10 things I wish I knew before going to Liechtenstein

Kamran Abbasov28 August 20203296 views8 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein. Despite its small size, Liechtenstein is considered to be one of the richest countries on the Earth in terms of GDP per capita. Where is Liechtenstein? It is located in the southwest of Central Europe and in the Alps. This microstate is doubly landlocked, meaning it has no access to the ocean and is surrounded by landlocked countries, namely Austria and Switzerland. A prince rules this tiny country. That is why it is called Furstentum Liechtenstein, that is, the Principality of Liechtenstein. The capital of Liechtenstein is Vaduz (“Va-dutz”, as locals call it). The country is small not only in terms of the size of its territory but also population size. Liechtenstein population is about 39,000, making it the fourth-least populated country in Europe. What is the official language of Liechtenstein? The official language of this tiny country is German but with a Swiss twist. How to travel to Liechtenstein? Well, definitely not by air. I will get back to this question later in the below-mentioned points. In this article, I will inform you about 10 things you should know before you travel to Liechtenstein.

1. Don’t forget to take a camera!

You may ask: So, you choose to highlight having a camera before other things? Yes, and for a very good reason. Liechtenstein is located in a mountainous area, which is full of natural beauties. Wherever you go within the county, everywhere is associated with picturesque scenery. The capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, is surrounded by high mountains, creating a charming view. It is also full of classy old buildings, museums, and castles. Your pictures from Vaduz will be like it is from a fairy tale. You can enjoy amazing views of terrains, landscapes, cities, and towns from the top of the mountains. There is also Lake Stausee Steg with an amazing view. It looks even more mesmerizing in winters. In general, in winter, Liechtenstein’s mountains look amazing.

2. Time to go hiking!

Yes, it is one of the best countries for hiking. Before you travel to Liechtenstein, take comfy sneakers, backpacks, camping equipment if you like to, and other things that make your hiking experience easier. Firstly, the area is small, so you can start walking from your hotel. Liechtenstein's official website on tourism does an amazing job in terms of promoting hiking and assisting those who want to jump into working their feet. The website gives a list of more than 25 themed and picturesque trails for hikers and a detailed description of each trail, such as the distance, possible duration, difficulty, and fitness level required. Renowned hiking trails include Furstin-Gina-Weg, Alpspitz's summit, three-staged Panoramaweg, Via Alpina, and many more. The country is the least travelled one in Europe, but those who visit put a special emphasis on the hiking experience they got in this tiny state.

3. No airport

How to travel to Liechtenstein? As I said earlier, not by air for sure. This is because Liechtenstein has no airport. The country is too small and too mountainous to own one. You can travel to Liechtenstein via other ways, though. You can go to Zurich Airport (ZRH) in Switzerland or Vienna International Airport (VIE) in Austria and then take a train or bus to Vaduz. You can take the train from Feldkirch, Austria, to Vaduz, going four times a day. Travelling by bus is usually preferred by visitors as it is comfortable and passes through beautiful landscapes with an amazing view. Surprisingly, you can also hike or cycle to Liechtenstein from Austria. The road goes through the historic wooden bridge, Alte Rheinbrucke. If you are travelling from Switzerland, your Swiss Travel Pass will be working for busses and museums in Liechtenstein. 

4. Being located in a seismic zone

Have you ever experienced an earthquake? If not, your first experience might be in Liechtenstein. In terms of the seismic zone, where is Liechtenstein? It is located in the Central Alps. About 50 per cent of Liechtenstein's territory is situated in a mountainous area. Although the possibility of a powerful earthquake posing serious damages is very unlikely, some weak seismic activities happen from time to time. The highest place in the country is the Grauspitz, with 2599 meters above sea level. The tectonic movements can clearly be observed in Liechtenstein's rocks that originate from sea sediments from the ancient Madrilenian Sea. The mountains in this microstate were formed due to the movement of a tectonic plate from Africa and forcibly joining the European continent.

