In the centre of Europe, there is a tiny, landlocked nation called Liechtenstein. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, only 62 square miles in size, and is bordered to the west by Switzerland and the east by Austria. Despite its tiny size, Liechtenstein is home to a vibrant history and culture, as well as stunning alpine scenery, quaint towns and villages, and a cutting-edge economy. This constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy is named after the Liechtenstein family, who have ruled the principality since 1719. The natural beauty of Liechtenstein is one of its most outstanding characteristics. The country, which is located in the heart of the Alps, is surrounded by lush forests, lakes and rivers that are crystal pure and towering mountain peaks. The nation is renowned for its breathtaking hiking and bike paths, as well as its ski resorts, which provide possibilities for world-class skiing and snowboarding. The area's natural beauty has been meticulously conserved.
Aside from its thriving economy, Liechtenstein is recognised for its cutting-edge infrastructure. The nation is home to a variety of enterprises and industries, including finance, manufacturing, and tourism, and it boasts a highly educated and skilled labour population. As a result, Liechtenstein now ranks among the richest nations in the world, with a high standard of living, a solid entrepreneurial culture and a high standard of living. In terms of culture, Liechtenstein is well renowned for its robust traditions and practices that are firmly ingrained in the history and geography of the nation. The nation is home to a variety of museums and cultural organisations, such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, and the Liechtenstein National Museum. By visiting the numerous castles and historical monuments that dot the landscape, visitors can also learn more about the nation's rich history and legacy.
Know Before You Go
How to Get There:
Zürich Airport (ZRH) in Switzerland is the closest airport to Liechtenstein. From there, you can take a train or a bus to reach Liechtenstein. The trip takes about one hour and thirty minutes. The train stations in Buchs (Switzerland) and Feldkirch (Austria), both close to the Liechtenstein border, connect Liechtenstein to the European rail network. Liechtenstein can be reached from there by bus or cab.
Driving to Liechtenstein is simple. The A13 motorway travels in Liechtenstein as it links Switzerland and Austria. If you're coming from Germany by car, you can use the A96 highway to get to Lindau and then drive via Austria to Liechtenstein. Several bus companies provide transportation to Liechtenstein from close-by nations like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
LBA is in charge of running Liechtenstein's bus system (Liechtenstein Bus Anstalt). The buses are modern, cosy, and furnished with complimentary Wi-Fi. The major cities and communities in the nation are serviced by a number of bus lines.
Although there are no railways in Liechtenstein, they can be easily accessed from the Swiss towns of Buchs and Feldkirch, which are both close to the country's border.
In Liechtenstein, taxis are readily available and can be hailed on the street or reserved in advance. They are a practical choice for quick trips or excursions off the usual bus lines.
Cycling is a great way to see Liechtenstein because it is a small country with a well-developed network of cycle routes. There are numerous bike rental businesses across the nation that provide a selection of bicycles, including e-bikes.
Driving or Taxis:
Liechtenstein has well-kept roads and clear signage, making driving relatively simple. Yet, because of the small size of the nation and the accessibility of most places by public transportation, driving may not always be required. If you choose to drive in Liechtenstein, you may choose from a number of car rental agencies at the airports and in the bigger cities. The minimum age to drive in Liechtenstein is 18, and you must have a current driver's licence from your home country to do so.
In Liechtenstein, taxis are also easily accessible and can be reserved in advance or called on the street. There is a set tariff for domestic travel, and the rates are regulated. Taxis are a practical choice for short trips or for travelling off the beaten bus path. It is important to note that Uber and other ride-sharing services are not permitted to operate in Liechtenstein due to the country's severe rules on them. As a result, the solely authorised form of private transportation in Liechtenstein is by taxi.
While enjoying the warm temperatures of spring, you can find yourself dodging snow and rain. The summer, though, is all sunlight and positive energy, baby! With temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F for our friends across the pond), you'll be soaking in the warm glow.
