Don’t forget Liechtenstein 

Liechtenstein | Photo by Lukasz Janyst
Liechtenstein | Photo by Lukasz Janyst

Don’t forget Liechtenstein 

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

The list of European travel destination hotspots goes on and on. From Rome, Paris and London to Madrid, Budapest and Lisbon, there isn’t much mention of the delightful country of Liechtenstein. However, you shouldn’t rule out this beautiful place! Liechtenstein is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world and is surrounded by Switzerland and Austria. The Rhine River creates the western border, but the rest of the country is enveloped by the Alps, creating one of the most stunning landscapes an entire country could ask for. Plan to spend a couple of days exploring this little slice of heaven! 

Liechtenstein is Europe’s fourth-smallest country, but don’t let its size fool you. It is one of the richest countries, and its Prince is one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs. Not only that, but Liechtenstein also has one of the world’s highest standards of living. If you’ve been daydreaming about moving to Europe after all of your extravagant travels, don’t rule out Liechtenstein! Vaduz, the capital, has a strong financial center and more companies and citizens. The local currency is the Swiss franc, but the language is German, so start brushing up on your skills! 


Vaduz Castle | Photo by Markus Baumeler

You can’t miss the castles while in Liechtenstein. Vaduz Castle, the official residence of the prince, is not open to the public but still offers an impressive facade as it dominates the hillside. Though you cannot tour the castle itself, you can go on a guided tour of Vaduz that will give insights into the history of the castle. 

Gutenberg Castle is a preserved medieval castle that is open to the public as a museum in the town of Balzers. It began as a medieval church and cemetery and has since been restored into the beautiful castle it is today. Visitors can tour the courtyard for free, as well as the chapel and rose garden on Sundays. Guided tours are available only during the summer. 

While fully intact castles are indeed gorgeous, there is something to be said for the romanticism of castle ruins. The ruins in Schellenberg tell a story of bygone days when indoor plumbing and electricity were nothing but a dream. The castles, originally constructed in the 1200s, were inhabited until perhaps the 16th century and then left to be overgrown. 


Rätikon | Photo by makasanaphoto

The beauty of the surrounding Alps draws you into the great outdoors while in Liechtenstein. Avid hikers will love the Fürstensteig and Three Sisters trail. The views include the Kuhgrat Ridge, Rätikon and the Swiss and Austrian mountains. Though moderately difficult, this five-hour trek takes you to the top of the Alpspitze. Intense switchbacks, incredible views and excellent exercise make this trail a must-do. 

Families tend to flock to Malbun, a village surrounded by steep slopes and breathtaking views. Bikers and hikers alike can use the Sareiser Joch chair lift to get to the top of the mountain and start their adventure. If you have the pleasure of visiting while snow is still on the ground, this is the perfect place to ski. 

The scenery in Liechtenstein is surely stunning, but wine aficionados should also make the trek to Vaduz. Stroll through the Herawingert vineyards in the Rhine Valley, where the soil is perfect for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. After you’ve toured the area, stop for a tasting and visit the cellars. 

If you’ve been searching for more romantic castles, amazing hiking trails and delicious wine, the country of Liechtenstein is the place to go. Its small size packs a punch when it comes to scenery. Check this lovely country off of your travel list today!

 

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