Liechtenstein; tax haven, winter haven or a haven of images? The unknown (to tourists) principality is crammed between Austria and Switzerland, beneath the watch of the snowed Alps. It has 40,000 residents, occupies an area of 160 square kilometers, while you can cross it in just 20 minutes! It might be limited in options, but it offers landscapes of natural beauty, incredible quiet, as well as an excellent quality of life.And how could it be any different, since we are talking about the country with the highest income per capita in the world?! Here, money is not a problem. This is why luxury cars parade in the streets until dark falls. Then the country falls silent so suddenly, that you would think someone turned off the main switch. People stop wandering the streets and stores are locked up!
But what good is the night, when the day offers you such unique images? Small villages perched at an altitude of 1,000+ meters, with a view of the valley of the river Rhine and the Swiss Alps, wooden bridges that their half-way points connect and separate two countries (Liechtenstein-Switzerland), hills with castles in the center of villages and endless stretches of greenery will take up a lot of time, but will offer your camera plenty of clicks!
Small, beautiful and charming…this is Liechtenstein!
Info Liechtensteina) Liechtenstein is the only country exclusively stretching within the Alps, while the highest peak is Grauspitz (2,599m). b) 40% of residents (adults and children), are registered at a sports club! c) It is the safest country in the world, as there have not been reports of murder or rape for over 20 years! d) Search for the historic Red house with the vineyards in Vaduz’s Mitteldorf neighborhood. e) There is a village in Germany called Liechtenstein!
What to do in Liechtenstein
1) Hiking trailsLiechtenstein is the joy of those who love hiking/climbing trails, as it has 75km of paths! Most take place in the Alps and start at low difficulty, while others even require rock climbing in order to go on!
Mini Tip: From December 15th to April 15th, many trails are forbidden.
2) Gaflei village Gaflei is a village taken out of a fairytale, with the Swiss Alps as its background! Beautiful little houses in lush green, amphitheatrical areas at an altitude of 1,500 meters will offer you very powerful images, which you will remember for the rest of your lives!
Mini tip: Climb up to the Gaflei observation tower (1,700m) and enjoy the view (photo ?)!
3) VaduzThe capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, is certainly one of the locations worth devoting some time. It is located in the heart of the principality and offers plenty of options for food and walk, while it has many museums and attractions.
4) Wooden bridgeThe covered wooden bridge with the beautiful construction connects and, at the same time, separates Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The noteworthy is that the borders are across its halfway point! You can simply cross it and walk to the Swiss side of the Rhine.
5) BalzersBalzers is Liechtenstein’s southernmost village. It became known for the hill that is located –almost- exactly at its center. On its top stands the Gutenberg Castle, which presently operates as a museum. Below the hill you will find the imposing church of Saint Nicholas, as well as plenty of vineyards.
6) Vaduz CastleThe castle of Vaduz is one of Liechtenstein’s most must-visit attractions. Today it is the princely residence and, unfortunately, it is not visitable. However, the trails around it and the photographs with the castle, the green landscapes and snowy Alps offer images of rare beauty.
Mini info: Once a year, the residents are invited to enjoy a cool drink in the castle’s garden.
7) Malbun Ski ResortThe Malbun Ski Resort is the main reason for visiting Liechtenstein during the winter season (but not exclusively). It is located in the heart of the Alps (Liechtenstein), between 1,600 and 2,000 meters and has ski slopes that stretch across 23km in total, and include all difficulty levels. In the village you will find plenty of stores, hotels and restaurants.
8) Walk in the Städtle walkwayThe 500m long Städtle walkway is located in Vaduz and it is the best option for a walk in the city. Well-maintained, clean and beautiful, the walkway hosts many restaurants, shops, museums, the Town Hall as well as the parliament!
9) TriesenbergTriesenberg is the ideal place to relax! Accompanied by the unobstructed view to the valley of the Rhine, the Alps of Liechtenstein as well as the Swiss. In the amphitheatrically built village, what stand out are the cathedral (Pfarrkirche Triesenberg) with the wonderful dome and the museum with the history, customs and life of the residents (Walser Museum).
