Klagenfurt is one of the most lively places in Austria during the summer months, and you should not think of Klagenfurt as a historical destination like Vienna, Salzburg or Graz. Despite this, Klagenfurt is a very lively and cheerful city, especially in summer. The green saturation in spring should not be overlooked. Its lakes, green areas and forests are enough to make you talk.
Klagenfurt is a city in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It is neighboring Slovenia in the south of Austria. The distance to Graz is 140km (1h 45min), the distance from Salzburg to Klagenfurt is a bit more 230km (2h 30min). If you are traveling from Salzburg to Graz or if you are in Vienna and have already been to Graz, you can also visit Klagenfurt. One day is enough for a trip to Klagenfurt by car.
The first stop in Klagenfurt is the Maria Saal Open Air Museum, located north-east of the city center. This museum exhibits farmhouses that have been used for a long time in Klagenfurt and the surrounding provinces. You can visit more than 15 farmhouses from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and their surroundings one by one and learn about the living conditions of the period. Entrance is 9€ for adults and 4€ if you have a student card. You won’t lose anything if you don’t enter. It is a bit like an ethnography, but it is a different museum because it exhibits farmhouses.
Klagenfurt Botanical Garden
Founded in 1862 near the lake in Klagenfurt, this botanical park was built in an old quarry. The park, which we encountered on our way to the city center, does not have a super landscaping, but it is a botanical garden where rare plants are preserved. Since it is the closest natural area to the center of Klagenfurt, you can take a walk around and relax. There is also a small waterfall in the botanical garden.
Klagenfurt Parliament Building
We arrive in Klagenfurt Old Town, which we call the old town of the city, where there are historical buildings and we visit a building called Landhaus. The building, which has one of the most colorful halls in Klagenfurt, was built in the 16th century. Only two rooms were open during our visit. One of them is decorated with colorful flags and emblems of the Carinthian family. The other room is still used as a place where the Carinthian Parliament holds its plenary meetings. The entrance fee is cheap, but I can’t say it’s a very necessary visit.
Let’s not miss the statue on Neuer Platz. You will see a dragon on the flag emblem of Klagenfurt. That dragon is the symbol of Klagenfurt. A structure called Lindwurm Fountain is also located in the historical buildings of the city. The sculptural decorations are a dragon and a strong man standing in front of it. This dragon figure is based on the legend of Klagenfurt.
It’s exactly like Miniaturk in Istanbul, a museum with 1:25 scale models of dozens of touristic buildings. You can feel like you are going on a small world tour. There are many famous buildings you can think of such as the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty. You can also see Suleymaniye Mosque and Galata Tower from Turkey in Minimundus.
Lake Wörthersee, located further west of Minimundus, is a tourist destination for Klagenfurt residents and tourists during the summer months. Swimming in the lake, sunbathing on the piers lying on the lake, picnicking in the green area by the lake are routine tourist activities. Boat tours, swimming races, water sports such as sailing, surfing and rowing are also among these activities in the summer season. There are many free beaches around the lake as well as paid ones.
Forget the beach, let’s go 100 meters above Lake Wörthersee, which is surrounded by these beaches. There is a single, simple road to the Pyramidenkogel Observation Tower, from where you can watch the lake and the dense forest around it. We drive up to the front, park our car for free, pay the fee and take the elevator to the top. While going down from Pyramidenkogel, where you can watch the surroundings 360 degrees panoramically, I recommend you to slide down the slide. This is also paid and you have to pay for it before going up, when you enter the building. I can say that this slide is a lot of fun. The entrance fee and the slide are a bit expensive, but if you can afford it, we recommend it.
Where to stay in Klagenfurt?
There are many hotel options for accommodation in Klagenfurt, but if you want to go tent camping or caravan camping, there is a campground called Camping Klagenfurt on the east side of Lake Wörthersee. It is very close to the lake beach with a distance of 100 meters. Camping fees are 22,90€ for two adults for one night in low season and 38,90€ in high season. It is probably this expensive because it is so close to the tourist center. If you can’t find a place near Wörthersee, you can try Camping Reichmann and Camping Reautschnighof near Rauschelesee, or the many tent or caravan campsites near the larger lake Keutschacher See.
Klagenfurt experiences a tourism boom during the GTI Treffen, a traditional folk festival. The GTI Treffen is an event with mostly VW participants and many tuning enthusiasts. Hotels or campsites are priced separately for normal days and festival days. Since many tourism factors such as accommodation prices are affected by the festival days and the days near the festival, you should find out the dates of the GTI Treffen festival before you go and make your vacation plan accordingly.