Winter Planning For Vienna’s Ball Season

Be a prince or princess for a night at the ball.

VIENNESE BALL
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Young women in sparkling white gowns proceeded down the steps of the Hofburg Palace Ballroom. Their posture was perfect and they were trying to look serious, though many couldn’t help but grin. The orchestra began and couples took the floor, twirling so gracefully that their feet didn’t touch the ground.

Though I watched the opening ceremony from the side of the room, I still felt like Cinderella at Vienna’s Annual TU Ball. Each room had a live band playing different genres of music, from salsa to swing. Viennese men are not shy about asking girls to dance, and though I stepped on a few toes, I was able to follow along for the most part.

Attending one of the many balls put on in Vienna should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. There are over four hundred balls in Vienna each year, and many have themes. There are celebrations specifically for lawyers and fundraisers on behalf of charities. The Staatsoper (Vienna’s opera house) is always filled with celebrities from around the world for the annual Opernball, which most Viennese families watch from home with a bottle of champagne. At the Bonbon Ball, a Miss Bonbon is crowned each year, while guests get to enjoy a variety of sweet treats at the Konzerthaus (the world-famous concert house). Each ball has a strict dress code, which is usually a long ball gown for women and black tie for men.

VIENNESE BALL
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

I went inside the museums housed by the Hofburg Palace many other times, but the palace never looked the same as it did the night of the ball.  The chandeliers had been lit and the atmosphere was what I imagine it might have been during a ball two hundred years ago.

I’ll always remember driving under the grand entrance to the Hofburg Palace and feeling like one of the many princesses that had entered the palace the same way.  The main ball season is from January to February so you better start planning!

Olivia Molineux

Olivia grew up in Danville, CA. Her secret travel tip is indulging in street food which is often the best food. She can never travel without a pair of comfortable shoes. City bikes are her favorite travel discovery, "while living in Vienna, I loved biking around the city for hours. It was the perfect way to explore and burn off calories from all the Viennese cakes."

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