Klagenfurt boasts one of Austria’s prettiest old towns and was thrice awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Diploma for its lovingly restored arcaded Renaissance courtyards which today accommodate modern boutiques, trendy bars, and rustic beer gardens. Neuer Platz is dominated by the Lindwurm, a winged dragon which is the emblem of the city and was modeled on the dragon of legend, said to have resided in a swamp here long ago.
A guided tour of the castle takes you back to the Middle Ages. There are also many museums and galleries of international reputation including the Museum of Modern Art, the Provincial Museum with its Roman findings (among them a life-sized bronze statue of a naked boy, called “The Youth from Magdalensberg”), the Wappensaal (heraldic hall), the Diocesan Museum and the Landhaus Gallery.
Bikers can choose from a whole host of well-maintained cycle paths, and for runners there is beautiful half-marathon route. Once a year Klagenfurt becomes the center of German literature: in June the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, the most prestigious Austrian literary distinction, is awarded. At Minimundus, the Miniature World at Lake Wörthersee, you can tour the world’s major sights and attractions in one afternoon. There is a beautiful bathing beach at the lake with cabins, wooden piers, and shady grass areas. Klagenfurt has also twice been granted the Austrian Event Award for its many cultural and social activities.