Liechtenstein Travel Guide
Hidden between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein seems to be a forgotten corner of Europe. The principality covers low terrains like the RhineValley and the steep slopes in the west, in the Three Sisters mountains. During the summer, the mountains and the valleys are wandered by bicyclists and hikers, and in the winter these regions are explored by skiers. The country is dotted with scenic villages and old chapels, and the capital city of Vaduz offers a historical wealth and many shops you can wander through. Considering the connections with Switzerland and the small taxes, the population in Liechtenstein is one of the richest in the world.
Considering the fact that the country is only 6.5km wide, 24km long and has 31.000 inhabitants, it’s no wonder that Liechtenstein is unknown for most people. However, this destination will offer you a peaceful getaway, far away from the crowded places and an insight into a society that combine the Enlightenment feudalism with the modern democracy. In theory, Prince Hans Adam shares power equally with the inhabitants, but in reality the “democratic monarchy” combines economical prosperity with political freedom.
Liechtenstein Tourist Attractions
Visit the medieval castle Schloss Vaduz, the royal residence and the capital city’s emblematic icon.
- Visit other attractions in the city of Vaduz – the PostalStampsMuseum, the National Library, the SkiMuseum, and the NationalMuseum. The Art Museum contains works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck.
- Admire the GutenbergCastle and the St Peter Chapel in Balzers.
- Admire the St Mamerten and Mary chapels in the historical center in the village Triesen, as well as the St Joseph Chapel in Planken.
Admire the Roman heritage in the excavations from Eschen-Nendeln, as well as the parochial churches Bendern, Mauren, Ruggell and the Burg Schellenberg ruins.
- Taste the wines in Liechtenstein in a tour of the Prince’s wine cellars in Vaduz.
- Visit the local museums in Triesenberg and Schellenberg Ruggell.
- Visit Schaan, famous for the Roman excavations, St Mary zum Trost Chapel and DoMus, the community’s museum and gallery in Schaan.
- Go skiing in Malbun (1600m) and Steg (1300m). In Malbun there are some cableway and a natural skating ring, and in Steg there is a track for sleighs and cross-track ski slopes (4km, 12km and 12.5km).
- Go cycling through the valleys and the low areas. There are 96km of special tracks, on both banks of the RhineRiver.
The inhabitants of Liechtenstein are descendants from the German tribes that arrived in the area around the year 500. Founded in 1719, the country was a member of the German Confederation between 1815 and 1866. In 1868 it abolished the army and managed to remain neutral and unharmed in all the European wars that followed. Liechtenstein still claims 1600 square kilometers from the Czech Republic’s territory (the country were royal family comes from), confiscated in 1918.
Considered to be a place for money washing, Liechtenstein reinforced its laws and made efforts to set order in the business sector. In March 2003 the locals voted for granting more power to the Prince, including the power to remove the government and to approve judges. Prince Hans Adam the Second had threatened to leave the country if his requests of higher authority would not be fulfilled. Even before the vote, he had more power that any other monarch in Europe. In 2004, his son, Prince Alois, became regent, and Hans Adam the Second remained the country’s official leader.
What You Should Know
Liechtenstein is a Catholic country – on Sundays you will see only tourists on the streets. The inhabitants are very proud of their national identity and they are offended if you call them German, Austrian or Swiss. The local hour is GMT+1.