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A Travel Guide for Schengen Countries: Splendid Liechtenstein

Nestled in the upper Rhine valley of the rugged European Alps is a lesser-known micro nation, Liechtenstein. Named after the ruling family, it is a small principality, 25 kms long and 12 kms wide. Beckoning you with its beauty and serenity, it is an ideal getaway from city bustles. The sprawling landscapes give you the feel that you are inside a picture postcard!

Do not let the tranquil hills fool you that Liechtenstein is all about rustic and scenic beauty. This miniscule country has a strong financial hub and is one of the richest countries in the world. The modest tax levied in the country results in high economic growth rates.

Why Visit Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is for the outdoor enthusiast. Enjoy hikes on winding trails or go skiing on snow-clad slopes. Liechtenstein is for those who believe in fairytales. Relive your favorite tale as you explore the medieval castles. Liechtenstein is for those who want to reconnect with nature. Watch the sunset in the backdrop of mountains and immerse yourself in the scenery.

A lesser reason for visiting Liechtenstein could be the opportunity of setting foot on one of the smallest monarch-ruled countries of the world. It also possesses a unique feature of being 'doubly landlocked'. This means that the tiny country is 'locked' or surrounded by Switzerland and Austria that are in turn 'locked' by other countries! It is also popular as the world's largest producer of false teeth.

When to Visit Liechtenstein

Snuggled in the lap of the Alps, Liechtenstein has a pleasant climate all through the year. The summers are mild while the winters are cold with perpetual rain and snow, making it the ideal time for snow sports. Winter is the peak season when tourists throng the little nation. By April, the snow begins to melt and so do the crowds.

The winter rush results in higher accommodation and flight charges. So book in advance if you are planning a ski trip in Liechtenstein this winter. If you aren't looking to visit the country for its numerous snow sports, then you can enjoy the idyllic location for its landscape, hikes and treks in summer. Being an off-season, Liechtenstein sees fewer visitors from April to November. Tariff and flight rates are considerably lower during this period. Most winter resorts remain closed.

Schengen Visa for Liechtenstein

Every tourist needs to possess a Schengen Visa to travel to Liechtenstein. Considered as a boon for tourists, the Schengen Pact is the result of cooperation between 26 European countries. These countries have eliminated individual visa requirements, thereby minimizing border control.

The Pact ensures tourists and citizens enjoy hassle-free movement within the member countries on a common visa. Simply put, a Schengen Visa lets one travel to any member country without applying for multiple visas.

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

To apply for a Schengen Visa, one needs to download the Visa Application Form, which is easily available online. Submit the duly filled form along with valid documentation to the destination country's embassy in India.

Remember, the form needs to be filled carefully stating the reason for your visit. It also needs to be supported with your recent financial statement. Also, availing the right travel insurance plan is mandatory for securing a visa approval for a Schengen country.

How to Travel

Owing to its size, Liechtenstein has no airports. The closest airport that services flights from international locations is Zurich, the capital of Switzerland. From there, the best way to travel to Liechtenstein is by road.

There are no border restrictions between Switzerland and Liechtenstein; you can take the Swiss Autobahn A13/E34 that runs along the Rhine River. You can also fly into Austria and take a train, bus or cab from there.

Another option is to fly to Friedrichshafen, Germany and drive down to Liechtenstein. For chartered helicopter flights, the village of Balzers in Liechtenstein has a small heliport.

The only rail route runs across a small stretch of 9.5 km, connecting Austria and Switzerland through Liechtenstein. If you are renting a car, ample parking space is available in the garages in Vaduz.

Once in Liechtenstein, you can take the Liechtenstein Bus (or LIEmobil as it is called) to travel around the country, one of the most efficient and cost-effective forms of public transport.

Based on the weather conditions, you can also rent a bike to tour the entire country in a few hours. The well-maintained roads, special lanes for bikes and the breathtaking scenery make the ride a memorable experience.

Where to Stay

Most hotels in Liechtenstein are expensive. For best deals, book in advance, especially during the peak season. You could also choose to look out for hostels or holiday apartments in the villages around Vaduz. Another option is to stay in Austria or Switzerland and visit Liechtenstein by day.

Accommodation Details Budget Mid-range High-end
Top Hotels Hotel-Gasthof Loewen, B & B Inn in Feldkirch, Austria Hotel Hofbalzers, Balzers Parkhotel Sonnenhof, Vaduz
  Hotel Alpenblick, Grindelwald, Switzerland Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Feldkirch, Austria Gutwinski Hotel, Feldkirch, Austria
Approximate Tariff Range For One Night (excluding taxes) Rs. 3,000 - Rs. 5,600 Rs. 6,000 - Rs. 9,999 Rs. 10,000 and above
Source: TripAdvisor and MakeMyTrip

Things to do

Spin a fairy tale
Visit the castles, National Museum and Vaduz cathedral to learn the history of the country. One among the five castles in the principality, Vaduz Castle is not open to public, except on August 15, the National Day of Liechtenstein. However, the climb up the hill is itself a feast for the eyes. Gutenberg Castle in Balzers village serves as a public museum and is worth visiting.

Explore the trails
This country is for the adventurous and sporty. If you visit in winter, enjoy snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding and sleigh riding with huskies.

Located at a height of 1600 meters above sea level and about 12 kms away from Vaduz is the village of Malbun. Popular as a skiing destination, Liechtenstein's winters offer various sports, including cross-country skiing.

Summers in Liechtenstein are pleasant and are the best times to go hiking, trekking or biking. Galinakopf, a mountain range bordering Austria and Liechtenstein, offers the ideal slopes for such activities.

Experience nature up close
The Malbi Park in Malbun has an adventure playground, zoo and various sports activities, especially for children.

Galina Falconry Centre in Malbun has a bird-of-prey show where one can go on a hike to watch owls, eagles and hawks in their natural habitat. Proximity to nature at your adventurous best is what the high-rope trails at Forst adventure park, Triesen, promises tourists.

Do's & Don'ts in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is one of the safest countries in the world, especially pertaining to crime rates. However, it is best to take all the precautions when travelling to a foreign land, especially one where you can expect many adventures! Here are a few dos and don'ts for a visitor to Liechtenstein:

  • If you are driving a rented car, be cautious about the steep winding mountain roads, especially in winter. For those who don't have experience driving in such terrains, hire a cab or take the bus. While driving, watch out for speed trap on the roads. Heavy fines are imposed for exceeding speed limits!
  • While you are engrossed in nature's trails, be careful not to lose your way. Since you are new to the place, it is best not to venture onto unmarked trails while hiking or trekking, especially if you don't have a guide.
  • Before you set out for any sport or adventure, ensure you have suitable, functioning equipment, clothing and other essentials for it. Also, be careful of slippery trails while trekking or hiking in snow.
  • Sundays are usually quiet with most shops remaining closed. Be alert and take care of your wallet and other valuables while venturing out on deserted roads.

Make Liechtenstein more enjoyable by availing a travel insurance plan to fall back on in case of mishaps.

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Liechtenstein Essentials

  • Located in: Central Europe
  • Capital: Vaduz
  • Calling Code: +423

Schengen Visa for Liechtenstein

Schengen Visa Requirements

  • Valid Passport
  • Travel Insurance Cover
  • Financial Statement
  • Round-trip Ticket
  • Compliance with Schengen Rules & Regulations
Grand Palace, Brussels – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Breathtaking landscapes in Liechtenstein

Bastgone War Museum

Vaduz Castle

Bastgone War Museum

Snow-clad slopes of Liechtenstein