10) Llama-Alpaca TrekkingIt is probably the most interesting activity in Liechtenstein! Llama-Alpaca Trekking is located a bit outside of Triesenberg and starts at two hours, while it can be as long as two days (with accommodation in tent)! The children as well as the grown-ups will love the friendly animals from the very first moment and will discover the countryside with greater enjoyment.
11) Town of SchaanThe town of Schaan is the extension of Vaduz to the North. Despite being the largest town and industrial center of Liechtenstein, it is also friendly and picturesque. The most beautiful spots are the church of St. Laurentius and the colorful houses on the north side of Schaan.
12) CyclingCycling is one of the most beloved sports in the country. You will see a lot of people on a bike, going to work, climbing the mountains (training) or following some of the countless cycling trails. Book yourselves an e-bike and sally out to the mountains and fields of Liechtenstein..
13) HofkellereiGet ready for a wine tour in the princely vineyards of Hofkellerei, in Vaduz. After a walk around the vineyards, it is time for a tasting with plenty of information for the history of the winery as well as for the local varieties and flavors.
14) Ruggeller ParkThe Ruggeller Park is the ideal place for nature lovers. It stretches over an area of 90 hectares, in which there are lakes, endless fields, dams, trees as well as many endangered animals and plants.
Mini tip: There are hiking and cycling trails that will help you explore it better.
15) Statues of VaduzVaduz is full of modern art statues and sculptures! Take a walk around the city to discover most of them..
16) Vaduz Museum of Modern ArtIt is the best museum in the country. Inside, the paintings and large bright spaces are what steal the show, while outside the museum you will find a Gorda that symbolizes the sleeping soul. Art lovers, rush!
Φαγητό ΛιχτενστάινFood in Liechtenstein is something that will give you plenty of trouble, as options are few and prices are sky-high! The cuisine is heavily influenced by the Austrian and Swiss, while the quality to price ratio is not the best. Do not leave without having tried Kaesknoepfle, hand-made pasta with local sour cheese and Rehpfeffer mit spätzle, venison with thick, sweet-and-sour sauce. For a two-person meal you will pay 70-80€ without wine.
Da Noi (Schaan): Da Noi serves original Italian flavors of good quality and reasonable prices. Prefer the menu of the day (more advantageous).
Restaurant Vogeli (Malbun): It is worth visiting Malbun for a meal in this restaurant. Its advantages are the large servings, polite service and reasonable prices.
Altenbach – Restaurant & Bar (Vaduz): This restaurant addresses to everyone seeking quality in food…at the respective cost. It is located on the walkway of the capital and has a wonderful interior and exterior space.
Restaurant Forum (Schaan): Large servings, reasonable prices and a pleasant environment are everything Restaurant Forum offers.
Cafe Guflina (Triesenberg): Unique view of the Alps and Liechtenstein, breakfast delicacies and pleasant service are everything you will find at this bakery/café!Brasserie Burg (Vaduz): It is the only shop in the country that is open 365 days a year and until late at night. Quality is good, prices are high and service is average.
Gasthof Au (Vaduz): Beautiful interior space and charming yard, where you can try local dishes, in slightly high prices.
SPAR Supermarkt (Triesen): It is the most economical option that will solve the problems of every traveler with a low budget.
Mündle Bakeries AG (Mauren): An affordable bakery with a pretty good variety for you to take your breakfast or have some coffee.
Mini tips:a) Restaurants close up pretty early. b) Their schedule might differ depending on the season and day. c) 500ml of water in restaurants might cost up to 10€! d) Many restaurants work with daily menus that are complete and economical (prefer them).
Transportation LiechtensteinFor better transportation in Liechtenstein prefer to rent a car. Only this way you will manage to see its countryside, mountains and parks (namely, what is worth in this country).
