The New Year's Eve ball in Vienna, Austria
Austria City Break Travel Ideas Europe

Attend a New Year’s Eve Ball in Vienna, Austria

Don’t spend another anti-climactical New Year’s Eve when you could be dancing the night away at a ball in Vienna!

The Austrian capital is famous for its season of winter balls, from the celebrity-pulling Opera Ball to the Flower Ball, or the Bonbon Ball celebrating confectioners. Over 400 balls are held through January and February. You can find the calendar for Vienna’s ball season here.

But the biggest set piece of the season is the very first – held on New Year’s Eve every year in the wonderful imperial state rooms of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. I can’t imagine a grander or more beautiful setting for a party.

You should make this part of your Vienna itinerary!

Vienna, Austria

The chandeliers are brighter than stars. Thousands of red and white blooms stand in huge vases alongside the dance floor. The orchestra strikes up as the first fat flakes of snow fall outside. Church bells ring in the New Year and through the windows fireworks can be seen lighting up the sky.

Vienna, Austria

The New Year’s Eve ball at the Hofburg has been running for over 40 years, recreating a typical 18th century Habsburg empire New Year’s Eve ball. Traditionally called the Kaiserball, in 2012 the ball got a bit of a makeover, revealing the glitz and glamour of ‘Le Grand Bal’.

The New Year's Eve ball in Vienna, Austria

The stars of the Viennese opera and ballet take to the stage to entertain the grand ball room but if opera is not your thing you can slip away to the ballroom with the jazz band, or the swing band, or the piano quartet.

Vienna, Austria
In fact there are so many gorgeously decorated rooms for dancing (and eating) it is easy to get lost. It’s not necessary to be a good dancer but the Vienna dance school is right next door if you want to improve your waltzing footwork.

Vienna, Austria

A very international crowd attends this Vienna ball on New Year’s Eve – visitors from over 30 countries come to dance the night away every year, including Wandering Kiwis.

Vienna, Austria

If you need a little bit of the hair of the dog after over indulging in the champagne, head for one of Vienna’s famous coffee-houses in the morning. Many offer special hangover breakfasts: the traditional cure is goulash soup and a small beer.

This is definitely one of the things you should do in Vienna!

By Natasha von Geldern

I regretted staying in a cheap guesthouse as it was not the best place to recover from our wonderful evening but there are better options for where to stay in Vienna for all budgets here.

Have you attended a ball in Vienna? What are you planning for New Year’s Eve this year?

By on .


  1. A winter ball in Vienna sounds so fancy!!

  2. I’d love to do this. Sounds fantastic!

  3. I’ve never been to a ball in Vienna – or in that many other places for that matter. It sounds so classy, though I’m not sure I’d fit the dress code.

    • Natasha von Geldern

      It was a lot of fun. I wore my wedding dress – a good reuse and the only thing I had suitable!

      • Hi Natasha

        Thank you for all the information. I have been dreaming of attending a Vienna ball for many years and would love to go this year. I am an Opera singer so have many gowns that I can dance in. Can you tell me where to find the most affordable ball and affordable places to stay? I will be traveling fom New York.

        Thank you

        • Hi Hazel, thanks so much for your comment. I found accommodation quite pricey at this time of year in Vienna (or perhaps it’s always expensive) and so I stayed at the Blue Corridor Hostel, Siebensterngasse 15. It’s quite a good hostel and there is a great pub/restaurant very close by for beer and schnitzel 🙂 I was recommended an affordable hotel by a friend but it was already booked out – so I will pass the details on to you: Hotel Austria,
          Am Fleischmarkt 20.

          You should definitely try to realise your dream and dance in one of your gorgeous gowns at a Vienna ball! I was keen on the New Year’s Eve thing but I’m sure some of the other balls are less expensive. I met an Austrian woman travelling and she said they are all fun!

  4. We are Australians wanting to attend the Le Grande Ball on 31 Dec 2013 and would like some information if anyone can help. Thinking of getting Circle Tickets but not sure what this means and would it be better to get a reserved seat? With circle tickets do you get to move around freely? Are there seats in the buffet for instance where you can get a meal? Would appreciate any advice.

    • Hi James, the circle Tickets get you all access but no seat. That is what we did and you could still buy food and drinks (reasonably pricey but you wouldn’t spend an extra 100 or 200 Euro like you would with the more expensive tix). Since things don’t kick off until after 10pm we had dinner at a cafe before going to the ball. There are so many rooms and so much of interest to see (and dance) that I don’t remember wanting a seat. It’s a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy yourselves!

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