Klagenfurt

In Klagenfurt's Neuer Platz, the tourist will see the city's best known landmark, Lindwurmbrunnen, or the 'Dragon's Fountain.' The ancient legend tells about a fearsome dragon that was defeated by Klagenfurt's people and remained immortalized in the city's coat of arms. A must-see is the intriguing exhibition of coats of arms, displayed in the Wappensaal of the City Hall or Landhaus. Another attraction is the 23 castles that surround Klagenfurt. Most of them are within the boundaries of the city, thus being easily accessible. They have much to offer, from cultural events and stylish restaurants to beautiful views. Plan at least half a day for a memorable trip to the famous Hochosterwitz Fortress. Don't miss Minimundus, an incredible display of 150 models of buildings from across the globe.

The number of cultural institutions here can satisfy even the most inquisitive minds. The Art Nouveau Theater, three galleries in the Kuenstlerhaus, Europahaus and Stadthaus, and the Modern Town Gallery are all open to visitors. The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for Literature in the German Language is awarded annually and gathers the literary elite in Austrian novelist Robert Musil's house museum. An older tradition is the Altstadtzauber (The Magic of the Old Town) Festival, where you will be mesmerized by the street procession of live bands, jugglers and conjurers, plus you'll be able to bargain-shop at leisure in Austria's biggest flea-market.

Klagenfurt caters to both the mind and the body. It hosts the annual Carinthian IRONMAN Austria Triathlon, applications for which can be sent online. In addition, as a mountain resort, the city offers excellent conditions for winter sports. It was even nominated for holding the Winter Olympics 2006. Or if you prefer horse-riding, tennis, swimming, hiking or biking, just take your pick.

Whatever preferences you might have for your leisure activities, you will need good food to keep you going. Klagenfurt will present you with a number of gastronomical adventures, such as Kasnudeln, Saurer Suppe and Ritschert. Enjoy the local specialties in traditional café-restaurants such as Wifzack, or visit Gasthaus Pirker and Gasthof Krall. For an exquisite café-bar, Domgassner is your place, while Stuchetz is a classic pastry shop and ice-cream parlor for anyone with a sweet tooth.