Bring your cosy sweaters for those chilly autumn days when it starts to cool off and become windy and rainy. Finally, winter comes, and it's time to snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa when the temperature drops to between -5°C and 5°C (23°F and 41°F).
Day 1: Vaduz
The small and endearing nation of Liechtenstein, tucked between Switzerland and Austria, has Vaduz as its capital. Vaduz, despite its compact size, is a thriving city with a wide variety of historical and cultural attractions. Travellers can wander along the banks of the Rhine River or explore the city's winding alleyways, which are lined with quaint cafes, speciality stores, and historic buildings. A number of renowned museums and galleries, notably the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, which has a sizable collection of modern and contemporary art, are also located in Vaduz. Another must-see attraction is the Cathedral of St Florin, which features stunning stained glass windows and remarkable neo-Gothic architecture. To go in-depth in Vaduz consider taking a City Highlights Express Walking Tour or the Best Instagram Scenic Spots Tour.
The city is surrounded by undulating hills and snow-capped mountains, and various hiking paths and outdoor activities are accessible not far from the city centre for those who want to experience some of Liechtenstein's stunning natural splendour. Of course, no trip to Vaduz would be complete without a stop at the city's famous Vaduz Castle, the prince of Liechtenstein's formal house that sits atop a hilltop and offers sweeping views of the city. Being a tax haven is one of the city's most noteworthy characteristics. Given that Liechtenstein has some of the most benevolent tax regulations in all of Europe, it is a favourite choice for wealthy people and corporations looking to lower their tax obligations. As a result, the city is home to numerous banks and other financial institutions, contributing to its strong financial sector. Vaduz has managed to preserve a strong sense of community and cultural identity despite its status as a tax haven. The city has many festivals and events all year long, including as a Christmas market, a wine festival, and a commemoration of the national holiday on August 15.
Local Places to Eat:
- Altenbach Restaurant & Bar has a calm atmosphere which is inviting and cosy, a good selection of local and European dishes and a comprehensive wine list.
- Marée is a high end restaurant with beautifully presented cuisine that tastes as good as it looks! A relaxed atmosphere is mixed with a romantic vibe to create the perfect date night.
- Torkel has a staff that is highly interested in making your meal custom and memorable! There is even an option to sit on the terrace on a warm, sunny day.
The mediaeval fortification known as Vaduz Castle is situated in Liechtenstein's capital city of Vaduz. The castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area as it is perched on a mountaintop above the city. The castle has a lengthy history, dating to the 12th century. It has undergone numerous renovations and additions over the years, with the 18th century seeing the most substantial changes. Nowadays, it serves as the Prince of Liechtenstein's and his family's official house.
A guided tour of the castle allows visitors to take in its stunning architecture and discover its fascinating history. The former kitchen and pantry now serves as the castle museum, which features artefacts and displays about the princely family and the history of the castle. Also, travellers love to take pictures on the castle grounds and take in the expansive views of the city and the Rhine Valley. The castle's hilltop location makes it a great place to start hikes through the nearby hills.
Cellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein
A distinctive and fascinating place to visit in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, is the Cellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The Vaduz Castle’s complex cellars house an extraordinary collection of expensive and rare wines. Almost 70,000 bottles of wine, including some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world, are included in the collection. The princely family has accumulated this collection over many years and it includes wines from places like Tuscany, Bordeaux, and Burgundy.
A guided tour of the cellars is available to those who want to learn more about the collection's past and the royal family's love of wine. Visitors can experience some of the finest wines in the world as part of the tour, which also includes a tasting of some of the wines in the collection. The cellars house a variety of historical artefacts and mementoes about wine and winemaking in addition to the wine collection. The tour provides a unique perspective on the background and traditions of wine in Liechtenstein and elsewhere.
The stunning structure that houses the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, a modern art museum established in 2000, was created by the Swiss architects Morger, Degelo, and Kerez. Modern and contemporary works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries are included in the museum's collection. Together with current artists from Liechtenstein and the surrounding area, the collection features works by artists including Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and Gerhard Richter.
