Brace Yourself, It’s Ball Season

Prepping for Ballsaison in this month's Treasure Hunt

Young girls in flowing gowns on the U-Bahn, men in tails strolling along the sidewalk, and the sound of waltzes in the air: It’s ball season in Vienna. Prepping for a ball isn’t just dolling up for any Saturday evening. First you need tickets, then dancing lessons, then a gown, tuxedo or tails, shoes with a leather sole, and a special hairstyle. But don’t despair, here you’ll find the necessary gear for an unforgettable night.

Highlights & Tickets 

Upcoming highlights include the Coffee Brewer’s Ball, the Opera Ball, the Ball of the Viennese Industrialists, the Candy-Makers’ Ball, the Lawyer’s Ball and the Rudolfina Masked Ball. Try to secure your tickets as early as possible, as balls sell out well in advance. Generally, tickets can be purchased online and at special offices announced on the websites. For more information, go to

Dance Lessons 

To avoid making a fool of yourself, it helps to at least know ball room basics. Several schools offer crash courses for beginners: Tanzschule Stollhof Kraml (€36 /3 classes; 3., Landstraßer Hauptstraße 18; 01 713 31 86; and Tanzschule Grossmann (€49 /4 classes, 17., Kalvarienberggasse 28a; (01) 409 55 50; While in German, instructors can answer questions in English. If you have two left feet and don’t want to stumble through a samba, there is also a one-waltz lesson (in English!) at Grossmann (€30).

Ball Attire 

For most balls, white or black tie is required; gowns must reach the floor. Be aware that Austrian Gemütlichkeit ends at dress codes, which are enforced without mercy at the entrance. Popp&Kretschmer (1., Kärntner Straße 51; Mon.-Fri. 10-18:30; Sat. 10-18:00) offers sumptuous dresses (€500 – €8000) and a huge selection of matching shoes.

Average priced ball gowns start at €300 at Ballina Joppich (6., Mariahilfer Strasse 101-103; Mon.-Wed. 10-19:00; Thur.-Fri. 10-20:00, Sat. 9:30-18:00) or BiseOG (14., Rotenturmstraße 14 ; Mon.-Fri. 10-18:30; Sat. 10-17:00), a cosy boutique with friendly, English-speaking staff. At Ballina Joppich you will also find dancing shoes (€60) and matching handbags.

For a truly exclusive ball gown or a pre-loved tux, choose Vintage Flo (4., Schleif-mühlgasse 15a; Mon.-Fri. 10-18:30; Sat. 10-15:30). The shop stocks jewellery, hats and handbags from the 1880s-1980s. Especially dresses (€250-€2000) from the 20s and 1940s will rule the dance floor.

For menswear, go to Frack&Co (1., Hanusgasse 3; Mon.-Fri. 10-19:00; Sat. 10-18:00). The shop offers tailcoats (€600) and tuxedos (€500), dance shoes (€140) canes, top hats, cummerbunds and bow ties in all colours.

There is also the option of renting. Kleiderverleih Rottenberg (9., Porzellangasse 8; Tue.-Fri. 10-13:00, 14-18:00; Sat. 09-12:00) is a good choice for gowns (€150), tailcoats (€250) and tuxedos (€160), with an option to purchase. They also sell dancing shoes (€60-€130). You can also go to costume rental company Lambert Hofer (4., Margaretenstraße 25; Mon.-Fri. 10-17:00; Sat. 09-12:00), for tailcoats (€230) and tuxedos (€80).


Getting a ball “do” is a must. Try Tony&Guy (€76; 1., Bellariastraße 10; (01) 585 68 46) or headQuarters (€50-75; 4., Schleifmühlgasse 15; (01) 581 10 42)

With a light step and dressed to the nines, you are now ready. Open the dance floor! Alles Waltzer!

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