Rugged peaks, shimmering lakes and rolling hills make Carinthia one of the most beautiful regions in Europe. Wine and dine in the elegant state capital of Klagenfurt and escape to enchanting medieval villages dotted across the countryside.
Things to do in Carinthia
Klagenfurt, the picturesque state capital, makes a great base for your trip to Carinthia. Admire the centuries-old fountain in the main square and discover contemporary artists at the MMKK gallery. The food scene in Klagenfurt is eclectic and features everything from artisan donuts shops to traditional Austrian beer halls.
Burg Hochosterwitz is perched on a rocky dolomite outcrop and is one of the most evocative castles in Austria. The hilltop fortress dates back to 860 AD and has a fairy-tale feel, with turrets, towers and walls that cascade down the hillside. Marvel at gleaming suits of armour in the castle museum and enjoy classic Carinthian cuisine at the on-site restaurant.
Europapark is set on the shores of Wörthersee, one of more than 1,200 lakes in Carinthia. Stroll around the landscaped gardens and enjoy a picnic by the duck-filled pond. The outdoor “lido” is one of the largest lakeside baths in Europe. Thermal springs heat the water and make it a lovely temperature for swimming. After a refreshing swim, top up your tan on the sunbathing lawns.
Dive into Carinthia’s fascinating past in postcard-perfect villages like Friesach. Encircled by ancient medieval walls and a water-filled moat, Friesach feels frozen in time. Gmünd is another storybook village worth a visit. It borders Hohe Tauern National Park and is a great base for alpine hikes.
Learn about the legacy of a legendary Austrian mountaineer at the Heinrich Harrer Museum. The award-winning museum occupies a former school and features exhibits on Harrer’s most famous expeditions, including trips to Tibet and the Himalayas. You can also view souvenirs from his travels, including masks, prayer flags and poison arrows.
Getting around Carinthia
All cities, towns and villages in Carinthia, including Klagenfurt, are easy to get around on foot. The region is well-connected by local buses and trains, while rental cars offer the freedom to explore the region at your own pace. Vienna International Airport is a three-hour drive away.