Liechtenstein or Principality of Lichtenstein is a European microstate. Its total area is 160m2. It shares the borders with Austria and Switzerland. The capital is Vaduz.
The country has a continental climate with cool summer and soft winter with a lot of precipitation. A skiing season in Liechtenstein starts in October and lasts until April. Summer is the best time for visiting the country for city entertainments and country holidays. The Liechtensteiners make up 65% of the population, 15% are the Germans and 10% are the Swiss. The people are proponents of Catholicism and Protestantism.
Staying in this mountain country, visit the cities of Vaduz and Schaan. In the capital city, you will see the Old Town and an ancient castle. All the year round, the tourists can have an excursion to wine cellars and try local wines. If you like history, you should visit Balzers and the Gutenberg Castle in Balzers with an amazing panoramic view of the city.
Spending their holidays in the country, the tourists go hiking along the Rhine river and go to the Alps for climbing. In Tyrol, the tourists can do gliding and aeronautics. This is also the place where the sky jumpers like to gather.
The only ski resort in Lichtenstein Malbun is very popular and it is believed to be one of the best and the most expensive Alpine resorts. The resort offers facilities for skiers with different abilities, snowboarders and those who just want to enjoy nature and mountain air.
Liechtenstein does not have its own airport so plan your trip with a stop in Switzerland or in Austria. The nearest airport is in Zurich.
The most convenient route is to reach Switzerland and then go to Lichtenstein by train or by bus. Aeroflot and SwissAirlines have flights to Zurich and AirBerlin offers cheaper flights.
There are regular flights from CIS countries, France, Spain and Belgium to Switzerland and Austria with a stop in Berlin.
Swiss border towns Buchs and Sargans and Austrian border towns Salzburg and Feldkirch are linked with Vaduz by a railway road. Trains from these towns regularly run through Lichtenstein.
The bus is a quick and comfortable way to get to Lichtenstein. Regular buses run from Munich, Vienna, Salzburg and Zurich to Schaan and Vaduz.
Lichtenstein has signed the Schengen Agreement and tourists from Russia and CIS countries need tp obtain a Schengen visa. Lichtenstein does not have its embassy in CIS countries and in Russia. You will need to apply to the embassy of Switzerland.
The period for consideration is 5-12 working days. The citizens of CIS countries can apply the documents for a visa online.
Planning your trip to Lichtenstein, study the list of items which are allowed or prohibited for import and export.
The citizens of the non-EU countries are allowed to import the following goods:
- tobacco and alcohol;
- personal belongings, sports equipment, and perfume (not more than 100ml);
- 2 cameras and video cameras for each person;
- new packed things (the total cost should be less than 100 franсs);
- certified nutrition for babies and medications with a doctor's prescription.
The citizens of the non-EU countries are not allowed to import the following goods:
- dairy products and meat, canned goods, eggs;
- many fruits and vegetables;
- antiquities and goods made of rare animals' skin;
- plants, seeds of flowers;
- pets without a microchip.
Lichtenstein is a country with no unique cuisine. The tourists are offered dishes borrowed from neighboring countries. Meat dishes are predominant as well as cheeses and vegetables.
Try Lyurih-leshnettseltes (delicate veal with a vegetable sauce) and Bernese Platter (roast mutton with green peas and cabbage). The restaurants serve mainly meat (beef, pork and mutton, sausages, roasted and smoked ham). We highly recommend trying local schnitzels with cabbage as a traditional side-dish. The citizens of Lichtenstein love to treat themselves to foie gras (pate from duck liver).
The soups are very similar to German soups and their base is a rich meat broth.
The Liechtensteiners love cheeses. The local cheeses are Elemental and Gruyer and food lovers will love their taste. Do not leave Lichtenstein without trying Raclette, fried potatoes with cheese.
Visiting Lichtenstein, do not miss a chance to try beer soup served in bread bowls. The ones who like beer can try local beer produced by Liechtensteiner Brauhaus and Vaduz. The vineyard Gerravingert is one of the most expensive in the world but you will enjoy the delicate white wines Gewürztraminer and Mueller-Thurgau and rich red wines Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Pinot Noir. In the vineyard Triesenberg, they grow a unique sort of grape Leon Millot.
Ordering coffee, you will be served milk, chocolate, cheesecakes and sweet puddings, chocolate cakes and candies.
The official currency in Lichtenstein is the Swiss franc. The National Bank issues:
- 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes coins;
- small change (1, 2 and 5 francs);
- 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1.000 francs banknotes.
Tourists will not face any problems with currency exchange as they can do it at banks, in exchange offices and hotels. Be aware that hotels offer a less-advantageous exchange rate. Large stores and hotels usually accept Euro (the exchange rate is lower than usual) but the change is given in Swiss francs. Almost all stores accept credit cards (Visa, American Express and MasterCard). You can cash you traveler's checks at banks and the commission is minimal.
The tourists do not need to give tips because in restaurants and taxis, 15% of the total sum will be added as a tip for the service.
The tax-free system is available in Lichtenstein. To return 7.8% of the total sum of purchases, you need to spend 300 francs. VAT is not refunded for foods and medications.
Details of interest
Are you going to Lichtenstein? We recommend you planning your trip beforehand and think what souvenirs you are going to bring to your family and friends.
Sightseeing in Lichtenstein
- A medieval city Vaduz with its ancient buildings. You can visit Gasthof Löewen, a hotel built in 1388 and a Gothic-style chapel.
- The Gutenberg Castle in Balzers built in the 12th century.
- Triesenberg Town Hall with the wooden images of St. Anthony and St. Rochus.
- The Rhyne Valley which occupies the fourth part of the country.
Souvenirs from Lichtenstein
Lichtenstein is world-famous for its stamps. Do not leave the country without visiting the Postage Stamp Museum. This is a true paradise for the collectors. The tourists can buy an unusual souvenir here and this is a stamp.
The second popular souvenir in Lichtenstein is wine. Local wine-makers offer to try and but their wines. You can not only try but also buy some wine in the National Museum of Lichtenstein.
Another popular souvenir in Lichtenstein is traditional pottery with national ornaments. In souvenir shops, there is a great variety of tableware, traditional costumes, famous Tyrolean hats and embroidered vests.