The Principality of Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country in Europe. Situated in central Europe, this tiny state borders Switzerland to the south and west as well as Austria to the north and east. The sixty-two square miles (160 square kilometers) of land include mountainous landscape, villages, and medieval castles.
Liechtenstein is one of the world’s richest countries. Its German-speaking inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living as well as a very low unemployment rate. International companies are encouraged to invest here, able to take advantage of special tax breaks. The country is also one of the leading manufacturers of ceramic and the main producer of false teeth.
Tourism, on the other hand, is not one of the primary contributing factors to Liechtenstein’s economy. There is no airport in the country, but a railway connects it to neighboring Austria and Switzerland, where airports abound. In these two adjacent countries, there are also many more lodging options available than in Liechtenstein. While the latter has a handful of hostels and other accommodations available, the neighboring countries offer a much better selection of hostels, B&B’s, inns, hotels, and motels.
If you do decide to settle down in Liechtenstein, your chances of finding a hostel are highest in Schaan and in Vaduz, the capital city. Hostels are hard to come by in this tiny country, however, so you are much more likely to find a hotel. While the prices of accommodations are very high in Liechtenstein, visitors can save money by sharing a hotel room with a few fellow travelers. Once you divide the cost of the room among several guests, the price per person is similar to that of a hostel’s dormitory bed. In addition, the accommodations’ costs are well justified, considering the high ratings they earn from guests. The lodgings tend to include tidy rooms, immaculate bathrooms, attentive staff, included breakfasts, central location, and some of the most beautiful views of the Alps or even a castle.
Whether you decide to make your base in Liechtenstein or one of the adjacent countries, your itinerary most definitely should include a visit to the Schloss Vaduz, or Vaduz Castle. Originally, the castle was built in the twelfth century. Many additions and changes were made at later dates. As recently as the 1900’s, several restorations and an expansion took place. From 1938 to the present day, the Liechtenstein Princely Family has been inhabiting the castle. For this reason, visitors cannot go inside. Whether you choose to admire it from the city center below or you decide to do the twenty-minute uphill hike to see it up close, the castle is a beautiful photo opportunity for visitors from all around. While it can look dreary and imposing during the day, the castle is a sight to admire at night time in all its illuminated glory. From the top of the hill, you also get to see the panoramic view of the city below.
Once you make your way back down and walk around the town and main square of Vaduz, your itinerary should also lead you to a stop at the Liechtenstein National Museum. The building dates back to 1438 and used to serve different purposes, including housing the seat of government. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited in 1788, making the museum an even more impressive site. Today, you can enter the building and experience the history, culture, and landscape of the region via exhibits and artifacts. There is an English audio guide available for anyone who does not understand German. Visitors can also enjoy a snack at the cafe.
After walking about the capital throughout the day, stopping at many points of interests, taking photos, and enjoying a bite to eat in one of the town’s eateries, your tired feet will be happy to head back to your hostel or other accommodation for some rest and relaxation.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Liechtenstein hostels. Welcome.