How to Attend a Viennese Ball

1.

Plan your trip to Vienna so it coincides with the ball season. Vienna's ball season is inaugurated with the extravagant Kaiserball on New Year's Eve and lasts through February.

2.

Choose the ball that best suits your style and budget. There are numerous balls for every taste and price. This requires some research. You can contact a travel agency or check the Internet for more information on times, prices and venues.

3.

Buy your tickets early, especially if you choose one of the most popular balls.

4.

Take dance lessons to brush up on your waltz and other ballroom steps. You will want to be able to dance like the Viennese once you arrive. There are also dance schools in Vienna that offer crash courses to tourists during the ball season.

5.

Buy or rent the appropriate attire. These events are strictly black tie, so men should wear tuxedos and women should wear a fancy ball gown. There are many shops in Vienna that cater to tourists where you can rent a fancy outfit. This is definitely more economical, plus you will be sure to have a costume that is appropriate for the ball you attend.

6.

Go with a date. Most of the balls are very traditional, and only the men ask the women to dance. Some of the less formal balls may not be as traditional, but these are generally less extravagant.

7.

Dance! Or as they say in Vienna, "alles waltzen!" Once you make it to the ball and have enjoyed the show put on by the debutantes, it is time for everyone to dance. This is no time to be shy, so get out there and show the Viennese what you can do.

Tips and Warnings

  • Even though the official ball season only runs from January to February, there are balls through June. If you cannot make it to Vienna during the traditional ball season you may still be able to find one in later months. But remember that the most authentic and well-known balls take place during the winter.
  • Tickets for some of the main balls can cost a pretty penny. Be prepared to spend some serious cash if you really want to make the most of this one-of-a-kind experience. If you are on a limited budget, consider just being a spectator. These tickets are generally much cheaper.