Liechtenstein is not a country but a principality and as such operates an as independent state which sits sandwiched between neighboring Austria and Switzerland. The entire state is only 160 square kilometers and has 35,000 residents but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beautiful scenery and some quaint attractions.
Much of the state of covered in Alpine forests and meadows of pretty wild flowers and Liechtenstein has an interesting history that you can delve into on a trip here, including learning how it became its own autonomous region in 1806. Visitors flock to the state in order to enjoy the wonderful opportunities to commune with nature here, and in the winter you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. In the summer hiking and mountain climbing are common pastimes, and there are also picturesque monuments like castles and museums dotted all over the place, just waiting to be discovered.
Here are the best things to do in Liechtenstein:
1. Check out the Liechtenstein State Art Gallery
The Liechtenstein Art Gallery is called Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and offers a fresh look at the arts scene in the region.
Here you will find examples of modern art pieces and the museum has both static and rotating exhibits.
The permanent collection has paintings from the 19th century onwards and some items to look out for include those that belong to the royal collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein.
2. Visit Gutenburg Castle
Located on a hill that overlooks the quaint village of Balzers in the south of the country is the Burg Gutenberg which is one of the best examples of a traditional castle in Liechtenstein.
The castle would have been built during the Middle Ages but it is still in remarkably pristine order and like most fortresses in the country it was positioned in a strategic location 70 meters above Balzers in order to guard over it and spot impending danger.
As the castle has been here since the Neolithic period it is full of treasures from the era and some of the highlights here include the elegant chapel and the exquisite rose garden.
If you come here in the summer months you can also enjoy a range of events such as plays and musical concerts.
3. Hike along the Princes’ Way
The Princes’ Way is a famous route in Liechtenstein which lets you hike through the mountains and take in some of the best Alpine scenery in the country.
As you walk you can enjoy the views from Alp Gaflei which is located at 1400 meters and you can also view the famous Three Sisters Mountains.
As the trail ends you will get to look out over lush valleys of much of Liechtenstein before renting a bicycle to drive back to the starting point.
4. Visit the Traditional Farmhouse Museum
The Traditional Farmhouse Museum is located in Schellenberg and is one of the quirkiest museums in the country.
At the museum you will find a farmhouse building that was built 500 years ago and the farmhouse is part of the wider Liechtenstein National Museum.
To get to the museum you will need to travel to the municipality of Schellenberg where you will find the house that dates from 1518. The building is dedicated to showing you how people would have lived in the days of old and how farming techniques would have developed since the Middle Ages.
5. Go skiing in Malbun
Malbun is the premium ski resort in Lichtenstein and visitors flock here to enjoy some winter fun when the snows fall.
Malbun is nestled in an Alpine ridge that is close to the stunning Saminatal Valley and the snow here is said to be some of the best in Europe which makes it perfect for skiing or snowboarding.
There are a number of trails here for all levels of ability as well as a range of activities to enjoy after you have hit the slopes.
There are three ski lifts here that will take you 2,000 meters up the valley to ski, and if you are traveling with children then you can visit the Malbi Park Kinderland which has ski runs for children and also has lessons and programs for youngsters to enjoy.
6. Explore the Liechtenstein National Museum
The Liechtenstein National Museum is owned by the state of Liechtenstein and has a collection of pieces that tell the story of how the country would have developed.
The museum is housed in a traditional inn that was built in the 15th century and has the claim to fame of having once been visited by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 18th century.
One of the signature pieces here is a model of Liechtenstein and you will also find religious art work as well as a display of traditional weaponry.
7. Hike along the Historical Eschnerberg Trail
If you like hiking then you certainly won’t be disappointed on a trip to Liechtenstein.
The area is covered in gorgeous Alpine scenery and as you walk along you will be dazzled by picturesque villages and traditional inns.
People flock here from all over Europe to enjoy the great outdoors and there are woodlands and valleys that are all worth exploring.
