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Explore the Magic of Vienna

The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA®

German-American Heritage Museum of the USA™

The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA™ opened in March, 2010 in a building once known as Hockemeyer Hall. Renovations were completed by the GAHF after acquiring the building in 2008. Located on 6th Street NW in the heart of the old European-American section of Washington, the Museum sits in what is now a thriving commercial neighborhood.

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Imperial Apartments


Join the German-American Heritage Foundation for a Special Trip to Vienna, Austria

Austria’s capital Vienna, once the seat of the multicultural Austro-Hungarian Empire, is a vibrant city with stunning reminders of its imperial past, a lively art and theatre scene, museums, shopping, famous coffee houses and culinary delights influenced by the cuisines of Central Europe. What sets Vienna apart from other European capitals is its wonderful tradition of formal balls. These balls date back to the period of 1814/1815 after the Napoleonic Wars when the Congress of Vienna gathered in the city with crowned heads and aristocrats not only busy redrawing European boundaries to ensure peace and stability, but also desiring entertainment. Official ball season coincides with carnival, which begins on Nov. 11 and ends on Shrove Tuesday; however, most Viennese balls take place during the months of January and February. For the first time, GAHF is now offering an exclusive trip to Vienna to attend a traditional Viennese ball in the ceremonial rooms of the Imperial Palace.

Reservation Deadline: Monday, Nov. 20, 2023

This special trip includes a curated two-day program on Friday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27. Please note that you will be responsible for booking your own flights, transportation, and hotel accommodations. We suggest arriving on Thursday, Jan. 25 so you can adjust to the six-hour time difference. Flights from the United States to Europe are always overnight, and arrive in Vienna in the morning. The Schwechat Airport is just a short drive from the city. A list of recommended hotels at various price levels can be found below. 

This trip is limited to 18 participants. Please note that we can only finalize the itinerary in November. The reservation deadline is Monday, Nov. 20. We expect this event to sell out, so please reserve your seat quickly. Please note that the minimum number of participants is six; we will not be able to offer this trip if we don’t meet the minimum and you will receive a refund. 

Costs are $1,000 per person and include the following:

Friday, Jan. 26, 2024

  • Private tour of the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg with a professional tour guide. This will allow you to explore the living quarters of Austria’s Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, the famous Sisi, whose splendor, furniture, and décor draw you back to the latter half of the 19th century. 
  • Enjoy a delicious traditional Viennese dinner at one of Vienna’s classic restaurants once frequented by the likes of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024

  • Attend a traditional Viennese Ball at the Imperial Palace. The evening features music, dancing, and entertainment in more than a dozen ceremonial and formal rooms of the palace. Balls in Vienna traditionally do not include food or drink, which can be purchased separately, but your reservation includes a bottle of champagne at each table (tables seat 4).

    Ball Program:
  • 8 PM: Admission to the ball begins, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy a light dinner.
  • 9:30 PM: Fanfare and festive opening ceremony, which includes the presentation of debutantes in the main hall commences at 9:30 pm, and is followed by music and dancing.
  • Midnight: You will be treated to a special Midnight Show featuring opera singers, dancers, and actors in the main ballroom. Just like the opening ceremony this show will be televised in different rooms throughout the palace. Beginning at 1 am, ladies can pick up their Damenspende, a special souvenir to remind them of a fabulous night.
  • 1:30 AM: Quadrille rehearsal. This fun group dance consists of six parts, and is performed to the music of Johann Strauss’s operetta “Die Fledermaus”.
  • 5 AM: Ball ends. The Viennese then gather at one of the many cafés of the city for an early breakfast. 

Suggested Hotels:

  • Pension Lerner – a small B&B in the heart of the old city with easy access to the many sights. 
  • Hotel Pertschy – traditional Viennese hotel located in the 17th-century Palais Cavriani, and just minutes from the Imperial Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Graben Hotel – classic Viennese city hotel in an 18th century building, redesigned in 1913, it served as a popular meeting point for the literary scene from 1913-1919; Peter Altenberg, Franz Kafka and Max Brod were regular guests.
  • Hotel Sacher – the quintessential Viennese 5-star hotel located directly behind the Vienna State Opera House.
  • Palais Coburg – a luxurious five-star hotel in a converted mid-19th century palace. 

Dress Code

Please note that a traditional Viennese Ball has a very strict dress code!
Ladies: Floor-length ball gown (opera gloves may be worn). White gowns are reserved for debutantes. 
Gentlemen: White tie and tails or black tie with white shirt, black cummerbund/waistcoat, and black bow tie. Long ties are not permitted. 
The ball organizers reserve the right to refuse admission to guests who do not abide by the dress code. Tickets will not be refunded. 


For questions, please contact Katja Sipple at [email protected] or (202) 467-5000.


719 6th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001