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The 6th smallest country in the world, it is only 160 sq kms (62 sq miles) and has a population of 39,000. Once known as a place for the rich to put their money, it has one of the highest GDP’s per capita in the world.

The establishment of Lichtenstein is fascinating.  It was basically purchased by Hans-Adams I between 1699 and 1712; and was awarded the title of principality in 1719 by the Holy Roman Emperor. Surviving the Napoleonic Wars and then joining the German confederation, Lichtenstein was granted a limited constitution in 1818. Today, as a principality, it is not a member of the European Union, but does participate in the Schengen Zone and has economic cooperation with Switzerland. 

Interesting fact…Lichtenstein only gave women the right to vote in 1984. It was the last nation in Europe to allow suffrage. 

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Beautiful background

2/3 of the Principality of Lichtenstein is hills or mountains, and the capital, Vaduz, set in the valley demonstrates that quite well.

The Prince's home

Unfortunately, the Vaduz Castle wasn't very picturesque during my visit as it was undergoing renovations.

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Getting to and around Lichtenstein

If you plan to just visit Vaduz, there is no need for a car, or for much public transport for that matter. The town is less than 6000 people, and everything you want to see is all very close.  But, if you want to see the rest of the country, it is about 25 kilometers from Ruggell in the north to Balzers in the south.  You could use a car, but the buses run that route regularly. The #11 takes you up to Gamprin, and the 31 or 32 will take you up to Ruggell. 

Getting to Lichtenstein has options if you are not driving. The one I used was to take the 1 hour train ride from Zurich to Sargans, Switzerland, then the #11 bus heading north to Vaduz (30 minutes).  

You could also take a 2 hour train from Innsbruck, Austria to Feldkirch, Austria. Then, take the #11 bus from the north side down into Vaduz (45 minutes).


Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, sits on the Rhine River on the border with Switzerland. On a hillside overlooking the town, Vaduz Castle dates to the 12th century and is still used as a royal family residence. In the Städtle, the town center; you will find a wonderful collection of museums; including history, modern art, a farmhouse museum showcasing peasant life, and even a postal museum.

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Old Rhine Bridge

Walk from one country to another on this 135 meter long bridge that was re-built in 1901.  It is the last wooden bridge crossing the Rhine River. The original bridge was built in 1870 during the project that straightened the Rhine.

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St Florin Cathedral

Also known as Vaduz Cathedral.  The present church was built in 1874, but there have been structures here since the middle ages. It is the burial place of many royals of Lichtenstein.  The patron saint is the 9th century St Florin, known for the miracle of turning water into wine.

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Vaduz Castle

The home of the Prince of Lichtenstein, and namesake of the town; parts of date back to the 12th century.  It has been expanded and restored as recently as the 1930’s. 

Over the years, it has had many uses; home of the Prince's bailiff, a prison, barracks for the Lichtenstein army, and even as a tavern. 

It was extensively renovated from 1905-1912 and has been the home of the Royals since 1938, therefore it is not open to the public.

Even though you cannot enter the castle, the 15-20 minute walk up is worth it for the views over the valley.  

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The row of museums in Vaduz are all along Städtle. Within a couple minute walk. Among the museums is also the tourist info center, cafes, and shopping for tourist items. Plus if you are so inclined, there is a casino.  


The building was completed in 2000; and the collection of international modern and contemporary art is also the national art collection of the Principality of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein National Museum (Landesmuseum)

The original building dates to 1438; and was renovated and expanded between 1998 and 2008. It focuses on the history and culture of Lichtenstein.

PostMuseum Vaduz

Founded in 1930, this museum covers postal history with stamp collections & historic equipment.

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