Being the 6th smallest country in the world you are bound to be overlooked. Liechtenstein is a quaint European country nestled between Switzerland and Austria. This country is often missed because of the lack of attractions--i'm guessing. I will admit, when I researched things to do here I couldn't find much. However, I did not let that stop me from wanting to visit since I would be in Zurich. Vaduz, the captial of Liechtenstein, is about 75 mins away from Zurich by train and bus. Unfortunately, Liechtenstein is so small it doesn't actually have an airport, but it is extemely easy to get to!
Like I said, Liechtenstein is extremely easy to get to from Zurich. All you have to do is go to Zurich Main Station and ask for a roundtrip ticket to Sargans. If you are travelling to other places in Switzerland you can get a Swiss pass which allows you to have unlimited rides on Swiss trains for a set price. With this pass there are also perks like free entrance to certain museums and exhibits. Although, if you are like me and are only staying in Switzerland for a short time then you need to buy a day ticket. Getting to Sargans is NOT cheap! For a roundtrip ticket it costs 66 CHF, which is $85 whole Canadian Dollars!!!! Mind you, the journey itself is only about 55 mins if you take the express train!
From Sargans you can take bus 11 or 12E to Vaduz Post. The 11 is quite slow as there are more stops. 12E is the express bus and it takes you to Vaduz Post in about 15 mins. Balzers is on the way to Vaduz and there are also quite a few things to do there. From Vaduz Post you can take bus 21 to go to Triesenberg. The bus costs 13 CHF ($17 CAD) for a rountrip ticket from Sargans to Vaduz Post. Expensive, I know! So keep in mind the more places you want to see the more you will have to pay for the bus.
After you step off the bus you will be in the main square where most restaurants and attractions are. There are also plenty of souvenir shops, so don't forget to send your postcards! Since Liechtenstein does not have an airport make sure to visit the tourist centre to get your Liechtenstein stamp in your passport for 3 CHF ($4 CAD). From the square you also get a view of the Liechtensteinian national treasure, Vaduz Castle.
Be sure to visit the tourist center to get a map of the area and directions on how to get up to the Vaduz Castle. Although, keep in mind you can't actually go inside the castle because the royal family still resides there. However, you are welcome to take pictures from the outside. To get to the castle it is a 20 min hike. No, it is not a hard hike for those wondering, but it sure leaves you winded. The hike is, however, very scenic! Take some time to read about the history of Liechtenstein on your way up.
About mid-way through the hike you will see a little waterfall. The water is actually safe to drink, if you have a water bottle handy. It's a bit too cold to stick your hands in the water!
You know you are almost there when you reach the lookout point. The views are breathtakingly beautiful!! It's also extremely peaceful up there.
Not exactly sure what "Schlossweg" means but it translates to locked away? From here, you just need to walk up the road to reach the castle.
Vaduz Castle sits hilltop overlooking the town of Vaduz. The castle is very medieval looking so it feels like it cannot be real. This castle is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! You can tell the difference of what has been added and what is original, but nonetheless still beautiful.
The views from the outside of the castle are amazing. You could only imagine what the views from inside would look like. The grass is so green and the leaves are so vibrant ly colourful although the weather is so cold with snow-covered mountains.
On the way back down I spent more time at the lookout point taking in the serene backdrop, taking pictures and bracing myself for the hike back down. Although pictures cannot do this town justice, it does a pretty damn good job!
Liechtenstein is also a huge ski destination, for good reason, and is great to stay for more than just an afternoon or day. However, the country is quite pricey and for those of us on a budget it just is not doable for longer. Take into consideration, the average net salary in the country is 80,000 CHF ($103,000 CAD). That may not say much considering how expensive the country is but in some ways it says a lot! Nonetheless, Liechtenstein is a beautiful place that is worth a visit.
What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
HerxTravels in pictures
HerxTravels on Twitter