You can also reach it by train. If you are in Switzerland, you will stop at the towns of Sargans or Buchs, while if you are in Austria at Feldkirch, and you will take one of the LIEmobil buses. Finally, it is worth noting that you can explore each town on foot, as distances are very short.
Internal Transportation Villages are connected with the green, electric LIEmobil buses (www.liemobil.li) which are pretty frequent during the day. You will find tickets inside the buses and they are valid for 1, 2 and 3 zones and cost from 3 to 10 CHF. You will find schedules posted on every bus stop.
In the capital you will also find the small tourist train for a short yet pleasant tour with many interesting bits of information.
Check out the Tips Liechtenstein for everything you should be cautious about regarding your transportation.
Accommodation LiechtensteinThe microstate of Liechtenstein could only offer limited options for accommodation, which are, nonetheless, worthy. Hotels are mainly located outside of the capital town of Vaduz, while many of these include breakfast in the price. The average price ranges between 100 and 140€ per night (high season).
Park-Hotel Sonnenhof (Vaduz): It is the best hotel in Liechtenstein, which offers an amazing view, quiet and quality of benefits in respective prices. Accommodation cost: 300-350€ per night.
Schaan-Vaduz Youth Hostel (Schann): This hostel is located in a lush green area and its strongest weapons are quiet, quality and low prices. Accommodation cost: 70-80€ per night.
Hotel-Gasthof Löwen (Αυστρία): It is just 1.5km outside of Liechtenstein and it is one worthy economical option for accommodation, while it also offers breakfast. Accommodation cost: 80-100€ per night.
Familien & Sporthotel TURNA Malbun Superior (Malbun): It is an one-way street for the fans of Ski. It is very close to the Malbun Ski Resort and has everything the visitor might need. Accommodation cost: 100-120€ per night.
b_smart hotel (Bendern): Make a smart choice and stay at the most in-vogue hotel of the country. Pay and take your card on your own and stay in one of the modern rooms, styled after a…postage stamp! Accommodation cost: 150-170€ per night.
Read Also: Brussels travel guide: Tips for Visiting
- Visit the Tourism Office in Vaduz and stamp your passport for 3€.
- SOS: Turn off your mobile data! Liechtenstein does not belong in the E.U. so roaming is not in effect…We mention as an example that 1MB costs 12€!!
- The currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF) at a rate of about 1.1 to 1 with the Euro (€).
- If you do not have cash (Swiss Franc CHF) prefer to pay with card. The exchange rate is more advantageous.
- The cost of living, products, food and accommodation is high, as it falls in line with the state’s high salaries.
- The most ideal season to visit it is late April – early May.
- The average temperature is 10 Cº.
- There is no airport in the country. The closest international airports are 1 to 3 hours away.
- In outdoor parking facilities as well as on parking spots (street), the first hour is free of charge (fill in the time on Parking Disc).
- Be careful with the hiking trails. Most of them have a high difficulty level.
- In the parking facilities you will find in the center of every town, you can leave your car up to 2 to 3 hours (depending on the location).
- Shops, on weekdays, close at 18:30 while restaurants at 21:00!
- Public transport is frequent in the morning hours, while it gets a lot scarcer in the afternoon.
- At the Tourism Office, which is located on the walkway of Vaduz, you will learn more information about activities and events taking place during each time period in the country.
- Museums close at 17:00.
- On all trash bins you will find small bags for your pet’s feces!
- The prices of products are up to double of those in Austria.
- If it has snowed, do not begin hiking as the ground holds dangers.
- Car: In Liechtenstein there are no tolls. But in order to get in the country, you must be coming from Switzerland or Austria. For each of these countries, you must have stuck on the top left corner of your windshield the Vignette, a sticker that substitutes tolls. A Vignette valid for 10 days costs 10€, and you can purchase it from most gas stations, or at the borders (Zoll). The fine is up to 20 times more.
Liechtenstein: The complete guide
Liechtenstein Landes Museum