The annual Austrian Ball brings 19th-century glamour to Prague's Žofín Palace

This annual tradition lets attendees waltz the night away in splendor while supporting a worthy cause.

Julie O'Shea

Written by Julie O'Shea Published on 05.12.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 05.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Get out your evening gowns and tuxedos – ball season is just around the corner. Choices abound, but undoubtedly, one of the biggest and grandest is the Austrian Ball at Žofín Palace on Slovanský ostrov. The 22nd edition of this stately affair will be held Jan. 19, 2024, and tickets are selling quickly.  

The Austrian Ball, which preserves original Viennese Ball traditions that are seldom seen these days, has become an international meeting point for people from the political, entrepreneurial, and cultural spheres.

The event attracts a cross-generational crowd, who come to the 19th-century neo-renaissance palace to experience a taste of the formal elegance and waltz music of bygone times as well as to dance to more modern beats. Gentlemen will follow the black-tie dress code, while ladies will don full-length evening dresses.

The ball begins with a grand opening ceremony followed by the first dance by members of the Committee of Young Ladies and Gentlemen. Other attendees will then be called to the dancefloor by the traditional announcement of the “Alles Walzer!

If guests have been thoroughly paying attention during the opening, the participation in the midnight quadrille – a dance for four people – might be much easier. But there will be no shortage of professional guidance to help inexperienced guests participate in the quadrille.

Several stars will help this year’s ball to shine: the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestra Josef Hlavsa, Viennese dance teacher Michael Hysek, famous Czech singers Eva Burešová and Ondřej G. Brzobohatý, pianist Radim Linhart, and the Czech “Sinatra” Jan Smigmator will entertain guests in Žofín’s Large hall. There will also be music from a DJ.

People won’t only dance the waltz at the Austrian Ball. The discotheque in the Small hall will have modern beats for guests who can dance right up until the early hours of the morning. Enjoy a dance with one of the ball’s Taxi-dancers to give your partner a little break.

There is more than just music and dancing. Guests can also try some exquisite Viennese specialities, including würstel and wienerschnitzel, as well as premium Austrian wines at the buffet on the terrace adjacent to the large hall.

Tapas and champagne, meanwhile, will be available in the lounge. Be sure not to miss the Wiener Café Bar, a combination of a traditional Viennese café and a modern cocktail bar.

Finally, each lady will receive a small present called a “Damenspende” when leaving the ball.

The Austrian Ball is held under the auspices of Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, the President of Austria. It is officially put on by the Association of Austrians in the Czech Republic, while the City of Vienna is its patron.

At the same time, the Austrian Ball is a non-profit event and serves a good purpose every year. The upcoming event will support the charity organization Dejme dětem šanci (Let's Give Children a Chance), which helps children and young people growing up in children's homes on their journey to independence.

This article was written in association with VÖT - The Association of Austrians in the Czech Republic and Fortissimo Prague s.r.o. Read more about our sponsored content policies here.

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