There are a huge number of marked trails that stretch all over the country but the most famous of these is the Historical Eschnerberg Trail that links the towns of Schellenberg and Bendern.
As you hike this trail you will pass ancient settlements in the forms of Malanser and Lutzengutle and will get to look out over the mighty Rhine River.
8. Discover the Calculator and Typewriter Museum
This quirky museum is well worth a visit if you are in the Schaan area of Liechtenstein.
Here you will find over 250 exhibits that all pay homage to the history of calculators and typewriters.
Many of the exhibits here are interactive which means that the museum is a firm favorite for anyone travelling with younger visitors.
The museum will take you back in time 150 years and one of the signature attractions is the smallest calculator in the world which many people won’t realize was made in Lichtenstein.
9. Visit the Red House in Vaduz
The iconic Red House in Vaduz is in the Mitteldorf region of the city and it is known for its vibrant hue and its tower.
The outside is a deep red and it probably dates from around the 15th century although it would have been renovated in the 18th century.
Over the years the house has changed hands although at one time it would have been the site of the Saint Johann Monastery and now you can visit and learn about the history of the home as well as the wider community.
10. Have fun at the Malbi Adventure Playground
Located in the town of Malbun is the Malbi Adventure Playground which is one of the best places to visit in Lichtenstein if you are travelling with children in the summer months.
There are a range of activities to enjoy here and the playground is set away from the main roads so has a secluded feel and a quiet and calm atmosphere.
At the playground you will find rides such as an old fashioned carousel as well as a fun climbing wall and even a large swinging bench if you have a head for heights.
11. Ride the Citytrain in Vaduz
One of the pleasures of Liechtenstein is that it is small and compact, particularly around the capital of Vaduz.
This means that you can see all the main sights easily and one of the best ways to do this is to take a tour on the Citytrain.
The ride lasts for 30 minutes and you will get to see the old part of downtown Vaduz as well as be whisked past the famous Vaduz vineyards.
There is a stop off at the Red House and you will travel past Vaduz Castle before continuing on into the beautiful Alpine countryside around the city.
12. Visit the ruined castles of Schellenberg
Liechtenstein is known for its castles, although of these there are only two which are still well preserved, namely Vaduz Castle and Burg Gutenberg.
The rest all lie in delightful crumbling ruins, and two of these are located in Schellenberg.
The castles here consist of Obere Burg which is the upper castle and was built in 1200 in the medieval style and Untere Burg which is the lower castle and dates from 1250 and is the smaller of the two.
If you are looking for a chance to see some medieval architecture in Liechtenstein then a trip here is well worth it.
13. Visit the Lawena Museum
The Liechtenstein Power Stations also run the Museum of Electricity in Triesen which is a fascinating insight into the power that runs the country.
The exhibits here run from 1910 until modern times and you can learn about famous electrical appliances like the iron, the electric stove, the washing machine, and the vacuum cleaner.
You can see how these developed thanks to the use of electricity as well as take in an exhibition about electrical measuring equipment and see generators that date from 1926.
14. Sample the produce at the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery
If you like wine then make sure not to miss a tip to the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery where you can tour the vineyards and try some of the bottles of wine produced onsite.
The winery is known for its spectacular Herawingert Vineyards which span 4 hectares of land in the south west and make some of the most delicious wine in the Rhine Valley.
On a trip here make sure to try both the red and white variety of wines on offer which are famous in both Lichtenstein and Europe.
15. Buy some Schadler Pottery
Nendeln is known for its pretty Schadler Pottery and the workshop that you will find here is one of the oldest in Liechtenstein.
Pottery has been produced here since 1836 and you will find a huge range of crockery like plates as well as arts and crafts pieces and even tiles.
You can watch the pottery being made in front of you by the resident potters and ceramic painting experts and if you are interested in local arts and crafts then this is a great place to pick up a souvenir from Liechtenstein.
