Switzerland is considered a tiny nation, but the Principality of Liechtenstein is even smaller!
The two countries share 27 kilometers of borders. And thanks to a century-old treaty, there are no border posts between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. After all this time in Switzerland, we were curious to go "abroad" to find out what our tiny neighbor has to offer. And after the one-hour trip from Zürich, we were positively surprised about the large variety of things to do in Liechtenstein.
Let's start with some fun facts about Liechtenstein
- With an area of just 160 square kilometers, the Principality of Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest state in Europe - and the sixth smallest in the world. It fits inside Switzerland no less than 258 times!
- The highest peak, the Grauspitz, has an altitude of 2'599 meters above sea level.
- When it comes to the form of government, Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy which acknowledges a hereditary monarch. It is based on a democratic system with a parliament, meaning that the Reigning Prince and the people share the principality's authority.
- The Head of State, Prince Hans-Adam II, and his family live at Vaduz Castle. Some 38'000 residents call the "Ländle" their home.
- 2019 was an important year in the history of Liechtenstein: it marked the 300th anniversary.
And here are eight exciting reasons to visit Liechtenstein!
1. It's possible to meet a golden eagle up close and personal
We really like the idea of the eagle adventure hike. In Malbun, you will join a falconer and their golden eagle for a 90- to 120-minutes experience. It involves hopping on a chairlift to Sareis from where you will be walking back to the valley.
Along the way, you will get to observe the majestic bird and her flying skills. If you visit the Galina Falconry Centre from 2 to 3 PM on a weekend, you can catch an air show featuring various birds of prey – from hawks to eagle owls, falcons and ravens.
2. How about a trekking tour with llamas and alpacas?
There is hardly a more relaxing way to discover Liechtenstein's alpine world than with a llama or alpaca in tow. Book a tour with these good natured animals and learn more about them from their handlers, Anna-Lena and Marc.
They know their llamas and alpacas very well and can share many exciting things about their hairy friends. To extend your llama and alpaca trekking experience, you could even book an overnight stay in a tent at the Lama- und Alpakahof in Triesenberg.
3. Learn more about the Liechtenstein royal family in Vaduz
Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, is the ideal starting point to learn about Liechtenstein's royal family. The "Liechtensteinische SchatzKammer", a treasure chamber, displays unique objects such as the Prince’s hat or the world-famous "Apple Blossom Egg" by Fabergé.
In the newly opened princely cinema, the film "Princely Moments" takes you into Vaduz Castle and offers unique insights about life behind the castle walls. Only a short walk from the cinema is the "Fürstliche Hofkellerei" where you can taste (and purchase) fine wines.
4. Hike the Drei Schwestern Trail and the Fürstensteig
This classic mountain tour of five hours is considered difficult, but it comes with rewards. Those who consider themselves sure-footed and vertigo-free should add the path across the "Three Sisters" to their hiking bucket lists.
The highest point of the Fürstensteig Trail is Kuhgrat at 2123 m above sea. From there, you will enjoy rewarding views of the Rätikon mountain range in Austria, as well as the Swiss and Vorarlberg mountains.
5. Families will surely enjoy a visit of Malbun, an idyllic mountain village
Located at 1600 m above sea, the village of Malbun can easily be reached from Switzerland. It is located within a scenic alpine landscape - a veritable playground for hikers and trail runners. Hotels, vacation apartments and restaurants in Malbun are especially family friendly.
Think playgrounds, indoor and outdoor pools and ski schools for memorable family getaways. And in case you were wondering: Liechtenstein accepts Swiss francs, so there is no need for you to convert currencies!
6. Walk the 75-kilometer Liechtenstein Trail
The best way to get to know the Principality is along the 75-kilometer Liechtenstein Trail. It leads from south to north through all 11 municipalities of the country, past idyllic vineyards, nature reserves and old village centers.
Depending on how athletic you are, you can break up the Liechtenstein Trail into two, three or even more days. A luggage transport system takes care of your belongings, bringing your luggage to the next hotel. Good to know: luggage transport is included for all official hotels in Liechtenstein, allowing you to travel light as you walk or bike the country.
7. There are several exciting theme paths
For instance, Malbun offers an explorer trail where the little ones get to interact with various challenges along the way. Equipped with a rucksack and a magnifying glass, they get to solve clues and play games, such as a memory game on a stone table.
Along the detective trails in Vaduz and Malbun, families can go on a treasure hunt. Along the way, you will learn more about the capital of Liechtenstein or its mountains. A mobile app leads the way from one puzzle to the next. At the end of the two-hour trail, you get to unlock a treasure chest – as long as you have collected all the correct clues!
And finally, the WalserSagenWeg tells the history of the Walser community of Triesenberg. You will meet various statues carved out of wood, such as a fire-spitting dragon.
8. Watch the sunrise on the Naafkopf mountain
The Pfälzerhütte is a mountain hut at 2108 m altitude in the Liechtenstein mountain region. Accessing the highest building in Liechtenstein from Steg or Malbun is considered rather difficult and is only for experienced hikers.
If you stay overnight at the Pfälzerhütte, you should make the approximately one-hour climb to the 2570-meter Naafkopf the following morning and enjoy an unforgettable sunrise. There on the Naafkopf, the borders of Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein unite.
(This post is sponsored by Liechtenstein Marketing. Except for the feature, all photographs are copyright Liechtenstein Marketing.)