HPB’s holiday booking service has been rated 4.7 out of 5
based on 14720 customer reviews on Feefo.
Feefo Platinum Award Feefo logo

The Salzburg Festival: the finest in classical music and opera, in the finest of cities

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 11 April 2018
Related property: Viehhofen
The Salzburg Festival: the finest in classical music and opera, in the finest of cities

Given that the city was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg becoming the location of what is arguably the globally pre-eminent annual festival of classical music (especially opera) was almost an inevitability.

Nonetheless, the Austrians took their time. Mozart was born in 1756 (and left for Vienna 25 years later); but it wasn’t until 1920 that the Salzburg Festival became a ‘thing’. Salzburgers had feted their most famous son for years before, of course; but no-one had hitherto thought to hold a yearly classical jamboree – featuring the best orchestras, the best virtuosos and the best conductors, playing works universally acknowledged as the best of the classical canon – in his birthplace.

And what a birthplace it is. I wish I’d coined this phrase, but it’s worth repeating: in Salzburg, ‘if it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it.’ The city is small, but perfectly formed – a gem of a place, dominated by castles, churches and palaces. Its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overlooking all is the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Central Europe’s biggest intact fortress, with fantastic views of the city. The Princely Residence, meanwhile, is a magnificent early-Baroque edifice with splendid halls and a gallery featuring 16th to 19th-Century European art. The nearby vast Salzburg Dom is without doubt the main attraction of the old town. Inside there is the Romanesque font where Mozart was baptised.

Getreidegasse is Salzburg’s most attractive and most visited shopping street, and includes the house where Mozart was born. Another highlight is the Mirabell Palace, with stunning gardens designed by the Baroque master builder Lukas von Hildebrandt.

Aside from spawning one of the great musical geniuses, Salzburg’s other, more recent, claim to fame is The Sound of Music. Much of the outdoor footage for the 1965 musical blockbuster was filmed in and around the city, and there is no shortage of tour operators eager to take you to visit these iconic locations. Just Google ‘Sound of Music tours’ and you’ll see what I mean. A tip, however: though the tours run all year round, I’d save it for summertime. Not only is the weather warmer (obviously); you’ll also see the sites as they appeared in the movie, rather than buried under a blanket of snow! Besides which – if there’s a carpet of white on the mountains, wouldn’t you rather be skiing?

Mozart, The Sound of Music, fabulous Christmas markets (see earlier blog), beautiful architecture and a year-round epicentre of high culture: Salzburg is worth a visit at any time – and easily accessed from the Alpine resort village of Viehhofen, just 50 or so miles due south.

But it’s from late July and throughout August that the city really hits the high notes, with the annual Salzburg Festival.

Apart from a now-traditional performance of festival co-founder Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s play Jedermann, the 21st-Century Salzburg Festival concentrates on opera (though ballet is slowly gaining a toehold). Wolfgang Amadeus features heavily in the 2018 programme as you might expect – The Magic Flute is this year’s featured opera, plus many other pieces – but other composers are well represented too, including Beethoven, Schumann, JS Bach, Richard Strauss, Liszt and Mahler, and lesser-known tunesmiths such as Krzysztof Penderecki and Galina Ustvolskaya. Conductors include Boston Symphony Orchestra musical director Andris Nelsons and his counterpart at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Kent Nagano. The Vienna Philharmonic will perform, and opera stars including Matthias Goerne and Albina Shagimuratova will grace the stage of the Salzburg Grosses Festspielhaus. Full details (in English) of all 2018 Festival performances can be found by clicking here.

At the time of writing, the festival organisers are being coy about who’s on the bill in 2019 (and beyond) – but in a way, that hardly matters. The Salzburg Festival is among the greatest celebrations of classical music and opera anywhere in the world; it takes place every August; and music-lovers who are fortunate enough to be holidaying nearby at that time should make a beeline for the ‘salt fortress’.

Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Explore one of our UK sites

Please request our fully illustrated holiday property brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, and your FREE copy of Insight Magazine. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder and learn how impressed Bondholders have been by our handling of the problems caused by coronavirus.

Please complete and submit the form or, alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address *
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers. Details of how we use the information you provide are in our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

* Indicates required fields
HPB’s holiday booking service has been rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 14720 customer reviews on Feefo.

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or video call you at a convenient time for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Video chat now available with a local representative

This request is for new enquiries only, if you are an existing Bondholder please contact us via myBond.

How should we contact you? *  
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address *
Telephone number *  
Post code *  
Preferred Date/Time
Preferred Date/Time 2
Preferred Date/Time 3
Please contact me to arrange a date

Your local representative will contact you to confirm the date and time.

Date/Time *  
How did you hear about us?
Chosen date (choose above) *
Chosen time (choose above) *

We will use the details you provide above for a representative to contact you. Details of how we use the information you provide are in our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

* Indicates required fields

Receive a free £20 M&S gift card when you find out more...

Have a Private Tour, Personal Presentation, Video Call or Home Appointment between 1st - 31st May 2024 and we’ll give you a free £20 M&S gift card to thank you.

...And you could double your Holiday Points for your first year!

Become a Bondholder by 31st May and we’ll enter your details into our Prize Draw for your chance to double your Holiday Points for your first year.

These extra points are for one use only. You can redeem them on holiday accommodation where and when you wish, but they will not be renewed once you have used them. Your local representative will give you full details of this offer.

See our stunning holiday properties for yourself

Having a Private Tour at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see the high standards of furnishings and facilities you could enjoy with HPB. One of our representatives will show you around the site and answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively, you are welcome to book a Personal Presentation at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and view the complete portfolio of HPB locations.


This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited (HPBM), the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM. HPB is issued by HPB Assurance Limited (HPBA) registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited, registered at Jubilee Buildings, Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2SH. The Securities Adviser is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London W1H 6LR. No medical examination is required.

HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA. Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies.