Liechtenstein — Overview
Covering an area of just 62 square miles, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest nation on Earth. However, what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in beauty. The country is doubly landlocked, surrounded by the Central European countries of Switzerland and Austria. The landscape is magical to say the least, with hamlets, towns, and cities in the Rhine Valley and upon the stunning slopes of the Alps. Visitors could span the entire nation in a few hours, but holiday-makers need weeks to embrace it all.
Liechtenstein’s commercial heart is the city of Vaduz, which rests in the western region of the country. It is mostly modern, with several interesting attractions, including the Museum of Modern Art, Liechtenstein National Museum and Vaduz Castle – the current residence of the prince and his family. Prince Hanz-Adam II also boasts a famous vineyard and winery in Vaduz that attracts thousands every year. Schaan, just north of Vaduz, is the largest city by area and offers the best nightlife.
Like its surrounding neighbors, Liechtenstein is famous for its alpine landscape. Of course, high mountains and cold climates can only mean one thing – ski resorts! Liechtenstein’s primary draw is the powdery white slopes of Malbun, which are comparably cheaper than Austria or Switzerland. However, as the snow melts spring adventurers flock to Liechtenstein for climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
Accommodation is usually quite expensive, although Americans generally won’t see much difference to prices back home. Hostels and other cheap options tend to be limited, especially in the winter months. Camping is available in Vaduz, Bendern and Triesen. Liechtenstein has an interesting traditional cuisine, although much of the gastronomical culture is derived from Germany, Switzerland or Austria. Nowadays, a host of international favorites has crept into the country.
There is no airport in Liechtenstein largely because travelers can fly into Zurich International Airport (Switzerland), St Gallen-Altenrhein Airport (Switzerland) or Friedrichshafen Airport (Germany). A railway connects to the town of Buchs in Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria. Much of the country can be seen in just one or two days, which makes for an excellent daytrip from one of the neighboring nations.
- Soak up the picturesque alpine atmosphere while biking through Liechtenstein
- Explore the castles of Vaduz and Balzers
- Ski and snowboard the powdery trails of Malbun
- Hike through the mountainous landscape
- Sample the wines of Prince Hanz-Adam II
- Paraglide across the Rhine Valley on a warm spring morning