Ever heard of Liechtenstein? Well, this tiny country lies between Switzerland and Austria. With just 62 square miles in territory, you might wonder what’s in store for this rather small European country. Surprisingly, it’s downright abundant in all aspects. You will be greeted with alpine terrains and lush fields, as well as historical sites and cultural fragments of the country. The extensive wealth in nature and history has become the strongest factors of Liechtenstein’s prominence in terms of economic standing. The financial sector of the nation is impeccable, making it one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The capital, Vaduz, is the hub of trade and business.
History and Topography
Before the incomparable high standard of living in the country, Liechtenstein was in distress as many wanted to conquer the nation, until the foundation of the House of Liechtenstein. The dynasty dominated the place and soon became the name of the living affluent nation. Only members of the dynasty have the right to inherit the throne. The wealth of Liechtenstein ballooned when low corporate tax rates were established, drawing several business to invest to the country.
In spite of the petite territory, the nation is now part of the richest countries in the world, with the people enjoying a high cost of living. The richness is not just limited within the economy aspect, but also with the topographical abundance that comes in varying features such as lush landscape, and copious flora and fauna. Despite of the alpine meadows, the southerly breeze makes the weather milder than adjacent countries. Check out the best things to do in Liechtenstein below!
1. Vaduz Castle
The official dwelling of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Vaduz Castle nestles in the secluded hillside above Vaduz, the capital of the country. This significant symbol of Vaduz stands at 120 metre high, giving panoramic views of city life. History shows that the fortress was constructed during the 12th century but was known to the public a century later. To endure the castle’s magnificence, it was renovated in 1900’s. From then, it became the residence of the Prince and his family.
2. Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts
For those with creative hands and in depth eyes, the Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts is a serious blessing in disguise. Who would not appreciate the ingenious works of art from local artists and renowned crafters? This state-owned museum has three floors filled with prehistoric and modern arts and crafts, ranging from sculptures to paintings, and so much more. Get tangled up with the charming pieces of history clustered into one setting.
3. Gutenberg Castle
On the southern portion, Gutenberg Castle dominates the height division of the municipality of Balzers. Even from a distant, you will take a glimpse of this towering site as it stands around 70 metres. Before setting foot to the castle’s ground, you need to hike a short journey towards a vibrant vineyard. Within the vicinity, there is a chapel and garden welcoming the visitors in the most charismatic way. Every year, there are several cultural activities and social events held at the castle.
4. Prince’s Way Hike
Make your trip more exciting by trekking the Princes’ Way Hike— a popular site that accents high altitude steps in a dramatic landscape. Begin at Alpe Gaflei and walk your way to a series of steep strides going to Three Sisters Mountains. Even in the initial phase, you will be amazed with the breathtaking sights of lush terrains. Wander around and explore the beauty of mountain peaks and valleys surrounding the place. Trek your way down to Bargalla Saddle. From there, it will only be a short walk back to your starting point.
Never miss the chance to get a hold of the exquisite wine making at Hofkellerei. In the wine cellars, fine wines are stored in youthful freshness and varying types. The country may not be that popular when it comes to wine making, but once you visit Hofkellerei, you’d definitely appreciate Liechtenstein even more. Get lost with the fine wines’ lusciousness and kick while you enjoy the breathtaking vineyard ambiance.
6. Old Rhine Bridge
The old Rhine Bridge is a significant structure that connects two key municipalities: Vaduz and Sevelen. Completed in 1901, the railway bridge/ road can no longer permit vehicles because of its rusty floorings. Only cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to witness the historical grandeur of the past.
7. The Red House
A rather unique symbol of the capital, the Red House serves as the landmark of Vaduz because of its distinguishing features and location. It is situated on a mountain top beaming with catchy exteriors. The red shade dominating the house is mainly the reason why the castle got its name. From atop, you will be able to gaze at some extensive vineyards in Liechtenstein.
8. Ski Region Malbun
Ski enthusiasts would certainly fall in love with alpine slopes and exciting pistes all over the Ski Region Malbun. This ski resort is a secluded paradise offering spectacular views of the capital. Beginners and intermediate skiers are welcomed with lots of skiing facilities, ranging from easy slopes down to difficult drops. And the great thing about this premium skiing location is the affordable rates. No need to break the bank just to try an exceptional skiing experience.
Since Liechtenstein is a member of the Schengen countries, then entering the country is easy. There are no certain border restrictions, but you still need to verify the entering requirements ahead. Considering the size of the country, there are no airports. You can only access it by train, bus or car. But, if you want to save heaps of money, then try hitch-hiking. It may be money saver but not advisable. The easiest way to get through the country is by taking a train from either Switzerland or Austria. Then, take a connecting bus to Liechtenstein. In just a couple of hours, you are in the beautiful country of Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein may be one of the smallest European countries considering the size, but it’s definitely a sight to behold. There are just lots of reasons to include it in your bucket list. The richness in scenery and attractions are just the shallow fragments. Immerse yourself into the fascinating history and culture of Liechtenstein, and you will uncover the underlying reasons why travellers keep on coming back to this small country.