The museum's exhibitions are planned around particular topics or artists and switch up frequently, giving visitors a wide variety of intriguing art to study. The museum also contains an auditorium, a library, and a cafe in addition to the major exhibition areas. The building's architecture is a standout feature of the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein. A series of angular, interlocking shapes that produce a dynamic and captivating visual impact are used on the building's striking, minimalist front, which is made of pale marble and glass.
Old Rhine Bridge
Between the cities of Vaduz in Liechtenstein and Sevelen in Switzerland, there is a historic wooden bridge known as the Old Rhine Bridge that spans the Rhine River. One of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe, the bridge is also referred to in German as the ‘Rheinholzbrücke’. The bridge was built in the 13th century, and at the time, it represented a notable engineering achievement. Locals have used the bridge to cross the river for generations in order to transfer goods and animals between Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
A new bridge was constructed nearby to manage the additional traffic when it became clear that the 20th-century bridge was insufficient for modern traffic. The Old Rhine Bridge, on the other hand, was conserved as a historical landmark and is now a well-liked tourist destination. Walking across the bridge allows visitors to take in the breathtaking views of the Rhine River and the surrounding area. As it crosses the river here, the bridge also provides a distinctive view of the border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The Liechtenstein Treasure Chamber, or Schatzkammer Liechtenstein, is a museum that is situated in the centre of Vaduz, the nation's capital. The museum is set in a lovely old building and has an amazing collection of artwork and artefacts that showcase the rich cultural past of the nation. The museum's collection is made up of a wide variety of items, including works of fine art, religious artefacts, tools, armour, and jewellery. The Princely Family of Liechtenstein has accumulated many of these things throughout the years, and the museum provides a fascinating look into their history and culture.
The Schatzkammer Liechtenstein's collection of historic coins, which includes uncommon pieces from the Roman and Byzantine centuries, is one of its highlights. A spectacular collection of religious artefacts, including elaborately carved altarpieces and priceless metal items used in worship, is also housed in the museum. The Schatzkammer Liechtenstein also conducts transient exhibitions that look at many facets of the nation's history and culture in addition to its permanent collection. Visitors have the opportunity to discover more about this distinctive and intriguing country from these exhibitions, which offer a fascinating look into Liechtenstein's past and present.
The intriguing Liechtensteinisches LandesMuseum, often known as the Liechtenstein National Museum, is situated in Vaduz, the country of Liechtenstein's capital. Through a varied collection of artefacts and exhibitions, the museum presents the rich history and culture of Liechtenstein. The exhibits of the museum span a wide range of subjects, such as prehistoric settlements, the Medieval Ages, and the growth of contemporary Liechtenstein. Via a range of artefacts, including historical documents, clothing, furniture, and traditional crafts, tourists can learn about the history and culture of the nation.
The prehistoric house that has been meticulously recreated is one of the museum's attractions since it offers visitors a look into the everyday routines of the area's first occupants. The museum also houses an intriguing collection of armour and weapons, including swords and suits of armour from the Middle Ages. The Liechtenstein National Museum presents temporary exhibitions that highlight many facets of the nation's history and culture in addition to its permanent collection. These exhibits give visitors a clearer understanding of Liechtenstein's past and present and give them a better sense of this unusual and interesting nation.
Kathedrale St Florin
The Vaduz Cathedral, also known as Kathedrale St Florin, is a magnificent neo-Gothic church situated in the centre of Vaduz, the nation of Liechtenstein's capital. The patron saint of the principality and a Christian martyr named Saint Florinus is honoured in the cathedral. The cathedral was planned by Swiss architect Friedrich von Schmidt and constructed between 1868 and 1873. The cathedral's pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and elaborate stained glass windows all have Gothic influences.
The interior of the cathedral is similarly stunning, featuring elaborate murals, sculptures, and paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings. With statues of Christ and the saints, the high altar in particular, is a wonderful work of art. The cathedral still serves as a place of prayer and serves as the administrative centre for the Vaduz Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Visitors to Vaduz frequently go there to take in the area's beauty and learn more about its significance and history.
Vaduz Citytrain AG
Vaduz Citytrain AG is a small train that takes visitors on a tour of the city's key attractions, including Vaduz Castle, the Cathedral of St. Florin, and the administrative centre. The train has bright carriages that can hold up to 48 passengers and is built to resemble a classic locomotive. Visitors may sit back and unwind as the train takes them on a guided tour of Vaduz for around 35 minutes throughout the journey.
The train is outfitted with an audio tour that speaks multiple languages and provides information about the city's history, culture, and attractions. This makes it possible for travellers to learn in an entertaining and instructive way about Vaduz's landmarks and sites of interest. For those who wish to explore the city's top attractions quickly or who prefer a more leisurely pace of sightseeing, the Vaduz Citytrain AG is a popular option. Families with young children who might find it challenging to go about the city should consider it as well. Overall, exploring Vaduz's top sights with the Vaduz Citytrain AG is interesting and entertaining. Visitors of all ages will like it because of the colourful carriages, educational audio guide, and cosy seating.
The centre of Vaduz, the capital city of Liechtenstein, is home to the Red House, or Rotes Haus as it is known in German. It is one of the city's oldest structures and well-known for its vivid red colour. The structure was constructed in the early 14th century, although over the years, it has undergone numerous renovations and alterations. The Red House started off as a home and has been put to use for a variety of things over the years. It was transformed into a tavern in the sixteenth century, and subsequently, in the nineteenth century, it served as a courthouse. The Liechtenstein Treasure Room, a section of the Liechtenstein National Museum, is now housed at the Red House. The Treasure Chamber is home to a collection of historical artefacts, including items connected to the Princely House of Liechtenstein's past. The collection consists of historical relics, priceless items, and works of art.
The Red House is an architectural icon in addition to having historical value and serving as a museum. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements combine to create a distinctive style for the structure. The vivid colour of red used to paint the outside is thought to symbolise the ruling family's wealth and authority. A guided tour of the Red House and the Liechtenstein Treasure Room is available to guests. The tours offer an enlightening window into Liechtenstein's extensive history and cultural legacy.
Places to Stay:
Budget Friendly - Hotel Restaurant Kulm
Hotel Restaurant Kulm is a fantastic option for individuals on a limited budget even if it is situated in Triesenberg and not Vaduz. Like the rest of the hotel, each room is designed in the typical Walser manner. Every one includes a TV and a private bathroom. The hotel has a restaurant with a terrace, a sun room, and other amenities.
Mid-Range - Hotel Vaduzerhof by b-smart
There is a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom in each of the hotel's rooms. Breakfast is available as a buffet for hotel guests. The self-check-in terminal enables arrivals at any time, adding to the convenience.
The 4-star Residence Hotel is located directly below the Vaduz Castle in the pedestrian area of Vaduz. The hotel offers complimentary WiFi throughout. All en-suite units have a minibar, a kettle, a flat-screen HD TV with satellite and pay-per-view channels, and a safety deposit box.
Day 2: Outside of Vaduz
Outside Vaduz, Liechtenstein is a beautiful country with a strong cultural history. A picturesque trip across the countryside allows visitors to see charming villages and breathtaking Alpine views. For instance, the Rhine Valley may be seen in its entirety from the village of Triesenberg, which is renowned for its quaint ambience and historic buildings. Moreover, Triesenberg is home to a number of charming historic churches and buildings, notably the Parish Church of St. Joseph. The Triesenberg Local Museum, which highlights the history and cultural heritage of the area, is also open to visitors.
In addition, Liechtenstein is home to a number of ancient castles and museums that provide a window into the intriguing past of the nation. One of the best-preserved mediaeval castles in the nation is the Gutenberg Castle, which is perched on a hill above the town of Balzers and was built in the 12th century. Outdoor enthusiasts will find lots of chances for skiing, cycling, and hiking in Liechtenstein. For birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts, the Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve is a must-see, while in the winter, the ski resorts of Malbun and Steg provide world-class skiing and snowboarding.
