5 Reasons to Visit Liechtenstein

Why have so many people written off Liechtenstein as over-rated? Is it because this tiny country has become just another destination to check off on a list? It's so close, they say, let's just hop over the border and stamp our passports. Some tourists are completely satisfied with this approach, while it leaves others very disappointed.

I think the problem lies with expectations. Since Liechtenstein is a principality, many tourists have come to expect a certain level of glamour and glitz associated with these kinds of sovereign states -- think along the lines of designer boutiques and grand casinos a la Monaco. Liechtenstein is clean, orderly, and attractive, but does not scream wealth the way Monaco does.

You may be wondering why I seem to have such a strong interest in this country. Well, the fact of the matter is Isaiah works in its biggest city, Schaan. Although he's worked there over a year now, we've only visited the Triesenberg region for sledding and snowboarding. Just last weekend, however, we finally played tourists and walked around the city-center of Vaduz, the capital. True, it's not much to speak of, in terms of size and quaintness, but there are a few things to do. Some of the more notable features of Vaduz include the modern structures and the remodeling and construction going on in the area. (New parliament building, foreground photo left, and the government building in the background)

Here are five reasons why I think you should give Liechtenstein a chance:

1. Summer Activities
The tiny nation offers plenty for the whole family to do: theme and nature trails, archery, horseback riding, swimming, and rock climbing. One thing we'd like to do next is take one of the many hiking trails available (marked Wanderweg, just like in Switzerland). During a recent drive we took, we noted that these trails lead you through the mountainside from wooden-house villages to castle ruins.

2. Winter Sports
Since the entire country lies in the Alps, snow is abundant in winter. You'll find great skiing (and sledding) in Malbun.

3. Museums
It seems there is a museum to satisfy every kind of taste. We visted the Landesmuseum, which gives a great overview of the history of the land we know today as Liechtenstein. You can also find the Calculator Museum, Postage Stamp Museum, FIS Ski Museum, and Kunstmuseum.

4. Historical Sites
A fortress in Balzers, a beautiful Cathedral in Vaduz, Roman excavations and, of course, Schloss Vaduz all beckon visitors. Although you can't actually visit the prince's castle because he lives in it, you can drive right up to it to get a closer look (certain hiking paths will lead you there as well).

Schloss Vaduz up close

Schloss Vaduz from afar

Rotes Haus, upper Vaduz

5. Bad RagARTz
In conjunction with the Swiss spa town of Bad Ragaz, Vaduz hosts a number of pieces by contemporary sculptors, carefully placed outdoors throughout the city-center for public viewing. The event is triennial and ends November 1.

Milan Spacek (of Switzerland)
"Beziehungen" 2008

If you expect to be able occupy yourself just wandering around for an entire day, Liechtenstein may disappoint. On the contrary, if you plan a few excursions and organize your activities, you'll find that Liechtenstein is a delightful little country.


  1. I must admit, we mainly went to check it off the list! But we did go to the castle and the view was fantastic of the valley!

  2. Hey girl! How's Cali? Congrats on the new doggie!

    We jokingly call the Liechtensteiners "Floridians" because their plates say "FL." hehe

    No harm in checking it off the list - you seemed to enjoy and appreciate the little country for what it is. I've just noticed that some people complain about FL not being much to see and I think that's a little unfair...

  3. Calculator museum ?!! For real ? Ok, I'm taking Olivier there - and then we can go to the Postage Stamp museum for me. Such nerds we are! haha! We drove through Lichtenstein on our way up from Ticino & Italy once, even stopping in Austria too - totally fun (and funny) to be in 4 different countries within a few hours. But with your list, we're up for discovering more, can't wait ! Hope to see you both soon . . .

  4. Great list. We keep thinking about going to Liechtenstein as well - but as Tina said - just to cross if off the list. :) I think we may be convinced to treat it more seriously now though. hehe. Thanks for this resource!


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