The Carinthian element is reflected in the soft, melodious accent, the sense of humour and the relaxed attitude of the locals. The Italian element is apparent in the architectural style of the Old Town with its wide squares, while the Slovenian element is present on the markets and in the art and music of the region, in particular in the specific harmonies of its songs. Last but not least, the local cuisine blends the best from all three cultures into a delicious fusion of the Alps and the Adriatic.
Italian master builders shaped the Renaissance cityscape that sprang up around the Neuer Platz as the city centre. The Lindwurm statue, hewn from a single block of stone, and the Lendkanal that links the city with Lake Wörthersee, also date from this time. Klagenfurt was awarded the Europa Nostra heritage prize three times, an award presented by international experts in recognition of its outstanding achievements in preserving its Old Town.
A stroll through the Old Town is a stroll through history (and through Austria’s first-ever pedestrian zone!) as well as a great opportunity to shop. Rustic inns and airy cafés invite you to linger. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Benediktinermarkt, the city’s 70-year-old market where Carinthian farmers, and, thanks to European integration, increasingly also producers from Slovenia and Italy, sell a colourful variety of regional produce and culinary highlights from the wider Alpine-Adriatic region.
Dreamy hours on the lakeshore, outdoor activities in a beautiful natural setting, or pulsating city flair: in Klagenfurt and its idyllic surrounding area, all these things lie close together. The region enchants with lakes and mountains under a southern sun, starting with the pleasantly warm waters of Lake Wörthersee and the Karawanken mountain range, inviting visitors to enjoy water sports, running, hiking, and cycling.
Enjoying the many advantages of the city of Klagenfurt and Lake Wörthersee together?
Exploring countless cycling trails along rivers and lakes, all the way to the historic heart of Carinthia? Shopping in the picturesque Renaissance Old Town with its southern flair, and browsing in the market? All these things will be possible this summer once more – with the required distancing rules and “Corona etiquette”, implemented with our trademark hospitality and panache.
So start planning your next holiday now! Klagenfurt, Austria’s smallest major city, is predestined for you to enjoy a holiday that might not have been on your radar during “normal” times.
Leisure cyclists welcome
Directly from the heart of the Old Town, the Neuer Platz in front of the town hall with the large Lindwurm fountain, inter-regional cycling trails lead into all directions. This is the starting point of the Wörthersee Radweg, which takes you along the northern shore of the lake to Velden via Pörtschach, with many opportunities of taking a dip along the way for free.
Those interested in history will enjoy the Glanradweg that leads to Maria Saal, where the Herzogstuhl and the picturesque Gothic cathedral are waiting to be explored, then past the ducal town of St. Veit to the medieval castle town of Friesach.
Heading east from Klagenfurt, you will reach the Drauradweg, the best known cycling trail in Austria’s south, via the small town of Grafenstein that is home to two outstanding restaurants, each awarded a Gault Millau toque (Hambrusch and Moritz).
Between the old town and the lake
The distance between the romantic Old Town with its many small cafés, courtyards, shops, restaurants with outdoor dining areas, and the eastern shore of Lake Wörthersee is short and takes you along the Lendkanal. The Lendkanal starts in the Old Town with the Lendhafen quarter, an up-and-coming, young, and urban part of town dotted with bars, and stretches across Carinthia’s oldest surviving bridge, the Steinerne Brücke, with beautiful Art Nouveau villas along the way and a great ice-cream parlour, Morle, where you can order ice-cream with a wafer-thin chocolate layer.
The route continues past the daytrip destination of Minimundus, the reptile zoo and the planetarium, all the way to the nature preserve near Maria Loretto castle, where the Lend flows into turquoise-coloured Lake Wörthersee. This is also the location of the Restaurant Loretto, covered in white wood and with an inspired, Mediterranean-style menu. Loretto Castle, a popular wedding location, also comes with an inviting bar and what is probably the most romantic selfie point along the shores of Lake Wörthersee – the castle gardens at night, perfect for capturing the moment and creating lasting memories!
Alpine-Adriatic culture wherever you look
Klagenfurt is the point where traditional Viennese and Italian coffee culture meet. Restaurateurs in Klagenfurt set store by an exclusive atmosphere as well as excellent flavours. Read the paper or a book in one of the cosy backrooms or enjoy a spot of people-watching on the Alter Platz.
A stroll through the Old Town of Klagenfurt opens up the dreamy atmosphere of the multi-faceted Renaissance courtyards. Museums, galleries, small shops, and boutiques make your city tour into a unique journey of discovery. Expect to stumble across some unforeseen moments of utter peace and quiet at the heart of the city, or browse the Benediktinermarkt, where regional farmers and traders offer their wares from Thursday to Saturday.
Top 10 to do’s
- Leisurely cycling tour along the city’s rivers, with a stop at the romantic Kalmusbad lido
- Taking a stroll through the Old Town, with a latte macchiato on Alter Platz
- Taking a stroll along the Lendkanal, with a break on one of the many benches
- Relaxed run on the Kreuzbergl with views of Lake Wörthersee and the Old Town
- Shopping spree and tour of discovery through the inner courtyards
- Visit to the Stadtpfarrturm tower with warder Horst to enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains and the lake
- Sampling regional delicacies on Benediktinermarkt
- Joining themed city tours such as “The Klagenfurt crime scene” or “Doctors, barber surgeons, servants of the dead”
- Restaurant hopping between Austrian, Italian, Croatian and Slovenian cuisine
- Taking holiday snapshots in the eastern bay of Lake Wörthersee, between Loretto Castle and the Wörthersee Schifffahrt boating fleet