Local Places to Eat:
- Wirtschaft zum Löwen is always a great experience with lovely staff, great cuisine with lots of local dishes, and amazing historic scenery.
- Weinlaube has a nice and comfy atmosphere with several different dining rooms for both larger private groups and smaller groups of guests. The service is excellent and so is their wine selection, not to mention their dishes which are not only delicious but gorgeous as well!
- Restaurant Falknis is a boutique restaurant that hits all the marks. It has great service and outstanding food with a combination of Swiss and French continental flare.
Liechtenstein's town of Triesenberg is home to the ancient Küefer-Martis-Huus. One of the oldest remaining homes in the area, the structure belongs to the 16th century. It is currently a museum that highlights the customary craftsmanship and way of life that existed in Liechtenstein for many years in the past. The Küefer family, who were renowned for their expertise in barrel-making, were the building's initial owners. The English translation of the name ‘Küefer’ is ‘cooper’. The Martis family, who were farmers, eventually acquired the home.
Current exhibits at the Küefer-Martis-Huus Museum explore Liechtenstein's traditional way of life over the course of several centuries. Visitors are welcome to explore the home's different rooms, including the workshop, kitchen, and living areas. Tools and machinery used in traditional trades, including barrel manufacturing, farming, and weaving, are on display. The workshop, which has been restored to its former state and displays the equipment and methods used by barrel makers throughout the years, is one of the museum's attractions. Visitors can also see traditional crafts like weaving and spinning being practised.
Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve
In the Liechtensteinian municipality of Ruggell, there is a protected wetland region known as Ruggeller Riet Natural Reserve. A wide variety of plant and animal species can be found in the reserve, which has an area of about 200 hectares. The Rhine river and its tributaries flow through the reserve and generate a variety of ecosystems, including marshes, ponds, and meadows, which together make up the wetland region. The Great Egret, Purple Heron, and Little Bittern all have significant nesting populations in reserve.
A network of hiking trails and boardwalks allows visitors to the Ruggeller Riet Natural Reserve to explore the surrounding area. The pathways provide visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the reserve's animal and plant species while also learning about the significance of wetlands in the environment. The reserve also features a visitor facility, which gives information about the region's environment and history. For visitors of all ages, the centre also provides educational events and programmes, such as guided tours and birdwatching workshops.
Castle Obere Burg is situated in Liechtenstein's Balzers municipality. One of Balzers' two castles, Castle Obere Burg is also referred to as ‘Upper Castle’ while the other is Unterer Schloss. The Obere Burg castle was initially constructed as a stronghold in the 12th century to defend the region against invaders. The castle has undergone numerous expansions and renovations throughout the years, and as a result, it is now a well-preserved specimen of mediaeval architecture.
Visitors at Obere Burg can see the outside and interior of the castle, as well as its gatehouse, chapel, and keep. The surrounding area, which includes the Rhine River and the Swiss Mountains, is also breathtaking from the castle. Obere Burg is a significant historical and architectural site that also regularly hosts exhibitions and cultural activities. They consist of concerts, art shows, and medieval festivals.
A cultural institution called the Walser Museum is situated in Liechtenstein's Triesenberg municipality. The Walser people, an ethnic group that has long resided in the Alps and made substantial contributions to the area's cultural history, are the subject of the museum. Exhibits about the history, culture, and traditional way of life of the Walser people are part of the museum's collection. A variety of artefacts, including clothing, tools, and household objects, as well as artwork and historical documents, are displayed in the displays.
The Walser Museum offers educational programmes and guided tours that provide visitors a comprehensive look at the history and culture of the Walser people. The museum also organises a variety of year-round special events and exhibitions, such as lectures, concerts, and cultural festivals. Overall, for anyone interested in Liechtenstein's and the surrounding area's cultural past, the Walser Museum is a distinctive and fascinating site. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history and customs of the Walser people through the museum's collection of relics and exhibitions.
