Liechtenstein is a small, but beautiful, country located in between Switzerland and Austria. I didn’t know what to expect before visiting and was happily surprised at the hospitality, beauty, and range of things to do in such a small area.
I am so glad that we got to experience Liechtenstein and see all that it has to offer! It is totally worth visiting.
Liechtenstein became a country in the 1700’s and has been a monarchy ever since. It is the sixth smallest country in the world, located between Austria and Switzerland in the Alps. German is the official language of Liechtenstein, but most people speak English to some degree as well. The currency used is the Swiss Franc.
How to Get to Liechtenstein
The best way to get to Liechtenstein is by car. There isn’t a very simple public transportation to get to Liechtenstein. Car is definitely the best way if you are coming from any of the surrounding countries.
Getting around Liechtenstein
While car is the best way to get to Liechtenstein, within Liechtenstein the best way to get around is by bus. The bus system is phenomenal. I have never seen so many buses in such a small area. The bus system seemingly goes everywhere in Liechtenstein. Plus, if you buy the “Adventure Pass” discussed below, riding the bus is free during your stay.
If you get around Liechtenstein by car, there is a main parking lot and garage near the center of town where you can park for less than 2 Euros an hour.
Where to stay in Liechtenstein
There are various options of where to stay in Liechtenstein. The three places I would recommend would be in the center of Vaduz, Triesenburg, or Malbun. Choosing which place will depend on what activities you plan on doing the most.
Vaduz is where the majority of shops and restaurants are. If you want to be able to walk from your hotel to restaurants and shops, then Vaduz is probably your best option of where to stay.
Triesenburg is located on the side of a mountain. There are a few hotels, but also home rentals in this area. There are a few small restaurants, a pretty church, and not much else. However, the perk of Triesenburg is the incredible views. From Triesenburg you can see the entire valley and mountains in every direction. We stayed in Triesenburg and are happy that we stayed here.
Malbun is a little mountain town with ski resorts and mountain lodges. The area is beautiful. There isn’t much in terms of services in Malbun besides lodging and a few restaurants. Malbun would be a great place to stay if you plan on doing skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer.
How Long Should You Spend in Liechtenstein?
The length of time you should spend in Liechtenstein really depends on the activities you plan on doing.
If you plan to see only the towns and museums, I recommend staying around 2 days. This would give you enough time to see most of the main things to see, check out the museums, and try several different restaurants.
If you plan on seeing the towns and museums, but also plan on hiking or skiing, I would recommend 4-5 days. This would give you a little more time to do different outdoor activities and also check out museums and restaurants.
Liechtenstein Adventure Pass
At the tourism center, you can purchase the Adventure Pass. Usually, I am not a big proponent of buying city passes, but I think that the Adventure Pass of Liechtenstein is one of the best travel package passes we have every bought. It starts at around 25 francs per day (around 25 USD) and is only a little more to add on an extra day or two. The amount of things that you can do with the Adventure Pass is incredible and totally worth it. It gives you access to over 30 different things to do for “free” with the pass. I think we calculated that if we would have paid for all of the things we did with the pass, it would have equated over 100 francs (like 100 Euros or dollars) per person, so it truly saved us hundreds. For more information on the Adventure Pass, check out the Liechtenstein website. (Also, I will note that this is NOT sponsored or anything, we just were so surprised at how good of a deal it was).
Getting the Adventure Pass really encouraged us to see places we would have not otherwise went if we didn’t have the pass. If you are staying in Lichtenstein, I really recommend getting the pass to see all of the different places.
Things to do in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein Tourism Center in Vaduz
The first place I recommend stopping on your trip around Liechtenstein is to stop at the Tourism Center. They have a ton of great maps and resources for your visit. They were really helpful in recommending things to do on the rainy day we visited.
Get stamp in your passport at Tourism Center
When you drive across the border into Lichtenstein, there isn’t any customs or passport control that will stamp your passport. However, if you want to get a country of Lichtenstein stamp in your passport, you can visit the Tourism Center in Vaduz. If you have the Adventure Pass, the stamp is free, and if you don’t have the pass, the stamp is 3 francs (around 3 dollars).
Liechtenstein National Museum
The Liechtenstein National Museum is an in depth museum that has many (well-done) exhibits about the country of Liechtenstein and other rotating subjects. At the time of our visit, they had a large exhibit on soccer and the World Cup (since the World Cup had recently happened). There are exhibits on their traditions, but also on the animals and nature in the country.
It is very well put-together museum that I recommend visiting in in Liechtenstein. The cost to visit is 8 francs, but free with the Adventure Pass.
Liechtenstein Treasure Chamber
The Liechtenstein Treasure Chamber houses treasures owned mostly by the Liechtenstein Royal Family. There are many gorgeous paintings, jewels, gold, rocks from the moon, and Faberge eggs. It is quick to visit, but definitely unique.
