Though charming and breathtakingly beautiful, Klagenfurt is a small city. In fact, the entire Bundesland (State) of Carinthia (Kärnten) has a population of about 500,000; 100,000 of which live in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. So, it’s only natural that you may want to, you know… go somewhere else. Luckily, there is a Flixbus stop here as well as a small airport that can get you to Vienna in about 25-35 minutes. And from Vienna the options are endless. Here are just a fraction of the places that I have visited on the weekends here:
Flixbus: around 3-4 hours from Klagenfurt, but a direct trip.
Hostel: on the mainland Venice Lagoon Hostel – good quality, close to the bus station, pretty cheap
Time: I went during spring break so I had almost unlimited time. But you could totally do the main things in Venice in 2 days… maybe even 1.
Venice was one of my favorite places in Europe. Every square inch of the place is photogenic. It is so unchanged over the centuries, you can easily imagine people dressed for a masquerade from eras past laughing and shuffling in elaborate gowns and masks down the narrow corridors. It’s the craziest thing: some streets pass though houses like little tunnels, with tops so low that you barely have to lift your hand to touch the top (for reference, I am 5’2″… I saw people have to duck to go down these streets). And sometimes they are so narrow, your shoulders scrape the walls intermittently as you saunter down these serpentine “streets” in awe. The dark of these tunnels will sometimes be broken by the light of candles surrounding an alcove in the wall. These small altars are usually the extremely old Catholic shrines to Mary. Even if you aren’t Catholic, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the artistry of these altars and you can just feel how old they are. Also, donation boxes are usually attached, which the local Catholic churches collect and redistribute to the poor and needy.
Sadly, gondola tours range from €80-€100, so I didn’t do that. But everything in the main square (St. Mark’s Square) as far as museums, churches, and the Doge’s palace is affordable. Then of course Rialto Bridge is free.
If you stay on the mainland, you will save money. In the off season, you very well might be able to snag a cheap hostel on the mainland.
And, as with anywhere, watch out for pickpockets and people trying to sell you poor quality junk on the streets.
Austrian Airlines: 2 flights, trip of about 2.5 hours one way (including layover in Vienna)
Hostel: Woodstock Hostel. Not cheap, but one of the cheapest in Paris given the location, very good quality, near several forms of public transport.
Time: I had a random 5 days free because of a holiday and my class schedule. I would say you need a little more than a weekend if you want to explore Paris.
Paris… need I say more? I fell in love with, well, the city of love. The only detractor is that I got way too many randos making out in the backgrounds of my selfies… totally ruined them. I’ll be honest: Paris isn’t cheap as far as accommodation goes. However, you can get a good meal for around €10 and a crappy bottle of wine for €0,69. The public transport is by far the best and most efficient in Europe, and I have been to roughly 30 European cities.
Notre Dame is free and I totally got to check something off my bucket list: listening to the Disney “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Louvre is cheap, but I suggest getting there super early. As for the catacombs… the workers struck for 2 days… then once they were open, I had to wait in line 5 hours. It was worth it only for the right to say “I’ve been in the catacombs of Paris.” Eiffel Tower is of course a must see. I went both during the day and at night. If you can only go once, I would suggest going at night. Every hour, the tower sparkles!
There are a few other places I could suggest that are not a super far journey from Klagenfurt:
I’ll either edit this post or write another one to cover all these places because most of them really deserve a good description.