The Fürstin-Gina-Weg, sometimes referred to as the Princess Gina Trail, is a beautiful hiking trail situated in the Liechtenstein municipality of Triesen. Princess Gina of Liechtenstein, the spouse of Prince Franz Joseph II, is honoured by having the route named in her honour. The 2.5-kilometre trail passes through a lovely forested area and offers hikers breathtaking views of the Rhine Valley and the nearby mountains. There are several benches and lookout places throughout the trail where hikers can pause to rest and take in the views.
All levels of hikers can use the Fürstin-Gina-Weg because it is clearly designated and accessible. Every season offers a unique perspective on the area's natural splendour, and the route is open all year round. The trail is lined with wildflowers in the spring, and walkers may take in the colourful foliage of the changing leaves in the fall. Both visitors and locals enjoy visiting the Fürstin-Gina-Weg because it provides a wonderful opportunity to take in Liechtenstein's natural beauty while also enjoying some exercise and fresh air.
In Liechtenstein's Balzers municipality stands the castle known as Burg Gutenberg. It is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the nation and is located on a hill overlooking the Rhine Valley. The castle was initially constructed as a stronghold in the 12th century to defend the region from invaders. The castle has had numerous expansions and renovations throughout the years, and today it is a well-liked tourist destination in Liechtenstein.
Burg Gutenberg visitors are welcome to examine the outside and interior of the castle, as well as the keep, gatehouse, and tower. A museum showcasing the history and culture of Liechtenstein and the surrounding area is also housed in the castle. The museum's collection contains historical records, works of art, and artefacts from the Middle Ages. Burg Gutenberg is notable for its historical and cultural value, but it also holds occasions and exhibitions all year long. They consist of theatre productions, concerts, and mediaeval festivals.
Alter Pfarrhof Balzers
In the village of Balzers, in the southern part of Liechtenstein, there is a historic structure called the Alter Pfarrhof Balzer. The priest or pastor of the area lived in the structure, which is said to have been built in the first half of the 17th century. Traditional Alpine building with a peculiar blend of wood and stone construction distinguishes the Alter Pfarrhof Balzer. Although the structure has undergone numerous restorations over the years, many of its original characteristics, such as the customary red-painted window frames and shutters, have been kept.
The Alter Pfarrhof Balzer is now a cultural hub and museum that portrays Liechtenstein's historic traditional way of life. The museum showcases regional history and culture as well as traditional crafts like weaving, ceramics, and blacksmithing through artefacts and objects. The gardens around the Alter Pfarrhof Balzer are also open to visitors, and they contain a variety of local plants and flowers. The gardens offer a peaceful haven in the middle of the community and are a well-liked location for reflection and relaxation.
Places to Stay:
Budget Friendly - Schaan-Vaduz Youth Hostel
This youth hostel offers breakfast buffets and stunning mountain views while being surrounded by nature. The Swiss border and the A13 motorway are 5 minutes away by car, and it is situated between Schaan and Vaduz. Jugendherberge Schaan-Vaduz is set in a bright, spacious building. It has guest rooms and dorms with communal bathrooms. There is free WiFi available in the breakfast area.
Just 1.2 miles from the Swiss border, in the heart of Liechtenstein's Balzers, is where you'll find the Hotel Hofbalzers. It has free WiFi, satellite TV in the rooms, a steam room, and exercise equipment. The Hofbalzers Hotel offers accommodations with balconies, trouser presses, minibars, and safes.
The Hotel Turna has been run by a family for three generations and serves exquisite regional cuisine that is made by the owner and his staff. For an aperitif, the lounge bar is a welcoming location. There is a sizable indoor pool, an aroma steam bath, and a Finnish sauna among the wellness amenities. There is also a hot tub-equipped outdoor leisure area.