Best places to visit in Klagenfurt
To list all of the places to visit in Klagenfurt would be impossible. Klagenfurt is a city of leisure and culture in southern Austria. Located on the eastern bank of Lake Wörthersee, this small city is a gem whose cultural treasures and nearby mountains make it a wonderful destination for your trip. In Klagenfurt, you don’t have to decide between culture, adventure, or relaxation. Klagenfurt is the capital of Carinthia, the most southerly of the nine Austrian provinces, close to where Austria, Italy and Slovenia come together. It’s nestled on the scenic banks of the Wörthersee, one of the most popular bathing lakes in Carinthia, and has been honoured many times for its historic town centre, culture and sights. The arcaded walkways, winding passages, idyllic courtyards, lovely cafes, great restaurants, nice beer gardens, trendy boutiques and beautiful galleries invite you to stroll, enjoy and be amazed. Klagenfurt’s tourism bureau offers free walking tours on Friday and Saturday mornings from Neuer Platz square, which are a great way to get a feel for the city. Klagenfurt’s emblem, the stone figure of the Lindwurm on Neuer Platz, acts as a reminder of the legend surrounding the city’s beginnings – Klagenfurt was founded in 1161 as a market town. Klagenfurt is also famous for the old moat and canal added between 1527 and 1558, which still connects Klagenfurt to the Wörthersee lake. Also worth seeing are the 16th century cathedral, the Landhaus, the Old Town Hall, Viktring Abbey, the Regional Museum of Carinthia, and Minimundus, where 150 models of the most beautiful buildings from all over the world are presented with a very close attention to the smallest details. A highlight is also the annual “old town of Klagenfurt-magic”, one of the biggest events in Carinthia, which takes place every year in August.
An 800-year-old town, Klagenfurt boasts one of Austria’s historic town centres and was thrice awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Diploma for its lovingly restored arcaded Renaissance courtyards, which today accommodate modern boutiques, trendy bars, and authentic beer gardens.
Shaped by Italian architects, this "Renaissance Gem" has some must-see sites like the New Square (“Neuer Platz”), redesigned in 2008 by architect Boris Podrecca with the Lindwurm Fountain at its centre. The Lindwurm, a winged dragon that serves as the landmark of the city, was modelled on a legendary dragon said to have resided in a swamp here long ago. If you’re planning to discover Klagenfurt on foot, this is a great starting point.
Perched high atop a craggy peak some 160 meters above the town of Launsdorf, just 21 kilometers northeast of Klagenfurt, sprawls the imposing Hochosterwitz Castle (Burg Hochosterwitz), one of Austria's most impressive castles. First mentioned in AD 860, the castle was for centuries on the frontline between Europe and the Ottoman empire, but never fell.
Notable features include the steep, winding access road, the Burgweg, some 620 meters long and famous for its 14 gates (each of them named) and the beautiful arcaded courtyard at its end. Other highlights include its quaint little chapel with fine wall and ceiling paintings from 1570, and the church at the southwestern end with a high altar dating from 1729. Guided tours of the historical apartments are available, taking in numerous paintings and furnishings, as well as the Khevenhüller armory.
The Pilgrimage Church of Maria Saal (Propstei- und Wallfahrtskirche Maria Himmelfahrt), more often than not referred to as St. Mary's Cathedral (Maria Saal Dom), sits high on a hill some ten kilometers north of Klagenfurt and is one of the leading places of pilgrimage in Carinthia. It was here in AD 750 that Bishop Modestus consecrated a church dedicated to the Virgin, from which the surrounding area was Christianized. The current twin-towered structure was built in Gothic style in the first half of the 15th century and later remodeled during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The central feature of the newer part of Klagenfurt is the spacious Neuer Platz, home to the city's most famous landmark, the massive Dragon Fountain (Lindwurmbrunnen). Long the heraldic emblem of Klagenfurt — legend has it the city was built on a swamp inhabited by a dragon — this huge sculpture was carved by Ulrich Vogelsang in 1590 from a single block of chloritic schist, a greenstone that gives the carving its unique coloring. The figure of Hercules and the iron railings were added in 1636. Also of interest on Neuer Platz is the Trinity Column (Dreifaltigkeitssäule), added in 1689.
Whether you're looking for places to visit in Klagenfurt for one day or things to do in several days, you'll have plenty of choices in this elegant city.
Top places to visit in Klagenfurt you have to see to experience the best of Klagenfurt’s tourism. So pack your bags and grab your passport because you’re going to want to book a flight to Klagenfurt... price from 179.99 EUR