It costs 8 francs to visit but is free with the Adventure Pass.
Note: If you plan to visit the Treasure Chamber, you must get a special coin from the Liechtenstein National Museum to enter the Treasure Chamber. You have to enter the Treasure Chamber one-at-a-time through a special door.
Liechtenstein Postal Museum
The Liechtenstein Postal Museum is interesting and very well-done, especially considering that Lichtenstein is such a small country. The museum is free to visit and is relatively small. In the museum are many of their stamp designs which are little pieces of art.
If you have the Adventure Pass, you will get a free souvenir if you show the pass at the Postal Museum. We got mouse pads, but the gift may change periodically.
Note: I sent a postcard with the Lichtenstein postal service to the United States and it arrived in less than 2 weeks!
Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts (The Kunstmuseum)
The Kunstmuseum is located in a large black building that stands out amongst all of the other surrounding buildings. It is a gorgeous building from both the outside and the inside.
The full price ticket as of 2023 was 15 francs (around 15 USD), but if you have the Adventure Pass, it is free.
The museum houses modern and contemporary art. It has a unique array of various installations. We enjoyed our time walking around in the museum (especially since it was really rainy on the day of our visit to Vaduz).
St. Florin Cathedral
St. Florin Cathedral is the iconic cathedral in Vaduz. It is at the south end of the main pedestrian street “Stadtle.” You can walk around and inside the church. Inside, you will find hanging chandeliers and intricate stained glass. It is small, but beautiful inside.
The Parliament Building is located in Peter-Kaiser-Platz square. It is a yellowish brick building located next to the government building and not too far from St. Florin Cathedral. You can walk around the outside, but cannot go inside.
The Vaduz Castle houses the royal family. The castle is very historic, with parts of the castle being constructed in the 12th century. The castle is up on the mountain above the city of Vaduz and can be seen from many places within Vaduz. If you want to get a closer look at the castle, you can drive up the road “Furst-Franz-Josef Strasse” (or I have linked the parking area here so you just use Google Maps) You can drive up to the castle and there is a parking area a little up the road on the left. You can walk next to the castle, but not go inside.
You cannot go inside the castle, since it is the where the Price of Liechtenstein lives. On their National Day, August 15, the castle is open to the citizens of Liechtenstein.
Schaedlers Ceramic Studio
Schaedlers Ceramic Studio is a Lichtenstein-based ceramic studio that is located north of Vaduz in the town of Neldeln. They give tours of the ceramic studio and have a shop where you can purchase their various products. They have been producing ceramics and stoneware since the 1800’s. If you’re interested in learning more about their products and story, check out their website. As a lover of ceramics, I really enjoyed our visit and would recommend stopping by on your trip to Lichtenstein.
Take note that if you are visiting around the holidays, they may be closed for a few weeks at a time. Check their website to verify if they are open or not.
If you have the Lichtenstein Adventure Pass, you will get a free ceramic gift! We each received an espresso cup in the color of our choosing, but it may just depend on what products they have available to offer.
Triesenburg is a cute area of Liechtenstein, located literally on the side of a mountain. We stayed in Triesenburg during our stay, which we really enjoyed. It is a small area, but there are restaurants and some things to see. There is the Walser Museum which showcases traditional life in Lichtenstein, entrance fee is waived with the Adventure Pass.
There is Pfarrkirche church building. It is a traditional church. You can walk around and sometimes go inside.
The best thing about Triesenburg is the view. Since it is on the side of a mountain, it has great views of the surrounding mountains. You can see deep into the valley below and to the surrounding mountains.
Malbun is Liechtenstein’s ski resort town up in the mountains. The area is less than 2 kilometers (a little over a mile) from the border with Austria. To get to Malbun, you weave up the mountains and through a long tunnel before arriving. There are multiple ski lifts, hotels, and restaurants.
Malbun in Winter
In the winter in Malbun, you can ski on multiple mountains, although it seems like a smaller skiing area compared to other ski towns we’ve visited throughout the Alps.
If you’re not interested in skiing, there is ice-skating and walking paths in the snow. On the day of our visit, we took the Sareis ski lift up (and back down) to see the views. The weather wasn’t great so we didn’t get off to walk around, but you can get off if you want and there is a restaurant on the top of the mountain. If you have the Liechtenstein Adventure Pass, the lift ticket for one ride on the Sareis Lift is free.
Malbun in Summer
In the summer, there are also a ton of options while exploring Malbun. There is a lot of hiking in the area and the mountains are fully of wildflower-filled paths. The Sareis Lift and Sareis Restaurant is also open in the summer.
