Wednesday’s Wish We Were Here: Salzburg, Austria

Have you ever been somewhere in the spring, summer or fall, and thought to yourself, “I would love to visit this place near Christmas!”

I said those exact words during a spring visit to Salzburg, Austria, fourteen years ago. 

I’ve never forgotten it, and there is something about that place that makes me think it would be magical at  Christmas.
Salzburg, Austria
Image via Facebook Page of  Hotel Goldener Hirsch

See what I mean?


I would love to visit the city again, see the Christmas market, eat a few chocolates with Mozart’s face on them, and stay in this charming property that I spotted on my last visit.

The hotel location is ideal, situated on the renowned Getreidegasse road in the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town.  I was only in Salzburg for the day, but I had a love for hotels back then, too.  I spotted the hotel while shopping and thought then that it would be a fabulous location to stay.

Of course, in 1997 the Internet was not widely available, so bookmarking the hotel’s website for future reference when I returned home to North Carolina was not an option.  

Now I can search for hotels as long as my children leave me alone, and when I discovered the 600-year-old property via Starwood’s website, I knew I had found my gem again.

The 65 rooms and four suites boast authentic Salzburg-style décor handpicked by Countess Harriet Walderdorff, who bought the property in 1939.

After World War II, Countess Walderdorff began her quest to refurbish the interior with simple and contemporary décor, creating a country residence in the city center. In contrast to the extravagance of Salzburg at that time, Countess Walderdorff opted for indigenous Austrian furniture and antiques, replacing Persian carpets with traditional rag rugs. Boasting a new pink exterior, the hotel Goldener Hirsh re-opened on April 29, 1948.  Its casual yet sophisticated style soon became the model for Western Austrian hotels. 

Even though the 600-year-old property is very modern in creature comforts, the look and style of the hotel have changed very little though the years.

Doesn’t this photo just make you want to hop on a plane and spend some time in Salzburg before the holidays?
Image from Hotel Goldener Hirsh, Salzburg's Facebook Page
Yes, I know it’s cold, but that is just good Christmas weather.

What other cities make you think of Christmas?  Starwood has put together a list of hotels that will accommodate you throughout Europe’s Christmas Market.  What city should we explore next? 

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