When looking at an overall map of Europe, you'd probably skip right over the tiny, landlocked country of Liechtenstein. Bordered by Switzerland to the West and Austria to the East, it's one of the smallest independent sovereign states in Europe. The country is only about 16 miles long and 4 miles wide. From Zurich, Switzerland I chose to take a day trip to the capital city of Vaduz. It's really quite simple. Just an hour train ride to the city of Sargans, SW and then a 30 minute bus ride on to Vaduz.
Upon arriving in the capital, I was surprised to see that the drop off point was right in front of the Post Office and not a station. I picked up a city map and started exploring. The only information I had heard regarding Vaduz was that it's a small town overlooked by a castle atop a hill. The castle is Schloss Vaduz which was named after the town and is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. It can be reached by car, but for a nice, short hike I recommend the clearly marked trail up to the top. It offers some great views
of the town and the surrounding mountains. Although generally closed to the public, the castle is open at certain times of the year.
Walking around Vaduz is actually quite peaceful. There are tourists, but it's such a small number that it's really not a problem at all. In fact, unlike many other European towns, you can hear the relaxing sound of chirping birds when walking down the town's streets.
The city center is located right by Town Hall. It's where you'll find many shops and restaurants as well as the tourist information booth. From there, you can take a bus tour or for those who would like a souvenir in their passport, a fee of 2 Swiss Francs pays for the country stamp.
All of the main attractions in Vaduz can be reached on foot. These include the Rotes Haus or (Red House) which is the oldest in town and sits in front of one of Vaduzs' many wine vineyards. Walking south on Stadtle Street, you'll find both the Art Gallery and the Postage Stamp Museum. St. Florin Cathedral is located in the most southern part of town and is also next to the school of music
and the Regierungsgebaude (Government Building).
Perhaps the most popular souvenir from Liechtenstein is the country's postage stamps. Being the small country that it is, these stamps are sought after by collectors worldwide. The local shops sell a huge variety of both year and images. Check out the Postage Stamp Museum for a quick history lesson on the Postal Industry of Liechtenstein and its neighbors.
Whether spending just one afternoon or multiple days in Liechtenstein, it's a nice country to visit. Although it doesn't boast a huge number of attractions, it does have unique sites, and like neighboring countries, the landscape is beautiful.
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