Located on the lake Wörthersee and surrounded with more lakes of all sizes, this historic town is the capital of Austria’s Carinthia region and has a permanent place on our list of favorite day-trips. Klagenfurt with kids offers a chance to lounge on the beach, explore museums, great shopping venues (it has an IKEA) and lets you enjoy a car free heart of the town.
1.Start with a walk or a dip (depends on the season of your visit) in the turquoise waters of the lake Worthersee. Don’t worry in the Summer the temperature reaches as high as 28°.
You can check the temperature of all the lakes in Austria on this site: Wetter.at.
Our favorite beach is the main one called Stranbad Klagenfurt (open from 8 am till 7 pm). There are also Loretto and Maiernigg.
2. A number of smaller lakes surround Klagenfurt. One worth mentioning is lake Keutschacher see. If you are driving to Klagnefurt from the direction of Loibl pass than you’ll notice the sign directing you to the lake, before you enter the town. It’s smaller than Worthersee, but way less crowded and cheaper entrance fee.
Parking on the lakes is usually free.
With the wide lawn there is plenty of room for all the towels and beach paraphernalia. Lovely wooden plank creates sort of a pool inside the lake, suitable for little ones, while the older kids love jumping from it to the open part of the lake.
3. If you don’t have enough vacation time (or finances) for a trip around the world you can take the kids to Minimundus set right next to the main beach in Klagenfurt. With 156 miniature models of the most important building from more than 40 countries you’ll see the world in about two hours.
For more details: http://www.minimundus.at/en/.
4. Again all those driving from the direction of Slovenia over the beautiful yet very snaky road full of ups and downs won’t be able to miss parts of the Tscheppaschlucht gorge as it follows you on your way to Klagenfurt. Clear signs direct you to the parking lot and there is a lovely walk over to the Tschaukofall waterfall with the Felsentor (Rock gate) and the Teufelsbrücke (Divils bridge).
The entrance fee includes the transport back to the car park by bus.
You can find more information: http://www.tscheppaschlucht-ferlach.at/en/.
5. The other great thing about the sixth largest Austrian city is the fact it has plenty to offer if the weather turns sour. There are plenty of galleries and museums to keep you busy for a few hours. Worth mentioning is definitely the wissens.wert.welt – a hands on museum for visitors ages 6 and up, who are interested in topics relating to film, radio and television.
6. The start of winter brings another reason for the visit – Christmas market. The city gets a whole new look enhanced by many Christmas decorations and lights. The two main markets are set on the Neuen Platz and in front of the Cathedral where the busy stalls offer great arts, crafts and good food and drinks to keep you warm as you venture about.
The next Christmas market takes place from the end of November to 24 December 2016.
7. If you want your kids to experience a real Disney like castle then take them a few kilometers away from Klagenfurt to the Hochosterwitz. On a 150 meters high limestone rock, this castle overlooks the whole region, affording visitors the most amazing views.
You can either walk all the way to the top of the castle first mentioned in 860 or ride the elevator.
The walk will give you a chance to pass 14 gates. The local legend says that since the gates all had various methods of guarding the path, the castle has never been conquered. Supposedly none of the attacks managed to get beyond the fourth gate.
These are our 10 best castles in Europe.
8. Old heart of the city with no cars, cobbled street and many old buildings with shops on the street level is always a great way to explore the city on foot. Let the kids run around, chasing each other on the many squares.
9. All through my childhood our main reason for visiting Klagenfurt was shopping and it remains to do this day. On our every stop we make sure to check out the big shopping mall in the center of the town – City Arkaden or we drive over to IKEA (where we always grab our lunch) or we linger in the stores in the old part of the town.
10. Klagenfurt is only about an hour away from Ljubljana and you don’t need the vignette to reach it, making it a perfect destination when we are up for some variety on our Saturdays.