Salzburg Festival  – Salzburg, Austria

Europe’s Foremost Music Festival

Mozart’s birthplace, and its glorious natural setting, is the appropriate venue for Europe’s largest and most important annual musical event. More than 180 classic and contemporary performances, including operas, symphonies, major concerts, and recitals are scheduled around town—expect the banner events to be sold out well in advance (unless you’re willing to pay your concierge top dollar for his scalper connections).

It’s easier to find tickets for the matinees—chamber music or church concerts, which can be no less enjoy­able. During the festival—or indeed anytime you’re craving luxury-—stay at Salzburg’s Hotel Schloss Monchstein. This 14th-century turreted castle, built as the summer escape for the archbishops of Salzburg, sits atop a hill sur­rounded by gardens and 25 acres of parkland and is a ten-minute elevator ride from the heart of Salzburg’s historic center.

Recently refurbished, its parquet floors, oriental rugs, leaded-glass windows, 18th-century furniture, and small chapel that dates back to at least 1500 convey the hotel’s history; guests like Czar Alexander II of Russia and Mozart him­self conducted many a dalliance here. But it’s the modem amenities in the seventeen guest rooms that justify this theatrical setting’s five star hotel status. A stay in the Tower Suite will make you feel it deserves twice that.

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