Hiring a car from Klagenfurt airport

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Hiring a car from Klagenfurt airport

This sunny Austrian city is a Mecca for watersports fans and has striking views of the Alps and the Carinthian mountains, so pick up your hire car at Klagenfurt airport and get exploring.

60-second guide to Klagenfurt airport

in its own head

"We're the ultimate year-round tourist destination! Swim in shimmering Lake Wörthersee in the summer and ski on the slopes of the Carinthian mountains in the winter. If it was good enough for Brahms and Mahler it's good enough for anyone!"

but more realistically

Klagenfurt is indeed blessed with wonderful alpine scenery - many visitors like it so much, they come back every year. But there is also a wealth of Italian architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries in this picturesque city.

the vibe

It's hard to be stressed in such spectacular surroundings, and the speed of life is far from hectic. Take an evening stroll along the Herrengasse to see Klagenfurt letting its hair down.

the natives

The city is far from being a metropolis and the locals are easy-going - they're more used to the rural life than the bright lights. Add to that a large student population and regular visits from Viennese second-home owners and it makes for an interesting mix.

the weather

Cold in the winter, with temperatures hovering between 0°C and -10°C. From June to August, it's pleasantly warm, with temperatures in the mid-20s.

the local speciality

Klagenfurt cuisine is not for the faint-hearted, so be prepared to loosen your belt a notch or two. Try ritschert, a hearty stew of beans, smoked pork, pot barley and greens. And for something sweet, reindling is a traditional cake made with cinnamon and raisins.

the celebrity

Stephanie Graf. No, not the tennis player Steffi Graf. Stephanie Graf is the Austrian 800-metre record-holder who won silver at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

did you know?

Legend has it that Klagenfurt was founded when some brave young men slaughtered a dragon, the "Lindwurm", which was terrorising the area.

they say

"My brother, Durgel, is also really talented - he runs ze biggest laminating company in Klagenfurt. He's amazing - he can laminate anything! He's ze Johnny Depp of laminating!" - Klagenfurt's latest famous son, Sacha Baron Cohen's camp Austrian fashionista, Brüno.

5 to see in town...

1. Dom

Klagenfurt's 16th-century cathedral is one of its architectural highlights. Decorated in the Baroque style, its central tower provides one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. The wonderfully ornate pulpit alone merits a visit.

where to park?

There are parking places in Lidmanskygasse.

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2. Happ's Reptilienzoo

Not one for the ophidiophobic, this haven for cold-blooded critters boasts more than 60 species of snake and hundreds of lizards and turtles. The Happ family believe reptiles have a bad rap, and the aim of their zoo is to get everyone to appreciate our slithery friends.

where to park?

There's a free visitors' car park at the zoo.

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3. Minimundus

Phileas Fogg needed 80 days to go around the world, but at Klagenfurt's mini-earth, you can do it in a few hours. This tiny paradise has small-scale versions of more than 100 famous buildings, including the White House, Tower Bridge and the Eiffel Tower.

where to park?

There's a free visitors' car park.

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4. Strandbad

Where better to take in the breathtaking views of Lake Wörthersee than at Europe's largest non-sea beach? Tourists and locals flock here to enjoy a dip. Try the region's longest water slide for something a little more strenuous.

where to park?

Use the free visitors' car park.

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5. Bergbaumuseum

This museum of mining history in the Carinthians houses its exhibits in former air-raid shelters. Don't miss the prehistoric fossils and dinosaur eggs.

where to park?

The free on-site visitors' car park.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Gerlitzen ski resort

Carinthia's answer to Zell am See or Lake Tahoe, Gerlitzen is a small, family-friendly resort that has lovely views of Lake Ossiach and the surrounding mountains.

how to get there?

It takes about an hour-and-a-quarter. Head west, taking the Sud Autobahn for 19 miles, then follow signs for Gerlitzen.

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2. Burg Hochosterwitz castle

Perched high on a hill in the Carinthian countryside, imposing Hochosterwitz Castle, a medieval pile dating back to the ninth century, looks like it would be more at home in Transylvania than Austria. Be sure to take the scenic route through the 14 defensive gates built to keep the Turks out.

how to get there?

It's a 20-minute drive north via Sankt Veiter Strasse, the B317, the B82 and the B94.

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3. Lake Wörthersee

Get your gladrags on and head down to Austria's answer to Monte Carlo. With its picture-postcard views, Lake Wörthersee has long been a favourite with the great and good of Vienna. The warmest of the alpine lakes, it's perfect for swimming.

how to get there?

It's a 20-minute drive west of Klagenfurt. Head for the Sud Autobahn and take the Klagenfurt-See exit.

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4. Magdalensberg archaeological park

This is the largest archaeological site in Austria, an excavated Roman settlement dating back to 50BC, complete with the remains of villas, shops and the forum of what was once an important mining site.

how to get there?

It's 25 minutes north-east of Klagenfurt in the town of Pischeldorf via the B70 and B92.

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