Have you ever heard of Liechtenstein before?
Don’t be shy if you haven’t.. because I know that most of my friends haven’t heard of it either.
I found it funny when I posted on Instagram that I was going to Liechtenstein, because none of my followers had anything to say about this country. Most people just said something like, “Where on earth is that?”
And I don’t really blame them, because Liechtenstein is so small, hidden, and innocent — that it is often overlooked by travelers.
The entire country is just 9 kilometers wide by 20 kilometers tall and the population is something around 30K people. You might be amazed to hear that Liechtenstein has the third highest GDP per person in the world and has one of the lowest unemployment rates at 1.5%. The language is their own version of German and they currency is the Swiss Franc.
Sound interesting to you?
Before I dive into this post, I’d like to start off by showing you a beautiful video that my friend Andy made of his home country. It was all filmed within one week.
During my 2-month Eurotrip in the summer of 2015, I was planning to visit every European country that I hadn’t yet been to… So, I figured that I would give Liechtenstein a shot for just 24 hours to see what it is all about.
Long story short, Liechtenstein blew my mind.
From the moment I crossed the border on the bus, I was gazing out my window in amazement. The natural beauty was as breathtaking as Switzerland, but more compact and less crowded. The lush green mountains were always showing in the distance no matter which direction I was looking. The air was as fresh and cool as I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
One of the biggest reasons why Liechtenstein is overlooked is because it is a difficult destination to get to… The location of the country is sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, and there are no airports or train stations in the country.
The ONLY way to get into Liechtenstein is by driving your own a car, or taking the train to a nearby station like Feldkirch, Austria, and then taking a public bus.
I didn’t really want to spend the money on a hotel (because Liechtenstein is really expensive), so I turned to Couch Surfing and a really cool guy named Simon offered me to sleep in his house.
He picked me up at the bus station on his BMW motorbike and took me to his massive wooden house which I was not expecting! Throughout my 24 hours in the country, Simon took me around on his bike to almost all places in Liechtenstein. We visited his families house in a small village. We walked across the bridge to Switzerland and rode bikes into Austria. He also introduced me to his local friends who were really cool and down to earth!
Here is a photo of us together:
Alright, so now that you learned a little about my experience, here are 7 more Reasons Why Liechtenstein is Amazing.
- Beautiful Countryside – The mountains, valleys, rivers and lush greenery of Liechtenstein is breathtaking. It’s similar to the beauty of Switzerland, but smaller, cleaner and more compact.
- Nice people – Every local that I came across in Liechtenstein was friendly and they smiled at me. One time, I nearly got on the wrong bus and this lady stopped me to guide me in the right direction. Simon also introduced me to his friends (who were about my age) and we instantly connected. They were all awesome people!
- Easy Access to Switzerland and Austria – If you want to visit Switzerland and Austria, then you can do so within about 30 minutes. I walked across the Swiss border on this beautiful bridge, and then immediately after, I rode my bike into Austria! There’s a really cool medieval city across the Austrian border called Feldkirch, and I highly recommend going there.
- Amazing Outdoor Sports – In the summer months, you can go hiking on some nice trails in the mountains. In the winter, there is loads of snow so you can go skiing or snowboarding. Or just rent a bicycle and ride around for the day. So many things to do!
- Laid Back Atmosphere – Given that the country has a population of under 30K, it’s very low key, quiet and calm. Nobody ever seemed to be in a rush. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Perfect escape from life.
- Explore Vaduz – Vaduz is the capital city of Liechtenstin – and it’s really the only city in the country besides villages. There are some nice museums and public art galleries that are worth seeing in the downtown area. There are nice restaurants and bars on the charming pedestrian road.
- Epic Castle – Just outside of Vaduz is a stellar castle from the 12th century. It overlooks the entire country (literally), and the Prince of Liechtenstein still lives inside. Tourists are not allowed to enter unless there is a national holiday or a public showing of the castle, but you can hike up to the area and get a nice view of the countryside!
I hope you take my recommendations about Liechtenstein and make a trip this peaceful country. And after all, you’ll be able to cross another country off your list!