Just a small spot on the map but still worth the journey: Liechtenstein. With an area of just about 160 km² the Principality in the Alps is the sixth-smallest nation in the world. It is easy to overlook Liechtenstein when planning an Interrail trip, even though it easily accessible from both Switzerland and Austria by train. Vaduz, the capital, is a perfect destination for a quick stopover.
To Liechtenstein by Train
The railway line from Feldkirch in Austria to Buchs SG in Switzerland crosses Liechtenstein. The two-hourly Railjet trains from Vienna to Zurich run on this route as well several regional trains. The line is operated by ÖBB (Austrian Railways) and the ÖBB tariffs applies until the Swiss border station of Buchs SG. There are three stops in Liechtenstein: Nendeln, Forst Hilti and Schaan-Vaduz.
The train station serving the capital Vaduz is located a bit north of the city centre in the neighbouring village of Schaan. If you are looking for schedules to Liechtenstein you’ll have to look for “Schaan-Vaduz” station. You will find connections easily via German Railways DB, Austrian Railways ÖBB or Swiss Railways SBB. International express trains only call at Feldkirch and Buchs SG, the stations in Liechtenstein are only served by regional trains running between Feldkirch and Buchs SG.
To get to the city centre of Vaduz take a bus of local operator LIEmobil. It takes about seven minutes to get from the Schaan-Vaduz station to the stop “Städtle” in the middle of Vaduz. Frequent buses also operate from Feldkirch, Buchs SG and Sargans to Vaduz. Tickets are between 2 and 8 CHF depending on the route. If you are travelling with a Railjet to Feldkirch or Buchs it is often quicker to continue to Vaduz by bus, as the regional trains do not operate as frequently.
Money in LIechtenstein
The official currency are Swiss Francs (CHF). You can get money from banks, post offices or ATMs. It is also possible to pay with Euro however the conversion rate in shops and restaurants can be slightly worse than compared to withdrawing or exchanging money.
Prices are quite high, similar to Switzerland. A coffee and two rolls in a bakery cost about 5 CHF.
Staying overnight in Liechtenstein
The cheapest option to stay overnight in Liechtenstein is the Youth Hostel Schaan-Vaduz. A bed in a dormitory is about 40 CHF per night. A double room in a hotel is available from 75 CHF per person. I can recommend the Landhaus am Giessen. However it is also easily possible to just visit the main sights of Vaduz within a single day and stay overnight elsewhere.
Sightseeing in Vaduz
Vaduz is a small city, you can reach everything easily on foot. The most important sight is Vaduz Castle. Located high above the village it can be seen from afar. After a 15 to 20 minutes walk you have reached the castle and a rewarded with many great views over Liechtenstein and the Rhine Valley. Visits of the castle are possible unless the Prince of Liechtenstein is at home.
Another popular sight is the “Red House” in Vaduz, a beautiful villa with wineyard. It is not possible to visit the house though. You an also visit the three churches of Liechtenstein. Of course there are a lot of more places to visit, these have been only some examples which can be visited during a short day trip.
Update: March 2017