16. Explore the Walser Museum
The Walser Museum first opened its doors in 1961 and is located in the pretty town of Triesenberg.
The museum was designed to tell the story of how people have lived in Triesenberg over the years and you will get to learn all about the local customs and traditions in this part of Europe.
To that end there is a multimedia presentation that lasts for 25 minutes and will tell you all you need to know about how the town has changed since ancient times.
You will also find a sculpture area in the museum of pieces all carved from wood by local sculptor Rudolf Schadler.
17. Whizz around the Nendeln Go-Kart Track
If you are looking for some speed in Liechtenstein the check out the Nendeln Go-Kart Track which spans an impressive 150 meters.
Up to six go-karts can race at the same time and the whole center is environmentally friendly as the electricity that runs the karts comes from solar panels on the roof.
As well as the race track you can also enjoy arcade games like darts, air hockey, and table football.
18. Explore the church hill of Bendern
The church hill of Bendern used to be known as the Oath Square and is said to be the spot where Liechtenstein was officially created.
This is because in 1699 an oath was sworn here by the residents of Bendern to Prince Johann Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein and the rest was history.
The church dates from the 6th century and has been renovated over the years and is now Gothic in style.
19. Cycle over the Old Bridge
The Old Bridge over the Rhine is a famous bridge that connects the municipalities of Vaduz and Sevelen together.
Spanning 135 meters, the bridge dates from 1901 and is the only wooden bridge that now arches across the mighty Rhine.
If you make the journey here then make sure to check out the wooden roof that spans the bridge, and you can rent a bicycle and cycle across as motor vehicles are not allowed here meaning that you can safety take in the majesty of the structure and the surrounding area.
20. Visit the Postage Stamp Museum
The Postage Stamp Museum makes an interesting day out in Liechtenstein and is also free of charge to enter.
It tells the story of the postal service in the state over the years and there is a showcase of how stamps have evolved from ancient times to the modern day.
You can see the stamps themselves, as well as needle plates and learn all about the printing techniques used to make the stamps.
21. Marvel at St. Florin Church and Cathedral
Is it a church or a cathedral? Well, this religious structure is a bit of both and would have started out as the Chapel of Saint Florin before becoming the Cathedral in Chur in 1375. In ancient times this was a private chapel that would have belonged to a nobleman, but over the years the chapel saw a range of additions that raised its status to that of a cathedral.
Also in the same spot you will find a parish cemetery where several members of nobility are interred.
22. Museum Mura
Museum Mura in Mauren is one of the best places to come in the country if you want to see a large collection of cultural pieces in the same place.
The museum has over 10,000 items in its collection and you can learn all about how people would have lived in the days of old in Liechtenstein.
There are both static and rotating exhibits here and some of these include showcases of things such as ancient handicrafts.
23. Check out the birds at the Galina Falconry Centre
The Galina Falconry Center sits in Malbun and you if you are a nature lover then this spot nestled amongst Alpine mountains is not to be missed.
The birds are released every day so that you can see them in action and visitors here will also learn the history and the methods of falconry.
24. The Küefer Martis Huus
The Kufer Martis Huus is a delightful museum in Liechtenstein that has a water theme and is focused on telling the story of the majestic Rhine that runs through this state.
At this imaginative and unusual museum you can learn about the influence of the Rhine on the region and how water is used here in everyday life.
There are galleries that will fill you in on the importance of water to this part of Europe and if you are looking for something a little different to do when you are visiting Liechtenstein then this makes a great educational visit.
25. Go cross country skiing
If you prefer cross country skiing to the downhill variety then make your way to the ambient resort area of Steg where you can rent some skis and take to the snow.
Steg is located in the gorgeous Valunatal Valley and if you have never skied before then this is the perfect spot to start as there are a range of ski schools in the area.
There are different trails that you can follow including a 15 kilometer loop and an easier 4 kilometer loop for beginners.
There is a 3 kilometer section that is floodlit at night so you can even go skiing after night falls if you are so inclined.