5. No need to drive

If you happen to be wary of driving and prefer walking or cycling in the spirit of a healthy lifestyle, Liechtenstein is for you. The country stretches over 160 square kilometres (just to give you an idea, the size of Washington D.C. is 177 square kilometres). As the country is very small, you can easily live without a car. Walking across this microstate from east to west takes about two hours since it is long and skinny. From the north to the south end, you can cross the country on foot for approximately six hours.

6. Triesenberger Wochen

If you are planning to visit Liechtenstein in October or November, you have a chance to participate in the food festival of the Liechtenstein population, namely the Triesenberger Wochen. The festival starts in mid-October and lasts for more than a month. For 2020, it is planned to commence on October 9 and continue until November 22. This culinary event happens in the scenic village of Triesenberg, which is the largest municipality in the country. Guests can taste the dishes, traditional to the native Liechtenstein population, Walser people. During the festival, local hotels and restaurants, such as Edelweiss, Guflina, and so on, serve traditional foods dating back to several centuries ago. Guests can sample from delicious dishes like Chääschnöpfli to the sweet, such as Öpfelchüachli. The village is located just six kilometres away from the capital of Liechtenstein. So, you can already start your hiking adventure in Vaduz and take a delicious break in Triesenberg.

7. Beautiful attractions

Liechtenstein is full of notable attractions. One of them is Vaduz Castle. Being located in a mountainous area overlooking the entire city, the Vaduz Castle bears a picturesque scene all around. It is a palace where the Prince of Liechtenstein lives. As it is the official residence of the Prince, visitors are not allowed in. Another historic building is Vaduz Cathedral. Also known as the Cathedral of St. Florin, this neo-Gothic church is the centre of Vaduz's Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The country is renowned for its beautiful castles, including Obere Burg (the Upper Castle), Untere Burg (the Lower Castle), Burg Gutenberg, and Schalun Castle. Burg Gutenberg (Gutenberg Castle) is located in the municipality of Blazers. Unlike Vaduz Castle, it is one of the museums in Liechtenstein and open to guests.

8. Want citizenship? Show how worthy you are!

If you want to live and thrive forever in Liechtenstein, instead of being just a traveller, you will have to work hard for your meal. It is one of the toughest countries in the world regarding granting foreigners citizenship. You mainly have three options in your quest to obtain citizenship. First, you need to live in Liechtenstein for about 30 years. You can do that by getting a residence permit and working for a company in Liechtenstein. Sometimes, even most foreigners working for such a company are not allowed to live in the country. Fortunately, you can bypass these whopping 30 years with a bit awkward method: the local community you would like to stay in decides that you are worthing it and votes over if you should be getting citizenship. Thirdly, the easiest way would be just getting married to a Liechtensteiner.

9. High-quality life

Why would anyone wait for 30 years or ask a community to help him get citizenship? Well, this tiny state has a lot to offer. Liechtenstein is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of its rate of GDP per capita. The corporate tax rate is the lowest in Europe. There is almost no crime in the country. It has a very low unemployment rate. It is very well known for its nature, delicious food, fresh air and water, no hustle and bustle, and no traffic.

10. No crimes!

As per many sources, the crime rate in Liechtenstein is hovering at zero per cent. Yes, it is this safe in this microstate. The last time a crime happened more than a decade ago. Most Liechtensteiners do not even bother to lock their houses or cars.

Quick recap

Being one of the smallest and yet richest countries in the world, Liechtenstein is a worthy place to visit. I have tried to inform you more about the capital of Liechtenstein, the Liechtenstein population, and in general, the beauties of this tiny country. I have tried to answer the following questions: Where is Liechtenstein? How to travel to Liechtenstein? What is the official language of Liechtenstein? I have highlighted 10 things one should know before travelling to Liechtenstein, which is the following: not forgetting to take a camera, taking hiking stuff, no travelling by air, a chance of experiencing an earthquake, no need to drive, the culinary festival, notable attractions, difficult citizenship process, high-quality life, and lack of crimes. Visit Liechtenstein and explore this beautiful country!

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