Usually I do always prefer making travel plan with group. However, since it was our first anniversary, for the first time we planned only for us. A tour of four days and destinations were Zurich-Bern-Interlaken-Vaduz. I am focusing only on Vaduz; the mesmerizing capital city of Lichtenstein. Before I jump into what to see and do, I want to share some general information about Lichtenstein.
Do you know there are only two double landlocked countries on the world and Lichtenstein is one of them (another one is Uzbekistan)? Lichtenstein is locked by Switzerland and Austria. A population of 37,000 makes it 6th smallest country in the world and the country area is only around 160 Square Kilometers. In terms of GDP per capita it is the second richest country and expensive as well. Unemployment rate is only 1.5%. Even though the country is not a formal member of the European Union but does participate in the European free trade and you will get the freedom of movement (Schengen).
How to get there
Despite being the capital, Lichtenstein does not have any international airport. You can take a flight to Zurich airport. But the easiest way is to reach by train. If you are coming from Switzerland, get off at Sargans or Buchs, and if you are coming from Austria, get off at Feldkirch. (Source: Google) We drove to Liechtenstein from Interlaken (Switzerland). The 300 km road was fully fun drive with some detours and wherever we saw breath taking view of Switzerland, we stopped to enjoy the scenic beauty. So, it took approximately 6 hours to reach to the destination. Driving is safe here, but you must take some extra care because if you get caught by speed trap, you must pay high fines and it is also true for Switzerland.
What to do and see
- Visit Vaduz castle
No doubt, Vaduz castle is the most attractive sight. When you will take entry to the capital, the first things that will come to your eyes is the castle. Castle is located 120 meters above the city and you can see it from anywhere of the city. You can hike up there easily but unfortunately, it is the residence of princes and close for public. However, you can walk around the perimeter and most importantly, the surroundings view of Alps is impressive. So I can say, despite the smallest castle we have ever visited, still it was a worth visiting due to the majestic surrounding alpine landscapes.
- City center; the ultimate resource for exploring country
Just walked towards the city center. Here you can pick up a free map of the city that has all the attractions clearly defined. Even you can get information about the hotels, restaurants, museums, hiking trails, events, and yearly festivals.
- Parliament Square and Cathedral
The city is less than seven square miles in size and every attraction located along the walking distance. So just walk and see some popular attractions like Parliament Square and Cathedral. Neo-Gothic Cathedral is not far from the Parliament Square and was built in 1874. Just near of the Cathedral there is a garden, or you can say an oasis of green.
- Liechtenstein National Museum
It is located at the main square of Vaduz. For visitors above 16 ages have to pay the entrance fee which is quite expensive. So better to purchase a day pass if you really want to visit all the museums. We skipped visiting Museum due to the shortage of time. If you really want to visit Museum you need at least 2-3 hours to cover the ancient history.
- Rathaus or Town Hall
Area close to the town hall is the busiest place in the city because there is a big gift shop in front of it and behind the town hall there is departure of city train. The building itself is beautiful and was built around 1930 and modeled on medieval construction. The bronze statues in front of the town hall are also very attractive that show influences of Marino Marini and Pablo Picasso. The theme is the myth horse and man, which is represented between joy and pain.
- Passport Stamp
Who does not want to make their visit unforgettable? Spend 3 euro and get the official Liechtenstein stamp in your passport as a souvenir. You will get it in the main post office. It could be a great memory of your trip.
There is another mandatory thing that we skipped was- visiting the bridge which marks the border to Switzerland. If you ask why we missed that, the answer should be- a day trip was not enough for us to see all the attractions. Despite small city there is no shortage of things to do. And I will not get tired to go there again! So why something should not be kept for the next Lichtenstein trip?
If you are a mountain biker, Lichtenstein is the proper destination for you. you can cycle through three countries in a day- Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Austria! Finally, if you want to hear some fun facts about Lichtenstein– Liechtenstein has one of the world’s lowest crime rates on below average that Liechtenstein resident doesn’t even lock their front door and it is the world’s leading manufacturer of false teeth.
This is all about Lichtenstein that I know. If you ever visit to this country; feel free to share your experience with me.
Happy travelling. 🙂