Vienna Opera Ball
© Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn

Vienna Opera Ball 2025: What To Know

More than any other ball in Wien, the Vienna Opera Ball embodies social traditions of the old Imperial Austria. Not only does the Wiener Opernball constitute Austria’s largest meeting point for art celebrities, entrepreneurs and politicians but attracts celebrities from all over the world. Here is a guide of what to expect, an update on preparations under Covid-19 and how to get tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball.

NOTE: Ticket sales for the Vienna Opera Ball 2025 will start on 3 June 2024 at 10 am.

What Is The Vienna Opera Ball?

Vienna Opera Ball: debutantesVienna’s ball culture has its roots in the Congress of Vienna of 1814/15. The Vienna Opera Ball started in 1877 but it took Emperor Francis Joseph eight years to finally allow a dancing event to take place in ‘his’ theater.

Usually, the Vienna Opera Ball takes place in the auditorium and stage of the Vienna State Opera on the last Thursday of the carnival season, from 8.00 pm to 5.00 am. For 2025, the new theme will likely be announced in the late summer of 2024.

Each year, some 5.500 guests attend, among them international film and music stars, from Kim Kardashian and Ornella Muti to Gina Lollobrigida. In fact, many of the female stars follow invitations by notorious Austrian construction tycoon Richard Lugner, who regularly hits the headlines with his famous guests each January. Also, each year a renown  international designer creates the debutantes’ sparkling tiaras, for example Christian Lacroix, Donatella Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

A few weeks before the opera ball takes place, Austrian media break the news of key celebrities taking place and which dresses they will wear. In the run up to the event, the Opera Ball committee and its jury also select the ball debutants: only those with the best Vienna waltz dancing skills make it, including impeccable left waltz.

The Ball Programme

To kick off the Opera ball, around 300 young debutants in white ball gowns and tuxedos promenade into the ball arena and waltz off into the evening.

Vienna Opera Ball: ballet performanceIf you love top classical music you will be pleased that the  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, lead by a top conductor, provides the music to Opernball. After the debutants have finished, the master of ceremony announces: Alles Walzer! (All waltz!). When you hear this and Johann Strauss’ waltz music ‘On The Beautiful Blue Danube’, you know that you are allowed to enter the dance floor.

Throughout the night you will see various interludes featuring top sopranos and ballet dancers. Not least for this reason the Opernball is also popular with not-that-keen dancers.

The traditional quadrille dancing takes places three times during the evening: at midnight and 4.00am (Fledermaus quadrille by Johann Strauss) and at 2am (Orpheus quadrille by Johann Strauss). When you hear the Fledermaus quadrille, it’s time to start packing your things…

Vienna Opera Ball: dance floorWill you see celebrities? Definitely. Among the ball regulars you will find the Austrian President of State and other top ranking politicians, alongside business people from all over the world, former Bond girls, actors and beauty queens. Almost ritually, they would reside in the top boxes, from where they watch the waltz dancing crowd in the main area – while dozens of TV cameras film them from the opposite boxes.

What kind of insight will you get into Viennese ball culture? Surely the Vienna Opera Ball is one of our top ‘social business cards’, and therefore an impeccably run top notch event. Whereas ball traditions are similar to those of other Vienna balls, you’ll just get more media and celebrities.

When Is The Next Vienna Opera Ball?

The next Vienna Opera Ball is scheduled to take place on 7th February 2024. Please bookmark this post to stay up-to-date.

How To Attend the Vienna Opera Ball

Vienna Opera Ball: grand staircaseYou can order tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball 2024 from the Vienna State Opera by emailing opernball(at)wiener-staatsoper.at.  If you are not successful, email me at barbara.cacao(at)vienna-unwrapped.com. NOTE: Tickets have now sold out.

Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown (pick an outstanding one if you want to get on TV); Gentlemen: tailcoat (compulsory)

Official prices: The ordinary entrance fee is EUR 315. Additional table and box tickets for various categories range from EUR 210 (two people sharing table in 6th floor; a table for four costs EUR 840) to a whopping EUR 23,600 (double stage boxes or side levels boxes).

Visit the Opera Ball Rehearsal

On the day before the ball, the public can attend the opera ball rehearsal to get an impression of the show at a fraction of the cost of an opera ball ticket. Entrance fees are EUR 30 to 60 for a seating ticket, and as little as EUR 25 for a standing ticket.

Hotels Close To The Vienna State Opera

Make sure you secure a hotel room as soon as you get your Vienna Opera Ball tickets confirmed. Travellers love the carnival season in Vienna and snap up the best places months in advance. Here are some of the best hotels within a mile of the Vienna State Opera.

back to Vienna Balls
visit Vienna Tourism Tips
go to Vienna Unwrapped homepage

Check Also

Schoenberg Fundamentals of Musical Composition 1937-1948, Schoenberg Center Vienna

Arnold Schoenberg – His Life And Musical Style

In 2024 Vienna celebrates the 150th anniversary of Arnold Schönberg. The Austrian Jewish composer and …