Germany day trips: Liechtenstein

Germany day trips: Liechtenstein

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

The doubly landlocked country of Liechtenstein is a nature lover’s paradise and a castle junkie’s dream land. Though small in size, it packs a huge punch when it comes to ideal ways to spend the day traveling the local area.

CASTLES
The stunning alpine landscape of Liechtenstein is spotted with romantic castles. 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 were left to be overgrown.


Vaduz castle, Liechtenstein

OUTDOOR RECREATION
Nature aficionados will enjoy the Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve, the 200 plus acre area in northern Liechtenstein that is teeming with local flora and fauna. Here you’ll find lowland moors, ponds, Siberian Iris flowers and even a stork or two. As the western border of the country is formed by the Rhine River, this location offers a fantastic gravel bank where visitors can explore the stunning landscape.

The Grossabuent Outdoor Leisure Centre is a great outdoor location for families and offers a large swimming lake and activity area. Unlike most lakes, this one is cleaned naturally without the use of chemicals. In addition to the lake, there is a football field, climbing wall and slacklining area. The leisure center is open daily, and swimming is allowed from sunrise to sunset.

Families also 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. Don’t miss out on the Malbun Donkey Festival dedicated to the stubborn creatures in August!

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.


Wooden houses in Malbun in Lichtenstein

GETTING THERE     
Liechtenstein is south of both the Stuttgart and Bavaria regions. Since it is between Switzerland and Austria, driving through one of the two countries is a must to get there. It is approximately three and a half hours from either area, depending on departure points. Austria and Switzerland require vignettes to use their highways.

Though it is the fourth smallest country in Europe, Liechtenstein certainly doesn’t lack travel appeal, as it’s full of activities for families, outdoor lovers and castle enthusiasts. Check Liechtenstein off your ever-growing travel list by visiting for the day or even the weekend.  

Nature aficionados will enjoy the Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve, the 200 plus acre area in northern Liechtenstein that is teeming with local flora and fauna.

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