Published: Nov./Dec. 200848 HOURS
Vienna Destination Guide
Photo: Ballroom dancers in Vienna
Dancers take to the floor for a traditional dance at a Vienna opera house.
Photo by Leonard Foeger/Reuters/Corbis

Every winter Vienna reasserts its status as one of Europe's most elegantly traditional capitals with a whirl of classic balls. But lately a wave of edgier parties have started filling out the social season, led by the Ball of the Wallflowers, which enforces an anti-dress code (mousy colors only, please) and usually takes place in a crowded underground club that's more punk than palatial. "This is a new Vienna," says lifestyle journalist Christopher Wurmdobler, citing Vienna Design Week and the recently inaugurated Festival for Fashion and Photography. The city is suddenly a stylish ball all year long.

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