Visiting Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, the tiny country of Liechtenstein been a point of interest for me- I’d been near it so many times, yet had never quite made it into the alpine principality. Luckily, I had some spare time on my most recent trip to Zurich and was able to fold in a day trip to Vaduz.

From Zurich HB, getting to Vaduz is as simple as taking a train over to Sargans and then hopping on a bus over to the Liechtenstein capital. This takes about an hour and a half and costs around 70 USD per person. Train tickets can be purchased in the station, and bus tickets can be purchased from the driver, so preplanning the trip more or less amounted to looking up the train times.

Of course, being us, we found ourselves sprinting pell-mell through the station to actually make our train- but that’s travel for you!

The trip to Vaduz was gorgeous- Zurich is a beautiful city, but Switzerland is all about the mountains for me. If there’s one thing to look at while zipping through the Swiss countryside, it’s mountains!

Since this was a bit of a last minute trip, our only real goal in Liechtenstein was to have a coffee and perhaps a hike- we’d play the rest by ear when we got to the city.

The bus stop dropped us off just about at the entrance of the Kunstmuseum so that seemed as good a place to start as any! We really lucked out arriving on a Wednesday since admission to the museum is free on this day. Admission is otherwise 10CHF. I’m not always a fan of modern art museums, but there were still some pieces that spoke to me and it was a nice way to start our trip.

Vaduz has a National Museum and a Post Museum within a few hundred feet of the Kunstmuseum, but we didn’t want to spend our whole visit indoors, so we headed over to the Liechtenstein Tourist Center for some maps and information instead. In all honesty, the city is small enough that maps aren’t necessary- there’s about two main streets so it’d be a challenge to get lost- but in lieu of visiting the National Museum, it was a good way to learn a little about the country we were visiting.

The main streets have some shops and cafes to browse, but a number of the storefronts seemed to be closed during our visit in November, perhaps due to the season.

There are several hikes available to explore, but given our limited time and preparation, we decided to simply hike up to Schloss Vaduz since it was only about 30 minutes from city center by foot and promised a great view. The hike starts up a shockingly steep road through a neighborhood that had me gasping for air within a few minutes (I could have used a few more switchbacks!) before veering into a more gentle dirt hiking path. Schloss Vaduz is accessible by car for those not able to make the hike.

As we got closer to the castle, there were poster boards with information about the history of Liechtenstein, which I actually really enjoyed reading- and not only for the break! Apparently, two thirds of the country is occupied by hills and mountains. The hike up to Schloss Vaduz is one of the most popular attractions in the city so it was clever to have a culture lesson on the way up to educate clueless visitors like myself.

The castle itself is in active use as the permanent residence of the Prince so it’s not open to the public, but it was exciting to be allowed so close to it, and it had a great view of the city below.

We wrapped up our trip with a drink and a snack at a local cafe. I was lured into a false sense of security by the deliciousness of ovomaltine cookies and got an ovomaltine hot chocolate which was definitely not as good.

Having had a hike, a hot chocolate, and a museum visit, we called it a day and made our way back to Zurich, feeling accomplished.

Although Vaduz seems like a haven for more experienced hikers, I was happy with the time frame of our visit and I feel like I was able to see everything I wanted to see in the city in just a few hours. The ease of transportation between Zurich and Vaduz makes it an excellent candidate for a simple day trip out of Switzerland and a good trip for travelers looking to scratch another country off of their list.

12 thoughts on “Visiting Vaduz, Liechtenstein

  1. Wow, great info. I have been to the both countries, Switzerland and Austria, but never thought about to visit Lichtenstein.
    Definitely it’s on my bucket list now.

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