While travelling to Algeria or Switzerland, plan a trip to Liechtenstein - a tiny principality in Europe. Enjoy the green pastures, fairy-tale castles, mighty Rhine river, primary landmarks with historical importance.
Liechtenstein ranks fourth in the list of smallest countries of Europe. In its limited area, Liechtenstein abounds with attractive, enjoyable tourist attractions. No snarling traffic but only zooming ski buffs on zig zag roads, no concrete buildings but only mountainous terrain clad in snow during winters, green pastures, fairy-tale castles, mighty Rhine river, primary landmarks with historical importance - all in a tiny principality measuring 24km (15 miles) long and 12km wide.
In all, Liechtenstein has only eleven villages. Liechtenstein enjoys a prosperous, thriving economy. Apart from being the world's largest exporter of false teeth, Liechtenstein's is also an acknowledged international financial center. Inhabited by 34,600 people, the standard of living is on par with their counterparts living in Switzerland.
Getting to Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein lies in between Algeria and Switzerland. The small principality has no airport and the nearest airport is located in Zurich, Switzerland. Four different countries can be reached from Schaan, a principality in Liechtenstein, within a very short time.
Covering Liechtenstein in a day is self-denial of an opportunity to explore its beauty in totality. Complete touring involves visits to castles, museums, engaging in leisure activities or enjoying the lakes and mountains enwrapped in nature's scenery.
Castle of Liechtenstein
Also referred as Vaduz Schloss (Castle), the castle sits on a hill over looking the village of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. Built in the 12th century, its primary purpose was to serve as a fortress and protect the people of Liechtenstein from foreign invasions. Extensive restoration work was carried out on a large part of the building from 1905 to 1912 to convert it into a residence for accommodating Prince Franz Josef II. It continues to be the official residence of the prince and his family. The interior part of the castle is off-limits for tourists. Driving up the mountain facilitates a closer look at the castle with the nice Swiss Mountains in the background and the villages in the valley below.
Other than Castle Vaduz, it is the Guttenberg Castle, which has been able to withstand the invasions by different armies over the centuries. The castle dating back to the 13th century is near the village of Balzers. Tourists enjoy taking pleasant strolls by the small ponds and fields close to the castle. Entry into the interiors is allowed only during official functions. Otherwise, during the summer months, various cultural events such as 'Kultur-Treff Burg Gutenberg' take place in the courtyard of the castle.
Apart from these two, a visit to the ruins of Schellenberg Castle, which dates back to the 13th century ideally, completes touring places of historical importance in Liechtenstein.
Museums in Liechtenstein
The tiny principality doesn't disappoint art lovers as it is home to four museums, which exhibit items of ancient and modern art and life in Liechtenstein in the past.
National art museum, Vaduz: A museum of fine arts with primary focus on international modern and contemporary art collections.
Postage museum, Vaduz: A must visit place for stamp collectors; this quaint museum stocks rare stamps from Liechtenstein. Display includes important historical documents, devices, equipment used by the postal service and certain special exhibits.
Ski museum, Vaduz: Stepping into this museum, tourists get acquainted with documented history related to 100 years of skiing.
Walser Museum, Triesenberg: Close to the 13th century, the Walser community settled in Triesenberg. Situated on the sunshine slopes of the Liechtenstein Alps, Triesenberg offers an overwhelming view of the Rhine valley as well as of the Swiss mountains. The museum exhibits details relating to Walser population, its history, religious customs etc. The multi-media slide show relating to the alpine region of Liechtenstein wins accolades from tourists for its impressive close-to reality pictures.
Activities in Liechtenstein
The perfect location of Liechtenstein between mountains and lakes offers great opportunities for a variety of leisure activities. Triesenberg is famous for mountain-bike tours and hiking. During winter, Malbun, a favorite location for honeymooners and Steg wear a sportive look. Skiing enthusiasts find both the places ideal for cross-country, down the valley skiing and skating.
Summer activities in Liechtenstein include hiking, mountain biking and paragliding. Windsurfing gliding, rambling, angling, hunting, riding, cycling, tennis, squash, billiards are the other popular leisure activities in Liechtenstein. Keeping in tune with the demands of tourists, Liechtenstein is equipped with fitness centers, public Kneipp cure facilities and Vita jogging circuits too.
Liechtenstein offers wholesome recreation. Combined with a host of other activities, Liechtenstein helps holiday makers unwind leisurely watching movies or enjoying dance in spots and bars that form part of evening entertainment.
Accommodation in Liechtenstein
With very limited accommodation facility, it's best to make advance reservation. A visit to Liechtenstein may prove incomplete in the absence of an opportunity to taste local cuisine and Liechtenstein wines in historical and traditional restaurants. A large part of Vaduz is used to grow wine.
Red wine is particularly popular. Wine tasting opportunity accompanied with explanations about grapes and vineyards are available throughout the year in Liechtenstein. There isn't any national cuisine, but Kaseknopfl, small cheese dumplings topped with onions is a local specialty of Liechtenstein.