The Vienna Opera Ball in the Vienna State Opera House

The social highlight of the Viennese ball season: Everybody waltz!

The Vienna Opera Ball takes place once a year in the Vienna State Opera House. On this day, the opera hall shows off its best side, as do the 150 debutantes, who open the ball every year with the traditional polonaise. The annual 5000 to 6000 visitors include celebrities from all over the world, politicians, creative artists, and many more. The Opera Ball usually takes place on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. During the ball, the Vienna State Opera House opens all its doors, becoming entirely accessible and open for dancing from the cellar to the loft. Among other things, the Opera Ball is known for its flower displays which decorate the ballroom. Around 171 floral arrangements and 480 bouquets are used to do so every year.

Due to the ever-growing fame of the Opera Ball, even cities such as New York or Dubai have organised an event inspired by the ball.

junge Menschen beim Eintanzen des Opernballes
Eintanzen beim Opernball – CC0 tpsdave/Pixabay

Decades-old “Viennese culture”

Magnificent balls took place as early as the 1820s. However, the constantly growing establishment brought with it the desire for a more exclusive and intimate event. But because of the revolutionary years, which were not only evident in the city of Vienna itself, but also burned into the memories of the population, this wish was dismissed for several years. In 1862, permission was finally given for events such as balls to be organised once again. Although a number of balls did take place, the first original “Vienna Opera Ball” was not held until 1935. To this day, 60 balls have already been held in the Vienna State Opera House.

The famous staircase of the Opera House – A meeting point during the Opera Ball:

people on steps in vienna state opera house
Stiegen Opernhaus © vvoennyy /

“Open State Opera House” at the Opera Ball

During the Opera Ball, the entire building of the Vienna State Opera House is open to its guests: You can dance and celebrate on every floor. Catering is provided by various bars and a luxurious catering unit. Only the tea room remains closed to visitors – this is where the Opera House’s artists stay.

The Vienna State Opera House: Venue of the Opera Ball:

Staatsoper und Ringstraße bei Nacht
Staatsoper © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Viennaslide

How to reach the Vienna State Opera House

Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna
Public transport: Underground: U1, U2, U4 – station Karlsplatz, tram: 1, 2, D, 62, 71 – station Opernring, bus: 59A, Lokalbahn: Badner Bahn line