Liking what Liechtenstein has to offer

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The dramatic Vaduz Castle overlooks the capital city of Liechtenstein.
The dramatic Vaduz Castle overlooks the capital city of Liechtenstein. Photo Credit: Liechtenstein Marketing/Julian Konrad
Felicity Long
Felicity Long

Whether your clients are looking for an add-on to a trip to Switzerland or Austria or simply like the idea of going somewhere a little off the beaten track, the Principality of Liechtenstein is wooing leisure travelers from the U.S. 

For the record, Liechtenstein is one of Europe's tiniest countries -- about 15.5 miles long -- has a royal family, uses the Swiss franc and its capital is Vaduz.

For such a small footprint, however, the country packs a wallop in terms of charm, especially for Europhiles drawn to medieval castles, Alpine villages and hiking trails.

How to get to Liechtenstein

Because the country follows Switzerland's entry requirements, the good news for travelers from the U.S. is that no proof of vaccination, recovery or testing is required, according to Matthias Kramer, Liechtenstein's head of Tourism & Economy.

"Luckily, life is back to normal and in full swing without any Covid-related restrictions," Kramer said, adding, "... we are delighted to see how many guests, groups and hikers from the U.S. are visiting Liechtenstein again in this season."

Kramer shared some of his top recommendations for that first visit.

The highlights from castle to mountain

At the top of his list is the capital city of Vaduz, with its dramatic Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein's royal residence; wine tastings at the Princely Winery, with views over the vineyards and the castle; the Princely Theatre, a vintage cinema that offers a behind-the-scenes look at Vaduz Castle; or any of the five museums in the car-free center of Vaduz.

"You can then easily combine the cultural visit [to] Vaduz with an excursion to the mountain destination of Malbun, a 30-minute ride away," Kramer said.

Malbun, a tiny mountain village, features a chairlift that visitors can hop on for a scenic ride to Sareis at 6,500 feet, where they can sit on the terrace and take in the panoramic view.

"For avid hikers who would like to cross the country on foot and learn about the culture and history of Liechtenstein, the Liechtenstein Trail is the perfect fit," Kramer said, "and we offer a bookable package including overnights, luggage transport, packaged lunches."

Festivals are a big part of Liechtenstein life, from summer musical events -- like the Vaduz Classic, FL1.LIFE Festival and Vaduz Soundz -- to carnival in February. Wine lovers can time their visit for the fall when the wine harvest takes place in various towns throughout the country. 

As to accommodations, the 17-room Central by Hotel Residence is located in the capital's tallest building and offers international cuisine at the on-site restaurant. And in January, the new wing of the Hotel Kommod opened in the town of Ruggell, focusing on business travelers and groups.

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