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A view of Vienna from Atmosphere Rooftop Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

The Best of Europe: Summer 2017

Article by Melissa Liebling-Goldberg 07.03.2017

There's no better time than summer to travel to a new destination, especially one that offers boundless dining, sightseeing and of course, relaxation. Find what's making these European vacation hotspots a must-visit for your next trip. 

Music and Movies in Barcelona

It's no surprise that it's all about being outside in this beachfront, fun-loving town in Spain. July 7-9 brings Barcelona's biggest music festival, Cruilla, with acts ranging from The Lumineers to Pet Shop Boys in a high-energy setting. Not as ready to dance the night away? Settle in for outdoor movies at the Sala Montjuïc, where you can lounge and picnic while watching top films in the extremely scenic Fossat de Santa Eulàlia moat at Montjuïc Castle. End your evening by watching the sound and light show at the Magic Fountain (Font Màgica), which can produce up to 7 billion light and water combinations.

Barcelona’s Magic Fountain awash in colorful lights

Wine in Budapest

The Hungarian capital is a perfect spot for taking in culture in gorgeous venues. Start with Wine Wednesdays with Modigliani & Picasso at the Hungarian National Gallery, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the terrace of the Royal Palace of Budapest. Take a guided tour of artwork, and enjoy wines picked especially for the theme of the evening along with live music over four Wednesdays in July.

The Budapest skyline a sunset

Toast to Vienna

One of the best parts of summer is the opportunity to have a drink (or two) alfresco. The Atmosphere Rooftop Bar opens for the summer only and is located on the 8th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, with stunning views of the city skyline. Enjoy creative cocktails and small snacks while listening to a live DJ. If you want ground-level views, check out the variety of food options at SummerStage, which gathers multiple food stalls onto a pavilion made for relaxing on the Danube Canal.

A view of Vienna from Atmosphere Rooftop Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Music in Geneva

The Swiss city comes alive with the sound of music over the summer, with multiple festivals bringing in visitors from all over the world. The Montreux Jazz Festival is the second largest in the world, with acts ranging from Herbie Hancock to Phoenix taking over venues from June 30-July 15. Musiques en Été is organized by the city itself with six weeks (starting July 1) of over 30 concerts taking place outdoors, including in some of the city's famously beautiful parks. And if you like your music with a side of food and fireworks, the Fêtes de Genève combines more than 200 concerts with over 150 food vendors, rides and games along the banks of Lake Geneva, and a spectacular evening of pyrotechnic displays (August 3-13).

Jet d’Eau and Lake Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland

Stars in Spain 

Tenerife, Spain is known for its gorgeous beaches and dramatic cliffs. But The Ritz-Carlton, Abama wants you to look up this summer, not out, with its new private start parties. An open-top jeep will collect guests at dusk to the Teide Observatory on top of the dormant volcano Mt. Teide, which is Spain's tallest peak. The Observatory will open for a private tour for guests to explore the solar-system and view constellations from the perfect vantage point of the peak, which is celebrated as one of the world’s best locations on the planet for stargazing by physicists and tourists alike.

Teide Observatory in Tenerife, Spain

Sail in Herzliya, Israel

Or if you're ready to take a break from mainland Europe, head for Israel. The Herzliya Marina is the biggest in the whole of the Middle East, so it's no wonder that it's a main attraction. You can take advantage of the warm weather to go kayaking, jet-skiing or sail away from the docks in a yacht (the marina can anchor 580 boats). One of the more popular events is the Herzog Regatta, in honor of the country's sixth president Chaim Herzog. Watch the harbor fill with boats and thousands of excited fans cheering on the race. 

Sailing the Mediterranean in Herzliya, Israel

Plan Your Visit to Europe this Summer

  • Barcelona

    Location Barcelona, Spain

    Experience A beachfront hotel overlooking the Mediterranean

    • Mediterranean and city views
    • 5 outlets, including a two Michelin-starred restaurant
    • The highest spa in Barcelona
  • Budapest

    Location Budapest, Hungary

    Experience A 20th century building set in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

    • Views of St. Stephen’s Basilica & Erzsébet Square
    • Located steps from the River Danube
    • UNESCO World Heritage Buda Castle nearby
  • Vienna

    Location Vienna, Austria

    Experience A five-star hotel set in four historic 19th century palaces.

    • Luxury urban retreat at The Ritz-Carlton Spa
    • Viennese charm meets contemporary luxury
    • Elegant venues for dining and dancing
  • Geneva


    Experience Beautiful lakefront setting with Michelin-starred restaurant and luxury accommodations.

    • A historical hotel in the heart of Geneva
    • Picturesque city with historic architecture
    • View of Lake Geneva or Mont-Blanc square
  • Abama

    Location Tenerife, Spain

    Experience A beachside retreat where sea, land and resort blend seamlessly.

    • Overlooks the brilliantly blue Atlantic
    • 13 restaurants and bars to experience
    • A 72-par, Dave Thomas golf course
  • Herzliya

    Location Herzliya, Israel

    Experience A luxury hotel experience at the foot of the Mediterranean sea.

    • Guestrooms reveal seaside views
    • Most elegant Kosher restaurant in Herzliya
    • An authentic Turkish Hammam spa