Vienna Balls Before Christmas

by Aimee Couturier
(Charlotte, NC, USA)

Vienna Balls Before Christmas

Hi Barbara,

My best friend and I are travelling to Vienna a couple of weeks before Christmas. We’d love to go to a ball but haven’t been able to find any during that time.

It looks like the first ball of the season is New Year’s Eve. Is that the case? And if there are no pre-Christmas balls, is there an event we could attend where we’d have to get dressed up? I’m thinking of going to the opera? Do people get dressed up to attend the opera?

Thank you so much!


Dear Aimee,

though the official ball season coincides with the start of the carnival season (11th November) there are not many balls before the new year, you are right.

There are two balls in November, however, that should be worth attending. The Viennese Ball of the Red Cross (Wiener Rotkreuzball) on the 15th November, and the Wiener Kathreintanz on 30th November.

Both balls are a good opportunity to dress up. The dress codes are long evening dresses or ball gowns. At the Wiener Kathreintanz, you can also opt for Austrian folkwear, such as a dirndl dress.

I hope at least one of the two balls falls within your stay.

If you like to dress up in 20ies to 50ies style, do try to attend a Cirque Rouge burlesque event at the Rote Bar at Volkstheater. They usually take place around every four to six weeks. The November event takes place on the 9th. Watch the ‘Preview’ section of the Cirque Rougewebsite for further announcements.

Hope that helps. Have a lovely time in Vienna!