Take bus number 10 from Heiligengeistplatz, or stretch your legs with a 4.5km walk to the atmospheric Strandbad Klagenfurt. Pop your stuff down before taking a dip in the lake, or if you’re feeling more lively, hiring a stand-up paddleboard. There’s also a restaurant onsite offering both self-service meals and à la carte fare.
Just 10 minutes south of Strandbad Klagenfurt is Strandbad Maria Loretto. Characterised by five long bridges that jut out into the lake, there's more than enough space for sunbathing and jumping into the turquoise-blue waters. If you really want to make the most your day, test your balance on a wakeboard or stand-up paddleboard, or get out on the lake on a pedalo. This gloriously green bay also has a kiosk selling snacks and drinks, for when you get peckish.
Board a bus to the south east of Lake Wörthersee to experience the wonderful Strandbad Maiernigg. With its large, enclosed bay and plenty of shady spots, this green space is ideal for families with children. Like the other beaches on this side of the lake, you can try out a variety of watersports and, when you’re ready for lunch, there’s an onsite restaurant to grab some grub.
If you’re looking for a bargain, make sure you head to one of Klagenfurt’s many markets. The most popular is the Benedictine Market, open on Thursdays and Saturdays until 1pm in the Benediktinerplatz. Food is sole focus here, with farmers travelling from Italy, Slovenia and other parts of Austria to sell their produce and handmade goods. If it’s more of a keepsake you’re after, then plan a trip to the flea market. There’s one on the Völkermarkterstrasse – open for business on Sundays between 6am and 2pm – and an evening one at the Klagenfurt-Hörtendorf that’s open until 10pm.
On a rainy day, make for the City Arkaden – an indoor shopping centre made up of more than 100 shops. Here you’ll find big-name brands like Zara, Bershka, H&M and Rituals, as well as more local fashion brands and shops. It’s not too much of a trek either, being just a 5-minute walk from the Neuer Platz.
Upmarket shops aren’t sparse either. As well as high-street brands, the City Arkaden is home to more extravagant names – like Pandora, Swarovski and Tommy Hilfiger. Back in the city centre you’ll find a range of boutiques, predominantly located around the pedestrianised Kramergasse and Alter Platz areas. For delectable sweet treats, pay a visit to Zehrer. For more immoderate clothing prices, browse the items at either Grüner or Graf. There are plenty of jewellers too.
If you’re out for a post-dinner stroll and fancy a quick drink before heading back to your hotel, make for the Alter Platz (the Old Square) for a variety of pavement cafés that tend to stay open quite late. If you've spent the day at the beach, don't leave early. Instead, check into the Café Lounge Bar at Schloss Maria Loretto to watch the sun set over the lake, or settle down in the beer garden at the Trattoria Pizzerlia Villa Lido with a cocktail.
This university town is home to an array of bars and late-night pavement cafés – predominantly on the Herrengasse. For a livelier vibe, head to either Checkpoint Charlie, Vertigo Musicbar or Seven Bar for an evening of delicious cocktails and dancing.
Every corner of Klagenfurt is packed full of restaurants and bars that offer extraordinary wining and dining experiences. The pedestrian zones of the Alter Platz, Kramergasse and the Wienergasse are the culinary centre of the city, serving up a concoction of Carinthian, Slovenian and Alps-Adriatic culinary traditions.
Close to the City Arkaden is a small, gourmet restaurant serving Mediterranean food with a twist. You’re not given a menu on arrival, but are instead approached by the chef who explains what produce he has in, so you can decide what to pick and how to have it. You’ll be treated to a number of exquisite courses – all different from the other diners in the restaurants – all in an intimate and cosy setting. With high prices, this restaurant is best for special occasions.
Serving regional and seasonal Carinthian food, this traditional Gasthaus whips up decently priced and authentic meals alongside high-quality local beers. Dotted around the city are three of Bierhaus Zum Augustin’s sister branches – each with a slightly different menu – that cook hearty dishes like gorgonzola bread, schnitzel and goulash. There’s outdoor seating in a couple of them too, meaning you can enjoy the warm weather while you tuck into your homemade meal.
This Viennese-style chain of coffee houses are built with onsite bakeries and are a great option for any time of day. Serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a selection of pastries and cakes – from sachertorte to apple strudel – indulgence is an understatement. There are vegan and gluten-free options too, meaning that no one has to miss out on a delicious sweet treat.
Klagenfurt is known for its relatively flat structure, partly due to it being situated inside a basin. And with a small city centre, it’s pretty easy to walk around. On top of this, there are plenty of lovingly designed green areas to wander – from the Schillerpark to the slightly further Europa Park. If you want to learn more about the city, pick up a free walking brochure from the tourist office, or tag along on one of the guided tours that depart at 10am each Friday and Saturday in July and August. The walk to the lake takes around 50 minutes, too, if you’re looking to stretch your legs.
See Lake Wörthersee from the water on a Wörthersee boat cruise. From the end of May to the end of October you can catch a boat every two hours from Klagenfurt to various places around the lake. The Wörthersee Shiffahrt fleet consists of five boats – the oldest being Steamboat Thalia, built in 1909 – and you can hop on and hop off whenever and as often as you like. An adult day ticket costs as little as €15, but if you want to make the most of your trip, you can also get 1-week tickets and even combined tickets that include entry to some of the local attractions.
Just a 10-minute walk from the city centre is Klagenfurt’s main train station. From here you can catch trains to nearby towns and cities, as well as much further afield in Italy and Germany. The most regular service is to Villach, on the other side of Lake Wörthersee, with services running around once an hour. You can also hop over to Salzburg in three hours, Venice in four hours and Bad Gastein in just 2 hours.
The public transport system in and around Klagenfurt is highly rated. The main bus station is located just outside of the Klagenfurt Hbf train station, where you can pick up buses to places like Venice and Ljubljana, as well as 15 local buses that operate much more closer to home. Buses tend to run quite regularly – between every 15 to 30 minutes – and offer different ticket types, like unlimited travel for 24 hours or tickets valid for up to one hour.
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