What we really know about the Principality of Liechtenstein. Most of people know there is a small country somewhere near Switzerland and Austria. But more? I think not much more. So like me before visited this place. I have not watched much on TV or read in newspapers about Liechtenstein and one day I decided…I would like to be there…And now after one week in this country I can see it from inside.
Some statistics information
The area of Liechtenstein is only 160 sq.m., the population is around 37 000 people (and for all these people they created 30 000 places of work), the country is 24.6 km long and 12.4 km wide. Liechtenstein is a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis. Currency – Swiss frank (CHF), euros are generally accepted. There is one university, some schools, one hospital and even one McDonalds in the country. It is very difficult to call the municipalities of this country “cities” since they are too small. Let’s call them “villages”. Therefore, the country has 11 villages – 5 in the flatland (Unterland) and 6 in the mountains (Oberland). The people do not speak Hochdeutsch (High German), they speak an Alemannic dialect (Schwizerdütsch) and that’s why for me it was sometimes difficult to understand the people even I am speaking High German not bad. National Day is on August 15th. There are a lot of bank institutions in the country but you can only deposit your funds without any interest. Food stores work on Sunday and people from Switzerland come here if they need something.
People really are very friendly. On the streets you always hear “Grüezi” or “Hoi” (like “Hello”). They are not in a hurry. The criminality level is low. I am not sure if people close the doors when they go out for a while.
Do you believe this small country has its own airport or railway stations? No. No airport, no trains (they have the railway but the train never stops here). What do the local people use here? Cars, bicycles and buses. The bus connection is very good; you can reach all the villages by bus.
This is a mountain country. Without the mountains, this small enough country might be much smaller. You wake up in the morning and go to the window to check what is about the visibility level for today. How much of the mountains you can see and if there is a good day today to go to the high. If there are no clouds, through your window you can see a part of Switzerland on the horizon. I had a chance to climb the Gaflai mountain (1800 m). May be I chose not the best season to come here. Autumn is fog-time and unfortunately, that day the visibility was only up to 65%. I could see only the villages nearby but not the whole Liechtenstein as well as no chance to see Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The Principality offers a total of 400 km of well-developed and well-marked hiking trails (most famous are the Princes’ Trail and the Princess Gina Trail. Here you can enjoy idyllic landscapes!
Sights of Vaduz
Since I was staying in Triesen village, I decided to walk from my house to Vaduz to fix how long it takes. About 50 minutes. Of course, you should understand that the capital village in such a small country cannot be large but it is beautiful. Once reached Vaduz you can see the Castle of the Prince and his family. It is high on the mountain. The Prince of Liechtenstein acquired this castle in 1712. Since 1938, it has served as the residence of the Princely Family and therefore cannot be visited. But you can enjoy the walking path with a panoramic view of Vaduz.
What you can find in Vaduz besides the Castle?
- Museum of Fine Art (located in the center of Vaduz, this is a museum of modern and contemporary art with its distinctive black and white cubes)
- National Museum (here you can get the information about the culture, history and nature of the country. Excellent special exhibitions complete this fascinating adventure)
- Postage Stamp Museum (rare Liechtenstein stamps, historical documents and special exhibitions. Admission is free of charge)
- Treasure Chamber of the Principality of Liechtenstein (here you can see the Prince’s crown and genuine moon rocks from the Apollo 11 and 17 missions. In addition, the famous “Apple blossom egg” and eggs from Faberge)
- Princely Cellars of Vaduz (fine wines from private vineyards available for tasting and purchase)
Once you are tired, just sit down and drink a cup of coffee outside or go to small shops to buy some souvenirs. In my opinion, most tourists here come from China and Japan. After the break you can continue your cultural program, do not worry all these objects are close to each other, you will not loose time trying to reach any of these places.
I am not a mountain skier, but everybody said this country is good for this sport. There is a small mountain village Malbun where you can spend a princely ski holiday. If I not mistaken this is the highest village in the Principality. Here you can do everything: skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating ice climbing, winter hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and tobogganing!
Enjoy your princely stay
I believe it does not matter when you come here- any time you can find something to do and to enjoy. You will never regret you have visited the Principality. As for me – I like this country, I like the people, I like the nature very much but as for living….I suppose I cannot stay here for a long time, for a Russian soul this country is a big cramped. Just come and enjoy princely moments! Liechtenstein is the ideal destination for relaxing family holidays. You will feel here happy and secure. Fresh air, crystal clear water and untouched nature – what you need else?
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