Summer crowds arrive in earnest, so be sure to book lodging and hikers' huts ahead of time. It seems like every town and village is celebrating something with outdoor food stands and frivolities.

Jewish Culture Festival, Kraków

Concerts, films, theatre performances and scholarly lectures are all part of the early July, week-long celebration of Jewish culture in Kraków. Join local tours and excursions to towns in the area for art and memorial sightseeing.

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

International celebrities often appear at this Czech Republic festival (www.kviff.com), which screens more than 200 films each year. Tickets are easy to get and concurrent outdoor events add to the energetic atmosphere.

Montreux Jazz Festival

For two weeks in early to mid-July, a distinct air of glamour surrounds this fabulous Swiss festival in Montreux. The world's biggest names in jazz play to rapt audiences who have paid well for the tickets. There are also free outdoor performances to enjoy.

More Music, Music Everywhere

Musical festivals abound across the region in July. Geneva, Vienna, Warsaw, Ljubljana, Bratislava and Kraków are just a few of the other towns that have concerts and cultural events.

Salzburg Festival

In late July some 250,000 people crowd into this quaint Austrian city for a month-long, world-renowned festival of music, theatre and opera. Book tickets ahead: as one of Europe's largest classical events, first held in 1920, it's not unknown.