61km (38 miles) NE of Italy; 31km (19 miles) N of Slovenia; 309km (192 miles) SW of Vienna; 140km (87 miles) SW of Graz; 209km (130 miles) SE of Salzburg
Klagenfurt is not an attraction in its own right; it's a sleepy city that's a great stopover point if you're driving around Carinthia's lakes. Arrive in Klagenfurt, get settled, and wander around the city's historic center. Stay the night, and then use Klagenfurt as the base for your explorations to St. Veit, Hochosterwitz Castle, Magdalensberg, the Cathedral of Gurk, and the region's lakes.
Klagenfurt, a university town dating from 1161, is the provincial capital and cultural center of Carinthia. The city was destroyed by fire in 1514 and was rebuilt and designated the duchy's capital in 1518. The city was fortified with walls, which were torn down during the Napoleonic invasions in 1802.
The city center is quadrangular and rimmed with streets that were laid down where the city's walls once stood. The center of this quadrangle, and of the modern city, is Neuer Platz, presided over by a fountain in the shape of a ferocious dragon called Lindwurm, the city's symbol.
It can get very hot in the peak of summer, but if you're here, do as the Klagenfurters do and retreat to the nearby Wörther See (Lake Wörther) in the western sector of the city.