sees 6,000 guests descend on the halls of Hofburg.

The ball has a different theme each year, with 2023’s key motto being “World of Pleasure for the Senses”. And, of course, one of the must-dos here is a visit to the coffee bar!

Edelweiss Ball
The Salzberg Edelweiss Club is the leading mountaineering club in the city and has been hosting its own ball for more than 140 years, with 2,500 dancers and mountaineers attending every year.

This is the ideal ball for anyone wanting a more rustic and Alpine atmosphere, though be warned that the event has a strict dress code of dirndls and lederhosen!

Rainbow Ball
The annual Rainbow Ball’s key message is to promote acceptance and diversity while supporting the LGBTQ+ community, with proceeds from the event going exclusively to LGBTQ+ community projects.

2023 saw the 25th Rainbow Ball taking place at Parkhotel Schönbrunn, with the theme of the “Roaring 20s”. Although the evening is primarily about dignified entertainment in the classic style of the Viennese ball tradition, it also represents an important manifestation of queer culture; everyone living together.

For more information on events taking place in Vienna in 2023, visit www.wien.info.

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An elevated view across the park in the city centreA Guide to the Viennese Ball Season's More Unusual Events 2

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