Some notable hikes in the summer are the Sareiserjoch (where you can practically walk to Austria) and hikes around Stausee Steg. There is a farm near Malbun that can arrange hikes for you with alpacas.
Note: Be on the look out for “Fondue Vending Machines” while in Malbun incase you want a quick meat and cheese snack. We didn’t try them, but I wish I would have.
Close to Vaduz, but not quite in Vaduz, you can find the Alte Rheinbruke which is a wooden covered bridge that stretches across the Reine River from Liechtenstein to Switzerland. You can walk across the bridge and have one foot in Liechtenstein and one foot in Switzerland.
Burg Gutenberg is located in southern Liechtenstein in the Balzers region. It is a large castle on a hill that you can prominently see if driving into Liechtenstein from the south. It was built in the 12th century and has survived to this day. The Burg Gutenberg is open to the public at certain times of year and on certain days of the week. Check their website to see when you can visit the inside of this castle.
Places to eat in Liechtenstein
There are a ton of places to eat in Liechtenstein, including everything from Rosti Stands from Michelin restaurants. I discuss it more below, but you should really make reservations at anyplace you plan on eating. Restaurants are packed and tend to be quite expensive. We spent a lot of time trying to find places to eat that weren’t too crazy expensive and had openings. I have included here some of the places that we ate at and recommend trying!
Balu Café is an adorable bakery that has delicious cakes and pastries. We went here for breakfast and were not disappointed.
Restaurant at Hotel Klum
Hotel Klum is located in Triesenburg near where we stayed during our visit, so we decided to try their restaurant. In the daylight, there are spectacular views of the valley, showcasing Lichtenstein’s beautiful mountains. The food was good. I tried a traditional Rosti here, which essentially reminded me of cheesy mashed potatoes.
Backerei Amann is included as a stop on the Lichtenstein Adventure Pass. With the pass we were able to get a free pastry here from a selection of certain pastries. We tried the carrot cake and croissants which were both really good.
Demmel Kaffee is an incredible coffee roaster in Lichtenstein. We stopped here because it was also part of the Lichtenstein Adventure Pass, which allows you a free drink tasting. The coffee I tried was the “Espresso Sommermachtsraum” which was an espresso shot with a mint chocolate truffle melted and mixed in. Their coffee was so good that I had to buy some coffee to bring home. They were roasting their beans practically beside us while we drank the coffee. If you like coffee, Demmel Kaffee is a must-stop.
The Adler Restaurant is located in Vaduz and is a nice restaurant. They have great lunch specials.
Café Restaurant Engel Asian and Local
This restaurant was packed for lunch and since we didn’t have a reservation, we had to return for dinner. It was really interesting in that they had both Asian dishes and local Lichtenstein dishes. One of us tried the traditional dish of Lichtenstein called “Kasknopfle” which is essentially a really cheesy pasta with applesauce and crispy onions. It was really tasty!
Tips for visiting Liechtenstein
Make reservations for food
We learned the hard way that everyone in Liechtenstein makes reservations at restaurants for lunch and dinner, so it is hard to find someplace to eat if you don’t have a reservation. I recommend calling or stopping in a restaurant to make a reservation if possible. This will save you a lot of time and stress trying to find somewhere to eat.
Restaurants and shops may be open different hours than you expect
Another surprising thing about Liechtenstein is that almost everything is closed in the evenings. Even most restaurants were closed after mid-afternoon. There wasn’t a ton to do in the evenings and it was also hard to find somewhere to eat because everything was closed. I am not quite sure what people do in the evenings, but it was difficult to find anywhere that was open.
Many places will be closed the first half of January (so maybe go a different time)
A big holiday time for the people of Liechtenstein is the first half of January. We did not realize this until we were already there. We visited Liechtenstein in the first week of January and most places were close at least until the third week of January (and some were closed until February). If you are planning to visit, I recommend not going in the first few weeks of January. It seems like December is a very festive time, with lots of markets, so if you’re wanting a winter trip to Liechtenstein, I recommend visiting before Christmas or in February.
The Adventure Pass is worth it
The “Adventure Pass” that you can purchase from the tourist office is so worth it. We found that even just doing two or three of the things that are free with the pass would’ve been more expensive if we wouldn’t have bought the pass.
Everything is expensive
Liechtenstein was more expensive than I anticipated it would be. The minimum cost a restaurant per person would be around 30-40 Euros per meal! If you’re on a budget, be aware of this. To save costs, you could go to cheaper options like McDonalds or get stuff from a grocery store, but any eatery will cost a lot. Stores and souvenirs were also pretty expensive, so just keep that in mind when budgeting for your trip.
Taking a trip to the Alps? Here are some other posts you may like:
I hope that this guide helps you to plan an awesome trip to Liechtenstein! Let me know any questions or comments you have!
Thanks for reading! 🙂